@@@ Desire Marea: Tavern Kween (Mute, 2021) Super lush diva style dancefloor bangin’ that I got to via the All Music notable release email. A long intro (including cowbell) that expands out into a pretty straight beat with a lot of percussion layers and some sleek synth sounds and visceral oohs and aaaahs. You are supposed to feel the passion! By the midpoint it’s a thick stew including a small synth horn figure I like a whole bunch, a call and response in the vocals but overriding that for my ears is the straight beat. If it was funkier I would like this track much more. Nice and rare guitar solo, very understated. There’s a lot here I like including the falsetto vocals but the beat, oy the beat. I clicked over to the track You Think I’m Horny which I thought was going to be an over the top booty shaker but is in reality an over the top, super dramatical love song which I like a whole bunch. Its emotional excesses are perfectly framed here and the romantic feels in contrast to the song the title is very creative, imho.
@@@ Ty Segall: Harmonizer (Drag City, 2021) I’ve checked out Ty Segall’s music repeatedly and while I understand that he’s an indie darling I’ve never really felt the genius for myself. This is supposed to be Segall’s synth period and I hear it a bit here but the garnish ends up producing a surprisingly classic rock feel, which in the end is completely appropriate if you think like me that indie rock isn’t much more than a branch of the classic rock tree. Seagall is most definitly an experienced arranger/performer and that’s on full display. He takes a long guitar riff and builds a whole track around it and keeps it fresh and engaging without dulling the mind with repetition. Segall builds a giant outro with multiple guitar tracks and a dance rock beat with synth stabs at the end of the track. Solid B+.
@@@ Mashd N Kutcher: Get on the Beers (Brewery Records, 2020) Stupid and brilliant at the same time — some clown ass down Under spliced up some news broadcast footage about Covid and turned it into a celebration of beer and pub culture all served up over trashy dancefloor banging. Take this seriously, get on the beers, you can’t beat that shit. Classic unt-tss drum machine action, an appearance by the Orange Chaos Pig, and some super fat arena style synth action. Very funny and stupid.
@@@ Hermitude: Don’t Forget Me (Nettwerk, 2021) This is a breezy world music infused dancefloor slider with a G rated hook and a loverboy singer. It’s pretty straightforward with it’s boombaton/reggaeton beat and friendly sounds so I’m going to peep a couple of other tracks. Lots of guest vocalists, mainstream electro sounds, it’s a suburban/normie/cubicle dance thing. Not really for freaks like me.
@@@ Cautious Clay: Deadpan Love (Self-released, 2021) A blend of coffehouse soft rock and r&b type sounds. The standout here is Clay’s voice, he can sing for sure. A snaky melody that he handles really well. I don’t love the guitar tones, they’re just too soft/NPR for my taste and I don’t love the fingersnaps but I like the weird keyboard solo and how there’s a subtle sax threaded through. It’s interesting to see how he’s straddling two sonic worlds as well as two listening worlds here. It’s not my cup of tea but I give respect to the uniqueness of the blend and to his vocal abilities.
@@@ Lucy Dacus: Hot & Heavy (Matador, 2021) An indie darling is Ms. or Mrs. Dacus. First track on the record, opens with a cloudy synth and it’s got a country feel combined with a core indie structure but ultra pimped production which makes it sound much more mainstream. I’m not sure what it’s trying to be — a little female Springsteen epic rock, very little indie outside of the vocal track and lyrics about teenage romance. I’m not feeling connected to either the lyrics or the music. This doesn’t seem particularly inspired or passionate and has a restraint that I find kinda not great. I thought this would be better being an indie darling and all.
@@@ Peach PRC: Symptomatic (UMG, 2021) Low self esteem electro pop with roots in ’80s synth rock. I never understood the downer lyrics with the ultra bubbly pop. Don’t throw out your meds because you had a good day — that’s one of the lines from the chorus. There’s a healthy dose of guitars on this track so it gets medium into rock feels for a mainstream track, and it has a classic MTV rock-dance beat but unfortunately the guitar tones are pretty shit. The star here is Peach. She’s got a big melody in the verse and shoe goes for it in the chorus with a call and response hook around the word symptomatic. She sings all right, don’t like the guitars, hate the beat it makes me want to hang myself. But that’s just me.
@@@ Mykki Blanco: Love Me (Transgressive Records, 2021) From what I can tell from being plugged (unfortunately) into the music media ecosystem Mykki Blanco is going mainstream after being a bad boy of club music/hip hop. He’s got a lot of guests on this record including Big Freedia out of New Orleans who I saw in a really amazing documentary last year — check that out if you can. The video below is a 808 clap type track, a morning booty track typa thing. I don’t love the rhythm but Blanco exudes energy and identity on the microphone, he really just airs it out. I think Blanco is a he but I don’t want to assume. Imma check out his Big Freedia track and then move on. ‘That’s folks’ is a power track with an ominous piano part and a section where they shout out tons of their people as well as stuff like ‘truancy, that’s folks’. The sounds are current and a pretty uncommon mash of hip hop and dancefloor business.
@@@ Eloise: Wanderlust (AWAL, 2021) Don’t know if this is going to morph into the romantic soul/dreamy jazz that the Apple Music blurbs but this track is an acoustic guitar/vocal thing. I like the bedroom production sound; they bring in some chill keyboards to start building so maybe there will be a cheese bomb at some point. I appreciate the tastefulness of the keyboards and how it never builds to some explosive crescendo. It’s a chill sitch, mainstream and well done. Imma check the kickoff track and see if she uses the same formula. It’s not the same it’s confessional bedroom soul with laidback drum machine beats, finger snaps, but a really nice oscillating keyboard part. Well produced, romantic lyrics, this is for people with jobs.
@@@ Hope Tala: Mad (EMI/Republic, 2021) Opens up with a Brazilian beat put into a drum machine but a club four on the floor kick drum. Tala comes in with the dreamy business with lyrics about how somebody is driving her mad. She may be driven mad but she remains remarkably composed while it’s happening. This is the most restrained tearing of the hair out that you will witness this summer. I like the Brazilian drum beat, after that it’s all right.