Wednesday, September 27, 2017

First Listen, Part Two: More New Releases for September 22

Artist: The Blow
Album: Brand New Abyss
Quick Description: Latest from the popular indie act.
Why You Should Listen: They're very buzzworthy.
Overall Thoughts: This is a higher-profile indie release this week, and I’m not afraid to say I’ve never quite gotten The Blow. For me, they seem like a poppier version of The xx in a lot of ways, except that the sparse nature of what they do never fully connects. On the other hand, I know a handful of people who are pretty big fans, so this might more be an issue of my not getting it than anything else. You might love this, so give it a chance and you’ll know pretty fast if it’s for you.
Recommendation: Worth some time

Artist: Tricky
Album: ununiform
Quick Description: Latest from the trip-hop legend.
Why You Should Listen: It's the most interesting release of the week musically.
Overall Thoughts: Tricky sounded unlike anything else in the mainstream during his peak, and, honestly, he sounds unlike anything else in the electronic space even now. This album is surprising and great in how it approaches itself, and I really enjoyed this and look to spend more time with it as soon as I can. This is sneaky great, and might end up growing on me more than it already has.
Recommendation: Worth your time.

Artist: Lights
Album: Skin&Earth
Quick Description: New album from the Canadian popster.
Why You Should Listen: Lights is the best pop musician you're not listening to.
Overall Thoughts: Ah, Lights. I’ve been hoping that she would take the leap into the pop stratosphere ever since Siberia, and while this album is pretty great even by her standards, I don’t know if this is the leap album we’re waiting on (even though “Giants” comes really, really close). Then again, on the other hand, there was one song on here that spoke to my four year old in a way few songs do, so maybe I’m wrong on this? Even still, Lights knows really well how to take the current sound and not only make it her own, but improve upon it. This feels modern and forward-thinking, and in an era of pop royalty taking chances left and right, it’s good to see one of my favorites keeping up.
Recommendation: A must listen this week.

Artist: Hiss Golden Messenger
Album: Hallelujah Anyhow
Quick Description: Indie folky takes a leap.
Why You Should Listen: You're into the sort of off-center folk that's been the rage as of late.
Overall Thoughts: Hiss Golden Messenger has been an act that has never fully connected with me for whatever reason. This latest album? Something clicked, because I really liked it. Feels like it hit that sweet spot between folky stuff and a more twangy bent, and it gave me some solid Father John Misty Debut Album vibes throughout. If you haven’t jumped on board yet, this might be the album to do so, but if you’ve been a fan for some time...
Recommendation: ...I can’t imagine you’ll be disappointed.

Artist: The Horrors
Album: V
Quick Description: New music from the indie act.
Why You Should Listen: Their sound doesn't match their name.
Overall Thoughts: Some slightly more aggressive indie power pop on display here by a band that doesn’t really match its name. That’s all well and good, though – Horrors makes some catchy music here that is worth your time even in a busy week, and I suspect there will be some parts here that you’ll like no matter what kind of music you enjoy.
Recommendation: If you have time, give it a shot.

Artist: Cut Copy
Album: Haiku From Zero
Quick Description: Indie electro goodness.
Why You Should Listen: You're looking for something a little more danceable this week.
Overall Thoughts: Cut Copy occupies the same space for me as Hot Chip for no real good reason, but this album has a lot of electronic pop elements that just further muddy the waters in my brain. The result, though, is a nice little indie electro album that might be more the speed of listeners who are turned off by the more poppier stuff that I tend to like around these parts. Give it a shot.
Recommendation: Worth your time.

Artist: Metz
Album: Strange Peace
Quick Description: The noisy indie act is back with a buzzworthy listen.
Why You Should Listen: You'll be hearing a lot about this.
Overall Thoughts: We like Metz here, and people are generally into what they’re doing. This has gotten a fair amount of buzz, and for good reason – this is likely an improvement over their previous efforts, and this might be the breakthrough they need on a whole. This is often loud, requires some attention, and is one of the top listens of the week, so be sure to give it a spin.
Recommendation: You should probably give this some time.

Artist: Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Album: Luciferian Towers
Quick Description: A band that defies description with an album that does the same.
Why You Should Listen: GYBE is a legendary act for those who know about them.
Overall Thoughts: GYBE is back with a new album of epic modern orchestral prog rock, and I’m generally ill-equipped to talk about this band on a whole. I thoroughly enjoy what this act does even if they’re often incomprehensible in a lot of ways, and this album is unlikely to change many, if any, minds. A good listen nonetheless, but that doesn’t mean newcomers shouldn’t still start with Lift Yr Skinny Fists.
Recommendation: I liked this a lot, but it's not for everyone.

Artist: Chelsea Wolfe
Album: Hiss Spun
Quick Description: Latest from the dark, brooding queen of gothic rock.
Why You Should Listen: Chelsea Wolfe is amazing and this is an excellent place to jump onto the bandwagon.
Overall Thoughts: If the new season of Twin Peaks missed on any level, it was by failing to have Chelsea Wolfe perform at The Roadhouse. The latest album might not be my favorite that she’s done, but it’s arguably the best. The dark, brooding formula that sets Wolfe apart in so many ways is nearly perfected here, and the end result of this listen is just something I wanted to repeat once again. Another well-done effort in what is quickly becoming the norm for an underrated artist.
Recommendation: A great listen this week.

Artist: Prom Queen
Album: Doom-Wop
Quick Description: New album from a band that does some great retro stuff.
Why You Should Listen: The title of this album is actually fairly descriptive.
Overall Thoughts: I learned of Prom Queen through The Disappearance Podcast, and the new album doesn't sound like their old stuff, but is still a really fun listen. It has a retro-modern feel, like a lot of acts, but the album title really shines through. A closer of Guns N' Roses's "November Rain" is a perfect finale as well. A lot of good music this week, but...
Recommendation: ...this should find room in your rotation.

EPs of note:

* The Neighborhood - Hard
* Luna - A Place of Greater Safety

Also out this week:

* Midland - On the Rocks

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