Tuesday, June 2, 2015

So Far So Good

So Far So Good 2015
The midway point marks the start to summer and another installment of so far so good, the biannual list of my favorite albums. The records below have been released in this calendar year and have been getting serious airplay on the home stereo or in my headphones. I will follow-up later in the fall with another batch of choice selections. Thanks to the recording artists for making such a rich music scene, so far. So good...

Father John Misty | I Love You Honeybear

A great record that came out early on in 2015 (Feb.10). Back to back tracks, "When You're Smiling and Astride Me" and "Nothing Good Ever Happens at the Goddam Thirsty Crow," sound more like novel titles the song names. These two tracks are the midway point of the record, for me, the heart and soul. "Holy Shit" is another favorite of mine on Honeybear. The track below highlights his new-found diversion into modern pop sounds, different, needing the second chance.

"True Affection"

Matthew E. White | Fresh Blood

Spacebomb records' maestro, Matthew E. White, has again crafted a polished album—monitored to his liking, but not lacking soul. In my opinion, the most rocking track is, "Rock & Roll is Cold." The rhythm section keeps it cardiac quick, aided by sweet backing vocals. Following that number is the easy pulse of "Fruit Trees." The track below stirs the soft sounds calmly. Released on March 9th.


Tobias Jesso Jr. | Goon

Somber, striking, and more honest than the average effort. It really reminds me of the piercing words of early Randy Newman. Truth can be hard to share. On Goon there is plenty of that candid story telling, a lot of thought, and things that needed to be addressed. I like the entire album, start to finish. Give it a good listen.

"How Could You Babe"

Alabama Shakes | Sound & Color

The funkiest tracks make me want to dance (one of them is below). Sound & Color goes way beyond reflecting genres, they carve their own way. This record drips in diverse sounds, crafted and raw, making each song memorable. Thematically it's some kind of wondrous blend of Led Zeppelin and Motown. The recording is masterful, whether it be the warmth of the instruments, use of vintage equipment, or the maneuvering done in production. A+

"Future People"

Houndmouth | Little Neon Limelight

An Indiana band with an independent sound. I wrote about them in 2013... Little Neon Limelight doesn't ease off the American tales that sharpen the view through a greasy lens. Rocking from the start with the single, "Sedona," they never give the listener a chance to leave. I also get really hooked on the final cut, "Darlin'." Catch them live June 23rd at the Great American Music Hall. 

Lord Huron | Strange Trails

From Michigan, to France, New York, then LA—Strange Trails. The Lake from which they draw their name, also feeds into the influence it had over band founder Ben Schneider. This album is their second installment and has a melancholy undertone. Lyrically the songs feel right. Lord Huron seems capable of continued ascension. Songs of living and loving always feel right when the music matches the sentiment.

"Fool for Love"

Honorable Mention: My Morning Jacket, Sleater-Kinney, Built to Spill, The Lowest Pair, Moon Duo.

Enjoy summer. eighty choices.

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