Album: Aaron and the Lord
Quick Thoughts: I've honestly been hit and miss on Aaron Perrino's work - The Sheila Divine, which is probably as close to legendary indie act in Boston as there can be, never quite did it for me, while I felt the Dear Leader project was truly great and I enjoyed No Hope/No Harm - but this newer side project is super solid. It's certainly alt rock, but it's also got some off-center concepts around it, and some of the songs featuring Tanya Donnelly feel truly inspired. I'd recommend it for any Perrino fans out there, but especially those who like to listen to him when he treads off the beaten path.
Songs of Note: "Helpful Visions," "World on Edge"
Album: Breaking Point
Quick Thoughts: I love both Jade Jackson and Aubrie Sellers, but I somehow completely missed the part where they were joining forced on a rockin' roots effort. This is a great listen, and it's one that's likely to resonate for a while. One might hope that this team-up might raise both their profiles, but for now, we benefit from a pretty great roots effort.
Songs of Note: "Breaking Point," "Hush," "Wound Up"
Quick Thoughts: This is the sort of hazy, fuzzy stuff we love here. I don't have a ton to say about this sophomore shoegaze effort, but I do know that I'm really happy to have heard it and it's a really solid listen on a whole. If shoegaze is your scene, add this to your rotation.
Songs of Note: "Swoon," "Bent and Broken"
Album: Life After
Quick Thoughts: We've discussed Snotty Nose Rez Kids here before, and these indigenous rappers are really pretty great. Their first few albums were nominated for a slew of awards, and this latest continues along the trajectory of politically and socially minded rap music we've come to expect. The whole album is great, and if you haven't gotten on board with the duo yet, now's as good a time as any.
Songs of Note: "If I Die Today"
Album: Live '95
Quick Thoughts: Mega Ran trades in his video game-themed raps for a basketball-themed one, and it works so, so well. It's both personal and fun, and that goes a really long way across the board, but it's also interesting how well Mega Ran interweaves a lot of the cultural touchstones of basketball fandom with his own experiences. It's just a really interesting and great listen. Don't miss it.
Songs of Note: "Faces of Fear"
Album: San Benedito Beach
Quick Thoughts: This was sent over last minute, and man, when this works, it works. This is primarily a folk effort, to be sure, but there's something different about this that ends up being super appealing in all the right ways. It's a little bit of fun, a little serious, but has a pretty solid mix of ideas and themes on a whole.
Songs of Note: "Fish Monger Blues," "Say That You Will"
* The Exbats - Now Where Were We (A solid return with a lot of poppy, fun moments.)
* Lonely Guest - Lonely Guest (A project featuring Tricky.)
* Bedouine - Waysides (Probably her most accessible, mainstream effort yet.)
* Lana Del Rey - Blue Banisters (Not nearly as good as Chemtrails from earlier this year, but still solid.)
* Diamondtown - Diamondtown (Reverb-heavy rock, feels like it's out of the 1980s.)
* The Juan Maclean - I Want the Night
* Angel Du$t - YAK: A Collection of Truck Songs
* My Morning Jacket - My Morning Jacket
* Duran Duran - FUTURE PAST
* Clinic - Fantasy Island
* Wet - Letter Blue
* La Luz - La Luz
* Deerhoof - Actually, You Can
* Gabriel Bernini - You Got Me
* Big D and the Kids Table - DO YOUR ART
* Parquet Courts - Sympathy for Life
* Hawthonn - Earth Mirror
* Spose - Get Rich or Die Ryan
* Helado Negro - Far In
* Hand Habits - Fun House
* Dummy - Mandatory Enjoyment
* Roedelius and Dallas Acid - Mind Cinema
* Tristan Arp - Sculpturegardening
* Soley - Mother Melancholia
* Ouri - Frame of a Fauna
* Okay Kaya - The Incompatible Okay Kaya
* Bleach Lab - Nothing Feels Real
* Olafur Arnalds - The Invisible EP
* Cuffed Up - Asymmetry
* GIRLI - Damsel in Destress
* Travis - The Invisible Band Demos
* Nada Surf - Cycle Through
* Hey, Chels - Brick Roads
* Elita - Anxiety Angel
* Shn Shn - e.strange.d
* MALINDA - Sea to Sky