Tuesday, August 18, 2020
First Listen: New Releases for 14 August
Artist: Kathleen Edwards
Album: Total Freedom
Quick Description: First album in eight years from the Americana favorite.
Why You Should Listen: Kathleen Edwards is one of the best singer-songwriters out there...
Overall Thoughts: ...and she hasn't missed a beat. It's been too long, and I gushed about her back catalog in May, so my hopes were high and just every song here lands near-perfectly. The album opens in a good tone, the slower songs are still incredibly compelling, and the total package is one of her better efforts in a catalog without many misses. This is required listening this week, and one of the best of the year.
Recommendation: A great listen.
Artist: A. G. Cook
Quick Description: PC Music head finally puts out a solo album.
Why You Should Listen: With 40-odd songs, you'll find something to like.
Overall Thoughts: The PC Music brand is very specific and maybe an acquired taste, but A. G. Cook's long-awaited debut dabbles in a little bit of everything. It's weird and wonderful, and even at its length and number of songs, it somehow doesn't wear out its welcome. I really enjoyed this one, and it's great to see the producer step out in front a bit.
Recommendation: A highlight this week.
Quick Description: Dance popster with a solid new album.
Why You Should Listen: In a better world, this would be the pop album of the summer.
Overall Thoughts: Tell me "Run Renegade" isn't the best pop song to come out in ages. Go ahead, try me. This is a perfect, summery splash of danceworthy music to bridge you into fall, and there's not much on here that I didn't really love. If you're not allergic to polished radio-friendly pop tunes...
Recommendation: ...give this a shot.
Artist: Twisted Pine
Album: Right Now
Quick Description: Local bluegrass band with a new album.
Why You Should Listen: Twisted Pine is a group we love, and this album reminds us why.
Overall Thoughts: There's a habit for bluegrass acts to go the Thile route and branch out a bit even though the bluegrass sound is so pure and timeless. Twisted Pine never rode the straight and narrow, but they take their share of chances here that could, in less talented hands, go right off the deep end into absurdity. Instead, Twisted Pine says "here's a flute" and you're on board. It's great. So don't miss this one this week.
Recommendation: Fun bluegrass is always worth it.
* Poppy - I Disagree (more) (An expanded re-release of her great album from earlier this year.)
* Tanya Donelly and the Parkingtons - Tanya Donelly and the Parkingtons (This is very good, but it's not what you expect.)
* Ultraista - Sister (One we missed, an interesting left-of-center electronic/indie singer-songwriter effort worth some time.)
* Era Bleak - Era Bleak (Some really solid short punk stuff here.)
* Drew Holcomb - Kitchen Covers: The Collection
* BT - The Lost Art of Longing
* Whitney - Candid
* Martha Ffion - Nights to Forget
* King Buzzo and Trevor Dunn - Gift of Sacrifice
* Son Lux - Tomorrows I
* Orville Peck - Show Pony
* Nancy - Happy Oddities
* Holly Humberstone - Falling Asleep at the Wheel
* Melanie Faye - Melanie Faye EP
* Tegan and Sara - Hey, We're Just Like You (The Remixes)
* Dana Gavinski - Wind Songs
* Bill Frisell - Valentine
* Alessia Cara - This Summer: Live Off the Floor
* Gordon Koang - Unity
* Bonniesongs - Energetic Mind: Live