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Album Review

Sugarcane Jane Struggles with Life’s Choices and Consequences on “Burn”

Sugarcane Jane, composed of the husband and wife duo Anthony Crawford and Savana Lee Crawford, is a treasure of the Americana music scene. Hailing from the deep south of Alabama, they are celebrated for their harmonious blend of country, folk, and roots music. Anthony Crawford brings an impressive musical pedigree to the partnership, having worked with renowned artists like Neil Young, Steve Winwood, and Dwight Yoakam. Savana Lee adds her rich, soulful vocals and a knack for storytelling that resonates with listeners. Together, they create music that is both deeply personal and universally relatable, marked by intricate guitar work, captivating melodies, and lyrics that speak to the heart. Their performances are a testament to their chemistry, both on stage and in life, making Sugarcane Jane a beloved act in the Americana and folk music circuits.

Their recent album release, “On a Mission” is a collection of rootsy rock n roll tracks, including first single, “Burn.” “Burn” is a compelling musical exploration of the human condition, articulated through the lens of making choices and the inherent uncertainty that accompanies them. The lyrics adeptly navigate the listener through a journey of internal struggle, capturing the essence of indecision and the myriad paths that life offers. This song stands out for its ability to encapsulate the emotional turbulence of decision-making—highlighting not just the moment of choice but the profound aftermath of those choices.

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The moods of confusion and determination are particularly pronounced, painting a vivid picture of the mental tug-of-war that characterizes moments of significant decision-making. The song’s introspective quality invites listeners to reflect on their own experiences with choices and the paths they’ve taken or forsaken.

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Thematically, “Burn” delves deep into the core of internal struggle and the consequences of our decisions. The song serves as a poignant reminder of the uncertainty we all face and the introspective journey we undertake in seeking our truth. Its reflective tone, coupled with the themes of decision-making and internal struggle, makes “Burn” resonate deeply with listeners, encouraging a personal introspection about the paths we choose in life.

Overall, “Burn” offers a rich tapestry of lyrical depth that speaks to the soul’s quest for direction amidst life’s crossroads. It’s a song that not only entertains but also provokes thought, making it a valuable addition to the discourse on life’s complexities.

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Frank Filipetti

 

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Album Review

Belle Lundon Gets Emotional and Existential on “Space Cadet”

Belle Lundon is a multifaceted artist excelling in music, acting, and songwriting. Raised in New Orleans and now based in Houston, her artistic journey blossomed at the California Institute of the Arts. In 2016, Belle won a Coca-Cola music competition, leading to a performance at the Apollo Theater in New York where she captivated audiences with “He Wants It All” by Forever Jones. Beyond covers, Belle’s original song “My Soul to Keep” earned her the W.A.M. Award for Best Gospel Song in 2020. Belle’s passion lies in sharing her music globally, with dreams of embarking on international tours, always striving for authenticity, success, and happiness in her artistry.

Her latest single, “Space Cadet” captures the internal struggle of feeling overwhelmed and seeking redemption and support. It conveys a narrative of personal turmoil, mistakes, and the human desire for a sense of upliftment and understanding. The recurring motif of drowning and being lifted up symbolizes the search for hope and assistance in times of despair.

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The lyrics delve into themes of vulnerability, redemption, and the human condition. The repeated lines “Feels like I’m drowning, grab my hands and lift me up” suggest a plea for help and connection, emphasizing the universal need for support and understanding. The contrast between “giving up” and “not giving up” reflects the internal conflict between resignation and resilience. The mention of “Subliminal like haiku” indicates a nuanced and profound communication of feelings, akin to the brevity and depth of haiku poetry. The invocation of “Chrios” could symbolize a call to a higher power or inner strength, adding a spiritual dimension to the song’s exploration of seeking guidance and clarity.

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For further thematic exploration, artists like Sufjan Stevens, with his introspective and often spiritual lyrics, and Florence + The Machine, known for their poetic and metaphysical themes, would resonate with the mood and style of “Space Cadet.”

“Space Cadet” seems to be a richly textured song that weaves together themes of struggle and resilience with a musical backdrop that spans pop, R&B, and electronic genres, infused with elements of dream pop and synth-pop. The song’s narrative centers on the journey through hardship, underlined by an emotional plea for support and the hope for a brighter, more euphoric future. Its lyrics reflect a deep sense of being overwhelmed yet underscore a strong will to persevere and overcome, making it a poignant anthem for those facing their own battles.

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The combination of hopeful, resilient, and determined moods with the thematic focus on struggle, resilience, and support creates a compelling contrast against the relaxed, dreamy, and ethereal tones provided by the music’s instrumentation. The use of synth, drums, guitar, and piano, alongside the subgenres like chillwave and lo-fi, suggests a sound that is both introspective and uplifting, capable of transporting the listener to a state of contemplation and solace.

This duality between the song’s thematic depth and its sonic atmosphere might be what Belle Lundon aims to convey: a message that even in the depths of adversity, there is a space for dreaming, hope, and finding support, whether through personal connections or the universal experience of music. “Space Cadet” appears to be an invitation to acknowledge our vulnerabilities and struggles but also to remember the strength and resilience within us that helps to navigate through tough times.

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–James Watkins

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Album Review

Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number: Lolly Lee Delivers Debut Self-Titled LP

Lolly Lee’s self-titled LP kicks off with an energetic and infectious anthem, “Satellite,” setting the stage for what’s to come on this vibrant and dynamic album. With its driving guitar riffs, pulsating percussion, and Lee’s spirited vocals, the song immediately captures listeners’ attention and leaves them hungry for more.

Throughout the album’s 11 tracks, Lee showcases her incredible musicality and unwavering passion for storytelling through music. Her songs are a vibrant tapestry of rock ‘n’ roll infused with light Americana elements, creating a sound that is uniquely her own. From the upbeat and catchy “Great Crusade” to  “Ave Mario Grotto,” each track on the album stands out on its own while still maintaining a cohesive sound.

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What makes this album truly special is Lee’s ability to craft compelling narratives through her lyrics. It’s evident that each song is deeply personal to her, drawing on her own experiences of love, loss, and life in rural Alabama. In “Shot at the Devil,” the album’s closing track, Lee reflects on the uncertainties of life and the struggle to find inner peace. With her emotive vocals and haunting melody, she captures the bittersweet feeling of acceptance and letting go. As a listener, it’s hard not to be deeply moved by her vulnerability and honesty.

Collaborating with long-time friend and producer Anthony Crawford, Lee has created a mesmerizing sound that perfectly complements her songwriting. Crawford’s production expertise shines through on each track, adding layers of depth and texture to Lee’s already dynamic songs. Lee’s decision to also enlist the vocal powerhouse Savana Lee, Crawford’s wife and bandmate in Sugarcane Jane, adds an extra layer of richness and diversity to the album.

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The standout single, “Great Crusade,” is a perfect example of the magic that happens when Lee and Crawford collaborate. The song is a rousing anthem that is equal parts fun and inspiring, with its kickass riffs and battle-inspired lyrics. It’s impossible not to feel empowered and ready to conquer the world after listening to this song.

Recorded at the renowned Admiral Bean Studio, the production on this album is top-notch. Each instrument and vocal is expertly mixed, creating a balanced and polished sound that perfectly captures the energy of Lee’s live performances. As a listener, it’s easy to get lost in the music and feel like you’re right there in the studio with Lee and her band.

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In conclusion, Lolly Lee’s self-titled LP is a must-listen for fans of rock ‘n’ roll, Americana, and great music in general. Lee’s talent and creativity shine through on every track, making this album a true gem in the world of independent music. With its infectious energy, inspiring melodies, and thought-provoking lyrics, this album is sure to leave a lasting impression on listeners and solidify Lolly Lee as a force to be reckoned with in the music industry.

http://www.lollyleemusic.com

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-Chuck Rainey

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