We are a month into highlighting music of the year and I couldn't be happier doing this. Some of you have messaged me and thanked me, either for highlighting your band or discovering some new music. I'm happy to do it and hope it continues to grow. Onto the tunes!
All hail Courtney Barnett and her return with "Nameless, Faceless". She is one of the most gifted songwriters and guitar players in the game today and both are on full display. Fresh from her tours with Kurt Vile and Jen Clother, she's ready to go back at the solo game. She is taking aim at men and how fragile they are today. She's not afraid to strike the current talk of the day and does it beautifully. To say I'm excited about hearing the rest of this album would be the understatement of the year. Thanks for coming back with new tunes Courtney!
Oh man the latest from Drinks, the collaboration between Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley, has the feeling of an obscure David Bowie or Lou Reed track. The weird guitar sounds mixed with a tempo that goes against the vocals just oozes that mid-70's I don't give a fuck attitude that Bowie and Reed had. I'm very much hoping the entire album, which comes out April 20th, sounds like "Real Outside", because if so we have a big winner here. The way they recorded the album, in an old stone mill in the middle of France, is fascinating enough to get me hooked, but oh man I cannot get this tune out of my head.
A new single is out from my friends in The Parlor titled "Soon". The video and song are absolutely gorgeous. While the song represents a lot of pain and grief from their life, the music is very uplifting. The contrast of the lyrics of constantly looking for something ("Saying soon, but it never comes") and the instrumentation that feels right out of a dream is done to perfection. The video shows mostly Jen trying to reclaim a sense of self in the light and the water. The album is out April 13th and I cannot wait for it. Enjoy the new single.
This week also signaled the return of Beach House with "Lemon Glow". All the psychedelia all the time from these two. A lot of pulsating sounds and synthesizers dominate this track as Victoria's vocals are layered upon each other relentlessly. If you watch the video enough times in a row you might just get lost in the void that this song creates, and I would not be one to complain about that. Hopefully we get some more tracks as soon as possible.
Oh man Dr. Dog, who I would have said I'm not a huge fan of before these last two tracks have come out because I hadn't listened to much of them, hit it out of the park again. This time with "Go Out Fighting". The music has some wild Hammond B3 all over it and has a wild guitar solo near the end of the song. This song is true to it's name and is a call to arms to keep fighting the good fight until the end. I definitely have to back track on these guys, and with almost 20 years of material at this point, I have a lot of catching up to do. Do not sleep on them as I have for so long.
Willie Nelson is still going strong at 84, soon to be 85, and his new album Last Man Standing is coming out the right before his birthday this year. He released the first single, the title track, this week it's a fun romp. A lot of his peers have passed recently and he talks about them through the song and jokes about not wanting to be the last one standing, but then again why not me. Take a listen and enjoy some real country music.
Jouska returned this week with "tummy/legs" that is set to come out with their new album later this Spring. Jouska is both Albany and Philly based and is starting to make some noise in the music world, with Stereogum premiering the track. Doug is one of the most talented songwriters from the area and this track is just another display of it. The music is tremendous and goes through a few phases during the six minute plus track. I think the band are in for a big push this year and you should hop on board sooner than later.
I dont know how I missed this for so long, but oh man is this single from Fruition amazing. The song is "I'll Never Sing Your Name" and the video is just as wild as the song. The song and video both look like they came out of the San Francisco Acid Test days. It's just a non-stop fun song with amazing harmonies and the music is just second to none and will get you up dancing right away. If not, I don't know what to tell you, haha.