Monday, May 13, 2024

First Listen: New Releases for 3 May 2024

Artist: Dua Lipa
Album: Radical Optimism
Quick Thoughts: In a year with Cowboy Carter and Tortured Poets, I didn't really think Dua Lipa having the pop album of the year on my radar, but Radical Optimism is the follow-up to her already classic Future Nostalgia we've been waiting for. Just a catchy as all hell record with a good balance of fun and serious throughout its runtime. If anything, this record proves that leveling up from her self-titled wasn't a fluke, and that she deserves to be listed with the top stars of the moment. A great listen.
Songs of Note: "End of an Era," "Houdini," "Training Season," "These Walls," "Illusion"

Artist: Camera Obscura
Album: Look to the East, Look to the West
Quick Thoughts: I've loved Camera Obscura for close to 20 years and I appreciate that this album demonstrates how well their classic sound holds up over the decades, especially after some time off. No, there's no "Lloyd, I'm Ready" to be found here, but it's impossible to listen to this and not be fully charmed. Make time for this one.
Songs of Note: "Liberty Print," "The Light Nights," "Baby Huey (Hard Times)," "Pop Goes Pop"

Artist: Sailor Honeymoon
Album: Sailor Honeymoon
Quick Thoughts: Sailor Honeymoon (such a great band name) hit my radar with the early single "Cockroach," and this self-titled album shows a band with a unique take on the sort of alt-indie thing we've heard so much of as of late. Shades of illuminati hotties in a lot of ways - they have the potential to be the next big thing.
Songs of Note: "Bad Apple," "Cockroach," "Fxxk Urself"

Artist: Lightning Bug
Album: No Paradise
Quick Thoughts: In a busy week, I wanted to highlight this one as a lovely slice of indie pop that feels familiar and fun. A solid listen from start to finish, with "On Paradise" a favorite from the week.
Songs of Note: "On Paradise," "December Song," "Serenade," "I Feel..."

Artist: Blushing
Album: Sugarcoat
Quick Thoughts: I didn't know we were getting a new Blushing album, but I'm glad it's here. Some solid dreamy, fuzzed-out shoegaze with a lot of catchy moments throughout. Really enjoyed this one as well.
Songs of Note: "Tamagotchi," "Seafoam," "Sugarcoat," "Debt"

Artist: Emily Nenni
Album: Drive & Cry
Quick Thoughts: Emily Nenni does the sort of left-of-center country music we love in these parts, and Drive & Cry succeeds in being a little silly while also serving as an exemplary effort in its rootsy feel. To my ear, it's impossible not to be completely charmed by this one.
Songs of Note: "Get to Know Ya," "I Don't Have to Like You," "Changes," "Rootin' for You"

Artist: Nichtseattle
Album: Haus
Quick Thoughts: Nichtseattle is the solo effort of German songwriter Katharina Kollmann, and fills that singer-songwriter gap this week really well. While the album is fully in German, it still resonates in a lot of interesting ways and serves well as an introduction to the artist. Worth a spin.
Songs of Note: "Beluga (Eigentumswohnung)," "Unterstand (Schirmpilz)," "Heiterprofan (Proberaum)"

Artist: Beams
Album: Requiem for a Planet
Quick Thoughts: I didn't want to let this one slip through, either, as I fell for this album hard. It's sort of a psychadelic concept record, but that doesn't even begin to describe how truly wonderful it is from beginning to end. Of all the great listens this week, this is the one I'm most excited to get back to.
Songs of Note: "Childlike Empress," "Shadow of a Shadow," "We Are Blood," "Heat Potential," "Intangible Holds"

Artists: Kendrick Lamar and Drake
Quick Thoughts: All I'll say is that the narrative on this is insane, Kendrick Lamar put out at least two absolutely wild songs, Drake is staggered, and I understand maybe 10% of what's going on but still think they should settle it in Hell in a Cell.

Of note:

* Frank Turner - Undefeated (Another excellent offering from Turner.)
* Hana Vu - Romanticism (Great, gruncgy alt-rock.)
* Moon and Bike - Brave State (Post-rock meets Americana, and when it works it's fantastic.)
* Saigon - The Jordan Era (Fun backpack rap throwback.)
* Snarls - With Love,
* Mdou Moctar - Funeral for Justice
* Elysian Fields - What the Thunder Said
* Dan Rincon - Spotlight City
* Lisa Lerkenfeldt
* Jessica Pratt - Here in the Pitch
* Chinatown Slalom - In a Box
* John Carpenter Lost Themes IV: Noir
* Charlotte Day Wilson - Cyan Blue
* The Lemon Twings - A Dream is All We Know
* Willow - empathogen
* The Deep Dark Woods - Broadside Ballads Vol. III
* Steph Richards - Power Vibe
* Heather DiStefano - Virtuous Rhythm
* Jess Locke - Real Life
* Harper - The Mother Root
* Niamh Bury - Yellow Roses
* Zoya Zafar - Some Songs
* Chad Crouch - Still Creek Soundwalk
* Sia - Reasonable Woman
* Home Counties - Exactly as It Seems
* Scott McMicken and THE EXER-EXPANDING - When It's Happening
* Ibibio Sound Machine - Pull the Rope
* Better Than Ezra - Super Magick
* MVTANT - Electronic Body Horror
* Blockhead - Luminous Rubble
* 2070 - Stay in the Ranch
* Kee Avil - Spine
* Winged Wheel - Big Hotel
* Milo Korbenski - When You Gonna Tell 'Em the Truth, Aaron?
* Kacy Hill - BUG
* Girls in Synthesis - Sublimation
* Dea Matrona - For Your Sins
* Penny Arcade - Backwater Collage
* Rachel Chinouriri - What a Devastating Turn of Events
* Shirlette Ammons - Spectacles
* Silver Skylarks - The Number One Set and Sound
* The Ar-Kaics - See the World on Fire


* ME REX - Smilodon
* Mark Knopfler - The Boy
* Queef Jerky - absolute madness
* Alana Yorke - All the Flowers
* Daytime Lover - Shimmer
* Gloom Girl MFG - Polycrisis
* Evangeline - When Demigods Go...
* Berm - some passable ghost
* Jewel Owusu - Jool Wave
* Outer World - Who Does the Music Love?

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* Diplo Presents Thomas Wesley: The Mixtape

Also out:

* DJ Muggs - Silver Cloud
* Vivid Lila - Blue Phosphorescence
* 99DrownTown - DDROWN VOLUME 3

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