Tōth "Practice Magic and Seek Professional Help When Necessary (Northern Spy)"
Tōth, the new projects from Alex Toth of Rubblebucket and Alexander F came about after he broke his foot during an Alexander F performance. Locked away in his apartment mending that broken foot, along with his broken heart (he and his Rubblebucket partner had recently broken up as well) he started writing the stripped down acoustic songs that make up Practice Magic and Seek Professional Help When Necessary (Northern Spy). The songs are lush but sparse, with occasional trumpet solos from Alex, who is a jazz trumpeter by training. If the Beach Boys wrote a stripped-down break-up record, the results wouldn’t be too off from this. Check out the absolutely lovely “Song To Make You Fall In Love With Me.”
The Felice Brothers "Undress (Yep Roc)"
“It isn’t hard to find worthwhile things to write about these days, there are a lot of storms blooming on the horizon and a lot of chaos that permeates our lives. The hard part is finding simple and direct ways to address them.” So says Ian Felice of the new Felice Brothers record Undress (Yep Roc). Well, address them they did. This is the bands most direct, emotional release to date. Full of the heartland, indie-folk sounds we’ve come to love them for, but with a definite modern lyrical slant. They, like the rest of us, are obviously pretty tired of the current landscape and are working through it via song. Check out the title track “Undress.”
Jesse Mac Cormack "Now (Secret City)"
Up until now, Montréal singer songwriter Jesse Mac Cormack has done just about everything there is to be done in music… except release a full length album. A handful of EPs under his belt, production credits, opening slots for Patrick Watson and Cat Power among others– Jesse has honed his craft, just waiting for the right moment to unleash his fully formed song craft upon the world. Well, that moment is Now. No, I didn’t accidentally uppercase the word now back then (let alone the implication that I also erroneously italicized it). Now is the title of Jesse’s full length debut, and what a fully formed wonder it is. Full of chilly, stunning ‘80s production, psychedelic touches, world music rhythms, and desert imagery (for those of you who aren’t great at spelling-he’s singing about the hot, sandy places-not cake) this is definitely one to check out. So start with otherworldly “No Love Go.”
Jan St. Werner "Glottal Wolpertinger (Fiepblatter Catalogue #6) (Thrill Jockey)"
The latest Fiepblatter Catalog release from Jan St. Werner, Glottal Wolpertinger, is an exercise in oscillating drones that started out life as an art installation. Look, I realize that that sentence is either going to send you running as fast as you can away from this release or get you super interested and pressing play on it immediately. If you are the former, then little I can say will change your mind. If you are the latter, then my job is already done! Oscillate along with “Glottal Wolpertinger Feedback Band 3 / B.”