Tuesday, November 8, 2016

First Listen: New Releases for November 4

Happy election day! Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.

But we're all distracted by the election today (and rightfully so) and I really need to learn to do these on the weekend, so a quick hit today:

Great Listens This Week

Artist: STRFKR
Album: Being No One, Going Nowhere
Quick Description: Electro-rock from an underrated group.
Why You Should Listen: It'll get your butt moving.
Overall Thoughts: I just loved this listen and can't wait to go back to it. It's a really solid piece of electronic music that doesn't feel nearly as angry or angsty as the group's name would suggest. A solid listen on a whole, and I feel like it's on par with their other work.
Recommendation: One of the best of the week.

Artist: American Wrestlers
Album: Goodbye Terrible Youth
Quick Description: Solid indie rock.
Why You Should Listen: They sound familiar, but have a great way of putting together some hooky songs.
Overall Thoughts: There's the gut instinct to compare any power-pop sounding group to Fountains of Wayne in my head, and American Wrestlers aren't that, but there's something completely endearing about this album. Full of well-crafted poppy indie rock, it just hit me on all the right levels and was up there as one of my favorites this week. Definitely worth a listen if you have an indie rock itch that hasn't been scratched in a while.
Recommendation: One of the better ones this week.

Also some highlights that you should listen to:

* Adrian + Meredith - More Than a Little (solid folk/roots listen)
* Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions - Until the Hunter (more esoteric than you're expecting, but still solid)
* Slow Hollows - Romantic (I need more time with this, but I loved it on the first shot)

Might Be Worth Your Time

Artist: Jim James
Album: Eternally Even
Quick Description: New solo record from the My Morning Jacket singer/songwriter.
Why You Should Listen: This is easily the most buzzed about album in months.
Overall Thoughts: I'll be honest - this didn't do it for me at all. I feel like all the songs sound mostly the same, and I feel this way about most of Jim James's solo work and, frankly, a lot of MMJ. Honestly, I just think this is less "this is bad" and more "this is not for me." With the amount of acclaim this is getting out there, I would say give it a listen if you're into his work, but if you're looking for an entrypoint, some My Morning Jacket might be where to go first.
Recommendation: Be wary.

Artist: Sims
Album: More Than Ever
Quick Description: Doomtree-related rap goodness.
Why You Should Listen: Are you really not on board with the Doomtree folks yet?
Overall Thoughts: So this won't be for everyone who likes the more indie rap, as Sims is a little more raw and a little more stilted. For me? That's why I loved it. Not the best album of the week but absolutely my favorite, it's something that feels fresh and new without reinventing the wheel, which is very difficult to do. If you like rap, you owe it to yourself to give this one a shot.
Recommendation: Not for everyone, but worth your time if it might be.

* The Darcys - Centerfold (Would be better if they went all in on the pastiche)
* Lee Fields and the Expressions - Special Night (Solid soul)
* Tyvek - Origin of What (Uneven punk-adjacent stuff, has its moments)
* Jessica Williamson - Heart Song

Also out this week:

* Common - Black America Again
* Lambchop - FLOTUS
* Futurebirds - Portico I

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