Thursday, January 16, 2020

First Listen: New Releases for 10 January

Finally, some new music! Lots of EPs this week for whatever reason, though...

Artist: Moon Hooch
Album: Life on Other Planets
Quick Description: Buskworthy brass rock.
Why You Should Listen: A fun party-style sax record with some interesting parts to go along with it.
Overall Thoughts: Wow, what a way to kick off the new year! I didn’t know about Moon Hooch before this week, but having spent a little time in Skerik’s back catalog last week, sax-based oddities have been my jam as of late. Moon Hooch is probably best described as Too Many Zooz informed by electronica, even though it sounds like most-to-all the instruments are live and everything is organic. It’s a album I couldn’t help but dance around to, and is an instant favorite this week. I’ll be digging into their back catalog for the foreseeable future, I’m sure.
Recommendation: A must-hear.

Artist: Alexandra Savior
Album: The Archer
Quick Description: Retro-style music from a great singer-songwriter.
Why You Should Listen: It's unique and feels modern even while informed by the past.
Overall Thoughts: This one took a while to grow on me, but man, when it hit? A solid slice of retro-pop/rock (with some similarities to Prom Queen), it has my first favorite song of 2020 in “Crying All the Time” and a really catchy package on a whole. We missed her debut a few years back, but I know I’m hoping there’s room on the bandwagon with this release.
Recommendation: Give this one time.

Artist: Poppy
Album: I Disagree
Quick Description: Third album from the oddball pop princess.
Why You Should Listen: Poppy is really finding her footing with this release.
Overall Thoughts: This is the album where it all comes together for Poppy, I think. Clearly, “X” got her the attention she has deserved for a while, and this strange post-pop/metal/horrorcore mashup is so compelling and so weird and so wonderful that I don’t quite know how to approach it or why more acts haven’t tried it. Great for fans of Babymetal, and might be a bit of a challenge for those who struggle with one of the aspects of the many sides of our new hero.
Recommendation: The oddest listen you'll get this week, and you'll like every moment.

Artist: Carissa Johnson
Album: A Hundred Restless Thoughts
Quick Description: Fairly traditional indie folk.
Why You Should Listen: Carissa Johnson has a great quality to her sound.
Overall Thoughts: This was one more 2019 we missed, and one I wanted to make sure we highlighted. Johnson isn't reinventing the wheel here, and that's fine, but there's still something really special going on with this that shouldn't be ignored. She's got a great voice, the song structures are solid, and it's a worthwhile listen for the new year.
Recommendation: Make room for this one this week.

Of note:

* Josephine - Music is Easy (60s pop rock radio pastiche of sorts. Reminds me a bit of The Thrills)
* Calliope Musicals - Color/Sweat
* Field Music - Making a New World


* Nada Surf - So Much Love
* The Lone Bellow - Good Times
* Duck & Cover - Two Shots
* Suzanne Sundfor - Self Portrait Original Soundtrack
* Winona Oak - Closure

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