Juliana Hatfield "Pussycat"
Those of you expecting Juliana Hatfield to be excited about the election of Trump have not been paying attention very well. Pussycat, her latest album, is as anti-Trump as it gets. Thankfully, besides bringing her well-deserved Trump vitriol to the album, she also brought a batch of tunes that are as catchy as anything she’s ever written. They are also surprisingly upbeat. Just because things suck, she isn’t gonna let that get her down. Look, I’m not gonna sit here and tell you what Juliana Hatfield sounds like, that’d be silly. Just check out “Impossible Song.”
The Building "Reconciliation"
The Building is a new band from The War On Drugs’ guitarist Anthony LaMarca and his (I’m assuming) brother Angelo LaMarca. Reconciliation is a folk record in the same way that Neil Young is folk. The same way that Kurt Vile is a folk artist. Sure, it’s mostly guitar and vocals. Sometimes that guitar is acoustic, other times it’s distorted. But independent of the effects on the guitar, this is a lovely, pastoral album even when it’s in the red. Check out the Red Red Meat meets WOD strains of “If I.”
The Delta Saints "Monte Vista"
The Delta Saints have been doing their thing for years now. Rather than resting on their laurels (which has to be a horribly uncomfortable way to rest, if you ask me) the guys have decided to continue to push their sound forward. With a Zeppelin-esque push towards country-blues riffs, and a doubling down on sing-a-long-able choruses, this is as easily listenable as The Delta Saints have ever been (and that’s saying something). Monte Vista is a whiskey-soaked party, and the party starts with “California” so get going already!
Trans Am "California Hotel"
I try to come up with original content for these blurbs, I really do. Sure, I check out the official press for the albums, but besides listening to them that’s all the research I do. Yet sometimes that pesky official press speaks to me on such a visceral level that I can’t help but quote it directly. And located in the press for Trans Am’s new album California Hotel (Thrill Jockey) hits so many of my specific likes that I just can’t help it. “On California Hotel, Trans Am borrowed ideas from My Bloody Valentine, John Carpenter, DAF, Led Zeppelin, Air, Sade and David Gilmore, among others. The result is an incredibly rich range of sounds that retain a pulsating energy.” I know for a fact that I have used every one of those bands as “sound alikes” in blurbs during my tenure. It’s a greatest hits of “sound alikes” in fact. I love this album. You love this album. Stop reading my plagiarism and start listening to the driving chaos of “Alles Verboten.”