Wednesday, March 28, 2018

First Listen: New Releases for March 23

Busy week this week, apologies for the half-effort First Listen. Just WAY TOO MUCH MUSIC.

Album of the Week

* Esme Bridie - Today It Rains: Out of nowhere came this absolutely gorgeous album. A little on the pop folk side, Esme has a really strong and confident voice and presents a series of songs that remind me so much of some of my favorite folk acts. If you haven’t become enamoured with what she is doing by the time “Tower of Regret” comes along, I don’t know what to tell you. Easily the best of the week, and right at the top of my list for 2018 so far.

Must Listens:

* Squirrel Nut Zippers – Beasts of Burgundy: Back after what feels like forever, and it doesn’t appear that they’ve missed a beat.

* Dom Flemons – Black Cowboys: An album of standards and old-timey roots music, a great indication as to why he’s one of the best going right now.

* The Tillers – The Tillers: Traditional bluegrass with a more modern attitude. Extremely enjoyable.

* Cavern of Anti-Matter - Hormone Lemonade: Experimental electronica at its best.

Worth Your Time:

* Alice Bag – Blueprint: Punk legend showing her age, but in a really good way. This is how you want punk to mature.

* Lissie – Castles: A solid listen from an artist who appears to have settled into a solid groove.

* Courtney Marie Andrews – May Your Kindness Remain: A great listen; very few risks results in a lovely rootsy record.

* Sunshine Boys – Blue Music: Has a definite early 90s non-grungy alt-rock feel.

* Sunflower Bean - twentytwo in blue
* Holiday Mountain - Miles and Miles
* Preoccupations - New Material
* Fatima Dunn - Birds and Bones

Be Wary:

* The Super Saturated Sugar Strings – All Their Many Miles: A good album, but may not work for everyone. Think a more theatrical Dustbowl Revival.

* Monks of Doom - The Bronte Pin: This is probably better described as prog-folk, and depending on how you react to that will likely impact how much you like this.

* Guided by Voices - Space Gun: You know if you like GBV by now. If you don’t, go find Bee Thousand first.

* Bonny Doon - Longwave
* Field Report - Summertime Songs

Skip it:

* Jack White - Boarding House Blues: Borderline unlistenable in my mind. As Ken put it, however, “I wouldn’t say it’s bad, but it’s aggressively not good.”

EPs of note:

* @Wendys - We Beefin' (surprisingly competent advertising mixtape)
* Diplo - California
* Ben Frost - All That You Love Will Be Eviscerated
* Arlen - The Slight

Also out this week:

* Neil Young and The Promise of the Real - Paradox (soundtrack)
* Lana Del Rabies - Shadow World
* The Sword - Used Future

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