Tuesday, October 30, 2018

First Listen: New Releases for 26 October

Some great stuff this week.

Album of the Week:

Artist: Antarctigo Vespucci
Album: Love in the Time of E-Mail
Quick Description: Manic, amazing power pop.
Why You Should Listen: You've loved Jeff Rosenstock up to now.
Overall Thoughts: A few years back I tripped up on Jeff Rosenstock’s album Worry and pretty much fell hard for it. Antarctigo Vespucci is a power pop duo featuring Rosenstock and Chris Farren, both of which are contemporaries/colleagues of blog favorite Laura Stevenson, and this weird incestuous mishmash of singers and styles comes up with this amazingly awesome and manic and catchy and hooky and abrasive record that is easily one of the best of the week and might just be one of the better releases of the year. We’ll see, but this shouldn’t be missed.
Recommendation: A wonderful listen this week.

Artist: Eliza Shaddad
Album: Future
Quick Description: Solid indie singer-songwriter stuff.
Why You Should Listen: This has broad appeal and some good surprises.
Overall Thoughts: This has been a long-anticipated release for me, and it generally delivered. This is mainstream-sounding singer-songwriter material with enough edge and interest to cross over to those who may be allergic to the sort of radio that might play this. There are a ton of great moments throughout this listen, and I haven’t been this excited to dive back in on a new release in a few weeks.
Recommendation: Make sure you find some time for this.

Artist: Oh Pep!
Album: I Wasn't Only Thinking About You...
Quick Description: Breakout album by some indie favorites.
Why You Should Listen: This has massive mainstream appeal and this is an opportunity to get in on the ground floor.
Overall Thoughts: It was about the point in time where “Truths” hit that I truly understood that this is an act playing for the big time, and it just might work. We enjoyed the debut, but this is definitely a more polished product with a wider appeal. This is a good listen and has a lot going for it, but if your tastes are more on the side of indie weirdness, you might be turned off.
Recommendation: Worth the effort.

Artist: Madeleine Roger
Album: Cottonwood
Quick Description: Awesome Canadian folk music.
Why You Should Listen: This came out of nowhere and it's one of the best out there right now.
Overall Thoughts: One of the great continuing joys of doing this new release thing is tripping up on great albums and artists I would have never found otherwise. Enter Madeleine Roger, who had an album cover that looked interesting in my weekly release list and it turns out this is some really gorgeous, performative Americana-tinged folk out of Canada. I was in love in the album with the very first song, and my love only grew as the album continued. Easily one of the best of the week, if not longer, and a sharp reminder as to how well Canada is exporting its best folk music out as of late.
Recommendation: A must-listen this week.

Artist: Kaia Kater
Album: Grenades
Quick Description: Latest from a blog folk favorite.
Why You Should Listen: Even with a shift in sound, Kater shows why she's such a great musician.
Overall Thoughts: We’re big fans of Kaia Kater here, as all right-thinking people are, and this new album is another gorgeous, compelling effort. It is absolutely a change of tone, with more significant instrumentation and more complicated songs, but it still feels like a Kaia Kater album at the end. If you a bigger fan of her general aesthetic, you may struggle with this a bit, but if you embrace this as the next step in what has already been a great run of music, you’ll come away happy.
Recommendation: A solid listen this week.

Artist: Laura Gibson
Album: Goners
Quick Description: Latest from another folky singer-songwriter.
Why You Should Listen: Laura Gibson writes really deliberate songs that stick with you.
Overall Thoughts: I loved her last album, “The Cause” was a legit jam, and this album continues with the sound songwriting even if the end result may not give you that song that hits you immediately on first listen. This is another one I really want to revisit, because there are a lot of cool moments throughout that should give this some great staying power.
Recommendation: Give this a listen.

Artist: The Ting Tings
Album: The Black Light
Quick Description: A return to form for the electro-rockers.
Why You Should Listen: It's more modern and dancey while retaining a lot of their flair.
Overall Thoughts: I'll hold that the only reason the Ting Tings aren't a massive act is because they've only released four albums over this long time period they've been around and one was almost completely forgettable. The follow up to their first album was not a disappointment but also didn't quite hit the same marks of their debut, but this latest effort feels more of the current time while also having some legitimate great moments like "Earthquake" and the opener, "Estranged." I've wanted to love a new Ting Tings record for more than a decade now, and this might do it for me on a whole.
Recommendation: Add this to the rotation.

Artist: Julia Holter
Album: Aviary
Quick Description: Latest from the ambitious artist.
Why You Should Listen: In many ways, it defies description. That's reason enough to fire it up.
Overall Thoughts: This is absolutely the most ambitious release in recent memory, with so many layers to the entire package that I couldn't even begin to figure it all out on first listen. With that said, it is weird and definitely off-center, and this may be too much of a challenge for many. If you're game for it, though, you have the opportunity to be rewarded with some incredibly interesting music on this one.
Recommendation: Give it a shot.

Of note:

* Our Girl - Bedroom Record(stripped down versions from the excellent debut)
* Miya Folick - Premonitions (a fun, slightly strange listen.)
* Robyn - Honey (has its moments, but is a bit of a disappointment)
* Jon Hatchett Band - Mother Nature Wins Again (very straightforward, risk-free country music. Good but not groundbreaking)
* The Berries - Start All Over Again (very retro 90s roots rock. Didn’t work for me but would almost certainly work for many readers)
* Ty Segall - Fudge Sandwich (covers album, mixed results)
* Daughters - You Won't Get What You Want
* Mr Twin Sister - Salt
* Apollo Brown and Joell Ortiz - Mona Lisa
* Calvin Love - Highway Dancer

Seven song albums:

* Say Lou Lou - Immortelle (a truly great listen this week)
* Unknown Mortal Orchestra - IC-01 Hanoi


* boygenius - boygenius (indie supergroup of Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus)
* The Pom-Poms - The Pom-Poms (electronic supergroup of Kitty and Ricky Eat Acid)
* pronoun - you didn't even make the bed
* Carla dal Forno - Top of the Pops
* Jessica Moss - Entanglement
* Azure Ray - Waves
* Heather Leigh - Throne
* Kimbra - Songs from Primal Heart: Reimagined

Also out:

* Saves the Day - 9
* Stand Atlantic - Skinny Dipping
* Boy George and Culture Club - Life
* Glenn Kotche - Sticks, Skins, Metal, and Stone
* Demille - Go
* Ian Sweet - Crush Crusher
* Thom Yorke - Suspiria (Music from the film)

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