Posts Tagged ‘Ornament’

Sean Thompson’s Weird Ears – “Never Wrote A Love Song”

A nice little surprise this week knocks out of Nashville from Sean Thompson’s Weird Ears. The solo/collaborative project of Sean Thompson hasn’t released all that much, but like fellow country-rock killers Teddy and the Rough Riders, its worth keeping an ear to the rail for the bits that surface. This EP in question is a three-song recording of a house party, backed by longtime collaborators Ornament. The band and Thompson find an unshakeable groove on two new songs and give a bit of a live once over to an old fave from the Time Has Grown A Raspberry EP from last year. Thompson admits that while the instrumentals are live in the room he gave the vocals a “Europe ’72” studio treatment after not getting the results on the tape. The combo makes these click. The harmonies are crisp and melancholy and they pair well with the ripple rollicked run-through that the band lays down. There’s a dearth of live energy going ‘round these days so I’d recommend getting in on it when it hits. Let your ears get weird.




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Sean Thompson’s Weird Ears

Nashville’s a town of strata, and while the country royalty and Third Man a-teams might split the coverage, there’s a whole broiling underground full of indie country slingers that aren’t quite popping to the surface on a daily basis. Quite a few of these have been graced with the stringwork of Sean Thompson. He’s played alongside Teddy & The Rough Riders, Skyway Man, Ornament, and Promised Land Sound and since last fall he’s been striking out on his own for a series of EPs that capture his own songwriting. The first of these, Weird Ears Part 1 featured the members of Ornament backing up Thompson’s songs, mostly swimming through the indie-twang waters that snake through his former ouptposts. For the second offering under the Weird Ears banner, Thompson’s stretched for concept and struck gold in the process.

Still backed largely by the members of Ornament, but also adds in the vocals of fellow Nashville local Annie Williams and the Pedal Steel work of scene stalwart Spencer Cullum (Miranda Lambert, Lambchop). The album’s concept revolves around a resident who gets fed up with gentrification and heads to the country to live on a raspberry farm. Seems pretty much like the average resume of every third person I meet here in the Hudson Valley, but the results work out nicely. Thompson’s songwriting has solidified over the last year, and this second EP is vibrant, lush, and bittersweet – sliding easily between barstool blues, instrumental blushes, and a reprise that touches the more storm-torn psychedelia of Dire Wolves.

Williamson’s work on the title track(s) is perfectly hued and Cullum gives the record a great touch of shading. The concept never gets in the way of Thompson simply putting together a great run of songs that open deeper on each listen. Plus, the artist is donating half the sales from each purchase to the Nashville Food Project, so you can do a bit of good while listening. Hoping that this progression from Thompson only continues to shine brighter with each new offering.



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Ornament – “New Coat”

Nashville’s Ornament follow up their sterling debut with a new outing for Official Memorabilia that further expands on their mellow country-flecked pop. The A-side is amiable and centered, full of lush harmonies and bittersweet bite, but it’s on the flip that the band shines. “New Coat” pushes the Country to the forefront with a rollicking twang, some worn linen harmonica and an easygoing gait that’s as welcome as an afternoon beer. The band recounts a tale of what they’d do with found riches and it’s a homey and humble tale of blue-skied dreams. The single is produced by Cheap Time’s Jeffery Novak, last seen glam-stomping through the streets with Savoy Motel. Each new tidbit from these guys makes me want to hear what they’d do with a full length. Pullin’ for them, that’s for sure.



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