Tuesday, July 10, 2018

First Listen: New Releases for 6 July

More American holiday summer doldrums...

Album of the Week:

Artist: SOPHIE
Quick Description: Weird pop deconstructions.
Why You Should Listen: SOPHIE is a sought-after producer and buzzed-about musician.
Overall Thoughts: Album of the week here is sort of a strange, nearly impenetrable one in many regards. Seemingly the result of taking a bunch of pop music, pouring it into a blender full of David Lynch movies, and letting it run for a few minutes, this is an artistic and musical achievement that I fully and completely enjoyed even though I don’t know if I can truly recommend it to anyone who doesn’t enjoy a good, challenging listen. My recommendation? It’s a slow week anyway, and this might open up a whole new genre for you. It’s that good.
Recommendation: A challenge, but a good one.

Artist: Onlyness
Album: Onlyness
Quick Description: More retro rock, but without the pretense.
Why You Should Listen: You miss the 1990s, but not in the way everyone else apparently does.
Overall Thoughts: This is the most early 1990s-sounding record that wasn’t trying to specifically ape the sound that I’ve heard in a while. For me, this is a big ol’ nostalgia hit, and it’s different enough where you should give this a listen even if you don’t have a soft spot for this era.
Recommendation: It’s good!

Artist: BODEGA
Album: Endless Scroll
Quick Description: Weird indie rock.
Why You Should Listen: It's art rock without making you want to roll your eyes.
Overall Thoughts: I’m racking my brain trying to figure out exactly who this band reminds me of. Either way, it’s stilted and interesting and familiar-but-left-of-center rock music that scratched an itch I didn’t know I had. Ken’s written about them a few times, and if I wasn’t fully on board before? I am now.
Recommendation: Definitely make time for this.

Artist: Damien Jurado
Album: The Horizon Just Laughed
Quick Description: Latest from the generally great singer-songwriter.
Why You Should Listen: He's established himself very well over the years.
Overall Thoughts: Jurado has always done some interesting, thoughtful singer-songwriter stuff, and this album, at least on first listen, feels a lot more stark and stripped down. On one hand, this ends up being pretty unique and interesting for Jurado as a result, but it also also robs the experience of what makes Damien Jurado such an interesting listen on a whole. There are other Damein Jurado albums I’d rather listen to, truthfully, and this didn’t land for me.
Recommendation: Skip this one unless you're a superfan.

Artist: The Nude Party
Album: The Nude Party
Quick Description: Stellar indie retro rock.
Why You Should Listen: You miss the 1960s.
Overall Thoughts: If you aren’t paying too much attention, you might think you’re listening to some 60s/70s rock or even an Elvis Costello record. An above-average effort in nearly all regards, with some truly great moments that can truly transport you to another era if you allow it.
Recommendation: Worth a listen, you might love this.

Artist: Hologram Teen
Album: Between the Funk and the Fear
Quick Description: Is it electronic? Is it rock? Is it dance?
Why You Should Listen: It's something fascinating, for sure.
Overall Thoughts: There's definitely an undercurrent of a sort of new wave revival within the walls of this Stereolab side project, and there are two facts I can say for sure: this is an interesting listen, and this will defy any expectations you might have in the first few moments. Best to dive in, let it wash over you, and you'll find you might just love what you hear.
Recommendation: An ambitious, interesting release this week.

Of note:

* Kinky Friedman - Circus of Life (you know exactly what you're getting from this one)
* RJD2 - In Rare Form Vol. 2


* Jessica Says - Downers

Also out:

* Hifiklub and Lee Ranaldo - In Doubt, Shadow Him!
* Mom Jeans. - Puppy Love

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