Hembree "House On Fire (Thirty Tigers)"
Mixing some hip-hop production with ‘70s and ‘80s beat rock bands like Blondie and Talking Heads and modern danceable bands like St. Vincent and LCD Soundsystem, Hembree have landed on a sound all their own–though it did take me like 20 minutes to figure out who Issac Flynn’s vocal stylings remind me of. Spoiler alert: its Kenny Loggins. Not a striking resemblance or anything… just where my ear’s brain went for some reason. You can make your mind up for yourself by checking out the danceable and slightly sinister “Culture.”
Helms Alee "Noctiluca (Sargent House)"
Everybody: Rock and roll is dead. Nobody likes guitars anymore.
Sargent House: Wanna bet?
Hot off the heels of the release of one of the best rock albums in years is last month’s Brutus release, Sargent House has done it again with the release of Helms Alee’s Noctiluca. The melodic metal-esque band (post-something I’m sure?) are back with more riffs and melodies than this month’s issue of Guitar Player Magazine. The trio’s angular riffage and drum beats combine to sound a bit like if Sleep forgot their weed at home mixed with Sleater Kinney. Yeah. This is a fun one. Check out the dramatic shifts of “Spider Jar.”
Kelly Finnigan "The Tales People Tell (Colemine)"
Man oh man, if you like revival soul then do we have a record for you. The Tales People Tell (Colemine) is the solo debut from Kelly Finnigan and it’s everything you want it to be. Rooted in the timeless soul sounds of the ‘60s and ‘70s, its obvious Kelly is influenced by the sounds of artists like The Delfonics, The Chi-Lites, The Stylistics, Otis Redding, Al Green, and a ton more that would make up a record collection that I would be happy to call my own. Groovy keyboards (sometimes provided by his father Mike who played with Hendrix, Joe Cocker, and Etta James to name a few) as well as drums from James Gadson (who played with everyone from Marvin Gaye to Beck) and Kelly on 10 other instruments. Gonna steal a line from Colemine’s PR here, because it’s perfect: “a record that’s at once raw and gritty, tender and emotive, lush and symphonic.” Check out ”Catch Me I’m Falling” (a focus track on an album made up entirely of focus tracks).
M83 "Knife + Heart OST (Mute)"
Are you ready for a new M83 album? Well this is it – sort of – the third soundtrack from Anthony Gonzalez, and let’s give out some bonus points as it’s the first record from M83 with founder Nicolas Fromageau since Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts! What ends up landing on your eardrums is a mainly instrumental album (we did say score didn’t we) with some touches of the M83 we know and love (BUILDING? DID I SAY BUILDING? Check out “La Caverne”), with some more 70’s/80’s disco synths from the Junk-era M83 sounds added to the mix. Sound fun? You get 27 jams to roll through but start with the oh so frightening and danceable “Malaria-Thrash Me”.