Just a few notes on this shortish list. You may see some of these again on my favorites list at the end of the year. Most of these are new albums that have been released in 2020. I may mention one or two that are new to me and you might wanna check out. I thought this mini check-in might be helpful for people looking for something new to listen to while we are holed up in our homes.
I started writing this on the originally scheduled date for Record Store Day. If you are able to, please support your local independent record store. Many of them are offering online orders, delivery to your home by a charming employee, or curbside pickup.
Moaning – Uneasy Laughter
I don’t know how I got away with not listening to these guys for so long. After giving this quite a few listens and wondering what in heck I had been doing with my life, I went back and also listened to their first album. I have had both on heavy rotation. Both are very postpunk but Uneasy Laughter is a little less rough around the edges and more synth-driven. Good moody dance music. Favorite tracks: Make It Stop, Stranger, Saving Face.
The Districts – You Know I’m Not Going Anywhere
This band is totally new to me which is pretty funny since they seem to frequently play at my local music fest, Treefort. Oops. So shoutout to my friend that brought their single Hey Jo to my attention. It is so good! Favorite tracks: 4th of July, Descend, The Clouds.
Fiona Apple – Fetch the Bolt Cutters
What can I say about this one that hasn’t already been said all over the internet? So fun seeing so many people sharing their excitement and love for it. Worth. The. Eight. Year. Wait. 👏 A certain music publication gave it a perfect 10 review and it is the only score they have given that I have agreed with. So glad we are all on the same page. Favorite tracks: Fetch the Bolt Cutters, Ladies, Under the Table.
Chromatics – Closer to Gray
After waiting on Dear Tommy for years and then hearing every copy had been destroyed, Closer to Gray was sort of a surprise! If you like dancy, synthy music I’d suggest these guys. I love Ruth Radelet’s soothing, whispery voice coupled with their upbeat music. The band releases their records through Johnny Jewel’s own record label, Italians Do It Better. I love that they are always reprinting albums on cool colored vinyl and sticking it to the people trying to sell out of print records for exorbitant prices. Favorite tracks: You’re No Good, Twist the Knife, Light As A Feather.
Caroline Rose – Superstar
Love this album! I was 100% in as soon as I heard Feel the Way I Want. This may be a concept album about a person with a singular goal, fame, but damn if it doesn’t hype me up. Straight up dance party. I started 2020 feeling pretty good and really taking Feel the Way I Want to heart so I am sorry I jinxed everything, everyone. Favorite tracks: Command Z, Back st the Beginning, I Took A Ride.
Torres – Silver Tongue
Torres fourth album but the first of hers that I have checked out and I am in love. I will definitely be going back and diving into her previous three. So full of emotion. I thankfully haven’t had my heart broken in a long time but damn if I don’t feel it when Torres sings about it. The songs go from simple and sparse to multilayered and loud in the span of seconds. Favorite tracks: Last Forest, Good Grief, and Gracious Day (one of the best love songs I have listened to in my life.)
Real Estate – The Main Thing
Chill and upbeat. Just the happy music I need sometimes. This is their fifth album and they are truly one of the bands I can count on for releasing a great album that is enjoyable from beginning to the end. Favorite tracks: Shallow Sun, The Main Thing, Procession.
Soccer Mommy – Color Theory
I resisted listening to this band because of their name for the longest time. Someone suggested I give ’em a listen last year and I was instantly hooked. That is what I get. I enjoy the light and sometimes poppy music coupled with her earnest lyrics. Favorite tracks: Crawling in my Skin, Yellow is the Color of Her Eyes, and Circle the Drain (my pandemic anthem.)
Momma – Interloper
I happened to be doing some night driving a couple of weeks ago (I am old and barely ever venture out after dark so there you have it) and one of the tracks, Sidewalk, from this album came on. This isn’t a new album but…this band does have a new album coming out in May and I am pumped about it. You can pre-order beautiful yellow vinyl or some pretty cool bundles from their bandcamp. Interloper sounds like it was picked right outta the ’90s. It never sounds like a cheap ripoff though. I love that there are two singers. Their voices are perfect together! Some of their harmonies remind me of The Breeders. Favorite tracks: Turf War, Belong on the Bed, Pipe Thing.