Tuesday, July 26, 2016

First Listen: New Releases for July 22

We're definitely in the slow period for new releases right now.

Co-Albums of the Week:

Artist: Look Park
Album: Look Park
Quick Description: Side project from Chris Collingwood of Fountains of Wayne.
Why You Should Listen: Collingwood is an underrated songwriter in his own right, and this is a nice indie pop album.
Overall Thoughts: Named after a park in Northampton, MA, this side project has flashes of FoW without feeling like a retread, and has some really high quality moments throughout. Rarely, when listening to it, do you feel like you're listening to Fountains of Wayne (which can't be said for a lot of other side projects) and the result here is just a quality record.
Recommendation: Worth your time even in a busy week.

Artist: Weakened Friends
Album: Crushed
Quick Description: Quick EP from the indie rockers.
Why You Should Listen: Weakened Friends are great anyway, but this is a short listen with great songs.
Overall Thoughts: "95" might quickly become my song of the summer, but blog favorites Weakened Friends blow through six songs in 20 minutes and the end result is an EP that I just wanted to fire up again as quickly as I had turned it on. I still hate that I couldn't hit their live show last weekend.
Recommendation: A great EP by a great band.

Quick Description: Canadian dance punk.
Why You Should Listen: This is their first album in five years in a genre that's gotten some attention lately...
Overall Thoughts: ...but, unfortunately, this comes across as stark and dated as opposed to something that is well-anticipated in this area. On first listen, I kept waiting for things to take off and it instead feels like it stays in a holding pattern. I wanted more and ultimately didn't get it. It's a good album, but it felt like it was lacking things to make it great.
Recommendation: It's a slow week, so sure, but be wary.

Artist: Max Shrager
Album: Thoughts of You
Quick Description: Retro indie pop.
Why You Should Listen: If 1960s pop is your thing...
Overall Thoughts: This is a debut EP that's just soaked in reverb and a 1960s poppy slow song mentality. Different from a lot of the retro stuff we feature here, I truly think that your enjoyment of this EP will be in line with your tolerance for the style. For me, though? This really worked. If the title track doesn't get you, I fear nothing will.
Recommendation: A solid, quick listen.

Artist: These Wild Plains
Album: Distant Ways
Quick Description: Local favorite's new album.
Why You Should Listen: Some classic rock-tinged goodness is perfect this week.
Overall Thoughts: Ken covered the opening track from this album back in April, but having a whole album is great nonetheless. It's an album that feels older than it is from a band that's very good at covering the style. Especially this week, I recommend this one if only because of how different it is to what's released, but it's great that this is one of the more solid releases recently nonetheless.
Recommendation: Highly recommended.

Also out this week:

* Salem's Pot - Pronounce This!

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