Tuesday, March 1, 2022

First Listen: New Releases for 25 February 2022

Artist: Alyssa Gengos
Album: Mechanical Sweetness
Quick Thoughts: I did not know of Alyssa Gengos before this week, and I am wholly impressed. There are so many good and interesting songs here, and the top-notch songwriting is just off the beaten path enough to be more compelling than most. She previously released music under the name Kyrthia, so I'll be looking back for that sooner rather than later, but for now, enjoy this.
Songs of Note: "Gothenburg English," "Me and My Reflection," "Mechanical Sweetness"

Artist: Carson McHone
Album: Still Life
Quick Thoughts: Carson McHone provides my rootsy favorite of the week, with some tightly wound songs that lean heavily on the country side without stepping fully into the boot. It makes for a listen that is familiar but also its own thing, and there's something to be said about that. If you're into the rootsier side of things, check this one out.
Songs of Note: "Hawks Don't Share," "Still Life," "Someone Else"

Artist: Johnny Marr
Album: Fever Dreams Pts 1-4
Quick Thoughts: The Smiths guitarist has put out plenty of solo work over the last decade, and if you compare it to Morrissey's output, you start to question who was the real glue that held that dysfunctional ship together. This collection of EPs has some of his best work on it so far, with "Spirit Power and Soul" a real jam, but really, there is nothing negative to say about this at all. Make time for it.
Songs of Note: "Spirit Power and Soul," "Ariel," "Tenement Time," "Sensory Street," "Night and Day," "God's Gift"

Artist: SASAMI
Album: Squeeze
Quick Thoughts: SASAMI, formerly of Cherry Glazzer, has her second album out this week, and it's been a highly anticipated one for me. Her first album was a favorite - a stark, deliberate affair with some truly gorgeous songs. This second album, however, feels like SASAMI unleashed, as the first track is a loud hit of organized chaos and the rest of the album flits between some midtempo rock and Carissa Round crossed with Aimee Mann and a fuzz pedal. It's a really great listen for all those reasons (as well as the unexpected Daniel Johnston cover), especially when the sort of presentation we're seeing here can be hit or miss with lesser musicians. Of all the music out this week, I am probably most excited about getting back to this one.
Songs of Note: "Skin a Rat," "Sorry Entertainer"

Artist: King Hannah
Album: I'm Not Sorry, I Was Just Being Me
Quick Thoughts: Part of why I do this weekly thing is because I want to get my initial reaction. I listened to this one a second time, as it didn't grab me on the first but, following a few new release playlists that offered songs from this album, I went back. I'm glad I did - this has a folky base and isn't afraid to feel a little dirty, and I was shocked at how well these songs resonated with me on a second listen. This is worth your time in a busy week.
Songs of Note: "A Well-Made Woman," "The Moods That I Get In," "Go-Kart Kid (Hell No!)," "Foolius Caesar"

Artist: Roser
Album: Roser
Quick Thoughts: Wanted to give a shout-out to Lowell's Roser, who put out a debut album this week that shows a ton of grit and promise. The songs here are definitely memorable, and there are a number of legitimate gems throughout. This is definitely indie DIY, but this band has a lot going for it and could become a new favorite local act. Come play Worcester?
Songs of Note: "Little Stitches," "Wandering," "Drip"

Of note:

* ADULT. - Becoming Undone (Challenging and compelling post/synth-punk.)
* Deserta - Every Moment, Everything You Need (Very solid post-rock.)
* Basia Bulat - The Garden (Alternative takes on some of her songs.)
* Superchunk - Wild Loneliness (A great, but more subdued than normal, effort.)
* KRS-One - I M A M C R U 12 (KRS-One's still got it.)
* Huerco S. - Plonk
* aspidistrafly - Altar of Dreams
* Brass Against - Brass Against IV
* Emily Wells - Regards to the End
* Lady Bird - We
* Caroline Loveglow - Strawberry
* Ren Lawton - Today Today Tomorrow
* Tangerine Dream - Raum


* Olive Vox - Olive Vox (Don't sleep on this one.)
* Sevdaliza - Raving Dahlia (Another solid effort from the Iranian singer.)
* Jynx716 and Che Noir - Careful What You Wish For
* Ouri and Zach Frampton - bt002 : self hypnosis tape
* Homeboy Sandman - There in Spirit
* Elaquent - Bedtime Stories III
* Amy Margret - Intertwined
* Justin Martin - Let's EP
* Black Dresses - Forget Your Own Face
* GOON - Paint By Numbers, Vol. 1

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* Marc Collin and Chrysta Bell - Strange as Angels (Deluxe Edition)

Also out:

* Beth Hart - A Tribute to Led Zeppelin
* Grampfather - Gramppappies
* Charlie Gabriel and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band - 89

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