Tuesday, May 29, 2018

First Listen: New Releases for May 25

A lot of stuff out before the American holiday weekend.

AlbumRelease of the Week:

Artist: Hatchie
Album: Sugar and Spice
Quick Description: Aussie indie pop.
Why You Should Listen: This is probably the best indie pop release of 2018 so far.
Overall Thoughts: It’s rare to list an EP for the best release of the week, but here we are with Hatchie, a side/solo project of sorts from the guitarist in BabaganoĆ¼j. This is super-dreamy, super saccharine indie pop with tons of infectious melodies. She’s rightfully getting some good buzz surrounding this release, and I personally can’t wait for a full-length.
Recommendation: Don’t miss this one.

Artist: Prefuse 73
Album: Sacrifices
Quick Description: Latest from the glitchy electronic act.
Why You Should Listen: Prefuse 73 has been a stalwart in the electronic music scene for decades.
Overall Thoughts: I knew someone who was obsessed with Prefuse 73 20-odd years ago. Having kind of dove into weirder musical interests as of late, revisiting the act with this new album was interesting in that nothing here is terribly revolutionary but still paved the path for everything we hear now in this space. This in particular feels extremely competent and is a good, viable listen, but I can imagine longtime fans not seeing this as the best option out there.
Recommendation: Give this a shot.

Artist: Chickn
Quick Description: Solid psych rock.
Why You Should Listen: You're sad that King Gizzard isn't releasing an album every other month.
Overall Thoughts: Using this week to catch up on a few listens we missed, and this one hit our inbox recently as a sort of psych-rock record in the vein of a lot of recent favorites. Given the names they drop on certain tracks, there’s definitely no hiding their influences, but as psych rock records go, there’s a lot to enjoy here.
Recommendation: This is a fun one.

Artist: Tracyanne and Danny
Album: Tracyanne and Danny
Quick Description: A retro-pop project from Tracyanne Campbell of Camera Obscura and Danny Coughlan of Crybaby.
Why You Should Listen:
Overall Thoughts: A side project from Camera Obscura, it sounds like Camera Obscura aping a few different classic popular musical styles, which is kind of funny given that CO exists in part to sound like a 1960s-era pop band. I liked this a lot, but it might be too cute for others.
Recommendation: Won't work for everyone.

Artist: Dear Nora
Album: Skulls Example
Quick Description: Latest from the indie rock act.
Why You Should Listen: It's a solid, current indie listen.
Overall Thoughts: This is sparse, interesting indie rock. Maybe a little quieter than I would have liked, but that’s okay. A lot of people will really get a lot out of this, I’m just not sure this has a ton of replay value for me in a busy week.
Recommendation: A good listen, but may not be what you're looking for.

Artist: A$AP Rocky
Quick Description: Latest from the A$AP Mob leader.
Why You Should Listen: A$AP Rocky has been making a lot of good rap music.
Overall Thoughts: A$AP Rocky is probably the most visible member of the ASAP Mob at this point, and it is hard not to look at this album as his attempt to transcend in a way many of his artistically-focused rap peers are. Does it work? Well, I can’t find anything on this album on first listen that jumps out like the singles did on his debut, but there are a lot of adventurous chances taken throughout this listen that are commendable. I wouldn’t go as far to say this is an album that needs to be heard on the first listen...
Recommendation: ...but this is one I intend to revisit.

Artist: Meiko
Album: Playing Favorites
Quick Description: A covers record from a longtime folky.
Why You Should Listen: It's a good covers record, which should be enough.
Overall Thoughts: I’m a sucker for covers records, and this is absolutely the sort of coffeehouse folky covers album that you’d expect it to be. Some interesting choices (“Super Freak,” “Zombie”), some gems (“Come Undone”), some questionable efforts (“Fade Into You”) but otherwise the type of album you can throw on with friends over and get something out of.
Recommendation: As with most covers records, you'll find something here to like.

Album: Love is Dead
Quick Description: Highly-anticipated third album from the alternative act.
Why You Should Listen: CHVRCHES has gotten into a good groove.
Overall Thoughts: At this point, you know what to expect from a CHVRCHES record, and that's some smart, synth-heavy alt-pop. There is nothing wrong with this album at all except that it doesn't shock the senses quite the way their earlier albums do, but that's less a

Artist: LoveLove
Album: Picture
Quick Description: Solid independent folkish stuff.
Why You Should Listen: You want something a little on the quieter side.
Overall Thoughts: I’m not sure how to describe this duo. There’s a definite folk/roots feel here, but it’s something more than that as well and results in an enjoyable and interesting listen. This is absolutely an act to watch.
Recommendation: If you like what we feature here, you should give this a listen.

Also of note:

* Jessie J - R.O.S.E. (Four EPs that combine into a full album; parts are better than the whole - 1 2 3 4
* The Del McCoury Band - Del McCoury Still Sings Bluegrass
* Peach Kelli Pop - Gentle Leader
* The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Something Else
* Natalie Evans - Better at Night
* Halo Maud - Je Suis Une Ile
* Dana Sipos - Trick of the Light


* Pet Symmetry - Reflection
* Bernice - Puff: In the Air Without a Shape
* Jenny Hval - The Long Sleep
* Ben Lee - All Night Long
* Clairo - diary 001
* Pusha T - DAYTONA (produced by Kanye West!)
* clipping. - Face

Also out:

* Thunderpussy - Thunderpussy (technically sound, but kind of exhausting)
* Brownout - Fear of a Brown Planet (instrumental version of the iconic Public Enemy album)
* Snow Patrol - Wildness (what happened to this band?)
* Parliament - Medicare Fraud Dogg
* Wand - Perfume

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