Wednesday, April 17, 2024

First Listen: New Releases for 12 April 2024

Artist: Virgins
Album: nothing hurt and everything was beautiful
Quick Thoughts: One of my favorite listens this week. An absolutely stunning shoegazey listen with song after song after song that is a fuzzed-out masterpiece. I didn't know Virgins before this week, but I am absolutely keeping them on my radar - echoes of Field Mouse and Summit Point.
Songs of Note: "softer," "palefire," "sunspots"

Artist: Tusks
Album: Gold
Quick Thoughts: Tusks is similarly an unknown for me, but this is an electronic-adjacent record with a lot going for it. Melodic, hook-laden tracks across the board, but "Wake" and "Artificial Flame" in particular have a lot of staying power. Make time this week.
Songs of Note: "Wake," "Artificial Flame," "The Way," "Strangers"

Artist: Aaron Lee Tasjan
Album: Stellar Evolution
Quick Thoughts: We're big fans of Aaron Lee Tasjan here, and while this album is not quite as relavatory of his previous effort, there is plenty here to love. "Pants" and "Roll Your Windows Down" are up there with his best work, and "I Love America" deftly operates as a protest song of sorts without veering into cringe territory. Definitely give this one a spin.
Songs of Note: "Pants," "Nightmare," "I Love America Better Than You," "Roll Your Windows Down," "Bird"

Artist: Bad Bad Hats
Album: Bad Bad Hats
Quick Thoughts: My other favorite listen this week, Bad Bad Hats has always existed on the fringe for me for whatever reason. I always liked their work, but I always felt it was too off the beaten path sometimes. This self-titled effort, however? A major level up. The group has made a polished, spectacular album that could very well serve as the breakthrough they're looking for. "Bored in the Summer" in particular is what the kids once called a bop, and the whole album is just so enjoyable and bright. The perfect early spring record.
Songs of Note: "Let Me In," "TPA," "My Heart Your Heart," "Bored in the Summer," "Meter Run," "Lime Green"

Artist: Maggie Rogers
Album: Don't Forget Me
Quick Thoughts: Maggie Rogers exploded on the scene with "Alaska," which I perceive to be ages ago but is in fact only five years prior to today. That's how integrated she is into the pop zeitgeist - that a song that first released in 2017 and added to an album in 2019 feels ancient. Don't Forget Me is as polished a pop record can get, with some great and catchy tunes and a real Fleetwood Mac feel to a lot of it, if that makes any sense. Either way, a great listen. Worth the time.
Songs of Note: "It Was Coming All Along," "Drunk," "The Kill," "On & On & On," "Don't Forget Me"

Artist: Leyla McCalla
Album: Sun Without the Heat
Quick Thoughts: I wanted to highlight the latest from blog favorite Leyla McCalla, who has consistently released some great albums over the years. Sun Without the Heat absolutely has a more experimental feel to it than previous work (the car crash of the stellar "Tree" an excellent example of this), but it just makes it more fascinating and mysterious. She's amazing. This album is amazing. Make time.
Songs of Note: "Scaled to Survive," "Tree," "Sun Without the Heat," "Tower," "Love We Had"

Of note:

* Lynks - ABOMINATION (Great danceable pop transgressions.)
* Nicolette & the Nobodies - The Long Way (Country-fried roots rock.)
* Ambient Sol - The Pink Monstera
* Scott Lippitt - Me, You, and the Avenues
* Kira McSpice - The Compartmentalization of Decay
* Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties - In Lieu of Flowers
* Clarissa Connelley - World of Work
* Newmoon - Temporary Light
* cabane - Brulee
* Charming Disaster - Time Ghost
* Nia Archives - Silence is Loud
* The Reds, Pinks and Purples - Unwishing Well
* Soft Kill - Escape Forever
* James Elkington and Nathan Salsburg - All Gist
* Mark Knopfler - One Deep River
* Talib Kweli and Madlib - Liberation 2
* Sinkane - We Belong
* Queen Esther - Things are Looking Up
* Midscale - Movements
* Caroline Davis and Wendy Eisenberg - Accept When
* Fred again... - USB
* Maxband - On Ice
* SONIKKU - Whirlwind of Malevolence
* Water Damage - In E
* girl in red - I'M DOING IT AGAIN BABY!
* Ghost in the Tapes - Holidays on Earth
* Louisa Stancioff - When We Were Looking
* Morgan Harper-Jones - Up to the Glass
* Metz - Up on Gravity Hill
* Good Morning - Good Morning Seven
* Castle Rat - Into the Realm
* Oxford Drama - The World is Louder
* English Teacher - This Could Be Texas
* BODEGA - Our Brand Could Be Yr Life
* Chad Crouch - Ramona Falls Soundwalk
* Baby Blue - Of My Window
* Jess Ribeiro - Summer of Love


* Say Lou Lou - Dust, Pt. 1
* Amy Dabbs and Coco Bryce - Slightly Involved Vol. 2
* cruush - Nice Things Now, All The Time
* Pet Shop Boys - Dancing star
* The Red Pears - Better Late Than Never
* Baby Rose - Slow Burn
* Raphael Schon - Heart Times
* Speedfossil - Room with a VU, Vol. 1
* Alice Merton - Heron
* Justin Martin - Troves, Vol. 1
* 79.5 - Remixes
* The Ophelias - Ribbon

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* A State of Trance Episode 1168
* Laura Veirs - Laura Veirs and Her Band (Live in Brooklyn)

Also out:

* Shabaka - Perceive Its Beauty, Acknowledge Its Grace
* Still House Plants - If I don't make it, I love u
* Sunburned Hand of the Man - Nimbus

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