Will’s Weekend Wrap-Up: Streets of Laredo, Liz Vice, The Westies, and The Dollyrots

Howdy, howdy, NoiseTraders! I’m in a fantastic mood this weekend because it’s “No Shave” November and my back has never looked better. I hope you’ve been enjoying your November as well and if not, well, let these musical recommendations perk your spirits. Not only are all four releases strong on their own merit, but they pair perfectly with the post-Halloween, pre-Thanksgiving lull we’re currently in for the next week or two. Also, don’t forget about creating a NoiseTrade fan account if you haven’t yet. Immediate downloads, saved download histories, safe storage of credit card information for quicker, easier tipping, no more having to enter your email address and zip code for each download, no more having to enter in your information while tipping, what’s not to love? Just click the “SIGN UP” button on the NoiseTrade homepage and you’ll be the proud owner of a brand spankin’ new fan account in minutes. Now, on to this week’s tunes!

Streets of Laredo
An Introduction to Streets of Laredo

If you dig the communal, folk-rock orchestration of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros or the passionate garage-soul of Delta Spirit, then owe it to yourself to check out Streets of Laredo. There is a relaxed, easy air around the band’s songs that deceptively cloaks the incredible instrumentation bubbling underneath. Pulling influence from the wide-open musical landscape of the 1970s and filtering it through a modern, indie-folk energy, Street of Laredo will have you snapping, clapping, tapping, and singing along in no time. This sampler features five tracks from their debut Volume I & II, along with a nice demo of “Need A Little Help” that sonically defies its “bedroom demo” label.

Liz Vice
There’s A Light

Man, oh man, is this a fantastic record! Liz Vice’s There’s A Light was recorded live to analog tape and the unmistakable “in the room” atmosphere becomes an instrument all its own throughout the record. There’s A Light plays off the vibe of classic 1960s-70s gospel albums, while still remaining incredibly present and fresh. Vice’s soulfully raw vocals feel unrestrained and emotional and there’s a good chance you’ll believe every word she sings. With a modern day “Al-Green-in-his-prime” R&B flow to her songs, Vice has got a little something for your heart and your hips. The tasty bass line of “Abide,” the organ-and-guitar interplay of “Empty Me Out,” and the roadhouse shuffle of the title track are all great entry points to sampling this album.

The Westies
Hell’s Kitchen [EP]

Some songs just sound better this time of year and The Westies prove it. There is a charming wistfulness to their sound and to echo Elton, their sad songs really do say so much. They took their name from the infamous Irish American gang in Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan’s Lower West Side and their music contains the same raw quality and dark realities you’d expect from their inspirational namesakes. Frontman Michael McDermott possesses a fantastic mixture of Dylan’s gravely inflection, Waits’ unconventional characters, and Springsteen’s storytelling pen.

The Dollyrots
“Happy Together” [single]

I’ve trumpeted the praises of The Dollyrots on here before and now it’s time again for another little toot. This digital only single for their cover of “Happy Together” adds a little thump and sass to The Turtles’ 1967 hit, while still retaining the impossible-not-to-sing-along-with-ness of the original. The Dollyrots have a handful of really well-down punk covers and this one definitely ranks up near the top of that list. By the way, if you can hear this song WITHOUT thinking of the groundbreaking cinematic classic that is Ernest Goes to Camp, I’m not sure we can be friends anymore.

When writer Will Hodge isn’t awfully glad it’s raining, you can find him running off at the keyboard about music, concerts, and vinyl at My So-Called Soundtrack