Tuesday, January 24, 2023

First Listen: New Releases for 20 January 2023

Artist: Teen Angst
Album: Barn Sour
Quick Thoughts: If you've spent any length of time here, you know how much we love our 90s alt-rock-style albums, and Teen Angst feels like it fits right into that slot. I really enjoyed this listen, which is a pretty strasightforward indie/alt record with some truly fun songs. In what is the first truly busy release week of 2023, it's worth your time.
Songs of Note: "Leaving Home," "Asleep"

Artist: abracadabra
Album: shapes & colors
Quick Thoughts: So I added this to my queue on a bit of a lark, and ended up with a really charming indie electronic record. It's quirky and different while still feeling familiar, and I pretty much loved the whole thing. You'll get the vibe on it pretty quickly, but if you know going in about how delightful this will be, you'll have a good time.
Songs of Note: "in a photo," "don't like u," "at the zoo"

Artist: Jadu Heart
Album: Derealized
Quick Thoughts: More fuzzy, electronic indie music, this time from a new-to-me band Jadu Heart. This duo, who straddle the line between synthy and shoegaze, demand your attention from the very start, and I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly this grew on me. If you're into the more slowcore-style walls of sound, this is worth your time.
Songs of Note: "Blame," "I Shimmer," "Webs"

Artist: Dave Rowntree
Album: Radio Songs
Quick Thoughts: Dave Rowntree, drummer for Blur, is better known in his individual capacity for his film and television scores. Radio Songs, his proper debut solo effort, is magnificent. It's a gorgeous, measured affair with meticulous instrumentation and some great production value. As someone unfamiliar with his film work, it definitely provides a score-like atmosphere from time to time, but a song like "London Bridge" stands on its own. It's not what you'd expect from Blur, but it is a favorite this week.
Songs of Note: "Devil's Island," "London Bridge," "Tape Measure"

Artist: The Bad Ends
Album: The Power and the Glory
Quick Thoughts: The Bad Ends are a supergroup of sorts from Athens, Georgia, and their biggest "claim to fame," as it were, is that it's the return of R.E.M.'s Bill Berry behind a drum kit, his first real band since leaving R.E.M. 25 years ago. It's a great power pop record in many regards, and a lot of the songs are winners as a result. If Dad College Rock was a thing, this would qualify? That's a compliment. It's a solid listen.
Songs of Note: "Ode to Jose," "Honestly," "New York Murder Suicide," "All Your Friends Are Dying," "The Ballad of Satan's Bride"

Artist: Ella Hooper
Album: Small Town Temple
Quick Thoughts: Ella Hooper locks down my favorite roots/folkish record of the week. It's a great listen on its own accord, but songs like "Grow Wild" and "Oh My Goddess!" stand on their merits as solid songs. In a busier than recently seen week, make some time for this one.
Songs of Note: "Grow Wild," "Words Like These," "The Basics and Stuff," "Oh My Goddess!"

Of note:

* The C.I.A. - Surgery Channel (A lot of great moments.)
* July Talk - Remember Never Before (Also has some great moments.)
* Zach & Maggie - The Elephant in the Room (Theatrical(?) folk.)
* Ryuichi Sakamoto - 12
* Siv Jakobsen - Gardening
* Bianca Scout - The Heart of the Anchoress
* Nighttime - Keeper is the Heart
* 99LETTERS - Makafushigi
* Lauds - Imitation Life
* Ghost Woman - Anne If
* John Cale - MERCY
* Lapsley - Cautionary Tales of Youth
* Ladytron - Time's Arrow
* Rian Treanor and Ocen James - Saccades
* Nuria Graham - Cyclamen
* The Shang Hi Los - Aces Eights and Heartbreaks
* Fran - Leaving
* Agar Agar - Player Non Player
* Gemma Ray - Gemma Ray and the Death Bell Gang
* The Murder Capital - Gigi's Recovery


* Danny Arakaki - Tumble in Shade
* Biig Piig - Bubblegum

Also out:

* Mojo Sapiens - Empire of Dust
* Bobbie Lovesong - On the Wind
* Megadose - Heating Up
* Orchestra Gold - Medicine
* Guided By Voices - La La Land

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