And the rest of the week:
Artist: Future of the Left
Album: To Failed States and Forest Clearings
Quick Description: A mini companion EP to go along with their new album.
Why You Should Listen: It's a smaller dose, and perhaps better?
Overall Thoughts: This is music from the same sessions as the album I covered yesterday, and perhaps it's just that it's a much more concise piece that I enjoyed it more. A handful of good songs, the whole is pretty solid, and perhaps jump in on this one first?
Recommendation: A great companion to their other album.
Artist: Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals
Album: Call It What It Is
Quick Description: Ben Harper's latest sort of folky sort of funky effort.
Why You Should Listen: You probably already know if you'd like this.
Overall Thoughts: Ben Harper had a minor hit with "Steal My Kisses" around 15 years ago, and I feel like he's more been on the edges of the sort of jam band thing for a while. I haven't really kept up with him much, but this album was basically what I expected it to be, and there's nothing wrong with that. Not going to blow your socks off, but not a bad listen, either.
Recommendation: Worth it if you're into his previous work.
Artist: Moving Units
Album: Damage With Care
Quick Description: Latest album from the dance/punk band.
Why You Should Listen: Moving Units have been criminally underrated over their tenure.
Overall Thoughts: I feel like Moving Units made a rise during a time where a lot of bands were merging dance instrumentation with rock music, and somehow Moving Units got left behind. I don't know why or how, because they've had some killer songs over the years, and Damage With Care continues along that same line with some great tunes that will, invariably, be missed by a lot of the people who would love it. Really, really good album, so give this a listen.
Recommendation: Definitely recommended this week.
Artist: September Girls
Album: Age of Indignation
Quick Description: Second dream-pop/rock listen from this Irish group.
Why You Should Listen: Their first album was amazing, this one just as good.
Overall Thoughts: I loved their debut album, and this release is definitely an improvement in many ways while still not losing what makes September Girls special. The sort of dreamy, drenched rock music I love so much is on full display here, and while this might feel a little darker on first listen than their first album, this is one I'm excited to get back to.
Recommendation: An album of the week contender. A must listen.
Artist: Parquet Courts
Album: Human Performance
Quick Description: Latest album from the prolific indie rockers.
Why You Should Listen: We love Parquet Courts here, so I assume you do too.
Overall Thoughts: I don't know what's left to say about this band at this point. It feels like we get new music from them every 6-8 months or so, and each album seems better than the one before it. They're a great band, this is a great entry point, fits right in on the current indie scene while still being reminiscent of some of the great stuff of a decade ago.
Recommendation: Simply a must listen.
Artist: Hayes Carll
Album: Lovers and Leavers
Quick Description: First album in five years from the acclaimed Americana artist.
Why You Should Listen: Hayes Carll is considered one of the best for a reason.
Overall Thoughts: KMAG YOYO is at least part of the reason why I love Americana music today. So many of those songs hit home for me, and it's clear Carll is a great songwriter. The new album is definitely on the quieter, more deliberate end, which may be a turn-off to some of us who were expecting the sort of rollicking time KMAG offered, but that does not make this a bad album at all. Instead, it's a piece of work that really measures where Carll is in his life and is so well done it's almost easy to overlook in some senses. But don't overlook it, this looks to be one of those sleeper albums this year that I keep going back to.
Recommendation: Definitely give this a listen.
Artist: Grey Season
Album: Out of the House into the Nigh
Quick Description: Final release from the Boston natives.
Why You Should Listen: This is some smart alt-rock.
Overall Thoughts: I didn't know this band until after their final show, and that's too bad. An EP like this just makes you want to get to know a band more, and the leadoff track will probably just grab you right from the start. I hope the members of this band keep making music, as I'll be looking forward to checking it out.
Recommendation: A solid local listen.
Also out this week:
* Lights - Midnight Machines (her regular acoustic takes on her electronic album)
* Eliza and the Bear - Eliza and the Bear