After 11 years since the release of her last solo album, Berlin-based musician Annika Henderson—better known simply as Anika—pushes out this release during the global pandemic. The lyrics, "a vomit of emotions, anxieties, empowerment, and of thoughts like—How can this go on? How can we go on?” were all written there on the spot. The music also pops around from the optimistic view of Change to the bleaker, Piano Magic-like Sand Witches, one of our favorites from this release. (July '21)
Nice EP from New York City artist Samie. As You Are is on heavy rotation as is The Promise, a cover of the When In Rome hit. (July '21)
Place Is
New York based artist kolezanka's debut album, Place Is, is simply delightful. We've got Words For No One, which has this great Deradoorian vibe going, The Offensive and 7th st/7th ave on heavy rotation. (July '21)
Meggie Lennon
Sounds From Your Lips
Great debut album Meggie Lennon. We love the thought of opening track Night Shift being inspired by late nights walking home from bars in Montréal. We've had similiar inspiration with way lesser results. We also love how the warmth and sensuality just oozes from this disc. Seeing how Lennon herself describes the release as “make-out dream-pop”, we think she's spot on in that description. (July '21)
The Holy Family
The Holy Family
The Holy Family's debut album is a mostly instrumental journey through 13 tracks. As David J. Smith, the chief architect of this particular hall of mirrors puts it, “I guess if I had to try to put it into words it’s my attempt at a musical interpretation of a very trippy and psychedelic murder mystery tale, or otherworldly dream/ hallucination”. You can feel the push and pull of improvisation vs. repetitive structure, mechanical beats accompanied by organic like soundscapes. (July '21)
The Lazy Eyes
Even better than EP1! Where's My Brain??? and The Island start off as these twee boy band songs but end up rocking it at the end. (Jul '21)
Love Drips and Gathers
“If Brickbat (Piroshka's first album) was our Britpop album, then Love Drips And Gathers is shoegaze!” reckons Miki Berenyi, formerly of Lush, now vocalist/guitarist for Piroshka. We're down with with those two genres, and glad to see some Lush, Modern English, Elastica pedigree in the group. That 90's indie background comes through pretty strong on V.O. while The Knife Thrower's Daughter. a quirky eyebrow raiser is our favorite from the release. (June '21)
Magic Mind
San Francisco-based Sandy's describes this release as their magnum opus> A release mixing inventive studio productions, 3D cinematic soundscape, the spirit of epic 70’s surf films, and timeless songwriting influenced by the likes of Bach, Brian Wilson, and The Beatles. They threw everything in this one: 80s synth-pop, power-ballad hooks, 70s style guitar shredding, 60s vocal harmonies, electronica cresendos that you'd expect at the best rave. We've got Dimension IV, Sami & Sandy and Sunken Cathedral on heavy rotation. (Jun '21)
No Kill
Gold Chorus
Solid debut release from Brooklyn’s Jamie Cogar, a/k/a No Kill. She nails a solid set of approachable rock songs, harkening back to what you might hear on a 90s alternative radio station. We're digging Hallelujah. (Jun '21)
Site out of Mind
We like psychedelic rock. We like prog-rock. No surprise to find most of this, Brooklyn-based Evolfo's second release on our heavy rotation. High energy. Fuzzed out, slightly weird music, mid-song key changes ... seems like it would be a blast to see this group live. Band leader Matt Gibbs sent us an email that they're going to be announcing an SF show in the next week. Sounds like we'll have our chance to do so soon! (Jun '21)
Assorted Orchids
Assorted Orchids
Assorted Orchids’ self-titled debut album consists almost entirely of steel and nylon-stringed acoustic guitar with clear vocals up front in the mix. This is to folk music perhaps what William Taylor's Country Music is to that genre. Same sort of fingerpicking dexterity, but skewing darker at times ... to the point, perhaps midway through The Mighty Kingdom, where you're thinking this is Noah Georgeson's long-lost sophmore release. We're spinning Uninspired on heavy rotation. (Jun '21)
Glass Beams
The first release from Glass Beams, the Mirage EP follows Research Records inclination for cosmic instrumentation and kraut pervaded polyrhythms with four songs that blend an exotic, Indian/Middle Eastern instrumental vibe with synthwave elements. (Jun '21)
John Grant
Boy from Michigan
The fifth solo record from John Grant, originally from Michigan, then Denver but camped out in Europe for a while, this time in Iceland. For us it's always been a love/hate relationship with Grants songs, most albums having some songs we think are the cats meow but a bunch of others that are garbage. Pale Green Ghosts exemplied this perfectly with us loving all the odd numbered songs and dumping the even numbered ones. This disc only has a couple of keepers, including County Fair for us. We love Cate Le Bon in the production chair on this one though and dig her influences. (Jun '21)
Their third album in just over a year, Sault focuses in on their hometown of London for this one. As usual for a Sault release, the songs are bolstered by plenty of percussion elements and moving bass with some sweet and sultry female vocals over the top. This release seems to feature a good number of child voice-like sing alongs and some spoken word elements througout. It's a nice disc, but man we gotta imagine it's tough to follow up on their brilliant 2020 release Untitled (Black Is) that came out at the height of the BLM movement. (June '21)
Japanese Breakfast
The third album from Japanese Breakfast, Michelle Zauner's musical outlet, seems pretty similiar to her last two. Poppy, unoffensive indie rock. We're usually good for adding one or two songs, in this case Tactics, to our heavy rotation. This release also seems to have a little more throwback to 90s alt girl sound in it than the previous. (Jun '21)
Kings of Convenience
Peace or Love
When KoC came out with Quiet is the New Loud in 2001 it was an unbelieveable jolt to the music scene. We were thinking, how did they just take soft dick rock complete with acoustic guitar finger picking and two guy harmonies, and give it a hip air, motion, energy, and, intentially or not, make being a nerd sexy at the same time? Quiet was indeed the new loud. Sign us up. Twenty years later, with this new release, that same formula seems to result in ... well, some nice, non offensive soft dick rock songs. That said, we do like Angel on this release. (Jun '21)
Blackest Blue
When folks talk glowingly about musical eras and genres, you'll hear 70s classic rock, 80s new wave, ... but we think the most overlooked is the chill/downtempo music that came out in the late 90s and early 2000s. Morcheeba--along with Air, Zero7, K&D, Thievery Corporation--had a killer release contributing to that era in 1998's Big Calm. While this is a solid, well produced release, we're not sure that magic can ever be recaptured. (May '21)
Lord Huron
Long Lost
Lord Huron doing a Americana album that harkens back to old timey Western Swing type music? Yeah, sign us up. This is a great album. It was our soundtrack as we did the big drive West, taking two lane roads along the Gulf Coast, through Cajun country and through the big skies and open plains and high deserts of Texas, New Mexico, Utah, and Nevada on our way back to SF. This album was every bit as spectacular as the drive.  (May '21)
Oíche, meaning ‘night’ in Irish, is the debut album from Fears. It was recorded and produced in three bedrooms, hospital, and at the Domino Recordings studio in Brixton. We like the simplicity here: Girl singing over simple beats. Reminds us of sort of stripped down Juliana Molina in it's simple repetitiveness and popping percussions. (May '21)
Evil Joy
Solid good ole Americana release from Durham, North Carolina-based artist Fust. This sort of lazily sung, melodrama-tinged, slide-guitar laced music is our favorite "country music". We have The Day That You Went Away in heavy rotation, but the entire album is solid. (May '21)
Damien Jurado
The Monster Who Hated Pennsylvania
This is Jurado’s first release on his own label, Maraqopa Records. As always, his songwriting and delivery are solid. Just well written, well executed relatively plaintive songs. In this case, stories of people determined not to be broken by dire circumstances. We have Helena, Tom and Song for Langston Birch on heavy rotation. (May '21)
Winter Robin
Winter Robin
Kentucky-based longtime friends producer Mark Williams and vocalist Erica Berry created six tracks on their eponymous EP based on their shared love of vintage vocal house, underground techno, and soulful electro-pop. (May '21)
Nature's Neighbor
Produced and written from Mike Walker's condo in Chicago and Terrill Mast's Virgina basement while they sheltered-in-place during the first wave of COVID-19, this Nature’s Neighbor release has a very isolated-but-connected-at-a-distance feel. Musically, it appears to the influences were mostly Mike on Terrill and vice versa. With some other talented musicans rounding it out. If one wanted to pull it in more of a folksy bend, the other went with it. More R&B flavor, sure, let's do that. Some pop rock parts, okay great. But none of the songs feel overtly pop rock, R&B or folk. It feels like the world stopped (which it sort of did), genres and the marketing of music faded and a couple of folks emailed themselves back and forth and made what they wanted. We like that. (May '21)
Cereus Bright
Give Me Time
The second album from Tyler Anthony, Knoxville songwriter performing under the moniker Cereus Bright, is fantastic. Whatever was involved in him wrestling with "his deeply religious upbringing, the complexities of modern society, and the idea of giving up on his dream", it worked. Mr Anthony didn't ask us for our opinion, but we'll summarize the conclusions we came to on those life pondering questions after multiple listens to this: a) if you want to understand who the Creator is, look in the mirror. What you created here is brilliant. b) as long as you understand the complexities of your audio editing software, the instruments you use, and how to keep the musicans you work with happy, we think that's good enough. Don't worry about the other stuff. c.) Assuming music is your dream, certainly do not give up on that. We need many more like this. (May '21)
Secret of Elements
Rostock, Germany artist Johann Pätzold aka Secret of Elements, delivers a solid neo classical album here that is emotive and cinematic. Rage, in playing on the theme of the albums title Chronos, the father of time, is a brillant example of the cinematic nature of this release. You can just imagine this as the soundtrack as a the clock ticks away on an implending disaster the hero is just seconds away from stopping in a blockbuster spy thriller. (Apr '21)
Bright Green Field
London based band Squid sounds like if you crossed Primus with the Danielson Famile. Same sort of kinetic, frenetic energy with shouting boarderline squealing lyrics. But unlike those other bands, these guys kick it out in spurts with hard almost drone rocking bass, guitars and drums. Good listen. (Apr '21)
Exilio Transitorio
The third release from Montreal-based viñu-vinu. Of it, the artist writes that it was created as a cinematic journey, a soundtrack honoring a book of poems his father wrote after his exile from Chile during Pinochet's coup d'état in 1973. We're not quite sure listening to this initiates a humanist reflection on the devastating effects of totalitarian regimes and political wars. However, we are quite certain it would make a killer soundtrack for a political suspense drama. Blending electronic music with a six-piece acoustic band, jazz harmony, improvisations, and poetry, this is a well produced piece of work. (Apr '21)
Field Music
Flat White Moon
Eight studio album from Sunderland UK-based, artsy, indie pop/rock outfit Field Music. This one is as strong as any in their catalog, often pitting songs about depressing topics against an approachable playful melody. A formula that we often enjoy (looking at you The Beautiful South). The Curtained Room, Orion From the Street and When You Last Heard from Linda are in our heavy rotation. (Apr '21)
Phantom Handshakes
No More Summer Songs
Jangly 90's girl alt bands. All songs written, recorded and mixed by Phantom Handshakes at their respective homes in Brooklyn and Manhattan, August-November 2020. (Apr '21)
Black Fly
Some deep productions and orchestrations here on Vermont-based artist Black Fly's latest release 01. We do wonder, when listening to this: is this supposed to be for intimate solo headphone listening or arena-filled rock shows. Most songs have both elements in them. (Apr '21)
Red Eye Conversations
The debut album from Boston artist Messina, recorded from his college apartment. Messina is self-identifying with artists such as: Radiohead, Frank Ocean, and Tame Impala ... but we're not really hearing a lot of that. We're hearing a mix of electronica, ambient and R&B across the disc. Party Next Door, Constant and 805 are on spinlist. (Apr '21)
Joanna Gemma Auguri
Berlin-based songstress Joanna Gemma Auguri breaks out her accodian during the first COVID-19 lockdown and captures this simple, yet beautiful album. It's an intimate bare album ... accordian used in various ways, chello here and there and accompanied by singing. (Apr '21)
London Grammar
Californian Soil
The third studio album from London Grammar kicks off with a beautiful, vast, full-on orchestral cinematic piece, slowly picks up electro-pop stream towards the middle before winding it down a bit at the end. We'll take the first three songs and three of the last four (skip Talking). (Apr '21)
Stick Figure
Fire & Stone
The 8th album from independent reggae artist Stick Figure consists of dub remixes from the band’s previous albums Set In Stone (2015) and World On Fire (2019). (Apr '21)
The Black Keys
Delta Kream
The 10th studio album from the blues-rock duo The Black Keys returns them to their roots to cover a bunch of good ole Mississipi Delta blues rock songs. Recorded in 10 hours, this one has a very live, jam session feel. (Apr. '21)
The Dropkick Murphys
Turn Up That Dial
The 10th studio album from punk-rockers The Dropkick Murphys keeps the energy high and sound raw. We like that they came out with a let's get back to partying post-COVID inspired album rather than the isolated, shut-down, inner self-reflections that are just coming to market. We can't wait to see them (again) at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass! (Apr '21)
LA via Perth, Australia artist Kucka's debut release is full of auto-tuned, touch of synthwave, strong production valued pop songs. Ascension sort of reimagines a bit of Kate Bush with a little Deep Forest thrown in done in a drums-n-bass make over for the dance floor. (Apr '21)
Miguel Gil Tertre
Maran Atha
At their most intricate--e.g., on Prayer--the four songs on Brussels, Belgium-based artist Miguel Gil Tertre's last release sound way more expansive than just being composted with guitar, drums and piano. They are as wide and expansive as the Syrian desert which inspired the music. At quietest--e.g., on the Arpeggios--they are as their as barren and windswept as that desert. (Apr '21)
Charlotte Spiral
New Light
New Light is Charlotte Spiral’s--a collaboration between Amy Spencer and Avi Barath--second EP. We have the title song, New Light, on heavy rotation. It's killer and reminds us of early Agnes Obel. Fantaisie On A Theme From Out Of Here is a beautiful neo-classical piano piece sounding like it's coming from an isolated musican sitting alone at the piano with lots of time to contemplate and self-reflect. Did we mention this was a product of the COVID-19 experience of lockdown? (Apr '21)
Resort Realism
Resort Realism
There's some music we feel we need to own. That killer song we need to spin over and over. Or that moody album that you can listen to front to back. But stuff like this, the debut album from Birmingham, Alabama artist Resort Realism kind of gets the short shaft. It's nice, instrumental music that we've put in our lounge playlist and that we'll spin over dinner from our major media streaming service. The music, even though it will cast a great ambience over the evening, will likely go unnoticed by our guests and the artist underpaid by major media streaming service. (Apr '21)
Immortal Nightbody
Sublime Objects
We are digging the album cover art of this one. Los Angeles artist Immortal Nightbody is looking devine. His beats and delivery are slightly more down to earth. (Apr '21)
Social State
Some solid progressive / broken beat for Social State’s debut album ‘Sacrosanct’. Features collaborations with JD. Reid, Chunky and Mr. Mitch. (Apr '21)
Sasha and the Valentines
So You Think You've Found Love?
The debut album from Austin, TX artist Sasha and the Valentines is full of girls meets boy bubble gum pop. Well produced pop, ready for radio.10% of all cassette tape purchases will be given to Communities of Color United. (Apr '21)
Tape Deck Mountain
True Deceiver
Seemingly heavily rooted in the 90s but with a new twist, this one mixes the heaviness of grunge with the swirly shoegaze effect and perhaps more recent drone rock approach. It's at times unapolegically repetitive (we get that Domo is all alone) and it's always distored guitar forward. Even in it's most mellow songs. Get it, play it loud and rock out. (Apr '21)
Nathan Moody
A Shadow No Light Could Make
What's with all the dark ambient lately? We love the genre as much as anyone, but there's a slew of this stuff coming out right now: this release, the release to the right and the two releases below are prime examples. Perhaps everyone started recording last Fall as the days got darker, COVID raged on and the mood grew dim? Unfortunately those releases are all hitting right now as Spring is warming up the earth, we get an extra hour of daylight, life starts to return to normal as most folks that want the vaccine can get it, and there's justice in the world with the conviction of one of SAULT's monsters - Derek Chauvin. Talk about not so great timing. As for this one, here is what we're going to do. Shelf it for now, but come next October 31, when tunefilter HQ is all decked out in orange and black and the trick or treaters are making their rounds, we'll be blasting this one behind the skeletons, jack-o-lanterns and other spooky props. It will do great replacing our current go to, the Original Disneyland Chilling Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House. (Apr '21)
Les Chants Du Hasard
Livre Troisieme
Paris artist Les Chants Du Hasard calls this piece an "eight-movement, avant garde masterwork that seamlessly fuses neoclassical bombast, gothic opera, and a blackened metal spirit to manifest a sophisticated sonic grandiosity of extraordinary proportions, Livre Troisième is at once romantic, tragic, tortured, and triumphant. It’s breathtaking in the most literal sense treading with the emotional weight and fervor of a thousand suns." We'll say this, there is completely zero false advertising with that album cover. The album art for this release gives you the exact idea of what you're going to be hearing when you crack it open. Still need more clues: think a heavy metal orchestra performing a dramatic opera score for a coven of vampires in the seventeenth century. We love it for it's concept way more than we find the music enjoyable to listen to. (Apr '21)
Christine Ott
Time To Die
The fourth album for French composer and multi-instrumentalist Christine Ott, Time To Die sits between contemporary classical and electro-acoustic music. Think Ludovico Einaudi meets Dark Ambient. This one is best listened to late at night, in a dark room with headphone, start to finish. (Apr '21)
Survey Channel
Silent Graphs
Matt Donatelli writes, about his Buffalo, NY-based musical outlet Survey Channel "I tried to envision these tunes as the bumpers, jingles, or scores for an alternative television broadcast. Something akin to Liquid Television, going a ways back." and that "There's no doubt the past year influenced my music towards a darker, more abstracted direction." What we have here is synth songs, some with a simple beat behind them. (Apr '21)
Gentleman's Dub Club
Down To Earth
Some good reggae and dub sounds coming from the latest release of London-based Gentleman's Dub Club. We had this on heavy rotation while hanging out and soaking up the sun and surf on Siesta Key, FL. (Mar '21)
Jah Movement
Early in the Morning
With Gentleman's Dub Club on our listening list, and the view of Big Sarasota Pass and Lido Key and the Gulf of Mexico beyond in our visuals, the music of the islands were on our mind. Imagine our pleasant suprise then to stumble upon Sarasota based Jah Movement at the Gator Club. Wow, they knocked us out of the park with their performance. This one is our favorite new single from them. (Apr '21)
The Anchoress
The Art of Losing
The second album from Welsh multi-instrumentalist artist The Anchoress starts and ends with a couple of neo-classical understated beauties in the Moon series. Between these, however, the album largely loses it'e elegance as it trys to power rock itself into mainstream pop-rock playlists. Any hints of nuanced piano and instrumental work is covered over by power ballad verse/chorus sung with the perfect amount of vocal frey. There's some talent behind this one: a duet with James Dean Bradfield (Manic Street Preachers) and drumming from Sterling Campbell (David Bowie, Duran Duran). There's also a pretty decent marketing push here as well. So, we wouldn't be surprised to see this combination reach commercial success. But we'll be keeping an eye out for Catherine Anne Davies's solo recordings after the big record deal does away. (Mar '21)
MF Tomlinson
Strange Time
MF Tomlinson’s debut album is indeed a strange album for strange times. The subject matter hits the impact of COVID-19 lockdown pretty head on throughout a number of songs. Musically, this isn't rock, although A Long Day hides a screaching 80s style distortion fueled guitar solo. The comfortable use of minor notes in awkward bridges, straight forward dead-pan vocal delivery, the presence of a gambit of instruments which include sax, pianet, clarinet, flugelhorn, trumpet, cello, flute, and double bass, along with songs clocking in at over 5 minutes make it clear that this isn't easily accessible pop. It's not jazz, but there are tunes with jazzy undertones. Certainly not calypso music from the islands ... but Thursday, 8pm exudes that pretty well. By the second song in, we're thinking this is the long strange cousin to Find Shelter, Noah Georgeson's obsure solo album. If you're one of the five folks that follow that reference, you'll understand this isn't for everyone, but definitely is something you need to get your hands on. It's a phenomonal release. (Apr '21)
Velvet Vision
Velvet Vision
Debut album from Santa Fe, New Mexico artist Velvet Vision finds some nice synth driven bedroom dream-pop. We have Springtime Buzz on heavy rotation. (Mar '21)
4AD artists Tune-Yard's new one is a fast moving, bombastic listen. We have be not afraid. on heavy rotation. (Mar '21)
Harrison Lemke
Forever Only Idaho
We love the concept here ... a where-are-they-now album about the Coeur d’Alene High School graduating class of 2006, presumably, Lemke's graduating class. We also like the DYI ethos -- recorded on a 4-track cassette deck, recorded in a small apartment a little too close to Hwy 290 in Austin, TX. The songs themselves are mostly singer-songwriter accompanied with his treble and chorus-heavy electric guitar. Seemingly a little lost in the middle between rock, pop and americana, not quite sure which clique they belong to. Sort of like, though a dozen years have passed since the ole Coeur d’Alene days, they still haven't figured out where in the High School they fit in. (Mar '21)
The Antlers
Green to Gold
If rock bands were like humans, The Antlers would be showing distinguished streaks of grey in their hair, getting slightly pudgy around the waist, and be more excited for a bout of gardening and evening dinner party with friends than hitting the club over the weekend. In otherwords, they'd be ageing gracefully and elegantly into their later years. This, Green to Gold, is the exact album they would make. A journalist of similiar likeness and like mindedness might also proclaim this the bands best album. We look forward to spining it as we retire to the listening room for a late night bourbon after our next dinner party. (Mar '21)
April Bourne
Ox Eye EP
The first release on Bound Centre from Dutch born April Bourne. Inspired by the UK and its diverse sounds like Grime, UK Funky and Garage. His description of his sound -- friendly melodic ambient with the use of gated synths and minimalistic percussion he calls pitter-patter beats -- is pretty spot on. (Mar '21)
Doohickey Cubicle
Don't Fix Anything ;)
This is a nice little mellow pop rock album from Vancouver, British Columbia artist Doohickey Cubicle. Some nice rhodes being played on a lot of the songs here while Alli Deleo's vocals flutter on top, trying to stay afloat and not get carried down and drowned in the production. Which, unfortunately, seems to happen from time to time. (Mar '21)
Victoria, BC based artist Rswll brings the big bang pop sounds of the circus in his latest release, Vernus. While his vocal style--a deadpan, flat, at times spoken, at times yelled approach--couldn't be more different, the pop hooks and energy of this reminds us of Mika. (Mar '21)
Orlando, FL multimedia artist and musican Vanessa Garcia-Cuevas releases some chill innerspace explorations on Yakakeitiwa, her latest release under the Whirlynn moniker. The pieces shift between some Latin music influences, dark smooky lounge vibe and, at times, an old timey carnival mood. (Mar '21)
Fahim Rahman
Richmond, VA artist Fahim mopes through some sombre electronically produced, spliced and induced sounds, including records played backwards, from his bedroom during COVID-19 shutdown. (Mar '21)
Sweden artist loney Dear sings some delicate falcetto accompanied by a lonely piano. Some well produced, meloncholy sounds. (Mar '21)
Adult Books
Grecian Urn
LA post-punk band with a great minimialist sound. We're spinning Holiday on heavy rotation and it's Joy Division meets the early The Cure vibe is catchy. That song is just killer. (Mar '21)
Blue Canopy
Sleep While You Can
Blue Canopy's 'Sleep While You Can' is the newest entry from Portland-based multi-instrumentalist, Alex Schiff. Like the album cover, this three song EP is light and breezy. Lemonaid on a warm day. (Mar '21)
Jane Weaver
Apparently 'Flock’ is the record that Jane Weaver always wanted to make, the most genuine version of herself, complete with unpretentious Day-Glo pop sensibilities, wit, kindness, humour and glamour. After she has time to reflect, we hope she realizes that she only delivered three songs off self-proclaimed most genuine album. After the 3rd song on this release, we think she completely mails it in with overly repetitive beats posing as songs. We also think the most geniune Jane Weaver album will combine the shiny, synth-pop elements of this one as well as her more moody concepualized works of the past. (Mar '21)
Perfume Genius
Jenny Hval doing a Perfume Genius remix?!!!? Two of our top artists in the last decade. We haven't even heard that track yet (just started spinning the disc) but we're intrigued by this whole mix idea. Fast forward a couple of weeks of listening and I think we can say the idea sounded better than the actual music. But we're biased. After all, hard to really improve something when you begin with such a good starting point. (Mar '21)
Kali Trio
This sophomore album for the Swiss "post-genre" band KALI Trio consists of four sprawling, instrumentals clocking in, in total, around 45 minutes long. Think of some minimalist Matmos meets Godspeed You! Black Emperor and perhaps you're close to the ballpark. We like how the songs drone on in an almost machine/synch-like rhythm, but with a very organic feel. Then suddenly, when you're not expecting it, they veer off in another direction. The timebeats screw with the listener a bit as well as the band shifts through very interesting time signatures and/or accents - e.g., 19/8 - or will layer different instruments doing different time beats, e.g., 3-, 4- and 5- beats, on top of each other. Definitely some craftsman ship here. The "Coltrane doom-ballad" song Dry Soul is our favorite. (Mar '21)
Family Jordan
Big Grass
Family Jordan says about their fourth album, Big Grass, that it's their "most distinct exploration of their folk and country influences." If you didn't tell us otherwise, we would have assumed that Family Jordan and their guitar, banjo, pedal steel, violin, and piano leaden songs would have originated in Nashville rather than NSW Australia. Crack a beer and grab a seat on the porch one late, warm hazy afternoon. Pop this one on and given it a listen top to bottom. Won't take you more than 4 bars into Adios, the lead song, to know if this disc is for you. We did exactly that for our first listen, which happened to be with Hirk, our porch overlooking Big Sarasota Pass and Lido Key. We were hooked immediately. Hirk struggled to figure out what old-timey country artist wrote each song. He repeatedly got confused when I told him that aside from one song by J.J. Cale, they were all written and performed by Family Jordan. Looking forward to Hirk getting turned on to Family Jordan like we turned him on to our other famous families: Akron/Family and Danielson Famile. (Mar '21)
Lana Del Rey
Chemtrails Over The Country Club
We gotta admit, it pains us to by this album. We give Lana our money. We can't buy it on bandcamp nor the artists website - hell, you can't even get to her commerce site, an early 2000s heydey of Flash styled microsite as heavily produced as her albums - without first giving up your email, name or permission to suck your data and first-born from Google or Facebook. But damn, the middle portion of this release -- Tulsa Jesus Freak, Let Me Love You Like A Woman, and Wild At Heart, are just so fricken good we just need to find our favorite mega-online-retailer to make our buy. We feel so dirty we're going to drop an extra $10 in Mike Tozier's donation jar when he plays SKOB on Saturday. (Mar '21)
Everything Will Be Ok Eventually
New big, arena-ready indie rock EP from Michigan musician Jason Singer. Perhaps a little too formulaic for our tastes, we can see this well-polished, big hook laden chorus filled release having mainstream appeal and success. (Mar '21)
Nicole Marxen
Dallas TX artist Nicole Marxen calls Tether a "meditation on the grieving process." We sense the dark vibe coming from this industrial music. Kelly, this one has your name all over it for your workouts. (Feb '21)
Lava La Rue
We're spinning Magpie and Lift You Up ft. Karma Kid from Butter-Fly, the latest release from West London artist Lava La Rue. (Feb '21)
Steven van Betten & Andrew Rowan
No Branches Without Trees
The band will tell you these eight heartachingly subtle vignettes--delicately layered with field recordings collected around the Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area--unfold like a cherished short story collection, as each song evokes tales of the desert, death and coming of age. We're blown away at how these songs that feel equal part classical and old western folk, can be so cinematic and evoke so much feeling. Imagine shifting the setting of King Creosote & Jon Hopkins 2011 masterpiece Diamond Mine from the Scottish coast of Fife to Blue Diamond, Nevada, population 339. If idea of this sounds intriguing to you, here's the gem, it's everybit as good as you would imagine that to be. Spectacular. (Feb '21)
Debut album from Portland, Oregon-based band Corvair is full of bright, indie-pop hits. The guy-girl harmonies and straightforward pop-rock song structures remind us of The Essex Green ... which would be a great band to be compared against. That the album came off so upbeat and positive while it was written during the heyday of COVID-19 while the band was sheltering-in-place in a house together is a minor miracle. We also like the fact that one of the band's founders, Brian Naubert, also recently released a disc with a Northwest "super group" that includes folks from our old buddies Sushi Robo. Nice debut gang! (Feb '21)
Indigo Sparke
Indigo Sparke debut album 'Echo' is billed as a deep and intimate ode to death, decay and the restless feeling of wanting to belong to something greater. We're viewing this mostly stripped down vocals accompanied by a gental guitar strum as sort of a Lo-Fi Americana for the Australian outback. The beauty is equal parts what's there and what's not there. We really like this. Sort of reminds us of a female version of Sacred Bones lablemates Case Studies. (Feb '21)
Blanck Mass
In Ferneaux
Edinburgh-based artist Blanck Mass asks us to contemplate pain as we isolate in the midst of a pandemic plauged, dark winter. On In Ferneaux, they give us two ~20 minute long dark ambient soundscapes full of field recordings, sound fragments, voices, tribal drumming, and other various whathaveyous to use as a listening companion. While we were very familiar with the prophetic figure on the streets of San Francisco (if not directly, via like-situated proxies), the rest of the recordings gave us the escape we needed while "trapped in our little caves, grappling with the unease of the self at rest". Beautiful recordings. (Feb '21)
A Winged Victory for the Sullen
Invisible Cities
A Winged Victory for the Sullen was commissioned by Leo Warner to score the music for the a 90-minute multimedia theatrical stage show, adapted from Italo Calvino’s 1972 novel, ‘Invisible Cities’. Transformed into 45 minutes of breathtaking beauty, this album, Invisible Cities is part of the stunning score to that critically acclaimed production. In true AWVFTS fashion, this is a masterpiece of the dark ambient arts. (Feb '21)
This debut album from London-based artist LAU (Laura Fares) is a Synthpop / 80's Retrowave lovers dream. Didn't get enough Yazoo in the 80s (don't tell us you didn't dig Don't Go)? Pick this one up. Very well produced and full of energy and ready-for-radio pop hits. (Feb '21)
Nicole Marxen
Dallas TX artist Nicole Marxen calls Tether a "meditation on the grieving process." We sense the dark vibe coming from this industrial music. Kelly, this one has your name all over it for your workouts. (Feb '21)
Lost Horizons
In Quiet Moments
After a long hiatus from making music, Simon Raymonde and Richie Thomas--lablemates from 4AD bands Cocteau Twins and Dif Juz respectively--return with their second Lost Horizons release. They do a nice job getting a bunch of contribution from fellow Bella Union lablemates in various areas on this release, including some of our favs such as John Grant. Torch song Flutter, sung by Rosie Blair (formerly from Ballet School) is the highlight here. (Feb '21)
The Weather Station
Reading about the latest release from Toronto songwriter Tamara Lindeman, one might be inclined to believe it--and potentially future releases--will remake what The Weather Station sounds like. That, as the title intends, the sound is and will be unknown. We actually see this release as known, comforting, uplifting--a typical, albeit a bit lusher The Weather Station release. Which, in our book is a good thing. We'll apply the title, "Ignorance" to the folks that give this a cursory listen and move on. Because, as with her past releases, it's usually not until the 10th listen or so that you really realize how beautiful the music Lindeman makes really is. p.s. We love seeing Owen Pallett on the credits! (Feb '21)
Django Django
Glowing in the Dark
Django Django’s fourth album, Glowing in the Dark, scratches a lot of those pure pop rock, indie-dance itches that their previous releases hit, Headrush being a great example. It seems this release also shows perhaps a little more range than their last releases as well, with folksy, almost a cappella singing on The World Will Turn or Charlotte Gainsbourg participating on Waking Up. Django Django finished Glowing in the Dark before the coronavirus hit and released after distribution of the vaccine had been well underway. We're not sure if that was specifically planned, but if not it works in capturing a pre-2020/pandamic optimism and bottling it up for the world to take in 2021. Get your Coronaviris vaccine shot, put on some Django Django and dance like the old days! (Feb '21)
Jay Knife
Nice debut release from Incheon artist Jen Dajung Kim under her moniker Dajung and based on work she did as a schoolgirl. We love the DYI, bedroom rock athesthics. One of our favorites and one Dajung's first recordings as a 14-year-old, nighttime, was created using her iPad and the microphone attached to her headphones. A simple ukulele and vocal loops sung quietly, almost whispering in an attempt not to wake her family up at night. Maturing to 15 years-old she creates i’m still alive, another simple song with a ton of emotion and a killer Lykke Li Possibilities type vibe. Regardless of the commercial success of this release of what Dajung does in the future, we find it cool that she'll will always be able to point back to this disc and say, look what I did during high school. And, she'll always have at least one fan in the states! (Jan '21)
Sqürl and Jozef Van Wissem
Only Lovers Left Alive (Original Soundtrack)
The score for Only Lovers Left Alive -- a collaboration between SQÜRL (Jim Jarmusch, Carter Logan and Shane Stoneback) and Dutch lutenist Jozef Van Wissem -- serves as a reflection of the distinct textures of Detroit and Tangier, bridging ancient and modern sounds, entangled and timeless. We love the idea of the Vampires inhabiting and remaking one of the dilapidated former mansions of Detroit. Formerly glorius but more recently (at least in the 90s) ghosted neighborhoods such as Brush Park or Boston Edison serve as a great backdrop for that. Only one of our "crew" had the guts to do this. He ended up with a giant fabulous house, complete with a room on the second floor dedicated to his Harley and killer parties. We love that this quirky film captures that concept. We wish we had this soundtrack to play back then. (Feb '21)
Mica Levi
Blue Alibi
Loops of folks talking with echo effects. Some guitar strumming. (Jan '21)
Thank You Thank You
Next To Nothing
Lots of good sounds on this one from this Philadelphia, PA based band. Despite a relatively straightforward indie rock sound, the band packs in a lot of instruments and performers on this release: electric guitar, acoustic guitar, synths, voice, bass, drums, lap steel, field recordings, fiddle, violin, violas, cellos, pedal steel, banjo. Most of those come into effect on Autonomy, the last song on this disc. 10% of all tape sales will go to the Amistad Law Project (Jan '21)
Luna Li
Jams EP
Ten nice mellow, 1 minute long instrumentals that we've added to our lounge playlist from this Toronto artist. Mostly downtempo beats accompanied by harp pluckings, string arrangements and the occasional muzak jazzy, fuzzy guitar in the background. (Jan '21)
Lizzie Weber
How Does It Feel EP
We're digging the americana vibe and big expansive feel of the chorus in How Does It Feel, the title track on this one. We're also spinning Blue Wave Bloom on heavy rotation as well. If Lizzie can put together a song where the verses are as good as that on Blue Wave Bloom and a chorus as powerful as on How Does It Feel, she will sell a lot of records. (Jan '21)
Danielle Durack
No Place
Solid release from Phoenix, Arizona-based singer/songwriter. We're digging There Goes My Heart. (Jan '21)
Hazy Mountain
Pull of the Moon
Sort of a cross between indie rock and EDM from this German based artist. (Jan '21)
The Notwist
Vertigo Days
The first album in six years for German-based group The Notwist, this one is full of exploratory sounds: melancholy, haunting diddies, clangorous electronics, hypnotic Krautrock. We love that the they got contribution from some of our favorite international artists on this one: it sounds like they gave Argentinian electronica songwriter Juana Molina free reign to shap the song Al Sur beyond just the vocals. We love the album’s lead single, Ship where the group were joined by Saya of Japanese pop duo Tenniscoats, her disarmingly hymnal voice sighing over a propulsive, Stereolab meets Krautrock beat. Kudos to the The Notwist for being able to pull together a number of disparate artists and have it fit so nicely in this long play. (Jan '21)
Pearl Charles
Magic Mirror
LA-based artist Pearl Charles' sophmore album is a well-done, slick production. The sort of thing you'd expect to come out of a well funded LA record label. Pitchfork and NME say, respectively, "the record takes cues from movements all over the American map. There are hints of Southern folk and alt-country, Midwest Americana, and West Coast acid rock." and "Think of Pearl Charles as a stoner Lana Del Rey or a Jenny Lewis with grit." Decent reviews, however, we think they're coming from someone who hasn't lived through the 70s. We say, rewind the clock back to the summer 1976 and blast this one from the sun-soaked boat out on Lake St. Clair while you're tossing back the Pabsts. It will fit in perfectly between Lynda Ronstadt, Carole King, The Carpenters, Captain & Tennille and Carly Simon. (Jan '21)
Blackmore's Night
Nature's Light
We couldn't get enough of Richie Blackmore's Rainbow way way back in the day. We'd be hanging out on the white pleather seats in our rust-caked midnight blue '79 Firebird on a warm summer night. Windows rolled down, garter belt and recent high school graduation tassle hanging from the rearview mirror. Strohs, or whatever cheap shit we were lucky enough to have someone buy for us at the party store, in hand. Spent beer cans scattered on the floor in the back seat. We'd pop in cassette tapes of Rainbow's early releases and listen for hours. When Temple of the King or Rainbow Eyes came on and broke up the hard guitar rock with exotic middle ages instruments and a folksy feel, we'd often wonder if this was the sort of stuff we'd like when we got old. Well, Richie is still around, albeit now putting out releases of Renessance fair folk under Blackmore's Night, so we can certainly acertain how he would have answered that question. We're also down with some middle-ages folk ... although we're not sure if it's the flashback-inducing early 80's-style guitar solos Richie adds to this release or what, but we much prefer the execution of this style from traditional instrumentalists. Give us some Gruppe Eulenspiegel! (Dec '20)
Dropout City
We got a bit of a thing for Americana created by talented musical couples that drop out of big city living back east for the dusty desert of the American Southwest. The Handsome Family are our Exhibit A. Trummors--Dave and Anne, who "holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and plays the harmonium," a bio we get a kick out of--are our latest love affair in this very small but potent musical niche. Dropout City is their fourth album, located, as they put it, " along that ancient road full of domesticity and dust, adobe and acid, turquoise and trouble, that runs between John Phillips’ Los Angeles and New Mexico’s mountain air." Despite recording with an impressive array of contributors, including Eric D. Johnson (Fruit Bats, Bonny Light Horseman), Colby Buddelmeyer (The Tyde), Derek W. James (Mazzy Star, Lia Ices), Brent Rademaker (GospelbeacH, Beachwood Sparks), Clay Finch (Mapache, Grateful Shred), and Dan Horne (Grateful Shred, Cass McCombs), this is squarely a David and Anne album of beautiful, lazy Americana songs that delivers a pleasent listen, start to finish at worst and at it's brightest reaches transendent highs. (Aug '20)
HMS Morris
Pastille EP
Five songs recorded in 2020 from Wales-based art-rock group HMS Morris. A perfect prog pop piece. We're getting a lot of spins out of Poetry and Babanod. (Dec '20)
Songs for the Time Being
Nice debut solo album from London-based artist Ruckspin. This one covers a good amount of EDM ground - some post-dubstep we'll be spinning in the lounge during cocktail hour, some cinematic scores, and some dnb that may get some folks on the dance floor. We'd expect no less from this Submotion Orchestra producer/engineer. A no brainer to add to your collection. (Dec '20)
Night Air
Swimwear, Sydney-based artist Tim Derricourt's project, delivers a concept album based on Richard Yates’ 1960's novel Revolutionary Road in this one. It's a mellow, lush, intimate listen from start to end. Almost, at times like in Funny Bones - Part II matching the sublimeness of the characters in the book ... living lives at their most heartbreaking and uplifting. (Dec '20)
Chris Dawkins
Painting Colours
Leeds, UK artist Chris Dawkins describes the new 11-track album as a ‘melting pot of life’s experiences’ – from his session work with Nightmares on Wax, to Asian influences stemming back to his childhood, when he watched Indian movies while his mum was baking. He says to expect steady building tempos and layering soundscapes, signature jazz and atmospheric trip hop and dub that suck you in gently ... we got that. This is a solid disc to put on to add texture to your dinner party or post-club nightcaps. (Dec '20)
Belle & Sebastian
What to Look for in Summer
Live album that includes a lot of B&S favorites. Recorded from various venues-including the Royal Oak Music Theater, one of our old haunting grounds-in 2019. A nice listen. (Dec '20)
Shy Passion
Nice pop songs set amongst some 80s synths. Nice way to close out the year with this Miami-based artist while we spend our December sheltering-in-place on Siesta Key. (Dec '20)
Rosehip Teahouse
Fine EP
Cardiff, UK's Rosehip Teahouse says this of their lastest EP: "a lot of the songs are re-arrangements of the very earliest Rosehip demos". We are wondering of those demos were cut back in the early 90s when female fronted, jangly guitar alternative bands ruled the roost. Teens, after you spin this one, go back and familiarize yourselves with Natalie Merchant, Cardigans, and Cocteau Twins. (Dec '20)
Castillo Interior
The lastest release from CN, Spain based brothers Jaír and Noé Ramírez are "intricately sculpted songs that are utterly hypnotizing ... explore the border of dreams & reality" the bands writes on bandcamp. We're spinning Pandroginia, Doppelganger and Castillo Interior, the best song on the disc. (Dec '20)
The Left Outsides
Are You Sure I Was There?
Someone took the Brian Jonestown Massacre, dialed up more 60's psychedelic Laurel Canyon and then mixed in some tunes you can imagine might come from Low if they were playing some old English folk songs in a dark corner of Ye Olde Red Lion pub in Northern UK circa the 16th century. In other words, we are really enjoying this album start to finish. (Nov '20)
Ana Roxanne
Because of a Flower
Sometimes music that has an interesting backstory, inspiration and great production can just fall flat. Other times, that backdrop lends itself to a truly impactful piece of art. Such is the case in this release from SF Bay Area artist Ana Roxanne. Here's our suggestion for how best to experience it: Take advantage of a global pandemic lock-down and the coming of long, dark, cold nights. Dim the lights and kickstart the fireplace. Pour yourself a glass of your favorite brown then stretch out next to the fire, cat by your side, and re-read Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex while this one spins in the background. (Nov '20)
Mart Avi
Vegas Never Sets
Probably the best album with the lowest rating we have on here. Estonian producer Mart Avi covers a lot of ground here: Crooning over some nicely orchestrated synth soundscapes 80s-style drum machines beating out surprisingly soulful R&B. Interludes that sound like they've captured a Jedi light saber battle in Star Wars. Some techno here, ambient there. Well produced, well done. That said, probably as enjoyable to us as working through the Illiad in it's native ancient Greek. (Nov '20)
Tunng Presents ... DEAD CLUB
We love The Guardian's opening sentence/question in their review: "A concept album about death and grief during a pandemic?" Tunng’s Dead Club project seems to cover the subject in depth. “It’s not just a record, it’s a discussion, it’s a podcast series, it’s poetry, it’s short stories, it’s an examination,” says the band’s Mike Lindsay. Subject matter aside, we're completely loving this "folktronica" release. Three songs into it we had to do a double check to see if this was a new Damon Albarn solo project, as the vibe, even down to the vocal delivery, could sound right at home on Albarn's Everyday Robots. As with that release, we love this one. (Nov '20)
Primitive Ignorant
Sikh Punk
Industrial, glam, electro-punk from former 80s Matchbox B-Line Disaster bassist Sym Gharial. (Nov '20)
New Light
Good production, good music ... We're spinning New Light on heavy rotation and when we hear it come on we inevitably think, "wow, this is good, what are some of the other tracks from this disc?" Then we remember. we really wanted to like everything about it, but ended up liking the pieces more than the sum of the parts. (Nov '20)
North Americans
Roped In
In 2016, William Tyler's Modern Country came out and we were all, "Wow, where did this come from?" Then we were "Country, really?" With all instrumentals, dexterity on the guitar and a mood that wasn't "get yer shotgun and pick up", it certainly wasn't the country music pushed on folks today. Nor any country from the past: not western swing, not honky-tonk. Tyler was writing a new, well, I guess, modern country. We have deju here. We feel the expansiveness of the west in these instrumentals. The simple, repetitive guitar strums ... the gorgeous, intimate slide guitar. It's distinctly American ... It's the West. The same drone you feel when driving I-80 from Salt Lake City to Reno, NV. And, it's every bit as spectacular as the landscape and wide open blue sky on that drive. (Oct '20)
Hey Colossus
The lucky thirteenth record by Hey Colossus is a loud one. Good ole straightforward rock and roll. Push the amps up to 11, switch on the fuzz pedals and let's rock it out. We're spinning Nine is Nine, Revelation Day and the droning cinematic 15 minute travelogue that is A Trembling Rose. (Nov '20)
Emmy The Great
We've visted Hong Kong since back in the days when getting there meant the 747 had to make an abrupt 90 degree turn--to avoid plowing into a mountain--right before the plane landed. We loved sitting on at a starboard window and looking down on the endless row of tenements, drying laundry hanging out their windows, neon lights blazing ... all a seemingly couple hundred feet below us. But our sweetest trip was our most recent. Right before all hell broke loose. It reminded us why we love this city and it's unique England meets China mashup culture. We were as giddy as school children to see the streets of Lan Kwai Fong filling up for a spontanenous celebratory TGIF. We were enamored with the XLB, delighted at the sidewalk escalators wisking you up the hills of Central HK, and made every excuse we could to stop in every little bar on Staunton Street for a drink. When they closed we got lost admiring the street art in the crooked alleys and staircases. We feel that energy, optimisism, and familiar warmth in Hong Kong via UK artist Emmy the Great's recent release, April. It broke our heart to see her ode to Hong Kong come out after the city's 2019 pro democracy protests and resulting Chinese government crackdown. We hope the post-One Country, Two Systems Hong Kong is still as mystical and beautiful as Emmy's singing about it is. (Oct '20)
The Stain
Demon Child
Back in the days when one could travel internationally ... we digress, but that opening line belongs in a dystopian syfy fiction piece, not a music review ... we spent a good amount of time in New Delhi. The flight from SF lands in the middle of the night. You arrive to a mostly empty Indira Gandhi International Airport dazed, after an exhausing 22 hour flight that started Friday morning and ends early Sunday. Buzzed from the cheap alcohol fueling your last leg, you step out to hunt down a ride to the city and immediately get hit with the dark, hazy heat and grime of India. Confusion abounds. Scraggly strays with bad legs crossing your path in the front. Hustlers heckling you for undecipherable services cross to your back. Your Uber app connects intermittently, like that flickering florecent overhead light on it's last leg in that horror flick, while you shuffle your cockeyed gaze from it to the endless sea of dirty, white, small Suzukis in the basement of a concrete parking garage. The air is so thick you can see it. The ride to your hotel is an adventure you last experienced in your childhood riding Disney World's The Haunted Mansion: loud, fast, startling, way too little light, and what the hell is that in the middle of the highway that we came within an inch of hitting? The ride New Delhi artist The Stain takes you on with his latest release is the exact same. According to him, "The Stain explores the plethora of darkness through his productions with deep basslines, dark soundscapes and experimental drum patterns." We think our description was more vivid. We will definitely queue this one back up on our return visit. In the meantime, Godmother is making our lonely late night and lounge playlists to keep us company now. (Nov '20)
Juana Molina
We're a big fan of Juana Molina. If you're also digging her vibe, check out this live album recorded at the NRMAL Festival in Mexico in early March 2020, a few days before the world came to a halt in a massive lockdown. What we'd give nowadays to a) travel to a foreign country, b) go to a goddamned bar/event to see live music, c) be at this gig and go wild over that version of Un dia - outstanding stuff (Oct '20)
Y Su Descarga Internacional
Bosq and his International Jam Session are creating some high-energy Afro Latin rhythms here. (Oct '20)
Order Of The Toad
Re-Order Of The Toad
The second album from this Glasgow based band is a nice quirky indie pop rocker that covers a lot of ground in twelve roughly three minute songs. We get some late 60s psych-rock songs--Mend It, A Pittance, Cruise Control, Fabulator as well as some quirky Robyn Hitchock/Softboys/Syd Barrett vibes on others such as Rabbets, Lindow Women, and Toads Theme. The Toads also do a nice job of switching it up between Robert Sotelo and Gemma Fleet on the singing (although interestingly very little joint boy-girl harmonies/singing), which keeps it fresh. (Oct '20)
Bachar Mar-Khalifé
Recorded in December 2019 in the Jaj mountains of Lebanon, Paris multi-instrumentalist Bachar Mar-Khalifé goes back to his roots to record his new album On/Off. There's some spoken word over beats, a songwriter and his piano and some some nice chanson française, in particular on the best track of the disc L'amour à plusieurs. Surprisingly though, the release does not contain a lot of Middle Eastern influence throughout. (Oct '20)
Deep & Rolling Green
Deep & Rolling Green
While we didn't think the whole disc was our cup of tea, there are some great, lush moments from this Norwegian via UK band. The last three songs, in particular, were a great way to close out the album. (Oct '20)
Working Men's Club
Working Men's Club
The Quietus has a nice little write up on this disc. We agree with their descriptions: "full-force techno-rock wig-out", LCD Soundsystem influenced, ... we agree even more with this excellent album. We're adding this to our "2020s or 1980s?"" playlist to continue to fool our friends on music they missed "the first time around" ... even though this is a debut album :-) (Oct '20)
There Existed an Addition to Blood
We're not quite sure about this Horror Film Hip-Hop genre. But Rapper Daveed Diggs dials up some skillfull speed rap on Nothing is Safe and Club Down. (Oct '20)
Max Daniel
Meant To Be
Solid indie pop rock from this San Francisco based artist. We have The Way It Is, The Sell Out, It's Gonna Be Alright, Meant To Be and Behave, the best song on this disc, on heavy rotation here at tunefilter HQ. (Oct '20)
Familiar Ground EP
Familiar Ground is the second EP from Brighton based Zooni, released on producer Charlie Andrew's (Alt-J, London Grammar) label Square Leg Records. We're spinning Cascara, The Details, Dissolve, and Familiar Ground, which is our favorite on this disc. (Oct '20)
Don't Shy Away
Knowing nothing about it, we pop this one in and are intrigued. Soft, female singer, slow, but a lot going on musically. We like it. They the second song Ocotillo hits. Wow. Methodical, droning on, quiet rage. Shit, we need to figure out who these guys are. Oh, Shearwater frontman Jonathan Meiburg is in this ... and Brian Eno, a fan of theirs, was invited to make a contribution and accepted. laid down a . Now it makes sense. (Oct '20)
Saturn Rules the Material World
We had been digging Simona Castricum's The Half Light from the Panic/Desire release earlier in the year so imagine our pleasant surprise in seeing Simona's name in the credits of this one. Here, she teams up with fellow Melbourne native Daphne Camf on some throwback goth/industrial, Depeche Mode-style tunes. We can definitely imagine the gang dancing to these at City Club in downtown Detroit circa early 1990s. (Sept '20)
Chris Smith
Second Hand Smoke
Second Hand Smoke is the long-awaited new record from Melbourne guitarist Chris Smith. Calming and expansive, sweeping cinematic vistas and melancholy melody. It was largely built from 8-track home recordings and layered with found sounds, field recordings, spoken word as well as multiple instruments and vocals. Think Americana meets pschydelia space rock. We're spinning Oh' Sweet Nuthin' and Beeswax on heavy rotation. (Sept '20)
Everything Is the New Nothing / Everything Is the New Something
Usually we gravitate to the dark metal a little later in the year, as the days draw shorter, night grows longer and a chill fog hangs in the Winter San Francisco night time air. But hey, we've been cooped up inside for 6 months during a global pandemic, so bring on the dark ambient. Leipzig, Germany artist Rustre delivers it in droves. (Sept '20)
Joshua Burnside
Into the Depths of Hell
Joshua Burnside was born in Northern Ireland, where he draws inspiration from the beauty, the ugliness and the rich musical and literary heritage of an often tormented corner of the world. Whatever he's channeling over there in Belfast is not just coming from the ghosts of his Irish ancestors before him. We're hearing old dusty Americana, some African roots, R&B ... a world of folk music. (Sept '20)
Sebastian Mullaert
Influential Swedish house and techno producer and live performer Sebastian Mullaert was inspired by the majesty of the natural world on this one. Situated on the edge of the Söderåsen National Park, an area of outstanding beauty; primeval forests, deep ravines, and huge boulders left over from the last ice age give the area an enchanted, otherworld air, he had the perfect inspiration for recording Natthall--named after a small, rocky bluff sitting on a 50m ridge with majestic views east over the Rönne river, fields, and acres of trees. We think this ambient release captures some of that mysticism and otherworldly air quite nice. We also think Moonwaker (our favorite track here) does a nice job capturing that setting if we were run for our lives through it on a dark moonlite night being hunted by a serial killer. (Sept '20)
Still Return
The Killing Sun
Brooklyn artist Still Return mentions being influenced by his childhood immersion in the sounds of 90s sci-fi/fantasy soundtracks, his parents' New Age music cassettes, and the ubiquity of the DX-7 and D-50 synths to develop this deeply personal and counter-New Age release. We are hearing his agnst. We like how he takes synth sounds associated with lightness and, often, a shallow positivity and turn them to express something contrasting and dark. As he says it, "more akin to how I experienced life soundtracked by them." We can see that. Hey, if it worked for the soundtrack to Netflix's Stranger Things ... (Sept '20)
Men I Trust
Oncle Jazz
We have Seven and Dorian on heavy rotation, giving us a bit of a thowback to the poppiness of The Caradigans combined with a very smooth cognac. (Sept '20)
The Oh Hellos
Interested in some earlier Sufjan Stevens? Want it with less Midwest and more dusty Texas hill country? We think you'll be pleased with this one from San Marcos, Texas brother and sister team The Oh Hellos. (Sept '20)
Marie Davidson and L’Œil Nu
Renegade Breakdown
What's a self respecting record collection with out some solid chanson francaise? Just in My Head is a classic example in our opinion, one we quickly dropped into our dinner music playlist. Chanteuse Marie Davidson is backed by a trio formed in Montreal’s DIY scene to deliver not only this classic gem but some more straightforward rockers and electro-clash tunes as well. (Sept '20)
We're spinning Dark Love and Shallow from this Los Angeles Doomgaze outfit. (Sept '20)
Fleet Foxes
Foxes frontman Robin Pecknold admited to suffering from anxiety--"worried about what I should make, how it will be received, worried about the moves of other artists, my place amongst them, worried about my singing voice and mental health on long tours"--during the creation of this, the Foxes' fourth studio album. With how well Father John Misty, Fleet Foxes old drummer, is doing in his solo career, we could definitely understand Pecknold harboring some shadenfreunde. But Robin, no worried buddy. You just put out the best Foxes album in our opinion. Enjoy it! (Sept '20)
Billy Carter
Don't Push Me
The 2nd full-length from Korean rockers Billy Carter is a fantastic hard hitter. Unapologetic garage rock taking on some of today's pressing social issues: LGBQT, domestic abuse, womens rights. It's absolutely facinating to see the Korean angle on these issues--e.g., in the case of racism, it involves the natural ginger hair girl maybe gpt some bad blood mixed up into her. It's also just great to hear a garage rock band rage against the establishment with such clear, straight-forward lyrics. (Sept '20)
Gruppe Eulenspiegel
Midevel folk. You need to rock this one out at the Renasannce Festival. (Aug '20)
Republic of Paradise
Reverse Pandora and No Accident were highlights on this one for us. (Sept '20)
Father John Misty
Two new songs from Father John. Piano and acoustic guitar ballads in his typical style. As always, solid work. (Aug '20)
Liela Moss
Who the Power
We're spinning The Individual and Turn Your Back Around, which will definitely be on the playlist for the post-covid dance party, from this London, UK artist. Good energy pop. (Aug '20)