Tuesday, June 16, 2020
First Listen: New Releases for 12 June
Artist: Sammy Brue
Album: Crash Test Kid
Quick Description: Latest from someone becoming a favorite here.
Why You Should Listen: Still country tinged while exploring some new genres.
Overall Thoughts: This might end up being a bit divisive for some, but I absolutely loved this new album by Sammy Brue. He's a young artist with a lot of years ahead of him, and this is an album that definitely provides some evidence that he's capable of doing a lot of different things musically in the coming years. Lots to love here, and definitely worth checking out. It's too soon to say it's one of my favorites this year, but I thought it was definitely a highlight of the week.
Recommendation: Don't miss this one.
Artist: Leah Senior
Album: The Passing Scene
Quick Description: Some low-key indie rock.
Why You Should Listen: Folk elements, indie elements, all combine for a solid listen.
Overall Thoughts: I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would. There tends to be a sameness for a lot of these indie acts, and Leah Senior avoids it by stretching their musical limbs a bit. This is a definite winner in a week with a few of them, but it's worth your time because of how different it is in comparison to albums like it and how different it is from this week's offerings.
Recommendation: Worth your time.
Quick Description: Debut album by an interesting electronic act.
Why You Should Listen: There's something odd about this effort that makes it stand out.
Overall Thoughts: It's interesting that I've found myself gravitating more toward some poppier stuff in the last few years even while pushing toward more esoteric ideas in electronic music (like the PC Music stuff). I don't know if this means much when coming to upsammy, but I found this to be a really compelling listen on a whole, consistently grabbing my attention from start to finish. This won't be for everybody, but if you like your electronica more on the adventurous side, this is worth the time.
Recommendation: A favorite this week.
Artist: Jehnny Beth
Album: To Love is to Live
Quick Description: Debut solo album by a member of Savages.
Why You Should Listen: Definitely likely to be a divisive listen, but one that needs to be heard.
Overall Thoughts: Probably the most buzzworthy release of the week, Jehnny Beth's debut is just as much an art project as it is a musical endeavor. Sometimes poppy, sometimes deliberately harsh, this is a very complex album that will need a few listens to process. I didn't love it initially, but I'm not sure any album has been something I've thought about so often after listening to it in a while. I'm not saying you'll like it, but I'm saying you need to hear it to know for sure.
Recommendation: A mandatory listen.
Album: The Curse and the Currency of the Twenty-First Century
Quick Description: New album by... a concept act? I dunno.
Why You Should Listen: I don't know much about Moviestar, but after listening to this, I want to.
Overall Thoughts: This is a strange album, to be clear, but one that (outside of the skits, death to all skits) I really enjoyed. The music is good, the concept fun, and I want to go back and hear more. Not a lot else to say about this, but I didn't want it to get lost in the shuffle.
Recommendation: Put this in the rotation.
Quick Description: Debut album from a post-punk supergroup.
Why You Should Listen: It has musicians from Fugazi, of course you're going to listen.
Overall Thoughts: This is going to get the attention because of the somewhat under-the-radar release effort during a pandemic, and how little we know about the act overall, but don't let that fool you: this is a great album, my favorite this week, and might have some staying power for the year. Some great stuff here, with interesting production values and even more interesting mystique behind it. I really loved this...
Recommendation: ...and I assume you will, too.
* Alice Bag - Sister Dynamite (Alice Bag isn't losing a step.)
* Fixions - Dark Days (Heavy synthwave might be my new thing.)
* Kate NV - Room for the Moon
* Eve Owen - Don't Let the Ink Dry
* The Big Moon - Walking Like We Do
* Norah Jones - Pick Me Up Off the Floor
* Wray - Stream of Youth / Blank World
* Louise Le Hir - Louise Le Hir
* Forest Bees - Forest Bees
* Noveller - Arrow
* Built to Spill - Built to Spill Plays the Songs of Daniel Johnston
Seven Song Albums:
* Ellen Allien - Auraa
* Chromeo - Quarantine Casanova (This is truly enjoyable.)
* Melody - Teacher's Pet (This is also great.)
* The Juan Maclean - Manthony
* Kiesza - Love Me With Your Lie
* Coach Party - Party Food
* GRLwood - I Need to Get Off My Phone
* mxmtoon - dawn (the edits)
* The Harmaleighs - Barely Making Sense
* Liam Gallagher - MTV Unplugged Live at Hull City Hall
* Gia Margaret - Mia Gargaret
* Imelda May - Slip of the Tongue