Tuesday, February 2, 2021

First Listen: New Releases for 29 January

Artist: Arlo Parks
Album: Collapsed in Sunbeams
Quick Description: Beautiful, R&B-tinged folk music.
Why You Should Listen: You quickly realize how good this is from the word go...
Overall Thoughts: ...and then you learn she's only 20. Wow, this is such a good album and is likely to end up on a few best of lists this year. I was on board when "Green Eyes" dropped last year, but this album shows that she's not a single song flash-in-the-pan. There's folky, singer-songriter elements throughout, but sort of modern soul/R&B flavor to go along with it in many cases means a record that's something special.
Recommendation: You owe it to yourself to listen to this one.

Artist: Goat Girl
Album: On All Fours
Quick Description: Off-kilter post-punk.
Why You Should Listen: Goat Girl is a little strange, and it works a lot.
Overall Thoughts: There's a lot to unpack for this one, but I did enjoy it. There's plenty of accessible stuff here, but it's different enough where it's likely to convert some folks looking for a challenge, too. This has some interesting songs, and a lot of buzz, so give it some time.
Recommendation: Worth the effort.

Artist: Lia Ices
Album: Family Album
Quick Description: Gorgeous, retro folk.
Why You Should Listen: Lia Ices is a voice you'll remember.
Overall Thoughts: I don't have a ton to say about this one, but I found this gorgeous and compelling in a few ways. It's definitely the folk highlight of the week for me on a whole, and one that's worth the time.
Recommendation: Give it a spin.

Artist: The Sonder Bombs
Album: Clothbound
Quick Description: Indie rock with a uke?
Why You Should Listen: It's indie rock, but with a uke!
Overall Thoughts: I've been into The Sonder Bombs for some time, maybe after discovering their debut album that we missed around these parts. An EP and some songs later, and here is Clothbound ready to deliver. "What Are Friends For" is wonderful, but the whole album has a fun lightness to it that set the songs apart, especially with such great vocals throughout. A truly great effort, and one that deserves a lot of attention.
Recommendation: A favorite this week.

Artist: Still Corners
Album: The Last Exit
Quick Description: Latest from the dreamy duo.
Why You Should Listen: Still Corners repeatedly blows me away.
Overall Thoughts: I think I tripped up on "Black Lagoon" from Slow Air a few years back, and I'm still not tired of it. The new album doesn't break any new ground, but it doesn't really have to, as Still Corners have a unique sound that feels incredibly tight and feels like a journey. This is a great entry point, and is just as good for longtime fans.
Recommendation: Check this one out.

Artist: Crystal Canyon
Album: Yours With Affection and Sorrow
Quick Description: Hazy, dreamy indie rock.
Why You Should Listen: It's sort of shoegaze, sort of noise?
Overall Thoughts: About 30 seconds into this one, I told Ken that I was really into this, and he simply replied "that checks out." In that Crystal Canyon ticks any number of my musical boxes is one thing, but this is both an early favorite of 2021 and my favorite listen by far this week. It's raw while striking taht delicate "quiet, but loud" balance that too often gets ignored. I love this album, and you might too.
Recommendation: One of the best of 2021 so far.

Of note:

* The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes Are the Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings (This is an excellent listen.)
* Storm Seeker - Guns Don't Cry (If the Dropkick Murphys and Gogol Bordello had a baby and left it on a pirate ship, it would probably end up making this album.)
* Steven Wilson - THE FUTURE BITES (Don't sleep on "12 Things I Forgot" or "Personal Shopper")
* PJ Harvey - Is This Desire? - Demos
* Katie Dey - Urdata
* YACHT - Sub Versions
* Buzzy Lee - Spoiled Love
* Beautify Junkyard - Cosmorama
* Madlib - Sound Ancestors
* Rosier - Legerement
* Tamar Aphek - All Bets Are Off
* Langhorne Slim - Strawberry Mansion
* Waltzer - Time Traveler
* Venus Ex Machina - Lux


* Kynsy - Things That Don't Exist (Definitely check out "Elephant in the Room.")
* Eliza McLamb - Memos (We missed this one last year, but "Porn Star Tits" is great.)
* NO YEAR - So Long
* Sebastian Reynolds - Nihilism is Pointless EP
* The Vaughns - rom-coms + take out
* Buke and Gase/So Percussion - A Record Of
* Ralph Heidel - Relief
* Tiffany Day - The Recovery Project
* Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - CYHSY, 2005
* Lynks - Smash Hits, Vol. 2
* DEAR-GOD - 1-844-4DEAR-GOD
* Martin Gore - The Third Chimpanzee EP

Live albums/Compilations:

* J. Mascis - Fed Up and Feeling Strange
* Save Ferris - Live at the Belly Up
* Dr. Dog - Live 2
* ionnalee, iamamiwhoami, Barbelle - KONSERT

Also out:

* Weezer - OK Human
* Lucero - When You Found Me
* The Body - I've Seen All I Need to See
* Ani DiFranco - Revolutionary Love

1 comment:

  1. There's folky, singer-songriter elements throughout, but sort of modern soul/R&B flavor to go along with it in many cases means a record that's something special: Run 3