Here is a link to this weeks playlist
The Chemical Brothers – For That Beautiful Feeling-I have been a Chemical Brothers fan since day one. They came out in 1995 when pretty much all I listened to was techno and Brit-Pop. Exit Planet Dust was pretty mind-blowing among the weird techno novelty songs and other weird stuff we were listening too. It was kind of mainstream techno in a good way. It was better, and was going to bring more people in-and maybe that was one of the moments that the music stopped being a lot of ours, and for a lot of people. This is album number ten, and I can’t remember ever being disappointed by a Chemical Brothers album. They are a duo that really puts a lot of themselves in their music and for an electronic group, a lot of feeling. It took a few listens for this to sink in, but it really has. There isn’t an obvious big song here. No “Galvanize”, “Go”, or “Hey Boy, Hey Girl”. It’s a little more subtle, maybe a little more emotional. It’s very pretty in places. Reflective and hopeful even. There are big crazy moments of joy though such as “Fountains’, which kind of goes off on this crazy proggy synth solo in the middle. This is the brothers at their most subtle and the music sneaks in rather than pounce on you in their usual style. It’s pleasant, but interesting and not sleepy. There is plenty to dance and groove to here also. Thirty years on, and they still don’t disappoint. Beck and Halo Maud guest.
Jalen Ngonda – Come Around And Love Me-I was in a Zoom pitch a few weeks ago with the labels hyping albums to record stores for the final quarter of the year. When this came up, the label rep said if you like Marvin Gaye you will like this new Daptones Records artists. Yeah, year. They always throw out four or five classic soul artists. So, I put this on this past week and holy hell. There are a lot of retro soul artists out there, and many are very good, some get the sound down and sound great-but you lose interest because it is such a mimic. Some mix in new elements. Jalen has created basically a lost soul album from another era, and I feel like this music is very genuine for him and it is not mimicking. If someone told you this album was a lost album from 55 years ago, you would probably believe that it is. And yes, if you like Marvin Gaye you will like this.
Deeper – Careful! This is my favorite album of the week. I really liked the band’s sophomore album Auto-Pain that came out in 2020, but this album is their breakout moment. Auto-Pain had the jittery post punk Chicago sound, that sounds like a lot of similar bands from Chicago. They had it down and “This Heat” off that album is one of the best songs of that year, and 2020 was a kick ass year for music. On this album, we have a lot of that sound, but they have added a lot of warmth (especially in the synths), it’s not as dark, and they figured out how to add some fun hooks while still sounding like themselves. The band have always had some Cure-ish vibes to them, but here they take that early 80’s post punk influence to new places (especially and subtly with the synths). I think this album is a must listen.
Tyler Childers – Rustin’ In The Rain-This is six new songs from Tyler and a Kris Kristofferson cover. Comes in under 30 minutes. I guess the concept is if Tyler were going to pitch songs to Elvis during his gospel and country period. Tyler is not one to walk a straight line in country music. Part of me loves half hour albums, but typically I like them from pop bands doing ten three minute songs. So, this feels a little bit a bummer until you listen to it and realize that three of the songs are so damn good-so whatever. Three of them are very good and the cover is wonderful also. He starts off with a fire-cracker country rave up banger with the title track. Then comes “Phone Calls and Emails”, which could be sung by George Jones and yes, Elvis. It’s a piano based honky tonk ballad in the old-school style that cleverly brings modern technology into the mix. Next is “Luke 2: 8-10” which thankfully is not him singing those passages. This and “Percheron Mules” along with “Space and Time” are the very good songs, that sound great, but maybe get lost in the concept a little bit and might not stand the test of time as well as the first two songs and “Is Your Love.” Fuck. Even without the video, this song is one of the best country ballads I have heard in a long time. He just connects emotionally and knocks it out of the park. Just beautiful and heart wrenching. That song alone is worth the price of admission here.
Graham Parker and The Goldtops-Last Chance To Learn The Twist-first new parker album in five years. The 72 year old is a long favorite of mine and I think it is criminal that he is not revered on the same level as Joe Jackson and Elvis Costello. If you are not familiar, go back and start digging through his vast and wonderful catalog. This new album has been in major rotation this past week, as it’s like a warm blanket for me. His formula is the same as it always has been, just focused on writing good songs, well crafted and performed without a lot of BS. There are some Parker classics on here like the opening cut “Music Of The Devil” with it carnival organ, and the confessional “We Did Nothing”. It is another classic Parker album and even the usually misguided swerves into blues and reggae that older artists tend to do for some reason work here.
Allison Russell – The Returner-The Follow up to the excellent Outside Child from 2021. It grabs you immediatley with the infectious stripped down big fun super happy and sing-songy “Springtime” that ramps up in the middle with this string filled interlude before the song comes back even bigger and with a dance groove and in French. What a flippin’ opening track! After that we get into the Americana songwriter sounds that won Russell three grammy nominations last time out. Then we are back into this joyous kind of mid-80’s Lional Ritchie dance number vibe again. This album is happy. Very happy. Musically. It has dance music, disco, blues, soul, Americana, classical vibes and more. The album centerpiece is “Eve Was Black” where things both musically and lyrically take on a very different tone. It’s an incredible and intense piece. A friend told me a few of the tracks sound like Oliva Newton John, and I might not have put that together, but a sure do hear it now. This is an interesting album, with a lot of good songs, most of them fun and joyful. This is a very different album from her debut which was much more Americana and roots based, and focused on her childhood abuse and her recovery from that.
Billy Keane – Oh, These Days-this guys voice doesn’t sound like Jackson Browne, but for some reason I keep thinking about Jackson Browne when I listen to this album. He sounds a bit like Counting Crowes dude. Obviously some Springsteen here also, especially when the horns kick in. This is very good adult pop music and it straddles the line of being cheese-ball, but the songs are well crafted and that keeps in on the right side of the line for the most part. It’s an oddly refreshing album.
Coach Party – KILLJOY-So this is good, but all over the place. Punky pop rock, Amyl and the Sniffers type screamer rock, and 90’s indie dreamy indie pop. Songs are good also, and fun. I like all of it, but wonder if they dialed it in a bit if they could really make a killer album.
Dallstar-Good Times-I can’t find anything on this band. They are from Austin and the Google just puts up Dallas and Austin.I am not even sure if I have the name right. They are on Spotify though. I have listened to this a few times and I really like it. This is kind of a indie rock, dream pop, and at times a bit shoe-gaze band. I really like their sound. There is not a song that really stands out, it’s just has a great feel and flow. There were a lot of bands like this in the 90’s that kind of ended up in your collection, and you forgot about it and then pulled it out and put it on and went oh yeah…and then forgot about it again…repeat.
Kristin Hersh – Clear Pond Road-first new album in five years. Kristin Hersh fan? You will enjoy this. She is not reinventing anything here. Just solid Kristin Hersh songs.
Courtney Barnett – End Of The Day -this is a soundtrack to a movie. It’s improvised instrumentals. Very stunning, ambient in vibe. I connected with this right away, but I listen to a lot of music like this in the mornings and have been exploring music like this a lot the past couple of years. And that music is from decades ago, so when Moby put out that ambient album at the start of the year and now this, it’s nice to have fresh sounds to attach to. Not for everyone, but I absolutely feel this and I just think she is one of the best guitar players out there right now.
Gaika – Drift-this is pretty interesting. Gaika is an MC from London. This album is pretty all over the place, with live instrument soul, dub, club and hip-hop. I am not sure this fully works, but it has it’s moments and the effort is there. Will listen again.
The Grahams – The Grahams-pleasant duo-sometimes feels a little to adult contemporary for me or middle of the road and a little local sounding, but there are a few standout songs on here.
Irreversible Entanglements – Protect Your Light-free jazz collective. I fell asleep to this the other night and woke up to it playing and talk about a fever dream. It’s a very good listen when not waking up to it.
Olivia Rodrigo – GUTS-This is a rocker for the most part. There is so much here I don’t relate to, and I think that is why I think only half of the album is good, but the people I work with that do relate to this love it-so take my opinion for what it is. I love the talky, rappish verses of “Bad Idea” and “Get Him Back” as they are fun and they are already TikTok things. “Lacy” is a nice mid-tempo ballad and “Vampire” is a great pop song. A couple of the kids in my store are going to play this non-stop, so maybe this will get so into my head that I will call it album of the year after we are done.
Ashley McBryde – The Devil I Know-Last year she put out the concept album Lindeville and it’s surprising to see her back this fast. This is a cliche filled mainstream country album, but McBryde somehow makes it a little more palatable than most of them. The lyrics are super cliche though.
Logan Ledger – Golden State-Second album from Logan. I own his 2020 album, and I remember listening to it over and over again wanting it to click with me and I don’t think it ever did. Ledger has one of those voices like Chris Issak, Roy Orbison and them. He has the right idea with the music, and it’s very listenable, but it never clicks even though it feels like it absolutely has to at some point. This one has twang, 70’s singer-songwriter schmaltz, and plenty of crooning. It should click! It just doesn’t.
Low Cut Connie – Art Dealers-here is another artist that I just don’t connect with on record. It’s fine, it’s good, it’s listenable, but I just don’t connect. He is fantastic live though. This album has garage rock, bluesy-woogie, and the vibe Low Cut Connie is known for. I just can’t find anything that makes me want to make a third listen through.
Alabaster DePlume – Come With Fierce – these are recordings from when he recorded his last album Gold with musicians at the collective Total Refreshment Centre in the UK. Those were spontaneous composition ensembles and more of that. Pretty avant garde jazz and I liked some of it, some of it was a bit too much for me.
Tim Kinsella and Jenny Pulse – Giddy Skelter-Tim Kinsella is from Cap N’ Jazz. I thought their band name was Good Fuck. Maybe not.
caro♡ – wild at <3- very sweet twee bedroom pop -it’s good sweet twee bedroom pop
Jobi Riccio – Whiplash
Here are other titles that came out this week that I scanned through and none of them were personally all that interesting to me, but they may be for you.
Soda Blonde – Dream Big
The Sweet Serenades – Everything Dies
Durry – Suburban Legend
Andy Taylor – Man’s A Wolf To A Man
Teezo Touchdown – How Do You Sleep At Night?
Walter Etc. – When the Band Breaks Up Again
James Blake – Playing Robots Into Heaven
maeve & quinn – Another Door
MAVICA – sometimes a person never comes back (but that’s okay)
Noisy – Fast Fwd: To Friday [Vol. 1]
The Coral – Sea of Mirrors
38 Spesh & Conway The Machine – Speshal Machinery
Benjamin Gustafsson – The Nature Within
Angel Du$t – Brand New Soul
Anjimile – The King
Art of Shock – Shine Black Light
Blackbird Angels (feat. Tracii Guns) – Solsorte
Buju Banton – Born for Greatness
Childe – Stoned & Supremely Confident
Conquer Divide – Slow Burn
DOMKRAFT – Slowburner
Dying Fetus – Make Them Beg for Death
Egokills – Egokills
Lauren Daigle – Lauren Daigle
Eric Nam – House on a Hill
The Flower Kings – Look At You Now
The Hails – What’s Your Motive
The Handsome Family – Hollow
Holm (Mikkel Holm Silkjær of Yung) – Alien Health
Jess Nolan – ’93
Joan Osborne – Nobody Owns You
John Came – Rhythmicon
John Fahey – Proofs and Refutations
Jon Langston – Heart On Ice
Jonathan Wilson – Eat the Worm
Kah-Lo – pain/pleasure
Karkwa – Dans La Seconde
Kvelertak – Endling
Laufey – Bewitched
Lillie Mae & Family – Festival Eyes
Mirror Tree – Mirror Trer
Puddle of Mudd – Ubiquitous
ZZ Ward – Dirty Shine
V – Layover
Salvia – Revelation
Steep Canyon Rangers – Morning Shift
The String Cheese Incident – Lend Me a Hand
Noah Gundersen – If This Is the End
OOMPH! – Richter und Henker
Pain of Truth – Not Through Blood
Plattenbau – Net Prophet
Romy (of The xx) – Mid Air
Royal Blood – Back to the Water Below
Somni – Gravity
Sylosis – A Sign of Things to Come
Talking Kind – It Did Bring Me Down
Tone Stith – P.O.V.
With Honor – Boundless