We’re going to go with quick bits on this post as it’s been forever since I’ve blogged. I apologise as I say that too frequently. Time to work on building a routine. This whole 10,000 hours thing is going to take forever at this rate. Thanks a lot, Gladwell.

So with that in mind:

Black Heart Rum

Eliza Jaye & The Tarts

Here on the Road Less Traveled there are a few things that easily win favour. Female vocalist with distinct voice: Check. Lyrics that draw you in: Check. Melodies that paint a picture: Check. Eliza Jaye & The Tarts are one of those groups chocked with potential at fully hitting the mark on all counts. On Black Heart Rum, a four-track EP, two songs, slow-burning “Crimson Lipstick” and the title-track deliver the goods, evoking Rilo Kiley/Jenny Lewis-esque sweet ear poison. “Black Heart Rum” has a wicked minxy feel, which isn’t surprising considering its namesake. Not too far behind is “October” which has a bit of The Cranberries in it, and all the better for it. With a bit of polish, Eliza and companions (including sis, Anna McInerney, former violinist for Bats for Lashes) could make a big splash.

With a full album to come later this year, I can hardly wait. For those of you in the UK, you need not wait. Look for shows this summer, starting this Friday night, the 16th, in Brighton at The Hydrant. Black Heart Rum EP drops on Monday, July 19th.

Far From The Tree

Hannah & The Bloodlines

Continuing down the Road Less Traveled takes us to Boston, home of alt-jazz-rock ensemble Hannah & The Bloodlines. Far From The Tree is a great start for the up-and-comers led by the sultry vocals of singer Hannah Sumner, who commands attention, with “Come Lay Me Down” a stand-out track. Softer, and subtly layered below is enjoyably-understated guitar work by Stephen Gaspar and sax man Jeremy Vovcsko. With full support from the bass and drums, The Bloodlines provide a rich jazz/rock atmosphere to disappear into.

Far From The Tree is available for sale now.


– As we’re in the alt-jazz mood, it would be remiss of me not to mention my buddy Dave Halabisky (Halabisky’s Uprising). State of Emergency is a stellar listen, and easily purchasable. For a taste, check out his ridiculously good debut music video “More/Less”, featuring Canadian hip-hop living legend Moka Only:

– Is it just me, or is The IT Crowd getting funnier and funnier?

– Reading Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson, an interesting “oral biography” of one of the finest literary minds of the 20th Century, as told by the people that knew him best. 2/3rds done and easily recommended to anyone who enjoys New Journalism.

– Why does Danger Mouse/Brian Burton have so much damned talent?!?! Came across Broken Bells, his project with James Mercer (The Shins), the other night and was blown away. Considering Danger Mouse thought of The Grey Album, produced The Black Keys two best albums, and is one-half of Gnarls Barkley (plus numerous other critical achievements), you’d think he’d rest on his laurels!