Album: Blue Hour
Quick Thoughts: We've been fans of Carissa Johnson here for a while, and this new album really seems to up the game a bit. It's a loud, brash slice of indie rock with hooks and melodies that stick in ways I didn't anticipate going in. This was one of the more anticipated listens for me this week, and it delivers in spades. One of the best of the week.
Songs of Note: "Wasting Dreams," "Running Uphill," "Merry Go Round," "Tourist," "The Outline"
Album: Queensway Tunnel
Quick Thoughts: I first caught wind of Zuzu with her 2016 debut single "Get Off," a song that remains an all-time favorite. Five years later, we get the debut album we've been waiting for, and it's solid. She knows how to make some catchy songs along with some great guitar work, and I'm overall pretty impressed with this debut. Keep an eye out for her.
Songs of Note: "Never Again," "Lie to Myself"
Quick Thoughts: This album hits that soft spot for electronic music so well, it's difficult to not smile listening to this one. It's upbeat and fun, which is really what music like this should be. Might not mesh for everyone, but this really did the trick for me.
Songs of Note: "Ani Kuni," "Melody"
Quick Thoughts: Aesop Rock was a relatively late discovery for me. Can't say why it took until my mid-30s to connect with him, but now I'd put him up there as one of my favorite rappers. This album, a collaboration with NY-area producer Blockhead (who was responsible for the beats on Aesop Rock's debut) is pitch-perfect. Both men seem like they're at their best here, and Blockhead (who did all the production for this specific effort) shows why he's probably an underrated hip-hop producer. Overall, love love love this.
Songs of Note: "Wolf Piss," "Legerdemain," "Flamingo Pink," "Oh Fudge," "All Day Breakfast," "That is Not a Wizard," "The Sea"
Album: Follow the Voice
Quick Thoughts: Kraków Loves Adana has nearly 20 years of music under their belts, and their specific-yet-familiar brand of guiltar-driven synthwave is something I really dig. This latest album feels a little dark, but all in a good way, and if you're not on the bandwagon yet, this is a good a place as any to jump on.
Songs of Note: "Follow the Voice," "What Will Never Be," "See You Shout"
Quick Thoughts: A quick note for the punkish alt-rockers Kills Birds, who offers a sophomore effort that rivals their debut. I hopped on board with "Worthy Girl" from their debut, and the new album is definitely more polished than the rawness of their first effort, but it's still hitting all the right notes. Don't miss out on this one.
Songs of Note: "Rabbit," "Cough Up Cherries"
* Banoffee - Tear Tracks (Solid pop music.)
* Devon Hoff - Voices From the Empty Moor (The Songs of Anne Briggs) (Really haunting, gorgeous renditions for many of these.)
* The Kundalini Genie - Half In, Half Out (Might surprise you, nice retro feel.)
* IDLES - CRAWLER (A small style change, makes for an interesting listen.)
* Susanna Hoffs - Bright Lights (Cover songs galore!)
* Helm - Axis
* Sega Bodega - Romeo
* Gracie Abrams - This is What It Feels Like
* Claire Cronin - Bloodless
* NRBQ - Dragnet
* Courtney Barnett - Things Take Time, Take Time
* Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak) - An Evening With Silk Sonic
* They Might Be Giants - BOOK
* Pip Blom - Welcome Break
* Georgia - Seeking Thrills After Hours
* Snarls - What About Flowers?
* Arc - Middle Ground
* Sneaker Pimps - Rework Collection 2
* BOTB Music and IV - Synergy
* BEGINNERS - OOEY GOOEY
* Lee Ranaldo - In Virus Times
* Billie Marten - Acoustic
* The Underground Youth and Laura Carbone - In Dreams
* Betta Lemme - Ready for the Weekend EP
* Kofi the Spiderman - February 21
* Queen of Jeans - Covers EP
* Holly Humberstone - The Walls Are Way Too Thin
* Taylor Swift - Red (Taylor's Version) (Jake Gyllenhaal hardest hit.)
* Speedy Ortiz - The Death of Speedy Ortiz and Cop Kicker ...Forever (Reissue of Sadie Dupuis's initial solo Speedy Ortiz demos.)
* Various Artists - Highway Butterfly: The Songs of Neal Casal
* The Mountain Goats - The Jordan Lake Sessions: Volumes 3 and 4
* Kylie Minogue - DISCO: Guest List Edition
* Amanda Shires - For Christmas