Sunday, July 30, 2017

New Music Friday - June 16, 2017

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

Essential Full-Length Releases

Beth Ditto - Fake Sugar

Ditto's band Gossip may have gone their separate ways last year, but Fake Sugar is not her first solo outing. It's her first full-length, but she released an EP (just called EP) in 2011. Like her work with Gossip, the style of this album pulls from a wide variety of genres, including dance-pop and garage rock. Here, she is more fully embracing her southern roots and incorporating elements of Southern rock.

Watch: "Fire"
Listen: "Oo La La"

Big Boi - Boomiverse

Big Boi became known as one-half of the duo Outkast, but has had a long solo career, as well. He released his first solo album, Sir Lucious Left Foot in 2010. His most recent output was an unexpected collaboration with Phantogram as Big Grams two years ago. His third album sees him working with some of his more frequent collaborators, including Killer Mike and Sleepy Brown.

Watch: "Kill Jill" (featuring Killer Mike & Jeezy)
Watch: "Mic Jack" (featuring Adam Levine)

Fleet Foxes - Crack-Up

It's been a long while since we last heard from Fleet Foxes. Following the release of 2011's Helplessness Blues, frontman Robin Pecknold took some time to attend Columbia University. He remained active in the music industry, but primarily as a guest on others' albums, including The Walkmen's last album, and Hamilton Leithauser's debut. Despite the gap, this new album is connected to the previous record, with the first track starting where the last track on Helplessness Blues left off.

Watch: "Fool's Errand"
Watch: "First of May/Ōdaigahara"

Lorde - Melodrama

I was initially dismissive of Lorde. I recall a friend telling me about this new "Royals" song on the pop stations and I responded that I did not listen to those stations. Once I did hear her music, I was blown away. She doesn't really sound like any other pop artists out there and her follow-up album is even better than her debut. It's a surprisingly insightful post-breakup album from an artist barely out of her teens.

Watch: "Green Light"
Listen: "Liability"

Showtime Goma - Smiley Face

Showtime Goma is Jen Goma of A Sunny Day in Glasgow. The band is still together, but she is embarking on her first solo project. She has spent the past few years working with a variety of artists, including Deerhoof, Ice Choir, and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Greg Saunier of Deerhoof returns the favor here, helping to produce the record.

Watch: "Propel"
Watch: "Secret NRG"

Other Full-Length Releases

2 Chainz - Pretty Girls Like Trap Music

Watch: "Good Drank" (featuring Quavo & Gucci Mane)
Listen: "4 AM" (featuring Travis Scott)


Watch: "Army of Electrons"
Listen: "Infinite End"

The Drums - “Abysmal Thoughts”

Watch: "Blood Under My Belt"
Listen: "Heart Basel"

Jason Loewenstein - Spooky Action

Watch: "Machinery"
Listen: "Superstitious"

Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - On the Echoing Green

Watch: "Tenderness"
Listen: "A Song of Summer"

Kevin Morby - City Music

Watch: "City Music"
Watch: "Aboard My Train"

Palehound - A Place I’ll Always Go

Watch: "Cushioned Caging"
Watch: "If You Met Her"

Peacers - Introducing the Crimsmen

Watch: "Haptic Chillweed"
Watch: "Staying Home"

Peaking Lights - The Fifth State of Consciousness

Listen: "Everytime I See The Light"
Listen: "Coyote Ghost Melodies"

Portugal. The Man - Woodstock

Watch: "Feel It Still"
Watch: "So Young"

Ride - Weather Diaries

Watch: "Charm Assault"
Watch: "All I Want"

Royal Blood - How Did We Get So Dark?

Watch: "I Only Lie When I Love You"
Watch: "Hook, Line & Sinker"

Singles, EPs, Soundtracks, etc.

David Bowie - "Be My Wife" Picture Disc

Listen: "Be My Wife"

Palm - Shadow Expert

Watch: "Shadow Expert"
Listen: "Walkie Talkie"

TOKiMONSTA - "Don’t Call Me"

Watch: "Don’t Call Me" (featuring Yuna)

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Upcoming Album of the Week (Ending July 29)

We're so used to seeing women objectified in music videos that it's kinda nice to see the tables turned. Charli XCX released a new music video this week for "Boys". It features a variety of boys to suit every taste, be it traditionally attractive (Joe Jonas), goofy (Mac DeMarco), silly (D.R.A.M.), and anything in between. It is a really great video, so definitely check it out!

No word right now on whether she is gearing up for a new album, but keep an eye out on my Upcoming Releases page in case she makes an announcement!

This week, Jessica Lea Mayfield announced her fourth album, Sorry Is Gone.

Mayfield is a singer and songwriter combining elements of folk and country, and hailing from Kent, Ohio. Her debut album, 2008's With Blasphemy So Heartfelt, was produced by The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach. She stuck with Auerbach for one more album, then co-produced her last album with then-husband Jesse Newport.

She has since separated from her husband, an experience which, in part, influenced her latest record. She's also shedding herself of "needing to constantly apologize."

Sorry Is Gone is set to be released on September 29.

Also announced this week:

Action Bronson - Blue Chips 7000 (August 25)
Afghan Whigs - “You Want Love” (out now)
Alex Lahey - I Love You Like a Brother (October 6)
Ben Frost - Threshold of Faith EP (out now)
The Cribs - 24-7 Rock Star Shit (August 11)
Hiss Golden Messenger - Hallelujah Anyhow (September 22)
Human Heat - All Is Too Much (September 15)
Lawrence Rothman - The Book of Low (October 13)
Maneka - Is You Is (September 1)
Margo Price - Weakness EP (out now)
Mister Heavenly - Boxing the Moonlight (October 6)
Myrkur - Mareridt (September 15)
Sylvan Esso - Echo Mountain Sessions (out now)
Tegan and Sara - The Con X: Covers (October 13)
Ty Segall - Fried Shallots (out now)
Underworld - Beaucoup Fish Super Deluxe Edition (August 25)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

New Music Friday - June 9, 2017

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

Essential Full-Length Releases

Chuck Berry - Chuck

Chuck Berry passed away this past March at the age of 90. He left behind a completed final album, his first in almost four decades. The record hearkens back to the early days of the style that he helped to establish and even includes a "sequel" of sorts to one of his most popular tunes, "Lady B Goode" (perhaps obviously, a new take on "Johnny B Goode").

Watch: "Big Boys"
Watch: "Darlin'"

Lindsey Buckingham Christine McVie - Lindsey Buckingham Christine McVie

Buckingham and McVie are both members of the long-running band Fleetwood Mac. Both have maintained solo careers, releasing a fair number of records between them. Their latest was originally intended to be the latest from the full band (and would have been their first in 14 years), but multiple delays prevented that from occurring. So, the album is just credited to these two, though Fleetwood and Mac (John McVie) both contribute to the record.

Listen: "Feel About You"
Listen: "In My World"

Phoenix - Ti Amo

Ti Amo is the sixth album from this French band. Recorded in Paris, the album is intended to recall Italian discos in the summer. Though it was written to address a darker world view, the end result ended up being light, poppy, and vibrant. An album about love to perhaps counteract a less than loving world environment.

Watch: "J-Boy"
Watch: "Goodbye Soleil"

The Secret Sisters - You Don’t Own Me Anumore

The Secret Sisters are not so secretly made up of actual sisters Laura and Lydia Rogers. The two have been recording together since 2009 and released their debut self-titled album in 2010. You Don't Own Me is their first album since being dropped by Republic and sees them joining New West Records. The album was produced by Brandi Carlile with another pair of siblings, the Hanseroth twins.

Watch: "Tennessee River Runs Low"
Watch: "You Don’t Own Me Anymore"


We had a long wait for this debut album from SZA (something I see frustratingly often from female hip hop artists). The album, then titled A, was first announced in 2014 but saw several delays. With her unique mix of genres and immensely honest lyrics, she has made the long wait well worth it. This album has been on repeat for me nearly since the day it was released.

Watch: "Love Galore" (featuring Travis Scott)
Watch: "Drew Barrymore"

Other Full-Length Releases

Agent Blå - Agent Blå

Listen: "Rote Learning"
Listen: "Strand"

Ani DiFranco - Binary

Watch: "Play God"
Listen: "Zizzing" (featuring Justin Vernon)

Big Thief - Capacity

Watch: "Mythological Beauty"
Listen: "Mary"

Dua Lipa - Dua Lipa

Watch: "Blow Your Mind (Mwah)"
Watch: "New Rules"

Hoop - Super Genuine

Listen: "Marlin Spike"
Listen: "Baseboards" (featuring Briana Marela)

Kirin J Callinan - Bravado

Watch: "Living Each Day" (featuring Connan Mockasin)
Watch: "S.A.D."

London Grammar - Truth Is a Beautiful Thing

Watch: "Big Picture"
Watch: "Oh Woman Oh Man"

Mark McGuire - Ideas of Beginnings

Listen: "Serpent Mound Coyote Song"
Listen: "Beginning of Winter"

Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, James McAlister - Planetarium

Watch: "Mercury"
Watch: "Venus"

Singles, EPs, Soundtracks, etc.

Ariana Grande - One Love Manchester

Listen: "One Last Time"
Listen: "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"

BEAK> - "Sex Music"

Watch: "Sex Music"
Listen: "Sex Music" (Win Butler’s ‘Knight Rider’ Remix)

Bob Dylan & Neil Young - Live on Air 1988

Bonobo - Bambro Koyo Ganda

Watch: "Bambro Koyo Ganda" (featuring Innov Gnawa)

ILOVEMAKONNEN - Fun Summer Vol. 1 EP

Listen: "Super Chef 2"
Listen: "Lonely Girl"

It Comes at Night: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Listen: Brian McOmber - "The Triumph of Death" (featuring Angel Deradoorian)

Miles Davis - The Legendary 1960 European Tour

Nine Inch Nails and David Bowie - The Complete Broadcasts 

Paul Simon - The Concert in Hyde Park

Watch: "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes"
Watch: "The Obvious Child"

Sia - "Free Me"

Watch: "Free Me"

Vic Mensa - The Manuscript

Watch: "OMG" (featuring Pusha T)
Watch: "Rage"

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Upcoming Album of the Week (Ending July 22)

Arcade Fire recently published their own spoof of Stereogum's "Premature Evaluation" feature with a "Premature Premature Evaluation" of their upcoming album, Everything Now, on the "site" Stereoyum. They've been none-too-happy with Stereogum since the site published a less-than-glowing review of one of the tracks from the new album. I guess this is their version of a take-down.

Arcade Fire do have an album coming out soon, along with many other amazing artists; check them out at the Upcoming Releases page!

This week, Wolf Parade announced their fourth album, Cry Cry Cry.

Wolf Parade is an post-punk/indie band, co-fronted by Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner, who released three amazing albums between 2005 and 2010. The members went their separate ways in 2011 with an "indefinite hiatus".

That time off was a boon for their various side and solo projects. Spencer Krug started recording under Moonface, releasing two EPs, two collaborative albums with Siinai, and two studio albums. Boecker has been similarly prolific, with his final album with Handsome Furs, an album with Divine Fits (co-fronted with Britt Daniel of Spoon), and an EP and LP with another new band, Operators.

Other members were relatively less fruitful outside of the band, though guitarist Dante DeCaro released a solo EP, Kill Your Boyfriend, late last year.

The band reunited last year with a tour and a fourth self-titled EP. I was able to catch the band at the otherwise disappointing Midpoint Music Festival last September. The announcement of their first full-length back together came with a new song, "Valley Boy".

Cry Cry Cry is set to be released on October 6.

Also announced this week:

Andrew Hung - Realisationship (October 6)
Carmen Villain - Infinite Avenue (September 8)
The Cornshed Sisters - Honey & Tar (November 3)
Jaws of Love - Tasha Sits Close to the Piano (September 22)
The Lemon Twigs - Brothers of Destruction (September 22)
Mark Kozelek - Mark Kozelek with Ben Boye and Jim White (October 6)
The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead Super Deluxe Reissue (October 20)
Superchunk - Superchunk Reissue (August 25)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

New Music Friday - June 2, 2017

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

Essential Full-Length Releases

Amber Coffman - City of No Reply

Coffman was previously a member of the Dirty Projectors before being left out of their most recent record, which was basically a Dave Longstreth solo project. Despite what one may assume given the drama around that album, Longstreth was a integral part of the writing and recording of this record, and also produced the record. Written before the fallout, this album contains none of the anger or vitriol of Dirty Projectors, but is instead light and poppy.

Watch: "No Coffee"
Watch: "All to Myself"

Benjamin Booker - Witness

Witness is the sophomore album from Booker, following his 2014 self-titled debut. The album came about following an extended sojourn to Mexico that Booker embarked on in an attempt to overcome writer's block. It was inspired in part by events such as the killing of Trayvon Martin and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Listen: "Witness" (featuring Mavis Staples)
Listen: "Believe"

Chastity Belt - I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone

This is the third album from Chastity Belt, who debuted in 2013 with No Regerts and followed that up two years ago with Time to Go Home. On this album, the band does what any good ensemble should do overtime, grows up. They started out with with high-energy instrumentals and humorous lyrics, but turn their focus inward here, with lyrics detailing the anxieties and doubts of life.

Watch: "Different Now"
Watch: "Used to Spend"

Dan Auerbach - Waiting on a Song

Auerbach is best known as the guitarist and frontman for The Black Keys, but has been pursuing various projects outside the band over the past couple of years, including producing and another band, The Arcs. Waiting on a Song is not his first solo record; he first went solo in 2009 with Keep It Hid, which was a bluesier outing. His second solo record is lighter and more influenced by country and soul from the 70s.

Watch: "Waiting on a Song"
Watch: "King of a One Horse Town"

Noga Erez - Off the Radar

Erez is an Israeli electronic musician who grew up with piano and guitar lessons, studied composition, and served as a military musician in the Israeli army. Her music is often political, detailing life surrounded by war and single horrific events. Off the Radar is her debut album.

Watch: "Toy"
Watch: "Off the Radar"

Other Full-Length Releases

alt-J - Relaxer

Watch: "Adeline"
Watch: "In Cold Blood"

Beach Fossils - Somersault

Watch: "Down the Line"
Watch: "Saint Ivy"

Bleachers - Gone Now

Watch: "Don’t Take the Money"
Watch: "I Miss Those Days"

Celebration - Wounded Healer

Watch: "Rolling On"
Listen: "Freedom Ring"

Charlie Fink - Cover My Tracks

Watch: "I Was Born to Be a Cowboy"
Watch: "Firecracker"

Jesu/Sun Kil Moon - 30 Seconds to the Decline of Planet Earth

Listen: "He’s Bad"

Marika Hackman - I’m Not Your Man

Watch: "Boyfriend"
Watch: "My Lover Cindy"

Mutoid Man - War Moans

Listen: "Kiss of Death"
Listen: "Melt Your Mind"

Pixx - The Age of Anxiety

Watch: "I Bow Down"
Watch: "Waterslides"

Roger Waters - Is This the Life We Really Want?

Watch: "The Last Refugee"
Listen: "Déjà Vu"

Smidley - Smidley

Watch: "Dead Retrievers"
Watch: "Fuck This"

Spectre Folk - Vol. 4

Listen: "Blowing Tornadoes"
Listen: "Bremsstrahlung"

TOPS - Sugar at the Gate

Watch: "Petals"
Watch: "Further"

Ulrika Spacek - Modern English Decoration

Watch: "Full of Men"
Listen: "Mimi Pretend"

Singles, EPs, Soundtracks, etc.

Amber Arcades - Cannonball

Watch: "Can’t Say That We Tried"
Watch: "Wouldn’t Even Know" (featuring Bill Ryder Jones)

Ashleigh Ball - Gold in You

Watch: "Crazy"
Watch: "Gold in You"

Depeche Mode - Black Celebration Reissue

Listen: "Black Celebration"
Listen: "Fly on the Windscreen"

Depeche Mode - Music for the Masses Reissue

Watch: "Never Let Me Down Again"
Listen: "The Things You Said"

Depeche Mode - Some Great Reward Reissue

Listen: "Something to Do"
Listen: "Lie to Me"

Iggy Pop - The Idiot Reissue

Listen: "Nightclubbing"
Listen: "China Girl"

Iggy Pop - Lust for Life Reissue

Watch: "Lust for Life"
Listen: "The Passenger"

Iggy Pop - TV Eye Reissue

The Kills - Echo Home - Non-Electric EP

Watch: "Wait" (Non-Electric)
Watch: "Desperado" (Non-Electric)

Mavis Staples - Mavis Staples: I’ll Take You There - An All-Star Concert Celebration

Listen: "I’ll Take You There"
Listen: "Eyes on the Prize"


Listen: "Peace of Mind"
Listen: "Freak in You"

Wilder Maker - "New Streets"/"Only Child"

Watch: "Only Child"
Listen: "New Streets"

Wonder Woman: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Listen: Sia - "To Be Human" (featuring Labrinth)
Listen: Rupert Gregson-Williams - "Wonder Woman’s Wrath"