Album Roundup

Music by Shannon Cleary
Issue 68 • October 2018

Featured in this roundup:
Bad Magic • What’s Wrong With My Eyes?
Shormey • Cruise!
The Big Drum In The Sky Religion • Better Angels of Nature
Coolhandtrew • World’s Fault
Nightcreature • On The Loose

Bad Magic
What’s Wrong With My Eyes?

Richmond • June 19, 2018

For the better part of a decade, Julie Karr has been considered one of Richmond’s most treasured songwriters. With the second release from her current project Bad Magic, this reputation resonates even louder. What’s Wrong With My Eyes? is a meditation on growing older with a sense of waning optimism, disbelief, and contemplating the spaces we occupy. It’s a record for uncertain times full of powerful rock anthems hesitantly guiding you through the emotional and mental turmoil.

A trio with a penchant for 90s alt-rock and confessional singer-songwriters of the era, Bad Magic write compelling songs that feel like composites of Liz Phair, Hope Sandoval, and Tracy Chapman. “Just a City” is one of the stronger tracks, offering a contemplation on how to process the changes of a place that you used to call home. Whether on a personal or socioeconomic level, the shared histories vanish, remaining tucked away in our consciousness as we prepare for attempted departure. Farewells will always be a natural part of every cycle, but in this case, it feels like we never had control at all. We either grow stronger and build, or fall victim to the perilous future ahead. An anti-love song for a city hasn’t been so eloquently constructed since The Weakerthans’ classic “One Great City!”. Available on limited edition cassette.


Chesapeake • June 18, 2018

There’s a truly beautiful, enchanting sense of self found on Shormey’s recent two-song cassingle. Cruise! offers a versatile portrayal of the bedroom pop songwriter that gives a bit of insight into what drives them creatively. The title track is a glam pop offering that layers itself with disco effervescence that could feel right at home with Toro Y Moi. The prolific artist has been stunning audiences throughout the Commonwealth for the better part of three years now and Cruise! is another reason to keep an eye on one of the most exciting artists in the area. Cassettes available via Citrus City Records.

The Big Drum In The Sky Religion
Better Angels of Nature

Harrisonburg • September 7, 2018

The Big Drum In The Sky Religion grabs you by the ear and sends you on an epic journey. For Better Angels of Nature, the improvisational collective performs what they describe as “Appalachian Avant-Garde Experimental Noise Rock.” Occupying the same sonic landscape as Godspeed! You Black Emperor, the collective, led by Brown Hat, The Espresso Shaman, sprints into the unknown, unveiling wonders that require patience on the part of the listener to fully experience. The rewards are there for those willing to dive deeper into the musical abysses contained within.

World’s Fault

Prince George • September 2, 2018

World’s Fault feels like an intimate vantage point into the musical mind of Jay Crockett, better known as Coolhandtrew. With no genre left untapped, the record bounces between hip hop, dancehall, trance, rock, and soul without batting an eye. It’s easy to see how the artist compares with Virginia brethren like D’Angelo or N.E.R.D., but there is a confident swagger throughout that truly elevates this material. With solid tracks like “1000xs,” “Does Anybody Love Me,” and “Lost Mind,” it’s looking like 2018 will be Crockett’s champagne year.

On The Loose

Richmond • October 26, 2018

Nightcreature channel their spiritual predecessors of MC5, Iggy Pop, and David Bowie on their debut EP, On The Loose. Quick and dirty, the four-song introduction leaves you breathless, immediately satisfying fans of garage rock with a splash of glam and anthemic punk. Barely clocking in at ten minutes, On The Loose aspires to romanticize the grit and grime of a bygone era, each of its bruised tracks brimming with static and charm. Featuring members of The Milkstains, The You Go Girls, and Silver Twin, this new group is bound to be a fast favorite.

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