Tamara Lindeman’s work as The Weather Station is finally getting the critical acclaim it deserves. In “Ignorance”, and following what she started with the already superb self-titled album, the Canadian singer-songwriter goes way beyond her folkish roots and employs a constellation of musicians to dress up her stellar songs in lush instrumentation. We’ll be very surprised if this ends up outside our top three albums of the year.
Time for our return after the usual early June festival break. Bill Callahan is back with his first long play in six years, an unusually twenty songs long record called Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest. It sounds like, well, exactly what you would expect from Callahan.
Go have a listen after you’re done with our ridiculously long playlist – 31 songs by 30 different artists over almost two hours: House and Land, Jambinai, Shellac, Kate Tempest, RF Shannon, Whitney, Bruce Springsteen, Richard Hawley, Lower Dens, Julia Shapiro, Stef Chura, The Divine Comedy, Adam Green, Tim Heidecker, David Berman’s Purple Mountains, Will Johnson, Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real, Hiss Golden Messenger, Chris Stapleton, Willie Nelson, Sturgill Simpson, Jake Xerxes Fussell, Michael Fracasso, Fruit Bats, Eilen Jewell, Bedouine, Joan Shelley, Julien Baker, and Shannon Lay.
Time for the yearly meeting of the Cate Le Bon Appreciation Society, on the occasion of the release date of the Welsh songwriter’s fifth album, “Reward”. The goddaughter of the 90s Welsh indie pop of Gruff Rhys et al has long outgrown her own scene, and her exquisite avant-pop reached a level of uniqueness that makes it impossible to lump her together with anyone at all. It’s yet another magnificent record from Le Bon and we’re thrilled to live in the same era as she’s making music.
In this week’s playlist: new tracks by Alex Lahey, Lydia Ainsworth, Carly Rae Jepsen, SAMIA, Stef Chura, Los Retros, Faye Webster, Okey Dokey, Night Beats, Amyl and The Sniffers, Institute, Black Mountain, Earth, Bill Callahan (smog), Mavis Staples, Dylan LeBlanc, Frankie Lee, Justin Townes Earle, TK & The Holy Know-Nothings, Jake Xerxes Fussell, Doug Tuttle, and Los Coast.
I need a new playlist. The fourth solo LP by the Hold Steady’s Craig Finn, “I Need a New War”, has won the race to spearhead our playlist, following one of the year’s strongest Release Friday. Ten more sublime songs by one of the greatest songwriters of the century century. Plus: new tracks by Bedouine, Aldous Harding, Honey Harper, Olden Yolk, Lucy Dacus, Kevin Morby, Dylan LeBlanc, Starflyer 59, Josh Ritter, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Wand, Psychedelic Speed Freaks, Kyle Craft, Marika Hackman, Jackie Cohen, Better Oblivion Community Center, Esther Rose, I am Oak, Jake Xerxes Fussell, Willie Nelson, and the Mountain Goats.
It doesn’t take long for the listener to realize Natalie Mering is an artist in her prime while listening to her fourth record as Weyes Blood. While the already remarkable “Front Row Seat to Earth” had its number of high peaks coupled with a couple of less remarkable moments, “Titanic Rising” is a serious contender for album of the year, and definitely a career best for someone we once thought was just Enya for people who order matcha lattes at modern coffee establishments. (Sorry about that.)
Plus new tracks by the likes of Vera Sola, Heather Woods Broderick, Siskiyou, Jake Xerxes Fussell, Phil Cook, Laura Stevenson, Alex Rex, M. Lockwood Porter, Los Coast, Super Doppler, Jonah Tolchin, Carl Anderson, Drunken Prayer, PUP et al.