Tuesday, January 30, 2024

First Listen: New Releases for 26 January 2024

Artist: Future Islands
Album: People Who Aren't There Anymore
Quick Thoughts: When "Seasons (Waiting On You)" became a surprise critical favorite, complete with chaotic Letterman/Jools Holland performances, I wasn't sure if their brand of synth-forward indie rock would work with Samuel T. Herring's unique voice in the long term. They've remained a favorite of the indie set, but People Who Aren't There Anymore feels like an accessible entrypoint in a way they haven't gone before. "King of Sweden" and "The Tower" in particular both feel epic and present, and the album gives a mood of a true journey across its tracklisting. I loved this, and in a week with a lot of really solid releases this shouldn't be ignored.
Songs of Note: "King of Sweden," "The Tower," "Give Me The Ghost Back," "The Thief," "Iris," "Peach"

Artist: Angry Blackmen
Album: The Legend of ABM
Quick Thoughts: Ken sent this to me with the note that I'll either be obsessed with it or hate it outright. It's the former: The Legend of ABM has a dystopian industrial feel that feels like an unholy marriage between Richard D. James and Tyler, the Creator, which probably raises more questions than it answers. It's a chaos demon wrapped up in alternative hip-hop and I am very hear for it. This won't be for everybody, but if it's for you, you'll absolutely figure that out quickly.
Songs of Note: "FNA," "Sabotage," "Amor Propio," "Outsiders"

Artist: TORRES
Album: What an enormous room
Quick Thoughts: Ah, TORRES. I was shocked to see how many albums we have from her at this point because every single one builds upon and improves on the next. What an enormous room showcases a singer-songwriter at the height of her powers, and demonstrates that she is someone more people should be hearing. A mandatory listen this week. (Also, unexpected appearance from Sarah Jaffe!)
Songs of Note: "I got the fear," "Artificial limits," "Wake to flowers," "Forever home"

Artist: Cheekface
Album: It's Sorted
Quick Thoughts: Cheekface is party music for people who aren't really into parties but wish Cake wasn't so serious all the time, which means it's music for me and it's great. It's Sorted feels like it has more singing than their previous efforts, which is more than fine unless the sort of gimmick Cheekface puts forward is the appeal for you. For me, I liked their last album a lot and I think I might like this one even more? It's sneaky great, and it's a great start to the year.
Songs of Note: "The Fringe," "I Am Continuing to Do My Thing," "Grad School," "Life in a Bag"

Artist: Office Dog
Album: Spiel
Quick Thoughts: I wanted to shout out Office Dog's album here. It's classic alt-rock in all its forms, with the right balance of indie grit and mainstream determination. Absolutely worth the time this week, and it has a lot of solid songs going for it.
Songs of Note: "Antidote," "Gleam," "Teeth"

Of note:

* Sarah Jarosz - Polaroid Lovers (An unexpected poppish turn from the roots favorite.)
* Willi Carlisle - Critterland (Fun, pure Americana.)
* Masta Ace & Marco Polo - Richmond Hill (Best rap record of the week, bar none.)
* William Elliott Whitmore - Silently, the Mind Breaks (Stark, wonderful folk music.)
* Ludalloy - Lumenari
* R.A.P. Ferreira and Fumitake Tamura - the First Fist to Make Contact When We Dap
* FRUITBAT - Speak No Evil
* Mol Sullivan - GOOSE
* Elena Setien - Moonlit Reveries
* Katy Kirby - Blue Raspberry
* Craig Wedren - The Dream Dreaming
* Any Other - stillness, stop: you have a right to remember
* The Umbrellas - Fairweather Friend
* NewDad - MADRA
* Nico de Andrea - Love Therapy
* Yvncc - Quan Shoppe
* The Smile - Wall of Eyes
* slowshift - world going one way
* Etta Marcus - The Death of Summer & Other Promises
* Courting - New Last Name
* Tapir! - The Pilgrim, Their God, and the King of My Decrepit Mountain
* Astrid Sonne - Great Doubt
* Large Brush Collection - Off Center
* Mall Girl - Pure Love
* GUHTS - Regeneration
* O-D-EX - Breaker
* Ty Segall - Three Bells


* Coffintexts - Suave
* Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Black Tape EP
* Matt Pond PA and Alexa Rose - Call and Response
* Akira Galaxy - What's Inside You
* Bug Bath - World of Fools
* Che Noir - The Color Chocolate, Vol. 1
* They Hate Change - Wish You Were Here...

Also out:

* Conner Smith - Smoky Mountains
* Ramriddlz - Gyalaxy
* evilgiane - #HEAVENSGATE VOL. 1

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