Sloucher "Be True (Swoon Records)"
If, like me, you devoured the heyday of ‘90s indie rock like it was popcorn at a superhero movie, then Sloucher’s debut record Be True (Swoon Records) is making some late-in-the-year moves towards being on your list of favorite 2018 records. If you remember standing in church basements waiting to see Grandaddy while listening to Pavement on your Walkman wearing a Built To Spill t-shirt the whole time… But also had an ear out for the better mainstream grunge stuffs… Well, get ready to fall in love, starting with “Perfect For You.”
Beast "Ens (Thrill Jockey)"
Koen Holtkamp. You know him from his main gig as a member of Mountains, and also his many solo recordings. This time out he is going by Beast, and Ens (Thrill Jockey), ads another layer to the man’s mysterious productivity. Recorded mostly at night while anticipating the birth of his first child-and then after the long days of new fatherhood-the whole thing is giddy and meticulous. Borrowing something from krautrock, modern ambient music, ‘80s film scores, and his own wandering mind, this is a deeply fun album. Melodic and bouncy, hopeful. Check out the first single “Paprika Shorts.”
Masta Ace & Marco Polo "A Breukelen Story"
How good is the new album from Masta Acce & Marco Polo? Well, Vibe Magazine calls it “55 minutes of pure Brooklyn joints.” What “To The 5 Boroughs” did to all of NY, A Breukelen Story (Fat Beats) does to Brooklyn. Touching on love, being black in America, gentrification, fear, and everything in-between all the while paying homage to all of the rap greats that hail from BK. Guests galore, beats a-plenty, and masterful rhymes from Masta Ace and a slew of talented guests like Pharoahe Monch and… well… that’s not fair to other guests to list them AFTER Pharoahe Monch, that dude is so great. So is “American Me,” so check it out!
Chris Garneau "Yours"
“Chris Garneau has always pursued his own strange sonic path, drawing on a diverse array of influences to create an otherworldly, haunting and distinct lane in the singer-songwriter universe.” Thanks Billboard! You’ve made my job here pretty easy, because I’m not sure that Chris’ ovure has ever been described more succinctly or poetically. Thankfully, Yours, his latest release, continues in this grand tradition. Like a lot of us, Yours finds Chris fed up with the state of things, but the results are far more beautiful than an angry twitter feed. Songs build and crescendo, at times gentle-at other times epic. Case in point is the single “Torpedo.”