Can we stop for a quick second and talk about how Egghunt Records is absolutely killing it right now?
Manatree — Manatree
A glowing YHT review of this album is long overdue. Same goes for Manatree’s live show — both are polished and powerful to a degree that’s rare for a band promoting a debut full-length. These songs are so sharp, precisely pivoting from clean to heavy, all the while building melodies that hold tracks together. The word “agile” comes to mind. This is the music Fender guitars dream of when they’re not being played.
That precision lets them do things many bands couldn’t. On songs like “Fat Jackson” and “Animal Quietlies,” you find these amazing arpeggiated bursts of notes — flurries that create the sensation of moving through something three dimensional, like a haze you could collect in your hands if you held them out. What a cool feeling for a song to create. To my ears, it sounds like they found the space between Jonny Greenwood’s style and a banjo player’s energy and made it their own. See what I mean below.
Lucy Dacus — No Burden
So ridiculously excited for this to come out. I’ve seen Lucy Dacus perform a few times now, and I’ve been wildly impressed each time. She has the kind of voice that makes you want to start throwing adjectives around. Singular. Arresting. Expansive. And the adjective storm is gathering — I’m certain you’ll be hearing more about her stunning singing in the coming months as the release of No Burden approaches.
But it’s not just her voice. Dacus’ writing is superb, both in terms of how she puts a song together and how she puts lyrics together. I’d compare her words to my favorite poetry — the kind that’s comprised of clearly stated, boiled-down, complete sentences that would hit you just as hard if they were buried in the middle of a paragraph on related subject matter. I wrote about something similar in relation to the Mountain Goats recently; when ideas are sung with this level of clarity, something sublime happens. You read the song and listen to it at the same time, like two forms of art unfolding simultaneously.
Preview the outstanding lead single “I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore” below and join me in being edge-of-your-seat eager to hear more.
Clair Morgan — New Lions and The Not Good Night
This one’s also slated for early 2016, and if you’re a big No Notes fan like I am, early 2016 can’t come soon enough. I recently had a chance to interview the group for an article that’s coming out a little closer to the release of their new LP, New Lions and The Not Good Night, and while I can’t share too much of what I learned yet, I can say that you should keep an ear to the ground (or to the Internet — might be more effective) for some really special things to come. I have a feeling New Lions is going to knock a great many socks off.
Speaking more generally, I was so thrilled to hear that Clair Morgan was joining the Egghunt frenzy. Alongside exceptional newcomers like Manatree and Lucy Dacus, and favorites like White Laces and Diamond Center, Clair Morgan joining up feels like a tipping point — verification that all these albums really are part of a bigger wave that’s helping to keep up the tremendous momentum Richmond music has built. Best of all, there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight.
Here’s a personal No Notes favorite, “Battleship Heart.”