Incoming: new music! Better yet, new music that is worth your time.
Ok, ok- I’m never going to get caught up if I don’t shorten up a bit so I have challenged myself to be overly brief this week. Don’t misread that- these two albums are both VERY worth your time…
The Wood Brothers – Kingdom in My Mind – 11 tracks / 38 minutes
Chris and Oliver are riding high once again, on what I consider their finest LP yet.
I can confidently say that if you listen to just the first minute of this album, you’ll be intrigued and want to finish it. “Alabaster” is the perfect mood-setter and a great choice for opening track. Thankfully, there are plenty of other great and diverse songs that follow. On “Little Bit Broken” we’re reassured that things are imperfect but still just fine: “The more I see, the more I notice, everybody is a little bit broken; everybody is a little bit broken and it’s all right”.
Plenty of soul is injected into this organic and feel-good brand of music, and the production accentuates the stand-up bass tremendously. Fifteen years in, this is a great reminder that these guys are just getting better with time.
Key Tracks: “Alabaster”, “Little Bit Sweet”, “Little Bit Broken”
Spotify album link: https://open.spotify.com/album/2DcaMqz70T997l2zEdkWQh?si=JdiKcyjURgWLzEfTAyY8dg
Caspian – On Circles – 8 tracks / 46 minutes
Here’s a great batch of (mostly) instrumentals that captivate as much as they rock, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Somehow I hadn’t ever been exposed to this band, and I’m kicking myself for it. On their 7th LP they bring the goods with long and mostly instrumental tracks that never feel like a project to get through like some in this genre can. This is more in the Explosions in the Sky ballpark than Russian Circles or the artsy screamo-prog of Alcest (two bands I think very highly of, thank you), and I dig it.
“Wildblood” starts things off with a bang, “Onsra” is a slow burn with spurts of aggression, and “Collapser” spends 4-1/2 minutes melting your face off (but in a good way). In fact, I prefer the tracks that do without the vocals and allow the music to color the scene. If you enjoy guitar rock that let the music do the talking, this is for you.
Key Tracks: “Wildblood”, “Collapser”, “Ishmael”
Spotify album link: https://open.spotify.com/album/2SCAxvAGQLWK3SwPsZyku1?si=MBYOO3ViQbSwdONmrzlPBQ
The Lil Smokies – Tornillo
More of what you’ve come to expect from one of the bluegrass/folk genre’s best bands. Although it isn’t quite consistent enough to make the grade for me, there is plenty of goodness here and hardcore fans of theirs will enjoy it, I’m sure.
Black Lips – Sing in a World That’s Falling Apart
A heavy dose of country-twang meets folky rock, this is a fun listen that doesn’t take itself too seriously, although it does fall a bit short for me.
CMMNWLTH – Youth in Revolt
This EP from one of my favorite local bands is a new and frankly disappointing turn for the band, but I’m still looking forward to seeing them at Treefort next month.