New Release Top 5 is back celebrating this week and last week’s new releases. I’ve been getting back into music in a big way as I’ve been slowly coming back to myself. Its been a rough go for a while but I’m slowly making my way back. Writing helps. Music helps. Making lists helps.
Following are five of my picks for New Release Friday. I’d love to hear what yours are.
New Release Friday – My Top 5
For Weeks of 10/21/19 and 10/28/19
1. Cheap Queen by King Princess
Review in 3-Sentences: I’m so obsessed with this album. Every time I find a song I think is my favorite, I hear another that I can’t get enough of. Mikaela Mullaney Straus’s voice, and songwriting, and songs are soulful, lyrical, catchy, emotionally vulnerable, and brilliant – I really can’t recommend this album enough. Mikaela’s debut full-length features a few notable guests, too – Tobias Jesso, Father John Misty, and Natalie Prass.
Favorite Track: “Cheap Queen”, “Homegirl”, and “If You Think It’s Love”
Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+
“Watching My Phone”
2. Cry by Cigarettes After Sex
Review in 3-Sentences: Low-fi, moody, sexy, sensual, emotional, and dreamy as fuck. I’ve loved Cigarettes After Sex since I first heard their cover of REO Speedwagon’s “Keep On Loving You”, in 2016. I love writing to CAS’s music. I’m already hearing/feeling the plot-bunnies swaying in my head because of this album (music is always my muse).
Favorite Track: “You’re the Only Good Thing in My Life”, “Cry”, and “Pure”
3. Travelin’ Thru, 1967-1969: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 15 (Sampler) by Bob Dylan
Review in 3-Sentences: I’ve only heard the sampler of Vol. 15, so far, but I’m already loving it. Sometimes these “bootleg” or “remastered with outtakes” releases make me roll my eyes and strike me as money-grabbing, but there is something about the Dylan ones that I feel differently about and always find myself loving. I adore all the tracks with Johnny Cash, and the stripped-down sounds of some of the “takes”.
Favorite Track: “Lay, Lady, Lay” – Take 2, “I Still Miss Someone” – Take 5, featuring Johnny Cash, and “Wanted Man” – Take 1, featuring Johnny Cash
“Wanted Man” – Take 1, featuring Johnny Cash
4. KIWANUKA by Michael Kiwanuka
Review in 3-Sentences: Funky, jazzy, poppy, with a touch of R&B and indie to give it just an extra oomph and flair – this is a cool collection of songs. I’ve been interested in Michael’s music since first watching HBO’s “Big Little Lies” and wondering “what is this song??? who is it by???” Dreamy sometimes, dancy sometimes, and melancholic at other times – I’m finding myself more and more enthralled with the album with each listen. When I first heard the second to the last track “Solid Ground” I was immediately reminded of Nina Simone and had to hit replay three times after, and “Living In Denial” is so seventies it makes me miss my corduroys and Schwinn bicycle (with clip-on radio).
Favorite Track: “Solid Ground”, “I’ve Been Dazed”, and “Living In Denial”
5. Up On High by Vetiver
Review in 3-Sentences: Right in my indie-folk-alt-country lane that I’ve been blissfully driving in since the early aughts, it’s been a little too long since I fell for an album like this. A little like early Dawes, a little like later Bears Den and Phosphorescent, I find myself wondering why I haven’t listened much to Vetiver until now. I wanted to listen to this album while driving up the coast, over and over again.
Favorite Track: “The Living End”, “Wanted, Never Asked”, and “Lost (In Your Eyes)”