Tuesday, June 25, 2019

First Listen: New Releases for 21 June

Artist: Mannequin Pussy
Album: Patience
Quick Description: Great indie rock if you can get past the name.
Why You Should Listen: This is the surprise of the week for me.
Overall Thoughts: As Ken put it, "'Wow, this Mannequin Pussy is really great' I declare uncomfortably...." I really, really enjoyed this album and this may be one that has some longevity behind it. If you can get past the discomfort of this band’s name, you’ll probably have a good time with this. Solid indie rock.
Recommendation: A must-listen.

Artist: Dirt Road Sweetheart
Album: Rose of My Heart
Quick Description: Nora Jane Struthers and her dad take root right into your soul.
Why You Should Listen: This is just a lovely listen.
Overall Thoughts: I am a big fan of Nora Jane Struthers, and this new album coincides with a rerelease of her first album with her father. The duo, under this name, does traditional roots music and, while it definitely isn’t designed to set the roots world on fire, a musician of the caliber of Struthers working on a project like this brings its own benefits to the table. You can sense the appreciation both of the music being performed (just try to listen to their version of “Big Rock Candy Mountain” without smiling) and for each other in the album, and it was just a very enjoyable listen on a whole.
Recommendation: Give this a shot.

Artist: Bedouine
Album: Bird Songs of a Killjoy
Quick Description: Lovely folk music seemingly from a time capsule.
Why You Should Listen: This leans into the past while not feeling old.
Overall Thoughts: Sometimes folk acts try to get too fancy and it doesn’t work. Bed had a great first album that felt like the present while aping the past, and the new album absolutely expands the musical map a bit while still retaining that retro folk flavor. It shows good (and maybe necessary) growth while not losing what made the debut so special, and I am really glad that this was as good as it ended up being.
Recommendation: A favorite this week.

Artist: Hatchie
Album: Keepsake
Quick Description: Dreamy indie pop.
Why You Should Listen: Hatchie has low-key been releasing classic after classic for months.
Overall Thoughts: I have been obsessed with basically every song Hatchie has put out since she hit my radar. There is something nearly perfect about her indie/dream pop hybrid sound that feels full and fresh that hasn’t been achieved elsewhere, and I think I basically love this whole thing. It is fascinating how complete a package this feels like in comparison to how solid the one-offs have been so far. There’s not a lot like this currently, so give this a listen.
Recommendation: One of the better listens of the recent months.

Of note:

* Hot Chip - A Bath Full of Ecstacy (I would have assumed I was bored with this genre, but they dragged me back in.)
* Titus Andronicus - An Obelisk (So loud and so brash, but so good.)
* Willie Nelson - Ride Me Back Home
* Chuck Mead - Close to Home
* Bad Breeding - Exiled
* Jane Weaver - Loops in the Secret Society
* Holy Ghost! - Work
* Cassius - Dreems


* Hackensaw Boys - A Fireproof House of Sunshine
* Angel Snow - Arrows
* Lil Nas X - 7
* Eddie Japan - The Amorous Adventures of Eddie Japan
* Sure Sure - Sedona
* Delilah Montagu - In Gold
* Mr Tophat - Dusk to Dawn Part III


* The Raconteurs - Help Us Stranger
* Mark Ronson - Late Night Feelings
* Two Door Cinema Club - False Alarm
* Collective Soul - Blood
* Black Pumas - Black Pumas

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