METZ "Automat (Sub Pop)"
Chances are you’re already a fan of the “delightfully noisy 3-piece punk band from Toronto” but even for the biggest fans of the band, the songs on Automat (Sub Pop) were hard to get ahold of. Well… hard to get along of no more these songs are (that was a surprisingly Yoda sentence of me). Non-album tracks, b-sides, rarities from over the last decade. It’s a veritable Odds & Sods! Check out the angular power of “Pure Auto.”
Purple Mountains "Purple Mountains (Drag City)"
It’s been 11 years since we’ve gotten new music from Silver Jews’ David Berman. For a bit of a catch-up on what he’s been up to, I’d highly recommend reading this Washington Post feature on him from June 3rd-unless you’re out of articles for the month. If you are, then we have the perfect way for you to see what’s what with Mr. Berman! By checking out his wildly entertaining rebirth as “Purple Mountains”! The self-titled Purple Mountains (Drag City) is everything you could possibly want from a new David Berman project. From the xanax promo that is “That’s Just The Way That I Feel” to one of the best songs ever written about a mom “I Loved Being My Mother’s Son.” Mr. Berman even gives us the gift of finally ridding the world of “Margaritaville” with “Margaritas At The Mall.” Looking for the Randy Newman replacement for the next Toy Story? Check out the surprisingly bright and simultaneously dark “All My Happiness Is Gone”
Umberto "Helpless Spectator (Thrill Jockey)"
If you are in the market for moody, atmospheric, synth-driven tunes then look no further than the cinematic sounds of Umberto. Somewhere between Explosions In The Sky, John Carpenter, YLT’s Sounds Of Science, and Hauschka lies Helpless Spectator (Thrill Jockey). Seriously, check the album out. It sounds like all those things and more. Ok, maybe I’m projecting because those are like all my favorite musical aesthetics. But if you respond to them at all then check out the epic build of “Spontaneous Possession.”
Joanna Sternberg "Then I Try Some More (Team Love)"
Then I Try Some More (Team Love) from NYC musician/artist Joanna Sternberg is an album that’s easy to love, and hard to describe. Joanna started out as a young’un playing piano, then moved on to double bass during high school college. But that’s not all they were up to. Joanna also spent much time working on their visual art. Maybe that’s why the tunes here are so colorful? Most songs feature Joanna’s distinct vocal delivery accompanied by a sparse arrangement. The songs are somehow a mixture of folk music, classical, children’s music, ‘60s pop, ‘30s pop, and tons of other influences. The result is absolutely enchanting, with a McCartney-esque ability to simplify lots of different genres down to their basics while always sounding like themselves. Check out standout track “Step Away.”