New Music – Cortney Tidwell and Kingsbury (not Manx)

Cortney Tidwell first piqued my attention a couple of years back, after the release of her first album “Don’t Let Stars Keep Us Tangled Up”. Hailing from Nashville, she was reminiscent of early 90’s act The Sundays, mixed with the gentle alt-country of Lambchop. Now, the latter wasn’t so much of a shock, given that William Tyler played guitar on it. Hell, Kurt Wagner himself even sang on “Society” from that album. But she very much had her own voice, and whilst I thought the album as a whole was promising with some great songs (such as “La La”), I felt there was more to come.

And so, she’s recorded her second album, and it’s out in May. Or June. It’ll be released on City Slang records in Europe, and in typical fashion she hasn’t got a distribution deal finalised for a US release yet. It strikes me as odd that sometimes US acts don’t get any press or even proper releases out in the US, yet do much better in Europe. Like Joan as Police Woman, who was doing proper tours round Europe long before she got reviewed in Pitchfork. Hey, you send us your talented female singer-songwriters, and we’ll send you Bush (the band, not the hopeless ex-President).


Sorry, got distracted there for a moment. Where was I? Yes, new album, out in a couple of months, and the first track to surface from it is called 17 Horses. She’s definitely been on the PJ Harvey, which isn’t a bad thing by any means, and the track is certainly more dynamic than much of “..Stars…”. I’m intrigued. Look forward to hearing more from that.

Whilst doing some searches for Kingsbury Manx the other day, I stumbled across a band called Kingsbury. Cunning trick that. I think I’m going to form a band and call it “Rolling”. Or “Pink”. “Def”? Actually, I very much doubt it’s a trick, since sadly Kingsbury Manx aren’t known to that many people. And this lot seem like a really rather nice lot.

Why do I say that? Well, they’ve put their entire catalogue online at their site, for free, for you to download and enjoy at home. This is something Wilco did years ago for “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot”, after their problems with their record label, and Radiohead famously did for “In Rainbows”, to get as much publicity as possible to build a new business paradigm, but they were famous, with huge fanbases. This is a brave step for a relatively unknown band. So, I’ve downloaded the “Lie To Me” EP, and quite lovely it is too. Melancholy and gentle in that Mazzy Star way, “Back In The Orange Grove” is the tune that’s stood out for me so far. Sounds like a grower, this lot.


And in a totally non-music related bit, here’s an interesting article about the new Amazon Kindle 2 and its audio-book function from today’s Grauniad. This is the sort of thing that really puts me off these new eBooks (or whatever they are called this week). Whilst I might want to carry around 1,000 CD’s with me on my iPod, I’ve no need to have 1,000 books. I read one, or maybe two at a time, then go onto the next one. Each book takes from a week to a couple of months to read. An album is over in 70 minutes, maybe more, maybe a little less, so it makes sense to have loads on me. Books? Nope. Especially not when Amazon might decide to change the functionality of the device, or could potentially delete or alter books you’ve already bought, without your knowledge or consent. To me, this smacks of a form of control, that in the wrong hands, could easily lead to censorship.

Paranoid? Yep. Doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you though.

MP3: 17 Horses by Cortney Tidwell

MP3: Back In The Orange Grove by Kingsbury

Buy “Don’t Let the Stars Keep Us Tangled Up” By Cortney Tidwell (CD)
Buy “The Great Compromise” by Kingsbury (MP3)

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