This week marks my five year anniversary in covering music officially. With that I want to say it's been a wild ride and I've met so many amazing humans by doing this and I'm thankful for every moment I get to make some art and enjoy other's art. Here are the albums that struck me this week.
Some artists change over a long period of time, some never change, and some do a drastic change. Caroline Rose's latest Loner is a drastic change and it works wonderfully. I love that she starts off the album with "More of the Same" as a tongue in cheek nod to the transformation she has gone through and what people's expectations of her are. This album couldn't be anything farther from the singer-songwriter rockabilly infused record that she first burst on to the scene almost a half-decade ago. There are a lot of synths and strange interesting vocals scattered through the record. "Money" is wild mix of low-fi garage production and punk rock attitude, it is just beautiful. "To Die Today" is a dark romp groove infused song that you might think the album changed at the mid-way point. She really has put quite a collection of songs together and I really enjoyed this new look Caroline is giving all of us. Having seen her live, this feels like more of an extension of that and when an artist makes their records sound more like their live show, usually very few complaints can be given.
He's going to kill me, but I really want to try and highlight local Upstate New York acts in both the albums and the singles each week. I love this area of the country and there is lots of great music coming out. Asa Morris recorded the all acoustic album Attempts straight into a tape deck on his own this month. He is trying to write and record a new collection every month. He is two for two so far this year. I absolutely love when he harmonizes with himself throughout the record. It's possible these songs will become something more than they are already with one of his bands, but to be honest I love all five of them in this setting as they breathe here in a way that a full band would take away. "Every Cork in the Trash" is a just a beautifully stunning song. The whole thing goes by in a flash, leaving you wanting more, but you're going to have to wait for next month.
When you've been around for the 30 years, the m.o. is that you don't put out work that is going to be talked about in the same word as your earlier work. Well somehow Superchunk did it and it might be because of the times we are in and we need some angry punk music, but What a Time to Be Alive is fantastic. The songs were written between the last election and a year ago this month. The foursome are angry, fed up, confused, and looking for answers. They call on the youth of today, who might just hear this new record, to take over and right the ship that is this country. There really hasn't been proper protest music yet, so Superchunk has made the closest thing to that yet. Maybe this will light a fire under some younger bands to create something in a similar vein.