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The Sound Cafe Rating

5 star = essential, 4 star = excellent, 3 star = good, 2 = fans/collectors, 1 = for completionists only

First Aid Kit: Palomino (Album)

First Aid Kit has released their fifth studio album Palomino via Columbia Records. Arriving alongside the album is a stunning new video for title track “Palomino,” which was filmed at Studio Rydman where First Aid Kit recorded the LP.

Al Louis: East Coast Low (EP)

Al Louis is a guitarist, singer-songwriter from New South Wales, Australia. Her genre is a mix of southern rock and blues/roots, with a gritty acoustic guitar-driven style. Her lyrics are witty and original, using idioms to tell stories with a dark sense of humour. She is known for energetic and captivating live shows and has performed on stages in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and the Pacific Islands.

Andrea England: Jolly Melancholy Christmas (Single)

Andrea England is an award-winning singer/songwriter; the founder, curator, and host of Toronto’s hottest songwriter series, Four Chords & the Truth; and has released two critically-acclaimed albums – Lemonade and Hope & Other Sins, the latter of which was produced by Grammy-winning producer Colin Linden.


Christmas is a difficult time for many – if not most – people, even if that isn’t the way it’s usually portrayed by retailers and in the media. With that in mind, alt-country artist Andrea England gets refreshingly, reassuringly honest about the bitter-sweetness of the holiday in her new single “Jolly Melancholy Christmas".

Nicky Youre: Eyes On You (Single)

23-year-old singer-songwriter Nicky Youre has released his new song “Eyes On You.” The infectious track finds Nicky describing what it feels like to be completely infatuated with someone at first glance.


Taking inspiration from Dominic Fike, Tai Verdes, Jeremy Zucker, Alexander 23, blackbear and more, Youre’s tracks start with the most powerful aspect of his music, the undoubtedly catchy melodies.

Hanne Mjøen: Fall In Love Apart (EP)

Hanne Mjøen is not your average pop queen. The Norwegian alt-pop artist creates music that makes you want to dance, with lyrics that make you want to cry. Her intoxicating sound is coated in a dark, raw edge, providing a comforting reminder that it’s ok to be flawed, while her lyrics pull the trigger for an outlet of pent-up emotions. 


Mjøen’s unapologetic authenticity and humbling resonance come to life in Fall In Love / Apart with enthralling musicality. Her next musical project shows the admirable strength that can result from vulnerability.

Uncle Bard & the Dirty Bastards: The Story So Far (Album)

The band is a brand-new signing to Angel Air Records, which plans to give the them a huge global push. The Story So Far is a compilation album of the band’s most popular songs, which are culled from their previous four critically acclaimed albums including The Cellar Tapes, Get the Folk Out!, Handmade! and The Men Behind the Glass, all of which have been released independently by the band.


Yes, the band members are all Italian, but, their love for Ireland and its Celtic music is real.

Eliza Carthy: Queen Of The Whirl (Album)

Multi-award-winning Eliza Carthy MBE celebrates 30 years as a professional musician with the release of Queen Of The Whirl, an album of newly recorded and spectacularly reimagined versions of beloved songs from throughout her career.


For the past thirty years, Eliza’s music has effortlessly crossed boundaries of genre and style. She has toured the world playing the fiddle and spreading the word of English traditional music. She has worked as a composer with Shakespearian director Barry Rutter and can count Kae Tempest, Paul Weller, Nancy Kerr and Billy Bragg in her diverse roster of collaborations.

Kelley Smith: Moon Child (Album)

Her debut album, Moon Child, was released on Nov. 14, 2022. The album comes across as a mid-life coming-of-age story. As an insomniac, Kelley Smith wrote this first batch of songs by moonlight. Moon Child evokes a sense of belonging, juxtaposed with escapism, as Smith croons about long-term love, grief, and her draw to the night sky.


In addition to her original work, Smith is an American folk music enthusiast. Her fans appreciate how she modernizes traditional tunes [learned from artists like Elizabeth Cotten and The Carter Family] and makes them relevant and relatable while preserving their histories and genre.

Jamie Fine: eight gardengate (EP)

Canadian singer-songwriter Jamie Fine has released her debut solo EP, 'eight gardengate'


The 6-track body of work encompasses Jamie’s journey so far as a solo artist, while on the mission to craft a style that is completely her own. Entering a space of creativity and honesty, she delivers a collection of songs that displays her music the way she envisioned it: consistent, unfiltered, and transparent

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