Tuesday, January 19, 2021

First Listen: New Releases for 15 January

A little more catch-up and some solid new listens.

Artist: Pearl Charles
Album: Magic Mirror
Quick Description: Gorgeous retro indie pop.
Why You Should Listen: Reminiscent of Feist in many ways, but really bright and fun.
Overall Thoughts: I don't see that we caught her previous album, although it appears I was listening to it at one point. Still, this album was so wonderful. In what's been a real weird time in America, you have an album here that really does some interesting stuff in its approach to pop music. A truly fascinating listen, and one that I think most everyone would find some value in.
Recommendation: Make time for this one.

Artist: Pom Poko
Album: Cheater
Quick Description: New album from the Norweigian indie rockers.
Why You Should Listen: Lots of growth from their debut while still staying familiar.
Overall Thoughts: Pom Poko always seems off, but in that good way when you're hearing things repeatedly and still find something new. The sort of sometimes-difficult indie rock put forward by Pom Poko here make it an easy recommendation early in the year, as songs like "My Candidacy" or "Like a Lady" tend to linger. Overall, one I'm looking forward to getting back to.
Recommendation: Worth a spin.

Artist: Chris Brokaw
Album: Puritan
Quick Description: Instrumentalist and collaborator with basically everyone has a super indie rock album.
Why You Should Listen: It's got a singer-songwriter sensibility, but with a good indie bent.
Overall Thoughts: I don't have a ton to say about this Chris Brokaw effort, but I didn't want it to go unrecognized this week. This definitely has a folk feel to it, but it still works in a variety of ways for basically any audience. I fully enjoyed my experience with this record, and I hope it has staying power.
Recommendation: One of the best of this week.

Artist: Buck Meek
Album: Two Saviors
Quick Description: Solo effort from a member of Big Thief.
Why You Should Listen: Has an outlaw country feel with an indie rock sheen.
Overall Thoughts: I didn't know Buck Meek was part of Big Thief until I went hunting for the album cover. It doesn't feel like a Big Thief record, but knowing that now definitely helps with a bit of the feel of the whole thing. It's a very pleasant listen on a whole, with a few songs here that stuck out at me. If you like what we normally feature here, you'll find something to like here.
Recommendation: Should make your rotation.

Artist: Danielle Durack
Album: No Place
Quick Description: Gorgeous singer-songwriter effort.
Why You Should Listen: Danielle Durack is fast becoming a favorite around here.
Overall Thoughts: She's been great for a while, but this album steps up the game in a few ways. "Broken Wings" has been in semi-heavy rotation for me since release, and the rest of the record holds up in a similar way. A folky, indie pop-style record, I really adore this effort and, in a just world, it becomes the breakthrough she deserves.
Recommendation: A solid listen.

Artist: Comfy
Album: Volume For
Quick Description: Interesting, divisive indie rock.
Why You Should Listen: This was the most talked-about album between Ken and I think week.
Overall Thoughts: So Comfy. When this record is on, WOW is it good. There's so much going on here that this album doesn't always work, but whether it's an experiment or just not 100% working remains to be seen. I think, for me, I liked this a lot more than Ken did, as it reminds me a lot of the early-2000s indie rock I felt in love with. It's a record that's challenging, but is also likely worth the effort.
Recommendation: Give this a shot.

Of note:

* Five Iron Frenzy - Until this Shakes Apart (A ska punk record that's better than you think it should be.)
* Matthew Sweet - Catspaw (In case you were wondering? He's still got it.)
* Samia - The Baby Reimagined (One of the better efforts of this type of COVID release.)
* Flo Milli - Ho, Why Is You Here?
* You Me At Six - SUCKAPUNCH
* King Felix - Going Under Soundtrack
* Nancy - The Seven Foot Tall Post-Suicidal Feel Good Blues
* Dale Crover - Rat-a-Tat-Tat
* Kate Davis - Strange Boy
* Front Line Assembly - Mechanical Soul
* Sleaford Mods - Spare Ribs
* Shame - Drunk Tank Pink


* Death Cab for Cutie - The Georgia EP
* Kuwaisiana - Chapter 2: Al-Baab Al-Thani
* Beach Bunny - Blame Game
* Emma Ruth Rundle and Thou - The Helm of Sorrow
* Just Friends - JF Crew, Vol. 1

Also out:

* OG Swaggerdick - Flaccid Rap

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