Tunstall heads in a new direction on 'Invisible//Moon'
‘Invisible Empire//Crescent Moon'
KT Tunstall (Blue Note)
Scottish singer/songwriter KT Tunstall exploded onto the scene in 2004 with breakthrough single “Suddenly I See,” and she's delivered a handful of excellent pop albums in the ensuing decade. On latest effort “Invisible Empire//Crescent Moon,” Tunstall takes things in a different musical direction. In the aftermath of her father's death and divorcing her husband, the 38-year-old has crafted a more introspective, personal collection of tunes. The deluxe edition of the album features 17 tracks and well over an hour of music, with Tunstall especially effective on “Made of Glass,” “Carried,” “Yellow Flower,” “Crescent Moon,” “Feel It All,” “No Better Shoulder” and “The Boys of Summer.” Good stuff.
Tie These Hands (self-released)
The guys in Tie These Hands were still Nebraska high school seniors when they recorded their debut album in 2002. The indie rockers have struggled to expand their audience beyond the Midwest, yet enjoyed some success overseas with the 2011 release of “Come On” in Japan. Two years later, the record has made it to our shores and could, at long last, make Tie These Hands more of a known commodity. Though the band still has some work to do before getting my unqualified endorsement, this 11-track release features a few keepers in “Sunshine State,” “Pro Choice,” “Atlas,” “Lawnmower” and “377.”
Rudimental (Big Beat)
Bursting forth from the London underground music scene last year with infectious single “Feel the Love,” electronic four-piece Rudimental has been keeping dance clubs hopping with its intriguing blend of live instrumentation and digital programming. “Home” is a solid debut full-length and features a bevy of guest vocalists. Among the stronger entries on the 12-track release are the aforementioned “Feel the Love” (with John N Newman), the Emeli Sandé-aided tandem “More Than Anything” and “Free,” “Right Here” (featuring Foxes) and “Not Giving In” (with Newman & Alex Clare). See you on the dancefloor.
New York-based singer/rapper Richard Andrew is best known in music circles as Outasight and his career has been on a steady rise the past couple years. After three full-lengths in as many years, Outasight serves up four-track EP “Stay Gold” to tide fans over as the summer fades into fall. The five-track release is decidedly R-rated with its liberal use of four-letter words, but it's also a lot of fun. Opener “Hell Yea” sets the tone and Outasight score with “Losing My Cool,” “Tapedeck Blues” and “Satisfied.” Party on, y'all.
‘More in Love'
Mike Isberto (self-released)
Southern California singer/songwriter Mike Isberto is a talented guy with a pleasing voice and some decent writing chops. Unfortunately, his sound — at least evidenced by latest album “More in Love” — isn't unique enough to let Isberto stand out in a very crowded pack. I can hear shades of John Mayer, Jack Johnson and a few other artists on the seven-track release and I'm not sure Isberto establishes his own identity. That said, “More in Love” merits a few spins because songs like “True North,” “I Can't Sleep,” and “Perfect Day,” while not especially original, are pretty enjoyable.
Dave Keener (self-released)
Having knocked it out of the park on 2011's “The Easy Way,” singer/songwriter Dave Keener returns with almost as good followup “Slugger.” There's a nice power pop/pub rock vibe throughout a 12-track release that pays homage to the likes of Elvis Costello, Harry Nilsson and Nick Lowe. Uptempo gem “When” gets the party started and Keener scores with “Linear Larry,” “This Is Where I Came In,” “Second-Rate Rainbow,” “Mama Had a Bongo” and “Put That Baby Down.” It's time you got to know Dave Keener. Trust me.
Jeffrey Sisk is an editor for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-664-9161 ext. 1952, or firstname.lastname@example.org