Songradar Edition: MAITA, Marla Hansen, Libby Rodenbough, Sweet Whirl & Allegra Krieger

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MAITA: Best Wishes

As we get a little later into the year, I realize I have heaps of great new music to share that have been sitting in the queue for long enough that they’re not quite as new anymore. Here’s a batch of those from a bunch of excellent songwriters that may not be on your radar that are very much worth checking out. First up is Maria Maita-Keppeler who put out her debut album as MAITA back over the summer. This is one of those records that you just keep saying “damn, that’s a good song” track after track. Balance of light and heavy is perfect, with just the right dose of catchy-as-heck to put a smile on your face. Enjoy!

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Marla Hansen: Dust

This one has been out since – sheesh – back in pre-COVID March (remember March?), so apologies I didn’t put this one in your ears earlier. The sheer beauty of Dust might have been nice to have around over the past six or seven months. The artist is Marla Hansen who has spent some time as a violinist touring with the likes of Sufjan Stevens, My Brightest Diamond and The National over the years. Out on her own, she occupies a similar sonic space, strings and angelic voices back some really thoughtful compositions and altogether dreamy melodies. Dust is the real deal, an orchestral triumph that puts Hansen on equal footing to her range of employers. Don’t wait another moment to put this one on.

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Libby Rodenbough: Spectacle Of Love

Spectacle Of Love is one of those rare albums that I really must insist everyone listen to. I mean, yes, I think you should check out all the RecommNeds, but the debut album from Libby Rodenbough is something everyone, regardless of their taste, should check out. Libby is one quarter of the Americana act Mipso, and out on her own she’s proven to have a lot more music to give the world. This one hits a beyond-description sweet spot, it’s rock, it’s country, it grooves, it’s honest and warm and bold and soft. I just love this darn album. I hope you dig it, too.

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Sweet Whirl: How Much Works

A little more than a year ago, I featured a new songwriter from Australia in this space, out with a new EP that was sparse and fragile and quite lovely. Well, that songwriter, Esther Edquist – aka Sweet Whirl – is back with her debut full-length. How Much Works builds quite a bit on that EP, fleshing out the sound with guitars and bedroom beats and some occasional synth. The extra meat seems to draw her voice out even more, a sultry comfort that evokes some classic female voices of yore with some latter-day smokiness of Joan Wasser and others. It all works and then some. Enjoy!

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Allegra Krieger: The Joys Of Forgetting

OK, one more songwriter to get onto your radar and then I’ll let you go get a good listen in on all of these. The Joys Of Forgetting is the latest release from New York City songwriter Allegra Krieger. Her songs are the type that have you slightly holding your breath as you wait to hear the next line, the words, the worldly observations, the worldview. Produced by personal fave Adam Schatz, the album is alive with wonderful dollops of strings and an occasional saxophone and plenty of just-right guitar, bass and drums. Krieger is one you’ll find joy in remembering, very much radar-worthy. Check it out, I think you’ll dig.

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