I must make a big deal out of this because it is unlike much of the pedestrian pabulum that main-stream commercial radio forces us to listen to on a daily basis from which I joyfully rebel. Additionally, because her bio made a point of highlighting it, she is only 17 years old. What is remarkable here is that most of the kids in my classroom aren’t listening to anything this original and probably with one or two exceptions, probably wouldn’t be able to or even want to consider making anything so beautiful.
Joie Blaney has retired his former project, Joie Dead Blonde Girlfriend. While occasionally enlisting a few additional players to round out his sound, it was primarily an extremely powerful one-man-band. Moving to Los Angeles about ten years ago more or less, Joie fought like hell to thrive as we all do in a new place and he has done very well for himself, establishing and exercising his musical chops like I always expected him to do when I first encountered his musical cyclone in New York City.
About a decade ago, fudging here and there for artistic license, I played tracks from an earlier album of Raf Rouco’s. A few months ago, his manager reached out to me via my academic website and mentioned that Rouco had released a new album in 2019.
This interview was a surprise to me when I took a secret trip up to New York City about a year ago to visit friends and see a band working out in a practice space.
The album starts and stops with cables plugged into an amp and a guitar abruptly stopping mid-jangle. The band begins subdued and between such uncomplicated beginnings and endings lies a complex array of jangled complexities and raucous rhythms…
I seem to be lucky with the Christmas music this year, and that makes me just a little rebelliously happy when I turn the stereo up to maximum as I write and make attempts at dancing alone at a desk. It’s probably also really hard to screw up a Scots indie rock anthem over the holidays, and the Lutras are here, they don’t disappoint, and neither do their other tracks.