Album: Inner Song Artist: Kelly Lee Owens Release Date: August 28, 2020 Label: Smalltown Supersound Favorite Tracks:
Welsh artist Kelly Lee Owens is a unique electronic music producer who is also a song writer and vocalist. Her second album seamlessly blends various electronic music types from dancefloor bangers to the ethereal and meditative to more typical pop song structures. Fellow Welsh musician John Cale joins Owens on “Corner of My Sky,” with lyrics in both English and Welsh.
Album: Shore Artist: Fleet Foxes Release Date: September 22, 2020 Label: Anti Favorite Tracks:
Can I Believe You
A Long Way Past the Past
I think this is what they call “headphone music” because the rich instrumentation and lush harmonies of Fleet Foxes become readily when pressed up against one’s ears. There’s a definite warmth to the album which according to the band’s frontman, Robin Pecknold “celebrate “life in the face of death.” And so I can say “it speaks to our time of COVID” for about the 100th time in this blog. But if good art is one of the few worthwhile things that the pandemic brings us, then I will accept that.
Album: Keepsake Artist: Hatchie Release Date: June 21, 2019 Favorite Tracks: Without a Blush Thoughts:
This is the first full-length album from Australian singer-songwriter Harriette Pilbeam, who records under the name Hatchie. The songs are lush and dreamy and a suitable soundtrack to a lazy summer day. The sound is reminiscent of early 90s bands with ethereal female lead vocalists like The Sundays. I really liked her 2018 EP Sugar & Spice, but the songs on Keepsake don’t packe the same punch with the exception of “Without a Blush.” A lot of songs suffer from a repetitious nature where they start with a good groove or lyric but it becomes grating as the song goes along. The song “Obsessed” is a good example of this. I was looking forward to this album but I don’t think I will be revisiting it.
Album: Sugar & Spice Artist: Hatchie Release Date: May 25, 2018 Favorite Tracks: “Sure,” “Sleep,” and “Try.”
The debut EP by Australian singer/songwriter Hatchie (no apparent relation to Waxahatchee), a.k.a. Harriette Pilbeam, is five tracks of dreamy, ethereal vocals over layered, jangly pop. It’s reminiscent of the early 90s alternative acts (think The Sundays or cranberries) who were drowned out by grunge, but nevertheless created some of the best music of the period. It’s a sweet treat and I look forward to more from Hatchie.