New Music Monday Picks For May 15

Your New Music Monday picks for May 15 showcase a fetching cover version, lo-fi and a good old fashioned protest song:

Sometimes we need a poet to put it all in perspective for us. Stepping up to bat is Keegan McInroe, a Fort Worth artist whose album A Good Old Fashioned Protest was recorded live-to-tape with the bare minimum of overdubs, thanks to production overlord Taylor Tatsch (Garrett Owen, Cut Throat Finches, Shadows Of Jets). And if you’re wondering where all the protest songs have gone off to, McInroe’s clear-eyed and sober “Big Old River” is your answer.

The slow build of Jay Som‘s “The Bus Song” – in concert with her billowy pipes and fierce musicianship – puts her on the map for the artists to keep an eye on in 2017. Well-versed in the DIY ethic of making records in her own bedroom, where sophomore album Everybody Works was conceived and created, Jay Som’s self-sufficiency translates beautifully on the finished product, full of lo-fi gems that’ll help you keep your cool in the summer – metaphorically and literally.

Is the world ready for Kyle Craft? We sure think so. Originally hailing from Shreveport and now based out of Portland, Craft’s 2016 debut Dolls Of Highland pegged him as a nonpareil lyricist, so it wasn’t a huge surprise when the Drive-By Truckers snagged him for the support slot on their Fall 2016 tour. Whether he’s touring solo or with his full band in tow, you’ll be doing yourself a solid by investing the time and energy to catch the magic in person. Keeping it in the magical vein, his one-off remake of the late Leonard Cohen’s “Chelsea Hotel #2” brings on the goosebumps and all the feels. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

An upbeat track from The National? Well, let’s try to package this. Musically speaking, it’s one of the perkier National tracks you’ll ever sic your ears on, and features a rather captivating guitar solo from Aaron Dessner. Lyrically, it’s everything you’ve come to know and love about The National: emotionally-driven but distant, and at times too visceral for its own good. Something that’s served them well in their nearly 20 years as a band.  Sleep Well Beast arrives September 8.

Happy listening!