“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.
Our first playlist of the year looks back into December, picking some of the best singles released last month and focusing on Duster’s self-titled record, their first album in 19 years. The lo-fi indie rock trio’s first two albums were largely forgotten by the general public after they were released in the twilight of last century, but an online cult following surged in the last few years. This has culminated on the release of a Numero Group issued boxset earlier in 2019, and a new studio album followed later in the year.
Plus: new singles and songs from forthcoming albums by Khruangbin & Leon Bridges, Son Little, Caroline Rose, Los Coast, Whiskey Wolves of the West, The Yearlings, Jonathan Wilson, Spider Bags, Jung Shackleton & Buck Meek, LEYA, Pop. 1280, BOHREN & DER CLUB OF GORE/ official, Bill Fay, John Moreland, Terry Allen Art/Music, Holly Macve, Nadia Reid, Squirrel flower, Shannon Lay, Soccer Mommy, Marem Ladson, Branko / Ana Moura / Conan Osiris, and Natalia Lafourcade Oficial.
We’re back and we’re bringing you a ton of music. Unusually, August was kinda eventful, with plenty of great single and album releases. So we had to exaggerate a bit and make a 33 song playlist (and we had to leave quite a few tracks out to make it reasonable). Our focus this week is The Hold Steady’s new album “Thrashing Thru the Passion”, probably their best since 2008’s “Stay Positive”. There’s no way we’re tagging every single artist this time around, so just scroll down for the track list.
‘what we say in private’ is the debut album by Canadian singer-songwriter/painter/visual artist Alexandra Levy, or Ada Lea. It’s been out for less than a handful of days but it’s already one of our indie rock albums of the year. Is it because its opening song sounds like a lost track off Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’s recording sessions that eventually morphs into a more layered Big Thief song, while never sounding like a tribute to either bands? Or maybe it’s because of the stellar songwriting in it. We don’t know. Let’s just listen.
Plus: new tracks by Wilco (the new kind of Wilco, not the old YHF one), Andrew Combs, Strange Ranger, Long Beard, Aviva le Fey, Shannon Lay, Joan Shelley, Holy Golden (now known as Dolly Valentine), Summer Salt, Grace Lightman, Bleached, Roselit Bone, Trash Kit, Fly Pan Am, Adam Green, Tony Molina, Leon Bridges, Whitney, RF Shannon, Hiss Golden Messenger, Joe Pug, Jim Lauderdale, and Twain + The Deslondes.
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.