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Peter Himmelman and Jess Cornelius with the new and noteworthy


Peter Himmelman, Press On (Himmelsongs) – Himmelman, Minnesota-based son-in-law of Bob Dylan, is a well-known face at Lyons’ Rocky Mountain Folks Fest, where he often plays the role of acerbic prankster. In his first outing since 2017’s There Is No Calamity, Himmelman mixes bold and happy anthems with sad laments like “This Is How It Ends,” where he sounds like a crooning Elvis Costello (recall that Himmelman earlier gave us the “flown this acid world” phrase). Luckily, the title track’s honky-tonk piano reminds us to keep our spirits intact, even in a grim 2020.

Jess Cornelius, Distance (Loantaka) – Australia native Jess Cornelius relocated to L.A. to craft her first solo work since leaving Melbourne band Teeth & Tongue. Her full-throated delivery and reverb-soaked arrangements, combined with lyrics of uncomfortable frankness yield a sound suggestive of Xanthe Alexis or Angel Olsen. Tracks like the embittered “Banging My Head” or “Body Memory,” on an ill-fated pregnancy, are as raw as it gets.

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