Though it helps, you don’t have to be a 25 year-old millennial to deeply empathise with Phoebe Bridgers’ sophomore album, “Punisher”. The star-studded ensemble of guests (Conor Oberst, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus) and its universal and hauntingly beautiful themes of lost love, impostor syndrome and the end of the world will leave their mark on you. We dare you to try to listen to it only once. +: new tracks by Bob Dylan, Bright Eyes, Hayley Thompson-King, Mike Polizze (Purling Hiss), Tiña, The Fiery Furnaces, Elephant Stone, Sun on Shade (Heath Fogg from Alabama Shakes), Los Retros, Gum Country, Sports Team, Fontaines D.C., Noveller, Jeremy Fetzer, Wilder Maker & Gabriel Birnbaum, Thomas Csorba, Colter Wall, John Craigie, Neil Young, Willie Nelson, Ronnie Fauss, Arlo McKinley, Steve Gunn & Cass McCombs, and Mary Chapin Carpenter.
Kate NV’s third record, Room for the Moon, is our album of the week. The Moscow-based musician takes us on a trip through 70s and 80s Russian and Japanese pop music and film with 47min of synth- and bass-heavy melodies. Plus: new tracks by John Prine, Norah Jones, Leah Senior, Margo Price, Lori McKenna, Nick Lowe, Bedouine, Lowland Hum, Drab City, The Cactus Blossoms, Sondre Lerche, Los Retros, Jarvis Cocker, Ron Gallo, Leon Bridges, Chancha Via Circuito, Mulatu Astatke, Sonic Boom, Dougie Poole, Built to Spill, Blitzen Trapper, Naked Giants, Idles, Sammy Brue, Pert Near Sandstone, Matt Costa, and Lionlimb.
Azniv Korkejian’s first album as Bedouine, drawing in equal parts from 60s folk music and the easygoing vibes of LA’s Echo Park (some sort of 21st century Laurel Canyon?), got us hooked for weeks. We can already tell the same is bound to happen with her second LP, “Bird Songs of a Killjoy”, finally released last week. Plus: new songs by The Hold Steady, Illiterate Light, Frankie Cosmos, Jesca Hoop, Mega Bog, Palehound, Black Belt Eagle Scout, Courtney Hartman, Erin Rae, Slaughter Beach, Dog, Los Retros, Bamboo, Chelsea Wolfe, Leslie Stevens, Honeysuckle, Rickie Lee Jones, Don DiLego, Jacob Faurholt, Paper Beat Scissors, Alan Power, Calexico and Iron & Wine, and Jamestown Revival.
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.