Stef Chura – Midnight
It’s her voice that gets you first, bouncing all over the place while the band lays down some vibrant indie rock jams. But those vocals are deceptively in control, like the chorus on Scream or the outro on All I Do Is Lie, adding a little flourish to the melodies (and on Trumbull in particular her voice doesn’t sound a million miles away from Detroit neighbour Jack White). Chura’s song-writing is pretty versatile and with some pretty collaborative production courtesy of Will Toledo this is fantastic sounding record, at times cathartic and at times reflective, always full of depth. One of those ones you finish and you instantly wanna hit play from the start again. Potentially one of the best rock albums of 2019.
SiR - Chasing Summer
Another undercover project from a Top Dawg Entertainment artist that delivers the goods in typically unique fashion. SiR is back for his third album, his second as part of TDE and follows up ‘November’ with ‘Chasing Summer’. Hailing from Inglewood in California, SiR offers extreme vibes with his soulful yet hip singing and takes on a more yearning tone for this album, fitting his journey as an established artist who is now exploring the world. Whack this on as part of your spring playlist and start crooning because Chasing Summer will set the tone for long, mellow days.
Ty Segall – First Taste
A new Ty Segall album is not a rare occurrence but it’s always a grateful one. When you’re this prolific and consistent, you get to explore all your whims and passions. This one’s almost a little swampy, with a pair of drummers (including Segall himself, naturally) really filling out the sound. There are also some less typical garage instruments… who doesn’t love a saxophone? But for all the sludge and slime there’s also Ty’s irrepressible gift for hooks and melodies which emerge dripping from the swamp with repeated listens. Yet another ripper from old mate.
Purple Pilgrims – Perfumed Earth
A bit of kiwi dreamscaping for you – recorded in the Coromandel and released on Flying Nun, no less – the Nixon sisters’ second album is a magical carpet ride through gypsy elegies and vivid visions of pastoral ballads. It sounds absolutely gorgeous, and with a tinge of that 60s pop sound to it Perfumed Earth remains warm and inviting amidst the stars and spectres. Sort of like it Kate Bush soundtracked a David Lynch film. Wuthering Heights meets Twin Peaks.
Tyler Childers – Country Squire
Nobody quite writes a tune like Tyler Childers, carrying the torch of that outlaw country tradition. Basically, this is an album about living on the road, that troubadour’s life, and missing that which you’ve left behind. Common territory for the travelling musician… but not sure that longing’s ever been summed up quite like on Ever Lovin’ Hand, which starts off with hotel lotion preferences and moves on to pictures on a phone and… yeah, the human experience as Tyler himself put it. Childers just has a way of getting to the heart of the matter. Finely crafted songs about love and life and oh mate that voice is something else. Produced by Sturgill Simpson too, if you needed another nudge.
Curren$y - Hot August Nights
This may be the shortest album yarn written for the #27fm Jukebox because Curren$y delivers yet another project full on mellow rhymes and pictures painted. ‘Hot August Nights’ doesn’t differ from Spitta’s formula other than bringing in Nard & B to handle the production and allowing a slightly different sound. Otherwise, this is another perfect project to play in the background of a kiwi get-together.
Rapsody - Eve
The best female rapper in the world follows her exceptional album ‘Laila’s Wisdom’ with ‘Eve’ which serves as a journey into being a black woman. Much of the production is done by 9th Wonder and this combination offers a delightful canvas for Rapsody to shine with her story-telling, as well has how she crafts bars. There are a range of features, yet the joy in Eve is that Rapsody takes the listener into a realm where the woes of the world today are expressed in rhyme, through the eyes of a powerful black woman and that level on insight is well worth mutiple listens.
Sleater-Kinney – The Center Won’t Hold
There were reservations about this one. As great as the combo of Sleater-Kinney plus St Vincent sounds, it was always going to mean a very different sound for the trio and those reservations came right to the fore when that trio became a duo when drummer extraordinaire Janet Weiss left the group ahead of their album tour. But you know what? It’s great. It’s really great. That fresher sound is no lie as Annie Clark brings in a few electronic moments and there’s even a piano ballad at the end, but those same old tendencies for roaring choruses and emotional vulnerability/strength remain. Like the last St Vincent album there’s less guitar than you’re used to but that’s because it’s being used in different ways. Perhaps not one for the purists but, come on, they’ve already made those albums. And they’ve still never made a bad one.
Oh Sees – Face Stabber
This is a weird album even by Jon Dwyer’s standards. The psych/garage/rock/metal/punk/folk maestro and his band seem to have built this thing up like a hip hop producer might, element by element, sonic brick by sonic brick. Like 99% of double albums it needed a trim… but you can see why he left it all in there because what hits with one person won’t be what hit with another. So, you know, pick out the tracks that hit for you go because buried in the mix are some absolute belters here. But then if you’re familiar with (Thee) Oh Sees then that’s no surprise.
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