Hazel English "Just Give In/Never Going Home"
Hazel English’s sound is a tough one to describe. Just Give In/Never Going Home (Polyvinyl) is her first LP, combining her debut EP with new songs recorded just for this collection. The difficult part comes in an attempt to keep up with Hazel. By the time she’s perfected her sound on one tune, she’s off to the next one, complete with a different set of sounds. Sure, indie-pop covers the idea, but it’s definitely a broad term. There are times where her sound might remind you of Alvvays or Best Coast, but there are definite comparisons to Grimes to be made, but maybe if Grimes listened to more Echo and the Bunnymen. You know what? I’m gonna stop now. You’re gonna like this, trust us. Check out the wistful bounce of “Fix.”
Well this might be a BRM first! A Jersey City band and a classic Hoboken label (Bar/None)! This is a rave spiel waiting to happen, and thankfully Overlake is not just nepotism rock. If you like your bands from Jersey (like I do), while you gaze upon your shoes (Hey look! Saucony Jazz!) this is the album for you. Produced loud and clear by Tom Beajour at Nuthouse Studios in (yes Hoboken), check out the power of the fuzz as you close your eyes and drift away to “Winter Is Why.”
Sunshine & the Rain "In The Darkness Of My Night"
Oh yeah, Jersey City in the house for the full-length debut of Sunshine and the Rain. This new duo features the lovely and talented Justin Angelo Morey from the Black Hollies on guitar and his wife Ashley Anderson Morey on bass. The band locked themselves in a studio with Jon Spencer and have come out alive with “In The Darkness Of My Night”. If you ever wanted to hear what The Jesus and Mary Chain mixed with Suicide being sung by Susanna Hoffs sounded like (how could you not?), have I got the record for you. So turn that drum machine up and bring on the hits! Dig into “I’m Not Your Girl.”
There are times when all of us need unabashedly pretty records in our lives. For those times, there is the lovely music of Trummors. Headlands (Ernest Jenning) is their latest gorgeous album. Slowly expanding their originally Americana sound to be a sort of neo-folk, these pastoral tunes can some hind remind you of the brightest summer days and the windiest autumn times simultaneously. Hints of the Dead’s early studio albums, Neil Young at his most stoned, ’70s softt rock, William Tyler-esque passages of guitar beauty. Lots of pretty stuff. Dig into the southwest strains of “Spanish Peaks.”