Tuesday, January 24, 2023

New Music: Dave Rowntree, The Heavy Hours, Måneskin

Three terrific albums released on Jan. 20, 2023 are featured in my column this week.

Dave Rowntree has just released his debut solo album "Radio Songs."
Photo credit: Paul Postle

Dave Rowntree
Title: Radio Songs (Cooking Vinyl)
You might like if you enjoy: Blur, Doves, Radiohead, Other Lives
Tell me more: Although he rose to fame as the drummer of beloved British rock quartet Blur in the 1990s, Dave Rowntree has continued to challenge himself in a myriad of pursuits including as a film and TV composer, podcaster, light aircraft pilot (and instructor), lawyer, advocate for space exploration, computer animator and political activist. Now with the release of his stunning full-length debut solo album Radio Songs on Jan. 20 via Cooking Vinylthe native of Colchester, England is sure to delight discerning listeners with a disc of truly compelling and instantly-gripping indie rock. Indeed, the artistic reach and depth of the 10 tracks recalls Blur's most recent studio album (2015's outstanding The Magic Whip) as well as top-tier efforts from ElbowDovesRadiohead and Other Lives. Just as former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr surprised the world with his stellar lead vocals when he emerged with his solo debut in 2013 at the age of 49, Rowntree's evocative and signature singing is a welcome surprise in early 2023. The shining material on Radio Songs includes the dark "Devil's Island," propulsive "London Bridge," confessional "1,000 Miles," tender "Black Sheep," electronica gem "Volcano" and Neo-classical foray "Who's Asking?" Information: DaveRowntree.com.

The Heavy Hours
Title: The Heavy Hours (BMG)
You might like if you enjoy: Dawes, The Jayhawks, the Head and the Heart
Tell me more: The Heavy Hours are a rising Cincinnati, Ohio-based Americana outfit worthy of attention. The quartet's newly-issued self-titled sophomore album features an authentic set of affecting songs ranging from the soaring opener "Wildfire" (bolstered by an infectious chorus) and romantic sorties "You Say My Name" and "The Only One" to the playful "Don't Walk Away," beautifully poignant "Ache" and confessional closer "On My Own." Lead singer-guitarist Michael Marcagi is armed with a distinctive instrument able to deliver power on more driving material as well as on nuanced emotion sung in quieter moments. Lead guitarist AJ Yorio, bassist Jonathan Moon and drummer Flint McCallum II have a bona fide chemistry necessary to elevate the 10-track album at every turn. The album was recorded in the Catskill Mountains of Upstate New York and produced by Simone Felice (The Lumineers, The Avett Brothers) and David Baron. Information: TheHeavyHours.com.

Title: Rush! (Arista Records)
You might like if you enjoy: 311, Aerosmith, Arctic Monkeys
Tell me more: Italian rock outfit Måneskin is among the top-tier crop of young bands championing rock 'n' roll sounds in the 21st century. On the quartet's new album Rush! the outfit continues to extoll an exciting mix of classic, indie and modern rock stylings. There is plenty of hard-hitting rock on the collection, including the rapid fire "Gossip," dance rock jaunt "Baby Said," more modern alt rocker "Timezone," genre-defying "Feel" and spirited "Read Your Diary." Demonstrating Måneskin's growth is "The Loneliest," an evocative power ballad that is enhanced by lead singer Thomas Raggi's vocals and a dazzling solo from guitarist Thomas Raggi. Information: AristaRecordings.com.

Robert Kinsler

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