@@@ Bat for Lashes: The Bride (Echo/BMG, 2016). Art school, major label dramatical female music (not rock) similar to Kate Bush but not as mushy — yet. She’s got a harp going and an orchestral swell and some pretty waif-y singing with heaps o’ reverb on it. This is a song cycle about love, horror, grief, and healing which I think is kinda stupid but I can be convinced. This second tune continues the super emotional singing with a sparse electric guitar line and a kick drum. Ay, one more tune. The third tune gets to being a whole band tune with full drum kit, multiple synths including synth bass and I think I just don’t like her singing and I don’t need a reason. You might like it, she’s working hard, but it’s not working for me. I say stick with Nick Cave’s special kind of misery.
@@@ Sarah Watkins: Young in all the Wrong Ways (New West, 2016). A pretty updated alt-country sound with some tasty electric guitar playing in this first tune. Watkins has a very nice voice, the lyrics are all right and the band plays with energy. Let’s peep further. The second tune The Love that Got Away is more lonesome with mandolin (?), voice, and bass maybe upright. This is a tad droopy for me, let’s peep more. We’re back to a higher tempo which I think she does a better job with. I could use a tad more dirty and muscle but it’s very pretty and a tad shiny happy.
@@@ Bulby York: Epic & Ting (VP, 2016). Off this past week’s All Music weekly email. It is dancehall with some old school roots but the problem with this first tune is that it has been compressed so much that the whole mix is distorted. It hurts, Bulby, it hurts! Let’s peep another one and hope they eased off the buttons on this one. This second tune is much better and perusing the rest of the record there are mad guests on here. They still have this tune super pressed and starched but it’s tolerable. I like the fresh summer dancehall vibe but it’s too crunchy and works against the idea of the record. In my humble opinion.
@@@ Chelsea Grin: Self-Inflicted (Rise Records, 2016). A six piece deathcore metal record I got to via the All Music notable release email. Very Pantera-ish to my ears. There are two singers in this first tune – one a higher ocr-y fella and another deeper throated guy. The guitars are both percussive and blasting with some melodic drones in the back of the mix. To my ears this is not intended to be straight brutality, it has a bit of art school to it. It’s a more authentic Linkin Park kinda vibe than Linkin Park which I think should be called Stinking Park. Ah, a little piano figure in the back of this second tune, more evidence of my theory.
YTD recordings listened to: 538
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 298
Not good music: 200
Honorable Mentions: 9
Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Bone Dance, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Alexander Hawkins, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Dawn Richard, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Akitsa, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves, Divanhana, Unrestrained, Moken, Systema Solar, Brian Eno, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, The Lickshots, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, Xenia Rubinos, Eli Paperboy Reed, Miramar