Sunday, October 2, 2016

Weekend Music Roundup

Now that the calendar has turned over to a more appropriate Autumn month and the weather has grown significantly chill, my tastes begin to switch to quieter and darker sounds. In my house, I've been spinning lots of favorite folk albums of the past, something I always do this time of year. This list features some great new mellow music from some contemporary favorites as well as some recent discoveries. Hopefully there's something on here that will fit your autumn moods. Enjoy.

Warpaint - Heads Up:  The all female psychedelic dream pop band from L.A. recently released their third album. Their self-titled second album was one of my favorites from 2014, and this is a solid follow-up. It features the same type of subdued mood that sustained that album. One of those perfect lazy day albums to put on and space out to. Definitely one to check out and possibly will be on my list of favorites for this year.

The Warlocks - Songs from the Pale Eclipse: The LA psych band returns with their seventh album, and their best since 2007's Heavy Deavy Skull Lover. This is like a heavier Brian Jonestown Massacre complete with the golden Cali vibe and psychedelic groove. Over the past 15 years, this has been one of the most consistent underground bands, with only one letdown several years back. "We Took All the Acid," "Drinking Song," and "Love is a Disease" are my personal favorites.

Molly Hatchet - No Guts...No Glory: The fifth album from the Southern rock band came out in 1983 and was a recent $1 bin purchase. These guys gain obvious comparisons to Lynyrd Skynyrd due to their southern sound and duel lead guitar attack, but they are a little bit heavier than Skynyrd. Though the '80s were blooming, this is still an album that belongs to the '70s in its style. A very solid rock record and well worth a buck.

Craig Wedren - On In Love: Though this project from Shudder to Think frontman Craig Wedren was released two years ago, I only found out about it the other week. Being a fan, I definitely wanted to give it a listen, which I was able to do on bandcamp. Unlike his solo records, this project is more akin to Shudder to Think, especially their earlier chaotic stuff. It was very nice to hear this kind of noise again. "Fight Song," "The Well," "Famous Planets," and "Glacier" are standouts. 

Wilco - Schmilco: The new album from the godfathers of alt-country movement is their eleventh studio album and another example of why they are one of the most consistent bands of their generation. This is quieter album than they've made in a while, but still is very much a Wilco album. There are some interesting arrangements as Jeff Tweedy continues to prove that he's a master songwriter, up there with legends like Neil Young and Garcia. "Nope," "Common Sense," "Happiness," and "Locator" are personal favorites for me.

Jimmy Smith - The Cat: Recorded at the height of his career, this 1964 album is a great example of Smith's upbeat type of jazz. This is the kind of cartoon jazz that I love so much, meaning it's the kind of jazz often used to score cartoons of the era. That's not an insult, and much of this album is film scores. This was a $1 bin find a few weeks back and it makes for fantastic Sunday morning album to get into the groove of the day.

LP - Death Valley: LP is a Los Angeles artist who has released three albums in the past fifteen years, but is finally getting some attention from the lead single of this recent EP. "Lost on You" has been garnering a lot of attention online, and the artist recently performed the song on Late Night. This is in an interesting five song release, with some great trip-hop elements mixed into its pop rock. LP's voice reminds me of Cyndi Lauper, which is not something you hear very often. I found this to very surprising and enjoyable.

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