After two very promising EPs back in 2019, Dry Cleaning have finally launched their first long play, ‘New Long Leg’. Here, Florence Shaw’s sharp, deadpan spoken word vocals contrast with the chaotic instrumentation of the English post-punkish art-rockers in one of the most intriguing (and well accomplished) rock and roll albums of 2021.
We haven’t heard of AZITA Youssefi for a while, until one day we get the news that the Chicago-based multi-instrumentalist has collaborated with Drag City labelmates Bill Callahan and Bonnie “Prince” Billy on a cover of “Blackness of the Night”. There, she played all the instruments and did all the arrangements, just like on her first album in nine years, “Glen Echo”, which also serves as a great introduction to her world of song. Enjoy it, and make sure you dig deeper into her discography later.
The Hold Steady was the last band (part of) our team saw before the world has changed, in a year that started recreational, but ended kinda medical. Our yearly pilgrimage to London will unfortunately not happen in 2021, but they’re making up for it with their first proper album since 2014 (not counting 2019’s single collection “Thrashing Thru the Passion”). Our favourite rock band is back. Let’s celebrate like it’s early March 2020, minus the getting ourselves crammed inside a room with no masks on. At least for now.
After two more layered, denser, and less critically popular records where we saw Andy Cabic holler at soft rock and psychedelia, “Up on High” is the sound of Vetiver returning to their acoustic beginnings. Welcome to your new favourite Saturday morning breakfast prep folk rock record. Plus: new tracks by Terry Allen, Simon Joyner, Tindersticks, Lambchop, Itasca, Mount Eerie & Julie Doiron, Michael Kiwanuka, Dylan LeBlanc, Theo Lawrence, Charles Rumback & Ryley Walker, Squirrel Flower, The Deer, Cate Le Bon & Bradford Cox, The Growlers, Pinegrove, Iguana Death Cult, Imperial Wax, Pop. 1280, DJ Nigga Fox, Peel Dream Magazine, and Warmduscher.
Every week we try to focus on brand new music, if possible by newcomers that might or might not be semi-stars tomorrow. But, every now and then, we eventually cave in and cannot resist the urge to celebrate some of our favourite records’ anniversary editions. Songs: Ohia’s ‘The Lioness’ got its deluxe treatment through ‘Love & Work’, an extremely limited 2xLP boxset now sold out; in it, eleven outtakes from the same sessions that brought us one of the most heartbreaking albums of the last twenty years see the light of day for the first time.
Similarly, on its 20th anniversary, Calexico’s masterpiece ‘The Black Light’ got the same treatment and if anyone wants to donate the record our way, we’ll welcome it with open arms. Plus: new tracks from Angelo De Augustine, Shannon Lay, Josephine Foster, Grandaddy, Jens Lekman, Daniel Romano, Parker Gispert, Half Japanese, Piroshka, Nicole Atkins and Mark Lanegan, Gwenifer Raymond, Ryley Walker, Snapped Ankles, J Balvin, Ariana Grande, Little Dragon, and Foxwarren.