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CQ Roundup, May 11

By Christopher Treacy

Moving is always just terrible. It doesn’t matter how excited you are for the new location, whether nearby or far, or how prepared you are for the upheaval. All the purging in the world doesn’t simplify the complex emotional weight of the process—and to be fair, I haven’t purged much. There hasn’t been time. But music can help soften the blow. As I pour my life into cardboard boxes and bubble-wrap the things that seem most fragile, I’m tempted to bubble-wrap myself. Still, I’m grateful for new music. Rather than playing music to which I already have attachments and associations, listening to less familiar songs during this transition helps me move forward into the unknown. New music can help us start new chapters, just as older music can anchor us in memory. Wish me luck?


Song of the Week: EVVAN – “Mama, You Taught Me”

With Mother’s Day barely in the rear view, this new tune from New York singer-songwriter EVVAN is both timely and touching. For those of us lucky enough to have our mothers in our lives, it’s a reminder of all the energy that goes into being a functional parent and inspires gratitude. For others, perhaps it’s a blueprint for a different relationship that’s nurturing and encouraging—a chosen mother. The lyric really nails the sacrifice many mothers make to raise their children and the reciprocal relationship between them, from birth to adulthood, wherein the roles begin to shift. Musically, it grows much like we do, from organic, finger-picked simplicity to something larger with multiple, layered facets. This is EVAAN’s first single since her 2021 EP, Home, and we’ve got a short Q&A with her about it that will post here tomorrow.

Iris Marlowe – “Shed Your Skin”

The final single in advance of Marlowe’s forthcoming full-length, arriving May 26, follows “Make Up Your Mind” and  “Cowboy Chords,” but takes a different sonic direction, channeling a vaguely Appalachian tone mixed with tinges of vintage Outlaw Country. The song’s sinister vibe shows off yet another aspect of her musical personality while lyrically touching on the metamorphosis we endure to shed toxic bullshit (and the people that are often tied into it)… hopefully, so we can become better versions of ourselves.  


A Honky-Tonk of Our Own

Cameron Mackay – “You Made It”

Everyone needs encouragement. 26-year-old Glasgow-based music producer and filmmaker Cameron Mackay has begun building a musical career at the electro-organic intersection of neo-traditional folk and electronica. With it’s bright, majestic melody, Mackay serves up an instrumental track in “You Made It” that’s as invigorating as it is cinematic, propelling us forward toward hard-earned goals. It’s “Chariots of Fire” meets Fairport Convention with a touch of Enigma sprinkled along the bass line.

Mary Gauthier – “Dark Enough to See the Stars”

The third advance release (and title track) from Gauthier’s forthcoming album is musically the simplest but emotionally the most hard hitting. Pensive, but sweetened with harmony, the song is a co-write with Beth Nielsen Chapman from many years back that the pair recently repurposed. “We took another look at it during the dark days of the pandemic after we’d both lost several dear friends,” Gauthier said in a new press release. “We saw the song in a new light and were able to re-write it and find the core idea… which is that although the people that we’d lost were gone, the love that they’d given us was not. It was given as a gift we could keep, forever. There is something about grief that brings clarity,” she explained, noting that the title comes from a speech by Martin Luther King.

Sadurn – “moses kill”

Apparently recorded live in one take, this track from Sadurn’s full length debut, Radiator, out last week on Run for Cover, is about strained familial ties. Sadurn is the Philly-based musical project of Genevieve ‘G’ DeGroot (they/them) fleshed out into a four-piece band. “moses kill” (stylized all lowercase) effectively projects the intimacy at the root of DeGroot’s music by leaving the start/stop/start at the song’s beginning intact. If you’ve ever fantasized about Pinegrove having a more fem-sounding lead vocalist, this is for you.   

Sam Lee – “Aint Anyone But You”

A short, sweet and fairly simple new song from UK-based Sam Lee that articulates the romantic rush at the beginning of a relationship. “All the songs I’ve written and recorded so far have been confessional and personal, leaning towards the melancholy,” she told us. “This one was after after just a few dates with someone. True to form, lesbians get invested quickly. Things didn’t work out but I got a good song!” Born and raised in Cambridge, UK, Lee got her first guitar at the age of 8 but only started writing songs more recently… nearly 40 years later.

Christopher Treacy has been writing about music and the music industry for 20 years. He’s contributed to The Boston Phoenix, The Boston Herald, Nashville Scene, and Berklee College of Music’s quarterly journal, as well as myriad LGBTQ+ outlets including the Edge Media Network, Between the Lines/Pride Source, Bay Windows and In Newsweekly. He lives in Buffalo, NY.

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