As promised, here’s the latter half of what I’ve been listening to for February releases. A lot of old school — both literal and implied — hit my radar in just a few weeks, and it’s all I can do to keep up! Heh. Seriously, there’s a lot here worth checking out. Enjoy!
White Lies, As I Try Not to Fall Apart, released 18 February. This band reminds me of those glossy 80s synth bands that slid between glossy goth and epic production — not necessarily a bad thing if you can pull it off with excellent songwriting and catchy tunes. Really enjoying their new one a lot.
Sea Power, Everything Was Beautiful, released 18 February. Formerly known as British Sea Power — they dropped the ‘British’ last year for personal and political reasons — this band has always released strong and intelligent records that always seem to fly under most people’s radars.
Hurray for the Riff Raff, Life On Earth, released 18 February. Alynda Segarra’s ongoing project as HftRR has played around with all sorts of alternative rock subgenres, and her latest seems to wedge itself somewhere between PJ Harvey and Angel Olsen, featuring tense pop tunes that are super catchy and memorable.
Various Artists, Ocean Child: Songs of Yoko Ono, released 18 February. A tribute album curated by Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, this album will make you think twice about Ono’s musicianship. Several bands take Ono’s songs from her career and give them new life and charm.
Beach House, Once Twice Melody, released 18 February. I can safely say this is my favorite album of the year so far! While most of it has already been released as EPs over the last few months, the full eighteen-track project holds together amazingly well, refreshing and redefining dream pop genre.
Midnight Oil, Resist, released 18 February. The politically astute Australian band returned in 2020 with a wonderful mini-album, and the latest full-length is even better. After several years they still sound amazing, and they’ve never given up pushing and fighting for what’s right in this world. I highly recommend this one.
Gang of Youths, angel in realtime, released 25 February. This Sydney band is a bit like Japandroids in my head — not always noisy, but definitely always up-tempo and positive in their sound.
ADULT., Becoming Undone, released 25 February. I’ve always loved that Belgian/Austrian EBM sound of the 80s even though I’d never been able to find most of those records, but ADULT. has managed to bring that sound back, perfectly emulating that harsh, twitchy industrial beat. Weird as hell but also a hell of a lot of fun.
Deserta, Every Moment, Everything You Need, released 25 February. Another dreampop band and one whose first album was one of my year-end favorites a few years back. Their follow-up is just as gorgeous and already a go-to for my writing sessions.
Johnny Marr, Fever Dreams Pts 1-4, released 25 February. Like Beach House’s new record, Marr dropped half of this new album in EP form over the last few months. As always, he’s one of the best guitarists out there and can still write a damn fine song.
Tears for Fears, The Tipping Point, released 25 February. Returning for their first new album since 2004 and after nearly a decade touring, Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith are back with a lovely gem of a record that’s very reminiscent of their latter discography.
From what I can tell, March will be just as full of great new albums…can’t wait!