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Leland McCarthy: February 29, 2020

This year got off on an erratic, tangential foot. My taste in music is similarly scatterbrained so far.

In no particular order, I am loving…

  1. MattielSatis Factory (Heavenly Recordings)

    Feeling somewhat retro, but honest. I decided to see Mattiel after the first time listening to the eponymously named debut LP. Their show was equally energetic. It felt honest from beginning to end, and never like they were trying to be cool.
  2. Land of TalkLife After Youth (Saddle Creek)

    I really missed the bus on Land of Talk. I was totally unfamiliar with them before they opened for Wolf Parade on their current tour. I brought home my copy of Life After Youth and immediately felt a little sheepish when I noticed the album was two and a half years old, and they had been producing music since 2006. A classic indie effort.
  3. Cymbals Eat GuitarsWhy There are Mountains (Memphis Industries)

    The debut LP from the late Cymbals Eat Guitars is a journey. Wandering through post and math rock genres, sometimes a west coast, second wave emo sound. The album has a frenetic tension that keeps you engaged from the first track onward.
  4. Car Crash SistersSundance Sea (Blackjack Illuminist Records)

    There’s a thing. I call it, “phantom nostalgia.” That feeling I get when I hear something new, that takes me back to somewhere I’ve never been. This group is really nailing that on the head. Accentuated, holding vocals and an aching pensiveness make this one of my most played albums in 2019.
  5. PegboyThree Chord Monte (Quarterstick Records)

    A band I feel gets too often overlooked in the weird sub-genre of punk rock we put Jawbreaker and Face to Face in. Their melodies are punchy and melodic, their lyrics hold water under scrutiny. They are a stand up band. Amazingly, they’re still doing it too. Go see them before they hang it up.
  6. Lorelle Meets the ObsoleteDe Facto (Sonic Cathedral Recordings)

    Experimental psych at its finest. Too modern to compare to relics who set the standard like Ultimate Spinach or 13th Floor Elevators. Too original to really compare to anyone. Echoing, droning, faintly desperate sounding *Hope Sandoval*-esque voice. Long lingering build ups and crescendoes. Lots of fuzz.
  7. The Spirit of the BeehiveYou Are Arrived (But You’ve Been Cheated)

    “Natural Devotion” came on my favorite radio show one night at work. The first time my colleague and I heard it we were both struck by the almost slacker-rock tone. Then the breakdown hit. I had to pursue these guys further. A great effort through and through for anyone feeling in line with a shoegazing, neo-slacker sound.
  8. Adam FaucettBlind Water Finds Blind Water (Last chance Records)

    This Arkansas artist walks a fine line. His voice and demeanor are definitively southern, but his ability to manipulate the word to a context are almost scholarly. He puts the language he uses in to a way that sounds very, uniquely down home, and very erudite at the same time. Honest, and poetic. I could not recommend enough you pursue his music.
  9. Lala LalaThe Lamb (Hardly Art)

    I’m not as articulate as I wish I were. I struggle to convey thoughts and emotions. If I could substitute the words I can;t find with another’s, Lillie West’s would often say what I can only feel. This album is such a great expression of angst and uncertainty. I recommend this to everyone who nodded their head at my first two sentences.
  10. Dave Hause Bury Me in Philly (Rise Records)

    This made the list in my excitement to see him perform again soon. Like many of his punk rock counterparts, he too has come around to a more anthemic, Americana sound, seperate of his other bodies of work. It’s catchy, anthemic in a never-say-die sort of way, and very heart on the sleeves.


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