Album: Long Day in the Milky Way Artist: Kris Delmhorst Release Date: August 14, 2020 Label: Big Bean Music Favorite Tracks:
“Wind’s Gonna Find a Way”
“Nothing “Bout Nothing”
Thoughts: I first learned of Kris Delmhorst when she was playing gigs in Somerville, MA just after I moved there in the late 90s. Her albums Five Stories and Songs for a Hurricane area among my all-time favorites. But I totally missed it when her most recent album was released last August.
The album features Delmhorst’s typically well-crafted songs. I particularly like the harmonies of Rose Polenzani, Rose Cousins, and Annie Lynch on back-up vocals. But with very few exceptions the songs are all slow tempo, and just not as engaging as I’d expect. The music is pretty though, and the lyrics offer flashes of hope and healing in troubled times.
Thoughts: Mourn, a quartet from Barcelona, is a band that makes loud, energetic punk rock tracks with shouted lyrics. I like that kind of thing. It feels like an album for “our COVID times” with the feelings of life’s many problems fully expressed, but also counterbalanced by a sense of resilience. Rating: ***1/2
Hip artist and producer Madlib collaborates with electronic music artists Four Tet on this collection that draws on both of their loves for music and record collecting. The music samples from a catalog of soul and R&B, Jazz, Latin, folk, and reggae to create a tribute to ancestral music and something new at the same time.
Album: Palberta5000 Artist: Palberta Release Date: January 22, 2021 Label: Wharf Cat Records Favorite Tracks:
“Big Bad Want”
“Something in the Way”
“The Way That You Do”
“All Over My Face”
“Before I Get Here”
Thoughts: Palberta – the trio of Anina Ivry-Block, Lily Konigsberg, and Nina Ryser from New York City (not western Canada) – make melodic punk music reminiscent of early Sleater-Kinney. I haven’t listened to their earlier work but apparently this album is a transition for the band from pure punk noise to indie pop. Nevertheless, the punk sensibilities remain with sweet harmonies over rattling guitars and drum beats. Most of the album’s 16 tracks clock in at 2 minutes or less. The second half of the album is stronger than the first, but I enjoyed it all.