The Fortnightly Playlist, March 25th, 2018

Well, a week of vacation can leave you playing catch up a little with music releases as you return to normal life, but I think I’ve got an excellent list here of releases that didn’t escape my notice. New singles from some of my all-time favorite artists/bands, so I’m pretty excited about music in 2018. In particular, Pearl Jam, The Hold Steady, Damien Jurado and Joe Purdy have given me a lot to look forward to. New albums released by Jack White, Deva Mahal, The Decemberists, I Will Keep Your Ghost, and Ought also included this edition.

Plenty of local music this time around. Damien Jurado, Pearl Jam, and Moondoggies all here. I’d like to give a quick shout out to I Will Keep Your Ghost. The Everett-based band mixes dance and electronic music with vocal-driven rock, and includes someone I know as my bartender at my local pub. I really think this is going to be something of a breakout for them. The record is just 5 songs, but it is excellent.

My all-time favorite band has released their first new material in 4 and a half years. Pearl Jam are back, and the new single, Can’t Deny Me, has been confirmed to be from an upcoming album. This is combined with a spring/summer tour through South America, Europe and then North America. The years since their last studio album, Lightning Bolt, have been far from quiet. Several Pearl Jam projects have found their way into some Fortnightly Playlists in the last couple years. RNDM, The Levee Walkers, and several artists on Mike McCready’s label, Hockeytalkter, have been featured here. I’m so excited to see them reconvene as Pearl Jam once again.  It’s their first release since their induction in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last year.

Other favorites this time around include Deva Mahal (daughter of Blues Legend, Taj Mahal), The Hold Steady, and the newest from The Decemberists.

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Tracklist:
The Decemberists – Once In My Life
Hiss Golden Messenger – Standing In The Doorway
Pete International Airport – Flowers of Evil
Pearl Jam – Can’t Deny Me
The Hold Steady – Eureka
Jack White – Over and Over and Over
Ought – These 3 Things
I Will Keep Your Ghost – Gold Leaf
Damien Jurado – Over Rainbows and Rainier
Joe Purdy – Moonlight
Dr. Dog – Buzzing in the Light
Deva Mahal – Turnt Up
Zaki Ibrahim – Cut Loose
Young Fathers – Turn
Mere Women – Eternally
Moondoggies – Sick in Bed
False Heads – Retina
Sleeptalk – I Hope You’re Doing Well
Deva Mahal – Can’t Call It Love
Shame – One Rizla
Dreams – No One Defeats Us

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The Fortnightly Playlist, March 11th, 2018

Here we are into March, and we’re entirely into 2018 music with this edition. New albums out from Delvon Lamar Organ Trio, Young Fathers, Camp Cope, Imarhan, Jen Cloher, and David Byrne (The Talking Heads), and new singles from Neko Case, Yo La Tengo, Janelle Monae, CHVRCHES, and Jon Hopkins are all included this time around.

The new Brandi Carlile album, By The Way, I Forgive You, has really been a standout record for me. Brandi has carved out a place for herself somewhere between pop/rock and folk/country, and her latest is a showcase of her talents in bringing these different parts together. Last edition, I included the contemplative and reflective country tune Every Time I Hear That Song and the passionate ballad The Joke.  This time I’m including Hold Out Your Hand. This tune has some twists to it. The verses have a sort of rambling classic country sound, and then the chorus breaks into a huge stomping sing-along. When you find an artist that continues to be better and better with each release, then it is worth following them.

There has been significant buzz around Janelle Monae’s new single. One aspect of this derives from Prince’s involvement in production for this record, and it doesn’t take more an encyclopedic knowledge of Prince to here a bit of the Purple One’s distinct touch in Make Me Feel. Monae’s performance here is amazing, and this single is going to be a big one for the year. It has all the makings of a smash hit, and yet has enough to stand on musically to avoid being played to death. It’s a unique balancing act here, and I look forward to hearing what the rest of the record holds.

Other personal favorites in this list are Buffalo Tom, Young Fathers, Jen Cloher, CHVRCHES and David Byrne.

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