William Tyler’s last album of contemplative instrumental country/folk, Modern Country, has surely ended up being one of my most listened to albums of the past few years. This is because Tyler’s brand of spacey, unobtrusive guitar work is very easy to put on in the background when you’re working/writing, which I often find myself doing. Now, I’m not sure that that makes for the best music to actually write about, but I guess we’ll see what I can come up with… Continue reading
I am almost always skeptical when an indie rock artist decides to make their “dance-pop record”. I am also almost always wrong about this skepticism. With Remind Me Tomorrow, the latest release from this typically guitar-based singer-songwriter, I had an inkling that once again I’d be eating my words in regards to this slight sonic reinvention. Because late last year, Sharon Van Etten released the fantastic single “Comeback Kid”, a song that is weirdly catchy and anthemic, yet still has that undercurrent of regret and melancholy that seems to run through all of Van Etten’s music. Continue reading
Mint Field are a shoegaze/dream pop/not quite Sigur Ros-style band from Tiajuanna who put our the debut album in February of this year. And it’s a super February album, with lush, vast soundscapes apparently written to express the hopelessness that is such a part of the public consciousness today. At least, that’s how it makes me feel, which meant this album left my mind for a while and recently reappeared in my rotation as the skies got dark and cold again these last couple months.
Before Robyn came back, I had Dessa. She’s a rapper, part of the collective Doomtree, who branched out a little bit with her latest solo album, Chime. It’s a cool record that blends fiery and wordplay-heavy hip hop with slower, poppier songs to build an overall narrative about a woman who is angry, conflicted, anxious, confused, and all the other emotions that capture our current climate.
Big Red Machine is one of those albums that definitely seemed like it would make my top 10 list until I actually started making the list. Maybe it still will, I’ve got another week to sort it out. But in case it doesn’t, here’s a little blurb about an album that seemed made for me.
Much like Cat Power, Robyn was an artist I’d long neglected listening to much before this year, and I’m quite glad I made this correction. Of course, my newfound appreciation for Robyn has coincided with my more recent openness to straight-up pop artists, perhaps because the tastes of music critics have pushed me in this direction. But whatever the case, Robyn is the rare kind of pop star who seems to have gotten better with age, though despite some amazing moments, I’m not sure that Honey quite matches her last release, the unstoppable Body Talk. Continue reading
Cat Power is an artist whom I’d neglected to really give the time of day for many years. Though that may be because the first time I tried listening to one of her albums was back in 2006 with her album Jukebox, which was a cover album, and therefore not necessarily the best introduction to her. But in the wake of Cat Power’s latest release I decided to check out some of her other albums, and compared to those, Wanderer is a nice late-career entry in her catalog, but not really much of a revelation. Continue reading