TOP 5 NEW RELEASES :: NEW MUSIC FRIDAY :: MARCH 24, 2017

TOP 5 NEW RELEASES :: NEW MUSIC FRIDAY :: MARCH 24, 2017

New Music Friday is here! Are you looking for the Best New Music Releases today? Below you will find My Top 5 New Releases for New Music Friday. I’ve scoured the lists, played the tracks, and put together the best of the best. Have a listen, play a featured track, and if you like what you hear go out and support the artists, and the Music.

I would love to hear what you think of the selected songs, and album titles. Is there a New Music Release that you feel should be on this list?

Comment below and let me know what you think.

TOP 5 NEW RELEASES:

1. Damage and Joy :: The Jesus And Mary Chain

The Jesus and Mary Chain Damage and Joy, New Music Release, Album Review

Three-Sentence Review: Highly anticipated new album, Damage and Joy is everything I was hoping for, starting strong with a song that reminds me of a mix between The Dandy Warhols “Bohemian Like You” and Love And Rockets’ “So Alive”. Brothers Jim and William Reid, quoted as saying they have “buried the hatchet” of all to common sibling-in-band-rivalry, have created an album that evolves their Music (see “All Things Pass” and especially the electronically-fused”Simian Split” without losing their quintessential sonic sound (see the Darklands’ sounding “War On Peace”). Track 7, “Los Feliz (Blues and Greens)” is by far my favorite, the nod to Los Angeles, the layers of sound, and the lyrical story told within.

Initial Favorite Track(s): “Amputation”, “War On Peace”, “All Things Pass” and “Los Feliz (Blues and Greens)”

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+

“Los Feliz (Blues and Greens)”

2. I Don’t Know What to Feel :: The Dove And The Wolf

The Dove And The Wolf I Don't Know What To Feel, New Music Release Friday, Album Review

Three-Sentence Review: I have been a fan of Philadelphia via Paris singers’ Paloma Gil and Lou Hayat since I first heard The Dove And The Wolf play live, opening for Butch Walker. The girls blew me away, and I have been anxiously awaiting new music from them ever since. This EP was written in response to the Bataclan theater attacks last November, in Paris. Though I would have loved a full album, the songs on here are a 7-song delight, reminding me again why they caught my ears as the opening act, and why I have been hungry for more (and hopefully there will be even more…soon).

Initial Favorite Track(s): “Green & Yellow”, “Seven Days” and “Across the Atlantic”

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

“Green & Yellow”

3. “Moon In Your Mouth” :: Goldfrapp

Goldfrapp Moon In Your Mouth, New Music Release, Album Review

Three-Sentence Review: Can the new Goldfrapp album be out already? “Moon In Your Mouth” marks the third single released pre-album, and number three is definitely my favorite of the bunch (so far).Each song, thus far, has had a different sound to each, mixing up genres and inspirations. This one definitely has an EDM sensibility to it, a mid-to-trance tempo ballad with a notable drum beat underneath.

mid-tempo dancefloor ballad with a steady drum beat and an atmospheric blend of synth texture

Initial Favorite Track(s): N/A – Single

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

“Moon In Your Mouth”

4. 810 :: Trementina

Trementina 810, New Music Releases, Album Reviews

Three-Sentence Review: Meeting at the corner between Dream-Pop and Shoegaze, Chilean band Trementina’s album 810 is full of a gossamer-winged sweetness and light that is infectious and floaty-feeling. A few tracks, like “Oh Child” and “No Control” transcend the Dream/Shoegaze, infusing the tease of beats that bring out the dance in them, and my favorite track, “Out of the Lights”, brings in some Dub sounds to add even more variety to this collection of songs. I do believe Trementina is a band to keep an eye, and ear out; there is a lot of promise and interest going on here.

Initial Favorite Track(s): “Please Let’s Go Away”,”All I Wanted”, and “Out of the Lights”

Rating (1-5 Stars): 4+

“Out of the Lights”

5. You Had Me at Goodbye :: Samantha Crain

Samantha Crain You Had Me at Goodbye, New Music Release, Album Review

Three-Sentence Review: I am immediately reminded of early Kate Nash and Lily Allen, as well as of Courtney Barnett, both in vocals, sardonic lyrics, and the style and sensibility of the songs with the album You Had Me at Goodbye. This album feels like it sprang from the early aughts in to this late March 2017 day. This is the fifth album by Samantha Crain, though this is the first I’ve heard of, or heard her Music. It seems to mark a shift in sound from a more country/folk sound, to something that teeters between indie pop, chamber pop, and something else that is a shade, or two, darker that the “pop” inclusion would describe (especially on songs like “Betty’s Eulogy”).

Initial Favorite Track(s): “Oh Dear Louis”, “Betty’s Eulogy” and “Wreck”

Rating (1-5 Stars): 4

“Oh Dear Louis”

Top 5 New Releases :: New Music Friday :: March 10, 2017

Top 5 New Releases :: New Music Friday :: March 10, 2017

Looking for the best new album releases on this New Music Friday? Look no further. I have dove in and listened to the selections of albums, and singles, out today (there are so many this week) and selected my Top 5 New Releases of the week. So, relax, read on, and get ready to press play for the Top New Releases from this week’s New Music Friday.

Top 5 New Releases:

1. Semper Femina :: Laura Marling

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Three-Sentence Review: Themed album, Semper Femina, began as a concept to describe women from the lens of men, but evolved into something different as Laura turned the gaze on herself, to delve into her perspective on women – turning women into the songs subjects and storytellers. Laura’s voice is as striking as ever, pure, raw and beautiful. The sonic mood shifts and melodies hit me in a way that I haven’t felt since her debut, in 2008.

Initial Favorite Track(s): “Soothing”, “Wild Fire” and “Nothing, Not Nearly”

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

 

“Nothing, Not Nearly”

2. Jawbone :: Music from the Film/Music by Paul Weller

Jawbone, Soundtrack, Album, Paul Weller, New Music, New Releases, Music Review

Three-Sentence Review: Seven tracks of score and song from the prolific musical genius Paul Weller. “The Ballad of Jimmy McCabe” has had my attention since the single was released a few weeks prior, and “Bottle” is just as emotionally rich, and beautiful. The score tracks, especially the electronically shaped “Jawbone”, are compelling and cinematic, and left me wanting more.

Initial Favorite Track(s): “The Ballad of Jimmy McCabe”, “Jawbone” and “Bottle”

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

“Bottle”

3. The Order of Time :: Valerie June

Valerie June, albums, New Music, New Releases, Album Reviews, Music Reviews

Three-Sentence Review: I love when I stumble on an artist I’ve never heard of, spin the tracks of their album, and find myself being drawn in and won over. A little bit folk, a little bit torch song singer, a little bit alt-country, and a lot singer-songwriter stunning, Valerie’s voice is raspy and bluesy, vulnerable and soulful – I am definitely intrigued by this throwback meets right now collection of sounds. Songs like “Shakedown”, “Astral Plane” and “Just in Time” are instrumentally complex, stark at times, resounding at other times, and act as the perfect accompaniment to Valerie’s unique voice.

Initial Favorite Track(s): “Long Lonely Road”, “Shakedown” and “Just in Time”

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

“Shakedown”

4. 50 Song Memoir :: The Magnetic Fields

The Magnetic Fields, music, New Music, New Releases, Album Review, New Music Review

Three-Sentence Review: Autobiography as album, that’s what The Magnetic Fields 50 Song album is, or should I saw 5-albums is (that’s right, 50 songs, 5 albums, each song representing a year in Stephin Merrit’s life). The musical complexities and evolving differences, song-by-song, reflect the evolution of a life, as one might expect. This is an epic project, and an epic listen, one that will take more than one sitting – but it will be worth the time to take in the melodies and melancholy of Merrit’s first 50 years.

Initial Favorite Track(s): “How to Play Synthesizer”, “Dreaming in Tetris” and “You Can Never Go Back to New York”

Rating (1-5 Stars): 4

“How to Play Synthesizer”

5. Yours Conditionally :: Tennis

Tennis, Album, New Music, New Release, Top 5 New Release, Album Review, New Music Review

Three-Sentence Review: This new album, the fourth from the husband and wife duo, Tennis, springs to mind the late seventies to me, and yes, i do mean in a good way. Yours Conditionally was self-produced, and sounds more stripped down and raw than the prior three. All the songs seem to overflow with that soft rock and soul that had me “nostalga-ing” about the late seventies (think AM radio, 8 Track and bins of 45’s), and thematically dissect the idea of marriage, individualism, and feminism within the construct of committed partnerships.

Initial Favorite Track(s): “My Emotions are Blinding”, “Ladies Don’t Play Guitar” and “10 Minutes 10 Years”

Rating (1-5 Stars): 4

“My Emotions are Blinding”

My Top 5 New Releases :: New Music Friday :: Week of 1/2/17

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My Top 5 New Releases :: New Music Friday :: Week of 1/2/17

1. All Disco :: Elbow

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Three-Sentence Review: Oh Elbow, how you emotionally skewer me and break me into little, tiny, shattering pieces in the best of ways. A new album is coming (February), and I am full of anticipation and impatience, but I woke today to find another new single (check out “Magnificent (She Says)” which dropped in December) released from the album which definitely had to land in the #1 spot this week. “All Disco” is said to be inspired by a conversation that Elbow frontman Guy Garvey had with Pixies’ Black Francis (Francis quoted as saying “you have punk rock, you have rock, you have blues, you have soul, it’s all disco.”), and is already giving my emotions emotions (I’m telling you, Elbow knows how to mess me up good, all while I’m singing-a-long).

Initial Favorite Track(s): N/A (single)

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+

“All Disco”

2. Clinic Hope :: The Gift

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Three-Sentence Review: Reminiscent of 80’s electronica, akin in sound and sensibility with Perfume Genius and Passion Pit, and produced by the great Brian Eno, what is not to love about this single? The Gift is well loved and celebrated in their home of Portugal, and have been making noise elsewhere with past releases, and with recent projects with Eno (check out “Love Without Violins, as well, you won’t regret it). Eno brings magic to this already eclectic and alt-pop wonder that The Gift gifts us – and if you aren’t turning this track up and dancing around to it (or at least wishing you could dance around to it) I will be very surprised.

Initial Favorite Track(s): N/A (single)

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

 “Clinic Hope”

3. Youth is Only Ever Fun in Retrospect :: Sundara Karma

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Three-Sentence Review: First album for a very youthful, guitar led, alt/indie band who may be living that retrospect fun as we speak (and turn their tunes up loud). Vocally they seem older than they appear, and bring to mind Arctic Monkeys, Kaiser Chiefs, The Killers and Franz Ferdinand (2004-2005 era, early aughts anybody?) shaken and stirred with some fellow youth up-and-comers like The Wrecks and Clean Cut Kid. This is catchy stuff, full of premature jadedness (littered sparingly with hope, and dare I say again, “youth”) and edgy guitars that solidify this band as “one to watch”.

Initial Favorite Track(s): 4+

Rating (1-5 Stars): “Loveblood”, “Flame” and “Watching from Great Heights”

“Loveblood”

4. The Drifters :: Zooey

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Three-Sentence Review: Low-fi, electroica-ly deft, indie pop goodness that lands the first blow covered in sugar and open air ocean breezes, but comes back later with something a bit stronger, perhaps a whiskey, a sedative and a well placed “french” kiss. Matthieu Beck and Marie Merlet are the French couple musicians who recorded the album in their London home studio, in the midst of a big city, yet somehow captured wide spaces, the ebb and flow of the sea, and summery soft materials blowing off warm skin. When listening to the album, Rosie Thomas come to mind, as does Dove and the Wolf, Camera Obscura, and even a bit of Brian Wilson.

Initial Favorite Track(s): “Realise Realise”, “The Country Song” and “Oh Stop!”

Rating (1-5 Stars): 4

“The Country Song”

5. 11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory :: Dropkick Murphys

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Three-Sentence Review: Though not as spirited and riotous as past releases, there is still spirit and punch and alcohol-infused reverie within the songs on this new record from Dropkick Murphys (their 9th release). At times sea shanty pirates come to mind (especially “First Class Loser”), at other times the punk sensibilities take center stage, and I can almost see the fists in the air, and the bodies slamming together. I like when the lyrics go heartfelt/heartbroken, when you can feel Boston and the bar in the melodies, and when I feel my body wanting to jump, and jump, as my voice cracks from scream-singing-a-long.

Initial Favorite Track(s): “Rebels with a Cause”, “First Class Loser” and “Paying My Way”

Rating (1-5 Stars): 3+

“Paying My Way”

My Top 5 New Releases :: New Music Friday :: Week of 7/4/16

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My Top 5 New Releases :: New Music Friday :: Week of 7/4/16

1. Town + Country :: The Rave-Up’s

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Three-Sentence Review: An unexpected re-issue of a favorite band of mine from the eighties, and a bigger favorite band of my best friend, who this band/album/songs on the album will always remind me of. This was their debut album, and along with their appearance in the John Hughes’ film, “Pretty In Pink”, they became one of those bands that take me back to who, where and when I was when I fell for their music; they remind me of Lone Justice, of The Del Fuegos, Guadalcanal Diary and early Throwing Muses, oh, and they also remind me of the now gone venue, Bogarts, as well as (always) my best friend. The album includes early versions, demos and live recordings of songs from their debut, as well as the album itself.

Initial Favorite Track(s): Positively Lost Me, Radio and Rave-Up/Shut-Up

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+

Positively Lost Me

2. Descending :: Butch Walker, featuring Ashley Monroe

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Three-Sentence Review: Another released single from Butch’s upcoming album, “Stay Gold”, and this one is a heart breaker of a duet, one that I fell HARD for after my first listen. It is full of that kind of uncertainty that love can sometimes arrive at, teetering precariously between the hope of carrying on/starting again and the sadness of maybe needing to (finally) let go. This is just making me more excited for the new album – please get here soon.

Initial Favorite Track(s): N/A (Single)

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+

Descending

3. Acoustic Coffee House (Live) :: Callaghan

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Three-Sentence Review: I came for the breathtaking Dylan cover of “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright”, poured myself a cup of coffee and stayed for the entire album. I’ve been a fan of Callaghan’s since we featured her in the Keep Art Alive series back in 2013 (see her 10 questions here). The album was recorded in Nashville with musicians Okorie Johnson and Mike Gallagher, from her touring band, and include beautiful covers and original songs that will make you want to catch Callaghan the next time she plays in your town (see upcoming tour dates here).

Initial Favorite Track(s)Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright, Till I Hold You Once Again and First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright (live)

4. Hit Reset :: The Julie Ruin

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Three-Sentence Review: High energy, witty and intelligent, dancable, punkish, a bit retro, and a whole lot of fun, “Hit Reset” is the perfect throw your cares out the window and just enjoy summer kind of album. It reminds me of some of the girl bands I loved in the 80’s and 90’s, and some of the punk/riot grrrl/new wave shows I went to within those two decades. So catchy, empowering and perfect for getting over an ex and/or taking over the day/night with your friends, this album is going to get a ton of play/replay from me the rest of this summer, and beyond –  you should consider doing the same.

Initial Favorite Track(s): Hit Reset,  I Decide and I’m Done

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

I Decide

5.  Take Her up to Monto :: Róisín Murphy

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Three-Sentence Review: The first thing I think when I listen to “Take Her up to Monto” is St. Vincent, second I am reminded of Róisín’s work with previous EDM group, Moloko. I’m honestly not usually one for EDM, but this album is more than that, it transcends, borrowing from indie pop and experimental jazz sensibilities (with a side order of ELO – I get such a “Xanadu” vibe sometimes), as well as the obvious background in EDM. My only wish is that it veered a bit more in to the Trip Hop zone because I think Róisín’s voice is just made for it (listen to “Nervous Sleep” and you may hear it to).

Initial Favorite Track(s)Mastermind, Ten Miles High and Nervous Sleep

Rating (1-5 Stars): 4

Ten Miles High

My Top 5 New Releases :: New Music Friday :: Week of 6/20/16

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My Top 5 New Releases :: New Music Friday :: Week of 6/20/16

1. Self-Titled :: Nice As Fuck

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Three-Sentence Review: Surprise, Jenny Lewis formed a new band, and surprise, they dropped an album today, and surprise, they used my favorite swear word in their band’s name – I am so here for this. Retro-meets-electro, a little soul-meets-pop, this is ready-made Summertime listening and destined to be addictive as, well, that favorite swear word. Synchs up perfect with Ladyhawke, Tegan And Sara, and Kristin Kontrol’s new albums – love love love this.

Initial Favorite Track(s): Angel, Cookie Lips and Door

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+

Door (live)

2. True Sadness :: The Avett Brothers

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Three-Sentence Review: Open track (“Ain’t No Man”) feels anthemic and gospel-fueled and almost kinda religious in a way that I think is needed right now. And other songs, melancholic tracks the sing from the soul, story-led songs that weave place and character to an almost literate degree, to the wit within the sometimes jaded/sometimes heartbroken sentiment, make this one hell of an album. I really needed this – all of this – every song of this – today (I kinda want to live in it today, I do, I do).

Initial Favorite Track(s): Ain’t No Man, No Hard Feelings and I Wish I Was

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+

Ain’t No Man

3. Tentative Decisions :: Mikey Erg

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Three-Sentence Review: Throwback punk meets a little bit of the early aughts emo/punk with a side of power-pop and in your face rock, “Tentative Decisions” screams for you to turn the volume up, shake yourself around and shout-sing the words to every song. First solo work for Mikey, the songs explode off the album with punch and spunk, wit and wisdom, and the promise of a damn good time. “Song for New Britain” belongs on any and all Summer playlists this year.

Initial Favorite Track(s): Faulty Metaphor, (This is Not) The First Time and Song for New Britain 

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

Faulty Metaphor

See Mikey Erg’s answers to 10 questions here.

4. Say It Out Loud :: The Interrupters

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Three-Sentence Review: Reminiscent of Operation Ivy, early No Doubt, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and Save Ferris, this is ska/punk goodness with a female lead singer – I was certain to love it. Another shout of “this is so perfect for Summer” because, well, it is. Catchy, danceable, and addictive, I will be spinning this in my car A LOT this Summer (so will you, I bet).

Initial Favorite Track(s): By My Side, Babylon and You’re Gonna Find a Way Out

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

By My Side

5. On Desire :: Drowners

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Three-Sentence Review: Strokes meets Interpol meets Sisters of Mercy, that’s what I hear at first, and its a good mix, and I’m digging it, big time. I’m reminded of the late 80’s and the early aughts, and I’m wondering (and wishing to know) how this band is live (I’m thinking great). I feel like this album would pair well with The National, both in feeling and in substance – the perfect duo for nursing a love hangover, and a cracked open heart.

Initial Favorite Track(s): Troublemaker, Cruel Ways and Don’t Be Like That

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

Cruel Ways

My Top 5 New Releases :: New Music Friday :: Week of 6/6/16

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My Top 5 New Releases :: New Music Friday :: Week of 6/6/16

1. Strange Little Birds :: Garbage

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Three-Sentence Review: Oh my stars…a new Garbage album…and its phenomenal. From the first track I feel my fever rising, my skin prickling, my pulse racing, and that excitement-meets-emotions thing that connects me to an album, a song, an artist, or all of the above. I’ve been a fan for a long time, but I think I am loving this album more than any of the music I’ve heard before from Shirley and the band – there’s something so passionate here, so dark, twisted, desirous and addictive – I love it.

Initial Favorite Track(s)Sometimes, Empty, If I Lost You and So We Can Stay Alive

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+

Empty

2. This is Your Life :: Augustines

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Three-Sentence Review: From the opening track (a cracker of a song – catchy, anthemic and just begging to be sung-a-long to), I find myself hooked (again) on the Augustines. I almost want “No Need to Explain” to follow that opening track, but most likely that’s because I love it so much and get anxious to hear it. The evolution of sound that has transpired from album-to-album is apparent, and maybe its because I lean towards this kind of sound lately that I am not bothered by the change, no, instead I’m ecstatic about it – another album to definitely add to my favorites of the year.

Initial Favorite Track(s)Are We Alive?, No Need to Explain, Landmine and This is Your Life

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+

Are We Alive

3. Why are You OK? :: Band Of Horses

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Three-Sentence Review: I’ve been waiting to fall for a Band Of Horses album the way I fell so hard for Cease to Begin and Infinite Arms, and it hadn’t happen…but now…with this new album, well, it may be (finally) happening. I have a big crush on the first track, “Dull Times/The Moon”, and “Whatever, Wherever” is dreamy, beautiful and sigh-worthy. I think Band Of Horses may have gone and won me over again.

Initial Favorite Track(s)Dull Times/The Moon, In a Drawer, Whatever, Wherever and Country Teen

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

Whatever, Wherever

4. Liquid Cool :: Nite Jewel

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Three-Sentence Review: I’m so all about all the recent albums by female artists in the Chamber Pop/Indie Pop/Trip Hop/Alternative  space, and this one is no exception to what I’m loving, queing up nicely with Kristin Kontrol, Ladwyhawke and Tegan and Sara’s new ones. I also feel/hear a lot of 90’s Trip Hop influence, a little Morcheeba, a little Zero 7 and a little Air and Beth Hirsch, and it brings me back so much that I find myself longing for some crushed velvet leggings and baby doll dresses, and maybe even a clove cigarette to smoke.

Initial Favorite Track(s)Nothing but Scenery, Kiss the Screen, Boo Hoo and Running Out of Time

Rating (1-5 Stars): 4+

Kiss the Screen

5. S/T :: Fitz & The Tantrums

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Three-Sentence Review: Danceable, “car concert”-able and ready-made for Summer, so thankful to have this right now (hello, June). The opening track is impossible not to move to, and already found its way to the top of my favorite workout playlist. This album is very NOW, in all the right ways – and will be a breakout hit for the band, I predict.

Initial Favorite Track(s): HandClap, Fadeback and A Place For Us

Rating (1-5 Stars): 4

HandClap

My Top 5 New Releases :: New Music Friday :: Week of 5/30/16

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My Top 5 New Releases :: New Music Friday :: Week of 5/30/16

1. Ash & Ice :: The Kills

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Three-Sentence Review: First songs are everything, or at least a big part of everything, and this first song – “Doing it to Death” – is a big part of everything that I  am loving about this new release from one of my favorites, The Kills. This album makes my pulse accelerate, my skin crawl (in the best way), my lips want to make out, and my body want to move – oh, and at times, it makes my heart hurt a little bit (“Black Tar” and “Echo Home” do that to me). A desirous, raucous delight – yeah, that’s what this album is.

Initial Favorite Track(s): Doing it to Death, Heart of a Dog, Echo Home and Whirling Home

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+

Heart of a Dog

2. Future Present Past :: The Strokes

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Three-Sentence Review: A three song EP is not enough, no, even with a remix added, its just not enough. I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed The Strokes until these songs came around, and now I not only realize how much I’ve missed them, but how much I need more than just three songs. That early-aughts feel is here, but there is something else, something a little garage rock meets glam that I’m digging in a big, big way – more PLEASE.

Initial Favorite Track(s): All three – Drag Queen, OBLIVIUS and Threat of Joy

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+

Drag Queen

3. Love You to Death :: Tegan & Sara

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Three-Sentence Review: I love Tegan & Sara, don’t you? This album is more poppy than past albums, and like the album cover might suggest (reminds me of an album by The Cars or The Police, or maybe Kim Wilde), there is some definite 80’s music overtures weaved throughout (especially the song “Boyfriend”), that gives Love You to Death a very different feel. I like it best when there is some of that indie-rock style thrown in to the mix, but that said, this is definitely a catch album that is artistic and so ready made to be on my summertime soundtrack.

Initial Favorite Track(s)Boyfriend,  100x, Stop Desire and U-turn

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

100x

4. Wild Things :: Ladyhawke

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Three-Sentence Review: First songs, you already know what I’m going to say (everything, or a big part of everything) and “A Love Song”, the opening track on Wild Things, grabbed me fast and frantically, and had me turning up the volume, dancing around the room, and trying to sing-a-long. Heavy on the pop and the indie, very danceable, very summertime, very listenable and catchy and addictive – I’m really enjoying this album. This album pairs up well with last week’s Kristin Kontrol release, and both albums – Kristin’s and Ladyhawke’s – feel influenced by the 80’s.

Initial Favorite Track(s): A Love Song, Wild Things and Sweet Fascination

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

A Love Song

5. Eyes on the Lines :: Steve Gunn

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Three-Sentence Review: A slow burn, but a burn that stays once lit, Eyes on the Lines has me interested and pushing play a few times because I know this one needs time to attach itself to me (but it is attaching, it is getting to me). I think I wanted a stronger first song, because as soon as track 2 started, I started to pay more attention and take it all in (loving track 2, “Full Moon Tide”). That last track though, oh my stars it is beautiful – very Neil Young meets Grateful Dead meets Waxahatchee.

Initial Favorite Track(s): Full Moon Tide, Night Wander, Park Bench Smile and Ark

Rating (1-5 Stars): 4

Park Bench Smile

My Top 5 New Releases :: New Music Friday :: Week of 11/2/15

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My Top 5 New Releases :: New Music Friday :: Week of 11/2/15

1. Summer was a Day :: Pete Yorn

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Three-Sentence Review: It feels like Malibu, late afternoon, unseasonably cool for a mid-summer month, ocean spray tickling your senses while you drive with the window rolled down, wistful for a love not quite realized. That’s what I get from this beautifully melodic new song from one of my favorite artists. It may be too early to miss summer, but this song will have you waxing nostalgic for two months ago (I can’t wait for the entire album, ArrangingTime).

Initial Favorite Track(s): N/A (single)

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+

Summer was a Day

2. The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 12 :: Bob Dylan

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Three-Sentence Review: Another volume of a bootleg series that makes us Bob Dylan fanatics (you say fanatic like its a bad thing) drool and quiver in musical excitement. This comes just in time for a short story I’m trying to write about a girl who is obsessed with the song Stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again (this newly excavated version is fantastic). I love hearing early takes and undiscovered treasures from singer-songwriters, and this is a brilliant addition to the series that I am bursting with love for.

Initial Favorite Track(s): Highway ’61 (Take 3, Alternate Take), Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again (Take 13, Alternate Take) and Absolutely Sweet Marie (Take 1, Alternate Take)

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+

Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again (Take 13, Alternate Take)

3. Art Angels :: Grimes

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Three-Sentence Review: I’m not sure where this record came from exactly, as it is so completely unexpected, from the orchestrated, hauntingly cinematic first track, to the fly me to the stars and dance-dance-dance winged ending. This album traverses the realm of pop, but goes beyond it, into something more complex, trigger-happy and addictive. If you give it a spin, might I suggest you play it late at night, turned up high, in a bit of an inebriated state, giving yourself plenty of room to spin and shake.

Initial Favorite Track(s): California, Belly of the Beat and Flesh Without Blood

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

Flesh Without Blood/Life in the Vivid Dream

4. Bird Set Free :: Sia

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Three-Sentence Review: Sia slays me, her vocals, her lyrics that cut like a katana, slicing me in half, and her emotional delivery that brings tears to my eyes. This song has all of those elements, along with feeling incredibly anthemic — making me want to turn it up so loud my ears ring, as I scream-sing it out, feeling stronger, more free. I hope there is more music (and a new album) on the horizon.

Initial Favorite Track(s): N/A (single)

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

Bird Set Free

5. Better :: Banks

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Three-Sentence Review: Sultry, sensual, edgy with an on the cusp of violence kind of emotion that only jealousy brings. This isn’t desperation, but more of a plea of truth (think Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Maps with an electronic beat). This makes me long for more music from Banks, and has me grabbing for last year’s album, Goddess, to sink into an overdue aural re-visit.

Initial Favorite Track(s): N/A (single)

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

Better

My Top 5 New Releases :: New Music Friday :: Week of 10/19/15

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My Top 5 New Releases :: New Music Friday :: Week of 10/19/15

1. Fading Frontier :: Deerhunter

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Three-Sentence Review: I very recently (one week ago recently) discovered Deerhunter and have fallen hard for their sound, so it made me rather ecstatic to see they have a new album this week. Lyrically, the album has been impacted by Bradford Cox serious car accident last year, and the effect it had on him as a person, and as a songwriter – and I can feel it, the emotions, the melodic optimism, the perspective that surviving can often gift. There is a soothing element to this album that I am appreciating, there is something here in the sounds, too, that fits so well with the just arriving Autumn weather, especially when listening in the early morning when it actually is a big cool in Los Angeles.

Initial Favorite Track(s): Living My Life, Duplex Planet and Ad Astra

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+

Living My Life

2. Some Thick Illusion :: Pop Cautious

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Three-Sentence Review: Gorgeous, lush and lovely, the new single from Pop Cautious is one of those songs I just can’t get enough of. Vocally and lyrically, there is so much beauty and bittersweet emotion that seeps beneath the skin and swirls around effortlessly, and the orchestration is dreamy and ethereal and wonderful to the senses. The song features Adrián Terrazas-González, previously of The Mars Volta, and features Caleb Polashek of the Austin Symphony Orchestra – I cannot wait to hear a full album.

Initial Favorite Track(s): N/A (single)

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

Some Thick Illusion 

3. Angels & Ghosts :: Dave Gahan & Soulsavers

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Three-Sentence Review: Complex, melodic, dark, danceable, soulful and even a bit blues-ey, the new Dave Gahan (& Soulsavers) album is not just a Depeche Mode revival/rehash, no, there is actually very few connections except for the recognizable sound of Gahan’s voice (though I prefer the age in it now, the depth and emotion). This album surprised me in the best way. I hope he/they tour soon as I feel like these songs will be incredible played live.

Initial Favorite Track(s)Shine, All Of This & Nothing and Lately

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

All of This & Nothing 

4. Sprained Ankle :: Julien Baker

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Three-Sentence Review: Older sounding, or maybe just “wiser”, than nineteen years would expect, Julien Baker’s album is a remarkable, raw, and yet delicate, full of beautiful indie-folk tunes that immediately drew me in. A bit reminiscent of The Head and the Heart, Birdy and Dove & The Wolf, I just love how stripped down these songs are.

Initial Favorite Track(s): Blacktop, Everybody Does & Something

Rating (1-5 Stars): 4+

Something (live)

5. Liberman :: Vanessa Carlton

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Three-Sentence Review: Its been awhile since I heard Vanessa Carlton’s name, or heard her voice, so when I saw she had a new album this week my curiosity was peaked, and I wanted to hear if time and life had changed her at all (as it does to most of us). Her voice is still full of heart and melodic clarity, her songwriting still strong, the piano is still a character in the song-stories, but there is a complexity and facets to these songs that suggests time and life and changes. While not as catchy or accessible as her earlier “hits”, this is definitely worth a listen (or a few).

Initial Favorite Track(s): Willows, Nothing Where Something Used to Be and Unlock the Lock

Rating (1-5 Stars): 4

Willows

My Top 5 New Releases :: New Music Friday :: Week of September 28, 2015

2My Top 5 New Releases :: New Music Friday :: Week of September 28, 2015

1. Mexican Wedding (single) :: Eckhardt & The House, featuring Bella Hay

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Three-Sentence Review: A little bit Mariachi, a little bit country, a little bit indie pop and a little bit of something I picture fitting in well with some of my favorite films of past, namely Wild At Heart and Until the End of the World. I am reminded of Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue’s duets, as well as Polly Jean Harvey’s duet/murder ballad with Cave, as well. This is one of those singles that on discovery, and first listen, I keep replaying, over and over.

Initial Favorite Track(s): N/A (single)

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+

Mexican Wedding

2. Daybreaker :: Moon Taxi

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Three-Sentence Review: There is something in the sound of this album, and the feel, that reminds me of Paul Simon’s Graceland, as well as early music from The Police, that said, I also hear some of Islands, and Vampire Weekend’s first release. This album is interesting and curious to me, an unexpected listen that I find myself wanting more of. There is a joy in the songs, a quality I am admittedly not always drawn to (I admit, I lean a little toward the melancholy, or the edgy), but am feeling strongly here, enough to want to return to, and put in this list.

Initial Favorite Track(s): All Day All Night, Run Right Back and Rooftops

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

All Day All Night

3. New Love :: Allison Weiss

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Three-Sentence Review: Stripped back, indie-folk, melancholic with a side of hopeful optimism songs from a singer-songwriter I’ve been a fan of for years now, I was so in need of a new Allison Weiss album. There is a new dynamic here that is different than past albums, an electricity that adds an “oomph“, or a pop-sensibility, that makes this one of those albums to TURN UP LOUD on a Friday or Saturday night as you drive through the city. I hope this is the album that becomes a breakthrough for Allison, and that more people start loving and listening to her.

Initial Favorite Track(s): Golden Coast, Over You and The Same

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

Golden Coast

4. In Dream :: Editors

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Three-Sentence Review: Haunting, this album is haunting, and oh so fitting for the start of October. Tom Smith’s vocals work perfect with this post-New Wave/electronic/dark wave sound and sensibility that make up this gorgeously melancholic collection of songs. I forgot how much I love Editors music – I am remembering now.

Initial Favorite Track(s): No Harm, Our Love and Marching Orders

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

Marching Orders

5. Arms Around a Vision :: Girls Names

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Three-Sentence Review: So many surprises this week for me, albums I did not anticipate, or know about, but that I’m enjoying the hell out of. Belfast alternative rockers/low-fi/post-punk band, Girls Names, are a new discovery of mine and one that has me thinking of a little Glam Rock, a little early aughts brit rock/punk/garage, and even a little of the 90’s power pop mixed up in there, too. I feel like this definitely is a band to watch.

Initial Favorite Track(s): Reticence, An Artificial Spring and A Hunger Artist

Rating (1-5 Stars): 4

A Hunger Artist