Tuesday, May 18, 2021

First Listen: New Releases for 14 May

Artist: Johanna Samuels
Album: Excelsior!
Quick Thoughts: I love good singer-songwriter folk-adjacent music these days, and the title of this record definitely gives off a fun and light vibe. The actual music, though, is extremely appealing, with a lot of interesting stuff going on. I love the gorgeous instrumentation, and the songwriting is top notch. If you're looking for something really pretty and gorgeous, with enough interesting flourishes to keep you coming back? This is your record.
Songs of Note: "Sonny," "Nature's Way," "All is Fine"

Artist: Smol Data
Album: Inconvenience Store
Quick Thoughts: I don't recall how I tripped up on Smol Data but holy crap is this good and fun. This is a neat little indie pop/punk record that's really just a good time start to finish. It reminds me a lot of The Beths crossed with Illuminati Hotties, which is right down my alley and might be up your alley, too.
Songs of Note: "Salaries (Bankruptcy Eve)," "Tinceltown," "Last Call Indie Darlings"

Artist: Sara Bug
Album: Sara Bug
Quick Thoughts: If you're a reader of the blog, you know Sara Bug. This was one of the more anticipated listens of the week around these parts, and for good reason: Sara Bug is an exceptional songwriter with some really solid songs that stick around. This is definitely a favorite around here, and I know I hope she breaks through and breaks out.
Songs of Note: "Rosebank," "Lotta Pride," "Ride on Sundys"

Artist: Holly Macve
Album: Not the Girl
Quick Thoughts: Alongside Smol Data, this might be my other favorite listen of the week. This is alt-country via Ireland the way you want it: great vocals, great songs, and a little bit of an attitude. This one came out of left field for me, and I am very excited to spend more time with it.
Songs of Note: "Bird," "Be My Friend," "Daddy's Gone, "Sweet Marie," "Who Am I?"

Artist: Morcheeba
Album: Blackest Blue
Quick Thoughts: Ken sent this over and I rolled my eyes a bit, since occasionally he'll send me, like, a Powerman 5000 record and that's just not my speed. But imagine my surprise when I learned that Morcheeba is not a nu metal act from the turn of the century? News to me, and good news in that it's trip-hoppy and not Limp Bizkity. It reminds me a lot of Portishead, but with a love for jazz and soul, and it's great. I spent some time in their back catalog this weekend as a result, and I hope there's still room on the bandwagon.
Songs of Note: "Sounds of Blue," "Sulphur Soul," "The Moon"

Artist: Charlie Benante
Album: Silver Linings
Quick Thoughts: Best known as the drummer from Anthrax, this is really just a metalhead's take on surfing the radio dial, and I'm frankly here for it. They're faithful renditions of well-known songs from all eras, but they've got the additional crunch behind them that makes it something more. It's worth at least one listen, but I have a feeling you'll go back for more.
Songs of Note: "Teardrop," "Rhiannon," "Bad Guy"

Artist: Juliana Hatfield
Album: Blood
Quick Thoughts: I didn't want this to fly under the radar this week, especially since there are a few songs here that feel like they're a little more adventurous than what we're used to from Juliana Hatfield. On the other hand, there are some of her better recent works on here, like "Mouthful of Blood," that definitely tell me that she's far from aged out of the alt-rock landscape.
Songs of Note: "Chunks," "Mouthful of Blood"

Artist: Morellas Forest 1988
Album: Tales
Quick Thoughts: A song from Tales was on the NPR New Music Friday playlist and I learned this was a precursor to bands like Starflyer 59 and Joy Electric. The album is heavy on the reverb and arpeggiated chords, and it may as well have been a Hib-Tone single culled from the record bins in Boston. Just a great listen from an album people never thought would see the light of day.
Songs of Note: "Honeylands," "One Fine Days"

Of note:

* Riley Downing - Start It Over (Singer from The Deslondes, a ton of great moments.)
* Platinum Max - Critically Acclaimed, Vol. 1 (If you watch All Elite Wrestling, you will recognize some of Max Caster's diss tracks collected here.)
* Fightmilk - Contender (A lot of solid indie/punkish songs here.) * Not Waving - How to Leave Your Body
* Simon Stalenhag - Music for Satanic Children
* The Juan Maclean - I Can't Explain
* Damien Jurado - The Monster Who Hated Pennsylvania
* The Black Keys - Delta Kream
* Paul Weller - Fat Pop
* The Chills - Scatterbrain
* Sarah Neufeld - Detritus


* Heather Valley - Wildflower Radio (Nice little covers EP. "If It Makes You Happy" is a highlight.)
* Molly Tuttle - ...but i'd rather be with you, too (Another covers EP with another great Sheryl Crow cover.)
* Curt Florczak - Scraping by on the Hope of Redemption (Longtime guitarist has some great power poppy tunes here.)
* Kate Clover - Channel Zero (The title track is a really great song.)
* Kalie Shorr - 3x3 Vol. 1: The Chicks (Three (fka Dixie) Chicks covers.)
* Amos the Kid - No More New Ideas
* fanclubwallet - Hurt is Boring
* Rodrigo y Gabriela - The Jazz EP
* Freedom Fry - Reprises
* Nap Eyes - When I Come Around

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* Blitzen Trapper - Holy Demos Future Demos (Demo versions from their latest.)
* Lera Lynn - On My Own Deluxe
* Big Thief - Live at the Bunker Studio
* Long Neck - Left of the Dial Live
* Great Lake Swimmers - Live at the Redeemer 2007

Also out:

* St. Vincent - Daddy's Home
* Gary Peacock and Bill Frisell - Just So Happens

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