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.”
Cursive "Get Fixed (15 Passenger)"
A scant year since the release of Vitrola, Cursive are back with a whole new album! Also, I don’t use the word “scant” enough. In fact, I don’t think the word “scant” makes it out of cookbooks and into general language enough. Its a nice word. You know what else is a nice word? Get Fixed (15 Passengers)! Yeah, I know its two words. But with a release schedule as furious as Cursive’s newly found ferocity, its hard to keep up! What you need to know here is the band had some songs that were written during the sessions for their last album (remember, scant year?) and fleshed out for what feels like a companion album yet stands alone as a WHOLE NEW CURSIVE ALBUM ONE YEAR LATER. Check out “Barricades” and see what I mean!
Chris Farren "Born Hot (Polyvinyl)"
Few artists have equally keen ears for melodies and humor-Chris Farren definitely belongs in this category. No, his Polyvinyl debut isn’t a comedy album or anything-but with a name like Born Hot you have to expect at least a little humor. Well, if you do you won’t be disappointed. But if you are only expecting jokey songs then you will be disappointed as Chris is a gifted songwriter/performer and Born Hot is the record he was born to record. Quirky arrangements, pop punk attitude, singable choruses, this is a feel-good record about feeling bad about yourself. A tricky balancing act to be sure, but he does it with aplomb. Check out the positively danceable “Search 4 Me.” This really harkens back to a time (the 80s) when taking yourself too seriously was a no-no. So have some fun and dig in!
The Building "Petra (Concord Records)"
Multi-instrumentalist Anthony LaMarca, best known as the guitarist for The War On Drugs, has returned with another album as The Building-his main solo project. Though the recording of this album was not ideal (it was during the sessions that his Multiple Myeloma returned) Petra is, in fact, an ideal record. Stunningly beautiful songs with autumnal arrangements are the name of the game here. Like the frame of a building (Pulitzer please), The Building’s music is fragile like acoustic Neil Young and Bill Callahan. Recorded in his hometown of Youngstown, OH and bonus points for the album being named for his dog, Petra (the album) as pretty as music can get. Check out “Life Half Lived.”