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.
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.
It’s hard to talk about Buck Meek without referring to him as “Big Thief’s Buck Meek”. But his solo work – with a little help from some of our favorite handymen of indie music such as Mat Davidson (Twain) and Adam Brisbin – is its own thing, with Meek’s characteristic voice paving the way to beautifully arranged songs. Songs that we’re definitely going to use as an argument when, come November, you’ll say, as always, that “this wasn’t a very good year for music”.
Bolachas Now Playing, a new music Spotify playlist, updated every Wednesday.
John Darnielle is Getting Into Knives! And it’s probably his best album in almost a decade, when ‘All Eternals Deck’ brought us some of the most memorable the Mountain Goats songs. Closing the album, the title track is the standout here – a repeat affair right after the first listen.
Plus: new tracks by Bill Callahan & Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Helena Deland, Jeff Tweedy (Wilco), Woods, Okey Dokey, The Shilohs, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Matt Berninger (The National), The Besnard Lakes, Plastic War, Strange Ranger, Son Little, Nilüfer Yanya, Ariana Grande, Hot Chip (with Jarvis Cocker), Harolddd (with Faye Webster), Skyway Man, Julien Baker, Skullcrusher, Adrianne Lenker, Sierra Ferrell, Oliver Wood, Mandolin Orange, Grace Gillespie, and Valley Maker.
Swedish singer-songwriter Daniel Norgren has quietly been releasing a considerable amount of albums over the past eleven years on his Superpuma Records. “Wooh Dang” – an “intertwining of analog instrumentation, live performance, and rural field recordings” is probably his most accomplished work yet. His brand of rural Swedish blues have never sounded this good, and it took us some deep thinking to pick up two of his songs for this week’s playlist.
Plus: new tracks by She Keeps Bees, Sevdaliza,Cate Le Bon, Pip Blom, Mavis Staples, Molly Tuttle, House and Land, Rose Elinor Dougall, Kevin Morby, Fat White Family, Altın Gün, The Yawpers, Drugdealer, Ari Roar, Doug Tuttle, The Long Ryders, Field Medic, The Tallest Man On Earth,Spencer Tweedy, Chris Staples, Tōth, Valley Maker, and Joe Kaplow.