Altered Sweet

Altered Sweet is an overflowing, delightful tribute album featuring covers of Matthew Sweet songs. Futureman Records has put together 27 cover songs from as many artists and overall it’s a great collection. I would have liked to hear more brave reinterpretations of the songs, and a few dozen more songs, but it does pay capable tribute to one of the greatest songwriters and his diverse body of work. Highlights for me include Fireking‘s take on “Dead Smile“,  simplefriend’s version of the hit “Sick of Myself“, and Gretchen’s Wheel‘s “Walk Out“.

Hillsburn's "Strange Clouds"

Ahead of their new album in February, Hillsburn has released a hopeful, defiant first single with a great video.

All right, I’m tired of riddles.
Never been lower.
Don’t know anyone who sleeps at night.
Don’t know anyone who’s sober.
Our wasted youth, my wasted friends,
Is a circus of purchase of meaningless ends.

But there’s no way I’m going under.
No way.
Strike up the drummer, play me a song.
I’m floating on.
Strange clouds are gathering.
No way I’m going under.
No way.
Strike up the drummer, play me a song.
I’m floating on.
Strange clouds are gathering.

Ian Penn's "It's Going to Rain" & Water from the Creek

Ian Penn‘s Water from the Creek album has been a warm, welcome companion for me throughout the past few months. Adding a full band behind Ian’s voice has brought out the richness of his folk music and showcases his songwriting beautifully.

“It’s Going To Rain” is a good introduction to his music, but taking in the album as a whole is so rewarding. Keep it near to put on the next time it rains.