Past Releases

Squirrel Flower "Planet EP (Polyvinyl)"

Distilled to perfection in Boston’s DIY scene, Squirrel Flower’s Planet EP is a rustic cognac for the soul, fruit-notes and floral scents with a warm, full feeling. Or maybe not – I’m not fancy enough for Cognac. Regardless, Ella William’s latest proves her to be one of the new innovators of that slow-paced-bummer-ish-lo-fi-indie-folk sound pioneered by artists like Phoebe Bridgers and Angel Olsen. Planet EP’s low, layered, synths float beneath her feathery, melancholic voice and just above the simplistic drum lines. Sparse guitars, harmonic vocals, and the audio equivalent of sunbeams refracted through the cloudy darkness of bedrooms at dusk. Find hope in the final crescendos of songs like “live wire”, and “ruby at dawn” (all uncapitalized at the artist’s request, lending credence to the lo-fi-ness of it all) or dive into the experimental side of the pool and check out the cover of “unravel” by Bjork – which provides a rough, reverberating change of pace to the otherwise silken release (silken like Yoo-Hoo, which I am exactly fancy enough for). 

Green/Blue "Offering (Rough Trade Publishing)"

From Hozac Records:

Green/Blue have thrust forth their second-born Offering to the gods of noise, washed in hypnotic barbed-wire guitar slices wrapped in troubled dreams of paranoid isolation, it’s the perfect cerebral soundtrack for these endless, draining days.

The Whitmore Sisters "Ghost Stories (Red House Records)"

From Red House Records:

Sisters Eleanor and Bonnie Whitmore, two of roots music’s most accomplished songwriter/instrumentalist/vocalists, are releasing their first album together as The Whitmore Sisters. Titled Ghost Stories, it’s inspired by the loss of family, friends, ex-boyfriends and — on the title track — people who died by police violence. 

Ghosts Stories’ cathartic songs embrace the beauty and the experience of living. What came from lockdown and shared experiences — hiking the Grand Canyon at five, playing bars at 15, getting their pilots’ licenses (their entire family fly planes), or just embracing the beauty of living — is an album to take you places and make you feel so alive. “Music should move people,” Eleanor affirms. “Or at least cause some kind of reaction. Sometimes it’s comforting, or you can rock out! I’ve always liked Woody Guthrie’s way of looking at it: ‘Music is to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.’

Pedro The Lion "Havasu (Polyvinyl)"

Back in 2019, David Bazan reactivated Pedro the Lion and returned with the band’s first album in 15 years, Phoenix. A truly great comeback, Phoenix added to PTL’s legacy with songs that picked up right where the band left off and never felt like rehashed versions of older material. Turns out that Pedro the Lion is really back in it for the long haul, and Phoenix was apparently the first album in a five-album series, each one named after and inspired by a different place David Bazan has lived. The second, Havasu, was surprise-released this week. Picking right up where Phoenix left off, Havasu feels like classic Pedro the Lion, and you don’t need to be a nostalgia-seeking longtime fan to appreciate it. Pedro the Lion’s emo/indie rock crossover was ahead of its time — there are way more bands that toe that line today than there were 20 years ago — and the reunion has felt like a way for the band to come back into a future they helped create. As on PTL’s past albums, what really makes Havasu stand out is David Bazan’s highly detailed, personal songwriting. Sonically, Havasu isn’t a major departure for Pedro the Lion, but it’s the depth of the songs that make them resonate as strongly as the band’s classic material. Havasu reminds you that, perhaps more than anything else, David Bazan is just a great storyteller. 

Andrew Sacher, Brooklyn Vegan