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Listen to this

A look at some new music.

Published March 4, 2007


Sunny Sweeney

Album: Heartbreaker's Hall of Fame Big Machine

In stores: Tuesday

Why we care: Country newcomer Sweeney has a Loretta Lynn fixation and an East Texas accent strong enough to knock your Stetson off. This is the most refreshing honky-tonk album we've heard in a while - delivered by a looker with no interest in crossover cash.

Why we like it: Her high, lonesome twang has a bittersweet edge, but rest assured, this cowgirl likes kicking up her boots as much as crying in her beer. When she's not writing her own tunes, Sweeney has smart taste in songwriters, including Iris DeMent and Jim Lauderdale, the latter of whom joins her for a duet. If you're always lamenting the current state of country music, this old-school debut is for you.

Reminds us of: $1 Bud Night at Gilley's

Download these: East Texas Pines and Ten Years Pass

Grade: B+


Album: Prosser (Clickpop)

In stores: Now

Why we care: Along with Death Cab for Cutie and the Trucks, Prosser is yet another hot band born from the waters of Bellingham, Wash. (Must be something in Lake Whatcom.) The spacey, alt-country outfit is the brainchild of Eric Woodruff, formerly of the band Delay - and currently one of the coolest talents of the year.

Why we like it: Woodruff has this mesmerizing ability to blend cinematic grandeur (think a modern-day Western) with the intimate wanderings of a troubled mind (think a moody indie band). Just when you think the gauzy blanket of cello and organ is going to rock you to sleep, Woodruff cuts in with a stalking guitar line perfect for Clint Eastwood.

Reminds us of: Wilco, before they started thinking too much.

Download these: I Met a Girl and The Time Has Come

Grade: A

Jill Cunniff

Album: City Beach (The Militia Group)

In stores: Now

Why we care: Remember Luscious Jackson, the electro-driven alt-rock band from the '90s? Cunniff was the smart, feisty leader of that too-brief quartet. We're happy to have her back, especially since her new solo debut is a fun, catchy tribute to easy days on urban shores, her beloved Coney Island included.

Why we like it: Like a plugged-in busker working some metaphysical boardwalk, Cunniff creates a funky concept album about orange ice pops, beepy Jeeps, scuffling feet, pretty people and lazy summer breezes. When the sun sets, Cunniff's surfy tunes get sexier, as she works in Latin rhythms, jazzy saxophones and trippy dance beats.

Reminds us of: How much we rock at Skee-Ball.

Download these: Lazy Girls, NYC Boy and Future Call

Grade: B+



Song: Callin' Me

Album: Don't Quit Your Day Job (Red Urban)

In stores: Tuesday (Callin' Me is currently available on iTunes.)

Why we care: Consequence has never been as famous as his high-profile pals: Kanye West, A Tribe Called Quest and touring partner John Legend. But with his party-guy rap style and sly, attitudinal beats, he should be. Here's hoping this cut makes him a household name.

Why we like it: "Your girl, your girl keep callin' me/Your girl, your girl keep callin' me." As the strangely catchy chorus bounces and repeats, Consequence throws down a Booker T. keyboard line and a funkified street beat.

Reminds us of: Smart, old-school party rap. So don't just stand there, bust a move.

Song grade: A

Sean Daly can be reached at or (727) 893-8467. His blog is at

[Last modified March 2, 2007, 09:15:12]

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