Tuesday, February 9, 2021

First Listen: New Releases for 5 February

Artist: Nana Yamato
Album: Before Sunrise
Quick Description: Your new favorite lo-fi indie artist has arrived.
Why You Should Listen: This grabbed me within minutes of the first song.
Overall Thoughts: I can't be more effusive about Before Sunrise than to say that this is borderline relevatory. Nana Yamato has put forward an album that both can't exist in any other time and yet feels somewhat timeless in its execution. It's indie, it's DIY, but it also feels incredibly deep, with some weight behind it. "Do You Wanna" is great, "Gaito" is great, the whole package is wonderful. I can't wait to go back to this one.
Recommendation: Easily the best of the week.

Artist: Editrix
Album: Tell Me I'm Bad
Quick Description: Loud, brash, unapologetic indie punk.
Why You Should Listen: Asks a lot of the listener, but to great reward.
Overall Thoughts: This was an unexpected surprise. Punk rock, on a whole, can be hit-or-miss for me, but there's something about the jolt of energy and interesting everything about this effort that works. The album is political and noisy, the songs uncomfortable and intense, and it's one that resonated with both Ken and I. Absolutely one you don;t want to miss this week.
Recommendation: You need to make time for this one.

Artist: Aaron Lee Tasjan
Album: Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan!
Quick Description: Latest effort from a blog favorite.
Why You Should Listen: Aaron Lee Tasjan has been on our radar for a while, but this has all the makings of a breakthrough.
Overall Thoughts: We've been fans since Aaron Lee Tasjan's early albums, but there's something special about this one, and it's not just because of the hopefully intentional Daniel Bryan reference. Tasjan has put together a near-perfect poppy record with songs that hook into you and leave you wanting more. It's as gorgeous as it is infectious, and many of the songs would feel right at home on any number of radio stations. If there's justice in the world, this is the album that makes Aaron Lee Tasjan famous.
Recommendation: Another wonderful listen this week.

Artist: The Staves
Album: Good Woman
Quick Description: Latest album from the British siblings.
Why You Should Listen: The Staves have always been great, but this feels like an additional step forward.
Overall Thoughts: On the surface, The Staves are basically what we look for in an act: women in folk making gorgeous songs, preferably with their relatives. Beyond that, however, is this album, which feels a little poppier without losing the folk flavor that makes The Staves stand out. The title track gives a great indication of what to expect, as does "Satisfied," but the whole thing is ultimately worth the time.
Recommendation: A solid listen.

Artist: Sun June
Album: Somewhere
Quick Description: Reserved indie folk-pop.
Why You Should Listen: It's a little bit country, a little bit folk, a lot bit wonderful.
Overall Thoughts: I feel like we talked up their first album here, but I can't find any record of it. It's a shame, because I liked it quite a bit and I really enjoyed their new album. This is a nice slice of folky, rootsy indie music, and with a ton going for it. There's something really special here, with light vocals and great instrumentation, that make this an album that shouldn't be missed.
Recommendation: A great album this week.

Artist: The Weather Station
Album: Ignorance
Quick Description: Gorgeous singer-songwriter rock.
Why You Should Listen: What if The War On Drugs were good?
Overall Thoughts: I've been into The Weather Station for a while now, but I've definitely noticed that Ken has realized how great The Weather Station is. This is maybe her best overall effort yet, with expansive, full-sounding songs and high production values. Songs like "Atlantic" really show where this artist has gone, and it ends up being an early favorite in what turned out to be a great week for music.
Recommendation: Give this a spin.

Of note:

* Future Funk Squad - Unified Forms (This is a deceptively fun throwback to 1990s electronica.)
* Black Country, New Road - For the first time (Indie post-prog? I'm here for it, whatever it is.) * Shovels and Rope - Busted [Juke/Juice]Box Volume 3 (Latest in their covers series, very family-friendly.)
* Psychedelic Porn Crumpets - SHYGA! The Sunlight Mound
* Sarah Mary Chadwick - Me and Ennui are Friends, Baby
* Hayley Williams - Flowers for Vases/descansos
* Tha God Fahim and Your Old Droog - Tha Wolf on Wall St.
* BoomBaptist, Elaquent, Juicy the Emissary - Komfort Food
* Foo Fighters - Medicine at Midnight
* Alexander Biggs - Hit or Miss


* Miss Grit - Imposter (Beware: listening to this EP might make her your new favorite.)
* Luna Li - jams EP
* Jessi Mac - Border Lines
* blackwinterwells and 8485 - tracing paths

Live albums/Compilations:

Also out:

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