Wednesday, February 28, 2018

First Listen, Part Two: More New Releases for February 23

And the rest!

Co-Album of the Week:

Artist: Screaming Females
Album: All At Once
Quick Description: The latest from a band poised to break out
Why You Should Listen: They're one of the best indie acts going right now.
Overall Thoughts: Co-album of the week comes from one of indie rock’s most steady acts as of late, Screaming Females. If there’s a downside to this album, it’s that the act is almost too tight. Everything feels crisp and deliberate, and your expectation for an act like this is some grit or grunge, but instead the polish allows everything involved with this to be highlighted. I can’t speak highly enough about this, and it’s definitely one of the top musical efforts of the year so far.
Recommendation: A must-listen.

Artist: Anna McClellan
Album: Yes and No
Quick Description: Folkish listen.
Why You Should Listen: You're looking for something off the beaten path.
Overall Thoughts: This was a weird one, and I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. McLellan gives me the feeling of a lo-fi, anti-folk Amanda Palmer in many regards, so you can understand why this perhaps doesn’t always hit the mark for me. Ambitious music is one thing, but this just did not completely work for what I wanted. Give this a listen, but you’ll know pretty fast if this is what you’re looking for.
Recommendation: You might love it or hate it.

Artist: Dessa
Album: Chime
Quick Description: Female rap from the Doomtree collective.
Why You Should Listen: This is good, as is everything from Doomtree so far.
Overall Thoughts: Rap connected to the folks over at Doomtree, Ken said he wasn’t so into this on a whole, but I really, really enjoyed this. Solid beats behind a good rap delivery goes a long way, and in a time where a lot of the independent rap scene sounds similar, Dessa stood out to me.
Recommendation: Worth a listen.

Artist: Mint Field
Album: Pasar de las Luces
Quick Description: Airy instrumental indie music.
Why You Should Listen: This is an album you didn't know you wanted to hear.
Overall Thoughts: Mint Field gives a definite Mogwai/Sigur Ros vibe throughout this record, and it’s absolutely a highlight of the week. Airy vocals over crashing instrumentation at many points, dynamic volume, this really has a lot of what I was looking to hear right now. If you’re into the more/mostly instrumental side of things, this needs to make your list.
Recommendation: A great listen this week.

Artist: Totally Mild
Album: Her
Quick Description: Twee-esque indie rock.
Why You Should Listen: You have specific nostalgia for the sort of cute, lively indie pop of the early 2000s.
Overall Thoughts: This is some nice indie rock that harkens back to some of Isobel Campbell’s work when she was still with Belle & Sebastian. It’s maybe a little too cute at times and not really what we expect these days, but those who really enjoyed this type of thing and hope for a comeback should give this a listen.
Recommendation: Might be something you love.

Artist: Darlingside
Album: Afterlife
Quick Description: Dreamy male-fronted folk rock.
Why You Should Listen: You wish Bon Iver was a little more normal.
Overall Thoughts: Darlingside does that sort of gorgeous soft folky stuff that some people absolutely go crazy for. For me, it was a solid listen, and songs like “Lindisfarne” really do a good job setting the tone. This is definitely a good listen, reminiscent of a lo-fi Fanfarlo in some regards.
Recommendation: Give it a shot.

Artist: Nive and the Deer Children
Album: Feet First
Quick Description: More twee!
Why You Should Listen: You wanted a little more from Totally Mild.
Overall Thoughts: A lot of this melded into Totally Mild for me, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing musically, but it also means that you have two very similar albums in the same week. On this one, “In Your Head” toward the end is a really solid song, and while the album itself has a hit-or-miss tendency, when it’s on? It’s on.
Recommendation: Give this a listen.

Artist: Psychic Markers
Album: Hardly Strangers
Quick Description: Genre-bending indie rock.
Why You Should Listen: You've got some Doc Martens in your closet, but bought tickets to see Radiohead this summer.
Overall Thoughts: This is an interesting, different listen that refuses to be slotted in a specific genre. Has prog elements, is structured like an electronica record in some regards, and it sort of makes me think about what Spiritualized might sound like if they were a goth act. I’m not convinced 100% that it worked for me, but, for the most part?
Recommendation: This is an interesting listen.


* Kero Kero Bonito - NOTEP
* ARXX - Daughters of Daughters
* Charlotte Day Lewis - Stone Woman

Also out:

* Netherfriends - Landscapes
* Reggie and the Full Effect - 41

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