This week, I will begin to try out a new format for these posts. Writing up an increasing number of releases weekly has become a time-consuming and often unrewarding (for me) process. Starting this week, I will select a number of "essential releases" for each week and provide more detailed write-ups on those, then present the remaining albums and other releases without commentary. My aim is threefold; first, I would like to re-energize myself and my blog. The second goal is to make it clearer which artists and albums I feel are a little more worth your time. Finally, I just want to get caught up.
Essential Full-Length Releases
Crocodiles - Boys
Crocodiles is a lo-fi and new wave band out of San Diego, California. The band's last album, Crimes of Passion, was released in 2013, but since then, frontman Brandon Welchez released a collaborative album with Dee Dee Penny of the Dum Dum Girls (his wife) as Haunted Hearts. Now the band is back with their fifth album.
Watch: "Foolin’ Around"
Watch: "Crybaby Demon"
Pfarmers - Gunnera
Members of The National haven't been especially active in side projects, with the exception of Bryce Dessner, who has become known as a composer. Now, drummer Bryan Devendorf is branching out on his own as well. His new projects partners him with members of Menomena, and the backing bands for St. Vincent and Sufjan Stevens.
Listen: "The Ol’ River Gang"
Listen: "You Shall Know the Spirit"
Roísín Murphy - Hairless Toys
Roísín Murphy took a long break after her last album, 2007's Overpowered. Though she began work on a new album seven years ago, and recorded many tracks, it wasn't until last year that fans got any new music from her, in the form of her 2014 EP Mi Senti.
Listen: "Evil Eyes"
Surfer Blood - 1000 Palms
2015 has been a bit of a tough year for Surfer Blood. While he helped on the recording of this latest album, guitarist Thomas Fekete was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. The band went forward with a supporting tour, and collected money for his treatment on the road. Some of that money, as well as equipment, was stolen while they were near Chicago. Despite these setbacks, the band continues to make great music.
Watch: "I Can’t Explain"
Listen: "Grand Inquisitor"
The Tallest Man on Earth - Dark Bird Is Home
The Tallest Man on Earth is the stage name of Kristian Matsson, a Swedish musician of average height. I loved his sophomore album, The Wild Hunt, when it was released in 2010 and he's already released one incredible follow-up to that record. His fourth record promises to be just as amazing.
Listen: "Dark Bird Is Home"
Other Full-Length Releases
Blanck Mass - Dumb Flesh
Watch: "Dead Format"
Novella - Land
Watch: "Land Gone"
Prurient - Frozen Niagara Falls
Listen: "Dragonflies to Sew You Up"
Spirit Club - Spirit Club
Watch: "Still Life"
Tyondai Braxton - HIVE1
Urban Cone - Polaroid Memories
Watch: "Sadness Disease"
Watch: "Come Back to Me" (featuring Tove Lo)
Singles, EPs, Soundtracks, etc.
The 2 Bears - Bears in Space
Listen: "(Space) Money Man" (featuring Stylo G)
Listen: "The Night Is Slow"
Bishop Nehru - The Nehruvian EP
Listen: "Bishy in Japan 16 (Knowing Nothing)"
Holy Ghost! - Work for Hire
Listen: Hanni El Khatib - "Two Brothers" (Holy Ghost! Remix)
Jordan Bratton - YOUTH EP
Watch: "Danger" (featuring Fabolous)
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Quarters EP
Listen: "God Is in the Rhythm"
Listen: "The River"
Leonard Cohen - Can’t Forget: A Souvenir of the Grand Tour Live
Listen: "Never Gave Nobody Trouble"
Lil Silva - Drumatic
Mates of State - Greats
Listen: "For the Actor"
Nicolas Jaar - Nymphs II
Listen: "No One Is Looking at U"
Noel Gallagher's High-Flying Birds - "Riverman"
Sylvan Esso - H.S.K.T. Remix EP
Listen: "H.S.K.T." (Hercules & Love Affair Remix)