The Friday Refrain: Rounding up the new music

Yeti in my driveway

Happy Friday everyone! Hope you're either enjoying a 3 day weekend or staying safe out there! It is an exciting week in music. First you have two different TV show winners releasing their first albums -American Idol's Candice Glover, Beloved and The Sing-Off's country acapella Home Free with Crazy Life. Also out this week are a trio of my favorites from my younger days: Presidents of the United States of America, Kudos to You!; Suzanne Vega, Tales From the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles; and Jonatha Brooke, My Mother Has Four Noses! So maybe that's enough, and you're satisfied, ran off to the record shop and have them in your hand now, listening happily. Maybe you didn't do that, those didn't really work for you and need something else or, wait, welcome back - already finished listening? Hungry for more? Well, let's see what else came out this week, shall we?

Two musicians who are also artists released albums this week: David Krakauer, The Big Picture and Dan Zimmerman, Dreams of Earth. Google them, Krakauer is known for his work in Klezmer music and Dan Zimmerman's bio was a really interesting read.

Some worldly sounds

J Alvarez, De Camino Pa' La Cima and Idale, La Dulce Mordida can fill your Latin Pop needs. While Jarabe De Palo, Somos  and AJ Davila, Terror Amor have a bit more bite to them. For more of a laid back time, check out Manu Ferrón, Misericordia. And for a little bossa, Bossacucanova, Our Kind of Bossa is just right to pretend you're somewhere warm.

French-wise - these two are so good. Alexandre Désilets, Fancy Ghetto and Gaël Faure, De Silences en Bascules.

I can't wait to dig into the rest of Israeli musician, Alma Zohar, and her album, Dabri.

More Poppy

Liv Warfield, The Unexpected - There are some really great songs on this, including the title track and her voice is just a powerhouse

Years & Years, Real

Bear Hands, Distraction - Spoon meets MGMT but poppier? Maybe?

80s fix: Katy B, Little Red and Evan Ønly, No Matter What

90s kinda: Nine Times Blue, Matter of Time (it made me think of Empire Records)

That Massive Playground Called Rock

Phantogram, Voices, was released this week and is a great addition to that band's work, keeping their sound without seeming to repeat themeselves.

Art Decade, Art Decade -  There is a very Elliot Smith vibe in some of the songs (especially "All That's Left"), while others are just a bit more Beatles than anything ("Greylock Hill").

Lost in the Trees, Past Life - Yesterday I listened to this entire album while it snowed and the world became a wonderland. It fit perfectly with that.

Nebelung, Palingenesis - maybe I'm just in a meditative mood right now, because this was very high on my list for the week as well. Guitars, a bit of violin and cello sometimes.

NO, El Prado - if you liked their single from January, lucky day! They released the full album. The singer swings between sounding like The National frontman to The Magnetic Fields. I sampled only a few tracks so far, but am looking forward to delving in.

"I'm Rolling Under," King Black Acid - Speaking of singles, try this one on for size. Trippy and pleasant.

Also out this week: Solids, Blame Confusion; The Jezabels, Brink; Tigermonkey, OCD ADD; We Are In The Crowd, Weird Kids; The Oddfathers, Part I; Shocking Pinks, Guilt Mirrors; Planningtorock, All Love's Legal; Ketamines, Stay Awake; Mark Rivera, Common Bond; Skindred, Kill the Power; Issues, Issues

Hard Rock to Hardcore

From lightest to hardest (mostly): Slough Feg, Digital Resistance; Junius, Days of the Fallen SunEldritch, Tasting the Tears; God Module, False Face; Def Con One, II; I Killed the Prom Queen, Beloved; Artificial Brain, Labyrinth Constellation; Cripple Bastards, Nero in Matstasi; Benighted, Carnivore Sublime


Benmont Tench, You Should Be So Lucky; James Armstrong, Guitar Angels; Jimbo MathusDark Night of the Soul; William Fitzsimmons, Lions


Donald Edwards, Evolution of an Influenced Mind; Misha Tsiganov, Artistry of the Standard; Machine Mass, Inti; Seamus Blake, Reeds Ramble; Takuya Kuroda, Rising Son; Tommy Banks, Old Friends


Ralph Stanley, Side by Side - made with his son, Ralph Stanley II (thus the title)

Cole Swindell, Cole Swindell - First album but already touring with Lee Brice and Luke Bryan. Check out "Swayin'" and "Ain't Worth the Whiskey"

Dawn Landes, Bluebird - Beautiful voice

Also out: Kevin Seconds, Off Stockton; Lydia Loveless, Somewhere Else

To Listen List

The Doppelgangaz, Peace Kehd; Cynic, Kindly Bent to Free Us; The Caribbean, Moon Sickness; Talk West, Black Coral Sprig; Sabina, Toujours

The end of another week and another Friday Refrain. Thanks for checking it out and happy listening!

 Friday Refrain is a weekly post regarding what new releases have caught my ear for the week. I try to compile a pretty comprehensive list of pop/rock releases of the week and see what is available for me to listen to on the web. This is just my non-scientific, highly-subjective, randomly-listened-to list of stuff I enjoyed from the week. Oh, and I don’t always listen to lyrics or look at album art/music videos, so appropriateness is left up to the listener.