Thursday, June 30, 2016

Mild High Club - "Homage"

Photo by Isaac Sterling
Despite the punny name, Mild High Club actually fits the band. Led by Alexander Brettin, Mild High Club is set to release their second album in August. The first single, "Homage," is pure California 70s AM radio hazy chill, but through a bizarre filter. It's heavily influenced by electronic elements and has just the slightest bit of a jazz feel to it. We, of course, would never advocate for illegal drug use, but if you happen to live in a community where such things were legal, this just might be the song to partake to. My only wish is that the album came out earlier in the summer, since it has the perfect feel of just lazily driving around that only can happen when it's nice out.

Mild High Club's new album, Skiptracing, is due out on August 26 via Stones Throw Records. You can listen to "Homage" below. Below the song are their current tour dates. For more information on Mild High Club, check them out on Stones Throw's website.

Sat. July 9 – New York, NY @ South Street Seaport (4Knots Music Festival) Sun. July 10 – Chicago, IL @ West Fest Thu. July 21 – Portland, OR @ Holocene Fri. July 22 – Seattle, WA @ Capitol Hill Block Party Sat. July 23 – Vancouver, BC @ Skylight Gallery Sat. Aug. 20 – Darlington, MD @ Fields Fest Fri. Aug. 26 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel Sat. Aug. 27 – Nevada City, CA @ Cooper’s Aleworks Tue. Aug. 30 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo Wed. Aug. 31 – San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar Thu. Sept. 1 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar Sat. Sept. 3 – El Paso, TX @ Lowbrow Palace Mon. Sept. 5 – San Antonio, TX @ K23 Gallery Tue. Sept. 6 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk Wed. Sept. 7 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada Thu. Sept. 8 – New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa Fri. Sept. 9 – Atlanta, GA @ 529 Sat. Sept. 10 – Nashville, TN @ Little Harpeth Brewing Co Tue. Sept. 13 – Baltimore, MD @ The Crown Wed. Sept. 14 – Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right Fri. Sept. 16 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle Sat. Sept. 17 – Madison, WI @ The Frequency Sat. Sept. 24 – Urbana, IL @ Pygmalion Festival Tue. Oct. 18 – Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso Wed. Oct. 19 – Brussels, BE @ Madame Moustache Thu. Oct. 20 – Paris, FR @ Espace B Fri. Oct. 21 – Limoges, FR @ La Phare Sat. Oct. 22 – Toulouse, FR @ Le Saints des Seins Tue. Oct. 25 – Dudingen, CH @ Bad Bonn Wed. Oct. 26 – Zurich, CH @ Hafenkneipe Thu. Oct. 27 – Munich, DE @ Strom Fri. Oct. 28 – Berlin, DE @ Badehaus Szimpla Sat. Oct. 29 – Nijmegen, NL @ Mereleyn Mon. Oct. 31 – Brighton, UK @ The Hope Tue. Nov. 1 – London, UK @ Moth Club

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Lunch Duchess - My Mom Says I Have a Rich Inner Life

Hailing from Minneapolis, Lunch Duchess have just released their debut EP and are about to embark on their first west coast tour. My Mom Says I Have a Rich Inner Life is comprised of four lo-fi tracks of indie rock delight. It reminds me a lot of early Colleen Green meets Peach Kelli Pop. Or, for us old fogeys, a more twee version of That Dog's debut album. "Cry" is more upbeat and with handclaps despite the name of the song. "How You Love" is more quiet, with an almost disturbing and hypnotic tranquility.

My Mom Says I Have a Rich Inner Life is available now through Bandcamp. For more on Lunch Duchess, check them out on Facebook. You can listen to "Unable/Unwilling" below. We've also included their current tour dates below that.

6/29 St. Paul, MN – Turf Club
6/30 Omaha, NE – Milk Run
7/1 Kansas City, MO – House Show
7/2 Denver, CO – Club Scum
7/3 Provo, UT – Studio Studio Dada
7/5 Bellingham, WA – Alternative Library
7/6 Vancouver, BC, Canada – TBA
7/7 Seattle, WA – Lucky Liquor
7/8 Spokane, WA – Baby Bar
7/9 Missoula, MT – The Palace
7/10 Billings, MT – Railyard

7/11 Rapid City, SD – Black Hills Vinyl

Halfway There: Albums We Missed

Due to either Spotify delays, learning of acts later, or general incompetence, there are some solid albums we missed along the way. I figured I'd take a few minutes and highlight some of those releases and list the rest:

Kanye West - The Life of Pablo: If Beyonce hype was #1 this year so far, Kanye was #1a. The story of this release is going to be in textbooks in ten years time, but taken as a cohesive, complete album, it's hard not to see this as the masterpiece it truly is. There are a lot of layers here (which is typical for a modern Kanye record), and this is definitely a more interesting and more accessible record than Yeezus was. Ultimately, though, all this album does is tell me that Kanye West is operating on a level far beyond most other musicians, never mind rappers, and this is something we might not be able to fully comprehend even if he mapped it out for us. This requires multiple listens to even begin to unlock, and I have a feeling this will end up on a lot of best of lists this year, mine included.

The Beths - Warm Blood: I don't recall how I slipped up on The Beths, but this is a quick slice of indie pop goodness that just makes me wonder what the full length will be like. Five well-crafted songs offer a hint of what could be coming, and I hope people don't miss the boat on this group.

Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool: Radiohead will rightfully go down as an all-time band when it's all said and done, but if we're being completely honest with ourselves, they haven't had a truly great album since Amnesiac. The new album, though? Probably the closest we've gotten to a geat Radiohead album in some time. While "Burn the Witch," on its own, felt a little disjointed, it's only when hearing the album in total that the full weight of what the band accomplished here comes to light. While there is a bit of a "this is stuff we've had lying around and finally polished" thing to it (and the rework of "True Love Waits" isn't great in comparison to the versions floating around the internet for decades, even if the tone to finish the album is good), the full result is a band that seems to have finally balanced what it's trying to be after nearly 15 years of trying to figure it out. One of the best of this year as well.

Shel - Just Crazy Enough: Shel is comprised of four homeschooled sisters who do a sort of progressive roots thing that is both familiar and strange all at once. There's a lot here that feels more experimental than it needs to, but songs like "Moonshine Hill" and their cover of Metallica's "Enter Sandman" show something happening here that's worth hearing. Definitely an album worth taking a listen if you're looking for some stuff to get you through the summer months.

Katy B - Honey: I've been a fan of Katy B for a while now, and this is her first foray into "harder" dance music. The result is mixed at times - she's been a pop star/DJ for so long that this move seems a little counterintuitive but it also works in a few places. I won't ever say no to new Katy B music, but this is only good and not as great as I had hoped it would be.

Littler - Of Wandering: Another album I feel like I waited forever for, Littler's debut is a prime piece of indie rock that doesn't take a ton of chances while still sitting firmly outside the mainstream. It sounds like other folk-tinged indie rock in a lot of ways, but songs like "Knife Sucker" continue to resonate even after we've moved on. I know it won't be for everyone, but this is an album I keep jumping back to time and time again.

Andrew Bird - Are You Serious?: What's left to say about Andrew Bird except that he is one of the best at what he does. This is yet another traditional album from Bird that succeeds in nearly every way, and songs like "Roma Fade" and the title track are some of the best songs he's written period, never mind the best on this album. On a whole, Andrew Bird continues to operate on what feels like an entirely different level, and if you missed this one when it first came out, you really need to give it a shot. Another one of the best of the year.

The Dandy Warhols - Distortland: The Dandy Warhols continue to be one of my favorite bands ever, even though their last few albums have been the definition of a musical identity crisis. Distortland certainly feels like an attempt to return to form, and when we debuted "You Are Killing Me" however long ago, it felt like a Dandys song in a lot of ways. The full album feels like a Dandys album, even though a lot of it (like "Pope Reverend Jim") feels a little forced on a whole. While part of the band's charm is how they shift from sound to sound, sometimes it just gets taxing (like on Odditorium) and others it just never feels like a cohesive whole. While good, Distortland ultimately feels much more like the latter.

The Joy Forbidible - Hitch: The Joy Formidible put this on Spotify about two weeks after its release, and a friend had an early copy. Asking him what it was like, his response was one word: "long." It's not a bad descriptor, although does take away from what is a pretty good album. I wouldn't call this their best, and saying it's their worst doesn't give it enough credit (even though their first two full albums are much better). But truly, there are songs like "The Last Thing On My Mind" that just meander their way to the point and seem to fully represent the issues that are with this album. Cut a few songs, or cut the excesses from some of the better songs, and you have a tight, strong album in place here. Leave as is and it just feels 20 minutes too long. I wouldn't recommend against listening, but I'm merely disappointed in what could have been.

Also out but not mentioned includes Beyonce's Lemonade, which Ken heard and liked but I haven't had an experience with and may never hear. Yes, we're aware of it. I don't know if I'd have any real understanding of it if all the thinkpieces I've read and podcasts I've heard say much, but seeing as it's still not on Spotify, that's why we've not touched on it yet. For one of the better commentary breakdowns, I'd recommend the Sampler podcast from May, and for a more musical look, Switched on Pop's breakdown.

Also recently out in 2016:

* Alexandra Stan - Alesta
* Al Scorch - Circle Around the Signs
* Chelsea Lankes - Chelsea Lankes EP
* Eric Bachmann - Eric Bachmann
* Queen of Jeans - Queen of Jeans
* Skylar Gudarz - Oleander
* Hailee Steinfeld - HAIZ (yes, *that* Hailee Steinfeld)
* Heron Oblivion - Heron Oblivion
* Emma Pollack - In Search of Harperfield
* Teen - Love Yes
* Smooth Hound Smith - Sweet Tennessee Honey

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

First Listen: New Releases for June 24

Some solid releases this week!

Album of the Week:

Artist: The Avett Brothers
Album: True Sadness
Quick Description: Newest album from a band that's been all over the place since their mainstream breakout.
Why You Should Listen: This is a return to form in some ways and just an interesting listen in others.
Overall Thoughts: I can't say I've been in love with the recent output from the Avetts, with I and Love and You being great and the albums following it having some highlights but not quite reaching their apex. They've moved away from a more pure country-ish vibe, but come back to it a little here while still embracing the mainstream by finally embracing the totality of what they've become. Yeah, you have truly great songs (and classic-sounding to boot) like "Smithsonian" as well as legitimately crazy songs like "Satan Pulls the Strings," but the album itself is really one I've been itching to get back to after the first listen. This might not work for everyone, especially if you're still wishing them to get back to their mid-2000s roots, but for me? I'm actually kind of regretting missing them when they came through town recently on a stadium tour.
Recommendation: Probably the best release of the week. Make some room.

Artist: The Felice Brothers
Album: Life in the Dark
Quick Description: Classic folk stylings.
Why You Should Listen: If you miss the mid-2000s-era Avett Brothers, this is the album you were actually waiting for.
Overall Thoughts: I thought The Felice Brothers had been around longer than they have been, so this came as a surprise as to how much I liked this. It's straightforward melodic folk in the vein of Dylan and Seeger, and that works just fine for me and will absolutely work well for anyone looking to stay on the straight and narrow path this week. Its value, in a sense, is how it doesn't take much in the way of chances outside of its political message (which will resonate with their intended audience anyway), and that's not an insult - this is nearly perfectly crafted.
Recommendation: Well-made record, one of the better releases this week.

Artist: Lisa Prank
Album: Adult Teen
Quick Description: A quick hit of pop-punk.
Why You Should Listen: You are already looking to fill a Colleen Green-sized hole in your life.
Overall Thoughts: I didn't know what to expect with this, but I loved it nonetheless. Lisa Prank is a solo project, with just a guitar and drum machine to guide her, and the comparison to Colleen Green will be apparent within moments, although this might just be more fun than what Green typically does. Still, for a sub-30 minute album, this is worth your time even if you're skeptical. But don't be.
Recommendation: Listen to this.

Artist: Nice as Fuck
Album: Nice as Fuck
Quick Description: Jenny Lewis/Au Revoir Simone/The Like side project gets a surprise release.
Why You Should Listen: The three women involved all make excellent music on their own.
Overall Thoughts: I had heard about this coming down the pike eventually and was surprised that the release happened when it did. I'm also surprised, given who is involved, at how sparse and minimalist it feels. It's a fairly interesting listen on a whole in part due to that sparseness, but I also feel like I was expecting more, if that makes any sense. Still, this is one of the more fascinating releases from the mere fact that it exists through the end result.
Recommendation: Worth a listen.

Artist: DJ Shadow
Album: The Mountain Will Fall
Quick Description: Latest from the electronic music legend.
Why You Should Listen: DJ Shadow demands a listen every time.
Overall Thoughts: DJ Shadow has been around seemingly forever. I think Endtroducing is 20 this year or next year, and so much of what he's done has set the tone for music in the electronic genre ever since. The Mountain Will Fall is decidedly uneven, but when it works (such as with the truly awesome "California" or the fun Run the Jewels collaboration "Nobody Speak") there's little better. Too many electronic artists with years of material behind them have had trouble moving into the modern era, and DJ Shadow's latest sounds modern while still sounding like DJ Shadow, which is really all I can ask for.
Recommendation: A solid album with solid appeal, not to be missed if you like electronic music.

Artist: Alice Bag
Album: Alice Bag
Quick Description: Solo album from the singer-songwriter/founder of early feminist punk band The Bags.
Why You Should Listen: Alice Bag deserves a listen no matter what.
Overall Thoughts: With the caveat that little here really is for me, the fact that Alice Bag, at nearly 60, is offering up a punk album is worthy of note on its own. It sounds old and traditional, which works for what's going on, and I'm sure closer future listens will have plenty of political and feminist messages throughout, so those who are looking for what she has to offer here will not be lacking in anything.
Recommendation: Worth a listen if you're interested.

Artist: Deerhoof
Album: The Magic
Quick Description: New album from the longtime indie noise poppers.
Why You Should Listen: It's as crazy as ever.
Overall Thoughts: I was very into La Isla Bonita, so I was looking forward to hearing this one. This is a little crazy, however, with a very spastic, all-over-the-place quality that sounds like a lot of fun to me but could easily get exhausting as time goes on. Given that Deerhoof can basically do what they want at this point, kudos to them for embracing that after nearly two decades of music, but I recognize that this won't work for everyone.
Recommendation: Give it a shot, you'll know pretty fast if it's for you.

Album: America Oil Lamb
Quick Description: A quick EP of surprisingly mainstream dance music.
Why You Should Listen: This is a fast listen, but has four killer tracks.
Overall Thoughts: This is a fast listen and the Kate Nash song in particular is great, but I highlight this only because HOLYCHILD had a song I loved from one of the first Discover Weeklys I ever heard, and if this is the direction we're in for...
Recommendation: Yes. Yes yes yes.

Artist: Sam Bush
Album: Storyman
Quick Description: Legendary roots artist with a new album.
Why You Should Listen: Sam Bush has earned a listen no matter what.
Overall Thoughts: The only downside to the fact that this album came out this week is that, even as good as it is, there are so many better and more interesting roots-related albums out this week that someone like Sam Bush can get caught in the shuffle. The contributions from people like Alison Krauss only add to the allure, and this is a solid album with a great traditional Americana sound. It just doesn't deserve to be ahead of a lot of the other stuff this week.
Recommendation: Recommended, but only if you have time.

Artist: Lonesome Shack
Album: The Switcher
Quick Description: Solid blues rock.
Why You Should Listen: They have a solid base to work from, and the songs are pretty good.
Overall Thoughts: I'm not a huge blues guy going into this, so keep that in mind as we look at Lonesome Shack, a band Ken highlighted earlier this year. There absolutely is an edge and a darkness to this album that is certainly pronounced, but, combined with its hour-plus runtime, might not be for everyone. For me, I'll go back to it again, for sure, but there's a lot of rootsy stuff out this week that might get a closer look from you first.
Recommendation: Good, but not mandatory.

Also out this week:

* Hot Hot Heat - Hot Hot Heat
* MGT - Volumes
* Marisa Anderson - Into the Light (gorgeous instrumental Americana)

Monday, June 27, 2016

Monday Mix: Electronic/Non-Electronic Collaborations

With the new DJ Shadow album out this week, the truly great song "Nobody Speaks" featuring Run the Jewels gets an album release. There's a long, great history of electronic acts collaborating with non-electronic artists, so I figured this would be a good time to highlight some of my favorites. Yeah, everyone remembers Noel Gallagher and The Chemical Brothers, but you might have forgotten the soundtrack album to Spawn or some of the more recent collaborations, so this should be a fun mix to kick off your week.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Nots - "Entertain Me"

Photo by Don Perry
Nots are probably the last band you'd expect to come out of Memphis. Their newest single, "Entertain Me," is a pure experimental post punk delight, the kind my wife referred to as "barely even music" last night. If you're looking for a comparison, Sonic Youth fronted by Bikini Kill is the obvious one here. Not only is Nots' sound comparable to these other two bands, but their politics also line up. According to lead vocalist/guitarist Natalie Hoffman: "The lyrics reflect the cyclical, distorted nature of the song, addressing different facets of the grotesque horror show going on in American politics and how they are portrayed- the rise of Trump, the reality-TV-like nature of American news, the almost-forced compliance of the viewer, and the for-profit-constructed 'right' of the viewer, the consumer, to require constant entertainment in order to participate, and to live." This might be the only seven minute song you hear all year that you wish was longer.

Nots' second album, Cosmetic, will be out on September 9 on Goner in the US and Heavenly Recordings in the UK. You can listen to "Entertain Me" below. For more information on Nots, check them out on Facebook.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

First Listen, Part Two: New Releases for June 17

And here's the rest!

Artist: Mitski
Album: Puberty 2
Quick Description: Buzzworthy alt-rock.
Why You Should Listen: Mitski has a solid, mainstream sound with indie appeal.
Overall Thoughts: Mitski was a Discover Weekly find for me some time ago, so this new album hit my radar immediately and it was as good as advertised. A good mix of alt-rock and grunge-style instrumentation with solid vocals and lyrics, it's a pretty great package on a whole and is something readers here should love.
Recommendation: A definite highlight of the week.

Artist: Bassnectar
Album: Unlimited
Quick Description: Latest album from the EDM producer.
Why You Should Listen: Bassnectar's originals are often as good as his remixes.
Overall Thoughts: Bassnectar is someone I'm a fan of, and this new album is pretty standard EDM fare. I can't say it's great, especially in comparison to his other work, but it's still pretty good, especially in a week without much in the way of electronic music.
Recommendation: Worth a listen if this is your genre.

Artist: Dot Dash
Album: Searchlights
Quick Description: Classic-style punk-tinged music.
Why You Should Listen: They balance out the sometimes-aggressive instrumentation with some sharp melodies.
Overall Thoughts: This isn't something I would have sought out on my own, but it turns out this was a pretty fun listen. It moves at a brisk pace through its almost 45 minute runtime, and has some pretty great stuff happening overall. This might be too abrasive for some, but it really hit the right spot for me and I look forward to more time with it.
Recommendation: Certainly a surprise highlight of the week.

Artist: Anthony D'Amato
Album: Cold Snap
Quick Description: Earnest folk rock in the vein of earlyish Mumford.
Why You Should Listen: This is really good songwriting, and walks the line between radio friendly and otherwise accessible.
Overall Thoughts: You'll get a solid read on this album from the lead single, "Rain on a Strange Roof," which kind of maps out the style and tone well. D'Amato does what he does incredibly well, and this has all the hallmarks of a breakthrough record in a lot of ways. You might have some issues if it feels a little too polished and mainstream, but this is the perfect kind of summer album you can throw on during a cookout and no one will complain, and there will almost certainly be a few songs that will stick with you throughout. Keep an eye on D'Amato, he could be going places.
Recommendation: A high-quality release this week.

Artist: Jake Bugg
Album: On My One
Quick Description: Dylan-esque folk music from a young British artist.
Why You Should Listen: It's a real standout album from top to bottom.
Overall Thoughts: I was a little surprised at how much I enjoyed this one. Judging solely by the cover and what I knew, I didn't think I'd enjoy this at all, but then the title track kicks in and you just realize that Jake Bugg gets it immediately, and that continues throughout. "Put Out the Fire" probably convinced me for good, but this whole album is absolutely one of the best of the week, and I hope it leads to great things. The best surprise of the week for sure.
Recommendation: A mandatory listen.

Also out this week:

* Waxahatchee - Early Recordings
* Delorean - Muzik
* The Low Anthem - eyeland (feels pretty experimental)

Justin Golden - "I Hate When She Calls"

The question isn't where Justin Golden came from (Answer: Richmond, Virginia) but when. There's just something about his newest song "I Hate When She Calls" that just isn't of this time. From the opening picks of his guitar to his voice, this song can't possibly be of this century, and is probably from sometime in the mid-1900s. Since that's obviously not true, you'd probably think that he's this great undiscovered blues/folk artist, maybe this year's Rodriguez. I'm not positive of his age, but based on pictures he's probably no older than 25. Instead of following a traditional verse/chorus/verse song structure, the song just meanders around his guitar, with vocals just coming in when Golden feels the need. "I Hate When She Calls" is perfectly timeless.

You can listen to "I Hate When She Calls" below. For more information on Justin Golden, check out his Bandcamp (where you can download the song for free) and Facebook.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Drive-By Truckers - "Surrender Under Protest"

Photo by Danny Clinch
Drive-By Truckers have always been a fairly political band. The band just announced their latest album, American Band, which is going to rev the politics up to 11. Co-songwriter Patterson Hood says about the upcoming album"I don’t want there to be any doubt as to which side of this discussion we fall on. I don’t want there to be any misunderstanding of where we stand. If you don’t like it, you can leave. It’s okay. We’re not trying to be everybody’s favorite band, we’re going to be who we are and do what we do and anyone who’s with us, we’d love to have them join in." Mike Cooley is also pretty direct about the new album: "I wanted this to be a no bones about it, in your face political album," he says. "I wanted to piss off the assholes."

The first single, "Surrender Under Protest," is a perfect example of the Drive-By Truckers' politics. It's about South Carolina finally removing the Confederate flag after the shooting in a Charleston church last summer. With the opening line "From the comfort zone of history," Cooley leaves no possible chance that the listener might misinterpret his lyrics. 

American Band will be out September 30 on ATO Records. You can listen to "Surrender Under Protest" below. For more on the Drive-By Truckers, check out their website.

First Listen, Part One: New Releases for June 17

Maybe the highest quality new release pool we've had in some time. Very consistent throughout and far too many albums that could qualify as the best of the week, so a two-parter done without a true album of the week to be fair to everyone. Let's get on with it:

Artist: Sarah Jarosz
Album: Undercurrent
Quick Description: Fourth album by the bluegrass favorite.
Why You Should Listen: Sarah Jarosz has always been a high-quality listen, but this new album is major step forward.
Overall Thoughts: Jarosz is only 23/24, and this is her first album done while she isn't a student. Thus, there's a maturity here that, on one hand, wasn't there before, but, on the other, sounds like we're dismissing her earlier work in saying so. Still, taking this album on its own, it's a quieter, more intricate affair, and it's just gorgeous throughout. She has a sound that's unlike most bluegrassy performers, closer to Chris Thile in song construction than your traditional roots affair, and that's what continues to make her interesting. I hope this is the breakthrough she deserves.
Recommendation: One of many must-listens this week.

Artist: Margaret Glaspy
Album: Emotions and Math
Quick Description: Genre-straddling debut from a buzzworthy artist.
Why You Should Listen: You like to shuffle between different genres easily and appreciate a well-done attempt.
Overall Thoughts: The two lead songs I heard off this, the title track and "You and I," absolutely set my expectations absurdly high for this. In that I wasn't more excited for anything else of late meant that this had a hill to climb, and, to its credit, it almost got there. The best moments are the more hooky, grungy songs, but even the quieter and more ambitious songs stick around. I'm really looking forward to more time with this one.
Recommendation: Expect to hear a lot more from her, and get in on the ground floor. Definitely worth your time.

Artist: case/lang/veirs
Album: case/lang/veirs
Quick Description: A supergroup of sorts featuring Neko Case, KD Lang, and Laura Veirs
Why You Should Listen: You're a fan of any of these artists at all.
Overall Thoughts: I'll preface this by saying that the concept is better than the result. I love Laura Veirs, I'm a fan of Neko Case, and I can't say I know much KD Lang beyond "Constant Craving," so my enjoyment of this album was shaded by the fact that you can pretty much hear the influences from song to song at times. There are clear "Veirs" songs, clear "Case" songs, and I assume that means the others are "Lang" songs, and my tastes seem to align with that. While this is an interesting project, the result is a more uneven affair that has some great moments but is less a cohesive whole, and I honestly might have preferred an EP of what they felt was truly the best of the lot as opposed 14 songs.
Recommendation: Be wary of this one.

Artist: Paws
Album: No Grace
Quick Description: Latest album by the punk-esque group.
Why You Should Listen: Closer to Cokefloat than Youth Culture Forever, one of the noisier offerings of the week.
Overall Thoughts: Cokefloat was a surprise for me, something I really dug and passed around to a few people, but the fun seems to be lacking a bit with Paws as of late, and the result in their more previous album was an experimental affair. This is a little more back to basics, little more straightforward, but still doesn't reach the heights of my favorite stuff from them as of late. I'm not saying this is a bad album at all, but I wanted to like this a lot more than I did on a whole.
Recommendation: Another one to consider, but be careful.

Artist: Elizabeth Cook
Album: Exodus of Venus
Quick Description: First album in six years (and first new music in four) from the outlaw country favorite.
Why You Should Listen: Welder was one of the best of the year when it came out, and this is a solid offering.
Overall Thoughts: Those looking for the sort of polished country of Welder or Balls will probably be disappointed, as this is a bit of a sonic shift on a whole for Cook, who definitely went through some stuff in the making of this album. The result is definitely a more serious affair and something that isn't all that "fun," but it's still a really great listen and I'm definitely glad to have Cook around again. This is one I'm looking forward to revisiting.
Recommendation: Absolutely worth your time.

Artist: The Misfits
Album: Friday the 13th
Quick Description: Horror punks reunite for a horror movie tribute of sorts.
Why You Should Listen: The Misfits are legendary.
Overall Thoughts: I can't say I know The Misfits all that well. They're a band I've known of forever, but they're a seminal act in a genre I'm not crazy about. So this is a fun listen, but might be moreso for people who love the band or have been waiting on bated breath for this. I don't know if this means more in the future, but for now...
Recommendation: It's short, but might not work for you.

Artist: Laura Mvula
Album: The Dreaming Room
Quick Description: New album by the soul-esque singer/songwriter.
Why You Should Listen: Laura Mvula brings a more trained ear to her music than most in the genre.
Overall Thoughts: Laura Mvula caught my ear with her debut, Sing to the Moon, and this is a pretty significant leap forward for the singer. It's a genuinely great, interesting music in a genre I'm not too familiar with, but the result is something pretty special. I wanted to highlight it only because we don't cover enough music like this here and this is an absolute highlight.
Recommendation: Worth your time at least once, you might end up loving it.

Also out this week:

* Swans - The Glowing Man