Friday, June 30, 2023

Jack Shears: Last Man Dancing

Jack Shears is back with another magnificent record of dancing pop fun. Last Man Dancing nails the height of disco in the mid to late 1970s perfectly. Juxtaposed with this are all the usual nods to Elton John, clearly a hero of Shears. 

Here is the title track...

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Jonathan Bree: Pre-Code Hollywood

New Zealand's own Jonathan Bree has a new record out called Pre-Code Hollywood. Of his solo stuff, it's easily his best and it's comforting to see that the baroque pop of the new wave era is still going strong. Bree handles this style with aplomb and continues to inspire me to dig out my makeup and old goth outfits!

Here is the title track...

Monday, June 26, 2023

Beach Fossils: Bunny (Album of the Week)

The sun-soaked sounds of Brookly's own Beach Fossils are this week's choice for album of the week. Bunny is the outfit's fourth long player and its jangly guitars and echo-y vocals are just perfect for summer listening.

You can practically feel the sun and wind in your hair with the top down...

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Simply Red: Time

The blue eyed soul of Simply Red holds a special place in my heart. The Manchester band's first record (Picture Book) came out my freshmen year in college, just a couple of weeks after I moved to Minneapolis. It echoed out of every dorm room up and down Middlebrook Hall. Every record since that time has been magic, SOUL magic.

Their latest is called Time and continues their tradition of tapping in to that which makes us human.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Cowboy Junkies: Such Ferocious Beauty

Toronto's own Cowboy Junkies are still going strong as they approach their 40th anniversary as a band in just a couple of years. Their latest is Such Ferocious Beauty and it honestly lives up to its title. This record is gorgeous from start to finish in all of its ten tracks.


Monday, June 19, 2023

The Foo Fighters: But Here We Are (Album of the Summer)

With summer officially arriving on Wednesday, it's time for my choice for Album of the Summer. This year, the honor goes to The Foo Fighters. Their new record is called But Here We Are and it's easily their best album since Wasting Light. The power pop hooks are so completely intoxicating that I found myself openly weeping at how perfect they were. 


And then the power ballads...just shivering now:)

O...M...G, Dave Grohl. You are an amazing human who makes music that hits my 16-year-old self in 1983. 

I expect to hear this album being played out of every car, blu tooth, and portable music player this summer!

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Arlo Parks: My Soft Machine

The beauty of Arlo Parks is truly a treasuer for the world. Her latest record is called My Soft Machine and it's a cornucopia of pop, soul, synth, and psychedelia. The London native continue to amaze me with her craft and artistry. 

Listening to each track makes one hear the care she puts in to every detail...

Thursday, June 15, 2023

(G)I-Dle: I Feel EP and Enhypen: Dark Blood EP

My students (mostly Hmong Americans) got me into K Pop a few years ago and I still find myself digging the sound. The two releases I've been into lately are (G)I-Dle's I Feel EP and Enypen's Dark Blook EP

The (G)I-Dle's EP has a slinky, soul feel to it that reminds me a lot of Motown. Check it out...

The Enhypen EP is mos def more pop but massively infectious with all its hooks.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Califone: Villagers

Many amazing things come from my second favorite city on the planet and Califone is one of them. The Chicago outfit has a fab new record out called Villagers and I highly recommend it for heavy rotation in your life. It has their usual boundary-stretching sound with the added bonus of some soul and acoustic pastorals.

Here is the opening track...

Monday, June 12, 2023

Noel Gallagher: Council Skies (Album of the Week)

The god-like genius that is Noel Gallagher has just released his latest record and it somehow manages to be incredibly dark and uplifting at the same time. Council Skies truly is a dour affair. Example...

Yet knowing that someone else feels like this creates a sense of community that simply makes one's spirits soar. We are all together and not alone! 

This sentiment is the most present in the title track...

Honestly, I can take dark music. Noel is simply reflecting on what's going on in the world and how we are all affected by it. Serious tunes for serious times...

Friday, June 9, 2023

Paul Simon: Seven Psalms

Paul Simon is a true gift to the universe and his latest record, Seven Psalms, is a big reminder why and how. It's a beautiful testament to his songwriting ability as well as his gifts with a simple acoustic guitar. Simon says the ideas for each of the seven pieces (which form one whole movement to be listened to in one sitting) came to him in a series of dreams.

Divine inspiration?

Monday, June 5, 2023

Yes: Mirror To The Sky (Album of the Week)

London's Yes is still going strong in their seventh decade of making fine, fine art rock. Their latest is called Mirror To The Sky and it is stellar in a massive cosmic journey sort of way.

The current lineup of Jon Davison (vocals), Steve Howe (guitars), Billy Sherwood (bass), Geoff Downes (keyboards), and Jay Schellen (drums) hit the mark perfectly with that signature Yes sound with even some "Asia-ish" stuff thrown in. 

Here is the opening track...

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Sleep Token: Take Me Back To Eden

Sleep Token are quite the force of nature these days with their third album of emo metal just dropping. Take Me Back To Eden is a deep, power dive into a fairly dark pool of emotion.Yet somehow I feel happy when I listen to it. These London lads have down well.

Opening track...