2014 Honorable Mention Pick 14

Shakey Graves: And the War Came (Dual Tone, 2014).

I think normal, cubicle dweller types of music listeners deserve good records that work for them and this record that combines alt-country and arena rock with some excellent arranging and some fire q.

It’s well done and straight ahead — no Wilco slackness, no old 97’s punk sauce and thank God it’s not a Wilco record.  Hipsters need not roll out with complaints of lack of irony

I like the arrangements and I think the singer does a really good job at putting over the songs.  The production is very modern but it’s not cheesy.  A lot of records that work in this neighborhood tend to collapse under the weight of their own epic-ness.  Here there is an intimacy that draws you in and most of that credit goes to the singer.  There is some nice guitar work on the record as well.


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