It’s a dreary day in the Triangle yet one wouldn’t know it from inside my den thanks in large part to singer-songwriter Jackie Minton’s new EP, Genesis, which is akin to a ray of sunshine slicing through the dark clouds above. It groups together three recent singles (“For Giving,” “That’s Alright” and “Wherever I Go”) with a new song, “Eve,” that was inspired by this passage in the C.S. Lewis novel Till We Have Faces:
“And for all I can tell, the only difference is that what many see we call a real thing, and what only one sees we call a dream. But things that many see may have no taste or moment in them at all, and things that are shown only to one may be spears and water-sprouts of truth from the very depth of truth.”
She wrote on her Facebook page that upon reading it, “I immediately threw the book down and ran inside to the piano. In an instant, writing this song became a physical necessity.” The result is a song that is as stirring as it is hypnotic.
She’s not the only young singer-songwriter to turn my ears in recent days. Cincinnati-based Bailey Miller‘s sophomore album, love is a dying out, is slated for release on February 10th and is a minimalistic meditation on love; I plan to write about it then, but for now “cul-de-sac,” which was released a few weeks back, is a mesmerizing depiction of the loneliness that can sometimes develop within a relationship.
French singer-songwriter Laure Briard, whose new album (Ne pas trop rester bleue) is also slated for a February 10th release, shared the video for her latest single, “The Smell of Your Hair,” earlier this week. Inspired by an encounter she had with a lonesome cowboy during a 2019 sojourn to Joshua Tree, it’s a frothy concoction that’s one part pop, one part soul and all parts delightful.
Canadian folkie Cat Clyde, whose collaboration with Jeremie Albino I spotlighted in 2021, has a new album, Down Rounder, on tap for February 17th. The first single, “Mystic Light,” was a delight; the second, the intense “I Feel It,” is another must-hear.
Portugese singer-songwriter Nico Paulo, who’s based out of Newfoundland, shared “Time,” a track from her eponymous set that’s slated for release on April 7th, this past week. The song is about two friends and the differences between them.
British folk-rocker Izzie Derry released a taut new single this past week, as well. The brooding yet fiery “I Don’t Know Why,” about the aftermath of a relationship gone wrong, echoes a fair number of artists who’ve come before, but maintains an original spark.
The Ocean Greys, meanwhile, channel the likes of Mazzy Star and Portishead on the tantalizing “Forced to Learn Again,” the second single from their recent EP, Caught in the Net. It’s a trance set to song, just about.
And, finally, a YouTube-only find: the singer-songwriter Calista Garcia’s “Good Grief,” which was recorded last June and posted by SoFar Washington in November. The acoustic song is accented by sly humor, self-reflection and honest pathos—which is to say it likely wasn’t inspired by Charlie Brown and the Peanuts. Is it a track from her album, which is due out in mid-February? We’ll have to wait to find out.