Two more new releases from Cayamoans.
Josh Rouse – The Long Vacations – Website
Cayamo is such a crazy experience that it’s possible to not just discover a great artist you’ve never heard of but to end up having breakfast with them as well. That’s what happened when the Ironbath met Josh Rouse in 2008. And it has to be said that Josh hasn’t quite sounded the same since! Probably more to do with marrying his wife, Paz Suay, and moving to Spain than sharing a table with the Ironbath, but his sound has most definitely changed.
Josh used to be an introspective folk/pop/indie songwriter that produced comfortable albums including his excellent ‘1972’ but when he moved to Spain he recorded an EP of electronic dance tinged pop with his wife ‘She’s Spannish, I’m American’, then he produced spanish-fied ‘El Turista’ & now ‘Josh Rouse & The Long Vacations’.
The Ironbath has to admit that neither of these sit very comfortably with him. El Turista was a rather ecentric mix of songs whilst this latest offering lacks any degree of depth and would cause the Ironbath to press skip on his iPod. There is no problem with a Spanish influenced album except that Josh has found the type of Spanish sound that is great when you’re on vacation but sounds pretty embarrasing once you’re back home. Judge for yourself with these tracks from Direct Current
If the music isn’t your cup of tea you can also buy Josh Rouse & The Long Vacations Tee shirts, journals or bag. Looks like he has all the marketing angles covered!
Sonia Leigh – 1978 December – Website
Sonia was a stowaway in 2009 who made a guest appearance in Mindy Smith’s ill-fated late night set and also had an unschedule show in the atrium. She has been hanging around with Zac Brown at his label Southern Ground, and has now released her 5th album, ‘1978 December’ with them.
And it’s a great album. The title track bizarrely recalls her own birth. The first single ‘My Name Is Money’ is a perfect radio song and ‘Ain’t Dead Yet’ is a rousing call to get on with living before you die.
What the Ironbath really likes is the way that Sonia’s powerful voice is controlled in the recordings. There is a rasping quality, not dissimilar to Melissa Etheridge, which might disintegrate into shouting at times but the phrasing allows her to break off and take a breath before continuing. There is a good mix of tracks on the album that stylistically bounce between 60’s, 70’s and 80’s country.
Direct Current offers a couple of tracks: