I’m back from Nashville and not a minute too soon! I love my Mom and all, but I really missed my little family back in Chicago and maybe even work a little bit. Who am I kidding? I didn’t miss work for a second. I hope you all are doing well and are ready for another round of new music.
The Decemberists — The King is Dead (Capitol)
OK, so Colin Meloy is the lead singer here, but Americana goddess Gillian Welch sings on seven out of the 10 songs on their sixth studio album. While the group has said the album is more Americana-focused, there are some great Southern rock ballads such as “The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid,” which might be my favorite song on the album.
Tennis — Cape Dory (Fat Possum Records)
It’s hard to believe this group is from Denver — they’ve got such a sweet California beach sound that pays homage to the ’60s surf rock in a way that is similar to, but more literal than, Best Coast.
Lady Lazarus — Mantic (Apartment Life Records)
The debut album from Melissa Ann Sweat is packed with low-fi beauty and minimalism – making it perfect for a rainy day in the same way Cat Power‘s Moon Pix urges you to stay in bed with the shades drawn.
Braids — Native Speaker (Kanine Records)
So, basically, if Tennis and Lady Lazarus got together and made a baby, it would most likely be Braids. Minimalistic, soft, beach-friendly, pretty and best played at a dinner party instead of a dance party.
Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers — Teenage and Torture (Shilpa Ray/Knitting Factory Records)
I am a fan of the other music being released today but thank goodness for Shilpa Ray and those happy hookers of hers. I was in need of a major caffeine boost and some growl to go with my rock ‘n roll. Enter Shilpa Ray who sounds a bit like Karen O and Cherie Currie. Also, she can play a mean harmonium.
Honorable Mentions: Gregg Allman, Audio Bullys, James Blunt (if you like the whiney sensitive man stuff), Dolorean, Damon Fowler, Chad Kichula, Steve Lukather (Toto’s guitarist), Delfeayo Marsalis, Ponderosa, The Script, Roomful of Blues, Social Distortion, Times of Grace, White Lies, Smith Westerns (I hear this is great), Robert Pollard, Pearl Jam, Modern Skirts and Madlib.