Album: Turned to Gold
Quick Thoughts: It's a very folk heavy week in new release land, and Sarah Jane Scouten provides one of the better efforts out of many good ones this week. Songs like "Dragonheart" are sneaky good when you least expect them, and the whole effort has a pleasant, familiar quality without sacrificing modernity. I loved this. You will too.
Songs of Note: "The Great Unknown," "Dragonheart," "Turned to Gold," "Crocodile Tears," "Roses and Carnations"
Album: New Wild West
Quick Thoughts: Boston-area folkie Antje Duvekot hit my radar ages ago after she opened for Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket. I've kept up with her over the years, and New Wild West is a great folk record from someone who proves how underappreciated she is. "Lottery Ticket" in particular has been stuck in my head since I first heard it, and the whole album keeps up with that level of quality. Don't miss this one.
Songs of Note: "Lottery Ticket," "Girl on a Wire," "Dylan Thomas (1996-1998)," "Ions"
Album: Race the Night
Quick Thoughts: Ash probably had one of the more epic two-album runs with Free All Angels and Meltdown, and Race the Night feels like a true return to the pop-punk-adjacent template that made me fall for them way back when. It's a solid alt-rock effort with a few songs up there with their best, and I'm glad to hear it. Check it out.
Songs of Note: "Usual Places," "Braindead"
Album: Cuspide Des Sirènes
Quick Thoughts: I love me some glitchy electronic music, and I feel like it's been a while since I tripped up on something quite like this. The difficult part when you go experimental is the risk of being too weird or too impenetrable, but the minute you get to a song like "blow the conch," you figure out that Simo Cell struck the balance. This is a favorite of the week, for sure.
Songs of Note: "blow the conch," "polite rudboi," "leave me alone," "rainbow dance"
Album: The In-Between
Quick Thoughts: One more folk effort to highlight, Dolly Valentine brings it a little darker-feeling than other efforts this week. Songs like "Cobwebs and Communists" have a lightness to them that masks the real dread it puts forward, and the whole album runs along that sort of trajectory. It's a really brilliant listen all things considered, and is worth a spin.
Songs of Note: "Romantic Fool," "Rest Awhile," "Cobwebs and Communists," "Dandelion Wine," "Superstitious Woman," "New York City Subway System"
Album: Better Every Day
Quick Thoughts: It's rare for me to love an EP so quickly, but Boston-area act Stars Like Outs are doing power pop absolutely right. It's a tight five songs from a band with a few EPs under their belt, but they sound like an act with exponential work in their history already. This is a truly wonderful listen, don't miss out.
Songs of Note: "A Way to Remember," "Winding Down," "Better Every Day"
* Mega Ran - Buddy's Magic Toy Box (A Mega Ran kids album!)
* Lady Apple Tree - Lady Apple Tree (Another great folk effort in a week full of them.)
* Sextile - Push (Fun electroclash/punk listen.)
* The Beaches - Blame My Ex
* Georgia Train - Puncture
* Bombino - Sahel
* Frankie Stew and Harvey Gunn - The South's Got Something to Say
* Sarah Mary Chadwick - Messages to God
* Luluc - Diamonds
* Viv & Riley (fka Vivian Leva and Riley Calcagno) - Imaginary People
* Nas - Magic 3
* Mitski - The Land is Inhospitable and So Are We
* what is your name? - My Name Is...
* Vagabon - Sorry I Haven't Called
* The Planes - Dark Matter Recycling Co.
* S. Carey and John Raymond - Shadowlands
* Ruby Haunt - Between Heavens
* Katie MF - False Starts, Open Endings
* Courtesy - fra eufori
* Delmer Darion - Tall Vision-of-the-Voyage
* Juice Webster - JULIA
* Elisapie - Inuktitut
* Lizdelise - I Swore I Heard You Laughing
* Phosphene - Transmute
* Subsonic Eye - All Around You
* Eva Earl - Too Much
* Fall Shock - Universal Unit Crime
* alice does computer music - Shoegaze 5G
* Shakey Graves - Movie of the Week
* Haley Blais - Wisecrack
* Piotr Kurek - Smartwoods
* uh - humanus
* Explosions in the Sky - End
* Worriers - Trust Your Gut
* Barrance Whitfield and The Savages - Glory
* Margo Cilker - Valley of Heart's Delight
* Lusine - Long Light
* Olivia O. - Everyone is a Light
* Sydney Sprague - somebody in hell loves you
* Eldridge Rodriguez - Atrophy
* NVDES and The Zilliez - 1313
* K.Flay - MONO