There are some highly anticipated releases in this edition as well as some pleasant surprises that I’ve stumbled upon. Dessa and Spanglish Fly both have new releases that I’ve been eagerly waiting on. New discoveries for me include HOLY and Dizzy Fae.
Dessa’s new album, Chime, is my most anticipated release thus far in 2018. The buzz around this has been gathering particularly since the 2nd single, Fire Drills, dropped in December. The 3 singles that we’d heard beforehand (Good Grief, Fire Drills, and 5 Out Of 6) are certainly among the high points in this record for me. That said, Dessa certainly didn’t show too much of her hand before playing. Velodrome is a real standout for me, but the record is definitely still most rewarding if you have the chance to listen start-to-finish. This is the latest out from the Minneapolis collective, Doomtree, and it seems that with each release the entire group gets better. So while it has been 5 yrs since Dessa’s last solo full-length, Parts of Speech, one can see the considerable experience gained since then. Chime is her best to date.
A couple months back I heard Spanglish Fly’s cover of You Know I’m No Good by Amy Winehouse. It caught my attention immediately as the song was one of the first that my own band had played together when we were just starting to practice. Spanglish Fly’s version was decidedly different though. The Boogaloo revivalists brought their own energy and firey Latin style to the song. The group takes up a fairly unique space in the current musical landscape taking the traditional New York Boogaloo blend of Afro-cuban and Soul, but also bringing in Jazz, Flamenco, Doo-wop, Hip-Hop, and even Arabic. The band is a true melting pot of music and culture, and their new record, Ay Que Boogaloo! is a perfect reflection of band’s own varied cultural roots.
Puerto Rican rapper, Residente tried a new experiment with his new record that brought in some new and unexpected collaborations. He took a genetic test. His discoveries about his own roots inspired him to find artists from those regions to collaborate on the record. One of the attention-grabbers for me was a song I included this edition featuring one of my favorite desert-blues guitarists, Bombino.
Other new albums from HOLY, Ezra Furman, Loma, Brandi Carlile, and Superchunk feature this edition as well as new singles from King Tuff, Beach House, and Dr. Dog. Finally, I would be remiss if I neglected the Black Panther soundtrack. I’ve not mentioned it much at all, but I think that album (along with the movie itself) is going to be viewed as a cultural landmark for many years to come.
The Leers – I Can’t Cope
Dizzy Fae – Canyon
Kendrick Lamar, SZA – All the Stars
Dessa – Say When
Kehlani – Again
Spanglish Fly – You Know I’m No Good/Chica Mala Mambo
Residente feat. Bombino – La Sombra
King Tuff – Psycho Star
Ezra Furman – No Place
Brandi Carlile – Every Time I Hear That Song
I’m With Her – Ryland (Under the Apple Tree)
Tom Forest – Superhuman
Dr Dog – Go Out Fighting
Hollow Twin – The Valley
Car Seat Headrest – Sober to Death
Brandi Carlile – The Joke
Ezra Furman – God Lifts Up the Lowly
HOLY – Wish 3
Dessa – Velodrome
Beach House – Lemon Glow
Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul, Anderson.Paak, James Blake – Bloody Waters
Busta Rhymes – Get It
A Perfect Circle – TalkTalk
Loma – Relay Runner
Courtney Barnett – Nameless, Faceless
Superchunk – Erasure