2023 New Releases

It's a little overdue, but with 2023 almost halfway over (!), figured I'd take a quick run through some of the new albums I've been spinning lately.

Rose City Band, Garden Party

The fourth LP from psychedelia wunderkind Ripley Johnson (also of the noisier space-rock outfits Wooden Shjips and Moon Duo) is... well, a lot like the first 3 Rose City Band albums. Which means it's a gentle delight, another mellow, laid back stroll through twangy, cosmic Americana. Perfect for a sunny Sunday afternoon sprawled out on the lawn. Find it on Bandcamp

Wednesday, Rat Saw God

The North Carolina band breaks from the more thrashy post-punk of prior work to lean a little more heavily on skewed Americana-tinged 90s indie rock (think Pavement's "Range Life" and the Silver Jews). There's still some good noise here (the extended "Bull Believer" is right out of the Sonic Youth playbook), but it feels like Karly Johnson has been hanging out with the likes of Snail Mail and Soccer Mommy on the more stripped-down, introspective tracks. And "Quarry" in particular is pretty amazing. Find it on Bandcamp.

The Long Ryders, September November

This one's been out for awhile now, but I'm still enjoying it, the return of an old friend--the familiarity of the Long Ryders' classic 80s cowpunk/jangle I fell in love with back in college yet sounding very of the moment. Find it on Bandcamp.

The Connells, Set The Stage

Speaking of old friends... one of my favorite jangle-pop bands dating all the way back to those college days, the Connells made a welcome return with their fine 2021 reunion album Steadman's Wake. They've now followed it up with their first official live album. It checks in at a brief 12 songs--wish they'd gone with the classic rock double-live canard!--but the tracks span their career, and make for a great-sounding addition to my old bootlegs. Find it on Bandcamp.

Worriers, Warm Blanket

Brooklyn's Worriers step back from the transgressive pop-punk of prior albums, delivering a more stripped-down sound, more like a deeply personal solo album from front-person Lauren Denitzio. But it's still exciting, and the fizzy "Power Pop Mixtape" is a great little treat for all of us lovers of late 70s power pop, name-dropping my whole damn record collection. Find it on Bandcamp.

The Lemon Twigs, Everything Harmony

The latest from the D'Addario brothers blends 70s soft pop with the wide-eyed naivete of early Of Montreal. It's a gentle, intimate affair, but perks up in places, most notably the wonderfully jangly power pop triumph "Ghost Run Free," which sounds like a variation on The La's "There She Goes." Find it on Bandcamp.

April March Meets Staplin

NYC singer April March joins up with French pop duo Staplin for another round of built-for-soundtracks music pooling electronica and Francophile ye-ye and surf music. Really nice stuff. Listen on Spotify.

Crocodiles, Upside Down In Heaven

The band occupies garage-psych-punk territory reminiscent of early Flaming Lips crossed with Buzzocks; their latest sticks to more straightforward pop-punk, fizzy hooks but still plenty bratty. Title track is... well, damn, it's just great. Find it on LoliPop; listen on Spotify

Eyelids, A Colossal Waste of Light

The latest from the Portland indie-poppers is all laid-back melodic jangle, shades of Posies and Teenage Fanclub, maybe a touch of Paisley Underground psychedelia, more baroque than power pop, with insinuating charms. Find it on Bandcamp.