He Sang, She Sang Edition Pt. 1: Skyway Man, Leif Vollebekk & Frontier Ruckus

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Skyway Man: Seen Comin’ From A Mighty Eye

Taking a break from the European jambands for a bit, I’ve got a full suite of excellent singer/songwriter-ish releases that may or may not be on your radar. I’ve split them up into a bit of a his/hers thing, so this week I’ve got the gentlemen and next week I’ll have the ladies. First up is James Wallace, now going by Skyway Man. His brand new record, Seen Comin’ From A Mighty Eye, was recorded in Richmond with the seemingly can-do-no-wrong Spacebomb team and is filled with fantastic imagery and lush melodies. The backing musicians bring a tasty spice to Wallace’s lyrics, making this a must-hear top to bottom.

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Leif Vollebekk: Twin Solitude

The cover art and title of singer-songwriter Leif Vollebekk‘s new album, Twin Solitude, paint a rather bleak, faded picture. The music matches the mood, Vollebekk’s phrasing and pacing leave lots of empty spaces, allowing each lyric, each syllable to linger just long enough to make its emotional mark. Those words deserve the extra space to breathe, Vollebekk sketching out stories of travel – moving from one place to another, both across a map (Vancouver, Michigan, Big Sky Country) and in a variety of relationships. The sparse arrangements are packed with a just-enough dose of guitar and electric piano to accentuate his voice. It’s a genre chock full of great talents, but with his newest, Leif Vollebekk proves he deserves to be mentioned with the best of them.

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Frontier Kingdom: Enter The Ruckus

Rounding out this week’s set is RecommNed veteran, Frontier Ruckus. The Detroit natives are out with their brand new album, Enter the Kingdom, overflowing with the usual torrent of lyrical wit of frontman Matthew Milia. Unlike the gaps of Leif Vollebekk, Milia seems to fill every measure with enough wordplay, imagery and cultural references to fully dog-ear your thesaurus. These songs will make you smile and think and maybe giggle once or twice, will resonate deeply at times, but damn, they are good! The rest of the band rounds out the sound with banjos and guitars and some horns and even the appropriate and eerie musical saw. These three should give you plenty to mull over before I get back to you next week with Part 2.

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