Tuesday, April 24, 2018

First Listen: New Releases for April 20

Blaze it responsibly with new music!

Album of the Week:

Artist: My Indigo
Album: My Indigo
Quick Description: Nordic metal singer goes... not metal.
Why You Should Listen: It's a gorgeous and interesting listen.
Overall Thoughts: My favorite listen of the week, a slightly poppy, sometimes folky, but always-endearing listen that stretches some boundaries while still feeling safe and familiar. This hooked me by the second track and didn’t care to let go, and that says a lot in a busy week. I can’t wait to spend more time with this one.
Recommendation: Bump this to the top of your list.

Artist: Chilly Gonzales
Album: Other People's Pieces
Quick Description: An unconventional covers record.
Why You Should Listen: You're looking for something a little different, but still want those sweet, sweet covers.
Overall Thoughts: If you like The Bad Plus but hate jazz, you might want to give this Chilly Gonzales record a try. The instrumental medleys are interesting, the rest a pretty interesting conversation piece.
Recommendation: Worth at least one listen.

Artist: Joshua Hedley
Album: Mr. Jukebox
Quick Description: Classic-sounding music.
Why You Should Listen: You wish you were in a country bar in the 1950s.
Overall Thoughts: Everything about the cover here screams classic, and the album itself reinforces that presentation. Solid, if unassuming, listens that never quite take off yet feel very comfortable and safe, this is a good listen but is unlikely to blow anyone’s mind.
Recommendation: Worth a shot if you're into it.

Artist: The Longshot
Album: Love is for Losers
Quick Description: Green Day side project!
Why You Should Listen: This is a lot more fun than you'd think.
Overall Thoughts: After a teaser EP last week, Billie Joe Armstrong’s new punk project is surprisingly great. It’s not “Green Day in their prime” great, but there’s an energy and enthusiasm here that can’t be faked or ignored. Might not work for everyone, but this was absolutely a favorite of mine this week.
Recommendation: Definitely worth a listen.

Artist: Sleep
Album: The Sciences
Quick Description: Stoner metal for the masses?
Why You Should Listen: You might be as surprised by it as I was?
Overall Thoughts: I didn’t know of Sleep prior to Ken sending this over as a surprise reunion album. For a first exposure, this was pretty good as a deliberative-style rock thing. It would feel well ahead of its time in its initial release, and there’s a lot to like here as well.
Recommendation: It's an album with a song called "Marijuananaut's Theme" released on 4/20, what do you think?

Artist: Archie and the Bunkers
Album: Songs From the Lodge
Quick Description: Keyboard punk virtuosos!
Why You Should Listen: They have a heck of a pedigree, and no one sounds quite like them.
Overall Thoughts: Keyboard punk that may or may not be inspired by Twin Peaks? This was fine – I listened once and probably don’t need to go back, but if this scratches that specific itch for you, you’ll probably enjoy this and the EP they released this week as well.
Recommendation: Give it a chance.

Artist: Del the Funky Homosapien and Amp Live
Album: Gate 13
Quick Description: Concept album of sorts from some underrated rappers.
Why You Should Listen: A nice balance of sounds here.
Overall Thoughts: Del is always good, and this album is no different. Still feels new and fresh even with his style remaining similar to when he started out, and the collaborative effort with Amp Live only makes it that much better. On a slow rap week, give this a spin.
Recommendation: Listen to this.

Artist: Old Crow Medicine Show
Album: Volunteer
Quick Description: Latest from the Americana mainstays.
Why You Should Listen: OCMS is one of the best acts around.
Overall Thoughts: OCMS’s last album was a bit of a miss for me, but the top bluegrass act of late is back on top with this one, as far as I’m concerned. This feels back to basics in many ways that I didn’t expect, and is a great listen on a whole.
Recommendation: Will definitely come back to this one.

Artist: A Perfect Circle
Album: Eat the Elephant
Quick Description: Newest album in some time from the Tool frontman's side gig.
Why You Should Listen: Ehh, well...
Overall Thoughts: A Perfect Circle had one of the great alt-rock debuts of the early 2000s. This album, among other things, has a song inspired by a bad Yelp review of singer Maynard James Keenan’s vineyard. Take that as you will.
Recommendation: Skip this.

Artist: Lord Huron
Album: Vide Noir
Quick Description: New album from the indie act.
Why You Should Listen: This is definitely one of the more interesting efforts this week.
Overall Thoughts: I enjoyed their previous effort, and this one is very ambitious in its own right, with some interesting soundscapes and musical choices to go along with this album. The result is often unpredictable but generally redeeming, and it’s one that deserves a few listens to ultimately soak in.
Recommendation: Should grab some of your time.

Artist: Kimbra
Album: Primal Heart
Quick Description: New album from the New Zealand pop artist.
Why You Should Listen: This comes back to a more accessible sound.
Overall Thoughts: Kimbra has been trying to break from “the female singer from that Gotye song years ago” for a while now, and her last album was not something I liked and felt extremely experimental. This is definitely more of a return to form, and balances out the weird with the more poppy efforts. The result is a really accessible album that is still strange enough to keep out the less adventurous of us.
Recommendation: Definitely worth some time.

Other releases of note:

* Cold Fronts - Fantasy Du Jour
* Young Valley - Young Valley
* Shuggie Otis - Inter-Fusion
* Charmer - Charmer (probably deserves a closer look)
* Thievery Corporation - Treasures From the Temple


* Sera Cahoone - The Flora String Sessions
* Gang of Four - Complicit (a...little on the nose there, guys...)
* AMNLPLNET - Fall Asleep
* Bessie Turner - 22:22
* Archie and the Bunkers - Play the Damned
* Ellevator - Ellevator

Also out:

* Jesus Jones - Passages (no one asked for this)
* Sting and Shaggy - 44/876 (or this)
* DRINKS - Hippo-Lite
* Pennywise - Never Gonna Die
* Lume - Wrung Out

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