JAY SOM- EVERYBODY WORKS
Jay Som is SF Bay area multi-instrumentalist Melina Duterte. “Everybody Works” is her official debut album after late 2016 mixtape “Turn Into”. Though her music plays as lo-fi bedroom pop, her strong sense of melody and propensity to ROCK allows “Everybody Works” to rise far above most other music of its kind. Duterte is only 22 years old and her talent, ambition and wisdom at such a young age gives me the sense that she could be around for a long time and really make a name for herself in music.
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MAC-DEMARCO- THIS OLD DOG
Third full-length album “This Old Dog” shows talented millennial slacker-hero Mac DeMarco’s leap into relative maturity, as DeMarco delves into his family history with a loving, but struggling single mother and a mostly absent father with substance abuse issues. DeMarco’s woozy, chilled-out, mostly acoustic sound remains in place and tracks like “On The Level” and “This Old Dog” are up there right among his best material. Long-time fans will not be disappointed and DeMarco’s lyrical growth is a welcome sign.
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Nineties shoegaze band’s first album in twenty-two years and it’s one of 2017’s best albums, continuing the welcome streak of Gen-X bands (Dinosaur Jr., My Bloody Valentine, Sleater-Kinney) delivering great reunion albums up there with their best work. “Slowdive” is exacting and fussed over, but strikingly beautiful and at eight songs there is not even an average one in the bunch. Whether pure pop, like album standout “Sugar For The Pill”, or more dissonant and swirling like “Star Rover” Slowdive deliver continuous ear candy- this album is a true triumph and makes me eager to go back and listen to the band’s original output.
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CHRIS STAPLETON- FROM A ROOM VOLUME 1
Nashville neo-outlaw Country hero Chris Stapleton follow up to his wildly successful, multi-million selling debut “Traveller”, is a modest, brief collection- a part 1 of a planned two part set (part 2 is planned to be released later this year)- that is all killer, no filler. Album highlights include “Up To No Good Livin'”, “Them Stems”, “I Was Wrong” and Willie Nelson cover “Last Thing I Needed, First Thing This Morning”, but every single song here is damn good. Stapleton is a top notch songwriter, an authentic and soulful singer and maybe the very best thing going in all of country music right now.
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PERFUME GENIUS- NO SHAPE
“No Shape” is the fourth album by confrontational & groundbreaking gay artist Mike Hadreas as Perfume Genius and is an ode to and a celebration of his love and relationship with longtime boyfriend and musical collaborator Alan Wyffles. Hadreas’s music can be beautiful, heartbreaking, provocative, defiant and bold- sometimes all at once. “No Shape” is his most consistently rewarding set of songs yet with lead single “Slip Away” being the most obvious highlight.
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