SAARISELKA "The Ground Our Sky (Temporary Residence)"
Am I the only one who, since its release, have been obsessed with the mysterious Date Palms record? Well, good news! Part of the duo that made up that mysterious, instrumental post-rock/ambient/neo-classical band are back-but not as Date Palms. Their new project is called Saariselka, and their debut The Ground Our Sky (Temporary Residence) is as beautiful as anything on the Date Palms record. Glacial swaths of synth beauty and pedal steel guitar act as a new age meets post-rock mash up that sounds VERY 2019 (at least, very 2019 in terms of what I’ve been listening to.) . Check out the uplifting “Void.”
Common Holly "When I Say To You Black Lightning (Barsuk)"
From Barsuk Records:
Holding fast to the emotional honesty of Playing House (2017), Brigitte Naggar’s sophomore record as Common Holly, When I say to you Black Lightning, is a look outward; an exploration of the ways in which we all experience pain, fear and self-delusion, and how we can learn to confront those feelings with boldness. When I say to you Black Lightning feels like Naggar’s conversation with herself, meticulously penned to work through challenges as they unfold. It’s cool, and more than that, it feels important. It’s about finding the seeds of strength to navigate adult life, and about the ways in which we all find ourselves in that place of struggle when life starts to show you its cards and you begin to understand, in the artist’s words, “just how real shit can get.”
Check out “Measured” and see just how real shit can get!
Dave Specter "Blues From The Inside Out (Delmark)"
Blues From The Inside Out is the most expressive project of Dave Specter’s 35-year career. Featuring his debut as a vocalist, the album is an exciting and timely celebration of blues, soul, jazz, funk and gospel. These are fine times to hear Specter, an evolving artist who embraces growth and discovery. Blues From The Inside Out includes a guest appearance on guitar by Jorma Kaukonen of Jefferson Airplane/Hot Tuna fame, who also co-wrote one of the album’s 12 original tunes. Specter wrote the uplifting soul anthem for change “March Through the Darkness,” he takes a deep dive into Meters-Neville Brothers inspired rhythms with the instrumental “Sanctifunkious” and sings on the blues shuffle title track. Besides Kaukonen, Specter recruited the Chicago-based Liquid Soul horns and Latin-percussion ace Ruben Alvarez, each playing on three tracks.
Check out the aforementioned “Sanctifunkious.”
Cursive "Get Fixed (15 Passenger)"
A scant year since the release of Vitrola, Cursive are back with a whole new album! Also, I don’t use the word “scant” enough. In fact, I don’t think the word “scant” makes it out of cookbooks and into general language enough. Its a nice word. You know what else is a nice word? Get Fixed (15 Passengers)! Yeah, I know its two words. But with a release schedule as furious as Cursive’s newly found ferocity, its hard to keep up! What you need to know here is the band had some songs that were written during the sessions for their last album (remember, scant year?) and fleshed out for what feels like a companion album yet stands alone as a WHOLE NEW CURSIVE ALBUM ONE YEAR LATER. Check out “Barricades” and see what I mean!