Tuesday, February 13, 2024

First Listen: New Releases for 9 February 2024

Artist: Madi Diaz
Album: Weird Faith
Quick Thoughts: Madi Diaz had my favorite album of 2021 with History of a Feeling, so to say that I had high expectations of the follow-up is probably an understatement. What I didn't anticipate is the album more than meeting those high expectations in a way that suggests Weird Faith is the pacesetter for 2024 music. "Same Risk" has the emotional weight of so much of History of a Feeling and sets the tone for an album that's a little more upbeat than the previous while still being super confessional and personal along the way. I can't speak highly enough about this album, it's a mandatory listen this week and the first truly outstanding album of the new year.
Songs of Note: "Same Risk," "Everything Almost," "Get to Konw Me," "Kiss the Wall," "Don't Do Me Good," "KFM"

Artist: Brittany Howard
Album: What Now
Quick Thoughts: Brittany Howard (Alabama Shakes) has made a really good name for herself as a solo artist, and while Jamie was a rootsy exploration, What Now is more a musical tour de force that refuses to sit in any particular lane or genre. No one else is making music quite like her right now, whether it be the disco-tinged songs or a more straightforward rocker effort. The unpredictability is the point, and it works really well. Give this a listen.
Songs of Note: "Red Flags," "Samson," "Prove It to You," "Power to Undue"

Artist: Chelsea Wolfe
Album: She Reaches Out To She Reaches Out To She
Quick Thoughts: I am such a big fan of Chelsea Wolfe, and somehow this new album levels things up even more. She's slowly moved out of the doom folk areas to a certain point where we could charitably call much of this album a sort of post-industrial record, with plenty of electronics and staccato beats underneath her typical haunting vocals. It's as good a starting point as it is another superlative effort.
Songs of Note: "Whispers in the Echo Chamber," "The Liminal," "Salt"

Artist: Dizzee Rascal
Album: Don't Take It Personal
Quick Thoughts: Dizzee Rascal, who basically launched a subgenre of hip-hop out of the UK, has a new record that remains as high quality as any of his work. It's a shame he never quite caught on in the States, because he's easily one of the more consistent rappers out there at present. You don't get Kwengface or Sleaford Mods without Dizzee Rascal. This album is a good reminder as to why.
Songs of Note: "What You Know About That," "Switch and Explode," "POV"

Artist: Teen Mortgage
Album: Teen Mortgage
Quick Thoughts: A sneaky release this week, Teen Mortgage is sometimes doing grunge, sometimes punk, sometimes alt-rock, sometimes a mix of some or all of them. The results are outstanding - super catchy, hook-laden tracks from start to finish, and it doesn't feel like it's overdone even though it's a nearly 50-minute, 17-track affair. I loved this, and I hope they don't get overshadowed in the months to come.
Songs of Note: "S.W.A.S.," "Falling Down," "The Change," "Such Is Life," "Sick Day," "Smoked," "Valley II"

Of note:

* Middle Sattre - Tendencies (Compelling folk-adjacent listen.)
* LYR - An Unnatural History
* Keep Dancing Inc - A Taste of Possibility
* Helado Negro - PHASOR
* Pylon Reenactment Society - Magnet Factory
* Fange - Perdition
* Growing Up - Night, Night
* Lewis OfMan - Cristal Medium Blue
* Maelstrom and Louisahhh - May the Rage Burn a Path for Joy
* The Telescopes - Growing Eyes Becoming String
* Ducks Ltd. - Harm's Way
* Itasca - Imitation of War
* 2nd Generation Wu and Dom Archey - This May Sting!
* Lorne Berhman - Blue Love
* Kwengface - Who's Harder
* Metro Verlaine - Pop Sauvage
* Chroma-kei - Sound Wave Rider
* Orgone - Chimera
* PROJECTOR - Now When We Talk It's Violence
* Split System - Vol.2
* The Problem With Kids Today - Born to Rock
* David Nance & Mowed Sound - David Nance & Mowed Sound


* Kai Whiston - XUL3
* The Kilograms - The Kilograms
* Little Simz - Drop 7
* William Hut - Eternal Hope
* Thee Conductor and Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Ennoia
* TELL - Life in Reverse
* Shygirl - Club Shy
* Sorry Darling - See This Through
* Absolutely Yours - Mirror Maze

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* Sonic Youth - Walls Have Ears (Re(?)issue of a 1986 concert recording.)

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