153-155 – Sturgill Simpson, Shura & Joyce Manor

In a somewhat uncharacteristic move, I’ve missed the chance to do a little shouting and dancing about passing a new milestone. Yes, we’ve officially passed the 500-post mark for this blog and I thought I’d take the opportunity to reflect a little bit about it.

When I started this ridiculous concept two years ago, I didn’t really think that I’d make it past two months. I’ve not got an especially long attention span and I tend to get sidetracked and distracted very easily, so the fact that I’ve completed more than 500 individual posts is mind-blowing to me. And if you’ve read any of them, then I’d like to say a big thank-you.

Half the fun of doing this project has been to unearth bands and songs that I would never have found otherwise – and I would have been perfectly happy to have seen this blog simply act as a personal journal of discovery that was hidden away on an unread corner of the internet. So the fact that even one person has read any of the posts is amazing, let alone the thousands of views that it’s received. I know I’ve been a little lax on getting regular posts up in recent weeks too, so I’ll try to address that going forward. Honest.

So with that said, here’s today’s three songs – and first up is a lovely piece of blues-tinged country from Kentucky’s Sturgill Simpson. This track Breakers Roar is awesome outlaw country folk at its best, with swaying melodies, strings, mellow guitars and the smell of beachfront campfires echoing through every note. Go listen to the rest of the album A Sailor’s Guide to Earth  for more – you won’t be disappointed.

Next up is a brief foray into ambient chart-pop and lite R&B courtesy of London singer/songwriter/producer Shura. Blending some really nice 80s and 90s synth-heavy sounds with modern indie-pop, this track What’s it Gonna Be? is a gloriously infectious little piece of music that I’ve had buzzing around my head for the last week. So now you get to have it earworm its way into your brain too. You’re welcome.

And finally for today, I’m going to indulge myself a little. I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for early 2000s skater punk in the mould of Blink 182, Sum 41, Bowling for Soup and the million and one other pretenders from that time. It’s a real guilty pleasure more than anything else – because while I know that artistically this stuff has less technical merit than, say, an introspective modern prog rock album in the mould of Radiohead, it’s still tremendous fun. And infectious, fun-loving, preppy tunes will always leave me with a big smile on my face.

So here’s the wonderful Heart Tattoo by California pop-punks Joyce Manor. It’s tremendous – go check them out.

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