Wednesday, May 2, 2018

First Listen Part Two: More New Releases for April 27

And the rest!

Artist: Dr. Dog
Album: Critical Equation
Quick Description: The latest from the popular indie act.
Why You Should Listen: Dr. Dog is pretty consistent and loved for a reason.
Overall Thoughts: People love Dr. Dog and I’ve never 100% understood them, but this record feels like a pretty solid effort from the band. The opening track really grabbed me, and I found the rest of it to be fairly listenable on a whole. I don’t know how fans will feel, but I dug this.
Recommendation: Worth a shot.

Artist: Forth Wanderers
Album: Forth Wanderers
Quick Description: Latest from a group I'm really fond of.
Why You Should Listen: This is an act that you should know if you don't already.
Overall Thoughts: I've enjoyed this band for some time, and the new album is the same sort of sneaky quiet great stuff that I’ve come to expect. This is one of those bands where you listen to a couple songs and start to wonder why this band isn’t more popular.
Recommendation: Check them out.

Artist: Janelle Monae
Album: Dirty Computer
Quick Description: Latest from the R&B androidsexual.
Why You Should Listen: This is maybe the most buzzworthy release of the spring.
Overall Thoughts: I unabashedly love Janelle Monae and still hate that I skipped out on her double bill with Of Montreal way back whenever. Dirty Computer is decidedly less about robots than her previous records, and this is definitely a statement record in many ways, but I'm not hating it - I just don't love it on first listen the way I have her other music. It's a solid album, though, and probably worth the time, but if you're into Monae for the sci-fi elements more than the straight R&B, you might miss the boat.
Recommendation: Listen, but be wary.

Artist: Speedy Ortiz
Album: Twerp Verse
Quick Description: Another batch of great songs by a blog favorite.
Why You Should Listen: Speedy Ortiz should still be more huge than they are.
Overall Thoughts: I don't honestly know what to say about Speedy Ortiz that hasn't been said already. They're a great band with a great sound, and poised to break out at any moment. This record continues along their consistent track, and it's both a great addition to their body of work and a great entry point.
Recommendation: Just listen to it.

Artist: Half Waif
Album: Lavender
Quick Description: Chamber-esque indie pop.
Why You Should Listen: No one sounds quite like Half Waif, and that's a great thing.
Overall Thoughts: It's hard to describe Half Waif. Chamber pop doesn't do it justice, but there are dreamy aspects to this with some interesting and challenging choices throughout. This probably needs to be heard to be understood, which is a cop-out, but as one of the better albums of the week, is there any other option?
Recommendation: A must-listen this week.

Artist: Giraffes? Giraffes!
Album: Memory Lame
Quick Description: Instrumental indie rock.
Why You Should Listen: This is a baffling, challenging listen.
Overall Thoughts: I can't honestly make heads or tails of this. It's something where I know I didn't like it, but it may be more because of my own tastes rather than what this act is doing. If instrumental indie rock does the trick for you, try this...
Recommendation: ...but you'll know pretty fast if it's not for you.

Artist: Okkervil River
Album: In the Rainbow Rain
Quick Description: Latest from the popular indie act.
Why You Should Listen: Okkervil River has a sound all their own.
Overall Thoughts: The opening track, "Famous Tracheotomies," feels insanely familiar within the first few seconds, and the album itself feels like an Okkervil River album through and through. Good for fans, good for newcomers.
Recommendation: It's just good.

Also out:

* Anne-Marie - Speak Your Mind

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