It has definitely been the kind of week here on campus to study alone while listening to music. COVID-19 (or the worst cough ever) has been rampant and I was almost grateful for Yom Kippur and the ability to sit in the corner in class and think about my new music Friday selections this week. Not feeling great heading into the weekend but grateful for the matzo ball soup and my headphones.
Colleen Green: Cool
(Release Date: 09/10/2021, Hardly Art)
The 4th studio album from the L.A. indie pop singer/songwriter has a 1990s feel to it that was slightly off-putting at first; it created a moment where my mind started thinking about low rise jeans with a bedazzled juicy couture tank top and a mini purse that’s pink and fuzzy. There is a lo-fi pop feel to Cool that requires more than a few listens before deciding its fate in your playlist. Green’s cover of blink-182’s 1997 album Dude Ranch in its entirety, was lost when her computer crashed and she’s slowly been building it back for a release one day. $9.48 – $19.98 at Amazon.
Mac Demarco: “Enter Sandman”
(Release Date: 09/10/2021, Blackened Records)
The Metallica Blacklist is a truly fascinating listen even if you’re not a fan of band but I grew up in a home where the album was overplayed to death and Demarco’s cover of the best-selling track is such a huge departure from his usual fare that I can’t stop playing it. The Canadian artist is better known for “Passing Out Pieces,” and “Chamber of Reflections” which are the polar opposite of anything James Hetfield could ever record in some dystopian nightmare and it’s one of the best covers on the album. Buy at Amazon.
Samantha Fish: Faster
(Release Date: 09/10/2021, Rounder)
The Kansas City, Missouri-native hits hard with her 7th studio release that combines her signature blues rock sound with a pinch of country. If you love ZZ Top, Fish’s driving guitar chops will suck you in from the first note; she’s been an accomplished blues rock guitarist since she was a teenager and it’s easy to hear why she’s been a fixture on the Billboard Blues charts for the past 8 years. Fish sports a bit of Marilyn with a much tougher persona and tight red jeans — and some killer grooves worthy of an open car window and hundreds of open miles of road to cover. Buy at Amazon.
Low: HEY WHAT
(Release Date: 09/10/2021, Sub Pop Records)
Low key is probably the wrong description for the Minnesota band’s 13th studio release, because it starts off with the frantic and slightly hypnotic “White Horses,” but the band that earned a reputation for sparse recordings and an almost minimalist style that can be hard for some to get into really hit the mark with their latest release. Alan Sparhawk gets ever so creative with distortion on many of the tracks and you might think your expensive loudspeakers are broken — rest assured they are not.
Where the album really hits its stride are the gorgeous harmonies that Sparhawk and his longtime partner and bandmate, Mimi Parker, blend into all of that low-res sound and distortion. We live in warped times and this collection of warped tracks has never felt more relevant or lovely. Buy at Amazon.
Lorde: Te Ao Mārama
(Release Date: 09/09/2021, Universal Music New Zealand)
If you ever needed greater evidence of her maturation as an artist, Lorde has released a 5-track EP of Solar Power in the indigenous Māori language and I must confess to liking it a lot more than the original release. The instrumentation on “Te Ara Tika/The Path” and “Mata Kohore/Stoned at the Nail Salon” although somewhat sparse is wonderfully recorded and both tracks linger in your head long after you’ve logged off for the night. Links to buy/stream.