So I came across a new (to me) artist a few days ago while surfing around iTunes. Brett Dennen has been on Rolling Stone's "Artists to Watch" list, on Entertainment Weekly's "Guys on the Rise", and reviews have compared him to everyone from Dave Matthews, Tracy Chapman, Jason Mraz, and Nick Drake to (most oddly, I think) Billie Holliday and Bob Dylan. Dennen has been around a couple of years, his first album came out in 2005, and although I've only listened extensively to his newest album, Loverboy, I'd say he sounds more like an amalgamation of Jack Johnson, Paul Simon, Loudin Wainwright III, a bit of My Morning Jacket's Jim James, and a touch of the soulfulness of Van Morrison. He even name checks Simon's album Graceland (as well as Joni Mitchell's Blue) on the wonderful "Make You Fall in Love with Me".
He's an artist I've only just discovered and will continue to explore, but he's got a goofy charm (where I get the Wainwright comparison) and enough catchy melodies and grooves to keep me coming back. The first three songs in particular, "Surprise Surprise" "Dancing at a Funeral" and "Comeback Kid (That's My Dog)" are ones I've had on repeat for days now. If you like what you hear, check him out like I did, maybe it'll be something new.
"Surprise Surprise" from this year's SXSW festival
"Dancing at a Funeral" album version
"Comeback Kid (That's My Dog)" official video