Musically, this has been a much better month for new stuff than last month was.
First and foremost, I am adoring the debut album by The Week That Was, who write and record smart, hook-filled, vaguely prog-flavored songs anchored primarily with drums, piano and bass, topped with elegant touches of strings and occasionally guitars. A very impressive debut album: confident, bold and innovative.
I have also got Shall Noise Upon by Apollo Sunshine in heavy rotation. It’s a very eclectic disc, ranging from Beatle-ey psychedelia to wigged out screamy blooze over the course of a couple of tracks, with some noise-laden neo-folk flurorishes in between. Very ambitious, with a healthy sense of sprawl.
Lindsey Buckingham‘s new disc, Gift of Screws, is also masterful, which is pleasantly surprising, since I couldn’t stand his last disc, Under the Skin. He is such an amazing guitar player, and this album showcases that talent in both acoustic and electric settings. You can hear traces of his old band, Fleetwood Mac, throughout the disc, but they’re the better traces from older days, and not the more recent ones that involved Stevie Nicks croaking like a bullfrog on top of otherwise good material.
Jeff Hanson‘s Madam Owl is equally lovely, especially the instantly catchy and appealing “If Only I Knew,” which you can hear on his website, linked from his name. If you’ve never heard him, it’s worth a listen to hear his amazing voice: he’s a near pitch-perfect contralto, who sounds awe-inspiringly natural in his high range, without the strain that most counter-tenors and falsetto singers must dedicate to hit their upper notes.
I needed some good music after last month’s tune doldrums. Fortunately, I got it and then some.