Hiss Golden Messenger "Terms Of Surrender (Merge)"
The songs M.C. Taylor wrote for the latest Hiss Golden Messenger record Terms Of Surrender (Merge) were not originally written for a record. They were written for himself. A catharsis of sorts. It was only after he started writing these songs and playing them with other people that he realized that maybe they were too good to keep to himself. We are thankful he felt that way because we think they are too good for us to never hear, that’s for sure. For a record that started out as a personal collection of songs, there is a through-line on this record as strong as anything, and that through line is love. So if you are the kind of person that doesn’t love love then… well… this record is the least of your problems. Featuring the likes of Phil Cook, Jenny Lewis, and other guests, this is one Americana-tinged, rocking good time. Check out the joyous first track “I Need A Teacher.”
David Kilgour & The Heavy Eights "Bonnie’s A Girl (Merge)"
Imagine being 4 decades into your career and still surprising people? No–I don’t mean like an office prankster that keeps finding new ways to hide a cupcake at your desk (though i’d happily welcome such a co-worker with open arms and a mouth full of cupcake). I mean David Kilgour! His latest, Bonnie’s A Girl (Merge) is a gentle, pastoral collection of mostly acoustic ‘60s inspired psychedelica. For a full-time jangle-rocker… well, count me as surprised. Also, count me as delighted. What a lovely album this is! Check out the Stereolab meets Neil Young sounds of “Looks Like I’m Running Out.”
Floating Spectrum "A Point Between (Temporary Residence)"
From our pals at Temporary Residence:
“Floating Spectrum is the moniker for Taiwan-born, Berlin-based composer and audio technologist, Mei-Fang Liau. Her debut album as Floating Spectrum, A Point Between – crafted from a combination of synthesizers, everyday household objects, and unique software synthesizers made by Liau herself – is truly a sound and vision unlike any other. To complete the album, Liau relied heavily on a self-made, fractal-inspired software synthesizer called Polyphylla, which simulates the way in which nature creates very complex and organic forms just by repeating slight variations of a simple form. It allowed Liau to create slowly evolving textures and sounds with complex dynamics, and thus the driving influence for the whole of A Point Between.”
I know, right? Yes-this is as otherworldly and beautifully strange as the TR PR makes it sound (also, I really like the sound of TR PR). Check out “Inner Island.”
Vivian Girls "Memory (Polyvinyl)"
Though its been a minute since the Vivan Girls graces our speakers… (ok headphones… ok, FINE earpods. OK FINE KNOCKOFF EARPODS LEAVE ME ALONE!) their new LP Memory (Polyvinyl) is as surprising, vital, and fun as anything (and everything) they’ve ever done. After the release of 2011’s Share The Joy the band never stopped making music, they just weren’t doing so with each other. Katy Goodman with La Sera, Ali Koehler with Best Coast, and Cassie Ramone with The Babies. Eventually, the three women found themselves making music together again and Memory is the result of those secret practice/writing/recording sessions. (Personal note: not for nothing, but I really love this album and the drum fade-in during “Lonely Girl” is one of my favorite music moments of 2019.) Check out the sinister bounce of the hypnotic “Sick.”