Spare Oom Playlist, April 2022 Edition, Part II

Spring is awash with plenty of great new records worth checking out!

Hatchie, Giving the World Away, released 22 April. The long awaited follow up to 2019’s amazing Keepsake expands on the band’s perky dreampop, creating even more lush soundscapes and memorable tunes.

Yo La Tengo, I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One [25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition], released 22 April. YLT had always been an indie favorite but a curiosity that never got its due until this eighth album that dropped in early 1997, and this one’s considered their best of their 90s era. It even spawned a minor radio hit with “Autumn Sweater”.

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Omnium Gatherum, released 22 April. This band took me a few releases to appreciate…and of course thanks to KEXP for sharing their best songs and simulcasting a live show! They’ve always been a bit of a weirdo psych-prog band and this record is no different, but they manage to avoid the musical navelgazing and druggy weirdness to achieve a perfect level of enjoyable quirkiness.

Bowling for Soup, Pop Drunk Snot Bread, released 22 April. BfS continues their run of goofball punk with hilarious lyrics and catchy pop-punk melodies, including a hilarious single about wanting to be a gorgeous film star.

Fontaines DC, Skinty Fia, released 22 April. This Irish band continues to fascinate with their moody post-punk, this time inserting a lot more local color and culture. It’s not as dark as their previous album A Hero’s Death but it’s certainly a lot more dense.

Skylar Grey, Skylar Grey, released 28 April. Known more as a backup singer and songwriter with others such as Rihanna, Diddy, Macklemore, Alicia Keys and others, Grey has occasionally dropped a solo record that slides somewhere outside the pop norm and embraces her darker moods.

Toro y Moi, MAHAL, releaseed 29 April. Chaz Bundick has been putting out excellent chillwave albums for over a decade now, and this one continues his string of great records that are simultaneously relaxing and groovy.

Royksopp, Profound Mysteries, released 29 April. This one’s my favorite of the month — they’ve always been a bit of a laid back electronic band, incorporating meandering melodies that feel more like Air than Daft Punk, and this one’s full of them. It’s a lovely-sounding record and has already gotten significant play during my writing sessions!

Let’s Eat Grandma, Two Ribbons, released 29 April. This band has been around for a bit but I’d never gotten around to checking them out, and now I’m wondering what took me so long! I’m always a big fan of the recent waves of synth-pop, especially albums that fit my writing moods, and this band fits perfectly.

Spare Oom Playlist, April 2022 Edition, Part I

A lot of new releases popped out last month, enough where’ I’m gonna need to split it into two parts! And not only are there a number of new bands I’m really digging, there are a few classic ones that I didn’t expect!

EMF, Go Go Sapiens, released 1 April. I’ll be honest, I did not see this one coming! They may not be as funky and sample-rific as they once were (and to be honest, they’d already shed that by the time Stigma came out in 1992), but this is a pleasant surprise and and really enjoyable album.

The Clockworks, The Clockworks EP, released 1 April. It may only be a four-song EP, but I’ll take anything from one of my favorite finds of last year. They’ve definitely got that Interpol-esque post-punk sound down perfectly and I can’t wait to hear more!

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Unlimited Love, released 1 April. These guys have been around since the early 80s and it was only a matter of time before they moved a bit away from their patented punk-funk sound. It’s long, it’s a bit meandering, and a lot of it sounds quite mellow, but it’s still quite enjoyable.

Orville Peck, Bronco, released 8 April. The masked singer of unknown origins (although the prevailing rumor is that it’s drummer Daniel Pitout of the band Nü Sensae) releases his second album of spot-on old-school country crooning and it’s absolutely fantastic.

Son Lux, Everything Everywhere All at Once soundtrack, released 8 April. This quirky band was the perfect choice to do the score for the bonkers-yet-brilliant Michelle Yeoh/Ke Huy Quan movie that everyone’s talking about. And yes, the movie really is that brilliant.

Jack White, Fear of the Dawn, released 8 April. White’s solo releases have never failed to capture my attention and impress me with its catchy tunes. I’m really digging this one.

Oceanator, Nothing’s Ever Fine, released 8 April. Super fun boppy guitar punk that kind of reminds me of the bouncier side of Throwing Muses and Breeders. Go check out her stuff on Bandcamp, it’s worth a listen!

Wet Leg, Wet Leg, released 8 April. Slightly weird and a bit off, but full of super catchy melodies and humor. Definitely worth checking out.

Sault, Air, released 15 April. Not only did this mysterious collective drop an album with almost zero pre-release promotion — other than an “oh hey, check it out” tweet — but they dropped a…symphonic album? It’s definitely not the soul/rap/r&b hybrid their fans were used to. But it’s still amazing.

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See you next Tuesday for Part II!

Spare Oom Playlist, March 2022 Edition

It’s the end of the month, so it’s time to feature What I’m Currently Listening To once again! More good stuff from bands old and new — this year is definitely turning out to be a great one, just as I’d hoped!

Letting Up Despite Great Faults, IV, released 4 March. This band returns from its hiatus with more fun jangly, shoegazey indie pop that feels so relaxing and joyful. This is definitely a record that’ll show up on my writing session playlist!

Stereophonics, Oochya!, released 4 March. This Welsh band is still going strong after twenty-plus years with moody and melodic tunes that don’t quite fit into just one style.

Nilüfer Yanya, Painless, released 4 March. I discovered this singer on KEXP and I am totally in love with this record, especially the single “Stabilise”. One of my favorite records of the year so far.

Bob Moses, The Silence in Between, released 4 March. These guys come back with yet another great indie-synth hybrid record that I know I will constantly replay. So many great songs on this one!

(G)I-DLE, I Never Die, released 14 March. This K-Pop band returns with a full album of tunes that don’t always rely on their regular dance-pop style, even sliding into snarky rock such as on “Tomboy”.

Stabbing Westward, Chasing Ghosts, released 18 March. After an extremely long break, Christopher Hall resurrects his band and it truly sounds like he picked up where he left off, with their signature gothy alt-metal aural attack. Well worth the wait.

Charli XCX, Crash, released 18 March. Smooth synthy dance-pop similar to Robyn, full of catchy tracks including the single “New Shapes”.

The Clockworks, “Endgame” single, released 18 March. NEW CLOCKWORKS WOOOO! And they’re coming out with an EP on April first!!! My favorite new band!

Pinch Points, Process, released 18 March. Another one of those ‘never heard of them, let’s give them a listen’ bands that’s totally in my wheelhouse: twitchy angular punk that sounds like they’ve been listening to X’s Los Angeles. Good stuff.

PLOSIVS, PLOSIVS, released 18 March. Another favorite of the year, REALLY digging this record. I recently described them as a sort of bouncier, punkier Interpol, with really interesting melodies. “Broken Eyes” is a huge favorite of mine at the moment. Also, my favorite band name of the moment!

Bauhaus, “Drink the New Wine” single, released 25 March. The original goth foursome return with a new Exquisite Corpse-style song, each member providing their own segment with only a drum loop tying them together. (Just like their b-side “1-2-3-4”, actually.)

Placebo, Never Let Me Go, released 25 March. This band may have mellowed a little over the years, but their songs are still strong and vibrant.

Sevdaliza, Raving Dahlia EP, released 25 March. Following up from 2020’s delightfully odd yet catchy Shabrang is an EP further expanding on the singer’s electro dance grooves and disturbing visions.

Wallows, Tell Me That It’s Over, released 25 March. Fun SoCal low-energy indie pop similar to Cayucas.

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Next Up: April promises to be full of stellar new releases as well from the Chili Peppers, Jack White, Lucius, Fontaines DC, Wet Leg, Hatchie and more!

Spare Oom Playlist, February 2022 Edition Part II

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.

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From what I can tell, March will be just as full of great new albums…can’t wait!

Spare Oom Playlist, February 2022 Edition Part I

For a month that’s nearly always been quiet and unassuming in terms of new releases, February 2022 came out of the gate kicking and screaming with so many titles that I have to split this up into two posts and leave a few out! Hope you enjoy!

Lucy Dacus, “Kissing Lessons” single, released 2 February. Dacus slips out a new non-album single when no one’s looking (and perfectly timed for Valentine’s Day) and it still becomes a fan favorite.

Black Country, New Road, Ants from Up There, released 4 February. I’m still not quite sure how to describe this UK Midlands band other than that their quirky songs veer between chamber pop, angular post-punk and small town oddness, and that they’re a lot of fun to listen to.

Bastille, Give Me the Future, released 4 February. Bastille continues to write catchy and radio-friendly alternapop, but similar to Coldplay’s last few albums they’ve injected a considerable level of experimentation to their songwriting. The result is that they’re not always hit songs but their creativeness keeps you interested and intrigued.

Mitski, Laurel Hell, released 4 February. An indie rock fave at this point. Her latest record continues her focus on the personal, this time on change and transformation, with songs recorded at the height of the pandemic.

The Reds, Pinks and Purples, Summer at Land’s End, released 4 February. My favorite extremely-local band released their latest (and possibly last under that name?) album of moody and meandering ‘fog pop’ (as one-man RPP member Glenn Donaldson himself calls it) and it’s another collection of lovely Felt-like tunes.

Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, Cold As Weiss, released 11 February. This groovy jazz trio is always a trip to listen to, never wavering from their laid-back melodic funkiness. A simple melody like “Pull Your Pants Up” gets stuck in your head for days.

Eddie Vedder, Earthling, released 11 February. This has to be one of the most cheerful records I’ve heard from Vedder, whose solo and Pearl Jam records tend to lean on the more serious side of things. It’s full of bright and uplifting melodies and a really fun listen.

Andy Bell, Flicker, released 11 February. The Ride guitarist and vocalist gathers a number of unfinished songs he’s had in his cupboards over the years (some dating back to the 1990s!) and it’s a long and sprawling but ultimately fascinating record. There are some shoegazey Ride-like tracks on it, but there are also some janky alt-rock songs that sound like they were influenced by his years in Oasis.

Frank Turner, FTHC, released 11 February. Those expecting Turner to provide us with another album of spiky and often humorous troubadour alt-folk songs will be surprised by the level of raucous power in this record — after all, the title stands for Frank Turner HardCore. It’s a noisy dust-up of an album, but this doesn’t take away from Turner’s smart lyrics and songwriting at all.

Spoon, Lucifer on the Sofa, released 11 February. Spoon returns with an album featuring songs very similar to Kill the Moonlight (released way back in 2002) produced to sound tight and spiky. It’s the sound of a band having held back for too long and feeling the need to exert all that extra energy.

Alt-J, The Dream, released 11 February. This band, as always, never fails to amaze and confuse in equal measure. This new record starts not with calm melodies or even a hit song…but what sounds like a soda pop commercial. It’s kind of hard to figure out where where the band is going at first until you realize that’s the whole point of this record — it’s a fever dream of anxieties, distractions and oddly linked themes. It’s an album that’s meant to feel disjointed and tense, even when its melodies remain lovely and even heartbreaking at times.

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Stay tuned for Part II!

Spare Oom Playlist, January 2022 Edition

Do I have high hopes for this year because it ends in ‘2’? Of course I do. Am I pleasantly surprised that the first month kicked off in fabulous fashion with some solid records that I’m already grooving to? Yes indeed!

The Weeknd, Dawn FM, released 7 January. Descending further into a semi-retro mood of 80s grooves and out-there production, The Weeknd’s latest is a foray into moody late night FM radio, complete with a disembodied laid-back smooth-talking DJ (voiced surprisingly by none other than actor Jim Carrey…??) providing in-between track talk.

Cat Power, Covers, released 14 January. Chan Marshall’s third covers record continues in the vein of reimagining several songs (including one of her own) into something different. Her take on Frank Ocean’s “Bad Religion” is absolutely stunning.

Moist, End of the Ocean, released 14 January. This Canadian band has constantly flown under the US radar but I’ve always liked their records. This new album is full of uplifting songs and great melodies.

The Wombats, Fix Yourself, Not the World, released 14 January. This band always has a brilliant knack for writing such cheery songs with some of the gloomiest lyrics and they pull it off so wonderfully! This one immediately grew on me and I’m sure this one’s going to be getting a lot more play over the next several months.

Elvis Costello & the Imposters, The Boy Named If, released 14 January. EC is still going strong after multiple decades with no sign of stopping. And he can still be acerbic, gritty and urgent when it’s needed. This album is short, tight, and ready to roll.

Pedro the Lion, Havasu, released 20 January. David Bazan surprises everyone with a ‘hey guess what here’s a new album’ and drops the long-awaited sequel to 2019’s Phoenix, and it’s a corker. It’s dreamlike and even a bit playful, focusing mostly on his own childhood memories.

Kids On a Crime Spree, Fall in Love, Not in Line, released 21 January. This one’s a recent find for me, they’re locals (Oakland) and on the Slumberland label, and they’re named after the SF Examiner article that inspired the movie Over the Edge, and I love them already. Punky and semi-lofi (just like most of Slumberland’s signings), just how I like my indie.

Yard Act, The Overload, released 21 January. Another one of my favorite finds of 2021, this super fun band takes the jankiness of The Fall, the melodies of The Strokes and the humor of numerous Northern UK punk bands (these boys are from Leeds) and weaves together weird and hilarious songs that stick in your head for days. Highly recommended!

Paul Draper, Cult Leader Tactics, released 28 January. The ex-Mansun singer releases his second album with a much darker and harder edge. Its first single “Omega Man” is a duet with Porcupine Tree’s Steven WIlson, kind of reminds me of the creepier songs from Six, Draper’s 1999 album with Manson and its video — filmed in the Chernobyl exclusion zone — really underscores the heaviness of the song and the album.

Eels, Extreme Witchcraft, released 28 January. Mark Oliver Everett’s music evolves once again with a surprisingly poppy and upbeat record, just going to show that not all of his songs are dour or fraught with tension.

The Beatles, Get Back: The Rooftop Performance, released for streaming on 28 January. A playlist/streamed album created to tie in with the IMAX big screen event of the rooftop concert, this is the full forty minute “show” complete with between-song chatter and multiple takes. For a recording done outside in the dead of winter on a roof in central London, this sounds pretty damn good!

Our Lady Peace, Spiritual Machines 2, released 28 January. I’ve yet to give this a full listen, but I’ve been looking forward to it, as I loved their 2001 release Spiritual Machines record. Both are projects in connection with futurist Ray Kurzweil and are quite leftfield compared to their more straightforward rock albums and aren’t for everyone, but I remain intrigued. [I am, however, slightly let down that they chose to release this in NFT form a few months previous, as I am very much not a fan of crypto nonsense, but I digress.]

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Stay tuned for February, where we’ll see releases from Alt-J, Bastille, The Reds Pinks & Purples, Spoon, Beach House, Deserta, Johnny Marr, and more!

Spare Oom Playlist, November 2021 Edition, Part II

Finishing up with last month’s great tunage, where it goes in all sorts of interesting directions!

Matt Nathanson, Achtung Matty, released 18 November. Pop singer and local goofball (you should really follow his Instagram, it’s quite fun) covers his number one favorite album ever to celebrate its thirty-year anniversary, and it’s a surprisingly enjoyable ride.

Adele, 30, released 19 November. Adele returns with what is essentially a post-breakup/post-divorce record that’s not so much full of sorrow as it is full of I am so sick of this bullsh*t rage, and you can’t help but cheer her on for coming out on top.

Big Wreck, Big Wreck 7.1 EP, released 19 November. I’ve loved this band ever since their 1997 debut, and their latest is just as loud and powerful and bluesy as ever. They’ve never put out a bad record, and this one is just as great as the rest of them.

Seatbelts, Cowboy Bebop soundtrack, 19 November. Whatever you feel about the Netflix remake, you can’t glide past the fact that its soundtrack is ABSOLUTELY FLIPPING AMAZING because it’s Yoko Kanno and Seatbelts, just like the original. There’s a whole lot of new score here and you really need to give it a listen.

Elbow, Flying Dream 1, released 19 November. One of my longtime favorite bands returns with a lovely and somber record that mirrors the delicate movements we’ve all had to make during this multi-year pandemic.

Radwimps, FOREVER DAZE, released 23 November. You may remember these guys from the last two Makoto Shinkai movies, Your Name and Weathering with You. Their new record is a lot of good fun, full of cheerful powerpop and lovely balladry.

David Bowie, Brilliant Adventure (1992-2001), released 26 November. The latest in the major Bowie reissue box set project, this one covers his most intriguing and mature albums that led him to classy (Black Tie White Noise) to weirdo conceptual (Outside) to techno (Earthling, one of my top favorites of his) to adult alternative (‘hours…’), with multiple discs of b-sides, remixes, soundtrack songs, and the unreleased 2001 project Toy, in which he updates some of his earliest songs.

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Coming soon: a December overview, and of course my mixtape/best-of lists!

Spare Oom Playlist, November 2021 Edition, Part I

November was usually the last month in which we get an exciting array of new releases that finally quiet down come Thanksgiving, leaving December to provide us with greatest hits mixes, box sets, and untried bands provided a chance to break through. At least that’s how it’s usually been pre-COVID, anyway. Still, last month’s drops were strong and exciting, so let’s take a peek, shall we?

Porcupine Tree, “Harridan” single, released 1 November. New Porcupine Tree single??? NEW PORCUPINE TREE SINGLE!!!! AND A NEW ALBUM in 2022!! *eight-minute squee*

Nation of Language, A Way Forward, released 5 November. I mentioned this one in a previous entry and yeah, it’s still one of my favorites of the year. It’s an amazing record.

They Might Be Giants, BOOK, released 5 November. This band has been working for years and there’s no sign of the Two Johns stopping anytime soon. Their full-band sound fits them well this time out!

Chime School, Chime School, released 5 November. Bandcamp recently posted a great article about San Francisco’s lo-fi music scene, and Chime School is one of the fun bands featured, with their sweet jangly pop that really does owe a lot to the C86 sound.

The Verve Pipe, Threads, released 5 November. TVP are still going strong, and Brian Vander Ark’s songwriting is still stellar. (Go follow his Patreon, his posts are a lot of fun and he’s a really nice guy.)

Snail Mail, Valentine, released 5 November. Super melodic alternative tunage that goes in some really interesting directions.

Silk Sonic, An Evening with Silk Sonic, released 12 November. Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak bring the smoove with this 70s soul groove pastiche.

IDLES, Crawler, released 12 November. Surprisingly not as confrontational this time out, but just as twitchy, even during their quieter moments. It’s definitely a bit stranger than their previous records, but that’s not a bad thing at all.

Aesop Rock x Blockhead, Garbology, released 12 November. Rock’s signature creative-weirdo delivery is such that you just want to sit there and listen just to see where the hell he goes next with his lyrics.

Dave Gahan & Soulsavers, Imposter, released 12 November. The Depeche Mode singer’s latest solo release, his third with Soulsavers, is a fascinating cover album this time out, full of unexpected songs from Cat Power, Neil Young, Mark Lanegan, PJ Harvey and more.

Robin Guthrie, Pearldiving, released 12 November. The ex-Cocteau Twin continues his solo career with some absolutely lovely guitar instrumentalism.

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Coming soon: more November releases!

Favorite Albums: Nation of Language, ‘A Way Forward’

Yeah, I know…it’s not often I label a brand spankin’ new album a favorite, but I’m willing to make exceptions. Interpol’s Turn On the Bright Lights, Failure’s Fantastic Planet, Beck’s Morning Phase, and so on…they’re the records where every single song captures my attention in that whoa what am I hearing?? sort of way.

Nation of Language is a Brooklyn trio that has been getting some serious airplay on KEXP and I’m sure is capturing the attention of Spotify listeners as well. Their influence is obvious: early Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (we’re talking way before “If You Leave” here). They capture OMD’s fragile synth melodies and moods perfectly while bring their own spirit into the mix. Their debut album Introduction, Presence came out in May of last year, and they’ve just dropped their new one, A Way Forward, earlier this month.

Every track on this album is well worth checking out, as are their low-budget yet enjoyable videos!

Spare Oom Playlist, October 2021 Edition, Part II

Here’s the second half of October’s playlist as promised! Only two all-caps names this time, heh. Have fun and enjoy!

FINNEAS, Optimist, released 15 October. Billie Eilish’s brother comes out from behind the instruments and laptops and releases his own solo album. Like Billie, he’s a super-soft singer, but it works with the ballads and ponderings he’s featured here. As I’d hoped, his songwriting is just like on his sister’s album: the closer you listen to it, the more creative it is.

Deerhoof, Actually, You Can, released 22 October. They’re definitely your classic weirdo alt-rock band on par with Liars and Animal Collective that aren’t always easy on the ears, yet somehow you can’t stop listening to them. You never quite know where the songs are going to go next.

Clinic, Fantasy Island, released 22 October. This is another odd band, this time with one foot firmly entrenched in a Silver Apples-like motorik synthesizer sound. They’re definitely a ‘critic fave’ sort of band that never gets airplay, but they’re worth checking out.

Black Marble, Fast Idol, released 22 October. They’re part of the current wave of synth bands recapturing that UK synthpop sound (think super early OMD, well before their hit song), and they’re so much fun to listen to, especially for a GenXer like me. It’s like listening to college radio again!

Duran Duran, Future Past, released 22 October. This album is definitely a change from their previous record, 2015’s Paper Gods, in that they’ve moved slightly away from the dance grooves and headed towards inventive rock territory — sort of like 1988’s Big Thing in a way, come to think of it. It’s got some truly odd moments but it’s a a super fascinating listen.

La Luz, La Luz, released 22 October. Quirky lofi-ish indie pop that hints at garagey surf rock with maybe even a pinch of Stereolab. Bouncy, light fun.

RUFUS DU SOL, Surrender, released 22 October. I do loves me some epic-sounding moody electronica, especially for writing sessions! This is a relatively new band find for me, and I’m quite digging this record.

Parquet Courts, Sympathy for Life, released 22 October. This is another one of those weirdo bands I didn’t think I’d get into, but they keep coming out with great alt-rock gems that get stuck in my brain for hours at a time. They never really take themselves all that seriously, which makes their songs even more fun!

The The, The Comeback Special, released 29 October. Matt Johnson surprised everyone a while back by staging a comeback tour (including a stop in San Francisco, which I was able to catch!) in addition to releasing several of his Radio Cineola projects and soundtracks for his brother’s films. This record is pretty much a single entire show from start to finish, and it just shows how many amazing songs he’s written over the last several decades.

Billy Bragg, The Million Things That Never Happened, released 29 October. Still going strong since the 80s, he still writes the great troubador folk songs (now in the form of catchy alternapop these days) that are intelligent, catchy, and quite often amusing. And it sounds like he’s not going to quit any time soon.

Tori Amos, Ocean to Ocean, released 29 October. Another great songwriter releases a quiet and moody lockdown album inspired in part by her Cornwall surroundings and also the US Capitol riots.

Geese, Projector, released 29 October. This NYC band sounds like they dug deep in their local inspirations, as they definitely have that arch No-Wave sound similar to Television. There’s a hint of grooviness, a hint of jam-band meandering, and college radio moodiness on this record that really makes this band fascinating.

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Whew! That was a lot for the last half of October, and it looks like November’s going to have an overflow of great records as well! Not going to complain, of course…