Weekly Record Roundup | June 19 ’17
Before we get started, let’s just state the obvious: if you haven’t listened to the new Fleet Foxes album, you should obviously do that before listening to any of these. It’s an easy candidate for album of the year. The new Lorde should be on your radar too, even if you aren’t into pop music. People like her, Carly Rae Jepsen, Grimes, etc. should be enough proof the future is female and that’s already meaning great things for the radio.
But no one should listen to only two new albums a week. You may have missed these five records and you really shouldn’t miss out on them.
A Place I’ll Always Go
If you’re into ‘90s indie rock—think Pavement, Built to Spill, The Breeders, Sleater-Kinney—this should be your first listen. Palehound is Ellen Kempner’s brain child and it’s got the same melancholy jangle and detached lyricism of all yesteryear’s greatest slack rock. It’s also a great introduction to the current Boston indie rock scene. That city is the epicenter of this mid-90s Matador Records revival so if you like this, make sure to check out some of their other heavy hitters like Pile, Speedy Ortiz, and Krill.
Maybe you’re more in the mood for an album somewhere between The Beach Boys and The Smiths. The Drums has always been one of the best there is when it comes to rock as surfy as it is dreary. There’s a festival near where I live called Beach Goth and I can’t really think of a better descriptor for their sound than that. This may not be the best record they’ve come out with (that title probably still goes to Portamento) but it’s still that special kind of album you can cry and/or dance to depending on the mood.
Kudos to Hundredth for releasing a shoegaze album on the same day as Ride, one of the genre’s early ‘90s architects. That takes some confidence and it’s well deserved, since it’s actually a lot better than Ride’s comeback album. If you’re unfamiliar with the genre, expect guitars so stormy and full that they’re practically guaranteed to get you feeling transcendent. Hundredth’s sound is as pummeling as it is soothing; think “Lazy Eye” by Silversun Pickups but just a tad more aggressive.
If you’re a big fan of the Stranger Things soundtrack, look no further than Com Truise’s discography. Something’s got to tide you over till Season 2, right? There’s a line from “Losing My Edge” by LCD Soundsystem where James Murphy refers to “borrowed nostalgia for the unremembered ‘80s.” Iteration will loan you as much of that borrowed nostalgia as you could ask for. It’s a sound as new as it is s old, as impressive as it is familiar, and as good a soundtrack to your own voyages into the Upside Down as any other possible contender.
Kevin Morby’s music manages to be a lot like Com Truise’s while trafficking in an entirely different currency. Where Com Truise turns to synths and the Reagan era for inspiration, Morby deals in acoustic guitars, organs and Bob Dylan’s heyday. But both share a similar dreamy and nostalgic vibe that’ll get you pleasantly pensive in no time. If you’re prone to rifling through your dad’s record collection, give this a listen and maybe you can show him an album from his era that somehow came out in yours.