No introductions this week. I'm in the middle of moving and things got crazy. I will be putting albums and singles together this week. Next week look for seperate ones again. Let's get right to it with Natalie Prass and her latest "Short Court Style". At first there was something about it I couldn't latch onto, but on repeat listens I was hooked. Her vocals dance above the funky 70's bass lines that propel the song forward. It's a new direction for her, and I think that is what stopped me for a moment, but yeah this track is a killer.
I know Jack White released "Over and Over and Over" this week, but I finally got around to listen to "Respect Commander" and it floored me. The song has an ominous guitar line over it that comes into the foreground many times and then retreats before finally just going wild at the end. The new album coming out later this month as him exploring a lot of new sounds, and this song starts and stops and goes to some Pink Floyd territory before veering into a blues tune before going all out again. I haven't been blown away by everything from the album, but I am certainly looking forward to hearing it as a whole piece.
Like I've said in past weeks, I want to highlight local smaller bands and this week it's Northern Faces and their release of "Firecracker". These guys have been working hard on the new record and this is the second single from it. A few guitar chords bring us to the first lyrics of the song and the call and response that goes on gets stuck right in your head and you can't help but bop along to it. Then a completely break down and jam happens out of nowhere. The combination of the two are just a perfect chemistry for this song to become a hit for these guys. 2018 should be a strong year for the band.
When I see certain names in emails or recommendations from friends of bands, sometimes I have to take a double take and make sure of what I'm seeing or being told. This happened with a group called Potatohead People this week. They have a new song titled "Quest For Love" that is just a funky groovy track. It's really laid back and you can just be absorbed and be put under it's trance. The rest of the record is out in mid-May and should be perfect for the nice weather that should be happening then.
Up first is Andrew W.K. with You're Not Alone. If Andrew W.K. knows one thing, it is how to party. Now for him partying can be sitting at home watching television, going out and raging with friends, seeing a movie, eating a fancy dinner, making new music, painting, or pretty much anything else in the world. He has constantly told everyone for the last decade plus that if you're doing something that makes you happy, you're partying. With all that said, his latest album You're Not Alone is a fantastic piece of work that has to put a smile on the listener's face. The first actual song on the album "Music is Worth Living For" sets the tone of the album of keeping your head up in tough times and finding something that makes you want to stay alive. He is a great motivational speaker and some of his lyrics can really hit home for those who might be struggling out there. On "I Don't Know Anything" he says what many are feeling and right after there is a spoken word piece about embracing all of those feelings and making them into something special. The world is a tough place right now and throughout the 16 songs, Andrew W.K. does his best to get you to forget about it all and just enjoy life for awhile. We need more people like Andrew W.K. in the world.
The first time I tasted someone else's spit I had a coughing fit. This is the line that opens this album. The whole album goes along like this with beautiful lyrics and music to match the moods. Lucy Dacus is easily one of the most gifted young songwriters out in the music industry today. Her previous album was good, but she really has stepped her game up on Historian. "Night Shift" swells to a glorious ending, horns fill "Addictions" so there are no holes in the song, "Nonbeliever" is just one of those tracks that could become an anthem at a show. Most albums trail off slightly in the back half, but this album continues to be strong all the way through. "Timefighter", though only five minutes, feels at least double that in length due to the scope of the song. "Pillar of Truth" is the high-water mark of the album bringing everything from the album together perfectly. Lucy has put together quite the ten songs here. Do not be surprised if you hear about this one throughout the rest of the year.
Last up this week is Haley Heynderickx with "I Need to Start a Garden". The whole record sounds like she is singing right in your living room and only for you. It's an intimate affair to say the least. "The Bug Collector" has a slew of instruments playing underneath her voice and guitar. I felt like I was in the woods, seeing different insects pass by my eyes and ears as I listened to this great tune. "Worth It" brings in an electric guitar to the mix, but there is still all of the intimacy of the other songs on the album. "Untitled God Song" puts it out into the universe that maybe, just maybe, if there is a God, then God is a woman. It's not the wildest thought and may just give hope to many out there in a world that is on fire. The eight songs go by in a flash and the record transitions from a singer-songwriter folk album into this slightly punk rock vibe flawlessly. Get this spinning now!