Brooke Waggoner: Sweven (Album Review)

Brooke Waggoner just released her new album, Sweven. Brooke has gradually become one of my favorite artists after her beautiful debut, Go Easy Little Doves, and the exhilarating followup, Originator – not to mention her thrilling 2012 live performance at Mountain Stage. So Sweven was definitely my most anticipated album of the new year. I’m happy to say it exceeds even my high expectations of this singularly spectacular artist.



This glorious album somehow manages to marry old-fashioned player piano jauntiness with a futuristic, spatial – as in outer space as well as scope – flow. Think Scott Joplin meets David Bowie.

Even such lofty points of reference are tenuous comparisons at best. Brooke Waggoner’s music continues to be extraordinarily original. Even when you think you have her unique sound pegged down, she throws something even more unexpected into the mix.

Brooke’s deft, playfully beautiful touch on piano is especially distinctive and bewitching in “Proof,” the album’s title track and the exquisite instrumental “Egg Shells.”

The gorgeous song “Fellow” redefines the critically-overused adjective haunting.

“Cherry-Pick” is a spoken word poem set to music. The poem and melody are Brooke’s, but the voice is that of an elderly man. Said man is a geriatric patient of Brooke’s husband, his recitation was recorded by iPhone and his haggard voice is not dissimilar to that of William S. Burroughs.

Other tracks like “Widow Maker” and “Pennies & Youth” have a different kind of unusual juxtaposition, one of catchy pop and dark strings that is reminiscent of The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby.”

If Brooke Waggoner’s Sweven is not my #1 album of 2016, it’s gonna be a mind-blowing year for music. It already is.

Brooke will return to Mountain Stage on February 14th.

Download a free, legal EP comprised of 3 mp3s from the album and 2 alternative tracks at Noisetrade.

Buy @ Amazon

Brooke Waggoner Official Site

Last Day to Get Muruch.com’s RAINN Benefit Album!

Muruch.com’s RAINN benefit album & fundraising campaign will end New Year’s Eve, so you only have 1 day left to donate $10 (or more) at directly to RAINN.org and receive this magnificent 25-mp3 album!

Muruch.com for RAINN features: Concrete Blonde’s Johnette Napolitano, Sandman author Neil Gaiman, The Dresden Dolls’ frontwoman and Art of Asking author Amanda Palmer, Man of Steel‘s Allison Crowe, Midlake, Flogging Molly, Poe, My Brightest Diamond, The Mynabirds, The Voice‘s Kat Robichaud, Nashville songwriter Trent Dabbs, Meursault, Elysian Fields, Pamela Means, Fisher, Catie Curtis, Anielle Reid, Heidi Saperstein, Hannah Fury and poets Crystal Good, Kevin Kantor, and Clementine von Radics.

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Muruch.com’s Top Albums of 2015

20 Beth May: The Family Arsonist (poetry)


19 Wolf Alice: My Love is Cool

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Wolf Alice Official Site


18 Elise Cabrét (EP)


17 Anielle Reid: Ain’t Like Them (EP)

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Anielle Reid Official Site


16 Kat Robichaud & The Darling Misfits

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Kat Robichaud Official Site


15 Dengue Fever: The Deepest Lake

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Dengue Fever Official Site


14 The Innocence Mission: Hello I Feel the Same

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The Innocence Mission Official Site


13 Darlingside: Birds Say

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Darlingside Official Site


12 Alela Diane & Ryan Francesconi: Cold Moon

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Alela Diane Official Site


11 Hayley Cannon: Who Are You

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Hayley Cannon Official Site


10 Allison Crowe: Sylvan Hour


9 Alessia Cara: Know It All

Buy @ Amazon

Alessia Cara Official Site


8 Chris Stapleton: Traveler

Buy @ Amazon

Chris Stapleton Official Site


7 Andra Day: Cheers to the Fall

Buy @ Amazon

Andra Day Official Site


6 Rhiannen Giddens: Tomorrow is My Turn

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Rhiannen Giddens Official Site


5 Lizabett Russo: Running With the Wolves

(album review)

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Lizabett Russo Official Site


4 V V Brown: Glitch

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V V Brown Official Site


3 Muruch.com Presents: Allison Crowe

(best of)

Allison Crowe Official Site


2 Muruch.com for RAINN benefit album

(more info)

Donate $10 (or more) at Muruch’s RAINN.org fundraising page to receive the free 25-mp3 album.


1 Brandi Carlile: The Firewatcher’s Daughter

(album review)

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Brandi Carlile Official Site

I debated including the Muruch-curated albums, but they are truly the two albums I have listened to most frequently and loved most intensely this year. Besides, it’s the artists and their music that make them so undeniably spectacular. I was just the DJ. That being said, every time I’ve been asked during the year what I think my #1 album of 2015 would be, my immediate answer has been: “Brandi Carlile’s The Firewatcher’s Daughter.” I love it more with each listen and it has the timelessness of the greatest classic albums.

Vienna Teng: New Musical Album “The Fourth Messenger”

Vienna Teng lent her masterful singing and songwriting to a new musical, The Fourth Messenger, and the album is now available for streaming and purchase via Bandcamp below. The Fourth Messenger tells the story of a modern, female spiritual teacher (Vienna) who claims to be Buddha and the journalist determined to expose her as a fraud. The standout tracks are those that feature Vienna’s gorgeous voice, especially the lovely ballads “Pebble in a Lake” and “As Long as I am Living.”

Vienna Teng Official Site