Friday Five: Towner, Warren & Flick, Hannah Baiardi, Mirror Monster, 1473 label live compilation
Friday Five highlights music by Washtenaw County-associated artists and labels.
This week features the fuzzy Midwestern power-pop of Towner, country-tinged instrumental duets by Warren & Flick, R&B pop by Hannah Baiardi, new wavy electronica by Mirror Monster, and a compilation of live ambient performances on the 1473 label.
Towner, The Lever
This Is Entertainment, the debut album from Ann Arbor power-poppers Towner, was one of my favorite records of 2020—local or otherwise. I'm excited to spend a bunch of time with its follow-up, The Lever, which features nine tracks of fuzzy guitars and merry melodies.
Warren & Flick, Waxwing
The instrumental Ann Arbor duo Jacob Warren (double bass) and Grant Flick (violin, tenor guitar, and nyckelharpa) borrow from country, bluegrass, and Celtic and Nordic folk traditions, but nine of the 10 tracks on Waxwing are originals, not covers. The lone traditional tune is "Three Forks of Cheat," which shows the connections between West Virginian mountain music and the Scottish Highlands. The Ark should be calling Warren & Flick for a showcase concert ASAP.
Hannah Baiardi, "How Do You Want Your Love"
Ann Arbor pianist, singer, and songwriter Hannah Baiardi has been on a roll since she graduated from the University of Michigan in 2018. After her 2020 debut album, Straight From the Soul, she's released a steady stream of singles and videos. While she has a background in jazz, Baiardi's music has tended toward radio-friendly R&B pop—albeit from a different era, circa the late '80s and early '90s. I could easily imagine hearing a song like "How Do You Want Your Love" played next to singles by Sade, Shakespeares Sister, and Simply Red.
Mirror Monster, Carry
Multi-instrumentalists David Minnix and Michael Skib are the creative forces behind the Ann Arbor electro-pop duo Mirror Monster, which keeps knocking out fantastic five-to-seven song EPs, including the new Carry. Pulp interviewed them last year when they released the Pretty Things Made With All Our Love mini-album.
Various artists, Live at Tone Deaf Records
Arbor's 1473 label, curated by Chien-An Yuan, has its roots in Chicago, which is where the Live at Tone Deaf Records compilation was performed by three artists—Prokharchin, Cinchel, and Joshua Wentz—exploring ambient- and new-music-inspired soundscapes.
Christopher Porter is a library technician and the editor of Pulp.