Tuesday, April 28, 2020

First Listen: New Releases for 24 April

Artist: Black Dresses
Album: Peaceful as Hell
Quick Description: Great noisy pop music from some masters of the craft.
Why You Should Listen: This is probably the best effort they've put together so far.
Overall Thoughts: In an era with a lot of electro-clashy loud pop music, and with artists like Rina Sawayana and Poppy getting into the genre mashup biz, here's Black Dresses who have put out a surprisingly accessible and immediately addictive effort with Peaceful as Hell. It's brash, it's loud, it's endless fun, and songs like "Damage Suppressor" really bring to the forefront how special this is.
Recommendation: Don't miss out.

Artist: Vanessa Peters
Album: Mixtape
Quick Description: Cover album with a ton of indie favorites.
Why You Should Listen: Come for the Weakerthans effort, stay for some great music.
Overall Thoughts: I feel like I should have known Vanessa Peters before now, but no matter. This is an effort with a great take on many indie classics and beyond, and the musicality along with the combination of making a song your own while not straying from what makes a song work is expertly done here. Worth the time, worth the energy.
Recommendation: A great listen.

Artist: NOVA ONE
Album: lovable
Quick Description: Somewhat fragile indie singer-songwriter stuff.
Why You Should Listen: Ken's a huge fan of this, and I found a lot to love, too.
Overall Thoughts: The Providence musician branches out on what's effectively a solo effort, and it is pretty brilliant in a lot of ways. NOVA ONE knows their way around a song, and the light-ish touch that goes along with so many of the efforts makes it feel a lot more frail than it is below the surface. This is something that really should get more attention, and hopefully, when things open up, this is something those in the region can experience in person.
Recommendation: A solid listen this week.

Artist: Hazel English
Album: Wake UP!
Quick Description: Indie pop at its finest.
Why You Should Listen: This is the type of record you can put on and always find something new to love.
Overall Thoughts: I've been waiting for this record for a while, and man, if there's a bad song on the album I have yet to find it. So much of this album puts a smile on my face, and so many songs have the potential of being long-term favorites, it's stunning that this is simply a debut album. If you enjoy solid songwriting and great indie pop, you owe it to yourself to look this up.
Recommendation: One of the best of the week.

Of note:

* Dana Jean Phoenix and Powernerd - Megawave (Awesome retro rock.)
* Lila Blue - Leave Me Be (Strong PJ Harvey vibes from this.)
* Whitney Rose - We Still Go to Rodeos (Great rootsy stuff here.)
* Brendan Benson - Dear Life (A solid listen and his best in over a decade.)
* Wuzee and Samil - Like Food Stamps for Liquor
* Darren Hayman - I Can Travel Through Time
* Chris Keys and Quelle Chris - Innocent Country 2
* Alice Bag - Sister Dynamite
* Lucinda Williams - Good Souls Better Angels
* Emily Rockarts - Little Flower

Seven Song Albums:

* Tilman Robinson - CULTURECIDE (Really strong instrumental moody music.)
* mxmtoon - dawn (A great effort from a rising indie pop voice.)
* I Am the Manic Whale - Gathering the Waters
* Bad History Month - Old Blues


* Kailee Morgue - Here In Your Bedroom (Do not miss out on this pop EP.)
* Elise Davis - For the Flies ("Emo Clothes" may be one of my favorite songs of the spring.)
* Taylor Janzen - Devotion (Three excellent songs here.)
* Forever Honey - Pre-Mortem High (Keep an eye on this act.)
* Kidbug - Dreamy (Indie supergroup; if the album is as good as these preview tracks, watch out...)
* MAITA - Someone's Lost Their Goddamn Wallet
* Finlay - Edge of Mine
* Sunny War - Can I Sit With You?
* Zsela - Ache of Victory
* Doves - Remnants I
* Charlotte Rose Benjamin - Party City
* Ransom Pier - Three Love Songs

Also out:

* Danzig - Sings Elvis (This makes no sense whatsoever.)
* Steep Canyon Rangers - North Carolina Songbook
* The Used - Heartwork
* Lindstrom - Live at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter
* King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - Chunky Shrapnel
* Sylvan Esso - WITH

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