Wednesday, May 10, 2023

First Listen: New Releases for 5 May 2023

Artist: David Wax Museum
Album: You Must Change Your Life
Quick Thoughts: David Wax Museum is part of why this blog project exists, and they've consistently been a favorite band of ours for well over a decade. You Must Change Your Life has all sorts of meaning for the band, to be sure, but it also resonates as a listener who is right at the same age as singer-songwriter David Wax. Talk about an album I needed at age 42, at this point in time, at this stage of existence? It's great. The band has changed quite a bit over the years, but what's great about the new album is how some of the more recent output from the band feels like it has finally merged with the mexi-folk sound we've come to love so much. It's a really brilliant record, and one that can serve as an on-ramp for those who might not be clued in on how great this band is.
Songs of Note: "You Must Change Your Life," "Best Lover," "Luanne," "Ahualulco," "Hey Annie"

Artist: Five Fingers of Funk
Album: Portland Say It Again
Quick Thoughts: I am ashamed to say that I had never heard of Five Fingers of Funk until Ken sent this one over this week. I've since learned that they are a Northwestern rap group known for their live instrumentation as opposed to sampling, and that they recently reunited after a couple decades off. I loved this record. It has the old school flow with the instrumentation that made them famous to everyone (except me), and the songs are equal parts uplifting and urgent. A great listen this week.
Songs of Note: "We Were Big in the Nineties," "My Mom's Prius," "Stick's Theme"

Artist: Jax Hollow
Album: Only the Wild Ones
Quick Thoughts: Jax Hollow is a singer songwriter with some Massachusetts roots, and her debut album doesn't reinvent the wheel of roots music, but does a great job forging her own path and style on a well-worn road. I was charmed by this whole effort and given the amount of roots and folk music we've seen lately, it's a high bar to clear. This is absolutely worth some of your time this week.
Songs of Note: "Wallflower Girl in Bloom," "Renegade Season"

Artist: Atmosphere
Album: So Many Other Realities Exist Simultaneously
Quick Thoughts: So I think Atmosphere became the best rappers on the planet when no one was looking. This album is long, but it doesn't feel long, and while it's weighty, it doesn't feel epic in scope. It's kind of perfect? I've been a fan of "Sculpting With Fire" since it dropped, but there's really not a bad song on here. Check this out.
Songs of Note: "Okay," "Dotted Lines," "In My Head," "Talk Talk," "After Tears," "Sculpting With Fire"

Artist: 7ebra
Album: Bird Hour
Quick Thoughts: A shout-out to 7ebra, who provides a great slice of indie rock with some hook-laden songs across Bird Hour. I've been obsessed with "If I Ask Her" for a few months now, and was pleasantly surprised to hear that the rest of the album was just as good. It's a nice, classic alt-rock record that should make the band huge if there's any justice in the world.
Songs of Note: "I Like to Pretend," "If I Ask Her," "I Have a Lot to Say," "Lighter Better"

Of note:

* 79.5 - 79.5 (Concept synth act, very interesting and compelling.)
* Jenny Owen Youngs - OFFAIR: from the forest floor (Indie singer-songwriter tries her hand at instrumental ambient.)
* PowerSolo - Jambalaya - Xtra Spicy
* Angelica Rockne - The Rose Society
* Bike - Arte Bruta
* Fixions - Cybermagic Tales
* Mouraine - In Search of Gold
* upsammy - Germ in a Population of Buildings
* Cloth - Secret Measure
* Immaterial Possession - Mercy of the Crane Folk
* Eilen Jewell - Get Behind the Wheel
* Angel Abaya - The Bubble
* April March and Staplin - April March Meets Staplin
* Olivia Jean - Raving Ghost
* Battle Tapes - Texture
* Nanna - How to Start a Garden
* Busdriver - Made in Love
* Frd again... and Brian Eno - Secret Life
* The Album Leaf - Future Falling
* Flume - Arrived Anxiious, Left Bored
* Lesley Mok - The Living Collection
* Durand Jones - Wait Til I Get Over
* Cosmic Kitten - Laugh of a Lifetime
* Alison Brown - On Banjo
* felicita - Spalarkle


* Mallory Chipman - As Though I Had Wings
* Angela Petrilli and The Players - The Voices
* Ship Wrek - NO GUEST LIST
* Flasher - In My Myth
* Jayla Kai - The Short Song Project
* The Octopus Project - I Want Vikram
* Nice World - Enjoy the Weather
* girlhouse - the fourth ep

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* Sound Mind (If you were wondering what your student loan payments were paying for...)
* Minimal Schlager - Dance is a Place of Resilience
* Tove Lo - Dirt Femme (Stripped)

Also out:

* yMusic - YMUSIC
* Peter One - Come Back to Me
* Lumsk - Fremmede Toner
* Dex Romweber - Good Thing Goin'
* Idle Pilot - Ok, Great!
* Emily King - Special Occasion

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