May 2nd, 2022
more of The Latest, Circling Back and Playlisted for ya.
Not a whole lot to update here, just been plugging away at work and with the usual stuff these days. I’m stickin’ to my format though and I’m going to keep making these periodic newsletter updates using the format of new records I’m spinning, older stuff I’ve circled back on, and some playlist features. Let me know how you feel about it on Twitter.
Stay fresh and be good to one another out there. Enjoy the music, and let me know what you’ve been spinning these days on Twitter!
Blushh – C'est La Vie! (2022, Literal Gold)
Between 2016 and 2019, Blushh released a series of EPs and singles that had me thoroughly addicted. If you haven’t already heard 2017’s It’s Fine and 2018’s Thx 4 Asking you should go rectify that now; both are stacked with hooky indie-pop-punk that will be buzzing between your ears for days. Their 2020 debut LP R.I.P. Apathy was one of my most anticipated albums that year, and while I dug it quite a bit there was just something about it that didn’t stick the way their EPs did.
Well, Blushh is back with C’est La Vie! and they’ve done something that few bands can do: expand upon what made their music so great in the first place, taking steps in a number of different textual and compositional directions while retaining that special something they had in their early work. This is a much more orchestrated, lush kind of power-pop than their fuzzy early work, and it’s all the better for it. This is pop music for your summer, the kind of album to crank up while rolling down windows. Definitely a sleeper hit that will grow on me all year. Don’t skip this one!
Dama Scout – gen wo lai (come with me) [2022, Hand in Hive]
I love this album so much, I’m at a loss for words at how to even write a blurb about it. No other record in 2022 has rocketed into the “this will definitely be on my year-end list” section of my brain than Dama Scout’s debut LP (following their EP from 2017.) This is fluid, groove-based but noisy and textured indie-rock, I guess you could call it. Immediately it brings to mind bands like Spirit of the Beehive or Crumb, who are also twisting expected sounds into unexpected gems of records. It’s cathartic, surprising at every turn, noisy, spaced out and more; all the while, it never lets go of your hand even when things blow up and get hectic.
Johnny Carwash – Teenage Ends (2022, Johnnie Carwash / Modulor / Howlin’ Banana)
“I don’t care, I don’t give a shit!” is the first refrain you hear on Teenage Ends, and I have to admit upon first listen it felt like the kind of forced immaturity that puts me off. Is this record just going to be that kind of simple, empty middle finger gesture we’ve seen and heard so often? I’m glad I didn’t let this knee-jerk reaction overtake, because this album has a whole lot more than that on offer. The title track in particular bubbles up from its extended intro into a frenzy of slashed riffs and wild drumming that truly satisfies. The whole record sits in this wonderful place between modern indie-punk-rock, throwback aughts-blown-out-indie-pop and riot grrl attitude. Kind of like if Los Campesinos!, Be Yr Own Pet and Sleater-Kinney formed a super-group while nursing a soda hangover. It’s fizzy, effervescent, but it’ll bite if you’re not paying attention.
Crime of Passing – Self-Titled (2022, Feel It Records)
Feel It Records, eh? Damn, they are just continuing to be on a wild roll of records. Feel It have very easily become a “listen to everything they release” label for me. Crime of Passing’s self-titled record certainly fits into their noisy, arty post-punk kind of bucket that many of their releases sit inside (or just outside of), but there’s a lot more to it than your average bass-led, post-punk, vintage-aping kind of band often has going on. Dig the squelching horn on “Damrak” and the buried synths on “Vision Talk.” What I love about this record, is that it doesn’t just pick a style and rhythm and hammer it into the ground, but it’s always reaching for something just around the corner. You’ll hear the Joy Division influence, but you’ll hear synth-punk, industrial, kraut, electro-pop and more in there, all at once. It’s a wonderfully diverse album in that way, and to me feels like a breath of fresh air right now.
Plow United – Narcolepsy (1998, Creep Records)
I almost said “I’ve been on a 90s pop-punk kick” to start this blurb, but when am I not on that kick? I’m constantly on the look out for new-to-me bands from the era, and more often than not I feel like I’ve already heard them all. I’m not saying that Plow United is new to me, but when I feel like I’ve failed to discover some hidden gem I turn to my old favourites like SICKO or Plow United, and that’s what I’ve been doing a lot lately. How about you?
The B-52's – Party Mix! / Mesopotamia (1991, Reprise)
The B-52’s recently announced their “final tour of Planet Earth” on Twitter, which made me a bit sad since I’ve never been able to see ‘em live. I probably realized that The B-52’s weren’t just a novelty band sometime around College, and I’ll never forget watching a concert of theirs from around the time they put out their second record, and realizing just how fuckin’ cool they are.
Ricky Wilson, one of the most innovative and brilliant guitarist that ever did it… and seldom gets the recognition they deserve. I picked the Party Mix! / Mesopotamia CD re-issue for this, because the Party Mix! versions of these songs from the first two records are just a delight. They perfectly capture how wild, free and fun these songs are while adding some quirky, kitschy effects and track-blending tactics to create an ultimate party record. As their record labels said, PLAY LOUD.
Release Day Playlists
If you didn’t know, I am still doing New Music Friday playlists, but I haven’t had the time to keep up with posting about them on the tab every time they are released. I am good about keeping vocal about that on Twitter, so follow over there if you’d like. Here’s the latest one I made, for April 29th, 2022
6 Albums A Year
Speaking of Twitter, I’ve also been doing this experiment where I pick 6 albums a year, starting in my birth-year of 1985 up until the present day. I’ve made it to 2006 so far, so follow along if you’d like!
That’s it, that’s all. Be excellent to one other.