Tuesday, November 6, 2018

First Listen: New Releases for 2 November

We might be officially slowing down toward the end of the year. The highlights become more scarce, the rest more pronounced...

Album of the Week:

Artist: audiobooks
Album: Now! (In a Minute)
Quick Description: Indie electro-punk with a ton of attitude.
Why You Should Listen: Feels like early Sleigh Bells put through a synth or eight.
Overall Thoughts: My favorite of the week. I tripped up on this album thanks to “Dance Your Life Away,” which was a manic and insane listen that had an urgency unlike anything else. This album is basically electro-something, and more accessible fare like “Hot Salt” and “Friends in the Bubble Bath” balance out the more experimental pieces like “Call of Duty Free.” On a whole, this is just weird and wonderful and one I hope to blast in the car sooner rather than later.
Recommendation: A must-listen this week.

Artist: Matt Pond PA
Album: Free Fall
Quick Description: A collaborative effort from a blog favorite.
Why You Should Listen: Matt Pond PA has never steered you wrong before.
Overall Thoughts: They call this nine song effort an EP, but I’ll call it an album anyway. This is a really nice, quiet affair that feels like some of the better light stuff they’ve done. Will longtime fans or newcomers perceive this as a little too sleepy on first listen? Perhaps, but at a price of free (as Ken noted on Friday), you can’t go wrong with this one.
Recommendation: Enjoy what they're doing while they're still doing it.

Artist: New London Fire
Album: Tired of This Man
Quick Description: Rootsy, ragtimey, Vaudevillian tunes.
Why You Should Listen: This is a lot of fun and will be surprising for you on a whole.
Overall Thoughts: It is apt that this is out this week, given that it is a little odd for a release week and this is a very anachronistic release in some regards. Definitely an album that harkens back to old-style music with the horns and woodwinds while still retaining a modern structural flair, this is definitely the most interesting listen of the week for me. It grew on me and won me over by the end, and maybe it will do the same for you.
Recommendation: Intriguing enough to give a listen while good enough to make you give it a second shot.

Artist: The Prodigy
Album: No Tourists
Quick Description: Electronica bigwigs with another great album.
Why You Should Listen: The Prodigy are legendary and still putting out great music.
Overall Thoughts: If you’re not a fan, or not a fan of the current electronica crop, you might be turned off on this within moments. For me, though, this was just a crazy sonic blast that carries through from their previous great album. I never would have thought, recalling early Prodigy albums and the Far of the Land breakthrough that they would be putting together such consistent work, but here we are.
Recommendation: Another great electronic effort from this act.

Of note:

* Surfbort - Friendship Music (Dirty, abrasive punk in all the best ways. Not for me, but will be for you if punk is your thing.)
* Bethia Beadman - Into the Peace (Come for the Mike Mills collaboration, stay for some solid singer-songwriter stuff.)
* Roseanne Cash - She Remembers Everything (Highly listenable from a legend.)
* Emelia - Spring Through a Window

7 Song Albums:

* Dead Can Dance - Dionysus (Funny aside, for twenty-odd years I have always read the name of this group as a literal can (i.e., a dead can dancing). Only today did the implied “the” (i.e., “the dead can dance”) register. Oh, and the album? It’s fine.)
* Nikkieshia McLeod - Quarrel
* Kelly Moran - Ultraviolet

Also out:

* Sun Kil Moon - This Is My Dinner
* Sick of It All - Wake the Sleeping Dragon!
* Jesus Jones - Voyages
* Mother Feather - Constellation Baby
* Henoheno - Pipe Dreams
* VHS Collection - Retrofuturism
* Part Time - Spell #6
* Mother Mother - Dance and Cry
* Marianne Faithful - Negative Capability
* Vince Staples - FM!
* Tenacious D - Post-Apocaplypto
* Pistol Annies - Interstate Gospel

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