Vancouver Sleep Clinic "Onward To Zion"
If there is such a thing as a middle ground between ambient music and modern and soulful R&B its because of Vancouver Sleep Clinic that that middle ground exists. On Onward To Zion, his second album as VSC, mastermind Tim Bettison combines the aforementioned genres and mixes in some jazz samples, guitar and piano, meditative, contemplative sounds and… well… it’s just about everything you’d want from an artist that goes by a name as fantastic as Vancouver Sleep Clinic. So connect some like diodes to your head and spend the night at the sleep[ clinic! Check out the ethereal, guitar-heavy (and by guitar-heavy, I mean lots of gentle touch acoustic guitars. not like heavy guitars. although I didn’t have a chance to weigh them, sorry… I’m like 2 “joke” premises in here. Let’s reset.) Check out the guitar-heavy “Fever” and see what we mean!
Hovvdy "Heavy Lifter (Double Double Whammy)"
Heavy Lifter is the 3rd full-length LP from Hovvdy, but the first one that I listened to today. I know, that doesn’t mean much to anyone-but you try to come up with a new intro sentence for all these blurbs! It can be hard! Thankfully, coming up with stuff seems to be far easier for Charlie Martin and Will Taylor of Hovvdy. Their ideas congeal so well, its as natural a fit as can be expected for 2 drummers that met at a baseball games. This a warm, nostalgic sounding collection of bedroom-ish singing and songwriting. Confessional, conversational, and introspective. Sonically, its hard to pin down-tunes run the full spectrum to acoustic guitar and vocals to more roundly produced with piano, bass, drums (once a pair of drummers, always a pair of drummers). The easiest thing to do is to call this a (gasp!) indie record and let your mind fill in the gaps. OR! You could check out the reflective “1999” or the almost alt-country swing of “Watergun” and let your ears fill in the gaps instead.
SAARISELKA "The Ground Our Sky (Temporary Residence)"
Am I the only one who, since its release, have been obsessed with the mysterious Date Palms record? Well, good news! Part of the duo that made up that mysterious, instrumental post-rock/ambient/neo-classical band are back-but not as Date Palms. Their new project is called Saariselka, and their debut The Ground Our Sky (Temporary Residence) is as beautiful as anything on the Date Palms record. Glacial swaths of synth beauty and pedal steel guitar act as a new age meets post-rock mash up that sounds VERY 2019 (at least, very 2019 in terms of what I’ve been listening to.) . Check out the uplifting “Void.”
Common Holly "When I Say To You Black Lightning (Barsuk)"
From Barsuk Records:
Holding fast to the emotional honesty of Playing House (2017), Brigitte Naggar’s sophomore record as Common Holly, When I say to you Black Lightning, is a look outward; an exploration of the ways in which we all experience pain, fear and self-delusion, and how we can learn to confront those feelings with boldness. When I say to you Black Lightning feels like Naggar’s conversation with herself, meticulously penned to work through challenges as they unfold. It’s cool, and more than that, it feels important. It’s about finding the seeds of strength to navigate adult life, and about the ways in which we all find ourselves in that place of struggle when life starts to show you its cards and you begin to understand, in the artist’s words, “just how real shit can get.”
Check out “Measured” and see just how real shit can get!