Free and legal MP3: Snailhouse (smooth, swanky, melancholy)

Best of all, I do believe that this song offers up an as good if not better use of the “sentimental”/”gentle” rhyme than the familiar, if rather forced, one we got oh so long ago in the Bob Welch-penned classic that this song is a winning homage to.

Mike Feuerstack

“Sentimental Gentleman” – Snailhouse

Smooth and swanky and melancholy, this wise/weary homage to the old Fleetwood Mac/Bob Welch chestnut “Sentimental Lady” is a sneakily wonderful work in its own right. I love its rubbery, lazy-afternoon vibe, sprinkled with unresolved lead-guitar chords, unhurried horns (or horn-like sounds), and some built-in applause that one can truly call a smattering. Best of all, I do believe that this song offers up an as good if not better use of the “sentimental”/”gentle” rhyme than the familiar, if rather forced, one we got oh so long ago in the Welch-penned classic.

The voice and guitar we are hearing here belongs to Mike Feuerstack, of the veteran Canadian band Wooden Stars; Snailhouse has been his lo-fi-ish side project since pretty much the same time Wooden Stars got off the ground, back in 1994. With both a slight tremble and a pleasing richness, Feuerstack’s voice emerges from his throat so effortlessly he seems merely to be talking, an effect accentuated by his wry, conversational lyrics, which seem at least in part to deal with what it’s like to be an experienced but still pretty much unknown rock’n’roller. “We lied to the promoter/Said we’re packing them in,” he asserts, dryly, along the way.

“Sentimental Gentleman” is the title track to the sixth Snailhouse album, which was released in April in Europe on Mi Amante Records, and then in May in Canada through White Whale Records and Forward Music. MP3 via Mi Amante.

Free and legal MP3: SheLoom (bringing Bob Welch back)

Welcome to a song that doesn’t sound like a lot that you’ve probably been listening to lately, unless you have had an unaccountable hankering for your old Bob Welch records. (Nah, I didn’t think so.)

She Loom

“One More Day” – SheLoom

Welcome to a song that doesn’t sound like a lot that you’ve probably been listening to lately, unless you have had an unaccountable hankering for your old Bob Welch records. (Nah, I didn’t think so.)

Needless to say, “One More Day” isn’t the product of some net-addled 21st-century rock band, but a collaboration between two nimble studio veterans. Both Filippo Gaetani and Jordon Zadorozny have track records extending backwards to the ’90s, and the breadth of experience to pull off this jazzy slice of pseudo-’70s rock. I’ll leave it to the even more philosophically minded than I to ponder why it can be so enjoyable to hear new music smartly influenced by old music that one never liked all that much in the first place. A conundrum for our catholic times, musically speaking. But I’m digging a lot about this, from those jazz-inflected suspended chords to the deft shifts in rhythm (from intro to verse, verse to bridge, bridge to chorus) and then the way the meandery verse leads into what amounts to a double chorus—the bridge and chorus are distinct but interrelated, and each offers a sturdy melody delivered with a stirring mixture of nostalgia and creativity.

“One More Day” is from the SheLoom album Seat of the Empire, digitally released last week by Minty Fresh Records. MP3 via Minty Fresh.