Margo Cilker - Dubmatix - Annie Bartholomew - Madeline Kenney

Margo Cilker - Lowland Trail.

"Lowland Trail" is the first song to be taken from the eagerly anticipated follow-up to her acclaimed debut Pohorylle which Uncut described as "one of the most auspicious debuts of recent times" back in 2021.

The new album "Valley Of Heart’s Delight” is released on September 15th and sees Cilker working with the same team of Sera Cahoone on production duties with John Morgan Askew recording the album at his Bocce Studio just outside Portland, Oregon.

Cilker says of "Lowland Trail": I wrote this song living in a place where a rise in elevation paid off spectacularly.  And I would climb. Yet, I began to crave just placing one foot in front of the other; a more meditative wandering. Less risk, less reward.


Dubmatix - The Ska Sessions (Volume 1). 

For the past few years I’ve had an idea bubbling around my head - could I create a song a day, and for how long? In December 2022, I decided to test this concept out and see what would happen starting January 2, 2023. As it turns out, a lot of things can happen and this is just one of them - a full-length Ska album. Over the past 20 years, I had never thought about creating a ska album, but sometimes when you dive into fresh waters, your perspective can be altered and new opportunities appear. That is how this all began.

Starting on January 2, I set out to produce an 8-bar song idea each day, which gradually evolved into sharing 30-second videos and eventually creating full-length songs and videos over the first four months. To date, over 125 song ideas have been created so far, choice ones that resonated with me became full-length songs in the ska style. This adventure has garnered a positive response from an enthusiastic audience, particularly in the ska genre, which I love but have not previously produced much music in.

Delving into it headfirst, I built tracks that pay tribute to the originators of the genre and the 2nd wave movement of Two Tone. What began as a bucket list idea has turned into something wonderful that Dubmatix has thoroughly enjoyed sharing with people and connecting with in a new way.

The vocals used in the album are from loop packs since I work fast daily on new music to achieve this goal. Although there needed to be more time to work with singers, I felt it was important to share their names and give them credit as they are unique and well-known and help to bring these songs to life: The Ragga Twins and Dennis Alcapone plus Double Tiger - Jesse.


Annie Bartholomew - All For The Klondike's Gold.

After nearly a decade of performing in Alaska’s rowdy bar scene, Juneau folksinger Annie Bartholomew became haunted by the stories of sex workers during the 19th century after touring the brothel museum at Skagway’s Red Onion Saloon. This week, Bartholomew shared the new single and music video for “All For the Klondike’s Gold” from her debut album Sisters of White Chapel.

After conversations with her friend, Arkansas songwriter Willi Carlisle, the scope of the project came to include a play and stage show. The result is her debut album Sisters of White Chapel, out June 16. The music accompanies a play that she wrote Sisters of White Chapel: A Short But True Story, which premiered to acclaim in Bartholomew’s hometown of Juneau. The first single will be “Sisters of White Chapel,” referring to the red light district in Dawson City.

“All For the Klondike’s Gold” is accompanied by driving guitar and fiddle, and is sung by women, abandoned by their male companions but now joining together to survive the gold rush. Annie says, “’All For the Klondike’s Gold’ is adapted from a 1901 miner’s poem anonymously published in the Klondike Nugget, that empathizes with women left behind in the Northland due to the deaths of their male companions. These were the tragedies and very real economic realities that made women turn to sex work.”

In contrast to the art created for tourists, Annie envisioned a musical work that would share these omissions of Alaska’s mining past, and embody the stories of women in Victorian-era Alaska. Through archival materials, personal history, and Alaska’s stringband traditions, Bartholomew brings these women to life, extracting the emotional truth of who they were, why they risked everything to follow a gold rush, and their subsequent journeys and misadventures along the way.


Madeline Kenney - Superficial Conversation.

In the quiet surrounding the pandemic, Madeline Kenney made sonic sketches in the basement studio she shared with her then-partner. She arranged phrases that called her—the sharp knife of a synth cutting a path along a blooming arpeggio, drums stuttering firm and tight. Working this way, she amassed a collection of songs she had no particular aims for. Some formed her 2021 EP Summer Quarter, others languished.

But in 2022, Kenney’s partner left suddenly and without warning, plunging her into the solitary act of untangling what happened. In the wake of her ensuing depression, she revisited these songs and found in them something prescient. She’d already laid the foundation for A New Reality Mind, her fourth LP (due out July 28th via Carpark Records) which she is announcing today with the album's first single "Superficial Conversation," alongside the track's self-directed video.

That her relationship’s end came without warning is only half true, though. The warnings were in the feelings and fears that inspired Kenney’s critically-acclaimed third album, Sucker’s Lunch (2020), which was co-produced by Jenn Wasner (Flock of Dimes) and centered around the idea of flinging oneself freely into the seemingly-assured destruction of new love, come what may. If sonically Sucker’s Lunch was letting yourself be pulled into the warm bath of a good story, A New Reality Mind reflects the harsh light of truth coming to break the spell. But as sobering as morning light can be, there’s brilliance to it, too. To see in the clarity of day is a gift. A revolution.

This is Kenney’s most expansive work, while also her most solitary. Produced and recorded alone in her basement, these songs are manifestations of what it feels like to be transformed by pain. Textures collide and collude; sonic ornaments emerge and dissipate capriciously; saxophones soar untamed. There's a propulsive power in the album, and there’s also acceptance, self-forgiveness, and a willingness to move forward into life, with all its ways of making a sucker of you. “That way of living, I’m over it,” Kenney declares of the habits that hold her back on "Superficial Conversation." “I do not need to be reminded of what I did,” she assures, the song opening wide and beaming, like a smile expanding to taste a new breath of air.