Friday, August 3, 2012

I really wish more people knew about Mike Uva

I've been holding off on this, because it had some errors, but what the hell, Mike Uva is a really good, vastly underrated songwriter, back at it after a couple years of child-rearing, with a new album called Lady, Tell Me Straight. I reviewed it for Blurt a few weeks ago.

Mike Uva & The Bad Eyes
Lady, Tell Me Straight
(Collectible Escalators Music)

Mike Uva makes smart, understated pop, couching wry observations in offhandedly catchy melodies. His songs stick around like old friends, their warmth, accessibility and unshowy intelligence always welcome, never overbearing. He's in the same general family as songwriters like Salim Nourallah, Brendan Benson (solo) and Rhett Miller, clever but not glib, pop-skilled but never slick. The fact that he is far less well known than these characters (who are, to a man, under-rated themselves) can be attributed to geography (he's from Cleveland), personal style (low-key), family responsibilities (he has small children) and a commitment to the DIY ethos. When he's not recording, Uva runs the small-scale but admirable Collectible Escalators Music.

Lady, Tell Me Straight is Uva's third record, the first in five years and the first built around his new band, the Bad Eyes. In it, he takes a turn away from lo-fi indie pop a la Guided by Voices and towards a warmer, acoustic, country-tinged sound.


You can listen to the whole thing here.

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