Tuesday, August 27, 2019

First Listen: New Releases for 23 August

Artist: David Wax Museum
Album: Line of Light
Quick Description: New album by a local and blog favorite.
Why You Should Listen: This might be their best effort yet.
Overall Thoughts: This blog likely doesn’t exist if it weren’t for David Wax Museum, so any time there’s a new David Wax Museum album, it’s an event around here. Ken was more into their last proper full-length, Gatehouse, than I was, but I am so happy to note that the tonal shift of that album comes into a full vision with this album. The Mexican folk influences are subdued enough to be in the background (if they exist at all), and what we have is a band entering a phase of their career where more introspective, atmospheric folk is their game and they’re absolutely killing it. A number of these songs grabbed me really quick, and there are so many gorgeous options here that it’s hard to choose an early favorite. I am absolutely looking forward to coming back to this.
Recommendation: One of the best of the week, and one of the best from the band.

Artist: Queen of Jeans
Album: If You're Not Afraid, I'm Not Afraid
Quick Description: Great alt-rock from an indie vet.
Why You Should Listen: Checks a lot of the boxes you're looking for.
Overall Thoughts: I’ve been a fan of Queen of Jeans for a while now, and this new album feels like a solid step forward for the band. Solid singer-songwriter-style alt-rock with a lot of catchy hooks combined with great instrumentation and interesting musical choices. This is a really great album, and if you’re looking for the sort of introspective, mid-tempo alt-rockish stuff, put this in your rotation. You won’t regret it.
Recommendation: Make room for this one.

Artist: Jason Hawk Harris
Album: Love and the Dark
Quick Description: Solid country music.
Why You Should Listen: Jason Hawk Harris is looking to surprise you.
Overall Thoughts: Early in this listen, I was thinking this was probably too twangy for me, but I am glad I stuck with it. While this is certainly a well-polished product, the result is something really compelling. Featuring some classic country storytelling along with a few surprises, this ended up being a treat. If you need a little more grit in your country music, this might not work for you, but anyone else willing to give this a shot should be rewarded.
Recommendation: A solid listen.

Artist: Jay Som
Album: Anak Ko
Quick Description: More great alternative/indie music.
Why You Should Listen: This album doesn't play it straight up the middle.
Overall Thoughts: I have enjoyed what Jay Som has offered since first tripping up on it, and this album has the great balance of fuzzy alt-indie to go with a singer-songwriter mentality that just works on a whole. While this is reminiscent of PB in many regards, what I love about this album is that it doesn’t mind getting a little weird from time to time, and it’s to its benefit that it tries some different and interesting things.
Recommendation: Definitely worth the time in a busy week.

Artist: Sunny War
Album: Shell of a Girl
Quick Description: New album by another blog favorite.
Why You Should Listen: After an album that changed things up, this is back to a more basic folk sound.
Overall Thoughts: We like Sunny War around these parts, and her new album feels refreshingly back to basics. Her sense of melody is as good as ever, and her approach still as compelling and interesting as her previous efforts. There’s a lot to like here, and I look forward to spending more time with it as a result.
Recommendation: A great folk album this week.

Artist: Leslie Stevens
Album: Sinner
Quick Description: Attention-grabbing country music.
Why You Should Listen: It feels a little bit classic, but a lot modern.
Overall Thoughts: Some classic country offered up here makes for a really pleasant listen across the board. The tone and presentation here is great, and Leslie Stevens’s voice lends itself to a familiar sound while still feeling unique. We see a lot of stuff like this come across our release piles, but this one really does a good job of standing out.
Recommendation: Worth the time.

Of note:

* The Rembrandts - Via Satellite (This is actually pretty good!)
* Esther Rose - You Made It This Far (Some really great songs here, like "Sex and Magic" and "Only Loving You.")
* Becky Ninkovic - Woe
* Jessi McNeal - The Driveway
* Stella Emmett - Admirer
* Shannon Lay - August
* Lunch Lady - Angel
* Seratones - Power
* The Atom Age - Cry 'Til You Die
* Dharma Bombs - Enjoy the View
* Oh, Rose - While My Father Sleeps
* Redd Kross - Beyond the Door

Seven Song Album:

* Diablogato - Old Scratch


* CHAI/H.E. DEMON KAKKA - Kadamanogonjiro
* Lunch and American Trappist - Lunch With American Trappist
* YVA - Don't Miss It
* Missy Elliott - ICONOGRAPHY
* Jay Gonzalez/Eyelids - Jay Gonzalez Sings Eyelids Sings Jay Gonzalez Sings Eyelids
* No Sister - Influence
* Kirby Forest - Nights Before Treehouse


* Jason Lytle - Arthur King Presents Jason Lytle: NYLONANDJUNO (Art piece from the GD lead.)
* Taylor Swift - Lover
* Infinity Shred - Forever, A Fast Life
* Sheer Mag - A Distant Call

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