Tuesday, March 5, 2024

First Listen: New Releases for 23 February 2024

Artist: Vanessa Peters
Album: Flying on Instruments
Quick Thoughts: Vanessa Peters is arguably music's best kept secret. As of the time of this writing, she has fewer than 2,400 monthly listeners on Spotify despite putting out album after album of great, folk/country music. Flying on Instruments continues this line of success with so many memorable songs, both quiet ("Halfway Through") and rollicking ("Pinball Heart") that no one else can touch. She's amazing, this album is great, don't miss out.
Songs of Note: "Beauty or Grace," "Halfway Through," "Better," "Pinball Heart," "Out to Sea"

Artist: Mama Zu
Album: Quilt Floor
Quick Thoughts: We miss Those Darlins. They never really got their due in their time, and the passing of Jessi Zazu only magnified the loss. Quilt Floor is the culmination of music she was working on before her passing, and it's both a lovely tribute to a musician gone well before her time and a stark reminder of how unique her voice and style was. Really great listen.
Songs of Note: "Lip," "Make a Joke," "Guitar World," "Capital Kind," "Made of Dreams"

Artist: Allie X
Album: Girl With No Face
Quick Thoughts: In my own head, Allie X makes dance music for indie kids who don't like to admit they'd like to go to the club. Girl With No Face is a set of club bangers that feel like they need legwarmers to come prepackaged with the album, but the whole thing works wonders. She's one of my favorites, so I'm glad it's here.
Songs of Note: "Girl With No Face," "Off With Her Tits," "John and Jonathan," "Black Eye," "Staying Power"

Artist: Church Chords
Album: elvis, he was Schlager
Quick Thoughts: I don't know much about Church Chords, nor is the internet all that helpful in untangling the mystery. What is true is that there's a wrecking crew of guest musicians and incredible music to go along with it, and it ended up as one of my favorite records of the week. There's a lot of genre shifting and unexpected delights throughout, good for singer-songwriter fans and the more rock-loving types alike.
Songs of Note: "Recent Mineral," "Alone Under the Water," "Warriors of Playtime," "Owned by Lust," "Then Awake," "Man on a Wire"

Artist: Hurray for the Riff Raff
Album: The Past is Still Alive
Quick Thoughts: Hurray for the Riff Raff gets back to her roots on The Past is Still Alive, and it's a welcome listen. They've always put out some wonderful stuff, but their recent work strayed from the folk/country angle and this return feels like a place of comfort for Alynda Segarra that I love. If you've hopped off the bandwagon for whatever reason, this is as good a time as any to jump back in.
Songs of Note: "Alibi," "Hawkmoon"

Artist: Katherine Priddy
Album: The Pendulum Swing
Quick Thoughts: A nice singer-songwritery folky piece of work that snuck up on me late in the week. I don't have a ton to say about it, but I really didn't want to see this get missed in the shuffle. "Does She Hold You Like I Did" in particular is a highlight.
Songs of Note: "Selah," "These Words of Mine," "Does She Hold You Like I Did," "Northern Sunrise"

Artist: Corb Lund
Album: El Viejo
Quick Thoughts: Corb Lund seems to know how to do the alt-country thing right. It's traditional enough to hook fans of the genre in, but progressive enough (both musically and lyrically) to pull in the Sturgill/Isbell NPR country crowd. At this point, Corb Lund might be one of those under-the-radar voices that is a day away from breaking huge, and this album could be the one to do it if songs like "The Cardplayers" and "Redneck Rehab" are any indication. Don't skip this.
Songs of Note: "The Cardplayers," "I Had It All," "Was Fort Worth Worth It?," "Redneck Rehab," "Insha'Allah"

Artist: Gina Volpe
Album: Delete the World
Quick Thoughts: Every song is incredible on this, and as you can tell, I had trouble only choosing a few. Gina Volpe is doing that alt-rock-with-poppy-overtones thing that a lot of bands and artists are leaning into, but the songs have hooks upon hooks and it gives me a lot of Melissa auf der Maur-meets-Carissa Round vibes. Do not ignore this one, a few of these songs will likely be favorites for the year.
Songs of Note: "Drink Me," "Delete the World," "Slow Burn," "Currents," "Escaped From the Lab," "Even the Doomed," "One in the Same"

Artist: Cloudbelly
Album: i know i know i know
Quick Thoughts: A local entry, Cloudberry is sometimes folk, sometimes alt, but always seeming to get it right. I really enjoyed this album, especially "Secret Skin" and "Bloom," and this is a band that could make some real waves if they keep on this trajectory.
Songs of Note: "Fascinated," "November," "Apochecary," "Secret Skin," "Bloom"

Of note:

* MGMT - Loss of Life (One of their better releases of late.)
* The Plastic Cherries - The Plastic Cherries on the Moon
* Oum Shatt - OPT OUT
* Little Kid - A Million Easy Payments
* Eric Hilton - Sound Vagabond
* Mary Timony - Untame the Tiger
* Erica de Casier - Still
* Tom Caruana - Specialties Vol. 3
* Krust - Irrational Numbers Vol 4
* Infinity Machine - Infinity Machine 002
* The Body and Dis Fig - Orchards of a Futile Heaven
* Nadine Shah - Filthy Underneath
* Elephant Stone - Back Into the Dream
* The Children's Hour - Going Home
* Real Estate - Daniel
* Amigo the Devil - Yours Until the War is Over
* Whispering Sons - The Great Calm
* Mint Mile - Roughrider
* Latitia Sadler - Rooting for Love
* Molly O'Leary - Marigold
* Gen and the Degenerates - ANTI-FUN PROPAGANDA
* Baby in Vain - Afterlife
* Psymon Spine - Head Body Connector
* Velvet - Romance
* Fatima Yamaha - SOL
* Jazmin Bean - Traumatic Livelihood
* Merryn Jeann - DOG BEACH
* The God Fahim - Dump Goat 2
* Glitterer - Rationale
* Black Bouquet - Pray to the Knife
* Geotic - The Anchorite
* Whitelands - Night-bound Eyes Are Blind to the Day
* Louise Lemon - Lifetime of Tears
* Modern English - 1 2 3 4
* Jon Chesbro - Dryas
* Opinion - Horrible
* Shaina Hayes - Kindergarten Heart
* Ghost Funk Orchestra - A Trip To The Moon
* Johnny Mafia - 2024: Anee du Dragon


* Jaguar Jonze - victim impact statement
* John Glacier - Like a Ribbon
* '92 - '92
* Gillian Frances - Pools, a Collection
* foxtails - home
* TTSSFU - Me, Jed and Andy
* Donna Missal - Revel Acoustic Sessions
* MUSAR - Tepata

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* The Depression Sessions Field Recordings: Volume I

Also out:

* Persher - Sleep Well

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