Monday, August 30, 2021

Yola: Stand For Myself (Album of the Week)

The sweet buttered soul of Yola's third record, Stand For Myself, is my choice for this week's Album of the Week. In many ways, it reminds me of Ray Charles's experiment with country-ish sounds. That must be why iTunes lists it as a country album. 

The album, of course, is much more diverse than that. I hear strands of disco, yacht rock, and even southern rock. Check out the range on these three tracks.

This is a contender for Album of the Year!

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Wavves: Hideaway

San Diego's own Wavves are back with their seventh long-player and it's a breath of fresh air for end of summer listening. Hideaway is an indie-pop gem. I'm so glad there are still groups out there making music like this!

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Jeff Lorber Fusion: Space-Time

Fusion jazz has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. Yes, it sounds like the music you hear when you check your local forecast on The Weather Channel. But it also has a distinctly 80s vibe to it that brings me back to the days of my youth. And it's just chill. 

Jeff Lorber has been fully committed to the genre for six decades. His latest, Space-Time, dished up more of the same wholesome goodness. Here is the title track.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Leon Bridges: Gold-Diggers Sound (Album of the Week)

The incomparable Leon Bridges continues to make truly amazing music. His latest offering, Gold-Diggers Sound, has an 80s vibe to it and that's on top of his magnificent soul sound. The Atlanta superstar delves deeply into romance on this record and it truly warms the heart. 

Here is an example...

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Chet Faker: Hotel Surrender

Melbourne's own Chet Faker is a treasure of the world. His fourth record, Hotel Surrender, dropped last month and it's been in constant rotation at my house. The chill vibe is perfect for those late August blues.

Here is the opening track...

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Inhaler: It Won't Always Be Like This

Dublin's own Inhaler has debuted their first long-player and it is a corker! It Won't Always Be Like This has some strains of that other great band from Dublin while still retaining its own personality, 21st-century version. It brings one's mind to some interesting places. 

Here is one of my favorite tracks...

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Clairo: Sling

Atlanta's own Clairo sophomore effort, Sling, has been marinating with me for the past few weeks so I thought I would give it a shout out. If there was ever a legit heir to Joni Mitchell, it would be Clairo. In fact, if Joni had started making music a few years ago, she would sound like Clairo. 

Listening to her music is like listening to a wispy dream at the end of a warm, summer day....

Monday, August 16, 2021

Nicole Atkins: Live At The Turf Club (Saturday August 14, 2021)

My first show back after the lockdown was Nicole Atkins last Saturday night at The Turf Club in St. Paul. What an absolute stunner of a show! If you get a chance to catch her as she travels around the country, most definitely see this show.

Atkins does a fantastic job with style range throughout her show. She weaves in her older, Brill building stuff with her new, "AM Radio in 1979" chestnuts from the new record, Italian Ice

Atkins has a quite charming stage presence and engages the audience with various activities like slow dance contests and advice on where to hang out for fun in whatever town she is in. 

"AM Gold" and "Domino" were the two standouts for me from the show. Of course, those are my favorite tracks on the record so that's a bias. But they were both just fantastic to see live. 

The track she really nailed was "Captain." At several points in the song, I admit I welled up from its sheer beauty. It's that fucking good. This song seriously captures all that is the amazing wonder of Nicole Atkins

Please go see her live!!

Son Volt: Electro Melodier (Album Of the Week)

Belleville, Illinois's own Son Volt is back with a fantastic new record called Electro Melodier. There is definitely more rock on this album than alt-country. Perhaps Jay Farrar and the lads want to stretch their legs a bit. Regardless, it's 14 tracks of Son Volt goodness...

Here is one of my favorite tracks...

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Willow: Lately I Feel Everything

Willow Smith is a massive talent from a family of massive talents. That's a lot of pressure but, like her brother, she rises to the occasion and engages in Everest-like conquest. 

I'll admit I'm biased because she's playing my styles of music (alternative, pop-punk, psych-pop). Her latest record, Lately I Feel Everything, is a stunning achievement of diversity regardless of what type of music you like.

Here is the opening track...

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

The Go! Team: Get Up Sequences Part One

If you were a game show host from the 1970s or starting your own variety show around that time, the latest record from Brighton's own The Go! Team would be a perfect soundtrack. Get Up Sequences Part One is filled with upbeat, magnificent crowd-pleasers. 

The first track has me looking for Dean Martin in 1973.

Monday, August 9, 2021

Durand Jones and the Indications: Private Space (Album of the Week)

Soul music is my lifeblood. I listen to it every day and it doesn't matter what era, old or new. 

The recent resurgence of Soul has made me very happy. Leading that charge is Bloomington, Indiana's own Durand Jones And The Indications. Their third long-player, Private Space, is out now and it has every little thing I love about soul music including a most welcome step into the 70's era of this genre.

Here is one of my favorite tracks...

Sunday, August 8, 2021

John Grant: Boy From Michigan

Michigan's own John Grant is back with a "days of yore" stunner of a record called Boy From Michigan. The nostalgia of this record really packs a punch and reminds me of my time growing up across the way in Wisconsin. In terms of musical style, it's very synth heavy but that's just fine because it goes quite well with the theme of the record. 

Here is the title track...

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Bobby Gillespie and Jehnny Beth: Utopian Ashes

It's quite nice to see Primals frontman Bobby Gillespie delving into cinematic music with French artist  Jehnny Beth. Utopian Ashes is a true revelation for 2021 even though it sounds like it came out in the late 60s or early 70s, direct from some smoky Italian cafe. 

Here is the opening track. Put on your sunglasses...

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Snapped Ankles: Forest Of Your Problems

London's own Snapped Ankles recently released their fourth LP, Forest of Your Problems. It's been marinated with me for over a month and it's now officially at deep soak. I've often wondered what Joy Division would have sounded like if they had been making records today and this is it. An absolute corker of a record.

Here is the opening and title track...

Monday, August 2, 2021

Prince : Welcome 2 America (Album of the Week)

Our favorite son Prince has released a vault record from 2010 called Welcome 2 America. A far superior record to his other release that year (2010), this latest release is eerily prophetic. It describes a world where race relations are at an all-time low, people of color essentially live in poverty, violence and fear and the USA is a really, really dark place.

This is the kind of honesty we need right now.