Tuesday, April 9, 2019

First Listen: New Releases for 5 April

Kind of busy this week, along with some catch-up.

Artist: Chrysta Bell
Album: Feels Like Love
Quick Description: Latest from the artsy Lynchian chantreuse.
Why You Should Listen: This is the most interesting and compelling release of the week, by far.
Overall Thoughts: I’ll admit it: I got into Chysta Bell because of her appearance in the Twin Peaks revival, and I’ve come to really love her music. David Lynch has referred to Bell as his “muse,” and I have to admit that I hear a definite influence in the other direction as well here. Honestly, Chrysta Bell makes me feel the way discovering PJ Harvey almost two decades ago made me feel, and this album gives me true To Bring You My Love vibes in some regards. This album skirts the edges of weird in many ways, and songs like “Everest” and “52hz” are just off enough to be intriguing and different while also feeling fresh and familiar. This is an album I was confident I would enjoy, but this is a definite favorite this week and I truly believe is going to have some real staying power in my rotation.
Recommendation: My favorite this week.

Artist: Molly Tuttle
Album: When You're Ready
Quick Description: Awesome roots music.
Why You Should Listen: Molly Tuttle seemingly comes to us fully-formed.
Overall Thoughts: Molly Tuttle deftly moves between different current ideas in roots music with this album, and it is absolutely one of my favorites this week. Sometimes she sounds like Sarah Jarosz, sometimes she sounds like she walked into a country radio station and dropped the next big thing on their desk. No matter what, she's absolutely nailing what she's doing, and the result is just wonderful.
Recommendation: Do not miss this one.

Artist: Kitty
Album: Rose Gold
Quick Description: Latest release from the internet electro-rap sensation.
Why You Should Listen: Kitty has consistently put out interesting music during her tenure.
Overall Thoughts: Kitty's first foray into producing her own work results in a truly adventurous affair informed by basically everything she's done since the stellar Miami Garden Club. There's her standard electronic rap, but also sounds inspired by her work as The Pom Poms and even some interesting American Pleasure Club inspirations sprinkled throughout. I liked this quite a bit even if it's a bit of a challenge in comparison to her previous work,
Recommendation: Find time for this, it's one of the most interesting listens this week.

Artist: Lady Lamb
Album: Even in the Tremor
Quick Description: Latest from a blog favorite.
Why You Should Listen: Lady Lamb, who has always been good, keeps getting better.
Overall Thoughts: If you’ve been reading us for a while, you know how much we love Lady Lamb here. It has been especially enjoyable hearing her sound transition over the years, and this is a very enjoyable, straightforward release. There aren’t the types of long, Ripely Pine epics, but this is also much more lush and complete than the stripped-down Tender Warriors Club EP. I liked this quite a bit, and I feel like it would serve as a good entrypoint for anyone interested in Lady Lamb, but also something positive for those who have been fans for a while. A solid listen.
Recommendation: A great listen.

Artist: Rose Elinor Dougall
Album: A New Illusion
Quick Description: Latest from the European singer-songwriter.
Why You Should Listen: Dougall has one of the most striking voices out there.
Overall Thoughts: “Stellular” was in constant rotation for me a few years back, and while there aren’t as many upbeat, driving tunes on this new record, it does cement Dougall as an underrated powerhouse of a singer-songwriter. Deliberate songs through with a distinct voice and music that sticks to you as you’re listening, I have a hard time finding any major flaws with this record outside of no song grabbing me the way “Stellular” did. Still, I’ll be spending some solid time with this.
Recommendation: A solid listen this week.

Artist: Priests
Album: The Seduction of Kansas
Quick Description: Long-anticipated album from a favorite act here.
Why You Should Listen: This will consistently keep you on your toes.
Overall Thoughts: We’ve been not-so-quietly going nuts over this upcoming album for some time, and I will say that the small tastes we’ve gotten so far haven’t done it justice. This album is exciting and brash and does not hold back, with a nice little dancepunk 80s aesthetic that reminds me of a lot of music that I love all rolled into one. Just a truly brilliant, manic album that hits a lot of buttons. Definitely something worth checking out.
Recommendation: Worth the time.

Of note:

* Silver Lake 66 - Ragged Heart (Good, mainstream country-roots music.)
* The Suitcase Junket - Mean Dog, Trampoline (Definitely feels like a mainstream play. Great for fans of Father John Misty and the like.)
* Lissie - When I'm Alone: The Piano Retrospective (Piano takes of her best efforts from the last decade or so.)
* American Pleasure Club - Fucking Bliss (Oddball, cinematic, atmospheric electronic music. Came out last week, features Kitty among others.)
* Cherry Pickles - Cherry Pickles Will Harden Your Nipples (Fun retro lo-fi music.)
* Night School - Disappear Here (Solid, guitar-based new wavey throwback. Really liked this.)
* GIRLI - Odd One Out (Truly exuberant pop music along the lines of Icona Pop.)
* PUP - Morbid Stuff (Indie punk for mainstream listeners afraid of Jeff Rosenstock. This is solid, but not forging any new ground.)
* The Drums - Brutalism (I haven't loved a lot of the output from this band, but this is a really good album.)
* Weyes Blood - Titanic Rising
* Control Top - Covert Contracts
* The Proper Ornaments - Six Lenins
* Rozi Plain - What a Boost
* Idlewild - Interview Music
* Mini Dresses - Heaven Sent
* Alexia Avina - All That I Can't See

7 Song Albums:

* Lady Pills - Pink Void (Don't sleep on this, it's very good.)


* FACS - Lifelike
* Sharkmuffin - Gamma Gardening
* Partner - Saturday the 14th
* Shovels and Rope - I'm Coming Out
* Jasmine Thompson - Colour

Also out:

* Bill Janovitz - Covers of the Weeks II ("No Surprises!" "Wendell Gee!")
* Circa Waves - What's It Like Over There?
* Mike Mains and the Branches - When We Were in Love

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