Around The World In A Neddy Daze Edition: Stein Urheim, Kanaan, The Homesick & Traffik Island

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Stein Urheim: Just Like Achilles

Nothing like a global pandemic to remind us that we live in an incredibly interconnected world and, more to the point, we are all in this together. Let’s celebrate the good things we share, like really great music. That’s right, time for another trip around the world, focused mainly on Europe. The first great new release is from RecommNeds regular, Norwegian guitarist Stein Urheim, who has put together a killer band for his newest album Downhill Uplift. The music on here is hard to describe, a mixture of jazz and progressive rock, at times dreamy, others rather awesomely psychedelic. That album art with a guy canoeing through an outerspace hallucination might sum up the sound best. It’s absolutely killer no matter how you describe it, highly recommended.

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Kanaan: Odense Sessions

I know you love the sickjams and no better place to find them when traipsing across the globe with an obligatory stop at our old friends at the El Paraiso label. Back in February, they put out Odense Sessions, four tracks of serious improvisational heat from Norwegian trio Kanaan. Seriously, these studio jams are hot to the touch; a mix of slow-build guitar-bass-drum smolder and high-intensity bonfire. These are work-from-home-ready, plug-in-the-headphones explorations that you’re gonna want to check our right quick. Best jams of the winter, no doubt. Check it out, I think you’ll dig.

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The Homesick: The Big Exercise

It’s tough to leave Norway, but I think it’ll be worth our while to head to the Netherlands. There we find The Homesick whose newest album, The Big Exercise, came out in early February on Sub Pop Records. The trio’s sound here feels all-encompassing: pop motifs mix with more experimental freak-outs, measured restraint making way for some really interesting creativity and, not for nothing, plenty of good old fashioned rocking out. I personally get a little Super Furry Animals energy with a twist of the Beta Band, all super from where I’m sitting. Let me know what you think.

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Traffik Island: Sweat Kollecta’s Peanut Butter Traffik Jam

And finally, let’s leave the long leg for last, heading all the way to Melbourne. Zak Olsen is the frontman for ORB, a monster psych-metal band that circles in the King Gizzard orbit. Traffik Island serves as his “other band” and, on their second release, improbably titled Sweat Kollecta’s Peanut Butter Traffik Jam, they go 13 tracks deep on bizarre sound collages and ultragroovy short-and-sweets. Each “song” is but a minute or two long, but seems to get your toe’s a-tappin’ or brain a-turnin’ or, more often than not, both. It’s chill and it ain’t, salty peanut butter and sugary sweet jam in one tasty sandwich. Enjoy!

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