Music for 12/7/22!!! Kojey Radical, Oliver Sim

@@@ Kojey Radical: Born (Warner Music UK, 2022) A coupla listens off the Guardian’s best of 22 50-41 releases. I’m looking at a bio of Mr. Radical and he’s British though I’m getting some African feels as well. That’s not mentioned in his bio. The sounds here are laidback funk/hip hop — smooth, goes down easy, maybe a tad softer than what I would prefer. Lots of guests on this album, I’m guessing all grime-y UK figures. His tone is very similar to Kendrick Lamar, a little gravelly, pleasant with some grit. I’m giving a quick listen to the second track Together and it is much closer to George Clinton than the video clipped below.

@@@ Oliver Sim: Hideous (N/A, 2022) Opens up with a chintzy drum machine beat followed by a deep voiced guy doing a slow burn spiel about his own personal ugliness hence the title Hideous. About 1:45 a second male singer comes in and he’s hideous too I guess. Then a string part, synth string I think to a slightly cranked up drum machine and we are in full emotional engagement mode. I give it props for being a different kind of drama banger but it’s not really my thing.

Music for 12/6/22!!! Gilla Band, oso oso

@@@ Gilla Band: Backwash (Rough Trade, 2022) Two songs from two records off Pitchfork’s top 100 songs of 2022. I’m not sure I’ve heard this record but I’ve heard a few art school spoken word folks over kraut-y angular indie rock formulas. I like the drummer but if I’m going for the subversive spoken word stuff I would rather traffic in Sleaford Mods, those dudes are at least funny and kicking ass. There’s a nice arrangement to this tune, especially towards the middle when they start blasting some pretty hectic noise but I can’t get with the singer. It seems in line with the time that people lose their shit and crank it up but it doesn’t fully explode. I could get with this more if the singer was different and there was a wee bit of swing up in there.

@@@ oso oso: computer exploder (Triple Crown, 2022) If Wilco and Death Cab for Cutie had a lovebaby it would sound like this track. Friendly and slack singer is quite an accomplishment, a bunch of guitar parts and rock drumming. Nice sinewy bassline I like that. I’ve started to listen to a bunch of outlets’ best of the year and I’m reminded how I’m absolutely not an indie listener. The concepts, the feels, the sounds, I don’t hate them but I’m not moved by them. I consider it an issue of passion or lack of passion, or a kind of slack passion I can’t get my head around.

Music for 12/1/22!!! Blood Incantation, Rosalia

@@@ Blood Incantation: Timewave Zero (Stargate Research, 2022) This is a top metal record of the year if you believe the website Vulture. I’m not sure so I’m listening. I may have heard this earlier in the year as it has a distinctly dark ambient feel to it and I remember hearing a metal record like that earlier in the year. Yeah, I’m clicking through the first three tracks and I’m hearing dark ambient stuff and it’s okay but I’d rather hear a dark ambient smashed into metal feels to be honest. I’m guessing the composers of this list do not know of the plethora of great ambient music out there.

@@@ Rosalia: Motomami (Sony, 2022) Some Spanish language electro dancefloor banging off this Vulture list which I think I’m done with. It’s got a little Prince to it, some chanting/piled vocal hooks and I would like it more if it had a groove. Ooops that was quick and we’re onto a tinkly ballad thing. The next track, Diablo, is more fun with a stripped boombaton beat, some glitched/pitch shifted vocals and a clearer funk intention. I like the keyboard vamp, it’s awesome. There’s some creativity at work in this record for sure. I don’t think it’s a best of 2022 bomb for me but I recognize freshness even if it comes from a major label.

Music for 11/21/22!!! Weyes Blood, Fleshwater

@@@ Weyes Blood: Children of the Empire (Sub Pop, 2022) Two listens this morning off this week’s 10 most reviewed albums on Pitchfork. My first impression is that this is a less trick version of Joni Mitchell formulas and vibes. 70s feels delivered in faded rock format, piano driven. I had to click out of that track when it came to the fingersnaps and the tambourine but that’s on me, not on the artist. The next track, Grapevine, is an acoustic guitar track. The full band comes in and it gets big and swirly. I like it, I don’t love it but it’s all right. I could use a bit more energy from the singer and more contrast from the band.

@@@ Fleshwater: The Razor’s Apple (Cloased Casket Archives, 2022) This is the third track on the record and it’s a big rockin’ sound, up in yer face with a female singer, big guitars etc. I’ve switched it out to the first track to see if I cans get some feelings from this — this is a musical formula that’s well worn but I think it’s okay to want a bit more from it. Big rock has been done, if you want me to check out yer slightly grungey big rock hit me with some freshness. I like the drummer but I could use more chaos from the guitar player and the whole outfit. Lose yer shit, I always dig that.

Music for 11/15/22!!! Tenci

@@@ Tenci: Two Cups (Keeled Scales, 2022) Off this week’s 10 most reviewed albums at PItchfork. This record is slotted as folk and you get the guitar arpeggios and a bit of breathy saxophone to open this record. There’s plenty of indie jank in this opener so it’s a combo platter, not straight traditional folk. I like that. It’s got a bit of an orchestral feeling with multiple melodies happening at once. It’s a quick one at the open and then we’re on to the second track, Vanishing Coin. I’m not a huge fan of indie music but I find this interesting, it’s unpredictable and not standard mope. Much more on the dreamy side than on the mope-y side. I don’t have the time to check out a ton of this record as I’m at the beginning of my last podcast push for the year but I’m on the third tune and it’s been all good thus far. Also these ladies can sing, or lady, I don’t know if it’s one or two, nor do I care.

Music for 11/14/22!!! Dawn Richard & Spencer Zahn

@@@ Dawn Richard and Spencer Zahn: Vantablack (Merge, 2022) I’m a big fan of Dawn Richard and I saw this collaboration between her and someone I’ve never heard of. It opens jazz like and ambient with a track called Coral and let’s see where this goes. The sorta New Age-y intro track hopefully will give way to a banger, a dancefloor banger but thus far the second track is spillover from the first track. Oh Lord, I fear there are to be no bangers on this record, it’s thus far chill sitch New Age-y sax playing with a little electro garnish. Color me bummed. I was hoping for some pumped up abstract dancefloor banging and I got was a lousy t-shirt.

Music for 11/10/22!!! Customer, Babehoven

@@@ Customer: Floorboards (Customer HQ, 2022) More the angular ’80s punk than the old school hardcore business. Don’t like the guitar in the verse but the chorus it breaks out into a nice bit. It’s not too much art school for me, but it’s pretty close. Female singer, she’s flat but that’s the gig and she works it up a bit in the chorus. There’s a B side to this single and it’s got more gas in the tank, the drummer is doin’ it for sure. Solid business, not blowing my mind but most of the way to whipping the kind of shitty I enjoy. Nice guitar blastoff in the second half of the second tune.

@@@ Babehoven: Often (Double Double Wammy, 2022) I got to this record via the Twatter, the new and improved Elon Musk Twatter which doesn’t seem that different. This is the last track on the record and it’s a strummed acoustic guitar and mopey singing and then a little epic stuff in the background and then a very nice electric bass line. The bass player is the star here and the singer is kinda letting me down. I know America loves a mopey indie vocalist. Let’s give a quick peep I don’t like sending an opinion out there based on the last track on a record. The opening track also commences with acoustic guitar. This track gets a full drumkit and a slack vibe, so it’s the classics people. Same thing you can love the singer while I’m agnostic.

Music for 11/8/22!!!! Connie Constance, Caity Baser

@@@ Connie Constance: Hurt You (Play it Again Sam, 2022) Two listens off this week’s Line of Best fit email. Slotted as alternative on Apple Music this tracks opens very pop rock with a big crushed drum sound and a rock bass pumping under Constance’s voice. No grunge guitar it’s more of an ’80s sound and no big guitars though we haven’t hit the chorus. This is the way, this is the way that I hurt you. Think Duran Duran but female powered. It’s very manicured and structured which works for a lot of people but less so for me. I’m giving a quick peep to track 5 Mood Hoover because it’s got a nice title. I like this track more than the one clipped below. In the end I like a shitty well whipped and this whips no shitty.

@@@ Caity Baser: X&Y (EMI, 2022) Major label pop music with the vocal hook you’re not my X, you’re my Y. Oy, this track is structured similarly to the track up top but Ms. Constance doesn’t traffic in the cheese that this young lady does. It’s even got a whistle solo. It’s more the junior high lyrics that annoy me. This is a waste of time, some drums, a fat panned bass, and then her. No soul, just sass, and some time I will never get back.

Music for 11/5/22!!! Bill Callahan, Billy Woods

@@@ Bill Callahan: YTILAER (Drag City, 2022) A coupla listens off this week’s Pitchfork’s 10 most reviewed albums of the week. The record opens with a track called First Bird and it’s very reminiscent of Leonard Cohen but with a little ambient garnish in the back of the mix. Then the whole band comes in and it’s plain but completely without pretension which is a plus for me. I like the bass player here, he/she/they catching my ear a whole bunch. Both of the songs I’ve listened to thus far have opened with extensive acoustic guitar stretches which makes the record a blend of singer/songwriter and band rock. The record is meticulously produced and I liked the first track the best, that’s where I’m at.

@@@ Billy Woods: Paraquat ( , 2022) Already having put out one of my favorite albums of the year what could I possibly expect from a second Billy Woods record in 2022? Who wants to be the nasty slut wanting too much? I was listening to the back end of this record last night while I rode the exercise bike and while I wasn’t particularly carried away by the rhyming I realized how much I love the murky and gooey sound of Mr. Woods’ records. The video clipped below is the opening track of the record and it has both grit and Halloween feels. There’s a backwards sample here and a female choir sample that work well together, back and forth like the bellows of an accordion. His music is sonically dense and I appreciate that and his rhyming is intense. I’m liking the front end of this record a whole bunch. It’s hard to tell if I like more than his record from earlier this year as it’s a hefty nugget with plenty going on. His music is most definitely hip hop and gritty but with so much more on top of that so it can be consumed in a buncha ways. Whoever does his sounds rocks it.

Music for 11/3/22!!! The Otolith, Dead Cross

@@@ The Otolish: Sing No Coda (Blues Funeral Recordings, 2022) I’ve been feeling for a bit a bit out of touch with the metal side of town and when I happened upon a best of October list for metal I leapt at the dark opportunity. This is not typical metal as it features two violins. It opens dark with some keyboard action and stringy bass. I like the blend of sounds but I was hoping for some drums. Lemme skip ahead with the hope that I can get the violins and the weird ass keyboards with some drumming. The first tune is a 13 minute banger and I hung for about 1/3 of it and when I clicked to the second tune I was greeted with the familiar crushing of heads. There’s still some violin stuck back in the mix and a female singer and I dig that but it’s horns up ya shittaz! I’m checking out the beginning of the third tune, Ekpyrotic, and it’s the same as the second track. The replacement of lead guitar melodies with violin doesn’t have enough impact on me to make this record stand out. It’s perfectly good metal and I like the singer but I’m not jumping up and down.

@@@ Dead Cross: Heart Reformer (Ipecac, 2022) @@@ Dead Cross: Heart Reformer (Ipecac, 2022) The participation of near legendary Faith No More vocalist Mike Patton automatically pushes this music above a lot of other music. I dig him but I never super understood the genius at work. This is a blend of old school hardcore/metal and a bit of No Wave punk. They are blurbed as a punk supergroup and in this second track I hear plenty of revved up punk feels. I’m on the second track and it’s pretty fiery, I’m feeling it. This feels like it could end up on my honorable mention for 2022 so some other folks who are more into hard music might shit their trousers over this. It’s rough, smartly put together, and conducts itself differently.