Wednesday, March 4, 2020
First Listen: New Releases for 28 February
Album: Mixed Feelings
Quick Description: Lovely little indie electronic stuff.
Why You Should Listen: Limbo is really unlike anyone else right now.
Overall Thoughts: I’m a recent Limbo convert, having found this cat-masked producer thanks to “Airplane Mode” and falling in love with the whole thing. The new album is somehow better than her already great stuff, and I’ve wanted to get back to it perhaps more than I have for much else as of late. If you don’t mind some poppy electronic action, this is for you.
Recommendation: A favorite this week.
Artist: Sierra Hull
Album: 25 Trips
Quick Description: The superlative bluegrass virtuoso back with a great album.
Why You Should Listen: Sierra Hull is amazing. You should already know this.
Overall Thoughts: Maybe her most mature sounding record to date, this is bluegrass and roots music that is simply so much further along than most of what’s out there. What Hull does has always been special, but this one is just fantastic and has enough for the purists while also giving those looking for more modern flair something to enjoy.
Recommendation: Make time for this.
Album: Printer's Devil
Quick Description: New album from the indie rock favorites.
Why You Should Listen: Intended or not, I always feel like Ratboys is mysterious, and this doesn't change that feeling.
Overall Thoughts: We love Ratboys and everything they do, and this is just another stellar effort from them. “Alien With a Sleepmask On” is such a fun way to kick the record off, and I feel like the tone set by the opener really helps project where this record is going in a way their previous efforts didn’t. This album will ultimately reward longtime fans as much as likely bring new ones into the fold, which is really the best case scenario for everyone.
Recommendation: Worth your listening time.
Artist: Soccer Mommy
Album: Color Theory
Quick Description: New album from the indie folk artist.
Why You Should Listen: This has all the hallmarks of a breakout.
Overall Thoughts: One of the more anticipated releases of the week, this actually reminds me a lot of Julien Baker’s recent breakthrough, where the quiet folk sounds are offset by a loudness and intensity impossible to ignore. I liked Soccer Mommy before, I think I love her now, and I think you might end up loving her, too.
Recommendation: A solid entry this week.
Artist: Cold Beat
Quick Description: New music from the punk-adjacent act trying their hand at more synthy goodness.
Why You Should Listen: Why Cold Beat isn't a huge band right now is beyond me.
Overall Thoughts: This is a shift of sorts for this act, but it still works as a sort of intense, post-punk effort that has a feel and sound all its own. We've fallen in love with Cold Beat here, and for good reason - with a unique style and amazing vocals, I just know I'm in for a great experience.
Recommendation: A great listen.
Artist: Hayley Whitters
Album: The Dream
Quick Description: Great rootsy folk music.
Why You Should Listen: Another solid voice that wants to stand out.
Overall Thoughts: Why highlight this over, say, any of the other recent roots records out? Something about The Dream just hooked me in and didn't want to let go, and it's just a really solid listen that shouldn't be ignored. She has written some popular songs, but it's not as if she hasn't kept a few for herself along the way, either. Like a well-crafted country song? Give this a spin.
Recommendation: A must-listen.
Album: Safe Sins
Quick Description: Great indie pop risen from the ashes of Cayetana.
Why You Should Listen: This is something that might get some buzz.
Overall Thoughts: I don’t have a ton to say about this except that it’s a great indie rock highlight this week that shouldn’t fall off your radar. No reinventing the wheel here, but still a really solid indie record that, if there was any justice in the world, would get more attention. One might hope the Cayetana links will be enough, but it's worth your time even if you weren't a fan.
Recommendation: Make some time.
* Dom Flemons - Prospect Hill: The American Songster Omnibus (Finally on Spotify, and with a ton of extras.)
* Lisa Loeb - A Simple Trick to Happiness
* Black Market Brass - Undying Thirst
* Time is Fire - In Pieces
* Real Estate - The Main Thing
* The Orielles - Disco Volador
* Hayley Ross - The Weight of Hope
* The Secret Sisters - Saturn Return
* Tycho - Simulcast
* The Proper Ornaments - Mission Bells
* Dead Horses - Birds
* Disclosure - Ecstasy
* Christine and the Queens - La Vita Nuova
* Sick Bags - Only the Young Die Good
* Gang of Four - This Heaven Gives Me Migraine
* Wasted Shirt - Fungus II
* Sol Seppy - I Am As You Are, Part 1
* Merzbow - StereoAkuma
* Nova Twins - Who Are the Girls?
* Helios - Atomic Sun
* The Night Flight Orchestra - Aeromantic
* Lie - You Want It Real