Allison Crowe: Heirs + Grievances – Album Review & Mp3s!

I won’t pretend to be unbiased here. Allison Crowe has been Muruch’s musical mascot for over a decade now and we at Muruch are thanked in the liner notes of her new double album, Introducing/Heirs + Grievances. So obviously I was excited and predisposed to love this album before I even listened to it. Still! It’s absolutely fantastic.



The first disc of this 2-CD set is Introducing, a live concert recording with lots of bubbly banter from Allison and a full set of songs performed with her new band.

The second disc, Heirs + Grievances, is a studio-recorded album by Allison and the band. Heirs + Grievances is a gorgeous, full circle showcase of Allison’s growth as a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Her extraordinary voice is unrestrained and beautifully accompanied by her bandmates.

Allison and her band’s choral rendition of “Tarry Trousers” is a standout with an almost Medieval folk tone, akin to Medieval Baebes (whom I love).

The final three tracks of the albums are the most capitivating and I’m happy to premiere the free, authorized mp3s below.

This new band rendition of “Words” is even more powerful than the Heavy Graces solo version. I may have cracked a rib gasping in awe when Ally roars “I am so angry!”

Then she split me like a wishbone with the volatile vocal finale of “Lisa’s Song.” It’s Allison at her very best, delving into the rich depths of her lower register then unleashing a banshee wail.

Allison masterfully uses her voice as an agile, spiralling instrument in the finale “Silence.” Her astounding, aerodynamic flourish at the end of the song enters operatic realms.

Allison Crowe & Band – Words (mp3)

Allison Crowe & Band – Lisa’s Song (mp3)

Allison Crowe & Band – Silence (mp3)

Allison Crowe Official Site

Contrast Podcast 10th Anniversary!

The 10th anniversary special episode of Contrast Podcast is now available for download. As one of the original announcers (as well as an original music blogger), I was asked to introduce a song based on the theme of 10. I picked my favorite version of Brandi Carlile’s “The Story,” track 10 from her Live with the Seattle Symphony album.

Contrast Podcast – 10th anniversary download (mp3)

Amanda Palmer: New Song “A Mother’s Confession”

Amanda Palmer just released her new song, “A Mother Confession.” You can read the lyrics and gloriously long footnotes on her website. Download the name your price (including free) mp3 of this almost eleven-minute epic at Bandcamp.

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