Man, 2017, y'all. We realize that it's kind of our m.o. to be proponents of the whole "Golden Age of Metal" narrative and be incredibly positive about the consistently great level of stuff that is being put out from pretty much every part of the musical spectrum, but it's such an easy thing to do when we are so constantly bombarded with new material that utterly consumes our attention. Even in months where one of us might not have as many new albums that really impressed them, without doubt there will be another one who could barely keep up because of all the superb releases from genres they pay close attention to. This April has certainly been no different in that regard, and we have a whole slew of top-notch albums to recommend to you all.
Laurel Brauns never really managed to emerge from the fog of singer-songwriters clinging to the U.S. West Coast. True to the genre, her 2001 debut album, Swimming, was recorded in basements and released to little fanfare. But there’s a peculiar magic wreathing the album that makes Laurel stand far above the litany of artists straining to be loved. Her album is a simple one. It’s a young woman and a guitar, spiced with violin, mandolin, and cello provided by her musically inclined friends. Nothing revolutionary. The reason Laurel Brauns is a fantastic singer-songwriter is simple as this: she is a fantastic singer and a fantastic songwriter. Her singing is the best I’ve ever heard.
Like the grand majority of modern metal fans, our tastes here at Heavy Blog are incredibly vast, with our 3X3s in each Playlist Update typically covering numerous genres and sometimes a different style in each square. While we have occasionally covered non-metal topics in past blog posts, we decided that a dedicated column was warranted in order to more completely recommend all of the music that we have been listening to. Unmetal Monday is a weekly column which covers noteworthy news, tracks and albums from outside the metal universe, and we encourage you all to share your favorite non-metal picks from the week in the comments. Head past the jump to dial down the distortion: