Fascinations Grand Chorus "Presentations of Electrical Confectionary"
If you are in the mood for some vintage-leaning, throwback-y pop then you are in the mood for Jersey City’s own Fascinations Grand Chorus. Their latest, Presentations of Electrical Confectionary, is like a trip through early rock and roll, with some whimsy and modern flair thrown in for fun! Bouncy, harmonious, full of hooks and sing-a-long-able choruses, and shuffle-y Beatles-esque drums (anyone who doesn’t bow at the drum prowess of Ringo isn’t listening carefully enough if you ask me. That dude is a FANTASTIC drummer. Ok, I’ll step down from my Ringo soapbox). Check out the Beatlesque “Back Again.”
The Pop Group "Y (Mute)"
Even if you aren’t familiar with 1979’s album Y (Mute) from The Pop Group, you have been listening to is rebellious, experimental, discordant influence run through every aspect if independent music since its 1979 release (and chances are, you are familiar with at least the cover of the album). An auspicious debut album that received mixed reviews upon its release but grows in adulation with every passing year (kinda like The Gong Show Movie). So if you already love the album, then check out your favorite track at your leisure. If you are new to town. Welcome! The library is over there. The best market is over there. And the raucous, dangerous, dub-y “3 38” is this way!
Leif Vollebekk "New Ways (Secret City)"
New Ways, the new album from Leif Vollebekk, is a meticulous, sparse, stunner of a soul-esque album. I cannot think of a recent example of better use of silence on an album than this. Now, I’m not talking John Cage silence here, I just mean that everything sure has room to breathe, and breathe it does. As the PR mentions (quite correctly) there are parallels of sound to be heard here to both Prince and Bill Withers. Frankly, if those two names don’t want to get you to check out an album then I don’t know what sorts of things you are looking for. Check out the first single from the album “Hot Tears” and dig all that space!
Sean Henry "A Jump From The High Dive (Double Double Whammy)"
I was a huge fan of Sean Henry‘s 2018 album Fink. So, as you can imagine, I was pretty thrilled to check out his 2019 release A Jump From The High Dive (Double Double Whammy). Thankfully, it did not disappoint. It’s every bit as much fun as the last album was, as Sean is keenly attuned to what made ‘90s indie as much fun as it was. A little like early Built To Spill, a little like early Pavement, a little like early Modest Mouse-and if that isn’t a trifecta of indie greatness then I don’t know what to tell you. But don’t think this is some kind of retro show or something-this isn’t just a pastiche. It’s just obvious who his influences are. So check out the aforementionedly BTS-esque “Rain Rain.”