I mean, it worked out so well in 2021 and 2022, how could I not do it again?
If you’re just joining us for the first time, a few years ago I set out to catch up on newer music. I listened to the critics choices for the best albums of the 2010s, and picked my own favorites. I did the same for 2020, picking my top 20 from the critics most highly rated albums. And I started off listening to new releases each month in 2021, eventually picking the 21 best albums of 2021. I had so much fun in the process that I decided to do it again in 2022, listening each month and picking out the 22 best albums of 2022.
There are links to the albums in the posts, but if you’d like a one-stop playlist, I’ve now set that up in Spotify for the 2021 top 21 and the 2022 top 22.
And now I’m doing it again! Lots of life the last few months delayed things so I may be batching months together, like this Q1 update, until I catch up. Heck, I may decide to batch them together more in general! The other major change I’m making from the last two years is that I’ll just be listing the “yes” and “maybe” albums. I came to believe neither you or I needed lengthy lists of “no”s. If I’m missing something you think I should have picked, ask me about it!
Speaking of “yes” and “maybe”, those two categories work the same way they have in previous years:
Yes– This isn’t a guarantee, but it represents the albums that, upon first listen, I think could definitely be in running for best of the year.
Maybe– These albums have something to recommend them, but also something that gives me pause. I’m putting them in their own category, because I have found “maybes” sometimes linger and eventually become “yeses”.
And now, without any further ado, let us get on with my top picks from 243 new January-March releases!
100 gecs, 10,000 gecs– I do love me some hyperpop! This particular iteration from this St. Louis duo is equal parts bedroom pop synth, autotune, and thrashy guitar feedback excess, and is high energy, silly, and total sincere.
Angel Bat Dawid, Requiem for Jazz– Meant as a deliberate response to the “Jazz is Dead” line that has been kicking around since the 1959 film The Cry of Jazz, this extraordinary album by Chicago composer, clarinetist, and educator Dawid holds a literal requiem mass for the form that both celebrates it, and turns it inside out, both in service of what jazz has meant in the Black world, and what something new in its spirit could mean. It’s orchestral, experimental, dissonant, exuberant, and incantatory.
Ava Max, Diamonds and Dancefloors– I do appreciate good dance music, and this starts off on the right note in terms of energy, production, catchiness, and verve. There is, of course, the phenomenon of putting your strongest track first, and having things rapidly decline from there. But this keeps going at the same level track after track. Nothing overstays its welcome either- the longest track is 3:26. Ava Max is now my second-favorite Albanian-American musical powerhouse! (Sorry Ava, Action Bronson got there first.)
BabyBaby_Explores, Food Near Me, Weather Tomorrow– Musically quirky, distorted and dissonant, lyrically snarky, and vocally weird, without losing the through line of darkly inflected guitars and drums. This Providence Rhode Island trio is an exemplar of what post rock can do. I want more!
Benny Sings, Young Hearts– I really liked his 2021 album Music‘s feeling for relentlessly sunny and utterly sincere pop. That same delightful groove is on display here.
BIG|BRAVE, nature morte– This album rode the edge of being too abstract, but the industrial edges, vocal violence, and serrated dark emotion won me over. I like what this Montreal band is on to!
Debby Friday, Good Luck– This Nigeria-born, Canada-based artist has been known for rave-inspired dystopian sci-fi works. How could i not love that conceptually? And actually, it’s artistic, lurching, electronic, almost like a hardcore electronic dance music.
Doug Paisley, Say What You Like– A classic 70s sound redolent of Southern California singer-songwriters, with a little of the “80s comeback” production gloss of the same. Not the most original sound ever, but literate, heartfelt, and never strikes a false note.
Gee Tee, Goodnight Neanderthal– Turns out a nice old-fashioned LA-scene punk band right on the edge of their “maturing 80s alt” phase is still a good sound! And as befits it sounding “classic” for the space, it from Australia’s excellent contemporary punk scene. It isn’t super-original, but it’s such fast sunny fun that I can’t deny it!
Gina Birch, I Play My Bass Loud– This album from Raincoats co-founder Burch has got the dissonant sound of early post-punk, experiments with rhythm, intriguing work from her eponymous bass, and a familiar feminist edge. If it does sound of an era, well, she was one of the founders of that era, and everything here is still oh so relevant.
H. Hawkline, Milk For Flowers– Golden lazy pop that reminds, as do so many things these days, of the 70s, but also of twee and the more baroquely pop-minded singer-songwriter side of the alt 80s in the UK. Rich vocals, lyrical depth, sparkling musical flourishes, and even an honest to goodness emotional arc. This relatively young (38) Welsh singer-songwriter has got a lot going on!
Icecoldbishop, Generational Curse– There’s an edge of menace, and even desperation, to the flow and mix of this album. Add on top of that interesting and varied musical and vocal choices and lyrics that, not without humor, but also often with horror, meditatively delve into street life, drugs, and family loss. This L.A. rapper has put out about as good a hip-hop album as I’ve heard this year.
Jad Fair/Samuel Locke Ward, Happy Hearts– I found this to be nearly unclassifiable, in a good way. It comes across as almost a sing-song children’s album. Except awkward, adult, and sometimes dark. With a good feeling for sweet melody, and plain vocal delivery. It definitely shows that this comes from a wildly inventive place- Jad Fair, prolific ever since he started with his brother David as Half Japanese during the mid-’70s, went into overdrive during the 2020s. During this period, he was contacted by Samuel Locke Ward, a home taper from Iowa with a strong D.I.Y. aesthetic. Working remotely, they began making one song per week, leading to this album.
JPEGMafia & Danny Brown, Scaring the Hoes– This collaboration between innovative Detroit rapper Brown and Brooklyn-based JPEGMafia (aka Barrington DeVaughn Hendricks) is a dizzying breathless ride. The flow is blistering, the mix experimental and kaleidoscopic, and the fun they had in making it is manifest.
Kate Davis, Fishbowl– Oh the crunching guitars. The driving songs. The melodies! The crystal-clear vocals and emotionally literate lyrics. I do so enjoy what Kate Davis does.
King Tuff, Smalltown Stardust– This is great! Musically, it noticeably hearkens back to familiar sources: psychedelia, T Rex, 60s pop a la George Martin. Lyrically, it is weird, metaphysical, sometimes sweet, sometimes unsettling. And this Sub Pop artist has been a member of Ty Segal’s band and headed a stoner rock outfit is from Vermont too! Go home team!
Lana Del Ray, Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd– The lush beauty that is a Lana Del Ray song, and the bite that is her lyrical sharpness and dark emotion under the sweetness (kind of like a tunnel under Ocean Blvd…) is in full form here. To this she’s added experimental touches (raucous speech samples from various sources that are just this side of opaque) whose energy makes everything that little touch extra unsettling. It’s not the most unified thing she’s ever put out, it’s not the most impactful, but that’s like evaluating different gradations of gold.
Lisa O’Neill, All of This Is Chance– Folk with a musically dark edge and vocal phrasing that’s both prickly and vulnerable. She reminds me in a way of Dylan in his younger days and how much he could charge a traditional number with new and urgent vital power.
Logic, College Park– The structure of this album is literally Logic and his friend taking a drive around College Park, Maryland, dropping in on people and places along the way to a show. So that gives us the frame, and then the muscular musical mix, strong beats, interesting and varied flow, and self-aware narration lend it depth. At more than an hour it is a tad on the long side, but structure, contents, and fun keep it going. His 2022 album Vinyl was one of my honorable mentions, and this is in contention as well.
Macklemore, Ben– As your contemporary pop superstar hip-hop goes, Macklemore is top of the crop. It’s heavily produced, but the production flourishes are earned, and in service of substantive lyrics and a winning persona. Even the ubiquitous guest star mania is well-deployed. This album means something and I would listen to it again, which in 2023 is not a given.
Maneskin, Rush– This is sleazy high-verve rock and roll of the kind rarely seen in the wild these days. As is so often the case when you do find it, a foreign band is doing it (Italian in this case). Are the lyrics always genius? No. Is the music often a bit obvious? Yes. Gloriously, exuberantly so!
Margo Price, Strays– Having picked her album That’s How Rumors Get Started as one of the best of 2020, I was listening carefully. I started off thinking this had too conventional a pop approach. Then her electric power, deeply stated lyrics, and powerful inventive and lush fusion of pop, rock, and country won me over anew. She really is a singular talent.
Melanie Martinez, PORTALS– Do you like your dance music hallucinatory, crackling with sharp wit, and at times more than vaguely terrifying? I do! Former The Voice contestant Martinez has gotten progressively further out there since a fairly standard pop debut, and I am here for it.
Morgan and the Organ Donors, M.O.D.s– Holy retro soundscapes! Driving, chiming guitars, cracking drums, harmonies. You will hear some 60s girl-group, some garage rock, some pop side of punk, some 80s jangle, some 90s riot grrrl. And it never sounds less than organically whole and fresh, which isn’t an accident. Morgan and the Organ Donors are a band made up of four friends who play a few shows a year at a bar they like in Olympia, Washington. Except the friends are Bikini Kill and Frumpies drummer Tobi Vail on drums, as well as two K Records artists, James Maeda of Spider & the Webs and Olivia Ness of C.O.C.O., on lead guitar and bass.
Mozart Estate, Pop-up! Ker-ching! And the Possibilities of Modern Shopping– Based on the name of the album alone I went in already half in love. What a delight then to hear a perfectly-delivered version of the most exuberant varieties of pub rock, early UK new wave, and UK 80s alt pop acts like Squeeze and The Beautiful South. It is in all wise a familiar sound, but so beautifully rendered that I cannot get mad at it!
Oddisee, To What End– Oddisee is the stage name of Brooklyn-based Sudanese-American hip-hop artist Amir Mohamed el Khalifa. The pure dynamism of what he puts out here musically, lyrically, and mixologically is extremely winning! It reminded me of certain veins of personal story heavy 2000s hip-hop (think Jay-Z or Kendrick Lamar), with some of the feelings and concerns of conscious hip-hop.
PACKS, Crispy Crunchy Nothing– Darn these kids with their sound bridging singer-songwriter folk and crunching 90s guitars, emotionally complex lyrics, and not so subtle bite. There are a lot of them out there, but the album from this version from Toronto indie rock band PACKS led by musician Madeline Link works from start to finish.
Quasi, Breaking the Balls of History– Janet Weiss did not take her summary dismissal from Sleater Kinney lying down, instead joining with her ex-husband to put out the first new Quasi album in ten years. Quasi has been a reliable interesting and challenging band since the 90s, and they’re still in the game here. By turns crunchy, shimmery and shoegazey, and kaleidoscopically weird, this is a delightful listen from start to finish.
quinnie, flounder– The yearning earnest vocals, literate and emotionally complex lyrics, mix of sweet vulnerability and raw snark, and playful production choices on this New Jersey indie-folk singer’s album are a nearly perfect combination. The subject matter is both timeless (romantic longing vs. reality, disillusionment, wrestling with the mysteries of self) and littered with contemporary social and technological references. I’m not sure how it will fare as a document post “now” but there is no doubt it’s an effective one for the moment.
RAYE, My 21st Century Blues– Sophisticated emotional R&B informed by hip hop, full of musical surges and a voice that is remarkable for precision of phrasing and versatility. The album also grapples with real life- abuse, relationships gone bad, emotional and physical bottoming out, in a way that feels authentic but is still pop music smooth.
Ron Gallo, Foreground Music– A blistering guitar open with echoing vocals is an effective way to worm your way into my heart. But he was already there thanks to his album PEACEMEAL being in my top 21 list for 2021. As for this album, is it extremely self-referential? Entirely tongue in cheek? So musically and lyrically fucking clever you don’t care which? Yes! And yet, though undeniably often whacky, it’s not all fun and games, there’s a heart of furious dissent. Is there a better contemporary protest song than the sharp and yet ultimately poignant, neo-psych “BIG TRUCK ENERGY” or a more anguished love song than “I LOVE SOMEONE BURIED DEEP INSIDE OF YOU”?
SKECH185, He Left Nothing for the Swim Back– NY-based hip-hop artist SKECH185’s fiery social and political truth-telling and producer Jeff Markey’s swirling, lurching sonic mix of sounds combine for a powerful package.
slowthai, UGLY– I liked this british hip hop artist’s 2021 album Tyron quite a bit. This album is just as skillfully done, but more coherent and more serious. It has a brooding weight and propulsive energy as he really gets inside to wrestle with life.
The C.I.A., Surgery Channel– You know, this sounds a bit like a surgery channel! It leans toward a nervy sharp-edged post-punk, with more than a hint of the rawer end of 90s alt bands like Babes in Toyland, but also some chilly electronic/synth work a la Kraftwerk. This turns out not to have been released by a national intelligence agency, but by musical auteur Ty Segall, his wife Denée Segall, and Emmett Kelly of Cairo Gang. I really like it, and I don’t even feel the need to be clandestine about it!
The Go! Team, Get Up Sequences, Pt. 2– Get Up Sequences, Pt. 1 was one of my honorable mentions for 2021, and Part 2 is entirely as charming. Imagine a high school AV team made an album exuberantly mixing electronic dance, international music, and hip-hop with liberal use of synthesizer. This gives you some sense of what this Brighton, UK six-piece band is up to, and it is glorious!
Thee Headcoats, Irregularis (The Great Hiatus)– Rollicking blues rock! With the classic name checks to prove it, bolstered by a determination to be, as one song here puts it “pretty original nevertheless”. Like the “Leader of the Pack” inspired “Leader of the Sect” or album-closer “The Kids Are All Square”… The album came about when Billy Childish’s friend and musical inspiration Don Craine of the Downliners Sect died in February 2022. Childish teamed up with his former bandmates from his ’90s group Thee Headcoats and Craine’s Downliners bandmate Keith Evans to record a memorial EP. They all enjoyed the experience enough that they decided to cut this reunion LP. I love what it does so much!
Tzusing, Green Hat– Malaysia-born, Shanghai- and Taipei-based DJ. You may be surprised to hear me say this given it’s almost entirely instrumental and 100% EDM, but this selection of sharp metallic dance music, surprising and energizing electronic effects, and an actual social point of view introduced through computerized voice memos is a win!
U2, Songs of Surrender– Regular readers will know that I like a good album concept. Even when the concept doesn’t totally work, I admire the ambition. This “new” album from U2 scores highly in that regard. The band presents new recordings of forty songs from throughout their career with a stripped-down acoustic approach, in four sets of ten chosen by each band member. As you might imagine, this ends up being a little long, as in, around two and three quarter hours. But it is worth it- the treatments and in some cases lyrical reworkings expose anew the power of the songs, and as a set it sounds very coherent. You may think me mad, but I think this works!
Wild Billy Childish & CTMF, Failure Not Success– The attitude and snark! The wordplay! The sure feel for decades of ass-kicking rock! Opening with a spot-on cover of “Love Comes in Spurts”! Yes, it’s his second entry on this post alone, but I’ll say the same thing I did when I put his 2021 album Where The Wild Purple Iris Grows on my honorable mention list for that year- How did I not hear of Billy Childish until now?!?!
- A Certain Ratio, 1982– For a band who has been kicking around since 1977, this Manchester post-punk outfit and early pioneer of the Factory Records scene sound surprisingly lively. Part of that is well-deployed contemporary vocal talent on some tracks. And part is that their mix of sounds- post-punk, dub, house, African- are very much a contemporary mix. Is it fresh enough? I don’t know. But it kept me listening!
- Aly & AJ, With Love From– These two ladies know their way around pop song harmonies. It reminds me, in a way I like, of Wilson-Phillips. There is sunniness, emotion, and if it’s in a smooth package, well, that’s kind of the point.
- Anna B Savage, in/FLUX– I’m not always sure about the tempo and pacing here, but the carefully chosen vocal phrasing, arch lyrics and modulated music combine to produce a powerful effect. This London artist is controlled and stylish while still being full of feeling.
- Belle and Sebastian, Late Developers– I mean, there’s no such thing as a bad album from them, right? This one is more sonically varied than their entry from 2022 and, if that makes it fall a little short in coherence, it also keeps things interesting. It’s not the newest sound in the world for them, but it is a good sound!
- Black Belt Eagle Scout, The Land, The Water, The Sky– Sometimes folky, delicate, and shimmery, sometimes a gorgeous shredding noise that would be familiar from, for example, Galaxie 500 or My Bloody Valentine. This Portland based artist is doing something interesting here, livened further by her tackling identity issues both Queer and Indigenous.
- boygenius, the record– Indie supergroup of Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker. There is an incredible synergy between their complimentary musical approaches, a whole here bolstered by its parts. The music, vocals, and lyrics are consistently rich and often surprising, and my only real complaint is the sequencing, where a few lulled out tracks keep it from fully gelling.
- Bun B/Statik Selektah, Trillstatik 2– There’s a lightness, a sprightly feeling to much of the lyrical and musical mix of this collaboration between Texas hip-hop legend Bub B and East Coast producer Statik Selektah, but also depth in the sources and portraits of life. The vocal flow doesn’t always keep up but is also often quite affecting. And, considering the album was recorded live in one twelve-hour session, it has no business being as successful as it. But it is!
- Butch Walker, Butch Walker as…Glenn– Walker started off heading a glam metal band in the 80s and has ventured over all kinds of territory since then. This album finds him engaged in a very specific kind of forgery- it presents the persona of “Glenn”, a burned-out musician playing a cheap and rowdy bar. You’ll hear hints of the 70s incarnations of Billy Joel, Springsteen, and Jackson Browne here, as well other similar voices. The concept sound is inherently a little derivative, but it feels fantastically sincere.
- Cheater Slicks, Ill-fated Cusses– Echoing clangy guitars, a thick feedback-laden background, and vocals that are consciously artless. They’ve been kicking around the Boston music scene since the late 80s, and it turns out they can still bring it. It sounds like punk, it sounds like garage rock, it sounds like the snottier reaches of 80s hardcore. It sounds like I’m going to listen to it again!
- Daisy Jones & The Six, Aurora– Soundtrack froma streaming show/debut album of the fictional Fleetwood Mac era band from the show. So, you know it’s a derivation. But it actually fails, to the extent it does, by not sounding enough of that era, and reading more modern, like an 80s alt or 90s indie band enamored of that sound. As such though, it’s good, if a tad eclectic (another reason it doesn’t ring true as an album), and the most authentic moments are genuinely amazing.
- Deathcrash, Less– If this alternation between fuzzy feedback and faster thrashier music, and combination of aching earnestness and tongue way inside cheek feels familiar, it is no less welcome because of it.
- Deerhoof, Miracle-Level– I love Deerhoof, but there are a few things here that further set it apart as their oeuvre goes. It’s their first all-Japanese album and recorded live as in a professional studio, another first for them. Perhaps because of that, it’s got tautness, clarity, and sometimes even a relaxed jam feeling on top of their usual off-kilter mix of sweet melody and noisy anarchy. It doesn’t feel as held-together as their best albums, but it is interesting all the way through.
- Depeche Mode, Memento Mori– Death and loss loom large in Depeche Mode’s 15th album and first without founding member Andy Fletcher, who was often the intermediary between Martin Gore and Dave Gahan. It feels like a memorial, heavy and yet strangely melodic, while revisiting many eras of Depeche Mode. The mood is a little heavy, but, well, you can understand why.
- Gnoomes, Ax Ox– I saw the band described as “Russian shoegaze-psychedelia-Krautrok-techno”. And indeed, it sounds like all of those. Abstract? More than a tad. But also weirdly listenable! If you were in the right club, you know the one, various parts of this sound like you could have heard it there at any point in the 70s, 80s or 90s.
- Guided by Voices, La La Land– And here they are again! This old warhorse of an indie band put out multiple albums in 2021 and 2022, and their first for 2023 is in “classic” territory for them, a kind of Pink Floyd/Moody Blues side of psychedelia. It’s not the newest or freshest sound, but so well done I can’t help but say “maybe”!
- Iris DeMent, Workin’ on a World– She’s been kicking around since the early 90s with her mix of country, folk, and gospel , and if it’s sometimes a little too on-the-nose lyrically, it’s also sincere, and is relaxed and confident in its retro musical and vocal stylings.
- jonatan leandoer96, Sugar World– Based on the title and the extremely wholesome looking artist on the cover, I was afraid things would be a little too sugary, but in fact this ends up being a beautiful vocalist with solid pop sensibilities turning a variety of 80s alt rock musical approaches into pop gold. Not the deepest thing ever, but rather refreshing!
- Lil Yachty, Let’s Start Here– I’ve liked some other things I heard from this Georgia-born hip-hop artist/producer, but this is a whole other level. Yes, it is heavily autotuned, but in this case the medium is part of the message. That is to say, the autotune is folded into layers of production, soul samples, and sometimes philosophical lyrical excursions in a way that supports the whole. It almost feels like a Pink Floyd approach to a hip hop album. Not entirely sure it comes together, but it is worth another listen. Or two!
- MIKE, Beware of the Monkey– This wasn’t always distinct enough to break through on an individual track basis, but the metaphysical and socially conscious sampling and lyrics, warmness of the vocal flow, and depth and richness of the musical mix was very compelling. This Bronx-based hip hop artist originally from London has got something very interesting going on.
- Paramore, This is Why– I do like me some Paramore! They know how to rock, they know how to be funky, they know how to be dancey, they know how to speed up and slow down within the same song. Not to mention the welcome lyrical bite. I will say there is a sense in which this could have been recorded any time in the last twenty years, and sounded right for its era, but it’s a good rendition.
- Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, Land of Sleeper– I mean, the name, right? And the description I read of the band is, “Standing at the nexus of doomy stoner metal, fuzz-blasted psych-rock, and bracing post-rock, Newcastle’s Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs confront existential dread with creativity.” They live up to it! I haven’t been quite this happy with a batch of metal since the heyday of Mastodon, and if the vocals are a little hoarse/shouty, the music is primo.
- R. Ring, War Poems, We Rested– I kept thinking how strongly this was hitting my “female-led 90s alt rock” weak spot, and then read that the band is a collaboration of Mike Montgomery of Ampline and Kim Deal’s sister Kelley (also of the Breeders and the Kelley Deal 6000). Well that explains it! It’s not the freshest thing in the world at this point, but I was a sucker for the sound in 1994, and I’m a sucker for it now.
- Samia, Honey– A singer-songwriter with indie rock and electronic influences, her music has a kind of simplicity, but the incisive and emotive lyrics and vocals bring something extra to it. She’s recognizably of a school currently populated by the likes of Soccer Mommy and Olivia Rodrigo, and there are stretches that feel a little too hushed, but the wit and bite demand attention.
- Shonen Knife, Our Best Place– Shonen Knife’s mix of girl group pop and Ramones-style punk sounded great and refreshing in the 80s. Their growing musical range while keeping sunny punky pop in the forefront sounded very timely in the 90s. They’ve continued to sound good in the 00s, the 10s, and now in the 20s. Even if these songs could fit in any of those decades, and be from any of their albums, it is impossible to dislike them or say they don’t work.
- Sleaford Mods, UK Grim– I am on the fence about this the way I was about their last album. There’s the sameness and simplicity, but also the power in the simplicity, the propulsive poetic barrage, and the witty trenchant and literate rant attached.
- The Men, New York City– With the band name, and the album name, you might expect getting a rocking outing that would fit in well with the garage rock revival of the early 00s. And you would get it! Not the most original thing ever, but joyful noise well delivered.
- The Nude Party, Rides On– Early on it reads like imagining the Rolling Stones as a new band just starting out today, with a similar approach to musical inspirations, but American and with a good dose of country along with the blues. Eventually it reminds me of Dylan in his country phase. Either way, it’s not totally original, but this North Carolina band knows their space and is inhabiting it very well.
- The Reds, Pinks & Purples, The Town That Cursed Your Name– I love the shimmery achy thing that they do here, an invocation of hazy summer days listening to the Cure in the alternative 80s. It’s suffused through with a lyrical nostalgia as well. It is rather same track to track, but a gorgeous sameness.
- The Tubs, Dead Meat– The Tubs is kind of a super-group of London-area rock band members, and their collective experience shows here in this well-executed set of songs redolent of the poppier side of original UK punk (think the Buzzcocks, the Jam) and 80s jangle-pop.
- Van Morrison, Moving On Skiffle– This dip into a skiffle sound is delightful! He sounds so relaxed and spontaneous, and it’s nice that he’s not putting out full-length COVID conspiracy rants anymore as on his last two albums. The hour and a half-length is really the only issue. I think there’s a 45-minute version of this album that would have been an automatic “yes”.
- Vigro Deep, My House My Rules– South African musician/producer Vigro Deep put together this guest-star loaded album based on the “amipiano” genre that has emerged in the South African club scene. Weirdly, given my general electronica-skepticism, and an almost two-hour run time, the sounds were so fresh, interesting, and fun that I must call it a maybe!
- Yo La Tengo, This Stupid World– You could make a case that they are the godfathers of indie rock, and here on their 17th album their sound, if not unfamiliar, is still challenging in its mix of charging clanging guitars, quieter moments, elliptical lyrics, fuzzy melodies, and dissonant touches. I’d be down for another 17 albums from them given this, though it did have some pacing concerns for me with a marked slowdown for a big block in the middle.
And this concludes your review of new releases from Q1 2023! I’ll try to get something new out for you before too long…