Bolachas Now Playing, a new music Spotify playlist, updated every Wednesday. This week’s highlight: the prolific singer-songwriter Ryan Pollie’s new album, “Stars”.
Sometimes it’s hard to be objective and unbiased when writing about a festival that is such a big part of your life. Except for two (very) unremarkable lineups that made me stay home, since I was old enough to go to college all my summers involved a trip to Paredes de Coura (and a painful trip back, too). When you’re a kid, they say you’ll eventually get older and boring, in a process they call “becoming an adult”. This usually comes with amazing perks such as ceasing to listen to any new music whatsoever, stopping seeing your (also ageing) friends, having great conversations about changing diapers with your remaining friends (yes, the other couple with kids you always go vacationing with to some shitty beach full of other couples with kids and the odd mother-in-law). Obviously, a multi-day, non-kid friendly, rural music festival such as Festival Paredes de Coura seems like one of those things that are amongst the first to drop from your newfound “adult life”. Except you don’t have to be that person; and is there anything better to remind you of that than going there and finding all your friends in the same place, same month, year after year, all over again? (Well, other than imagining the smell of those diapers.)
In the beginning of the month, Americana heroes The Felice Brothers quietly released “Undress”. Their new collection of songs focuses on, well, 2010s USA, and it turns out to be possibly their most cohesive album – and its fantastic harmonies make it one of the catchiest records of the year so far.
On this week’s playlist: new songs by Ryan Pollie, Olden Yolk, David Berman’s Purple Mountains, Sam Cohen, Mikaela Davis, Pearl Charles, Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation, The National, Lowland Hum, Native Harrow, William Ryan Fritch, Michael Fracasso, Tōth, Luís Severo, Mega Bog, Joseph Shabason, Aviva le Fey, Little Mazarn, Shannon Lay, Matt Kivel, and Siskiyou.
It doesn’t take long for the listener to realize Natalie Mering is an artist in her prime while listening to her fourth record as Weyes Blood. While the already remarkable “Front Row Seat to Earth” had its number of high peaks coupled with a couple of less remarkable moments, “Titanic Rising” is a serious contender for album of the year, and definitely a career best for someone we once thought was just Enya for people who order matcha lattes at modern coffee establishments. (Sorry about that.)
Plus new tracks by the likes of Vera Sola, Heather Woods Broderick, Siskiyou, Jake Xerxes Fussell, Phil Cook, Laura Stevenson, Alex Rex, M. Lockwood Porter, Los Coast, Super Doppler, Jonah Tolchin, Carl Anderson, Drunken Prayer, PUP et al.
Bolachas Now Playing, 27/2017 (#112):
Son Little – Demon to the Dark
Hand Habits – yr heart
Destroyer – Sky’s Grey
Randall Bramblett – Mali Katra
Protomartyr – My Children
Jacob Faurholt – A Lake of Distortion
Gill Landry – Berlin
Lilly Hiatt – Everything I Had
Kacy & Clayton – The Light of Day
Kacy & Clayton – This World Has Seven Wonders
Lucinda Williams – Six Blocks Away
Courtney Marie Andrews – Near You
Julien Baker – Appointments
Jen Cloher – Waiting in the Wings
The Dodos – Mirror Fake
The National – Carin at the Liquor Store
Josh Ritter – Thunderbolt’s Goodnight
Richard Thompson – Bathsheba Smiles
Noah Gundersen – Bad Desire