Album: Center of the Universe
Quick Thoughts: We can't be objective about Sofia Talvik in these parts, but the good news is that we don't have to be. Center of the Universe is the latest album in a series of great, reliable folk records, and songs like "Too Many Churches" and "Two Thirds" present some of her best individual songs in a while. You can't go wrong with Sofia Talvik, and this is as great an entrypoint for her work as it is a wonderful addition to her already stellar catalog. Make sure you find time for it.
Songs of Note: "Center of the Universe," "Two Thirds," "Meanwhile in Winnsboro," "Too Many Churches," "Broken"
Album: It All Goes Up
Quick Thoughts: I hadn't heard of Beth Bombara before this August, and I need to say that this album was one of a few that blew my mind this month. There's a raw energy and sharp edge to this roots-first effort, and each time I've gone back to it I've found something new to love. It's like the best parts of Jason Isbell and Kathleen Edwards in a single package, and I'm looking forward to spending more time with her entire catalog.
Songs of Note: "Lonely Walls," "Give Me a Reason," "Carry the Weight"
Album: Blood Harmony
Quick Thoughts: It's not always great to add an act to your list solely due to their relationships, but O.N.E. the Duo deserved a look if only because of its connection to the Wu-Tang Clan - one member is the daughter of RZA, and her mother featured on a number of Wu-Tang tracks. While country music is going through a bit of a mainstream identity examination as of late, O.N.E. the Duo straddles the line between R&B-tinged country music and the sort of traditionalist mindset in the overall community. It's well-produced enough to fit in at a summer cookout, but songs like "HoeDown" feel unique enough to set the album apart from others that may be like it. Don't miss out on this.
Songs of Note: "HoeDown," "Guilty," "One Minute to Midnight," "Stuck in the Middle"
Album: The Weight of a Wave
Quick Thoughts: Annie Hart is perhaps better known for her work with personal favorite of mine Au Revoir Simone, and this album is a glorious mix of punk-style presentation with the synthy beauty that made Au Revior Simone so great. This is an understandibly different listen for a lot of reasons, but it clicks for me in ways that I didn't anticipate - Hart knows her voice, knows her style, and excels with this record. Check it out.
Songs of Note: "Boy You Got Me Good," "A Crowded Cloud," "Nothing Makes Me Happy Anymore"
Album: The Holey Bible
Quick Thoughts: In a slowish month for new music, Florry provides a rootsy effort that deserves mention. "Cowgirl in a Ditch" perfectly presents that sort of indie-by-way-of-outlaw-country mindset we've seen from a lot of bands as of late. My initial thought was that they gave me a lot of Wednesday vibes, only to learn later that Florry toured with them recently, so I guess that's to say this is worth your time this week and you might fall in love.
Songs of Note: "Cowgirl in a Ditch," "Drunk and High," "Take My Heart"
Album: Mother Road
Quick Thoughts: Grace Potter, sans Nocturnals, comes back with a very compelling blues rock record this week. A genre that can be hit-or-miss for me, Potter comes in with guns blazing on this album, with songs like the title track and "Lady Vagabond" making a pretty clear musical statement. I really enjoyed this, and it's worth your time.
Songs of Note: "Mother Road," "Good Time," "Lady Vagabond," "Futureland"
Album: Echo the Diamond
Quick Thoughts: Margaret Glaspy has been a favorite here for a while, even if her sophomore effort didn't quite land for us the way her debut did. I hesitate to say Echo the Diamond is a return to form, because it implies she was off her form, which was never true - Echo, in contrast, is a singer-songwriter finding that balance point musically and making a record that rivals her best work, and we all benefit as a result. Ken and I agree that the album tracks are better than any of the pre-release singles, and that says a lot given how great "Act Natural" in particular is. Don't skip this one.
Songs of Note: "Act Natural," "Female Brain," "My Eyes"
Album: A Picture For a Frame
Quick Thoughts: Noble Dust is a folk act out of Massachusetts who sneakily put out one of the best records of the year period. A Picture For a Frame is an interesting, layered record that feels soft and quiet on first listen but slowly reveals itself over its runtime and in subsequent listens. "Abbey" in particular scratched an itch for me I didn't know I had. Do not sleep on this: Noble Dust deserves to be huge.
Songs of Note: "At Last, At Home," "In Fields," "Abbey"
Album: Book of Fools
Quick Thoughts: We loved Mipso's debut, and while the opening track on this record feels like a change of pace, it quickly veers back into the familiar, quiet-but-heavy territory their debut set up. I ended up loving this record by the time it was over, and it's songs like "I Wait for Your Call" and "Carolina Rolling By" that establishes how special Mipso truly is. Add it to your rotation.
Songs of Note: "Radio Hell," "I Wait for Your Call," "Carolina Rolling By," "The Numbers," "Called Out Loaded"
Album: Born Again
Quick Thoughts: I wanted to highlight this collaboration as a record that sounds great from a producer who nearly always seems to bring the best out of the people he works with. "Brooklyn Bazquiat" was an advance favorite and the whole album is worth your time.
Songs of Note: "All I," "Locked Up," "Brooklyn Bazquiat"
Album: Earthly Delights
Quick Thoughts: I feel like I waited forever for Zilched to come out with a follow-up to their debut, and Earthly Delights feels fresh and different while still maintaining the sort of hazy, gazy tone of the debut. It's funny, because I don't think of this as a lot of individual songs but it turned out that I loved a lot of songs on their own as well as loved them as a collective whole. You will too. Don't skip it.
Songs of Note: "Out of the Blue," "Strike Gently," "(You Love) The Tragedy," "Loveless," "Today, If Anything," "A Valentine," "Earthly Delights"
* The Pleasures - The Beginning of the End (The latest solid entry in the male/female duo folk genre.)
* Joel Paterson - Wheelhouse Rag (More expert instrumental guitar.)
* SPELLLING - SPELLLING and The Mystery School (Lots of great moments here.)
* Nathan Micay - To the God Named Dream
* Art School Girlfriend - Soft Landing
* Rhiannon Giddens - You're The One
* Mapache - Swinging Stars
* Hannah Georgas - I'd Be Lying If I Said I Didn't Care
* Green Gardens - This Is Not Your Fault
* Tamar Berk - tiny injuries
* Nora Kelly Band - Rodeo Clown
* Gabby and the Gondolas - Pollyanna
* Dizzy - Dizzy
* A Giant Dog - Bite
* Who Is She - Goddess Energy
* Roselit Bone - Ofrenda
* Iraina Mancini - Undo the Blue
* Leah Senior - The Music That I Make
* Cindy Wilson - Realms
* Jet Jaguar - Epiphytes
* Yung Gravy, BABY GRAVY, and bbno$ - Baby Gravy 3
* Chris Farren - Doom Singer
* The One Eighties - Minefields
* Oldsoul - Education on Earth
* Birdy - Portraits
* Becca Mancari - Left Hand
* Ratboys - The Window
* Two-Man Giant Squid - Intro to Basement
* Quiet Light - Blue Angel Sparkling Silver
* Girl Ray - Prestige
* Be Your Own Pet - Mommy
* Gretta Ray - Positive Spin
* Old Crow Medicine Show - Jubilee
* Lawrence English and Lea Bertucci - Chthonic
* Atmosphere - Sad Clown Bad Dub II
* Tangled Thoughts of Leaving - Oscillating Forest
* Brontez Purnell - No Jack Swing
* DJ Sabrina the Teenage DJ - Destiny
* Buck Meek - Haunted Mountain
* Genesis Owusu - STRUGGLER
* Suzie Quatro and KT Tunstall - Face to Face
* Current Joys - LOVE + POP
* Goalie Fight - On Ice!
* Edsel Axle - Variable Happiness
* HMTLD - The Worm
* The Hives - The Death of Randy Fitzsimmons
* ford. - Guiding Hand
* G Flip - DRUMMER
* Taylor Ashton - Stranger to the Feeling
* 3rd Secret - 2nd 3rd Secret
* My Ugly Clementine - The Good Life
* Hurry - Don't Look Back
* Helios - Espera
* Cautious Clay - KARPEH
* Osees - Intercepted Message
* Tia Gostelow - Head Noise
* Diners - DOMINO
* Marlee Gray - American Socialite
* DJ Muggs - Soul Assassins 3: Death Valley
* Jungle - Volcano
* Simple Minded Symphony - Simple Minded Symphony
* The Abstructors - Elektronautica
* Saccades - Land of the Hearth
* Joell Ortiz and L'Orange - Signature
* Kim Moberg - The Seven Fires Prophecy Suite for Humanity
* Amaarae - Fountain Baby
* Hiss Golden Messenger - Jump for Joy
* Wandering Years - Mountain Laughed
* Fil;m School - Field
* Crooks & Nannies - Real Life
* Ruth Garbus - Alive People
* Kibi James - delusions
* Clementine Valentine - The Coin That Broke the Fountain Floor
* Son Lux - Alternate Forms
* Strawberry Runners - Strawberry Runners
* Abhi the Nomad - Abhi vs The Universe II
* Open Mike Eagle - another triumph of ghetto engineering
* Helvetia - The Beach at the Edge of the World
* Telemarket - Ad Nauseum
* Ordop Wolkenscheidt - Requiem for the Enchanted Forest
* Activity - Spirit in the Room
* Mikaela Davis - And Southern Star
* Mr. Greg and Cass McCombs Sing and Play New Folk Songs for Children
* Computerwife - Computerwife
* The Front Bottoms - You Are Who You Hang Out With
* Cowgirl Clue - Rodeo Star
* Night Drive - Position II
* Crossed Wires - Ellipsis
* Glixen - She Only Said
* Rachel Bobbitt - The Half We Still Have
* Boy Jr. - Sheesh!
* BAMBII - INFINITY CLUB
* Molly Burman - Worlds Within Worlds
* Family Obligation - I'm Not Doing Fine
* Wetsuit - Sugar, I'm Tired
* FIDLAR - Unplugged
* Coco Bryce - Nirwana EP
* carina - after the stars ep
* EASYFUN - Electric
* Juliana Madrid - Afterlife
* Tristan Arp - End of a Line or Part of a Circle
* Rob Moose - Inflorenscence
* Perfect Angel at Heaven - EP
* Dylan Moon - Song & Dance
* Silkback - I S O L A T I O N
* Versing - Tape II
* JayWood - Grow On
* The Shivas - Covers Vol. 2
* gwEm - gwEmDMA
* claire rousay - Sigh in My Ear
* marinelli - Sarah's Birthday on the Beach
* Hannah Georgas - Home
* Josienne Clarke - Only Me Onliness
* Snow Patrol - Final Straw (20th Anniversary Edition)
* Anna Tivel - Outsiders (Live in a Living Room)
* Sonic Youth - Live in Brooklyn, Ny.
* Nick Cave and Warren Ellis - Australian Carnage - Live at the Sydney Opera House
* Panda Bear / Sonic Boom / Adrian Sherwood - Reset in Dub
* Talking Heads - Stop Making Sense (Deluxe Edition)
* Liam Gallagher - Knebworth 22 (Live)
* Tell Everybody: 21st Century Juke Joint Blues from Easy Eye Sound
* The Raveonettes - Rip It Off/Whip It On
* The Sloppy Boys - Sonic Ranch
* Everything Everything - Man Alive
* Spanish Love Songs - No Joy
* Dylan Owen - Take Care of Yourself and Others
* Naked Lungs - Doomscroll
* Freak Daddy - S.G.S.M.
* Filter - The Algorithm
* Fiddlehead - Death is Nothing To Us
* Burp. - Burp.
* draag me - lord of the shithouse
* Rebuilder - Local Support
* Leopard Print Taser - Existential Bathroom Graffiti
* Isaac Haden Organ Trio - The Glue