Sven Wunder’s third album in three years is out now on Mr Bongo. After exploring 70s Anatolian rock and Japanese min’yō in his last two fusion jazzy tomes, “Natura Morta” draws from still life paintings and its relationship with nature.
“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.
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.
Feel-good pop doesn’t seem to fulfil its promise these days. But Arlo Parks‘s debut album, “Collapsed in Sunbeams”, manages to bring a little bit of sunlight-infused pop into our hearts and ears. Extra points for the poetic-feel and the whimsical but very accurate Portra 400 reference.
Aaron Frazer is best known as the drummer (and singer) for soul outfit Durand Jones & the Indications. Like so many songwriters in the past few years, he teamed up with the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach and got his debut solo album, “Introducing…”, ready in no time. We’re not even halfway through January and we already have our first highlight of 2021. Feels good to be back.