Tuesday, February 14, 2023

First Listen: New Releases for 10 February 2023

Artist: Quasi
Album: Breaking the Balls of History
Quick Thoughts: The first Quasi record in some time, and the first since Janet Weiss's departure from Sleater-Kinney, feels like a Quasi record in all the right ways. It's a little profane, a little angular, but still incredibly compelling. If you're a fan, you'll find a lot to love here, especially in songs like "Doomscrollers" that somehow nail the current mood perfectly. Worth your time for sure.
Songs of Note: "Queen of Ears," "Shitty is Pretty," "Doomscrollers," "Nowheresville"

Artist: Pearla
Album: Oh Glistening Onion, the Nighttime is Coming
Quick Thoughts: I think I was midway through the second song of this one and texted Ken to let him know how outstanding this was. It's a super polished roots-laden record that doesn't take its foot off the pedal from the very start. "Strong" is an early song of the year candidate for me in particular, but this is just by far the best record out this week and will be one I'm very excited to get back to.
Songs of Note: "Strong," "Effort," "About Hunger, About Love," "Unglow The," "The Mysterious Bubble of the Turkey Swamp"

Artist: Rebecca Black
Album: Let Her Burn
Quick Thoughts: It's impossible to talk about Rebecca Black without talking about "Friday," but with that out of the way Let Her Burn is definitely an effort to try and forge a new path. While she was taken under the wing of the hyperpop community, and while many of the songs here have a firm hyperpop feel, this definitely feels like a more unique record in how it straddles the line. Most importantly, though, the record feels like a statement from Rebecca Black that she is going to do her own thing and I can't fault that at all. The good news, though? The album is actually really great. She knows her way around a melody, takes some chances, and the short runtime means nothing lingers longer than it should. Curiosity piece or legitimate, this is one you shouldn't miss.
Songs of Note: "Destroy Me," "Misery Loves Company," "Doe Eyed," "Look at You"

Artist: Someone
Album: Owls
Quick Thoughts: A Tessa Rose Jackson project, this album is a quiet and gorgeous singer-songwriter album with a little personality to go along with it. I was especially taken by how the songs felt whole and complete even as a new project. In a busy-ish week, and one without a lot of folkish stuff, this should make your rotation.
Songs of Note: "Suddenly," "I'm Only Brokenhearted," "I Guess I'm Changing"

Artist: Power Plush
Album: Coping Fantasies
Quick Thoughts: A shout-out to Power Plush, who is definitely one of the many feminist rock acts we've seen hit the scene as of late. What sets this band apart is their ability and desire not only to flip the script a bit (like with "Leave Me Alone" and "Girl, He Toxic"), but to wear its message on its sleeve with a deceptively peppy package. Make time.
Songs of Note: "Butterfly," "Heavenly," "Leave Me Alone," "Girl, He Toxic"

Of note:

* Maps - Counter Melodies (Feels like an early 1990s Orbital record.)
* Mary Elizabeth Remington - In Embudo (Gorgeous effort.)
* Paramore - This is Why (15 years ago I felt too old to like Paramore, and today I feel like Paramore is old enough for me to like them. Does that make sense? Great album btw.)
* Little Fuss - Girls at Parties
* Lisa O'Neill - All Of This Is Chance
* Kelela - Raven
* The Notwist - Vertigo Days
* Marlene Ribeiro - Toquei no Sol
* The Brian Jonestown Massacre - The Future is Your Past
* Feral Five - Truth is the New Gold
* Spacey Jane - Here Comes Everybody
* Bailey Miller - love is a dying
* Black Belt Eagle Scout - The Land, The Water, The Sky
* Liv.e - Girl in the Half Pearl
* Amber Arcades - Barefoot on Diamond Road
* OAA - Source and Origin
* Andy Shauf - Norm
* MARBLES - Humour
* Maelstrom and Louisahhh - Sustained Resistance
* ONBC - Dark Matter
* Yo La Tengo - This Stupid World
* Ditch Days - Blossom
* Tennis - Pollen
* Hollie Kenniff - We All Have Places That We Miss
* Baby Cool - Earthling on the Road to Self Love
* El Ten Eleven - Valley of Fire

* EPs:

* Brian Eno, Jon Hopkins, and Leo Abrahams - Small Craft
* Kelly Lee Owens - LP.8.2
* M83 - Fantasy - Chapter 1
* The Last Dinosaur and Lila Tristram - Black and White Melodies Ignited by the Scent of Springtime Explode in Color
* Two Shell - lol spirits
* Lily Mao and The Resonaters
* crushed - extra life

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* Wombo - Fairy Rust and Selected Demos

Also out:

* eMolecule - The Architect

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