Juliana Hatfield, Weird (2019)
But she's one of the artists where I'll randomly thumb through my collection and realize, damn, I need to spend more time listening to Juliana Hatfield. (I recently rediscovered 2008's excellent How To Walk Away, and for the life of me can't figure out why I didn't spend more time with it when it first came out.)
Her most recent album, from earlier this year, finds her back in a more straightforward indie pop mode, shiny, jangly, yet still challenging (delightful opener "Staying In," the hook-filled "Sugar"), coupled with more driving rock tracks (the terrific "Broken Doll," the wonderfully catchy closing number "Do It To Music"). Throughout, the guitars clang and churn, one of her more energetic efforts. As has been the case ever since the Blake Babies, Hatfield has a hard time keeping it simple, and even the most infectious pop tracks tend to spin off into an off-kilter bridge. And as usual, beneath the perky sheen lies a lot of bitterness and exposed wounds; these are rarely happy songs, hooks be damned ("sugar I hate your guts, sugar I love you so much" comes across like a career mission statement).
Anyway, I see a long weekend of catching up with my Juliana Hatfield back catalog ahead of me.
Here's a video for "All Right, Yeah":