Tuesday, May 9, 2017

First Listen: New Releases for May 5

With 27 new releases this week to highlight (and yes, I listened to all of them), I honestly have no idea how to approach this. Half this many often results in a two day post. So I’m just going to highlight some stuff with quick hits and recommendations this week. It’s the only way.

Great Albums This Week:

Rogue + Jaye - Pent Up (Rogue Wave + Courtney Jaye collaboration is the best stuff either of them have put out on their own)
Soley - Endless Summer (absolutely gorgeous Icelandic singer-songwriter music)
Asgeir - Afterglow (I didn’t think I’d dig something that appears to be trying to the Bon Iver template, but it works really well. Excellent follow-up to his last album)
Littler - Bad Hand (solid EP of signs of things to come)

Solid Listens:

Angel Snow - Magnetic (haunting folk music)
Brother Ali - All the Beauty in This Whole Life (solid, positive-sounding rap music. Different style than the current crop of popular stuff, really liked this)
Joan Shelley - Joan Shelley (produced by Jeff Tweedy!)
Doug Tuttle - Peace Potato (Tuttle spreads his wings a bit, and this is mostly great)
Blondie - Pollinator (much better than you think it would be)
Nite Jewel - Real High (it’s time to start asking when Nite Jewel will get her due, this is really good)
Logic - Everybody (the other big rap release this week, it’s good even if it’s uneven)
Slowdive - Slowdive (pretty good, may ultimately depend on how much you enjoyed them in the past)
Perfume Genius - No Shape (the sort of strange pop music that Perfume Genius peddles takes a very positive turn here. If you haven’t been on board yet, now is a good time to start)
Tiny Vipers - Laughter
Diana Krall - Turn Up the Quiet
Moon Duo - Occult Architecture Volume 2

Be Wary:

Brandi Carlile - Cover Stories (a covers album of the Brandi Carlile record from 2007. Mixed results.)
Black Lips - Satan’s Graffiti or God’s Art (way too all over the place)
Kasabian - For Crying Out Loud
Salem Wolves - Tooth and Nail
Flobots - Noenemies
Emperor X - Oversleepers International
The Afghan Whigs - In Spades

Skip These:

Big Walnuts Yonder - Big Walnuts Yonder (borderline unlistenable)
Amanda Palmer and Edward Ka-Spel - I Can Spin a Rainbow (completely unlistenable)
At the Drive-In - interalia (sounds ridiculously dated and inessential)

Also Out This Week:

The Coathangers - Parasite (odds and ends from last year’s great listen)

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