Album: Songs Without Jokes
Quick Thoughts: You know Bret McKenzie from Flight of the Concords, and while this is billed as an album "without jokes," it's still a fun listen on a whole. This is some serious songwriting even while McKenzie isn't taking himself terribly seriously, and the result has a feeling of sitting in a piano bar, sipping a drink and having a grand old time. I really enjoyed this one.
Songs of Note: "That's L.A.," "A Little Tune," "Tomorrow Today"
Album: Let's Turn It Into Sound
Quick Thoughts: Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith is one of my favorite experimental-type electronic artists, and this specific album is honestly better listened as a whole rather than the parts. It's got a lot of interesting structures and soundscapes throughout, and it kept grabbing my attention across the whole runtime. If you're not against some more challenging listens, you owe it to yourself to give this a listen.
Songs of Note: "Check Your Translation"
Album: All Of Us Flames
Quick Thoughts: Ezra Furman keeps getting better and better. Their latest effort feels almost majestic in its presentation, with a ton of passion to go with its flourish. The end result is an album I liked quite a bit, but it's worth the time if only because it is such an honest, straightforward piece of art. They deserve all the credit in the world for this one.
Songs of Note: "Book Of Our Names," "Poor Girl a Long Way From Heaven," "Temple of Broken Dreams"
Album: Long Time To Be Gone
Quick Thoughts: Speaking of honest, Nora Brown presents a super honest roots record that feels like it's recorded directly from the deck of a farmhouse. It's quiet and pure in all the right ways, and while I don't have much else to say about it, in a summer of a lot of roots records, this one certainly stands out.
Songs of Note: "Southern Texas," "Po' Black Sheep," "Rye Whiskey - Little Birdie," "Jenny Put the Kettle On," "Cumberland Gap"
* Heather Nova - Other Shores (A solid collection of covers.)
* Valerie June - Under Cover (Also a solid collection of covers.)
* Rachika Nayar - Heaven Come Crashing (An interesting ambient-style album.)
* Muse - Will of the People (Muse are very good at what they do, and this sort of anthemic populist rock fits them well.)
* Let's Whisper - The In-Between Times
* Gently Tender - Take Hold of Your Promise!
* William Orbit - The Painter
* Chris Forsyth - Evolution Here We Come
* Marcus King - Young Blood
* Stella Donnelly - Flood
* Wormy - I'm Sweating All The Time
* Tommy McLain - I Ran Down Every Dream
* Julia Jacklin - PRE PLEASURE
* The Lounge Society - Tired of Liberty
* Duncan Sheik - Claptrap
* Tropical Fuck Storm - Moonburn
* Savoir Faire - Think Twice
* Ron's Car - Who's Gonna Listen
* Arc Iris - We Found Home...
* Amy Dabbs - Baddest Gal
* Thanya Iyer - rest
* Centershift - Of...
* Evil - The Second Death
* Grampfather - 666G
* BRUX - BADBOI
* smntha - And Now I'm In Bed...
* Carlos Davey - Hambalt