Tuesday, May 17, 2022

First Listen: New Releases for 13 May

Artist: Tray Wellington
Album: Black Banjo
Quick Thoughts: Every once in a while you trip up on an album that you didn't expect, and find it to be an absolute gem. That's what happened with Black Banjo, a roots record with such a great mix of music and musical styles that it just kept me in awe through its runtime. Great, great tunes throughout and one I'm really looking forward to getting back to.
Songs of Note: "Crooked Mind," "Saw a Little Boat," "Wasted Time"

Artist: Elephant Gym
Album: Dreams
Quick Thoughts: Another band I didn't know before Ken sent this over, and holy crap is this good. Elephant Gym makes some progressive-leaning stuff with excellent musicianship and a sound unlike anything else I've heard. It absolutely wowed me in a week with a lot of wow power, and if a song like "Deities' Party" doesn't absolutely nail it for you, I don't know what else to say. One of the best of the week.
Songs of Note: "Witches," "Deities' Party"

Artist: Say Sue Me
Album: The Last Thing Left
Quick Thoughts: Say Sue Me feels like they've been bubbling under for ages, and The Last Thing Left really feels like it could potentially be a breakout effort. Very Beths-esque at times, it's a perfect indie rock record in a lot of ways. If you haven't gotten on board yet, you have no excuse.
Songs of Note: "Still Here," "Around You, "No Real Place," "The Last Thing Left"

Artist: The Smile
Album: A Light for Attracting Attention
Quick Thoughts: In terms of Radiohead side projects, this is probably my favorite one in a while, and is probably my favorite Radiohead-related effort in over a decade. The Smile is Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, and UK percussion stalwart Tom Skinner, and it truly does feel like Radiohead's natural extension from A Moon Shaped Pool in many regards. Still, it is its own thing - songs like "A Hairdryer" and "Free In the Knowledge" are both challenging in all the right ways. Still, this isn't like Yorke's solo work or Atoms for Peace, either. It's a middle ground of sorts, and it's great.
Songs of Note: "The Same," "Pana-vision," "The Opposite," "Free in the Knowledge," "A Hairdryer," "We Don't Know What Tomorrow Brings"

Of note:

* 49 Winchester - Fortune Favors the Bold (Solid country/roots music.)
* Norma - HELL.O.V.E. (Solid pop.)
* Mandy Moore - In Real Life (Reminiscent of her Amanda Leigh record.)
* Kendrick Lamar - Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers (While this didn't connect with me, people love this.)
* Leikeli47 - Shape Up
* Tank and the Bangas - Red Balloon
* Florence + The Machine - Dance Fever
* Mallrat - Butterfly Blue
* Mama's Broke - Narrow Line
* The Black Keys - Dropout Boogie
* Dorsal Fins - Star of the Show
* Kevin Morby - This is a Photograph
* 3lh - Silver Dream Road
* Donna Blue - Dark Roses
* Quelle Chris - Deathfame


* The Girls - Tea Party
* Onyx - Onyx Versus Everybody
* TOPS - Empty Seats
* Deep Tan - Diamond Horsetail
* The Corps - From Oblivion
* Justin Martin - Let's EP Remixes
* Winona Fighter - Father Figure
* Erica Mantone - I May Have Asked for This

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* La Femme - Levitation Sessions (Live)
* Flat Worms - Live in Los Angeles
* Karen Elson - Green (Deluxe)

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