Tuesday, May 1, 2018

First Listen, Part One: New Releases for April 27

We're a third of the way through the year already. How did this happen? With 17 new releases, we're splitting this in two

Album of the Week:


Artist: Kathinka
Album: Kathinka
Quick Description: Dreamy indie pop.
Why You Should Listen: This is a gorgeous musical mix.
Overall Thoughts: My biggest problem with this album is that it’s only eight songs long. I’ve had them looped in my playlists for some time, but this album so perfectly straddles the line between alt-rock and dreamy pop rock that it’s difficult to find any real problems with it.
Recommendation: It’s simply a must-listen this week.


Artist: Kasey Chambers and The Fireside Disciples
Album: Campfire
Quick Description: Deep roots music from a perpetually-underrated roots artist.
Why You Should Listen: Kasey Chambers has been consistently great for decades.
Overall Thoughts: With the other Kacey sucking up a lot of the country air, it’s easy to forget that another country Kasey is still making great music. This is a very rootsy, very acoustic collaborative effort that worked really well for me, and if you’re looking to sit on the softer side of things, this might just do the trick.
Recommendation: Absolutely worth your time.


Artist: Sigur Ros
Album: Route One
Quick Description: New music from the enigmatic Icelandic act.
Why You Should Listen: Sigur Ros is always an interesting listen.
Overall Thoughts: This is listed as a single on Spotify, and with eight tracks at forty minutes consisting of songs with geolocations as titles, I’m not sure we can call it a single or an EP or an album (although ( ) was similar in many regards). In a way, this is the closest to ( ) that we’ve gotten in some time, although this is absolutely more of an ambient record than your standard Sigur Ros.
Recommendation: Absolutely a solid listen, but might not be what you expect.


Artist: Willie Nelson
Album: Last Man Standing
Quick Description: Willie Nelson's 857th album.
Why You Should Listen: It's Willie Nelson, come on.
Overall Thoughts: No one is going to say anything bad about Willie at this point, but I highlight this only to stress that he’s still putting out new music on an extremely regular basis at his age, and it still feels vibrant and fun. There’s something to be said about that. You may not feel it has much staying power but it’s worth one shot at least.
Recommendation: A mandatory listen.


Artist: Cicada Rhythm
Album: Everywhere I Go
Quick Description: Upbeat rootsy stuff.
Why You Should Listen: You miss this sort of fun music.
Overall Thoughts: It’s been a minute since we’ve heard a batch of new music from Spirit Family Reunion. Listening to this, I got a sort of polished SFR vibe from this act. The parallel isn’t perfect, but it’s something worth thinking about as you get down a bit to this album. It’s a super fun listen and absolutely a favorite this week.
Recommendation: A top listen this week.


Artist: Kat Edmonson
Album: Old Fashioned Gal
Quick Description: Latest from an underrated jazz singer.
Why You Should Listen: She's done some awesome under-the-radar stuff.
Overall Thoughts: Pop jazz is a tough sell for me, but Kat Edmonson has such a delightfully classic sounding voice that still has a modern feel to it that it’s shocking she isn’t more famous. This might be my favorite effort of hers yet.
Recommendation: Give this a listen.


Artist: We Are Scientists
Album: Megaplex
Quick Description: Latest from the early-oughts rock act.
Why You Should Listen: You were a big fan when they hit their stride.
Overall Thoughts: I was never a huge fan of this act, and I’ve always coupled them in with the sort of new rock revival of the early aughts, but I didn’t expect them to be this unadventurous and safe on this latest album. Kind of a disappointment, if I’m being blunt.
Recommendation: Skip this.


Artist: Jackson Emmer
Album: Jukebox
Quick Description: The latest in a line of classic-country sounding albums.
Why You Should Listen: It's good music, even if it's a little redundant.
Overall Thoughts: Okay, everyone. This is getting to be a little much. There appears to be a bit of a template recently where the same countryish dudes make the same countryish record that has a classicish sound and it’s all well and good but you could probably put the albums on shuffle together and they’d blend together. Time to do more, and sorry to Jackson Emmer that this was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me.
Recommendation: If you've liked the last dozen albums like it, you'll like this too.


Artist: Spritzer
Album: Love. Lies. Decay.
Quick Description: Solid indie rock.
Why You Should Listen: This band has a strong, firm sound that will hook you right in.
Overall Thoughts: The band sort of sounds as you might expect given the name and the album cover, and this is a tight, fun indie rock record that I’ll definitely be looking to get back to soon. It’s definitely the traditional indie rock effort of the week.
Recommendation:

EPs:

* Buzzy Lee - Facepaint
* Peach Kelli Pop - Which Witch
* Wussy - Getting Better
* Bad Breeding - Abandonment EP

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