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Carson McHone, a songwriter from Austin, Texas, “writes songs like her life depends on it” (Ray Wylie Hubbard), bringing an intelligence to alt-country that is both immediate and lyrical. Dark, driving and evocative, her music shines a light not only on McHone's honky-tonk roots, but on her development as a modern, alt-country storyteller, pushing traditional sounds and themes into a modern context. She's inspired by diverse sources like Dylan, the Velvet Underground, and American novelist Thomas Wolfe, unconcerned with flying the flag of old-school country. She wears her eclecticism proudly, with McHone singing each song in a voice that is worldly-wise and woozily gorgeous.
See 6 tour dates featuring Carson McHone
Devin Tuel may consider herself to be an artist meant for a different time, but the singer-songwriter now finds herself inhabiting her own true place as she releases her third album Happier Now, released under her nom de plume, Native Harrow. Native Harrow cuts out clear and vibrant narratives on fear, love, the open road, ill-fated relationships, and coping with the state of the world. “I wanted to share that I made it out of my own thunderstorm.” says Tuel. “I had experienced the high peaks and very low valleys of my twenties. I saw more of the world on my own, got through challenges, revelled in true moments of triumph… but all the while the world around me was growing louder, wilder, and scarier. Music for me is a place to be soft. This album was my place to feel it all.” Happier Now - recorded and mixed at Chicago’s Reliable Recorders by Alex Hall (JD McPherson, The Cactus Blossoms, Pokey LaFarge) and co-produced by Hall, Tuel, and her bandmate, multi-instrumentalist Stephen Harms - oscillates between feeling the sting of uncertainty (“Can’t Go on Like This”), the beauty of California (“Blue Canyon”) and the ache for lavish stability (“Way to Light”). You could say Devin Tuel wears her heart proudly on her sleeve, but that’d be underplaying the exact gravity of her stories. Each starlit image is framed within her warm, enveloping vocals and the careful, profound considerations of Harms’ musicianship. Start to finish, the new record pours forth from her very bones, and you get the overwhelming sense she has never been more daring and honest than right now.
See 6 tour dates featuring Native Harrow
- 16 Alfreton Road
- Canning Circus
- NG7 3NG
Carson McHone image © Mathew Parri Thomas 2018