The Alt-Country boom in the mid-90’s was quite a thing – country as a genre had long been derided as rhinestones and fake smiles, but even before the commercial rebirth of Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson, bands had openly embraced the genre and added their own sympathetically subtle embellishments. Acts such as Giant Sand, Wilco and The Handsome Family brought the dust-swept art of story-telling into ultra-cool indie territory, despite (or maybe even because of) their heartfelt love of the simplicity of the music and the lyrics.
Though alt-country (or, if you prefer, Americana) has settled into its niche quietly now, the ethics and sound are appearing in the most unusual places. Perhaps the gold-standard of these is Slim Loris, a band based in Gothenburg, Sweden, who are producing some of the most life-affirming music you can imagine, whilst keeping a firm grip on reality. The first track to be aired from their forthcoming EP, “Wild & Untamed”, is “Burning Elephant”, one of the rockier tracks but still brilliantly melodic and wholly satisfying…
Which brings us to booze. What to pair? Presenting the combining of American and Swedish culture:
As we tremble in the corner of the pub, waiting for the inevitable nuclear apocalypse, it’s comforting to know that some brave souls are picking up their guitars and setting them to stun.
Splitting his time between the US and London, Cholesterol Jones is both an animator and a musician, using these skills to set the brains of sensible members of society whirring into thoughts of action, and the dumber elements a slap around the ears. Satan’s in Heaven, the lead track of a forthcoming EP of the same name, is a case in point: tricky to pigeon-hole musically (a bit country; a bit singer-songwriter; a bit gospel; a bit TV advert jingle), it uses the cleverness of the lyrics and outstanding animated video to convey a message which, although easy to understand, is in no way condescending or preachy to its audience.
Impressively, the song sticks in your head for days: the simplicity makes you realise exactly how hard many artists try to cram as much into three minutes as possible, yet by stripping away the flotsam and jetsam, the true genius can ring out. There’s a nagging feeling we should have been following Cholesterol way before we heard Satan’s in Heaven, but, as they say, it’s never too late. But what beverage to celebrate this discovery? We reckon something unassuming but deadly, so what better than the green fairy herself? Chin-Chin!
Hugely creative and multi-talented, Anthony is returning to the music industry after some years away from the business, first deciding to pursue his song writing again when a self-written soundtrack to his own independent film captured attention. The movie itself went on to win awards in Canada and is now available globally online, while the result of his renewed song writing confidence in the stellar new rock single ‘Borderline’.
Revered by critics, radio and writers in his native Canada, and also invited to play some of the country’s most prestigious venues, Anthony Tullo’s reputation is already cemented and still growing on the other side of the Atlantic.
His first chance to break into the industry saw Anthony catch the eye of a notoriously difficult to please A&R at Warners over a decade ago, but his progress was halted by the tragic events of Sepember 11th, 2001 in New York. Following that day, the promising start to his career was halted by a label who (understandably) had other priorities, leading to Anthony Tullo leaving the industry for a time.
But now he’s back, a self-made musician with a point to prove. And if anyone disagrees with him, they should probably know one more thing – he funds his music career by competing and training others in the arts of Brazilian Ju-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts.
This is one independent artist who needs to be taken seriously – in every sense.