Welcome back, my lovelies! Last week was so hectic for me, I had a gigantic brain fart (don’t worry, it didn’t smell like anything but sadness) and forgot to mention the release of one of my favorite albums of the year: Radiation City’s incredible debut The Hands That Take You (Tender Loving Empire). I wrote about them a few months ago in my Weekly Women to Listen to column, but did not get to express the full magnitude of my obsession. So, now that I’ve got your attention, if you haven’t already jumped on their deliciously moody indie-pop bandwagon, now is the time to put their tunes in your ears and let the rest of the world melt away. And now, this week’s releases.
Zola Jesus — Conatus (Sacred Bones Records)
Zola’s voice comes across as a less powerful, more moody Florence Welch without the octave stretching or pop-friendly production. That being said, I’ve really been enjoying the album and in my mind there is a lot of potential for remixes throughout. Stream the album in its entirety over at NPR.
Sóley — We Sink (Moor Music)
Some of you may know Icelandic musician Soley from her other music project Seabear. Her solo songs, much like many lullabyes, are somewhat childlike but filled with dark imagery and a heavy undertone contrasting sharply with the lightness of the actual instrumentals themselves. The weirdness factor isn’t quite up to Coco Rosie or Matthew Barney levels, but it is definitely there and done well.For being such great readers, here’s a free download of her song, “I’ll Drown.”
Indigo Girls — Beauty Queen Sister (Vanguard Records)
Something the Indigo Girls seem to do really well compared to other artists whose careers have spanned decades, is stay true to themselves and their sound without boring their listeners or searching for the latest in production technology to do what the rest of the kids are doing these days. Beauty Queen Sister has all the elements of a great folk-rocking album and you can stream the whole album over at Spinner.
Lights — Siberia (Last Gang Records/Lights Music)
This Canadian hottie puts out electro-pop with some nods to new wave. She’s still very young and has time to perfect her sound but this is an enjoyable album overall. Will it change my life? No. Will I be jamming to “Toes” for a while? Yep, probably.
Bess Rogers — Out of the Ocean (Hubbub!)
I remember featuring Bess not too long ago in my Weekly Women to Listen to column and I specifically remember the cute video she made for her Kickstarter campaign to help make this album. I find her humor and personality utterly adorable and her music is just as charming. These poppy singer-songwriter tunes definitely belong on coming-of-age TV soundtracks.
Feist — Metals (Cherrytree/Interscope)
From what I’m hearing so far without really digging deep, Metals could easily be the long lost second disc that should’ve been packaged with her celebrated solo debut, The Reminder. It’s a little Cat Power, a little Norah Jones and whole lot of Lesley Feist. Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying the songs and their soothing nature, particularly for the headache currently taking over my life right now. But, I’m not sure I needed to wait three years for a follow-up, either.
Other mentions my brain missed last week: BoiSounds Presents put out a 10 song album ready to be played loudly at your next gay mixer with some cosmos, boas and lots of glitter. The album has guest stars like HIM, Mr. Hudson, Mari Wilson and more.
I managed to miss Rosi Golan’s latest release, Lead Balloon, (Family Records/Gypsy Betch), which would’ve been a departure (not a major one) from the long list of country-tinged tunes in last week’s batch. For lovers of softly sung singer/songwriter tunes, this is right up your alley.
This week’s Honorable Mentions: We Were Promised Jetpacks, Beni, Bonnie Prince Billy, DJ Shadow, Erasure, James Blake, Jack’s Mannequin, MGMT, Loney Dear, Tokyo Police Club, Talkdemonic, TV Girl, Scotty McCreery, Jack’s Mannequin, MuteMath, New Found Glory, S.C.U.M. and The Misfits.