Wednesday, April 6, 2016

First Listen, Part Two: New Releases for April 1

And the rest of the week!:

Artist: Tacocat
Album: Lost Time
Quick Description: Fun indie pop!
Why You Should Listen: I feel like the sort of fun, irreverent indie pop-punk that I used to love.
Overall Thoughts: From the first song, "Dana Catherine Scully," you get an idea as to where this album is going, and it's just a lot of fun across the board. Fun indie pop is a commodity I was looking for, and Tacocat is delivering with a little buzz to go with it.
Recommendation: A great listen this week, definitely worth your time.

Artist: Laura Gibson
Album: Empire Builder
Quick Description: Off-center singer-songwriting.
Why You Should Listen: Laura Gibson's brand of folk music is always interesting.
Overall Thoughts: I fell in love with Laura Gibson with La Grande, and when "The Cause" hit Discover Weekly for me, I was surprised by what I was hearing, but in a good way The song feels different but accessible, and what makes Empire Builder great is how it plays with the expectations in such a great way. This was nearly album of the week for me, and for good reason - this was absolutely the most enjoyable listen of the week.
Recommendation: A must-listen. A great album from a great singer-songwriter.

Artist: Teddy Thompson and Kelly Jones
Album: Little Windows
Quick Description: Rootsy throwback tunes from two singer-songwriters.
Why You Should Listen: Best roots album of the week, for sure.
Overall Thoughts: I first learned of Teddy Thompson when I saw him open for Rufus Wainwright ages ago. I don't know Kelly Jones, but I think I want to know her music better after this, which feels like an authentic throwback to classic, rootsy country of the best kind. I can't say a ton of specific songs jump out at me, but, as someone who loves some great male/female duos, this is *so* in my wheelhouse.
Recommendation: A great listen this week.

Artist: Black Mountain
Album: IV
Quick Description: Some heavy, melodic rock music.
Why You Should Listen: Black Mountain makes music I shouldn't love, but do.
Overall Thoughts: I feel like how I like this band is where their appeal is. I really love the sound that Black Mountain puts out there, and there's a melodic, fantastic property to this that just scratches an itch I didn't know I had. I recognize completely that this wouldn't be for everyone, but if you don't mind some heavier tunes on a whole, this should absolutely be part of your listening this week. I don't know many other bands doing it like this, so the uniqueness along is worth the time.
Recommendation: A great listen this week, but not for all.

Artist: Yeasayer
Album: Amen & Goodbye
Quick Description: Latest album from the indie rockers.
Why You Should Listen: Yeasayer is always an interesting listen, even when they sort of miss.
Overall Thoughts: Yeasayer had some pretty great indie hits a few years back, and I feel like they haven't been around for a while and the result of this album is one that just feels... strange. I don't criticize a band known for being a little more experimental and different for doing exactly that, but sometimes it doesn't grab you the way you expect. I'd like more time with it, but on first listen and with so many new releases...
Recommendation: might be worth a look later.

Artist: Frankie Cosmos
Album: Next Thing
Quick Description: Another quick-shot album from the indie singer-songwriter.
Why You Should Listen: With an under-30-minute runtime and some interesting pieces, it's worth a shot.
Overall Thoughts: Frankie Cosmos is also doing something really different, I feel. This has so many songs, many of which are under 2 minutes a piece, so this ends up being a collage more than a whole, and there's something to be said for that. I'd still say, as I did for her EP last year, that it sort of defies description or even criticism, but still worth a look.
Recommendation: A quick hit this week that's worth your time.

Also out this week:

* Bombino - Azel
* Babymetal - Metal Resistance (J-Pop meets metal!)
* Explosions in the Sky - The Wilderness (a great listen!)

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