Happy Tuesday everybody! The sun is out and, even though it’s not exactly grilling weather, I’ve got a smile on my face. I hope all of your weeks have started off the right way. And if not, I hope some of the music below will give you some positive vibes. Also, a note that Joan as Policewoman’s The Deep Field is out in the US today. I wrote about it back in January when it was out in the UK.
Jessie J — Who Are You (Universal Republic)
The top spot this week goes to an album I’ve been anticipating since first laying eyes on her YouTube page. Jessie J is hot, bisexual and, oh my goodness, the pipes on this one. I’m talking soulful crooning flowing through her entire body. Also, she seems like she’d be maybe the most fun to hang out with ever. So Jessie, call me girl.
k.d. Lang and the Siss Boom Bang — Sing It Loud (Nonesuch Records)
Unfortunately I haven’t been able to preview the new k.d. album but, let’s be honest: if you’re a k.d. fan, it’s highly unlikely this cowgirl can do any wrong. The out musician has been singing the panties off of the ladies (you know who you are) for over 25 years and doesn’t seem to be slowing down. For new ears: If you’re into Southern-inspired alt-jazz charm, she’s basically the definition of it. One of my favorite things about her is that she made a cameo on the Pee Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special.
Ponytail — Do Whatever You Want All the Time (We Are Free)
It’s the third queer-fronted music release right in a row! I’m inclined to shout “Bingo!” but I’ll save my shouting for talking about how foot stompingly, fist pumpingly, rocking this third album is from the Baltimore outfit, fronted by lesbian Molly Siegel. This has summer outdoor music festival surrounded by your closest friends while getting beer sloshed all over you written all over it.
Girls in Trouble — Half You Half Me (JDub Music)
Girls in Trouble is actually just one girl — multi-instrumentalist Alicia Jo Rabins — who can craft one hell of a story. She’s got elements of folk, klezmer and jazz pop intertwined among a common root of carnivalesque darkness.
Kristeen Young — V the Volcanic (Tony Visconti Productions)
This chick is a powerhouse at the piano! If Tori Amos composed a psychedelic, futuristic, rock opera, I’m fairly certain this is what it would sound like.
Alison Krauss & Union Station — Paper Airplane (Rounder)
Alison Krauss has such a distinctly delicate and beautiful voice. While at her core she is mostly a folk and roots artist, she crosses into mainstream easy listening with ease. I must admit, though, when listening to the album I had to remind myself that not everything can be as great as Raising Sand, so keep an open mind.
Vivian Girls — Share the Joy (Polyvinyl)
This is the Brooklyn surf-punk trio’s third album and, while I really want to love it, I think I’m just not in the mood right now. The guitars are jangly, the drums are tight (thanks to new drummer, Fiona Campbell who replaced Ali Koehler of Best Coast) and I get a kick out of ‘60s nostalgia, but there are elements missing (less monotonous vocals) that make this album a little difficult to sit through from start to finish.
Honorable Mentions: The Apache Relay, Atmosphere, Bell X1, The Bouncing Souls, Chase and Status (lots of special guests on this one), Conflicted, Elbow, The Feelies, Foo Fighters, Diego Garcia (formerly of Elefant), Low, Mana, John Oates, Panda Bear, Plug in Stereo, Paul Simon, TV on the Radio, Gypsyblood and Femi Kuti.
That’s all for this week!