Tuesday, February 7, 2023

First Listen: New Releases for 3 February 2023

Artist: Stella Kola
Album: Stella Kola
Quick Thoughts: Stella Kola is a musical duo out of Massachusetts that might have already made a leading candidate for best debut of 2023. This album leans heavily into the psych-folk past while still feeling incredibly modern and current, with addictive songs and absolutely beautiful instrumentation from start to finish. I did not expect to outright love this album as much as I did, and I want more. Great listen on a whole, make some time for this.
Songs of Note: "Rosa," "Epiphany," "Free Afternoon," "November," "The Air We Breathe"

Artist: Hamish Hawk
Album: Angel Numbers
Quick Thoughts: I didn't know Hamish Hawk before this week, but I wish I had, because this is an early favorite for 2023 best of lists. Hamish Hawk is what you've wanted Morrissey post-Smiths to be: a gorgeous baritone with excellent lyrics and a knack for storytelling. I was captivated by this album and was shocked at how much I loved it. Don't miss out.
Songs of Note: "Think of Us Kissing," "Elvis Look-alike Shadows," "Desperately," "Money," "Dog-eared August"

Artist: Sunny War
Album: Anarchist Gospel
Quick Thoughts: We love Sunny War here, and this album is a great example as to why. The latest from the folkie has more of the familiar message-based folk music with some solid guest performances and memorable songs, with "Swear to Gawd" in particular being a highlight. Plenty of room on this bandwagon.
Songs of Note: "Love's Death Bed," "I Got No Fight," "Swear to Gawd," "Baby Bitch"

Artist: The WAEVE
Album: The WAEVE
Quick Thoughts: I'm not going to lie to you - 15 years ago, "a guitarist from Blur forming a band with one of the Pipettes" would have sounded like musical Mad Libs, but here we are with Rose Elinor Dougall and Graham Coxon's new project, The WAEVE. It's an interesting, layered effort - it's clear that both musicians influenced this in their own ways, and songs like "Undine" feel almost hypnotic. I'm a fan.
Songs of Note: "Kill Me Again," "Sleepwalking," "You're All I Want to Know," "Undine"

Artist: Huntly
Album: Sentimental Still
Quick Thoughts: In a busy week with so much great music, I wanted to highlight Huntly, a duo that provides a great dance/R&B record in Sentimental Still. It sneaks up on you, it's just one song after another after another that just sticks with you and doesn't let go. I loved so much of this that it's worth taking some time with this week.
Songs of Note: "Undertage," "It's You I'm Here For," "Be Here 'Til I'm Not," "Make You Proud"

Artist: Evita Manji
Album: Spandrel?
Quick Thoughts: More off-center experimental pop music in 2023! This is angular and weird and wonderful, and I was shocked at how much this grabbed me. This won't be for everyone, but if you want a bit of an experimentalist challenge, this is absolutely down your alley. Like the best of Bjork and FKA Twigs.
Songs of Note: "Pitch Black," "Body/Prison," "The Lungs of a Burning Body"

Artist: Field Mouse
Album: Memory Card II
Quick Thoughts: Also out this week is a bandcamp exclusive from Field Mouse. I can't think of a band who regularly releases cover records that I enjoy as much as I enjoy Field Mouse's, and if "Banquet" doesn't get you to shell out eight bucks for an indie act that deserves it, why are you even here?
Songs of Note: "Banquet," "Head Over Heels," "One Headlight," "Always Be My Baby," "1901"

Of note:

* Hihi Sean and David McAlmont - Happy Ending (Great, chilled-out electronic collaboration.)
* Tropical Fuck Storm - Submersive Behavior
* LOTEC/Land of the El Caminos - Squares!
* Mhaol - Attachment Styles
* Say Hi - Elocution Prattle
* Faded Paper Figures - Morningside
* Silkback - K E S S E K I
* Best Fern - Earth Then Air
* Nile Marr - Lonely Hearts Killers
* Blonde Revolver - Good Girls Go to Heaven, Bad Girls Go Everywhere
* Mol Sullivan - A Little Hello
* Clara Luzia - Howl at the Moon, Gaze at the Stars!
* Las Robertas - Love is the Answer
* Loscil - Colours of Air
* The Go! Team - Get Up Sequences Part Two
* Saigon Blue Rain - Oko
* Keep - Happy In Here
* Metal Marty - Metal Marty's Greatest Hits


* Bedridden - Amateur Heartthrob
* Harper - Spider
* Elanor Moss - Cosmic
* Teen Daze - Natural Movement
* gyrofield - Stimulus
* Alec Schulman - Light That Slips Away
* The Freqs - Poachers

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* Fantastic Negrito - Grandfather Courage
* Ears of the People: Ekonting Songs from Senegal and the Gambia
Also out:

* The Faith Hills Have Eyes - The Riffth Element
* The Smashing Pumpkins - ATUM - Act I & II
* Tomboucou - Tricky Floors

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