Tuesday, November 24, 2020

First Listen: New Releases for 20 December

Artist: Partner
Album: Never Give Up
Quick Description: Second album from a favorite here.
Why You Should Listen: You don't take yourself too seriously, or you get high a lot.
Overall Thoughts: We unironically love Partner here, and for good reason: they're a ton of fun and have the musical chops to back it up. There's no "Everybody Knows" here, but that's okay - the adventure into odd proggy territory at times feels natural and this listen, overall, feels like one that's likely to stick with me for a while.
Recommendation: Definitely a good time.

Artist: Sara Noelle
Album: Cover the Blue
Quick Description: Gorgeous folky tunes.
Why You Should Listen: You already love this type of music.
Overall Thoughts: We missed this one earlier this year, and with an EP out this week, it was worth highlighting this listen as a pretty, intricate piece of singer-songwriter folk. In a week that doesn't have a lot like this for once, it's worth catching up with.
Recommendation: Make some time.

Artist: Cartalk
Album: Pass Like Pollen
Quick Description: An outstanding indie/alt release we missed.
Why You Should Listen: There's a ton to love here from start to finish.
Overall Thoughts: Another one we missed, but wow, I'm glad I found it. Cartalk is the name for a solo musician who makes some of the best sort of indie music that dabbles in various genres, all with some realness sprinkled throughout. The album has such an interesting tonal trajectory, with peaks and valleys of tempo and volume that sets it apart for me. They have such a great sound that I can't wait to hear what comes next - until then, I'll just keep this on repeat until I'm sick of it.
Recommendation: A must listen.

Artist: Anna McClellan
Album: I saw first light
Quick Description: Latest from the Midwestern singer-songwriter.
Why You Should Listen: This is fun and quirky without being grating.
Overall Thoughts: I hate how the term "twee" has an air of condescension around it. Anna McClellan probably fits that oeuvre, but definitely deserves to be taken seriously. This is a light, poppy album with an undercurrent that makes you pay a little attention. In a few ways, it reminded me of some of the anti-folk I loved 20 years ago. So if that's your thing...
Recommendation: ...give this a shot.

Artist: Grandaddy
Album: The Sophtware Slump.....on a wooden piano
Quick Description: Does what it says on the tin.
Why You Should Listen: You may have forgotten after all these years, but The Sophtware Slump is a great album.
Overall Thoughts: I've resisted talking much about the glut of pandemic releases we've seen. Reimaginings, acoustic efforts - I don't fault any act that has lost touring revenue for trying to get a little of it back, but a lot of it isn't the most compelling stuff. This is different: it's basically Jason Lytle recording on a four track, and it allows the beauty of the songs to really take center stage instead of the hypertechnological sheen placed over the original release.
Recommendation: If you're a fan, check it out.

Artist: Mamalarky
Album: Mamalarky
Quick Description: Debut album from some indie artists associated with acts you love.
Why You Should Listen: This has a lot of potential to go along with it being a fun listen.
Overall Thoughts: People will come to Mamalarky either from Cherry Glazzer or White Denim, and I don't know if I'd necessarily class this along with those acts. But why bother? Mamalarky is its own thing, and the sort of psych-punk angle they're playing at has a DIY feel with some professional polish. I liked this a lot on first listen, and you might, too.
Recommendation: Should be part of your rotation.

Of note:

* The Bug and Dis Fig - In Blue (An interesting listen.)
* 5 Billion in Diamonds - Divine Accidents
* The Dirty Knobs - Wreckless Abandon
* Eric Hilton - The Impossible Silence
* Babeheaven - Home for Now
* The Young Fresh Fellows - Toxic Youth
* J. E. Sunde - 9 Songs About Love
* Kelsey Johansing - No Better Time
* The Suitcase Junket - The End is New
* Cecile Believe - Plucking a Cherry From the Void
* The Suitcase Junket - The End is New
* Ricky Eat Acid - When they align just so, memories of another life bleed into my own
* Laura Fell - Safe From Me
* King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - K.G.

EPs:

* The Network - Trans Am (Green Day.)
* Weezy Ford - All at Once (This is great.)
* KIT - KIT
* Kelsey Waldon - They'll Never Keep Us Down
* Tank and the Bangas - Friend Goals
* Shygirl - ALIAS
* Soccer Mommy - color theory (selected demos)
* Grand Pax - Wavey
* Jenn Champion - Donating Your Body to Science: What You Need to Know
* Lissie - Thank You to the Flowers
* Lindstrom and Prins Thomas - III
* Phoebe Bridgers - Copycat Killer
* XYLO - Outsiders Club
* Sara Noelle - Four Songs
* Routine - And Other Things
* The Jjen - The Jjen
* Thys and Amon Tobin - Ithica
* Georgia Ruth - Mai: 2
* Magdalena Bay - Mini Mix, Vol. 2
* Dirty Projectors - Ring Road
* Annie Hamilton - Annie Hamilton EP (Reimagined)
* girlcrush - girlcrush
* October and The Eyes - Dogs and Gods
* Austra - HiRUDiN REMiXED

Also out:

* Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Idiot Prayer
* Dream Wife - IRL

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