Goodness, it’s been far too long since I last updated with a rundown of albums and songs that have been on my mp3 rotation. I should rectify that, shouldn’t I? Considering that my station of choice (KEXP, natch) hasn’t changed one bit, pretty much all of these albums and singles came from that one station. Big thanks to John Richards and Cheryl Waters for providing some damn fine music during this time!
The Weeknd, After Hours, released 20 March. “Blinding Lights” is such a wonderful earworm, and the rest of the album is an enjoyable pop gem.
Pearl Jam, Gigaton, released 27 March. Good to see this band is still going strong after all these years. The new record is full of fine and memorable singles.
Phish, Sigma Oasis, released 3 April. Sensing that the COVID pandemic was going to be a lot bigger than anyone expected, the band felt it necessary to drop their new album early in lieu of not being able to tour for the foreseeable future. It’s mellow and introspective as well, but the style suits them just fine.
EoB, Earth, released 17 April. Ed O’Brien, guitarist for Radiohead, drops an interesting record that sounds equally like his main band and…Zooropa-era U2? Sure, why not? It’s an unexpected style but it works fine, showcasing his flair for catchy riffs as well as meandering jams.
Hayley Williams, Petals for Armor, released 8 May. Her solo debut is just far enough away from her Paramore sound that it still rocks without having to lean on the epic hard rock trappings all the time.
Nation of Language, Introduction, Presence, released 22 May. An interesting band with one album to their name (so far) but with a big dreamy sound that pulls you right in.
Indigo Girls, Look Long, released 22 May. This is a fantastic record with a sound reminiscent of their first couple of albums. There’s a lot of introspection and remembrance here, but it’s just as strong and determined as the future-looking ‘Closer to Fine’.
More to come on Thursday!