Songs of the Week: 5/1/2020

I only have two goals for this series: 1) Introducing the masses to great new music and 2) Giving myself an excuse to listen to every single new release on the Tidal streaming service so I can stay up with new music. Doing this on a weekly basis means that I have a one week window to get this up before the Tidal feed flips to the next set of records, so by posting song reviews rather than full album reviews, it allows me to get more out there and then if you choose to dig deeper, you can.

So… songs of the week for the release date of 5/1/2020.

  • Artist: Kenny Chesney
  • Song: “Here and Now”
  • Album: Here and Now
  • Genre: Country
  • Notes: I thought I hated Kenny Chesney and then my wife dragged me to a concert of his in 2018 and holy shit it was great and while I don’t know that I’m exactly a “fan” in that I would actively seek out his music, I actually looked forward to this new record. If you like country music and you want some fun in the sun tunes, Chesney’s your man.
  • Artist: Mozzy w/ King Von, G Herbo
  • Song: “Body Count”
  • Album: Beyond Bulletproof
  • Genre: Rap
  • Notes: This is somewhere between the 20th and 50th album for Mozzy since 2011 – which is a crazy amount of output no matter which end this number comes on. He’s put out a ton of solo records and a ton of full collaborations which is what inflates the numbers depending on how you end up counting rap albums (it’s not as easy as you think sometimes) but either way – this guy keeps chugging on, releasing records on his own and even with releasing sooooo much music, he continues to put out very listenable material and fly under the radar.
  • Artist: Man Man
  • Song: “Future Peg”
  • Album: Dream Hunting in the Valley of the In-Between
  • Genre: Avant-garde rock
  • Notes: It’s so rare when a group can have like 6-8 members, play all kinds of instruments like a Little Phatty, Xylophones, Sousaphones, Marimbas and a million items used for percussion and harness all of that into listenable songs that don’t ramble for 12 minutes of a clusterfuck of noise. But shit, that all happens here to create a brilliant record that sounds like nothing else I’ve heard in a long while. Speaking of a long while – check out the video – holy shit is it one of the most bizarre things I’ve seen in ages.
  • Artist: Havok
  • Song: “Fear Campaign”
  • Album: V
  • Genre: Thrash Metal
  • Notes: Havok is just pure fucking Thrash Metal and if there was ever a new wave of Thrash roll through to generate a younger “Big 4” – Havok would have a chance to be one of them for sure. Top notch all around.
  • Artist: Alkymist
  • Song: “The Dead”
  • Album: Sanctuary
  • Genre: Doom / Progressive Sludge Metal
  • Notes: Man, “The Dead” is a great doom-y and riff filled track, reminding me a lot of Triptykon sonically.
  • Artist: X
  • Song: “Alphabetland”
  • Album: Alphabetland
  • Genre: Punk Rock
  • Notes: The first album in 27 years and with the original lineup in 35 years for X is pretty damn solid, even if it doesn’t quite pack the punk energy of the originals. But the title track is fierce.
  • Artist: Dramarama
  • Song: “Beneath the Zenith”
  • Album: Color TV
  • Genre: Power Pop
  • Notes: It’s been 15 years since the last Dramarama record and they’ve come back with the same Power Pop they’ve been known for, for 35 years now.
  • Artist: Joan as Police Woman
  • Song: “I Keep Forgettin'”
  • Album: Cover Two
  • Genre: Indie Pop
  • Notes: The second covers records from Joan as Police Woman, an original member of the 80s and 90s band, The Dambuilders. She chooses interesting tracks from the Strokes, Outkast, Talk Talk and even “Kiss” from Prince but I also love a great cover of Michael McDonald.
  • Artist: HDBeenDope
  • Song: “GrossNet”
  • Album: BrokeN Dreams
  • Genre: Hip Hop
  • Artist: El Ten Eleven
  • Song: “With Report”
  • Album: Tautology I
  • Genre: Instrumental Post-Rock
  • Notes: Double neck guitars/bass, effect pedals everywhere, drums all over and riffs for days – hell yeah, who needs fucking words.
  • Artist: The Wrecks
  • Song: “Fvck Somebody”
  • Album: Infinitely Ordinary
  • Genre: Alt/Electro-pop
  • Notes: These guys released a single four years ago and hadn’t been heard from since that point. But their debut is catchy, loud pop, with electro elements throughout the disc and a bit of tongue-in-cheek sense of humor.
  • Artist: Boston Manor
  • Song: “Plasticine Dreams”
  • Album: GLUE
  • Genre: Pop-Punk/Emo
  • Notes: This is one of those songs that sounds like vintage 2000’s alt rock but with a modern flair that both takes me back to my peak listening era and keeps me loving new music.
  • Artist: American Aquarium
  • Song: “Starts With You”
  • Album: Lamentations
  • Genre: Alt. Country
  • Notes: This is the 10th studio record from American Aquarium, out of Raleigh, NC. I’ve never heard of the band before now but the first name that came to mind here in comparison is Ryan Adams but there’s a bit of Springsteen in here musically as well.
  • Artist: Chad Lawson
  • Song: “Lawson: Across the Distance”
  • Album: Stay
  • Genre: Classical
  • Notes: Look, I don’t know Classical music from a hole-in-the-wall so in that world, this could be terrible for all I know but to my ears this piece and EP as a whole are simply beautiful piano tunes constructed to sound modern rather than like traditional classical music.
  • Artist: Skia
  • Song: “Selfish”
  • Album: Apricot EP
  • Genre: Pop
  • Notes: This feels exactly like 100 other artists right now but some of them just do it better than others. Skia does.
  • Artist: Blóm
  • Song: “Meat”
  • Album: Flower Violence
  • Genre: Experimental Noise Punk
  • Notes: This is a fucking nuts EP from these punks who experiment on disc and apparently live as well making Blóm true performance art.

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