Tuesday, September 12, 2023

First Listen: New Releases for 8 September 2023

Artist: Olivia Rodrigo
Album: GUTS
Quick Thoughts: Nothing makes me feel like an old creeper quite like my enjoyment of Olivia Rodrigo. The 20-year-old singer-songwriter is back with a poppy follow-up to SOUR and she basically proves with this album that she wasn't just a flash in the pan. Her songwriting is super-confessional, extremely in-the-moment, and has its share of funny parts to balance from the very direct soul-bearing efforts. She's basically what we all thought Avril Lavigne was supposed to be when she first hit the scene, and I'm here for it.
Songs of Note: "bad idea right?" "vampire," "ballad of a homeschooled girl," "get him back!"

Artist: Allison Russell
Album: The Returner
Quick Thoughts: Allison Russell's latest is a bit of an evolution from her very rootsy debut, exploring different themes and songwriting while still staying true to what made her first album so appealing. Songs like "Springtime" feel like instant classics, and I'm a big fan in the early going of "Demons," but the whole album is worth the time and I'm glad she's back with new music.
Songs of Note: "Springtime," "All Without Within," "Demons," "Eve Was Black," "Snakelife"

Artist: CLT DRP
Album: Nothing Clever, Just Feelings
Quick Thoughts: Yes, this band's name is "clit drip," but don't let that dissuade you. This is a noisy, unique listening experience that carves its own path through a part-electroclash part-alt-rock landscape, and comes out with a truly memorable record that I didn't expect. This won't be for everyone, to be sure, but this is definitely worth giving a shot - I really enjoyed this listen.
Songs of Note: "Nothing Clever, Just Feelings," "M.U.T.M.," "Cake 4 The Women," "Only One," "DAILY AFFIRMATIONS"

Artist: Lillie Mae and Family
Album: Festival Eyes
Quick Thoughts: Lillie Mae has a few albums under her belt at this point, and each one features her unique voice with above-average songwriting. I constantly forget how gorgeous her singing is until there's a new album out, and then I remember how great she is. This is a roots-forward effort with a little more grit on it, and it's worth your time this week.
Songs of Note: "Razor Love," "Please Be With Me," "Festival Eyes"

Artist: Romy
Album: Mid Air
Quick Thoughts: Wanted to highlight this effort from one of the members of the xx. This feels like a brighter xx record in many regards, stripped of its moodiness in favor of a trance-adjacent sound that wouldn't feel off in any electronic playlist even though they aren't certified club-style bangers (okay, maybe "Strong" is...). If you've missed the xx in recent years, this will scratch the itch more than fine.
Songs of Note: "Weightless," "Strong," "Twice," "Did I," "Enjoy Your Life," "She's On My Mind"

Artist: EZ Band
Album: Make it Norteño Vol. 1
Quick Thoughts: Highlighting a few missed albums, this Mexican band is getting lots of love on TikTok for their norteño-influenced covers of popular rock and pop songs, and this collection of tunes does a fairly great job of bringing them all together. This either will or won't be your thing and you'll know pretty quick, but this was absolutely one of my favorite finds this week.
Songs of Note: "The Scientist," "We Are Young," "Santeria," "Creep"

Artist: Loupe
Album: Do You Ever Wonder What Comes Next?
Quick Thoughts: Another missed album, Loupe's brand of indie rock feels familiar enough for listeners of the genre while still forging its own path. I loved the energy this album brings to the table, and songs that are as mysterious as they are straightforward. This is a polished effort worth some time.
Songs of Note: "Caught in the Moment," "My Hands," "Holding Me Too Tight"

Artist: whenyoung
Album: Paragon Songs
Quick Thoughts: Also wanted to highlight whenyoung a bit, which is a loud-ish indie effort with a lot going for it. It's got the right mix of angst with the great songwriting that it deserves to not get lost in the proverbial shuffle - "Shame Train" in particular is outstanding. Check it out.
Songs of Note: "Shame Train," "A Little Piece of Heaven," "Unchained"

Of note:

* Skatune Network - Ska Goes Emo, Vol. 3 (Does what it says on the tin.)
* Mustard Plug - Where Did All My Friends Go? (Ska ain't dead, folks!)
* Ana Quiroga - Azabache (Some excellent ambient work.)
* Black Market Brass - Hox
* Soda Blonde - Dream Big
* Johnny Dynamite and the Bloodsuckers - The Tale of Tommy Gunn
* DSM-V - Life is Done
* Anjimile - The King
* Everyone Asked About You - Paper Airplanes, Paper Hearts
* Durry - Suburban Legend
* HJonathan Wilson - Eat the Worm
* cursetheknife - There's a Place I Can Rest
* Echo Ladies - Lilies
* Coach Party - KILLJOY
* Kristin Hersh - Clear Pond Road
* Krust - Irrational Numbers
* The Chemical Brothers - For That Beautiful Feeling
* Deeper - Careful!
* Deena Abdelwahed - Jbal Rrsas
* GAIKA - Drift
* Sarah Davachi - Selected Works II
* Belako - Sigo Regandov
* The Coral - Sea of Mirrors
* caro♡ - wild at ♡
* Electric Six - Turqoise
* Soft Science - Lines
* 38 Spesh and Conway the Machine - Sheshal Machinery


* Roosevelt - Forevermore
* Tyler Childers - Rustlin' in the Rain
* Proper. - Part-Timer
* Bodysync - Rave Generator EP
* Kate Teague - Loose Screw

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* A Song for Leon: A Tribute to Leon Russell
* Chasing Dreams (Volume 1)

Also out:

* ISIS - Mosquito Control / The Red Sea
* Sparklehorse - Bird Machine
* Medicine Horse - Medicine Horse

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