Great new stuff out this week from bands new to me, including The Hotelier and Big Thief. The Big Thief album is a big deal highly anticipated debut from Saddle Creek, home to acts I really like (Big Harp, Azure Ray). Also, that somebody from Dum Dum Girls has a solo project is interesting.
And, for Blair more than anyone else, there’s a new Beth Orton album out. Sigh.
Click here to play the mixtape of seven tracks from these albums, listed below. Or just click the embedded player. Happy listening!
The Hotelier, Goodness on Tiny Engines
Kristin Kontrol (of Dum Dum Girls), X-Communicate on Sub Pop
Catfish And The Bottlemen, The Ride, on Island Records
Big Thief, Masterpiece, on Saddle Creek
Daniel Romano, Mosey, on New West
Beth Orton, Kidsticks, on Anti-Records
Yumi Zouma, Yoncalla, on Cascine
What if I shuffled my 2016 Radio playlist and shared the first five songs that queued up? You’d get a mini mixtape of five songs released so far this year that I had the sense to add to my playlist, that’s what.
So here you go.
“This Fire,” by Pete Yorn from Arranging Time on Capitol Records
“Cleopatra” by The Lumineers from Cleopatra on Dualtone
“Baby Green” by Francis from Marathon on Strangers Candy
“Cold Night” by Yeasayer from Amen & Goodbye on Mute
“All That’s Left (feat. Joni Fatora)” by Manila Killa
Click here to play the mixtape in YouTube, or listen in the player below.
The most pleasant discovery among the crop of May 20th album releases is, without doubt, “Camp Echo” by Norwegian pop outfit Highasakite on Propeller Recordings (hat tip: The LA Music Blog).
Here’s a little mixtape of four of the most infections tracks on the album. These are synthesizer-driven songs that soar on anthemic hooks and earwormy lyrics (“I’ve got a golden ticket/I’m out”).
That’s they’re catchy doesn’t mean the lyrics are trivial. There’s lament in here and repeated appeals to God. The album’s title is a reference to one of the detention centers at Guantanamo Bay.
Click the player below to hear “Golden Ticket,” “Samurai Swords,” “God Don’t Leave Me,” and “I Am My Own Disease.”
Mudcrutch (Tom Petty’s side-project), 2, on Reprise
Car Seat Headrest, Teens of Denial, on Matador (Belle and Sebastian)
Kate Jackson, British Road Movies, on The Hoo Ha Record Club
Brett Dennen, Por Favor, on Elektra (Fitz and The Tantrums)
Andy Shauf, The Party, on Anti-Records (Dr. Dog)
Mutual Benefit, Skip A Sinking Stone, on Mom+Pop (Courtney Barnett)
Eric Clapton, I Still Do, on Surfdog (Brian Setzer)
The Posies, Solid States, on Lojinx (They Might Be Giants)
Tiger Army, V, on Rise Records
Yuna, Chapters, on Verve Records
Here are five of the more recent additions to the annual master song mixtape, which stands now at 183. Shuffle that.
“Warning Call” by Chvrches, “Drone Bomb Me” by Anohni, “Hiding” by Modern Baseball, “The Joke” by Islands, and “A.C.D. (Abcessive Compulsive Disorder) by Nothing.
Seven album releases we want to highlight this week, and two of them are by the same band. Click the player below to hear a track from each album.
Fruit Bats, Absolute Loser on Easy Sound Recording Company
David Bazan, Blanco on Barsuk
Modern Baseball, Holy Ghost on Run for Cover
Islands, Should I Remain Here at Sea on Manque
Islands, Taste on Manque
Nothing, Tired of Tomorrow on Relapse Records
Twin Peaks, Down in Heaven on Grand Jury
Click the player for 12 tracks from albums released today (well, 12 albums and one single). There’s a menu in the top left.
Hurry, Guided Meditation, on Lame-O Records (Modern Baseball)
Anonhi, Hopelessness, on Secretly Canadian (The War on Drugs)
Operators, Blue Wave, on Last Gang Records
Holy Ghost!, Crime Cutz, on DFA Records (YACHT)
Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Things That We Are Made Of, on Lambent Light Records
Destroyer, My Mystery (single), on Merge (M. Ward)
White Lung, Paradise, on Domino Records (The Last Shadow Puppets)
Moreland & Arbuckle, Promised Land or Bust, on Alligator Records
Aloha, Little Windows Cur Right Through, on Polyvinyl (La Sera)
James Blake, The Colour in Anything (self-released)
Thomas Cohen, Bloom Forever, on Stolen Recordings
A Giant Dog, Pile, on Merge
Click play to hear 10 tracks we found on SoundCloud this week that we think you’ll dig. See the track list below the player, complete with links to the SoundCloud accounts where we found each track.
Paul Simon, “Wristband” on Concord Music.
flowers de moon, “Symbiotic” via ObscureSound
Sally Shapiro, “If You Ever Wanna Change Your Mind” via ObscureSound
Aurora, “Conquerer” via Sheffer Stroke
Wildcat! Wildcat!, “Relentless” via Wildcat! Wildcat!
Terror Jr., “Sugar” via Sheffer Stroke
Empty Houses, “Daydream” on Sargent House
Haley Bonar, “I Can Change” on GNDWIRE Records
Xenia Rubios, “Black Stars” on antirecords
Mitski, “Happy” on Dead Oceans
Mom+Pop Music may be the youngest label for which we have a spotlight mixtape. Founded in 2008, the label is barely eight years old. But in those eight years the label has compiled an impressive roster and an equally impressive cohort of alumni.
In our spotlight, Barnett, Lucius, Tokyo Police Club, and Polica are all on the Mom+Pop roster presently, while everyone else is alumni. My favorite release from this label has to be 2011’s Walls by the Australian duo An Horse. I’m ready for their follow up.
Subscribe to Mom+Pop’s YouTube channel or their SoundCloud page.
In “indie” music, Sub Pop is a giant. The label is 28 years old, based in Seattle, and publisher of a mountain of influential American and rock music. They’re the first label I think of when I try to describe the kind of music I’m into.
The playlist below features some of their current roster, like Kyle Craft and Father John Misty. But it’s mostly songs off releases whose acts have moved on to bigger labels, acts like The Head And The Heart, whose debut cd bore the Sub Pop imprint on the back in a way I can still clearly see in my mind. Of course, the biggest act to move on from Sub Pop was Nirvana.
Sub Pop has released some of my favorite music of the past 15 years. The Postal Service and Iron & Wine were revelations. “I Got Nothing” and “Is There A Ghost” are songs I have played into the ground.
Check out all 15 tracks on the Sub Pop spotlight in the player below.