(Credit: Ying Chew)
Muhammad Seven & The Spring’s debut studio album has arrived! The self-titled album is the result of years of hard work from the Boston-based trio and the experience and talent each member brings to the group shines through. You may have seen or heard frontman Muhammad Seven around the area before, with previous appearances in DigBoston and WEMF for his solo work. Now he’s teamed up with fellow musicians Kelly Jo Reed and Pat Mussari to create this phenomenal full-length folk album.
Honestly, there isn’t a bad track on the whole album. The style moves smoothly through classic Americana into anthemic rock into contemplative folk. Highlights include the beachy vibe of “Menauhant” which tells the story of a working-class man getting by on the tourist beaches of Cape Cod. Then there’s the intertwined duo of “Manifesto” and “Sour Cherries” at the heart of the album. A shared melody links the righteous anger of “Manifesto” with the familial love of “Sour Cherries,” creating a rich portrait of an immigrant family’s experience. “Manifesto” begins with a quiet, restrained rage that gradually layers on instruments and power. Then “Sour Cherries” shares the story of an Iranian family starting over in California and the clash between parents and children, all tied back to the family’s ice cream parlor and its flavors of home. The songs are timely and necessary in the United States’ current social climate.
Toward the second half of the album, the songs become more fantastical, with a crash landing on Mars and a human battling a god in hand-to-hand combat. But these mythic situations only enhance the humanity of the album by magnifying the everyday problems of human limitations and chronic illness. In the end, Muhammad Seven & The Spring is bold, loving, and extremely human.
Muhammad Seven & The Spring will be available on all streaming platforms and in Physical CD form on March 12.
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It’s been a while. But here’s a sampling of Bandcamp releases from Massachusetts musicians for September!
(photo credit: Dave Crespo, via Mailman Carl)
Mailman Carl’s self-titled EP is all over the place in the best of ways. As frontman Paul Yu told me, the band’s intent was to branch out from their usual rock format and experiment with different musical techniques, all while retaining their usual essence. In seven far-flung songs, Mailman Carl darts between styles and timbres, finger-plucking etudes one moment, grooving to Latin jazz rhythms the next, then moving on to paint sound portraits of a stormy night.
We thought we were in the clear. But here we are in the midst of a massive snowstorm a week before spring. As frustrating as it is, it’s nice to be settled in my living room with some music playing. My one-year-old son is currently obsessed with Simon and Garfunkel, so we’ve listened to their Greatest Hits album more times than I would like to think about. But I’ve also been listening to some really great songs from local acts in between renditions of I Am a Rock and America. Here are a few of today’s highlights:
Today’s majesty, viewed from my living room couch.
After the frozen hellscape that was February 2015, I think I may have overprepared for today’s snowstorm. Though the snow day routine in my house is no longer “sleep til noon, then get drunk” it’s still been a nice break and a chance to relax and catch up on blogs and various other things.
Here’s some of the local stories and links that have caught my interest today while I get the apartment cleaned up and try to avoid the last of my grad school work:
New year, new plans, new music. It’s the beginning of 2017 and while I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a blank slate, it is an opportunity to start fresh. So in that spirit, Ten Miles revives with three January 2017 releases available now on Bandcamp:
Drunken Logic is one of my favorite bands, local or otherwise, so I jumped at the chance to see them play at The Red Room @ Cafe 939 on Saturday, April 12th. Their debut CD, Something New to Burn, has been on pretty constant rotation throughout a very hard, very cold winter, so I was really excited to hear they would be filming a music video for their song “Rhythm of the Rain” at the end of the show. Due to any number of reasons, I ended up arriving right at the end of the second set, just as Rocket and the Ghost were finishing up. So I didn’t get to hear much from either them or the first act, Midnight Snack. But the few minutes I heard of Rocket and the Ghost were intriguing and I’ve heard all sorts of good things about Midnight Snack, so I’ll definitely be checking out their music in the near future. Continue reading