Andy Browne is a fan of Salvador Dali, who is famous for saying “Have no fear of perfection, you will never reach it.” It is a saying that mirrors Andy’s development into an artist willing to follow his muses in creating any mix of styles, themes, rhythms, and instrumentation without fear of how others will receive it. You may think you know Andy Browne, but chances are if you only are thinking of his earlier days as an Atlanta music pioneer, you might be missing out on the multifaceted art he is bringing to Atlanta music today, notably as leader of The Andy Browne Troupe.
Our favorite way to enjoy tunesmith and singer Mike Killeen is when he sports an electric guitar and is in front of a crack band (check out his album ‘Ghost’ and Grapevine’s story on it for proof positive of that skill). Yet pared down to a single microphone, an acoustic guitar, his pleasing melodies and carefully heedful lyrics, Mike is as good at his craft as you will find out there. While the past year has been one of setbacks for all, Mike has continued to create and record music. He just shared a sneak preview of a new song, “Plane To Miss”, featured on a new EP to be released in March. The EP was recorded at Full Moon Studio. Check the link to the video in our bio. Give Mike a “like” on his social media, too, so you know when the EP drops.
Zachary Batson has released a new song under his World War Zach pen name, “Take It Back (War Never Changes)”. Zach had previously released a couple of singles in 2020, largely acoustic guitar driven songs in a likeable indie style (maybe like a Ben Gibbard or Matt Pond PA vein). With this release, recorded by Damon Moon at The Cottage, Zach gives us more recorded layers, adding rollicking drums and bouncy bass lines that hook the listener. What makes one come back to listen again is this interesting melding of old and new. Upon the song’s opening instrumental lines there is an immediate awareness of a folk melody, like something one can imagine hearing in an Irish bar but fed through modern studio processing. Zach confirms “Celtic folk music is a big inspiration of mine. So many folk songs tell a story, and I wanted to try my hand at it. I came up with the melody while staying at friend’s cabin in Ellijay.” Yet married to this traditional sounding melody is a modern inspired story from Zach’s adventures in one of his favorite video games. Zach laughs, “The song is basically a love letter to Fallout 3, with lyrics that are really a big Easter Egg. I have sort of an infatuation with all things post-apocalyptic and this song blends my musical style with those interests.” Catch this piece of dystopian game pop and other World War Zach releases on all your favorite streaming platforms. Link in bio for the song.
Half Hot just released their new single “Hangin’ On” last week, and the song keeps pulling me back to whatever streaming service or social media outlet has a link to it conveniently nearby. I love it because like so much of Half Hot’s original output, it is at once fresh, but also comfortably familiar…yet it is difficult to put a finger on exactly what that is because the band does so well melding many of their influences into their own special mix. The sweetly overdriven guitar lines belie a Southern heritage as they play around confidently belted lyrics. The choruses are big with nicely layered harmonies. And there is an underlying dance-ability to it all, like that of a great jam band. A favorite element is the key change near the end, a now less common musical device that really elevates the song. It is the perfect length at just over three minutes. It could fit in the playlist of radio stations from across decades, and so in that sense has all the “classic” hallmarks of songs that transcend their times. Give it a listen. When we are seeing live music again soon, Half Hot is one of the first shows we will want to seek out. Song link in bio.
Among many talents, Peter Searcy has a knack for picking cover songs that few others, if any, perform, and then really making them his own, while keeping the appeal of the originals. This new release is no different. Under the moniker American Animals, along with Greg Lee on bass and Mark Dannells handling guitars and additional vocals as well as production and arrangement, he sings “Cult Of Personality” the smash from Living Color’s 1988 debut record. As iconic and powerful as is Living Color’s original, particularly Vernon Reid’s guitar parts, this group does the song very well, with Mark adding his own equally impressive guitar flair to the solo, while Greg deftly holds it all together down in the low end. The recording is the output of a session of musical brainstorming that possibly could lead to a project together later. In the meantime, enjoy. The YouTube link is in the bio.
I must watch this! New music from Conkrete God TONIGHT!
Radio Tucker’s Jason Becknell gets Andy Browne to share stories about his time with The Nightporters, who packed Atlanta clubs and opened for the likes of R.E.M, The Clash, and The Replacements during their hot run. Andy will also share some Nightporters songs and recording rarities and a glimpse into his upcoming record with Lynx Deluxe. Click the link in bio.