It’s been a little while since broadcasting live on WSCA Radio, and Nocturnal is still away during this pandemic, but I wanted to give an update on some new music that’s been released over the last few months. I hope everyone is staying safe, practicing social distancing, and taking care as best you can during these extraordinary times.
Let’s begin with the legendary Bill Fay. He’s a singer/songwriter and fantastic piano player who has been making music since the late 1960s. He had a little resurgence in the early 90s with a handful of his albums reissued by David Tibet of Current 93’s label, but his brand-new record is called ‘Countless Branches’ and it’s available from Dead Oceans. It’s a gorgeous album, filled with superb songwriting, elegant melodies, and inspiration.
Ben Chasny, a.k.a. Six Organs of Admittance have a new release, called ‘Companion Rises’ on Drag City Records. Chasny created every sound you hear on this new album. He’s a swell guitar player who can be far out experimental or blissful like John Fahey or Glenn Jones. Recommended if you like Sir Richard Bishop.
New York City’s Daddy Long Legs have a full length record out on Yep Roc Records called, ‘Lowdown Ways.’ It’s a loud, lo-fi blues sound reminiscent of the original Black Keys or even Southern Culture on the Skids. I’m sure this trio will be more well-known soon.
Kevin Morby returns with a previously unreleased song called, ‘Gift Horse’ now available from Dead Oceans, it was released to coincide with his world tour that began March 4th in Australia but was quickly postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Bonnie Prince Billy is one of my top 10 favorite musicians of all time. His songwriting can sometimes be complex, but his style is clever, and his music has always been beautiful. Folk, acoustic, whatever you want to call it, it’s just damn good music. ‘Look Backward on Your Future, Look Forward to Your Past’ is probably my favorite track oin his latest album called ‘I Made a Place’ from Drag City Records.
Real Estate’s new album on Domino Recording Co. is called ‘The Main Thing.’ This band is always consistent, and they never offend me. The songwriting is simple and indie pop sounds are always catchy melodies. Always fun to see live, too.
TENNIS has a new release called, ‘Swimming.’ The bay area duo made up of Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore are all about that retro pop sound with catchy hooks that can bring you back to the 1970s AM radio. It’s available on Mutually Detrimental Records.
Destroyer has a new album called, ‘Crimson Tide’ on Merge Records. It has a great sound and reminds me of New Order and 1980s new wave but with sophisticated song lyrics. The last live show I saw before quarantine life began was Dan Bejar and Destroyer at The Sinclair in Cambridge MA. I can’t believe it’s been over two months since I’ve seen live music.
The Ballroom Thieves are back with ‘Unlovely’ on Nettwerk Music and the top song is ‘Love Is Easy.’ This trio started playing together at Stonehill College about 10 years ago and they just keep getting better with each new release. I saw them perform at Prescott Park just 2 summers ago and they were fantastic. Were you there?
Caribou, a.k.a. Dan Snaith, is back with a new record called, ‘Suddenly’ on Merge Records. This album will move you — you will have no choice. It’s full of great hooks and catchy beats, but it doesn’t go too far – it’s not rave music, just well produced electronic music that should be played often.
Kevin Parker is back with a new album from Tame Impala called, ‘The Slow Rush’ It’s not my favorite album by him, but it definitely has the best production of any of his releases. There are a few gems on this record and one of them is a track called, “Is It True.” Check it out.
I simply love Dressy Bessy. The new album is called ’Fast Faster Disaster’ and one of my favorite tracks is ’Stay True.’ I love the vocal style from singer Tammy Ealom. It’s great indie pop from this quirky Denver trio courtesy of Yep Roc Records.
Waxahatchee’s new album ‘Saint Cloud’ on Merge Records might be the album of the year… as of right now. Seriously, it’s that good. Give it a listen and tell me Katie Crutchfield didn’t pour everything into this album. She has such a beautiful and powerful voice, writes miraculous songs and has passion like no one else. (At least that what it feels like after listening to this album) Start with the track, ‘Fire.’ You won’t be disappointed. And if you’re looking for more from Waxahtahcee, she’s usually live on Instagram every week performing from her home with Kevin Morby.
Thanks for reading,