LATE 2018
Camp fire in Northern CA casts SF in an eerie glow; the Saudis murder journalist Jamal Khashoggi in their embassy in Turkey and create a humanitarian disaster in Yemen; Trump appoints, and Senate confirms, an unfit-to-serve-on-the-highest-court in our and may other folks opinion Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court
Angel Olsen
Phases
Solid Angel Olsen release. Fly On Your Wall and All Right Now are the highlights. (Nov '18)
Orchestra of Spheres
Mirror
Black & White is the stand out tune. It takes a while to get going, but you get some nice fuzz and space rock as the tune picks up steam. Probably want some smoke nearby, and settle into your beanbag for this one. (Nov '18)
Indifferent Dance Centre-
Flight and Pursuit
Flight & Pursuit (C.A.R's Indifferently Humble Refix) is a nice, fresh little song. Sort of like when you were listening to a bunch of hair rock in the 80s and then all of a suddent new wave hit and you're a little like, WTF? (Nov '18)
BRONCHO
Bad Behavior
Great album. Easy Way Out is such a killer song. (Oct '18)
Azure Ray
Waves
Nice chicas singing some nice tunes. Last Summer in Omaha is the best tune. (Oct '18)
Kristin Hersh
Possible Dust Clouds
Good rocker. (Oct '18)
Moda Spira
Divorce
Latifah Alattas' recent divorce gives her a lot of material to draw on, and she does so very well. That said, the torch singer genre/style is not our favorite so this is not really our cup of tea. Further, while we usually like well done interpretations of songs we like, such as Ring of Fire, this cover version of the song missed the mark. That said, we really like the song Regret on this disc. 5 stars for that song, not so much for our enjoyment of the rest of this disc. (Oct '18)
Django Django
Winters Beach
Another solid Django Django release. (Oct '18)
Julia Holter
Aviary
It may be a bit different, definitely some experimental stuff happenting ... but is it good music? I Shall Love 1 is the only tune we've added to our collection ... perhaps 2015's brilliant Have You In My Wilderness was a fluke? (Oct '18)
Hush Kids
Hush Kids
Fuck me. Wow is Love Is A Made Up Word ever an incredible pop song. Perfect, sunny guy-girl harmonies. Perfect. Lots of other great pop songs on here as well. Just a solid debut release. (Sept '18)
Waxahatchee
Great Thunder
Solid if not spectacular release. (Sept '18)
Zander Sharp
Settlements
We've been enjoying listening to Zander Sharp's Settlement single. Arty americana style? (Aug '18)
MID 2014
The #MeToo movement goes global | At a joint press conference in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump seemingly rejected the unanimous assessment of the U.S. intelligence community that Russia had interfered in the 2016 election | Trump pulls out of the Iran Nuclear Deal
Hiro Kone
Pure Expenditure
We're putting the song Poortgebouw, off this ambient disc, in heavy rotation. (Aug '18)
Glorietta
Glorietta
Got this one to prep for HSBG in SF (where they'll be playing) and was pleasantly suprised. Friends, Las Estrellas and Sinking Ships are very good songs. (Aug '18)
Anna Calvi
Hunter
The big, grandeous cinematic soundscapes where Calvi really shines are here in Wish and Swimming Pool. (Aug '18)
Still Corners
Slow Air
What a great, low key, understated release. We think Welcome to Slow Air may be the best song and definitely sets a tone for the release. Bonus that Tessa Murry posed with us in a selfie when they were in SF on tour supporting this album. (Aug '18)
Alexander Tucker
Don't Look Away
We completely love this release. Tucker picks up right where Brian Eno left off with 1975's Another Green World...and we mean this in the best possible way. Best songs: Visiting Again, Objects, Boys Names. (Aug '18)
LWW
3PE
Mostly instrumental--with most songs just using a couple of instruments doing repetitive loops--release from Luke Wyland from Portland-based art-pop group AU. CTP is the song to get here. (July '18)
Beach Fossils
Somersault
We're loving Sugar, Be Nothing, Tangerine, Saint Ivy. (June '18)
Father John Misty
God's Favorite Customer
FJM set a high bar with last year's release. This one is a little bit more uptempo but not quite as epic. (June '18)
The Essex Green
Hardly Electronic
About eight years in between release and just three albums since we started listening to them in the early 2000s ... but this one was well worth the wait. And they haven't skipped a beat at all. Catatonic is a pop anthem, Patsy Desmon and January Says are great pschydelic twinged songs. The whole disc is solid. (June '18)
isaintjames
Deuces
Dude has a drum pad that hits with his fingers making some fat beats over the top of some classics such as Mr. Sandman and St. James Infirmary. Sounds a lot better than it sounds, and, in our opinion, gives some of these old classics a good updating. (June '18)
Gorillaz
The Now Now
We see the McGill Tribune's take that The Now Now marks the end of an era for Gorillaz - i.e., this disc is basically just Damon Albarn without the gazillion of contributors he's typically had in the past and is Gorillaz past it's peak. We like more Albarn peeking through Gorillaz, but if he's going to do that, might as well just put out more solo, Blur and The Good, Bad and Ugly releases. Idaho and Tranz are the best songs here. (June '18)
Jon Hopkins
Singularity
We like Hopkins most when he's collaborating with other folks. That Diamond Mine disc with King Creosote was KILLER. On this one, we think the synth tweaked ambient noice maestro gets it best on Feel First Life. (May '18)
Taken by Trees
Yellow to Blue
Wait is a very beautiful song and makes our heavy rotation. (May '18)
Near Future
Ideal Home
Stranger Things meets Matthew Dear meets Joy Division in this one. Bulk Erase and Gap in the Curtain are highlights. (May '18)
Mountain Dust
Seven Storms
We had largely left our stoner rock roots back in the 90s but are enjoying this one. Heavy with hints of metal and progressive rock. We get to revisit a number of our old favorite genre's with this one. (May '18)
Beach House
7
You know, actually a little underwhelming. (May '18)
Black Book Lodge
Steeple and Spire
Looks like early 2018 is going to go down as a little mini-resurgence of metal/hard rock/stoner rock for us. This is heavy and loud and we're loving it. We're hearing some Queensryche "Rage for Order" influences, perhaps Muse as well, here with this one. In particular in The Tower Bell, which is a great song. (May '18)
The Dead Tongues
Unsung Passages
What a great find. Nice, mellow banjo, geetar and fiddle Americana at it's best. (May '18)
Black Moth Super Rainbow
Panic Blooms
Not a bad release, but nothing that really stands out. (May '18)
Ivar Bjørnson & Einar Selvik
Hugsjá¡
Not quite sure if I'm listening to some traditional Nordic tunes, sea shanty songs or a viking-based heavy metal genre. In any case, we'll keep listening. (May '18)
Modern Studies
Welcome Strangers
Love this album. The second release from the Scottish band, they do a great job harmonizing Emily Scott's voice against Rob St. John's deep baritone while the background music is filled with lush orchestration and Scottish version of Americana. Definitely one of the best releases of the year. (May '18)
Mind Over Mirrors
Bellowing Sun
Give points to MOM for combining tribal drumming, ambient electronics and bluegrass fiddle to create the wonderfully droning "Oculate Beings". More kudos for the Jim Morrison-droping-acid era Doorsesqe (albiet with female singer) "Pause to Wonder". (Apr '18)
Start 2018
Recreational marajuana becomes legal in CA | The #MeToo and Time’s Up movements come to the Oscars } South Korea hosted the Winter Olympics at PyeongChang
Janelle Monae
Dirty Computer
Dirty Computer is a killer song. Crazy, Classic, Life, Take A Byte and Screwed are nice pop songs ... as is Americans which has a message everyone needs to be on board with. Solid release. (Apr '18)
Lord Huron
Vide Noir
For us, Lord Huron always held great promise--great production, muscians, a solid songwriting--but never anything to get too excited about. This is sort of the same. Alot to like about this disc, but nothing to drop everything and write home about. (Apr '18)
Okkervil River
In The Rainbow Rain
We sort of lump these guys into the same bucket as the Decemberists - solid songs, all of them pretty good, but we usually just pick two or three from each disc that we really like for our heavy rotation. With this album those songs are the very clever Famous Tracheotomies and External Actors. (Apr '18)
Thievery Corporation
Treasures from the Temple
Thievery Corp and Tosca with new releases in the same quarter here? What is it, 2002 all over again? We won't complain. Instead we'll spin Voyage Libre from this one on heavy rotation. (Apr '18)
The Great Lakes Swimmers
Side Effects
The good Great Lakes Swimmers songs are really good. We enjoy the hell out of them. The other GLS songs ... not so much. Your Rocky Spine is the good one from this disc. (Apr '18)
The Decemberists
I'll Be Your Girl
Like most Decemberists albums, we typically find a couple of tracks that delights us. Here, we really like Tripping Along and Rusalka, Rusalka (Mar '18)
Cut Chemist
Die Cut
Good drums and bass. Moonlightin' with Biz and Work My Mind are solid but Home is the best song on this disc. (Mar '18)
Jack White
Boarding House Reach
"What's Done is Done" and "Humoresque" are great, great songs. The rest of the album, perhaps not so much (Mar '18)
Amen Dunes
Freedom
We're a bit of a sucker for anything that comes out of the Scared Bones label. A new Amen Dunes disc? Yes, sign us up. We'll enjoy that mature indie rock sound. (Mar '18)
Moby
Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt
Sounds like Moby hasn't missed much of a beat. "This Wild Darkness" is certainly the hit on the album. (Mar '18)
Lindi Ortega
Liberty
Filed in our Western, Cinematic and Ennio Morricone playlists, Afraid of the Dark is spectacular song that lays the mood of what you're in for here ... which is a treat. If you enjoyed Netflix's "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs", give this one a whirl. (Mar '18)
Superorganism
Superorganism
"It's All Good" will have even the most progressive pop loving cynic a believer that a bunch of internet collaborators with a 14-year-old-looking Chinese girl lead singer can make something as catchy as a Jeffrey Lynne tune. (Mar '18)
Anna von Hausswolff
Dead Magic
We really wished this was released in November as we love listening to our Northern European Winter Girls' new releases then to officially kick in the end of the year and it's cold, dark nights of winter. It's sort of a tradition with us. This one is just as perfect for that ... which you could obviously tell by looking at the album cover. Kallans ateruppstandelse is the best song. (Mar '18)
Actors
It Will Come To You
Debut album from Vancouver-based Actors comes out swinging with L'appel Du Vide, a new, fresh, high energy, party happy number reminding us the goth and new wave sounds of the 80s. The album gets a little monotonous in places, but overall, a solid debut release. (Mar '18)
Field Music
Open Here
Find a Way To Keep Me hits tunefilter heavy rotation. Brilliant song! (Feb '18)
Franz Ferdinand
Always Ascending
We put Always Ascending, the single, in heavy rotation. (Feb '18)
Wild Child
Expectations
Surprisingly upbeat pop rock. Alex and Eggshells are great songs. (Feb '18)
Holy Motors
Slow Sundown
Great, reverb drenched slow rock a la Mazzy Star and Speck Mountain. We love it. Honeymooning, Signs and Sleeprydr are our favorites. (Feb '18)
The Hanging Stars
Songs for Somewhere Else
How would have thought that some folks from England could make such sweet sounding Americana. Weeping steel guitar and all. (Feb '18)
Tosca
Boom Boom Boom
Tosca is still writing the same sort of gorgeous downtempo that they were writing in the 2000s ... and it sounds just as fresh. (Feb '18)
Django Django
Marble Skies
We were a little spoiled discovering Django Django at their brillant best with "Born Under Saturn" so expectations were set high ... perhaps too high. But this is a solid Django Django release. Not their best, but better than most peoples best. (Jan '18)
Belle and Sebastian
How to Solve Our Human Problems
Pretty par for the course Belle and Sebastian release. There is an "Everlasting Song" and "Best Friend" are our favorites. (Feb '18)