For me, there is nothing better than discovering new music! Well, unless it's supporting the independent artists making the music I just discovered. Sure, that's better.

On January 3rd I made a commitment to myself that I would listen to one entire new album each day of this year. Give or take a few days here and there, I've discovered some amazing work by a lot of hard working and passionate musicians and songwriters.

Here are three of those discoveries that I just can't seem to stop listening to. Make sure to click on each album cover to be directed to sites where you can buy their record.


Bloodshot Records

1. Sarah Shook & The Disarmers 'Years'

Hailing from Chapel Hill, NC, Sarah Shook & The Disarmers have delivered one of the best alternative country records in a long time with the release of Years. Front woman Sarah Shook doesn't emotionally hold back when writing lyrics. She's not afraid to call you out on whatever it is you did wrong and will deliver the message in a low country drawl and with a punk rock snarl. This record will take you from heartbreak to honky tonk and back again. This my friends, is why I love it.

  • Monk's Fav Tracks: New Ways to Fail, The Bottle Never Lets Me Down
  • Recommended if you like (RIYL): Lydia Loveless, Margo Price

Black Mesa Records

2. John Calvin Abney 'Coyote'

Tulsa born John Calvin Abney, when not playing guitar on tour with John Moreland, has been busy writing lyrics and music to his latest full-length release Coyote. In a recent article I wrote for Okra Magazine, I stated, "Abney's voice is soft and haunting, reminiscent of the late Elliott Smith." What more do you need? Really though, he has a way of finding beauty in a lyric for sure. The songwriting is introspective and often melancholy and the lyric sheet accompanying the album reads like a book of poetry.

  • Monk's Fav Tracks: Get Your House In Order, Always Enough
  • RIYL: Elliott Smith, John Moreland

Bloodshot Records

3. Liz Brasher 'Outcast'

Memphis transplant Liz Brasher explores a style all her own with the release of Outcast EP on Fat Possum Records. She and her band explore not only the gospel and soul music of her childhood but also delve into some indie rock influence as well. Brasher's voice is big and bold and could hold it's own next to Sister Rosetta Tharpe or even Aretha. If you don't believe me, watch she and her band doing 'Elijah Rock!' Couple that voice with a talent for creating catchy guitar riffs and a two piece behind her providing a perfect backbeat and you'll definitely be hearing more of Liz Brasher in the future.

  • Monk's Fav Tracks: Outcast, Cold Baby
  • RIYL: Sister Rosetta Tharpe,