Album: Public Storage
Quick Thoughts: In one of the more unsettling album covers in recent memory, it gives off abrasive vibes to what's actually a pretty solid poppy listen. This was unexpected in many different ways, and I didn't want to lose this one in the shuffle. A good record on a whole, with a lot that makes me think it's going to be a true grower.
Songs of Note: "Keeper," "World's Worst"
Album: Underground King II
Quick Thoughts: We dig Recognize Ali here, and this effort continues along the same lines of his previous work: a great flow with some great beats. I don't know how to talk about rap music, really, but I do know that I really enjoyed this album and wanted more of it. A true highlight.
Songs of Note: "Murder in Daylight," "Giant Steps"
Album: Needles and Pinches
Quick Thoughts: I didn't know Georgia Train prior to this week, but I've since learned she was formerly of a folky/torchy duo, and this solo album is absolutely phenomenal. The songs here have a ton of passion behind them, and each part of the whole shows a level of musicality and emotion that isn't always present in many of the singer-songwriter efforts. This is a tremendous listen.
Songs of Note: "Needles & Pinches," "I'm Coping," "Knew Me Too Well," "Summer Song"
Album: Killing My Mind
Quick Thoughts: A love me some darkish pop, and Salt Ashes delivers. Hooky melodies reminscent of Meg Myers, and a presentation straight out of the 1990s? Sign me up.
Songs of Note: "Lucy," "Power Play"
Album: Queens of the Summer Hotel
Quick Thoughts: Aimee Mann is legendary in many circles, including ours. While much of her more recent output has been hit or miss, this collection of songs (originally pulled together for an aborted musical) is some of her best work in decades. A lot of great songs here in a definitely different tack for Mann, but it all works. Don't miss out on this, especially if you've missed out on her work for a while.
Songs of Note: "Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath"
Quick Thoughts: Snail Mail is another act we really like around these parts, and this new album is a little bit of a change of pace for Lindsey Jordan on a whole. There's a definite poppy angle here that is different from the indie rock we're used to, but it's still very compelling and has a lot of great moments. Don't miss out on this.
Songs of Note: "Madonna," "Glory"
Quick Thoughts: This is an album that literally came out of nowhere for me, and only because I was flipping through an NPR playlist and this popped up. WOW - comparisons to another Margo would be both apt and unfair, because this is the purest of pure old-time Americana, but it's also got a little bit of edge and a lot of heart. I love love love this album, and I am very excited to get back to it.
Songs of Note: "Flood Plain," "Kevin Johnson," "That River, "Brother Taxman Preacher," "Wine in the World"
Quick Thoughts: I also found this on the NPR new release playlist, and Ken described it best: "It's like Tom Waits meets James Chance." This is definitely roots-informed, but it's really and truly its own thing and really needs to be heard to be understood. I really enjoyed this, and I'm looking forward to going back to their older stuff, but if you like the more left-of-center stuff we showcase here, make some time.
Songs of Note: "We Start the Fire," "You That Is You"
* ABBA - Voyage (Reunion album, it's what you expect it to be.)
* Jonsi - Obsidian (A solid ambient work.)
* Legendary Shack Shakers - Cockadoodldeux (Plenty of fun.)
* Hayes Carll - You Get It All (Might be his best effort since KMAG YOYO
* Wendy Eisenberg - Bent Ring
* Lee "Scratch" Perry and New Age Doom - Lee "Scratch" Perry's Guide to the Universe
* Sloppy Jane - Madison
* The Liassez Fairs - Curiosity Killed the Laissez Fairs?
* Postage - Postage
* Rogue VHS - I Am: Rogue VHS
* Chime School - Chime School
* Emma Ruth Rundle - Engine of Hell
* Hard Feelings - Hard Feelings
* Joan as Police Woman, Tony Allen, and Dave Okumu - The Solution is Restless
* Foxx Bodies - Vixen
* Courtney Hartman - Glade
* Brian Fallon - Night Divine
* Houndmouth - Good For You
* Attacca Quartet - Of All Joys
* Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats - The Future