Cannapages May/June 2023 Edition - Phoenix/Tucson

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Dispatches from the Highlands

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are, however, talented indie rock singer-song- writers and e Record is a testament to their abilities both individually and collectively. It also follows a blueprint the trio established on their 2018

Album Notes from Erickson “The Soundtrack to your Chill”

Black Country, New Road Live at Bush Hall

self-titled EP and basically doubles that approach: a set of midtempo tunes that take turns giv- ing each musician the spotlight along with the occasional upbeat track and

2022 was a wild ride for Black Country, New Road. Issac Wood, their lead singer and guitar-

ist, publicly announced he was leaving the group four days before the February release of their superb sophomore album Ants From Up ere . e ensuing tour was cancelled. e rest of the band decided to stay together and write new music while saying they would not perform live any material from Wood's tenure. A summer tour commenced with said new tunes and the year culminated in three concerts mid-December, lmed by the band, each one to a dierent costumed theme, seem- ingly unrelated other than "why the hell not," but nearly identical in setlist, which would become Live at Bush Hall released in March. For a group that lost its lead singer, the album is a demonstration of how the show can go on without requiring reinvention or any new members. ree of those remaining trade turns on vocals and Live at Bush Hall is less an attempt to make a sequel of Ants From Up ere , more a coherent progression despite the void le in Wood's wake. It's like running into a friend you haven't seen in a while and they've got a new haircut. You immediately recognize them, it takes your brain a moment to process, but you're glad they're there.

another built on three-part harmonies. ose grouped in the latter two categories serve as personal favorites on both releases and lead to my only "complaints" of wishing they did more harmony-based oerings like e Record's opening "Without You Without em" (and the EP's closer "Ketchum, ID") and would indulge in fully rocking out more like on "$20" and "Satanist." But, that's on me, a middle aged man. I'm not a boy genius, unlike these three twentysomethings.

Scott McMicken and THE EVER- EXPANDING Shabang You may not know the name Scott Mc- Micken, but as co- leader of the beloved

Philly-based Dr. Dog, his voice and tunes are familiar to many. While that band will apparently still be releasing new music despite no longer touring, Scotty's got a new all caps cohort called THE EVER-EXPANDING that provides an outlet for the guitarist's songwrit- ing and brings Dog fans back to the low(er)- early days of the mid-aughts. On Shabang , the group takes McMicken's tunes and leans into a reggae-ish feel for a number of them. It's a relaxed, loose aair that will serve as a quality soundtrack for warmer days ahead

Boygenius e Record

Boygenius are neither boys nor geniuses. Ju- lien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus

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