A super busy release week this week, but not a ton of true highlights for me.
Artist: John Paul White
Album: The Hurting Kind
Quick Description: Latest solo effort from half of The Civil Wars.
Why You Should Listen: This is his best effort yet.
Overall Thoughts: I am sure John Paul White would like to escape the long shadow of The Civil Wars at this point, but I’m not sure how realistic that will be. With that said, this album will likely help, which is possibly the best merging of classic country and modern roots/folk. There are so many positive moments here that my fear is that this will be overlooked either due to how stacked this week is or because people expect something else from him entirely.
Recommendation: Don’t miss out on this one. It’s worth the time investment.
Artist: Reese McHenry
Album: No Dados
Quick Description: Genre-bending indie stuff.
Why You Should Listen: This is a truly special record that you'll likely fall for.
Overall Thoughts: This was a revelation in many regards. A strident, angsty affair from start to finish, and reminded me a lot of Sallie Ford in attitude even though this is more brash and noisy. McHenry is absolutely going to win over some people with this album, which has a great alt-country feel along with some serious emotion to each song. I’ll want to spend a lot more time with this, and there’s a good chance you will, too.
Recommendation: Absolutely a top release this week.
Artist: Shovels & Rope
Album: By Blood
Quick Description: New album by a favorite here and everywhere else.
Why You Should Listen: Shovels & Rope has yet to fail us.
Overall Thoughts: What can I say about Shovels & Rope that we haven't already? The married duo's latest is yet another rollicking adventure through their style of roots music that hits all the right notes in all the right ways. What they lack in producing that one clear heavy hitting song these days they more than make up for in great albums that work from start to finish.
Recommendation: I love these guys, and I love this album.
Artist: Evan Greer
Quick Description: A protest record for people who don't like protest records.
Why You Should Listen: There's something here for everyone to like.
Overall Thoughts: Boston-area musician and activist Evan Greer presents what ended up being a surprise favorite of mine this week. A nice slice of indie pop that pleases the ear while not laying anything else on too thick, it's a great listen from a musician who should rightfully get a good deal of attention from this record. If the opening track, "First Boy," doesn't grab you, what are you even doing here?
Recommendation: Give this a listen.
Artist: Native Harrow
Album: Happier Now
Why You Should Listen:
Overall Thoughts: Looking solely at the cover, you'd probably expect an early 1970s folk pastiche of some sort. Instead, what we get is a really confident singer-songwriter effort with some truly interesting instrumentation and some quality songwriting. A lot of this album in particular stuck with me long after I finished my first listen, and, of everything out this week, it's the one I'm looking forward to going back to the most.
Recommendation: Don't miss out on this one.
* Labrinth, Sia, and Diplo - LSD (Not as adventurous as you might expect, but still great.)
* Spectator - Charlie, Baby (Haunting at times, but always compelling.)
* Emily Reo - Only You Can See It (Ken is really into Emily Reo, and this is a buzzworthy release this week.)
* Jess Riberio - LOVE HATE (Lots of solid songs throughout.)
* Melissa Etheridge - The Medicine Show (This is a lot better than you'd imagine it might be.)
* Saint Lo. - We Could Be>
* Band of Skulls - Love is All You Love
* The Leisure Society - Arrivals and Departures
* The Chemical Brothers - No Geography
* Anderson .Paak - Ventura
7 Song Album:
* Norah Jones - Begin Again
* GFOTY - If You Think I'm a Bitch, You Should Meet GFOTY
* Theia - Not Your Princess
* Robotaki - Anachronism
* Broken Social Scene - Let's Try the After Volume 2
* Emma Bunton - My Happy Place (Baby Spice with a covers album.)
* Glen Hansard - This Wild Willing
* Eli "Paperboy" Reed - 99 Cent Dreams
* Sophie Auster - Next Time
* Damien Jurado - In the Shape of a Storm
* PJ Harvey - All About Eve