A Hawk and a Hacksaw The Way the Wind Blows (Leaf Label)
If you’re ready to step out of the alt.rock music rut you've been stuck in for the past decade, The Way the Wind Blows is your first foot out of the hole. A Hawk and a Hacksaw draw from global influences (most notably Balkan) without making The Way the Wind Blows a one-way ticket to the old world. The Albuquerque-born duo masterfully interlaces delicate violin with the potentially overbearing cry of the accordion to create a lively, organic and entrancing experience. This isn't your momma's heavy-handed, new-agey folk—it's folk for the rest of us.
Breadfoot featuring Anna Phoebe Tea with Leo (Jeeziepeezie Records)
There's beauty captured within the songs on Tea with Leo. The sounds produced by both guitar and fiddle aren't from inanimate objects—they stream from living souls pouring passion and energy into each song. It's easy to imagine Breadfoot and Anna Phoebe sitting on the back porch of a country home, playing music as day fades into night—pure bluegrass soul hanging in the air.
Carey Ott Lucid Dream (Dualtone Music Group)
This album is aptly named. Listening to Lucid Dream is a journey through a fluid, pensive mind—dreamlike and peaceful. Ott's soft voice is accompanied by a myriad of sounds both soothing and tepid. After the album has played, the experience fades into a distant memory with only a few details remaining vivid like a pleasing dream you can't quite explain to anyone. Still lingering in my mind are words of a fleeting love affair from "Hard to Change," the most colorful scene within Lucid Dream.