Album: Tiger Toys
Quick Description: New poppy album from these vets.
Why You Should Listen: There's not a ton of electro, but plenty of cute.
Overall Thoughts: This is kind of intentionally adorable in all the right ways. It's happy sugary indie pop, and I was really down for what this brought me during the pandemic Christmas blues. I don't have a ton to say about it except that I loved every moment of this listen and want to hear more.
Recommendation: Give this some time.
Quick Description: Second surprise album from the megastar.
Why You Should Listen: folklore was good, but this is better.
Overall Thoughts: TayTay round two gives us a knockout blow for the end of 2020. This listen is a lot more in-your-face and feels less like a lost folk album and more like a polished roots record. A song like "no body, no crime," with Haim, is a song that would fit in on any sort of classic country compilation, and Swift's potty mouth makes for songs that feel more honest than most of her recent output. I'm shocked that these were the songs that didn't make folklore, frankly. This was great.
Recommendation: A mandatory listen. No, really.
Album: Age of Roaches
Quick Description: Unassuming indie rock.
Why You Should Listen: This album repeatedly took me by surprise.
Overall Thoughts: I don't know how to describe Kid Dakota. The project has been around for a while, but I only learned of them this week with the release of Age of Roaches. It's a band I'm going to go back to, because there's a lot to love in this album. It's noisy in all the right ways, it sounds familiar yet different, and some of the songs just really jumped out at me from the very start. I like music that keeps me on my toes, and this delivers.
Recommendation: Worth adding to the rotation.
Album: The Bends
Quick Description: A quiet, introspective take on the Radiohead classic.
Why You Should Listen: It's a covers album of The Bends. Do we really need to explain this?
Overall Thoughts: This is getting some much-deserved buzz. Rosie Carney is all of us: depressed from the lockdown, she retreated into creative endeavors, and the result is an amazing take on the Radiohead album that led people into obsession territory. She makes the familiar her own, and that's a feat into itself.
Recommendation: One of the best of the week.
Album: Cuttin' Grass - Vol. 2
Quick Description: More bluegrass goodies from the classic country great.
Why You Should Listen: The first release in this series was awesome.
Overall Thoughts: Just pulling this out of the shortlist to highlight this volume. As I said last time, if Sturgill Simpson chose to stick solely to bluegrass, he'd be the best ever.
Recommendation: So great. So, so great.
Quick Description: A lovely folk effort.
Why You Should Listen: As his first widely available effort, he immediately becomes a name to watch.
Overall Thoughts: Ken sent this one over to me, and it's fairly easy to feel like you've had your share of folk singers after a time. But I'll give anything a shot, and this was one I'm glad I heard. Eisenberger knows exactly how to compliment his vocals with the sparse guitar and when to add strings for the best outcome. This was an album that repeatedly made me stop to listen closer, which doesn't happen often. If you like folk music at all, you owe it to yourself to give this a listen. I know I'll be heading back to it soon.
Recommendation: Another top listen this week.
* Izaak Opatz - Hot and Heavy Handed (Some country-ish tunes that don't take themselves too seriously.)
* Kacy & Clayton with Marlon Williams - Plastic Bouquet (This is a gorgeous listen.)
* Alaska Reid - Big Bunny (A solid effort, "Boys From Town" was a song in heavy rotation for me this year.)
* Dueling Experts (Recognize Ali and Verbal Kent - DE2: Sand the Floor (Another solid rap collab from these two.)
* Coco Reilly - Coco Reilly
* Boris and Merzbow - 2R0I2P0
* Desolation Horse - Desolation Horse
* Helios - Domicile
* Chris Cornell - No One Sings Like You Anymore
* Julie Bergan - HARD FEELINGS
* The Avalanches - We Will Always Love You
* Tkay Maidza - Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 2
* Jordie Lane - Back in Time (The Songs Reimagined)
* High Contrast - Notes From The Underground
* M. Ward - Think of Spring
* Guided by Voices - Styles We Paid For
* Thee Oh Sees - Panther Rotate
* My Heart, an Inverted Flame - Plague Notes, Unnamed, Unknown, A Finger Dragged Through Dust
* BLACKSTARKIDS - Whatever, Man
* Kid Cudi - Man on the Moon III: The Chosen
* Call Me Spinster - Call Me Spinster (Keep an eye on this act, it's quite good.)
* Quarter-Life Crisis - Quarter-Life Crisis
* Lady Starlight and Rodhad - WSNWG006
* Chloe Foy - Covers, Vol. 1
* Lucy - Cooper B Handy's Album, Vol. 7
* Muzz - Covers
* K.Flay - Don't Judge a Song By Its Cover
* ShitKid - CROTCHROCK
* Foster the People - In the Darkest of Nights, Let the Birds Sing
* Delaney Jane - Somewhere Else
* Overcoats - The Fight (Remixed)
* Avalon Emerson - 040
* Raw Nerve
* Brittany Howard - Jaime (The Remixes)
* Ryan Adams - Wednesday (I listened to this, and it's not good enough to put aside who Ryan Adams apparently is. Go listen to Ben Eisenberger instead, you'll like that more.)
* Deftones - White Pony (20th Anniversary Edition) * The Kills - Little Bastards
* Duncan Sheik- Live at the Cafe Carlyle
* The Mountain Goats - The Jordan Lake Sessions: Volumes 1 and 2
* Belle & Sebastian - What To Look For In Summer