@@@ Matchess: Through the Wall (Drag City, 2022) This is a 2 track drone record I found on this week’s All Music notable release email. 2 18 minute bangers and the first one (the second one is clipped below) comes in super slowly. I’m about 3 minutes in and it’s barely happening, a slightly oscillating tone. I dig it. At 6:30 there’s more (not a ton!) going on, a little squiggly thing and a metallic rhythm but barely there and barely rhythming. A distinctly Scottish/UK/Irish melody starts coming in ‘roun 8+ minutes so we’re on the map with drone + melody. Just under 11 minutes and there has been some guitar chord progressions (just barely) and around 5 minutes from the end it starts to wind down and return to a full drone state of mind. I didn’t expect that middle part with melodies and what sounded like a guitar but I liked it, it chilled shit out.
@@@ Modern Studies: Sink Into (Fire, 2022) Today’s listens are off last week’s All Music notable release email. What’s most notable about this track is how a distorted bass works beneath a pretty big multi-/male/female voice arrangement. After that it’s a big rock drummer so the whole thing produces a proggy feel — intricate vocal melodies over a rock undercarriage. As far as I’m concerned, meh, the vocals are bit art school for me, I prefer straight fury but hey, that’s how I roll. Lemme check one more track here before I tip to the next listen. The second tune is the same formula which is fine if you dig the formula. Me, I’m meh, as discussed
@@@ Shovels & Rope: Domino (Dualtone, 2022) I can’t remember how I got to these two listens today but here we have lesson in contrast. Here the vocals are driving the track, lots of energy with a multi-voice/male/female combination on the microphone. A super straight rock beat accompanies this glam-theatrical type energy. There’s a woo woo section with a slashing guitar and I like that. It’s a modern, un-sleazy Rocky Horror Picture show thing. Lemme check another track and see how that one goes down. I will fully acknowledge that Imma bigly moved by high energy. The second tune opens rock anthem acoustic guitar style, let’s see if throws down from here. It doesn’t blow out tempo wise but it does wail a bit more and somebody is up in there with the power chords and the piano pounding. I’m not a huge rock guy but these guys are all right. A funkier drummer and I would be much more into this.
@@@ Trupa Trupa: Twitch (Glitterbeat, 2022) I got to this artist via the 10 most reviewed Pitchfork albums email I get each week. I’m listening to the third tune on the record and it’s a stormy rock thing with an aloof, barely singing type singer — he’s kind of shouting, it’s minimalist and you’ll recognize the style when you hear it. I like the drummer and the vibe while being agnostic on the singer. Krautrock, or kraut-y rock has always been a stretch for me but if you dig it, have at it.
@@@ ANO NOBO QUARTET: The Strings Of Sao Domingos (Ostinato, 2022) I got to this record via the good folks at WRIR in Virginia. There are two pre-release tracks up on Apple Music and I’m checking out the one clipped below. It’s a traditional thing with all acoustic stringed instruments and there’s a chill, conservative flow to the track. They get into a groove constructed from the rhythms of each player and just pitch in and dig. I like it but could use a bit more action. There’s a brief spoken part and then it finishes up.
@@@ Catseye – Catseye (Voluntary In Nature, ) I set up this blog post last week without putting in how I got to this track and now I can’t find the record up on Apple Music and I have to resort to a Google search to get some sense of this person is and what the label is. It’s a female rock track a la late ’70s George Harrison type stuff. Strummed acoustic guitar with chill slide guitar over the top, another melodic instrument and no drums and yearning vocals. It’s a 7+ minute banger so it takes its time and it does have a retro charm, especially the vulnerable vocal delivery and a lack of concern for jumping up and down for the listener. Ah, this is a remastered track from 1973, that explains so much and why I dug it, it’s from another time and place!! If you’re up for some pre space rock space rock this is pretty interesting and engaging. I wish I could pass along more information regarding the artist but I could not turn anything up.
@@@ Dan-Georges Mckenzie – Uitamui (Musique Nomade, 2022) I got to this via CFUV out in Vancouver. I was expecting some solo acoustic business but this track is a full band, adult alternative coffee shop rock track not performed in English, which I love, lemme google this gent. He sings in Innuit which is cool to me. It’s weird to me that indigenous folks would embrace a somewhat cheesy white man’s musical formula but I guess it’s weird that I would prefer something more traditional. There you have it, check it out if you like some friendly rock!!
@@@ Metronomy: I Lost My Mind (Because Music , 2021) I got to this via the Line of Best Fit weekly email. This is some pretty tricked out alternative/mainstream rock with lush production, a slack tempo and some not great sounding acoustic guitar strums. The singer is spacy and I dig him and I like the drummer. The mix and production continue to outshine the material, yowsa a whistle solo and a piano part coming in together for the last third of the track, that’s weird and welcome. We’re back to Elton John ’70s era type rock weirdness here. I thought the outro here was the most original and compelling part of the tune.
@@@ Shannon Clark & The Sugar: The Burden (Self-released, 2021) I got to this indie jam via a music publicist email. This is the 7th track on an eight track record with a male singer, a fair amount of tinkly, shaker-y percussion, and a friendly friendly vibe to the proceedings. No drumkit which lowers the temperature and explains the tinkle shake and hand drum formula, this is post hippie macaroni and cheese for the sad ass generation. I like it without being particularly moved by it. Later on in the song a swelling organ makes an appearance and it sorta doesn’t super work for me. My protest here is not about the sounds, it’s more about the lack of contrast. It’s pretty much all soft/comforting feels here and sometimes I feel something rougher or harder provides much needed sonic contrast.
@@@ Silas Short: Queen of Paisley (Stones Throw, 2022) Line of Best Fit!!! Mr. Short is most definitely being marketed as next generation sensitive soul musician and he surely sports a mainstream smile and vibe from the pics I seen googling him. This is the sixth track on a 7 track effort and it opens with some classic sounds over a pretty pumped drum sound. Minimalist and pumped. Short comes in and he’s got a gentle voice that matches the flow they’re marketing. I like the chorus, it’s ultra lush but without gimmicks and some super simple background vocals panned out wide. This is built sturdy. It’s not a revolutionary formula so the sounds and the arrangement really matter here in terms of making an impression. I’m going to check the first track to see if this vibe is present throughout or if this is an outlier. Yeah it’s a black hippie flow and he does a really good job with it. I like how high he has the beats so it’s got some spank to it. There’s also a fair amount of guitar work and a lot of keyboard/synth driven soul/r&b leaves me wanting more. I’ve sampled parts of four tracks and you can hear he’s a bit young but there’s a charm to what he’s got going on. It’s organic, I dig the guitar playing, and the beats are classic — I think they’re drum loops but I’m not 100% on this.
@@@ ADULT: Fools (We Are) (Dais, 2022) I got to this dark dancefloor no wave compound music blend via a shout on the Twatter. I guess they’ve been around for a long while while having a new record coming out. First off it sounds like it’s a ramped up Frankie Goes to Hollywood glam dance thingy. Lots of percussion layers in here which I dig, it’s the bass and the sort of showboating vocals that I don’t cotton to. Dollars to donuts if this had a funky bassline I would be feeling it much much more. I’m guessing two very different folks made the beats and then made the rest of the arrangement as the rhythm is quite pumping and kinda sophisto but the bass and the vocals are this draggy punk whiny business. I’m checking out the second pre-release call We Are Nothing and that mindset is up in here for sure. Funkier bass here, lots of delays splintering off the bass and the beats and I dig that. Let’s see how they vocalize this. The vocals are more interesting to me and I like the sirens but overall it’s got this we are nothing, everything sucks vibe to it and meh.
@@@ Etuk Ubong: Ekpo Mmommom (Night Dreamer, 2020) I got to this via a tweet from bandcamp via the Twatter. Slotted as jazz on Apple Music, Ubong is a trumpet player and this track, the opener on a record called Africa Today is a thick slab of rhythm and melody driven by an excellent organ sound which is church-y, high in the mix, and pretty unique to African music I’ve heard. The drummer is on fleek, super full of energy and bringing a few arena rock fills in his backpack. Fusion-y bass and big horn lines though thicker and not super brassy in the mix. I stayed for the beginning of the second track African struggle and it is smokin’. Faster tempo, congas pumpin’, space organ this time, and more intricate horn lines. These guys (and maybe gals what do I know) can play!!! Check it out.
@@@ Frank Turner: The Gathering (Polydor, 2022) I got to this via a music publicist email. Classic UK/Irish pub punk that’s been added to with cock rock and big So Cal singalong choruses. Turner is a veteran and he has no trouble working the microphone and keeping up with this bombastic and not so simple pump it up punk. Fairly big guitar solo and a lot of vocal tracks here. It works fine as a technical achievement but does detract a bit from the fuck it and let’s get on with it attitude. After reading Turner’s bio it’s clear he doesn’t hew to any one genre/sound/style as he started in post-hardcore and then went acoustic. So that explains the blend of sounds up in here, he don’t give a fuck which I respect. The song is meant to rouse and I would find it more rousing if it was a bit more stripped down.
@@@ Jeremy Pinnell: Red Roses (Sofaburn, 2022) I really liked Pinnell’s debut record in 2014 so I thought I would check out this release. It’s more of a straight ahead country rock thing when I remember his debut record being a master class in lonesome country business. The second tune, I Wanna Do Something, is also very straight in beat as well as guitar and bass. Pinnell’s voice has always been a draw for me, he’s got a soulful thing going for sure. The third track (clipped below) is a slow burner and while I dig him, this is just a bit too straight and pickup truck for my taste. I thought I was being a picky bitch but I just put on his debut called Oh/Ky and it’s some slinky country badassitude, it works for me bigly. It’s a funky extension of the country music tradition folks should check out.
@@@ Jaleel Shaw: Echoes (Changu, 2021) The record starts out with an extended solo sax section and right off the bat, beautiful tone with interesting and energetic playing. To go back and hit the first thing I usually do, I got to this via the Twatter which is a weird and sometimes interesting way to see what records are floating around out there. I was hoping for a band but I’m on the third tune and it’s a solo sax record and a very very good one at that. Shaw is quick witted as well as super skilled with his instrument. I enjoyed the tune ‘Improvisation for Mom’ most of what I heard but man Mr. Shaw can play.
@@@ Henrik Jonzon: Blood On My Clothes (Self-released, 2022) I got to this track via an email from the artist. I’m super nice to musicians. I can’t find this track on Apple Music so you will be satisfied by a GooglePimpTube listen. It will be so! This is a polished indie guitar rock banger that is truer to the spirit of the classics in the verse and then pops out in the chorus with a few more layers of background vocals. No slackness here and a lot of lyrics about skateboarding and friendships and relationships, I could be wrong on the skateboarding part. It’s a very familiar formula from the clean guitar picking to the straight beat but Jonzon pulls it off really well. I’m going out guessing that lyrically he’s comparing loving someone else to riding a bike and crashing it but still loving riding a bike. Or a skateboard.