Album: Decent Shapes
Quick Thoughts: I love love love this album. It's like an 80s gothic dance party with a 2010s gloss, or Sleater-Kinney dressed as Morphine or Oh-OK for Halloween, and I loved it so much, from start to finish. This largely came out of nowhere for me this week, and it's not one to be missed - it balances a conceptual narrative through a tracklisting that doesn't overstay its welcome, and I'll be honest, it feels near-perfect. It's not just one of the best of the week, but this is shooting up my best of the year list. It's that good. A mandatory listen this week. Songs of Note: "Red Lines," "The Guilt," "Party Interest," "Drainer," "Cancellation Notice"
Quick Thoughts: In the last few years I have become semi-obsessed with the ambient compositions of William Basinski without knowing that he also dabbles in a jazz-ish band, SPARKLE DIVISION, which has grooves for days while just being weird enough to require closer attention. It's a fun record, with hints of a lot of different ideas throughout, but does not devolve in the sort of looping dread Basinski is known for. Give this some time.
Songs of Note: "Here Comes Trouble," "Oh Yeah!," "Slip and Slide"
Album: Till You Return
Quick Thoughts: We see our share of punk and pop-punk records here, but Teenage Halloween is a little more memorable than most. With great vocals and an unabashed, uncompromising presence, it stands out from the rest, and it has more than a handful of super-catchy tracks to keep things interesting. In a busy week with some great listens, you should make sure this gets in the rotation.
Songs of Note: "Takeaway," "Armageddon Now," "Say It"
Quick Thoughts: Steph Green has been on our radar for a bit, and Lore is the sort of dusty gothic roots music I absolutely adore. Green spends a lot of time setting a mood that works for the sort of twang she's twanging, and it absolutely works. In a week of many interesting releases, this one does a lot of work to stand out, and it's an excellent listen.
Songs of Note: "Hold Me Under," "Arkansas Valley," "Take a Walk," "Kettle Valley"
Quick Thoughts: Rev. Hayter previously performed under the name Lingua Ignota, and her 2021 album SINNER GET READY was a deliberately uncomfortable album that dealt with religious belief and all the baggage that can come along with it. This new album takes the Appalachian mood she fostered in SINNER and pushes it even further, complete with a production that gives it a radio revivalist flair. It's not going to work for everybody, but this scratched some specific itches for me in a way I didn't anticipate, and it is far and away the most interesting listen this week.
Songs of Note: "ALL OF MY FRIENDS ARE GOING TO HELL," "PRECIOUS LORD TAKE MY HAND," "NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS"
Album: Ask for Angela
Quick Thoughts: Along the lines of great punk-aligned records this week is a riff-heavy entry from CHROMA, a band I was not aware of prior to this week. I don't have a ton to say about it except that it was one I sent over to Ken fairly quickly because of how much I enjoyed it, and it hits just right with a lot of these songs. Make time.
Songs of Note: "Woman to Woman," "I Wanna Be Where You Are," "Bombs Away"
* Lone Pinon - Cuatro Vidas (David Wax-related (literally) traditional Mexican folk!)
* Pip Blom - Bobbie (The continued evolution of Pip Blom remains required listening.)
* The Rolling Stones - Hackney Diamonds (This is surprisingly solid.)
* Emily Wolfe - The Blowback
* Maria BC - Spike Field
* Japan, Man - Metropolis
* Poolside - Blame It All On Love
* ME REX - Giant Elk
* Ah! Cosmos and Hainback - Blast of Sirens
* Lee Gamble - Models
* Dusk - Glass Pastures
* Emma Anderson - Pearlies
* Denuit - Ritual
* Forest Swords - Bolted
* Ebony Lamb - Ebony Lamb
* awakebutstillinbed - chaos takes the wheel and i am a passenger
* Bella Boo - DreamySpaceyBlue
* Sun June - Bad Dream Jaguar
* Saint Abdullah and Eomac - Chasing Stateless
* Carla J Easton - Sugar Honey
* Glen Hansard - All That Was East is West of Me Now
* Vague Imaginaires - L'ile D'or
* Hippie Death Cult - Helichrysum
* Galya Bisengalieva - Polygon
* Jane Remover - Census Designated
* Sampha - Lahai
* Moyka - Movies, Cars & Heartbreak
* Finom - OHMME
* patten - Deep Blue
* Santa Chiara - IMPORTED
* Katie Von Schliecher - A Little Touch of Schleicher in the Night
* Carpool Tunnel - Don't Let Them Pass You By
* Lost Girls - Selvutsletter
* Sleaford Mods - MORE UK GRIM
* DJ Smokey - Cowboys With Nukes
* Tristan Arp - The Self Elastic
* Lloyd's House - The Masochist
* Allegra Krieger - Fragile Plane: B-Sides
* Rabit - SUN DRAGON EP (2014)
* Double Star - Late at night inside my head EP
* Griff - vert1go vol. 1
* Izzy Heltai - mostly myself again
* Sub Lights - Dark Wave
* Florentino - KLilometro Quinze
* Dawn Richard - The Architect
* Junebug - My Therapist Told Me
* Bo Milli - Making Friends EP
* May Erlewine and Packy Lundholm - Knox Avenue Recordings
* Slothrust - I Promise
* HotWax - Invite me, kindly
* Judgitzu - Sator Arepo
* Bad Books - II: Revisited