Allison Crowe: Sylvan Hour (Album Review & Mp3)

Recorded live in a log-cabin in the Canadian wilderness during a cross-country journey, Allison Crowe’s new album, Sylvan Hour, may be her best yet. The private, one-hour performance at a friend’s home in 2006 includes raw, solo takes of songs that would be re-recorded in group sessions for This Little Bird.┬áThe recording was lost for nearly a decade and was rediscovered this winter. What a find it was! Allison’s extraordinary voice is in its purest state accompanied only by guitar and piano.



From the opening cover of The Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Darling, Be Home Soon” to originals like “Effortless” and the fierce rendition of Aretha Franklin’s “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You),” Allison’s vocal prowess and control is on astonishing display.

Among the album’s many standout tracks are “Phoenix,” “These Words” and “Skeletons & Spirits.” These “stripped down” versions are even more powerful and clear than their This Little Bird counterparts.

Allison’s supernaturally agile and exquisite voice is especially stunning, even shocking, as she bends and stretches every note in the haunting, truly chill-producing ballad “Silence.” You can stream and download a free, legal mp3 of the song via the Soundcloud widget below.

The music seems to rise from deep with her chest, sometimes ripping out of her throat in full roar, other times being restrained and shaped with the skill of a master sculptor. Sylvan Hour is truly a masterpiece.



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Heiress to Atlas: New Mp3!

We first introduced you to L.A. synth-pop duo Heiress to Atlas as part of Muruch’s Surfacing series last year. The band is offering a free, legal download of their new single, “Quantum.” You can stream the song and download the mp3 below…

Heiress to Atlas Official Site


Free music from Brandi Carlile, OCMS & more

By: Brn

ATO Record’s Winter Noisetrade Sampler includes free, legal mp3 downloads of new songs by Brandi Carlile, Old Crow Medicine Show, Stars, Hurrah for the Riff Raff and many more.


D’Angelo: Black Messiah

Now this is an album. You see, once upon a time, instead of auto-tuned pop puppets churning out vapid radio singles, there were artists who took years, sometimes decades, to conceive, create, collaborate and masterfully hone their music-making craft before even stepping one tiptoe into a studio to record an album. That is why and how there is a Kind of Blue, a Tapestry, a Zoso, a Purple Rain, a Ten, The Archandroid and, now, a Black Messiah. D’Angelo has gifted the world with a work of Shakespearan proportions in an era of penny dreadfuls.



in a world where we all circle the fiery sun,
with a need for love, what have we become?
tragedy flows unbound and there’s no place to run


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Free Mp3s feat. Broadway Stars

By: Brn

Songwriting team Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk have released a new collection of their songs on Bandcamp. Performers include Rent‘s Anthony Rapp and Andy Mentius late of NBC’s Smash and soon to appear on CW’s The Flash. Laura Osnes (wonderful in the recent Bonnie and Clyde musical) sings “Say the Word,” an earlier version of which by Vienna Teng is available here.