Tuesday, June 11, 2019

First Listen: New Releases for 7 June


Artist: Stef Chura
Album: Midnight
Quick Description: New album from an indie favorite.
Why You Should Listen: Chura's debut was amazing, and this is a worthy follow-up.
Overall Thoughts: The long, long awaited follow-up from a favorite around here, this is absolutely a more ambitious and more complex release than one might have anticipated if they hadn’t listened to advance singles like “Method Man.” While there is not a hook-laden song like “Slow Motion” in here on first listen, what we do have is a very great follow-up that definitely appears to be something that will reward multiple listens. If you’re not on the bandwagon yet, now is as good a time as any to hop on board.
Recommendation: A must-listen, and one of the best of the week.


Artist: Palehound
Album: Black Friday
Quick Description: Latest from the indie act.
Why You Should Listen: Palehound has been good for a while, and this is their best effort yet.
Overall Thoughts: Palehound is another band we love here, and I have to say that this might be my favorite release of theirs yet. While it has some odd parts, like the spoken word diversion in the second half, songs like “Stick N Poke” and “The City” really worked well for me on a whole and reminded me why they’re held in such high regard by their fans. This is an album you want to find time for in a busy week.
Recommendation: Worth the energy.


Artist: AURORA
Album: A Different Kind of Human (Step II)
Quick Description: The Euro-oddity's latest effort.
Why You Should Listen: AURORA is incredible, and this is a great entry point if you haven't realized it yet.
Overall Thoughts: AURORA has been fairly prolific of late, with a solid EP last year and a follow-up continuing on the same lines. She still has a unique voice and vision, and songs like “Hunger” really drive home how special an artist she is. I still maintain that her debut is one of the better recent ones, but if you’re looking for some different-yet-accessible music that refuses to stay in one genre, this is absolutely worth your time.
Recommendation: A solid listen.


Artist: Skye Wallace
Album: Skye Wallace
Quick Description: Solid rock music from out of nowhere.
Why You Should Listen: She has a few albums under her belt, but this one makes you stand up and take notice.
Overall Thoughts: This is truly great. Skye Wallace has a beautifully aggressive approach to the rock songs on this record, and every song feels better than the next. While she is not forging any new paths (nor would I believe she would argue that she’s trying to do so, I would add), this has some solid familiarity while still feeling fresh and modern, which is a tough sell these days. This album sold me for good at “Coal in Your Window,” but there’s not a bad moment to be found on this effort.
Recommendation: A favorite this week.


Artist: Nicole Yun
Album: Paper Suit
Quick Description: Debut album from a cool-sounding singer-songwriter.
Why You Should Listen: Yun dances within a few genres and successfully straddles a tough line.
Overall Thoughts: There’s something to be said about this album, which has a great indie style to it while feeling like a classic record nonetheless. I really enjoyed listening to this, and college-age Jeff would have been fully and totally obsessed with this record even while middle-aged Jeff is really intrigued and wants to take a lot more time with it. This is a great listen on a whole, and one I look forward to going back to. Might be one of the better recent listens.
Recommendation: A great listen.


Artist: The Membranes
Album: What Nature Gives... Nature Takes Away
Quick Description: Indie prog metal?
Why You Should Listen: It needs to be heard to be understood.
Overall Thoughts: This is a really odd album, and I don’t quite know how to describe or define it. Has metal elements, has prog elements, but it’s not heavy and it’s not really anything like what I’ve heard recently. I shouldn’t like this, but there’s something strangely compelling about it in the overall approach that makes this better than a lot of recent things I’ve listened to even if it could stand to be a little shorter. I suppose if you’ve ever wondered what the love child of King Gizzard and King Crimson might sound like, this could be the place to start?
Recommendation: Give it a shot.


Artist: Loamlands
Album: Lez Dance
Quick Description: Powerful, stark singer-songwriter effort.
Why You Should Listen: It's got roots elements, it's got some heart... lots to unpack and lots to love.
Overall Thoughts: This is another great folky effort. This grabbed me for good with “Maureen” and wouldn’t let go through the whole thing. There is so much to love here, from the sort of stark approach to the clear passion behind so many of these songs. This is a really solid, understated listen that deserves your time even in a busy week.
Recommendation: Try this out.

Of note:

* Yeasayer - Erotic Reruns (Some really solid moments, better than much of their recent output.)
* Silversun Pickups - Widow's Weeds (May be their best effort since Swoon.)
* Charming Disaster - Spells + Rituals (Has a lot of solid moments, great for those missing Brown Bird.)
* Fresh - Withdraw (Has potential to be a sneaky grower.)
* The Seldom Scene - Changes (Pure, lovely bluegrass.)
* Ida Mae - Chasing Lights
* French Vanilla - How Am I Not Myself
* Yohuna - Mirroring
* Marilee Sioux - Grief in Exile
* Telyscopes - Mata Mata
* Gia Margaret - There's Always Glimmer
* Froth - Duress
* No Aloha - Okay Alone

7 song:

* HOO - Centipede Wisdom
* Future - Save Me
* Meg Mac - Hope

EPs:

* Carlie Hanson - Junk
* Carla Geneve - Carla Geneve
* Fallujah - All My Eyes Are Open, Pt. 1
* Baula - Draught
* Dad Brains - Dadditude
* Slowness - Berths

Also:

* Tim Heidecker - What the Brokenhearted Do...
* Perry Farrell - Kind Heaven
* The Divine Comedy - Office Politics
* Cave In - Final Transmission
* Plague Vendor - By Night

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