It’s been a rough week for everyone. Fortunately, each Friday brings a wealth of new music to lift our spirits. Here’s what I’m jamming to.
Brooklyn garage rockers The Hold Steady have a new single today off of their upcoming album, Open Door Policy. The track is called “Heavy Covenant.” It carries all of the Catholic imagery frontman Craig Finn is known for, at tension with the struggles of contemporary life. Keyboardist Franz Nicolay encourages the mood with an organ-esque swell. I like the atmosphere here even better than their previous single, “Family Farm.” The band recently completed a massively successful livestream series from Brooklyn Bowl, which indicates that they’re making a strong entry into 2021. Open Door Policy comes out on 2/19/21.
Viagra Boys’ second album, Wellfare Jazz, is dirty and fuzzy post-punk. The Stockholm five piece are masters of satire. Frontman Sebastian Murphy believes in songwriting as catharsis. He maligns himself as he derides the world. Brass brings a big band feeling to certain moments, as country twang makes an appearance in other spots. He screams like Jay Hawkins and sneers like Courtney Taylor-Taylor.
How are kids who graduated high school in a pandemic spending their Covid gap years? Nate Ouellette, a young artist from Westwood, NJ, released a new single on Spotify last week called “Hold On.” He lists his influences as Drake, Post Malone, Justin Bieber, and his father. This is R&B to bop to.
Prolific Chicago singer-songwriter Daniel Knox is still slowly lamenting existence over mournful piano. His genre floats in a no man’s land between classical and noise. The baritone evokes the gritty despair and bleak gothic sensibilities of Tom Waits. Sometimes, we all need tunes to wallow to. His latest single, “Look at Me,” is out today.
Finally, we have sweet sounds from Pennsylvania. Langhorne Slim’s new single, “Colors,” is a simple and sweet folk love song that evokes classics like Today by John Denver and more contemporary examples like January Wedding by The Avett Brothers. Too pure. This is the second song we’re hearing off of his upcoming album Strawberry Mansion, following “Mighty Soul.”Strawberry Mansion comes out on 1/29/21.Hear “Colors” here.
These are some albums I’m looking forward to hearing in the upcoming year. What music are you looking forward to?
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