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)

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