Tuesday, February 11, 2020

First Listen: New Releases for 7 February

Artist: Asgier
Album: Bury the Moon
Quick Description: Gorgeous Icelandic rock.
Why You Should Listen: It's lush and beautiful without overdoing it.
Overall Thoughts: For music fans of a certain age, it's either Bjork or Sigur Ros, but I'd argue that this album should introduce Asgeir into the modern conversation. This is a complex, wonderful album that kind of surprised me in its form as well as in how much it grabbed my attention. I really loved this in a surprising way and it's the first album in some time that's made me really want to get back to it as quickly as possible.
Recommendation: A must-listen.

Artist: Isobel Campbell
Album: There Is No Other
Quick Description: The latest from the former Belle & Sebastian member.
Why You Should Listen: This is the best B&S album that wasn't in 15 years.
Overall Thoughts: Isobel Campbell's post-B&S career has had its peaks and valleys, but this is undoubtedly a peak. Equal parts Gentle Waves and modern folk, this just hits the right notes over and over again while hitting the right nostalgia notes along the way. A solid listen and solid entry into her overall discography.
Recommendation: Don't miss this, especially if you loved old B&S.

Artist: Shopping
Album: All or Nothing
Quick Description: How is Shopping this good?
Why You Should Listen: No, seriously, how is Shopping this good?
Overall Thoughts: This is good. Really, really, really good. Shopping feels like a band you discovered out of nowhere when digging through the used CD racks and becomes your go-to "hey, you'd love these guys" band. I still feel like they remind me of Oh-OK from Athens in the 1980s, and that's fine - no other band sounds like them right now and it's part of what makes this magical. The fact that this is their best effort yet is just icing on the cake.
Recommendation: An early favorite this year.

Artist: La Roux
Album: Supervision
Quick Description: First set of new music in years from this dance-pop artist.
Why You Should Listen: There's no "Bulletproof" here, but there are a ton more songs here that you'll fall in love with.
Overall Thoughts: La Roux, IMO, never quite gets her proper due, and I don't know why. Her early work played with so many cool dance tropes, her second album didn't catch fire but should have, and this is a great modern dance record. If you like hitting the club in the privacy of your own home, get down with this one.
Recommendation: Worth your time.

Artist: Nada Surf
Album: Never Not Together
Quick Description: Latest from the indie favorites.
Why You Should Listen: Nada Surf has been crazy consistent for nearly two decades.
Overall Thoughts: Show me a bad Nada Surf song since the mid-2000s. I'll wait, because there isn't one on this album, either. Really just wanted to highlight the point that this album isn't going to blow your mind, but it is going to give you so many solid indie rock songs that it won't matter.
Recommendation: A great listen.

Artist: Oldsoul
Album: You Were Overwhelmed
Quick Description: Local indie act with what should be a breakthrough if life was fair.
Why You Should Listen: Oldsoul might be one of the best local-ish bands you're not listening to.
Overall Thoughts: I admit to checking out Oldsoul because of how much I loved their take on "Making the Most of the Night" on the Something Merry compilation for Christmas 2018. This new album? So good. So, so good. Oldsoul straddles the line of a few genres and this lack of overall commitment in some regards is to their benefit, as it keeps them from being totally boxed in while also providing what feels fresh and different.
Recommendation: Don't miss out on this one.

Of note:

* Christopher Paul Stelling - Best of Luck
* Spanish Love Songs - Brave Faces Everyone
* Kat Edmonson - Dreamers Do
* Say Hi - Diamonds and Donuts
* Matt Pond PA - A Collection of Bees, Part 1
* Church Girls - The Haunt
* The Lone Bellow - Half Moon Light
* Trixie Mattel - Barbara
* Frazey Ford - U kin B the Sun
* Oh Wonder - No One Else Can Wear Your Crown

7 Song Albums:

* Iyla - Other Ways to Vent
* L.A. Salami - Self Portrait in Sound


* Khrubangin and Leon Bridges - Texas Sun
* Antibalas - Fu Chronicles
* Sarah Haras - Storm
* Rachel Baiman and Mike Wheeler - The "Countin' on You" Sessions
* Highasakite - The Bare Romantic, Part 2
* Palm Ghosts - Wide Awake and Waiting
* Babehoven - Demonstrating Visible Difference of Height

Also out:

* Stone Temple Pilots - Perdida
* Supersuckers - Play That Rock N' Roll

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