• simon joyner Step Into the Earthquake (CD, £11.50)

    label: Ba Da Bing!

    Simon Joyner is among America’s best songwriters, so say Gillian Welch, Conor Oberst, Kevin Morby and others. With this double album he strikes for the personal while acknowledging that the times they are a-changin’ around us again. Things are leaning shitty right now, and the characters in Joyner’s songs experience the dissolution of comfort amid anxious concerns regarding our turbulent times. To record, Joyner’s band, The Ghosts, holed up with longtime collaborator, Michael Krassner (Boxhead Ensemble), in Omaha’s ARC Studio, developing songs from skeletal foundations to full-on group efforts. Joyner’s vision may be dark but it stops short of nihilism. Where do we go from here? The best move toward answering that question is knowing where we stand right now. This expansive album offers a poet’s truthful view, however disconcerting, that to survive whatever is coming for us, we have to confront and understand it first. So, go ahead and step into the earthquake. “Omaha has given us the reigning heir to Henry Miller’s dark emotional mirror, Townes Van Zandt’s three-chord moan, and Lou Reed’s warehouse minimalism: his name is Simon Joyner.” —Gillian Welch. “Pound for pound Simon Joyner is my favourite lyricist of all time.” —Conor Oberst. “Simon’s always been a secret handshake amongst me and my peers. He’s a pioneer.” —Kevin Morby. Tracks: 1. Hail Mary 2. Annie's Blues 3. Another Midnight Special 4. I'm Feeling It Today 5. Atlanta Bypass 6. Flash Forward To The Moon 7. Earthquake 8. Illuminations 9. Galveston Blues 10. Daylight 11. As Long As We're In Danger 12. I'll Fly Away 13. I Dreamed I Saw Lou Reed Last Night

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