Tuesday, April 20, 2021

First Listen: New Releases for 16 April 2021

Artist: Gold Child
Album: Far From You
Quick Thoughts: I'm not sure how I initially tripped up on Gold Child, but Far From You is a wonderful slice of country music that repeatedly surprised me. This collection of songs is a step forward from her 2019 debut effort, and really establishes her as a musical force to be reckoned with. Don't miss out on this one in what's a busy week, especially if you like the more rootsy efforts.
Songs of Note: "Like You Used To," "Modern Life"

Artist: Son Lux
Album: Tomorrows III
Quick Thoughts: I've come to enjoy a lot of esoteric, almost experimental music as of late. Son Lux filled that voice for me this week with the latest Tomorrows effort, which is gorgeous and challenging and intriguing all at once. Won't work for everyone, but if this is up your alley, you'll find a lot to love here.
Songs of Note: "Unbind," "Plans We Make"

Artist: Freedom Fry
Album: L'Invitation
Quick Thoughts: If you're not scared off by non-English-language efforts, check out Freedom Fry. This album is probably the one that trapped itself in my head the most this weekend, with "Gang De Filles" in particular looping through my brain over and over again. It's a solid listen whether you understand what they're saying or not.
Songs of Note: "L'Invitation," "Le Point Zero," "La Discotheque," "Gang De Filles"

Artist: Lake Haze
Album: Sun Rising on Concrete Landscapes
Quick Thoughts: Speaking of electronic efforts, Lake Haze has a stark and minimalist feel blanketed with a seriously interesting and complicated veneer. Similar to Son Lux, it may or may not work for you, but I didn't want to ignore this release as one I truly loved this week.
Songs of Note: "Emotional Encore," "She Took Me To Her Favorite Club"

Artist: Caroline Kingsbury
Album: Heaven's Just a Flight
Quick Thoughts: The long, long, LONG-awaited debut album from Caroline Kingsbury more than just exceeds expectations, it destroys them. We've been following Kingsbury since her early folkier days, and while many of the early singles and releases showed promise, the album as a cohesive statement? Absolutely brilliant. Kingsbury is part Kate Bush, part Carly Rae, and has successfully achieved the sort of synth pop perfection that I never saw coming. Not only is this my favorite release of the week, but a frontrunner for the year. Do not skip this one.
Songs of Note: "Breaking Apart," "Massive Escape," "In My Brain"

Artist: Noods
Album: Blush
Quick Thoughts: Lots of bands have the sort of indie punk aethstetic that Noods has, but there's something a little more compelling about Blush that sets it apart. In a busy week, I didn't want this to get overlooked, but this is exactly the sort of upbeat-yet-deep rock music we look for here.
Songs of Note: "Sheets," "Donkey Kong"

Artist: Elise Davis
Album: Anxious. Happy. Chill.
Quick Thoughts: Elise Davis has a couple albums of solid alt-country under her belt, and this new album is a definite pop turn. For some artists, that's a negative, but Davis is a skilled enough songwriter that the transition isn't much a sharp shift but more a natural evolution. These are beautiful, catchy songs, and you'll absolutely find some good stuff to love here.
Songs of Note: "Lady Bug," "Thirty"

Artist: David Wax Museum
Album: Eurphoric Ouroboric
Quick Thoughts: We've said before that this blog doesn't exist without David Wax Museum, and this latest album is a clear reminder as to why. The band has gone in a different direction from its Mexican folk roots, and while I can't say that their last couple albums had the staying power of Everything is Saved or Knock Knock Get Up, Euphoric Ouroboric feels like a breath of fresh air and a return to form. There's still the folky aspects with hints of modern instrumentation, but the sort of dusty grit that I fell in love with a decade ago. One of the best of the week, and of the year so far.
Songs of Note: "Ghost of Summer," "Juniper Jones," "Helen, Can You Forgive Me?"

Artist: London Grammar
Album: Californian Soil
Quick Thoughts: I've been a fan of London Grammar for a while, but this new album is a really impressive jump forward in quality. I kept dropping song after song into the weekly playlist, impressed over and over again, and it just has that same sort of soulful, smoky, epic feel at its true height. Not a bad song in the batch, and probably a great starting point if you're not already on the bandwagon.
Songs of Note: "Missing," "Lose Your Head," "How Does It Feel," "I Need the Night"

Artist: Basside
Quick Thoughts: Wanted to give a quick highlight to this EP. Produced by the late SOPHIE, it's like old school Miami rap with a hyperpop mask on. "NYC2MIA" is obnoxious and wonderful, in particular.
Songs of Note: "NYC2MIA"

Of note:

* The Brother Brothers - Calla Lily (Pretty solid folk/roots music.)
* Sufjan Stevens - Lamentations (Sufjan going full weirdo ambient is something I'm here for.)
* Jeff Rosenstock - SKA DREAM (Does what it says on the tin.)
* Lost Girls, Jenny Hval, and Havard Volden - Menneskekollektivet
* @ - Mind Palace Music
* Sasha and the Valentines - So You Think You Found Love?
* Current Value - The All Attracting
* Imelda May - 11 Past the Hour
* Low Ceilings - Passenger Side<> EPs:

* Indigo Maya - Martyrs (Sort of the lovechild of Sleigh Bells and Poppy.)
* Cole Quest and the City Pickers - Self [En]Titled (Literally the grandson of Woody Guthrie.)
* Dev Lemons - Lemontopia (Dev Lemons keeps pumping our super compelling electronic-tinged stuff. One to watch, even if she kind of stinks.)
* 8485 - plague town
* Wild Pink - 6 Cover Songs
* Destroyyyyer - Memory Lane
* Sister James - I Hate It Here, Pt. 1
* Tristan Arp - Oddkin
* Bent - Exercises Part.3
* Jade Bird - RCA Studio A Sessions
* Miesha and the Spanks - Singles EP
* Jaguar Jonze - Antihero

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* Sharon Van Etten - epic Ten (A reissue of her 2010 debut with cover/collaborative interpretations.)
* Paul McCartney - McCartney III Imagined (Covers, remixes, reinterpretations from McCartney's latest.)
* The Polyphonic Spree - Afflatus (A collection of recent cover songs.)
* Vitamin - Recordings 1981 (Boston punk release, first time it's seen the light of day in 40 years.)
* Goldie - Timeless (25 Year Anniversary)

Also out:

* Matthew E. White and Lonnie Holley - Broken Mirror: A Selfie Reflection

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