@@@ No Age: Feeler (Drag City, 2020) Off last week’s All Music notable release email. The label Drag City sits towards the top of the indie rock mountain with extreme preciousness and this comes out as a ramped up Pavement slack rock thing. Pleasantly blustery with a lot of drums and guitars. I’m attracted to the rocking energy and the hipster wail but I wouldn’t mind a new sound or new place or something to make me pay attention. It’s super well done with really nice guitar sounds so given what we have here this is for the hardcore indie heads.
@@@ Naeem: You and I (37d03d, 2020) A pretty jarring record cover with a black dude darkened/dipped/coated in what could be anything. It opens with a lot of voices, intimate vibes, fears and feeling vulnerable that’s what I hear. I really like the singer as he switches feels frequently — he sounds a bit like Prince mashed up with Billie Holiday. It is slotted as hip hop on Apple Music but I hear black church singing, Hendrix style guitars, but not a lot of hip hop so I will peep some snippets of a couple of other tracks. The second tune gets into more standard rhyming, still very emotionally focused with a sprinkle of Prince and now we’ve switched over to some a very new but not quite trap formula. Wow, I dig the freshness of this, sonically it’s got some really nice elements working together. I guess Naeem had a big release in 2006 and this is his first record in 9 years. Imma swing back on this, it’s got a lot of the things I want to hear in a record.
@@@ Drug Store Romeos: Quotations For Locations (UMG, 2020) Coming out it a bit indie, a bit electro, and a little mainstream. Intimate vocal style and video game synths stand out before the drum machine comes in and she throws in some chill sounds in the back that make you crave the pool floatie and the oxycontin. For a major label offering this is surprisingly not cheesy. I must say Imma bit shocked. Some nice arrangements of solid sounds with big ups to the bass player and the sound that comes with it. I like the vocalist well enough because she keeps this sound under control. Lyrically I don’t find myself engaged, maybe a bit abstract for my tastebuds.
@@@ Melanie C: Blame it On Me (Red Girl, 2020) A former Spice Girl comes back with a dancefloor banger. They put a diva reverb patch on her voice and she is presented as the central component. Her voice is all right, she’s not a diva but she is a former Spice Girl. It’s a relationship dancefloor banger as she’s singing about toxic masculinity and the vocal hook is a tongue in cheek ‘why don’t you just blame it on me?’ as if anybody volunteers for being blamed. The sounds are not quite canned but they’re pretty standard and I’m guessing that’s purposeful. She’s a mainstream musician so they’re going to aim her music at mainstream listeners. I could use more funk, a guitar maybe, and just some freshness. This is more a Dunkin Donut donut than a cronut and I’m a fan of cronuts.
YTD recordings listened to: 472
Good music, not list worthy: 240
Not good music: 209
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, Pole, Naeem