Tuesday, April 14, 2020

First Listen: New Releases for 10 April

Artist: Long Neck
Album: World's Strongest Dog
Quick Description: New album from the indie rockers.
Why You Should Listen: A solid upgrade from this band.
Overall Thoughts: Long Neck is a band I've been watching, and this is a great listen and shows great growth from a band that deserves a lot more praise. The songs here are super tight, and there's so much to love here that I can't drill it down to just a handful. One of the highlights of the week.
Recommendation: Make time for this one.

Artist: Ultimate Fakebook
Album: The Preserving Machine
Quick Description: First proper album in sixteen years from the indie rockers.
Why You Should Listen: They haven't missed a step.
Overall Thoughts: Ultimate Fakebook were always that sort of band that I had wanted to get into more than I did. Then they stopped playing, I stopped thinking about them, and then this drops. Whether absence makes the heart grow fonder, or whether the band has really gotten a lot better with age, or whether it's something else entirely, this is a welcome return. The album strikes the right balance between the indie of yore and the current state of things, and it's just a great listen from a band a lot of people missed.
Recommendation: Don't miss out.

Artist: Watkins Family Hour
Album: Brother Sister
Quick Description: Latest album from Sara and Sean Watkins.
Why You Should Listen: Have they ever steered you wrong?
Overall Thoughts: It's almost silly to highlight this, because you know exactly what you're getting from this duo: gorgous, perfect folk/bluegrass music. Even while these two have done their own thing since Nickel Creek split, they still do great work whenever they combine their powers. This is no different, and it's a must listen.
Recommendation: Great roots music here.

Artist: Rad Max
Album: Straight to Video
Quick Description: What if Powerslut formed at Blockbuster?
Why You Should Listen: You can't wait for the next season of Stranger Things but hate the aesthetic that surrounds it.
Overall Thoughts: I hate how much I loved this. Let's be real: there's a definite gimmick with this act, and gimmick acts are fine. But whether it's because I have a soft spot for low-budget trash movies, or whether I'm just the right age to have nostalgia for the old video store model, this album just works. The music is fun, the references never-ending, and it's just a great time.
Recommendation: Listen to this. You won't be upset that you tried it.

Artist: Cowboy Junkies
Album: Ghosts
Quick Description: New album from the alt-country favorites.
Why You Should Listen: Cowboy Junkies haven't gotten it wrong yet.
Overall Thoughts: I wanted to highlight this because it will likely get lost in the shuffle otherwise. At eight songs, it's too short, and the Junkies are typically a more laid back act these days, but you shouldn't ignore this. It's beautiful and wonderful and deserves more than it's probably going to get.
Recommendation: Add this to your rotation.

Artist: Laura Marling
Album: Song For Our Daughter
Quick Description: Latest from the British folkie.
Why You Should Listen: Laura Marling is consistently wonderful.
Overall Thoughts: I don't know why we don't give Laura Marling credit as one of the better folk artists running. Perhaps it's her association with other acts that have gotten bigger than her, or maybe we're just bad at recognizing greatness, but I welcome you to find a bad track on this album. Great voice, great songwriting, and another great album from Marling as a result.
Recommendation: A must-listen.

Of note:

* Local H - LIFERS (Ken and I both liked this. Pretty solid hard rock effort.)
* The Strokes - The New Abnormal (They kind of sound like a Strokes cover act now, but this is still decent.)
* Bloodshot Bill - Get Loose or Get Lost
* Fearing - Shadow
* Kool Keith x Thetan - Space Goretex
* Sparta - Trust the River
* ADULT. - Perception is/as/of Deception
* Pokey LaFarge - Rock Bottom Rhapsody


* Brass Against - Brass Against EP (First collection of original tunes.)
* Midwife - Forever
* Squarepusher - Lamental EP
* Why Bonnie - Voice Box
* Aesop Rock - Freedom Finger
* Maddie Medley - Coming of Age Pt. 1
* Sunwatchers - Oh Yeah?
* Methyl Ethel - Hurts to Laugh

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