As usual, the first playlist of the year features our favourite album released in the last weeks of 2021. This time we have the veteran singer-songwriter Michael Hurley with his new record “The Time of the Foxgloves”.
Canadian folk singer-songwriter Matthew Swann records under the name Astral Swans. He’s back with a new, self-titled record, which includes a few great duets with fellow songwriter Julie Doiron. (Also, we’ve been doing this for 300 weeks. We’re old.)
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.
The fourth volume of Matana Roberts’ “Coin Coin” series on Constellation Records, “Memphis”, is our album of the week. It finds the American composer and saxophonist developing her ethnographic work through spoken word traditionals and blues, punctuated by free jazz bursts that make it an essential listen. Plus: new tracks by Dead Combo, Jaimie Breezy Branch, Yazz Ahmed, Vive la Void, Warmduscher, Comet Gain, Wolf Parade, Peggy Sue, Allah-Las, Jennah Barry, Julien Baker, The National’s Matt Berninger & Phoebe Bridgers, Gus Seyffert, Cass McCombs, John Moreland, Christopher Paul Stelling, Richard Dawson, Lankum, Daniel Martin Moore, and Andre Ethier.