@@@ David Byrne: This is That (Todomundo/Nonesuch, 2018) A pre-release single from the former singer of the Talking Heads. How did I get here? This is not my beautiful house! Is this a beautiful tune? This is not standard David Byrne world music inflected NPR thought rock. He’s got sounds going here from Oneontrix Point Never and they’re pretty nice. Certainly darker than usual Byrne fair. It’s an all right tune that I dig less when the piano comes in. Everybody is up on the meaningful piano chords these days — it’s a signifier to be denounced. There is the problem of Byrne’s lyrics which are prismatic and you can take them as high end word salad or very meaningful. I lean more towards the word salad side of things. If you want to hear more of Oneontrix’s music feel free to check out his work in the movie Good Time, which is a pretty rough watch (lots of violence and squalid human behavior) but his music is perfect for that flick and the flick is balls out.
@@@ Courtney Marie Andrews: Kindness of Strangers (Fat Possum Records, 2018) If Tom Petty and Bob Dylan had a love baby and formed a band and that band was fronted by Emmylou Harris it would sound a whole lot like this. I got this tune via the Twatter and it’s better than the usual crumbs left on Twatter. I like her voice and her performance a whole bunch and I could use some more distinctive playing behind her as it would help her to carry the load. The arrangement is pretty much FM mid ’70s classic rock with some organ. The lyrics are also a tad trite.
@@@ 6lack: Cutting Ties (Interscope, 2017) I was and am pretty into 6lack’s debut record. The combination of murky arrangements and his slightly nasal vocals works for me. I caught this single on Apple Music and on this single he maintains his sound but really does a whole lot more singing in this track. Almost loverboy but just a slightly baked loverboy. I’m feeling like this is a track for the ladies and he does a really good job with the vocals.
@@@ Frank Ocean: Moon River (Blonded, 2018) Frank Ocean has some of the most devoted fans going. This tune is over a million views on the GooglePimp in over a day. Though I don’t see Ocean as a genius he is a plastic figure that moves and evolves in his sounds at an accelerated pace. He does mopey shit, that’s his specialty but this cover track definitely brings in the black church sound and it’s interesting to see a younger musician pull that string. Multi-tracked, quasi-spiritual vocal harmonies over very sparse electric guitar and small bass presence. It’s an interesting choice to throw the Frank Ocean sauce on, I imagine most kids have not heard or give a flying fuck about this old tune. He throws a little electronic garnish at the end and he successfully makes the tune his own.
YTD recordings listened to: 90
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 50
Not good music: 37
Honorable Mentions: 1
Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Guy One