It appears to be the first Friday to actually have some new releases I’ve actually been looking forward to with great anticipation. Last year my music listening was at an all time low so I’ve been trying to reverse that trend to start the year and a few of these releases have really caught my eye. I haven’t gotten a chance to go through every track from the below with intention, but I’ve sampled enough, especially the first three to know they are at least worth giving a shot.
When the single All My Favorite Songs came out a couple weeks ago, my interest immediately peaked. Weezer has become one of my favorite bands, not because they are always amazing, but because they are prolific and pump out so much music so there is always something new. It won’t always be great, but it’s still better than a lot of the other stuff out there. They also tend to have noticeable phases1. OK Human notes a transition into a new phase. It may not actually continue with future releases, but it’s unlike anything they’ve done before and a much desired turn from their Black and Teal albums, (I know some people liked Teal,) but neither was very appealing to my ears.
I’ve been a bit obsessed with Madlib after the first single for this album, Road of the Lonely Ones, was released. I followed that up with this New Yorker piece about Madlib and this album, and a deep dive through some of his lesser known (to me) releases from the past. It’s labeled as “electronic” due to the lack of lyrics (despite ample samples), but it’s squarely in the hip-hop genre. Take the chill lofi hip hop movement and mash it with some 90’s hip hop and you get Madlib. This is already in the running for the album of the year for me, along with the next one below.
As soon as I heard Green Eyes when the single was first released I was blown away. I had never heard of Arlo Parks, but this put her right on the map for me. Soulful, upbeat, full of force, and beautiful beats and arrangements. And far from a one hit wonder, Parks knocks the whole album out the of the park and is really worth a close and intentional listen through.
Never heard of Goat Girl, and I haven’t gotten through the whole album, but there is definitely something here worth checking out more. It probably won’t be anywhere near my top ten when the year is over, but there is an enjoyable punk flavor here and that I look forward to hearing more of.
The Killers are The Killers. I feel like their sound is unique, but also very much “this is it”. I threw this on while getting ready this morning and was only half listening. There may be something more there when I give it a closer listen, but if The Killers are your jam then this is more of the same.
I’ll come back to these phases in a future post because I find them endlessly fascinating.↩︎