We know it would take far too long to highlight every client’s new release each week, so we’re going to choose a few select titles each week that we feel everyone should support. These are albums we will be buying ourselves, and we hope at the very least you give them a proper spin before deciding to purchase something else. James may write the column, but everyone at Haulix will have a say in who gets chosen.
I didn’t know what to say the first time I heard Michigan natives Citizen perform their unique brand of boundary-pushing alternative rock, but I knew what I heard was something special. Their music feels like the impossible love child that could only result from the combination of Brand New and Nirvana, with just a dash of Thursday sprinkled on top to make you feel something beyond the typical ‘woe is me’ type emotions found in the underground alternative realm. Anyone familiar with the band before now is already familiar with this sound, but on Everybody Is Going To Heaven the band come into their own as only they are able. This is the record their debut, Youth, wanted to be, only better.
There is no such thing as country music anymore, or at least not in the classic sense. If people perform music that sounds like it could have been crafted by George Jones or Merle Haggard they’re labeled ‘traditional,’ while those who blend pop sensibilities with country structures are considered mainstream and/or crossover talents. Kacey Musgraves falls into the latter of those two descriptions, but there is no denying the influence of classic country hits on her latest album. Pageant Material plays like a collection of perfectly sequenced radio-ready singles, many of which have lyrics that feel written while Musgrave’s tongue was planted firmly in her cheek. It’s cute, but not cutesy. Fun, but not necessarily funny. It’s the future of modern country as far as I’m concerned, and it’s quite possible the catchiest album you will hear this summer. Don’t miss out.
I won’t even beat around the bush on this one. There are some amongst the Haulix staff who believe Leon Bridges is destined to be the biggest start in the music business within the next five years, and they point to his newly released debut album as proof of his potential for global domination. It’s hard to describe what you’ll find on Coming Home without referencing the golden days of Motown and soul music, as the heavy influence from talents like Sam Cooke is oozing from every note and lyric on the entire record. If you close your eyes while the record plays you can actually picture the hazy, smoke-filled speakeasy where music like that created by Bridges was first rising to popularity over half a century ago. You see the men and women, all dressed to the nines, dancing as if they’re the only people in the world while alcohol splashes to the floor as they attempt to hold glasses and swing around a crowded room at the same time. You see and feel it all as if you were actually there, and then you open your eyes to realize everything you just experienced was caused by a twenty-something Texas native with a world of promise ahead of him. That is the power possessed by Coming Home, and I cannot recommend enough that you allow it to change your life as soon as time allows.
James Shotwell is the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. He is also a professional entertainment critic, covering both film and music, as well as the co-founder of Antique Records. Feel free to tell him you love or hate the article above by connecting with him on Twitter. Bonus points if you introduce yourself by sharing your favorite Simpsons character.