Many of the artists in this week’s feature have released albums within the last three months or so, and I’m just getting to some of their music now. One of the challenges owning a newer version of an iPhone is that I can pack so much music and podcasts on my mini-computer that I begin to overwhelm myself. Between downloading and listening to ten albums or more a week while I work, and trying to keep up with the many sports, news, and leisure podcast I follow, sometimes I feel a little too auditorily plugged in. What’s a guy supposed to do in this digital age?
Now, onto some music featured this week:
Cobra Man has an interesting back story. I played the album, and “Friends of Tom” specifically, in the car while running some errands, and my daughter said, “Dad, I love how this sounds like a more upbeat Stranger Things theme song. It’s all ‘80’s and stuff!” What a smart, well-spoken pre-teen! She makes her father proud.
Saint Etienne has been around for almost three decades, making synthpop dance songs out of London every four to five years or so. Can they be considered the classic rock of millennials? If so, this ain’t your daddy’s classics, for sure. They still know how to get you up and moving.
Ducktails is the side solo project of Real Estate guitarist, Matt Mondanile, and let me just say that I’d rather listen to him over Real Estate any day. “Light A Candle” comes off his latest lo-fi, chillwave album, Jersey Devil, though I first came across his solo work back in 2015 with “Headbanging In The Mirror.” His mixture of acoustic guitars, synth, and quiet vocals leads to music you could play at work, and become an instant office favorite.
What to say about Midnight Sister? Are they the female answer to Ariel Pink? The L.A.-based duo of Juliana Giraffe and Ari Balouzian released their debut LP, Saturn Over Sunset, and gave us something that reminisces of smoky ‘60’s era lounges, sparkly psychedelic pop, crushed velvet seats, glitter, big hair…something that I see the remnants of now in some old Las Vegas casinos that looks more cheap, faded, and old. “Daddy Long Legs” resurrects the richness and cool seductiveness of those times for me.
“Sufferin’ Creature” is one of the only times Faith Healer puts their hair down, and release the inner badass on an otherwise lovely and restrained album from the Edmonton duo. This one is definitely the muscle on try 😉, with the heavier classic rock drums and strumming electric guitar riffs, while Jessica Jalbert’s monotone don’t-fuck-with-me vocals carries through with some stability in an otherwise jumbled rock n’ roll cacophony. I love how it just abruptly ends, too, after an old-school solo built in there for good measure, with a satisfied sigh.
L.A. Witch is a SoCal garage-rock, semi-rockabiligoth trio with a kick-ass name, and kick-ass self-titled debut album that puts the petal to the metal, and never let’s up. “Drive Your Car” is an average-lengthed song that seems to power through so quickly, you may have to play it again just to catch up. I missed their free show at Sister Bar earlier this fall, and I kick myself for doing so every time I play their album. I’ll never be talked out of going to a great concert again!!
I always end my show with an instrumental track, and it’s kind of a tradition now that my seventh song for the week is that song. “High Times” by Marcus Marr is nothing special, but it’s one that caught me up with it’s simplicity, atmospheric ambiance, and subtle layering built up over the seven-plus minute running time. The English DJ put out an EP with Chet Faker back in 2015, and hearing this makes me want to check it out.