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#280: Johanna Samuels, “Excelsior!”

“Excelsior!” is the first LP by NYC-based singer-songwriter Johanna Samuels. Produced by Sam Evian, the album features contributions by the likes of Courtney Marie Andrews, Hannah Cohen, A.O. Gerber or Lomelda’s Hannah Read. If you’ve followed us long enough, you know this means we’ve already sticked our seal of approval five times. Come for the copious namedropping, stay for some of the best lyrics of the first half of 2021.

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#240: My Morning Jacket, “The Waterfall II”

Bolachas Now Playing, a new music Spotify playlist, updated every Wednesday.

The upside of not having concerts to go to is the fact that we have even more time to listen to new music than before. There are 32 songs in our playlist this week, but that’s only because we try to keep it below two hours. And on the spotlight this time around is My Morning Jacket’s surprise release of The Waterfall II, the second set of songs coming from the same session that gave us one of the best rock albums of the past decade. This would be the time for me to beg Jim James and the guys to come over to Europe, but it looks that won’t happen any time soon.

New album tracks/singles by Holy WavePeel Dream MagazineHUM, Coriky, Bob Mould, Silver Scrolls, Songhoy BluesArt FeynmanbdrmmNaked GiantsThe BethsMargo PriceThe JayhawksRobert ChaneySkyway ManRay LaMontagneKalen & AslynGrace GillespieKate BollingerLomeldaSlow PulpM. WardDevendra BanhartSummer SaltThe ClienteleMatt CostaGillian Welch & David RawlingsTheo LawrenceJoshua Ray Walker, and Jeannie Seely.

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#236: Kate NV, “Room for the Moon”

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 PrineNorah JonesLeah SeniorMargo PriceLori McKennaNick LoweBedouineLowland HumDrab CityThe Cactus BlossomsSondre LercheLos RetrosJarvis CockerRon GalloLeon BridgesChancha Via CircuitoMulatu Astatke, Sonic Boom, Dougie PooleBuilt to SpillBlitzen TrapperNaked GiantsIdlesSammy BruePert Near SandstoneMatt Costa, and Lionlimb.

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#223: Sam Doores, “Sam Doores”

We’re pretty sure you won’t run out of interesting things to keep you occupied during your forced quarantine period, but we’ll still add something to that. The Deslondes’ Sam Doores has just released his first solo LP in quite a while, and you can use it to remember how nice life could be when it was still normal. Plus: new tracks by Shabaka & the AncestorsSoccer96 & Alabaster dePlumeProtomartyrLIFEPorridge RadioThe WIYOSViagra BoysSINEAD O’BRIENU.S. GirlsGirlpoolYves Tumor, Seasick Steve, Margo Price, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, Jim White & Marisa Anderson musicWillie NelsonWhiskey Wolves of the WestDon GallardoNorah JonesMandy MooreAnna BurchKate BollingerSharon Van Etten, and JFDR.

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#215: Bill Fay, “Countless Branches”

20 days into the new year and we’re already in love with one of the most beautiful albums 2020 will have to offer. Bill Fay’s third album since breaking a decades-long absence is not only a spotless collection of new songs by the veteran singer-songwriter. The deluxe version is where the true gems are: full band versions of some of the best tracks off the album, plus two bonus tracks and a new arrangement of an old favorite. Fortunately you don’t need to buy a fancy Japanese version of it or stand in line for a RSD release. It’s all on Spotify, just like all these new tracks by The Innocence Mission, Nadia Reid, Aoife Nessa Frances, Samantha Crain, Madison Cunningham, Possessed by Paul James/Official, James Steinle, Margo Price, Soccer Mommy, TORRES, Nap Eyes, David Dondero, The Panhandlers, John Moreland, Hawktail, Thundercat, John Carroll Kirby, Khruangbin & Leon Bridges, Swamp Dogg ft. John Prine, Alabaster dePlume, and LINA_ RAÜL Refree.