Anna Burch "If You’re Dreaming (Polyvinyl)"
With recurring themes of isolation, weariness and longing, these songs deliver that emotional arc with a delicate but uncompromising execution. Burch’s intrinsically catchy songwriting dials down the urgency of her debut a notch, taking a turn towards airy, jazz-voiced chords, floating reverb and an expansion of the sonic palate with unexpected instrumentation. The soft-rock bass grooves and understated saxophone lines of “Not So Bad” push an impressive pop structure into exciting new territory, and the sweetly melancholic “Tell Me What’s True” centers around muted electric piano, its languid but metered vibe recalling the gentler side of Carole King.
Check out “Party’s Over.”
Cable Ties "Far Enough (Merge)"
From Merge Records:
The second album from Melbourne, Australia’s Cable Ties brings a towering wall of ’70s hard rock and proto-punk to songs that explore hope, despair, and anger but offer no easy answers. Cable Ties’ fundamental elements—a driving rhythm section, anxious and emotive guitar playing, defiant, passionate songwriting, and Jenny McKechnie’s earthshaking voice—are complicated on Far Enough by nuance and ambivalence.
Check out “Sandcastles.”
Waxahatchee "Saint Cloud (Merge)"
From Merge Records:
Waxhatchee’s Saint Cloud is an unflinching self-examination whose raw, exposed narrative terrain is aided by a shift in sonic arrangements. While her last two records (Out in the Storm and Ivy Tripp) featured the kind of big guitars, well-honed noise, and battering sounds that characterized her Philadelphia scene and strongly influenced a burgeoning new class of singer-songwriters, Saint Cloudstrips back those layers to create space for Katie Crutchfield’s voice and lyrics. The result is a classic Americana sound with modern touches befitting an artist who has emerged as one of the signature storytellers of her time.
Check out “Lilacs.”
Grumpy "Loser (Acrophase)"
It’s Grumpy‘s debut album on Acrophase Records! Loser is a candy-coated collection of alt-pop gems. A little like ’90s college radio, a even more like the current youth rock that obviously leans on that sound but has updated it to the current times. This is a head-bopping, jangle good time rock record. So get ready to bounce along to “Davy Jones”!