The Albums You Need to Know About Every Week
Release season is finally up and running — all sorts of great records are getting ready to come out, and this week is no exception. With the first record of original material in six years from Cat Power, a new and sure to be original effort from Deerhoof, new releases from favorites Stars and Azure Ray and the anticipated debut from Brooklyn’s Soft Spot, there’s certainly enough for a whole week of listening.
CAT POWER – SUN
It’s been a while since we’ve heard some new songs from the smokey-voiced crooner Cat Power (@catpower). With her first collection of all new songs in six years, Chan Marshall offers up an incredible mix of folk-rock and joyfully eclectic songs. This record has been a long time coming, and by all accounts, it was well worth the wait.
DEERHOOF – BREAKUP SONG
Deerhoof’s (@deerhoof) uniquely fun brand of art pop changes with every record, but one thing always sounds the same: their albums are damn fun to listen to. The group never repeats themselves, and the newest effort is as chopped, broken and experimental as pop comes — you can count on them to never do the same thing twice.
STARS – THE NORTH
Over the past ten years, Canadian indie pop group Stars (@youarestars) have released a myriad of EPs, LPs, demos, and remixes. This week, they’re back with The North, a 13 track hard-hitter of an album. Within their signature refined, intelligent style, the band mixes ‘80s influences with hints of ethereal modern dream pop to create a smart, understated compilation.
AZURE RAY – AS ABOVE SO BELOW
Azure Ray (@azureraymusic), consisting of Maria Taylor and Orenda Fink, have reformed to release their fifth effort this week, an EP called As Above So Below. Sparsely orchestrated, the album offers a generous portion of lullaby-like tunes constructed from dark, melancholic lyrics — exactly what we’ve learned to crave from the duo of sirens. The release reminds us yet again that Azure Ray have mastered the art of soberly beautiful music.
SOFTSPOT – ENSO
Brooklyn’s own SoftSpot (@therealsoftspot) have released their debut LP this week. The album, titled Enso (the Japanese word for “circle”), is scattered with clever, offbeat indie rock tunes such as “The Cleansing Hour” and “Holy Father”. Constructed to be played in a loop, the record begins and ends with identical wave-like chord progressions, making it a cohesive work both beginning to end and end to beginning.