Tuesday, March 2, 2021

First Listen: New Releases for 26 February

Artist: Nervous Dater
Album: Call In the Mess
Quick Description: Excitable indie rock.
Why You Should Listen: Nervous Dater is always fun.
Overall Thoughts: I've been a fan of Nervous Dater for some time, and this new album might be their best yet. Songs like "Red String Map" and "Nothing Left" have some weight to go along with their intense, infectious songs. There's a whole lot to love here, and it's an album that should put them on the map if they're not already there as they deserve. Don't even think twice about this one.
Recommendation: If you like indie rock, give this a spin.

Artist: Julien Baker
Album: Little Oblivions
Quick Description: Long-awaited new album from an indie singer-songwriter.
Why You Should Listen: Everything Julien Baker touches turns to gold.
Overall Thoughts: Turn Out the Lights has been in consistent rotation in my house since it came out. There's something so raw and so compelling about her music that is unmatched with anyone else currently performing. Little Oblivion is a different album than Turn Out the Lights, trading in a more sparse soundscape for a broader musical palate. Songs like "Hardline" definitely bring it up front, but it doesn't matter - Baker continues to be one of the most compelling artists out there, and this album reinforces that reality.
Recommendation: Don't miss this one.

Artist: Lydia Luce
Album: Dark River
Quick Description: Gritty singer-songwriter material.
Why You Should Listen: It's almost as if Lydia Loveless wasn't so country.
Overall Thoughts: Definitely wanted to highlight this one a bit, as it's one I really liked even if there's not a lot of specific highlights. This is singer-songwriter material with an edge, and with a sound that just works. I didn't want this to slide under the radar, and I suspect you won't, either.
Recommendation: A solid listen this week.

Artist: The Martha's Vineyard Ferries
Album: Suns Out Guns Out
Quick Description: New album from something approaching an indie rock supergroup.
Why You Should Listen: It's a band with a great name and great pedigree.
Overall Thoughts: There's a lot of stuff in the history of these members. This album is possibly more accessible than their individual acts, but it makes for a fun rock record with some punkish overtones. If you're a fan of any of the local acts involved, it's worth a listen, but it's worth it anyway.
Recommendation: A great album.

Artist: th1rt3en
Album: A Magnificent Day for an Exorcism
Quick Description: Most interesting rap album of the week.
Why You Should Listen: I didn't know any of the artists involved with this prior to now, but I sure want to know more now.
Overall Thoughts: th1rt3en is a supergroup of sorts featuring Pharoahe Monch, Marcus Machado, and Darius Jones, and my god is it great. There's so much awesome stuff happening here, and it's both political ("Cult 45") and fascinating ("Triskaidekaphobia") at the same time, and songs like "The Magician" should really be a major hit. This is just awesome stuff, and I'm definitely glad I tripped up on this.
Recommendation: One of the best of the week, and one of the best of the year.

Artist: Quivers
Album: Out of Time
Quick Description: An indie interpretation of the R.E.M. classic.
Why You Should Listen: Songs from this have floated around for a while, but this is the streaming release of the effort, and is worth the time.
Overall Thoughts: As a big R.E.M. fanboy, I've been waiting a while for this to hit Spotify. Out of Time was my first R.E.M. album, so I have a pretty deep relationship with it, and this reimagining has a lot of solid moments. If I have a hard criticism, it's that it feels almost too restrained at times, but then songs like "Shiny Happy People" or "Near Wild Heaven" hit, and it just feels right. This is more than just a curiosity, but a really great listen on a whole.
Recommendation: Definitely worth the time.

Artist: Sydney Sprague
Album: maybe i will see you at the end of the world
Quick Description: Addictive singer-songwriter effort.
Why You Should Listen: This is a sneaky great album.
Overall Thoughts: I cheated a bit. My first listen on this was fine, but, outside of "Object Permanence," it didn't fully grab me. I listened again today, and over and over I kept saying "man, that song is great, too," and before I knew it, the album was over and I really wanted to just go back to it again. It's really great, and it deserves more attention.
Recommendation: Don't miss out on this one.

Of note:

* Jimmy Edgar - Cheetah Bend
* Dax Pierson - Nerve Bumps (A Queer Divine Dissatisfaction)
* DJ Manipulator - Gram Jams 3
* Carpool Tunnel - Bloom
* Sibille Attar - A History of Silence
* Robin Schulz - IIII
* Roosevelt - Polydans
* Ghetts - Conflict of Interest
* Cloud Nothings - The Shadow I Remember
* Smerz - Believer
* King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard - L.W.
* stillhungry - stillhungry
* Melvins - Working With God
* Chris Pierce - American Silence
* A Winged Victory for the Sullen - Invisible Cities


* Deap Vally - Digital Dream
* Charlie Hickey - Count the Stairs
* LAOISE - Healthy

Live albums/Compilations:

* PJ Harvey - Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea - Demos

Also out:

* Nick Cave and Warren Ellis - CARNAGE
* NOFX - Single Album
* Willie Nelson - That's Life
* Black Hatch - One More Bite
* Seth Martin & The Dish Boys - The Golden Book of Favorite Songs

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