House And Land "Across The Field (Thrill Jockey)"
When we last heard from Sarah Louise, she was releasing one of my favorite albums of the year thus far- “Nighttime Birds and Morning Stars” which found her finding common ground between Americana music and melodically ambient music a la Fripp/Eno. Now here she has teamed up once again with multi-instrumentalist Sally Anne Morgan as House And Land. Across The Field (Thrill Jockey) finds the women indulging their every bluegrass/Americana whim. These are songs from the earth. Sounding like they’ve existed forever, with 2-part harmonies and hardly an instrument plugged in (though Sarah is lending a bit of her amazing electric guitar work to the LP this time). Check out the simply lovely “Two Sisters.”
Palehound "Black Friday (Polyvinyl)"
In its history, Boston has meant many things to many people. A great place to throw a tea party. A killer spot for some equally killer beans. Boisterous sports fans. But in my mind, all of those things are falling away as now Boston is primarily, to me, the hometown of Palehound! On Black Friday (Polyvinyl), their third LP, Ellen Kempner and the gang deal with the many different forms love can take with occasionally hushed vocals, delicate lyrics, and spindly bedroom rock for a sound that falls somewhere between modern indie and the most classic indie bands you can think of. It’s a delicious combo, so order up a heaping helping of the whisper rock of “Aaron.”
Cy Dune "Desert"
Look, we’ve been big fans of Seth Olinsky ever since the first time we heard Akron/Family. But for now, those days are behind us. Here, Seth is known as Cy Dune, and his latest, Desert, is another noisy, experimental collection of guitar-driven tunes caught out of sync with the rest of the world-yet right on time. A little like if The Velvet Underground had access to the Bang On A Can catalog, this weird mixture of noise, punk, rock and roll, and modern classical is sure to win over critics and fans alike. Heck, I’m gonna say that I am both of them and I am absolutely smitten with Desert. You will be too, so check out the in-the-red rockabilly screech of “Desert 3.”
Beauty Pill "Sorry You’re Here"
In 2010, Chad Clark (the driving force behind Beauty Pill) was brought on to write the score to a play entitled suicide.chat.room. Well here we are in 2019, and finally we have the recorded evidence of this score in our hot little hands (also, why are our hands so hot? I’d check WebMD, but they never have good news…). Sorry You’re Here is the result of that scoring project, and its some of the most haunting, beautiful music Beauty Pill has ever released. Oscillating between modern classical music and Aphex Twin-esque electronica and audio-collage, this is one beauty of an album (get it?). Check out the jittering sheen of “At A Loss.”