My Top 5 New Releases :: New Music Friday :: Week of July 13, 2015

1. Star Wars :: Wilco


Three-Sentence Review: Offered up free yesterday, Wilco surprised everyone with a new album that has a cover that reminded me immediately of “things Ryan Adams loves” (Star Wars, cats – all it needed was a pinball machine). The opening track reminds me of Sonic Youth until Jeff starts singing, then it just feels like Kim and Thurston are back-up, which is not a bad thing, at all. My favorite track, You Satellite, feels like it should be partnered up with Lou Reed’s Satelite of Love (next playlist I make needs these two songs back-to-back), and actually has a Velvet Underground feel to it – again, not a bad thing at all.

Initial Favorite Track(s): The Joke Explained, You Satellite and Where Do I Begin

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+

No videos/tracks on YouTube, but you can hear You Satellite here

2. Cold Answer :: Matthew Perryman Jones


Three-Sentence Review: Oh how a good singer-songwriter will just steal my heart away. This is moody and melancholic and wistful in such a beautiful, unassuming way, that I am drawn to the album completely, and keep hitting replay. Reminiscent of Honeyhoney, The Civil Wars, Cary Brothers and Whiskeytown, I’m loving the banjo inclusion and the co-singer Lily Costner, especially on the song (originally written for the TV series’ Nashville), Can’t Get It Right.

Initial Favorite Track(s): Wrestling Tigers, Can’t Get it Right and I Can’t Go Back Now

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+

I Can’t Get it Right (live)

3. Something More Than Free :: Jason Isbell


Three-Sentence Review: What was it I just said about singer-songwriters, and my heart? Former member of Drive-By Truckers, Jason is recently sober and that kind of twelve-step confessions permeate these lyrically rich songs. There are lines that hit hard and deep, and though at times this album leans a little more country than my tastes usually veer (though other times it is very Dawes and Avett Brothers – yes!), I’m all in with this album.

Initial Favorite Track(s): If It Takes a Lifetime, How to Forget and Something More Than Free

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+

Something More Than Free (live)

4. Manifique :: Ratatat


Three-Sentence Review: Quite different than 1-3 in this week’s Top 5 New Releases, Ratatat’s new album is more electronic in nature (think Gorillaz, M83 and LCD Soundsystem). This is dancable, drive at night in the city listenable, and destined to be part of my workout music in the upcoming weeks. That said, the album veers into chillwave at times, too, in a way that makes me feel a little Mulholland Drive and other Lynchian ways, especially the title song and the carnival sounding Drift.

Initial Favorite Track(s): Cream on Chrome, Magnifique and Drift

Rating (1-5 Stars): 4+

Cream on Chrome

5. Born in the Echoes :: The Chemical Brothers


Three-Sentence Review: Been missing the 90’s and feel like dancing this Summertime? If you answered yes to both, or at least one of the two, than this new album from The Chemical Brothers is for you. I answered yes to both, by the way.

Initial Favorite Track(s): Sometimes I Feel So Deserted, Go and Radiate

Rating (1-5 Stars): 4+


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