Links will take you to Amazon to purchase and/or listen to audio samples.
Two Gallants – “What the Toll Tells”
The poor man’s review is that this sounds like Bright Eyes if Conor Oberst’s balls finally dropped. It’s actually much more staid and mature. Good songs, lots of energy.
Colossal Yes – “
A 70’s rock side project from the drummer from Comets on Fire. Sounds NOTHING like Comets, but it’s really pretty and groovy. Lazy Sunday music. Perfect for that.
Sonic Youth – “Rather Ripped”
I assume/hope you know what Sonic Youth sounds like. They should have called this “Rather Awesome” however.
The Hold Steady – “Boys and Girls in
What a clever, catchy and edgy band. Songs of drug addition, boozing and love gone wrong. But with a sound that is one part Springsteen, one part AC/DC, one part Kerouac and one part total punk rock piss and vinegar.
Current 93 – “Black Ships Ate the Sky”
Now this is a Jesus freak I can get behind. It doesn’t hurt when Ben Chasny is your guitar player. Guest appearances from Bonnie Prince Billy,
Make Believe – “Of Course”
This album is wild. Of all the Tim Kinsella musical outfits that have crossed my path over the years MB is the most unpredictable, amusing and consistently entertaining one.
The Lemonheads – “S/T”
Evan Dando follows a somewhat flaccid solo album with some smooth rockers that have him sounding better than he has in years. Think Lemonheads circa “Lovey,” just before “It’s a Shame About Ray.” Real nice.
Joan as Police Woman – “Real Life”
Lovely piano ballads, with a style that calls to mind a more lucid Cat Power. These are subtle, but focused songs. Really pretty, with the faintest touch of melancholy. As the gal says, “It’s true what they say, that I’m out of my mind, but you’ll like it. So take a chance.”
Pajo – “1968”
I didn’t know Dave Pajo made music this nice. I never much cared for his Papa M stuff in the past, but damn, this is a great album. The songs are all very dark, but they’re delivered in such a smooth, melodic fashion, you almost don’t catch how dire the lyrics are. Almost.
Joanna Newsom – “Ys”
This record is grandiose, but I mean that in a good way. It’s obvious that Joanna Newsom is a talented musician. On this record, she takes everything she did before and ups the stakes by a longshot. This album is long, meandering and full of little genius twists and turns. Gorgeous, really.
The sad friar of alt country indie strikes again. Jason Molina provides a strong argument against happiness and mental health. If being miserable is this good, it really makes you think twice about being happy.
Bob Dylan – “Modern Times”
Dude, I am not reviewing a Dylan record. It’s great. Son of a bitch, it's great. Go buy it!
Tom Petty – “Highway Companion”
Likewise, Tom Petty doesn’t need my small words to help his cause. Check out some sound samples and see how amazing this record is too. That’s my review!