Tuesday, January 18, 2022

First Listen: New Releases for 14 January 2022

Artist: Jamestown Revival
Album: Young Man
Quick Thoughts: I didn't know Jamestown Revival before this week, and my goodness am I glad I tripped up on this. This is Americana that grabs you right from the start and keeps you entranced from start to finish. This definitely jumps around a bit while keeping its rootsy base, but the end result is a collection of sticky songs that I'm looking forward to going back to.
Songs of Note: "Coyote," "Young Man," "Slow It Down"

Artist: Punch Brothers
Album: Hell on Church Street
Quick Thoughts: A tribute album of sorts to Tony Rice's Church Street Blues, this is your typical excellent effort from Chris Thile and Punch Brothers. The musicality is off the charts, you know more of these songs you think you do, and it's just a well-crafted effort from top to bottom. Their take on "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" in particular is worth hearing.
Songs of Note: "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," "Cattle in the Cane," "Any Old Time"

Artist: Grace Cummings
Album: Storm Queen
Quick Thoughts: I liked Grace Cummings's debut effort from 2019, but something about Storm Queen resonates hard for me. The songwriting in particular is sharp and up-front, and her delivery growls and simmers in ways I'm not generally used to when it comes to folk-adjacent singer-songwriters. Add in some interesting instrumentation (especially the woodwinds in the title track) and you get one of my favorites this week.
Songs of Note: "Storm Queen," "Up in Flames," "Freak"

Artist: Blood Red Shoes
Album: Ghosts on Tape
Quick Thoughts: I've been a fan of Blood Red Shoes for a bit, and this new album is the sort of heavy pop-tinged synth rock I've come to love from them. Six albums in, they have this art down to a science, and this albun has so many great moments you should just check it out and jump on the bandwagon if you haven't already.
Songs of Note: "Morbid Fascination," "Give Up"

Artist: Cat Power
Album: Covers
Quick Thoughts: Every so often, Chan Marshall blesses us with a new Cat Power covers record, and this one is as good as the rest. While it was pleasant to actually recognize the Nick Cave cover this time, the effort includes acts ranging from Frank Ocean to that Ryan Gosling indie rock effort from a decade or so back. Worth it as always.
Songs of Note: "Pa Pa Power," "I Had a Dream Joe"

Artist: FKA Twigs
Album: Caprisongs
Quick Thoughts: I was down with FKA twigs because she was sort of like an R&B Bjork in a lot of regards. Caprisongs is not that at all, and is probably the most straightforward effort from her yet. Doesn't make it a bad thing - far from it, it's arguably the most interesting R&B record I've heard in a while. But if you came on board thanks to her weirdness, that's missing here. Worth a listen either way.
Songs of Note: "tears in the club," "oh my love," "which way," "careless"

Artist: Steph Green
Album: Thanks for That
Quick Thoughts: I'm not sure whether to categorize this as an album or an EP, but I do know I can categorize it as a winner. Green provides a nice mix of genres and approaches in this lo-fi-ish debut, and does so in an effortless and interesting way. With a sub-20 minute runtime, it deserves your time if only for that, but I suspect you'll love what you hear.
Songs of Note: "Next Place," "Night Falls," "Thanks For That"

Of note:

* The Cheap Cassettes - Ever Since Ever Since (High quality local power pop.)
* Snowgoons - Reniassance Kings (Don't sleep on this rap effort.)
* Bonobo - Fragments
* Elvis Costello and The Imposters - The Boy Named If
* Destroyyyyer - The Journey of Recovery
* The Wombats - Fix Yourself, Not the World
* Drew Holcomb and Ellie Holcomb - Coming Home: A Collection of Songs
* The Neverists - Scream Like a Whisper
* Fuss - We're Not Alone
* Fickle Friends - Are We Gonna Be Alright?
* Chastity - Suffer Summer
* Gupi - you're it


* Martha Skye Murphy and Maxwell Sterling - Distance on Ground
* Sneaker Pimps - Rework Collection 3
* Lilblackkids - Planet of the Blues: Part One

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* Broken Social Scene - Old Dead Young (B-Sides and Rarities)
* Anna Von Hausswolff - Live at Montreaux Jazz Festival

Also out:

* The Lumineers - Brightside

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