@@@ April: Mean it in the Morning (Vision, 2020) Opening with an intimate clean, soul jazz type guitar part and then comes April with a LOT of reverb on her voice. This is spacious, maybe too spacious, I might fall in my headphones and not be able to get back out. That would be fucked up. A second guitar and a keyboard but no drums and I think I might need some drums to anchor the sounds. April’s voice is all right and she’s doing a modern urban/r&b type thing melodically. I find the blend of sounds interesting and the crunchy ending is interesting while being a bit befuddling at the same time.
@@@ Nicole Atkins: Domino (Single Lock Records, 2020) She starts out with a classic Michael Jackson reminiscent beat and then brings in some disco rock groove sounds. At least two guitar tracks cuttin’ back and forth flitting around Atkins’ smooth and dreamy voice. There’s a shaker up in here and that makes me wanna make the call for the cowbell, they shoulda tried to slip some more cowbell in. I like the tune but I could use some more stuff to listen to, some changes to the guitar riff or the sound, a change to the beat, it sort of establishes itself and lets her do her thing, but I don’t think she’s so captivating that a bit more garnish and details couldn’t be provided.
@@@ Human Snake: 1978 (Post Present Medium, 2020) We switch gears out of the female singer/songwriter disco thing to an angular punky rawk flow. A female singer that has definitely heard Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth hit the microphone. An excellent bass sound, thick and not buzzy but substantial. These guys straddle indie-math-krautrock avenues which is not my favorite neighborhood. If they shot a syringe full of Red Bull into the singer’s eyeball and completely lost their shit I’d more likely be up in here. I’m giving a quick listen to the second track and they do break out of the midtempo slackness — the singer is doing the same thing which is cool but they come closer to poppin’ off. Also has some Minutemen feels as well, that’s cool.
@@@ Genevieve Artadi: Living Like I Know I’m Gonna Die (Brainfeeder, 2020) Pretty heavy title, we’ll see how it rolls out and if it’s convincing. It begins with abstract electronic sounds, fat pillow synths, and then intimate vocalizations by Artadi. Intimate in terms of distance to your ears, not intimate as in bodies and fornicating. There is a subtle bedroom funk flow here that I dig but I’m not a huge fan of these synth sounds. I really like the bass part, but I could use some more funk in the beats. I say allow what’s great in the bass to flow out and into the rhythms to pump it up. This is the very definition of a mixed bag. Some really strong parts — some parts I don’t connect with.
YTD recordings listened to: 410
Good music, not list worthy: 212
Not good music: 185
Honorable Mentions: 0
Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, 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, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge, Nico Gomez, Nohe and Sus Santos, schroothoop, Tiny Bit of Giant’s Blood