Wednesday, March 8, 2023

First Listen: New Releases for 3 March 2023

Artist: Steve Mason
Album: Brothers & Sisters
Quick Thoughts: It's funny, I was spending some time recently thinking about The Beta Band and wondering what the lead singer was up to, and it turns out he had a new album out. He's done a few solo records that I missed and I'm looking forward to getting caught up with, because this is a really good listen that is reminiscent enough of Beta Band without feeling like just a BB solo effort. Has a lot of interesting influences throughout, and it's not one to miss.
Songs of Note: "I'm On My Way," "Pieces of Me," "Upon My Soul," "Brothers & Sisters"

Artist: Hello Mary
Album: Hello Mary
Quick Thoughts: I fell for "Spiral" a few weeks/months back as one of those songs that just stuck with me, and I'm happy to say that the self-titled album provides a great slice of alt-rock with a stack of songs that will get stuck in your head. "Spiral" is still a winner, but songs like "Comfort" show that it's not a flash in the pan. As far as I'm concerned, this is a slam dunk in a busy week, and a mandatory listen for the alt-rock fans.
Songs of Note: "Comfort," "Spiral"

Artist: Adi Oasis
Album: Lotus Glow
Quick Thoughts: I'm really not one to get into soul music. Never really been my thing, and that's more a personal issue than anything with the genre. So why did Adi Oasis's solo debut work so well for me? I know it's partially because the songs are so good, but also because there definitely feels like there's a purpose underpinning it. Sometimes it's like "Dumpalltheguns," which is explicitly political, but the whole album rides a current of meaning and importance, and it made it stand out. This is worth a listen.
Songs of Note: "Get It Got It," "Dumpalltheguns," "Naked"

Artist: Tanukichan
Album: GIZMO
Quick Thoughts: Tanukichan is one of those artists that, for whatever reason, I don't associate with the indie/alt movement at all, even though GIZMO is probably the most melodic and catchy effort in that vein in some time. Every song on here is a winner, but it's just fascinating how we get banger after banger after banger in this record without question. Do not hesitate to give this a listen, it's one of the best of the week.
Songs of Note: "Escape," "Make Believe," "Thin Air," "Take Care," "Nothing to Lose"

Artist: Otyken
Album: Phenomenon
Quick Thoughts: Otyken is a Siberian indigeonous group that mixes native instrumentation and influences with modern electronic music, and you might think it doesn't sound like it can work until you hear throat singing over a club beat. If "Genesis" doesn't get you moving, I don't know what else to say. They've apparently made it pretty big on TikTok as of late (I'm too stuck on mental illness tok to notice), but you shouldn't wait to listen to this, it's one of those acts that could make it absolutely huge if the cards fall the right way.
Songs of Note: "White Mountain," "Genesis," "My Wing," "Legend," "Kykacha," "Fashion Day"

Artist: Jackie Extreme
Album: ONYX
Quick Thoughts: I will be honest: I don't know what's true anymore. Jackie Extreme is purportedly the personification of an artificial intelligence singer and songwriter, with ONYX either partially or fully developed by some musically minded AI users. Turns out the computers really like hyperpop? If the story is even partially true, this is an interesting listen if only to understand what to fear from our robot overlords, but you'll probably find a few songs worth going back to as well.

Of note:

* Fake Names - Expendables (Solid punk-adjacent music.)
* The Brothers Comatose - Ear Snacks (Pretty great collection of classic roots songs.)
* Che Noir - Noir or Never (One of the best recent rap releases.)
* Xiu Xiu - Ignore Grief
* Benoit Pioulard - Eidetic
* Taleen Kali - Flower of Life
* Vril - Animist
* Conductor Williams - CONDUCTOR WE HAVE A PROBLEM
* Skott - Roses N Guns
* Spektral Quartet, Julia Holter, and Alex Temple - Behind the Wallpaper
* Gnoomes - Ax Ox
* Zoe McPherson - Pitch Blender
* Po - Cociage
* Sluice - Radial Gate
* Otay:onii - Dream Hacker
* May Erlewine - The Real Thing
* Taylor Janzen - I Live in Patterns
* Nuovo Testamento - Love Lines
* Kate NV - WOW
* Jen Cloher - I Am The River, The River Is Me
* Wildelux - The It Factor
* babybaby_explores - Food Near Me, Weather Tomorrow
* The Whiffs - Scratch 'n' Sniff
* Luke Vibert - Machine Funk
* Whitney Walker - A Dog Staring Into a Mirror on the Floor
* Maraschino - Hollywood Piano
* Ella Vos - SUPERGLUE
* Mach Hommy and Tha God Fahim - Notorious Dump Legends: Volume 2
* Uniforms - Trance
* Cisser Maehl - Innemuseum


* Kingdom of Birds - Barks & Moans
* Hunter Ellis - Torch Songs
* Fetch Tiger - Flamethrower
* Bjarki - Look at yourself
* Whenwolves - Recon for the Weirdos
* Storefront Church - The Covers
* The Techno Hall of Fame - Leaving Cha-Cha City, Pt. 1
* United Freedom Collective - Space Intention EP
* Ignez and Rodhad - Vermillion
* Grocer - Scatter Plot
* Brainwaltzera - Royal Wavetable Melodies and Old TDKs
* Luke Laird, Lori McKenna, and Barry Dean - The Songwriter Tapes, Vol. 1
* Dry Cleaning - Swampy EP

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* William Basinski - The Clocktower at the Beach (1979) (Basinski remains a master of the ambient/classical composition, and has for over 40 years.)
* Maud Geffray - Nite Sessions

Also out:

* Charming Disaster - Super Natural History
* Sharp Pins - Turtle Rock
* McKenna Grace - Bittersweet 16

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