Sidi Touré "Toubalbero (Thrill Jockey)"
Mali musician extraordinaire Sidi Touré is back with another joyous, optimistic collection of songs on Toubalbero (Thrill Jockey). Generally, I don’t think I’m smart enough to describe world music. Thankfully someone at Thrill Jockey is. “Touré has created a danceable, dynamic, and joyous album played with some of the most exciting new faces on the Mailian music scene. A revered leader who has his feet deep in the Northern Mali music tradition has created an album, despite the region’s significant political challenges, that brims with optimism.” Thanks TJ! Seriously though, this is as much fun as you can have listening to music. Just try and not let a smile take over your face as you check out the blissful “Heyyyeya.”
Hawthonn "Red Goddess (Of This Men Shall Know Nothing) (Ba Da Bing!)"
I cannot tell a lie. Hawthonn’s new LP Red Godess (Of This Men Shall Know Nothing) is in turns frightening and hauntingly beautiful. So at times, it can take you to a place of serene calm with passages that ache with the gorgeousness of sunsets. Other times, it’s gonna sound like a murder man has you tied up in his damp basement and this is the soundtrack he’s gonna play as he decides how miserable he’s gonna make your last remaining minutes. So yeah, it’s a little from column A and a little from column B. But both columns are fun, as is evidenced by the Philip Glass meets Buffalo Bill sounds of “Misandrist.”
Your Food "Poke It With A Stick (Drag City)"
Sure, most people have never heard of Your Food or their only LP Poke It With A Stick. But those who have hold in in such high regard that they’d likely love to tell you about it in great detail at any opportunity. Thanks to Drag City, now we can all become like those chosen few who happened to stumble upon this long out of print, highly collectable album from the KY post-punks. How music that sounded like this was being recorded in KY in the days before the internet 700 miles away from their angular sound’s NYC epicenter is baffling. Sounding a little bit like rhythm obsessed NY bands ESG or Bush Tetras, this is sure to get your motor running. Check out the first track from the reissue, “Leave.”
Alasdair Roberts, Amble Skuse, & David McGuinness "What News (Drag City)"
Alasdair Roberts is back with another heaping helping of traditional folk songs. Sung with his unique voice, which sounds timeless, coupled with his sparse arrangements consisting mostly of piano, Dulcitone (an instrument that plays tuning forks instead of strings) and modern hints of electronics via his collaborators Amble Skuse and David McGuinness, this is a collection that could come from literally anyones music collection. It wouldn’t be surprising if your grandparents had What News (Drag City) on their shelf, nor would it be out of place in a collection from someone with an immaculately curated selection of records. Check out “Johnny O’The Brine” and remember what Llewyn Davis said: “If it was never new, and it never gets old, then it’s a folk song.”