@@@ Zola Jesus: The Fall (Sacred Bones, 2022) The video clipped below is the second track of the record. It opens with a slow piano chord progression before a medium processed vocalist enters. The vibe here is mad dramatical, a bit dark with big vocals at certain points, big drums/rhythms at other points, it’s an emotional roller coaster! There are mainstream pop production values going on here and it’s a bit interesting but overall I’m a bit against the big dramas, I don’t need it myself and I view it somewhat as a drug and not a core part of a listening experience. I’m letting the player click through and it’s the same combo platter of piano, electronic flourishes, and epic vocal aspirations. On the whole I’m agnostic.
@@@ Automatic: New Beginning (Stones Throw, 2022). There’s a whole spiel for this record on Apple Music and it revolves around the mainstreaming of punk rock into New Wave whenevs that happened. I get that once the first song proper kicks in, but the surprising thing here is the sleepytime vocal feels going here. It’s got that brisk rock drumming, simple and insistent bass playing, two big signifiers of the New Wave state of mind. The second tune bites ELO’s tune ‘Don’t Bring Me Down’ pretty hard — that’s not a great sign. It’s not for me to say what a proper homage to New Wave would look like, that would be quite fascistic. This works okay for me, but it doesn’t make me jump and down. I think it could use more energy, more giddyup. I want to jump and down.