Tuesday, October 1, 2019

First Listen: New Releases for 25 September

Some catch-up along with the new releases...

Artist: The Wolff Sisters
Album: Queendom of Nothing
Quick Description: New album from a local favorite.
Why You Should Listen: The Wolff Sisters should be huge.
Overall Thoughts: We loved the debut album from The Wolff Sisters, Cahoon Hollow, and to say that this new album has been on our anticipated list for a while is an understatement. What I didn't expect was for this new record to be such a leap forward. There's no sophomore slump here: Queendom of Nothing is a gorgeous, confident record that improves on everything this band has already accomplished up to now, and, in a more just world, would propel them into greater stardom. For now, they'll have to remain our collective secret, but do not sleep on this. It's not only one of the best of the week...
Recommendation: ...it's one of the best of the year.

Artist: Sofia Talvik
Album: Paws of a Bear
Quick Description: Latest from the Americana-via-Sweden singer-songwriter.
Why You Should Listen: Sofia Talvik has been one of the most consistently great musicians of the last decade.
Overall Thoughts: Plenty of room on this bandwagon, folks. Talvik's latest is just another entry in her lush, beautiful brand of Americana, and it continually surprises me how well she embraces the sounds of a genre from the other side of the planet. If you like folk music and haven't gotten around to Talvik yet, this is as good a place as any to start out.
Recommendation: One of the best of the week.

Artist: Michaela Anne
Album: Desert Dove
Quick Description: Great roots music.
Why You Should Listen: Michaela Anne continues her growth as a great roots musician.
Overall Thoughts: There's definitely some polish and shine on Desert Dove, but there's no negative takeaway from this album. A solid, confident take on a whole from a musician who seemingly arrived on the scene with her debut a few years back, this third album is her best effort yet and has a lot of songs that will stick in your head long after you've listened. In a week with so much good roots music, this one shouldn't fall by the wayside.
Recommendation: A great listen.

Artist: Tegan & Sara
Album: Hey, I'm Just Like You
Quick Description: Indie-adjacent sister act back with a new album.
Why You Should Listen: Tegan & Sara have been great for decades, and this album is a return to form of sorts.
Overall Thoughts: Tegan & Sara deserve every accolade they receive, but even their recent shift toward more radio-friendly pop might have turned off a fan or two. As someone who really liked their earlier stuff, I feel like this new album comes closest to their superlative early work of anything they've released recently. This back-to-basics approach, however, still has a mainstream feel and flavor to it that, in my mind, achieves that difficult goal of straddling that line so many bands fail at. With that said? A great album, and worth the time in any week.
Recommendation: Give this a listen.

Artist: Sturgill Simpson
Album: Sound & Fury
Quick Description: Latest from the classic country crooner...
Why You Should Listen: ...even if this is completely out of left field for him.
Overall Thoughts: If early responses on Twitter are any indication, this is going to be one of the most divisive records of the year. There's little-to-no country music to be found here, and it comes across more like an alt-prog... something. It's hard to describe. If you can put aside that it's Sturgill Simpson putting this out, you'll find a super fascinating record that is easily one of the more challenging and interesting releases in recent memory. If you're expecting what made you love this guy to start, though, you'll find that the only thing to remind you of his past is his always-odd approach.
Recommendation: Be wary, but be rewarded.

Of note:

* Surfer Blood - Covers (Some solid and interesting covers in here.)
* The New Pornographers - In the Morse Code of Brake Lights (Maybe their best in a long time.)
* Test Meat - Enjoy
* Billy Strings - Home
* Charlie Parr - Charlie Parr
* The Hussy - Looming
* Beth Hart - War in My Mind
* Moon Duo - Stars Are the Light
* Temples - Hot Motion
* Girl Band - The Talkies


* Rosier - Rosier (Looking forward to more from these guys.)
* The Comet is Coming - The Afterlife
* Keep Shelly in Athens - 9 Years
* Free Love - Extreme Dance Anthems
* Abbie Ozard - Growing Pains EP
* C/OR, Joy Orbison, Herron - Gudrun

Also out:

* Brian Eno and Robert Fripp - Evening Star
* Becky Hill - Get to Know
* Merzbow, Keiji Haino, Balasz Pandi - Become the Discovered, Not the Discoverer
* Steel Panther - Heavy Metal Rules

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