Incoming: new music! Better yet, new music that is worth your time.
Aubrie Sellers – Far From Home – 12 tracks / 46 minutes
A big step forward for this talented singer who is beginning to defy genre.
This album features some lovely songwriting (all 11 of the original songs give Aubrie co-writing credit) as well as Aubrie’s beautiful voice, and that is not a surprise. What was a pleasant revelation for this listener was the atmospheric arrangements and interesting guitar and vocal effects throughout, most noticeably on the opening title track, “Troublemaker”, and “Drag You Down”. Sure, she has been celebrated in country music circles, and there are plenty of country and diva vibes here, but there is depth and varied influences throughout- oh and at times the music actually rocks.
The duet with Steve Earle is a definite highlight in that it is a raucous and earnest cover of Shawn Camp and Billy Burnette’s “My Love Will Not Change”, but also because his presence is quite an endorsement, folks. “Worried Mind” is a terrific slow burn that reminds me of days when I can’t get out of my own head, which I’m grateful are becoming fewer and fewer. She sings the words with obvious genuine experience, as she does on the post-breakup bombast of “Glad” and the newly smitten confusion laid bare on “Haven’t Even Kissed Me Yet”.
This is entire record is a truly fun listen that deserves a wide audience and is not made for one type of music aficionado. If you aren’t familiar with her work, this is the perfect place to start. Thank me later.
Key Tracks: “Glad”, “Far From Home”, “My Love Will Not Change”
Spotify album link: https://open.spotify.com/album/6EgZXWhzIYtXFo1vhKg5Ch?si=RYHyl-7UT8eB3FBAT7IBcw
Stone Temple Pilots – Perdida
This record is not exclusively acoustic, but it sure is mellow and subdued. It is also quite pretty, and while Jeff Gutt’s voice is at times eerily reminiscent of the late Scott Weiland, and the DeLeo brothers are as sturdy as ever, something about this music made me want to go listen to “Atlanta” or “Kitchenware & Candybars” instead. The title track is a gem with gorgeous guitar work, and fans of the mellow side of vintage STP records will likely find some other favorites as well.
Green Day – Father of All…
When I first heard the two singles in advance of this album, I was, um, let’s just say disheartened. Don’t get me started on that album cover, which is thoroughly broken and not in the good-broken way. Look, although much of this record is less than redeeming, and I wanted to dismiss it as an old man who longs for the days of Shenanigans and Dookie, after repeated listens I do have some confessions to make.
“Stab You in the Heart” is two minutes of fun as Hell pop/punk over a rockabilly-esque chorus guitar riff, “Meet Me on the Roof” is about as catchy as anything they’ve done since American Idiot, and “Take the Money and Crawl” has some of the energy and spirit those aforementioned albums possess. The new generation of Green Day fans will certainly dig this music, but there is even some material here for the more long-term fans, as well.
Khruangbin & Leon Bridges – Texas Sun (EP)
Leon sounds as wonderful as ever over an echoing and guitar riff with some hushed pedal steel behind it on the title track, which was recently added to my “Favorite Songs of 2020” playlist. The other three songs are fine but don’t live up to this one.
Everyone is Dirty – Dying is Fun
“Isn’t It Great?” is a celebration of things that fall apart, and I must say that it is, well, great. The rest of the record is pretty ho-hum.