Categories
Quick Spins

Lindsay Munroe, Katrina Leskanich, and honeychain, Reviewed

Lindsay Munroe

I Am Kind

Lindsaymunroemusic.com

From Munroe’s website; Lindsay Munroe is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and mother of three who lives in Massachusetts. She likes to bake, loves bird watching and does some crotchet in her spare time. In 2018 Lindsay followed her passion and began doing singalongs for kids. Her lively, engaging singalongs brought joy to kids and parents all around New England and many more enjoyed her YouTube channel “Singalong with Lindsay.”

While that description might also be similar to that of her peers, it says little of the sincerity and warmth that Munroe possesses. I Am Kind, a duet with Raffi, begins a parade of sixteen tunes, each touching in their own way. Munroe’s crystalline voice is stunningly pitch-perfect and bell-like, which elevates these already-buoyant tunes to another level. There is also a subtle theme working through this material, that everyone has moments when they feel like an oddball, which is a message that any human being can take to heart. Highly recommended.

Katrina (of Katrina and The Waves)

Hearts, Loves & Babys

Katrinasweb.com

Katrina Leskanich sounds rejuvenated on her latest, Hearts, Loves & Babys, which is arguably one of the strongest releases of her career. Much like 1989’s Break Of Hearts Lp,  this one covers a lot of bases and shows the many moods that Leskanich is able to elicit.

The lead vocals are powerful and spot-on, having lost absolutely nothing over the years. The first two singles to be released, Drive and I Want To Love Again, are sure-fire hits in any decade, the demise of terrestrial radio notwithstanding.  These are big songs just made for highway driving with the windows rolled down. Other moments, like the sweet Who We Are and the cover of I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, are equally as lovable. Bravo.

honeychain

Pocket Full of Good Luck

honeychainmusic.com

Regular readers of this column already know that the staff here at Pop-A-Looza HQ is enamored of this Los Angeles trio. Frontwoman Hillary Burton is a skilled writer, blending pop sweetness with punk-inspired attack. You’ve got to be inventive in a trio setting, and thankfully, honeychain is more than up to the task of supplying the listener with variety.

Spaceman, an aural bungee jump, brings muscular guitar and drums for miles, with a chorus that Liz Phair would die for. Flee Los Angeles slinks and grinds equally, conjuring up images of anti-culture heroes causing apocalyptic trouble, while Wrong Side Of Town blends a power pop chorus with skanking verses. The pretty, acoustic Late Night Movie Show closes out the proceedings, leaving only the anticipation of where honeychain will go next. Pocket Full of Good Luck is guaranteed to be on many year-end-best lists.

By Dan Pavelich

Categories
Quick Spins

Red Yarn / Backyard Bop

Red Yarn

Backyard Bop (Red Yarn Productions)

http://www.redyarnproductions.com

Red Yarn’s latest, Backyard Bop, is perfectly fitting for the times we live in. Thankfully, though, it’s not full of doom and gloom, but brimming with optimism and wonder. Red Yarn and singing partner, Miss Jessie, reintroduce kids to their own backyard, and all of the things they may have missed while staring at their computer screens.

If you’ve ever wondered what it would sound like if Jeff Tweedy and Rhett Miller recorded an album of material for kids and families, this is it. The title track and Jump For Joy are irresistible, with tinges of rockabilly and roots music buoying the proceedings. My Own Backyard offers the listener a front-row seat to their own, personalized nature show, and Cats & Dogs is hopeful that entrenched hostilities will one day dissolve. Amen.

Dan Pavelich