Just because Bandcamp Friday is over doesn’t mean recommendations have to stop, right? So we figured it would be best to give those out after the Friday madness is over.
Up first is our long-time follower Ezra Brooks with his pick of 15 favorite recent/new albums.
If you want to help support artists and also enjoy great music, here are 15 recent albums that are bringing joy into an otherwise hectic year. There’s something for everyone… check it out!
Jennah Bell – Anchors & Elephants (Self Released)
gauzy tapestry of pop, blues, jazz and folk – Adobe Teardrops
McKinley Dixon – The Importance of Self Belief (Citrus City Records)
Got so much family on here, you’d think it’s a reunion.
Orion Sun – Hold Space for Me (Mom + Pop Music)
Listen up basics—in many scenes, they’d call Orion Sun an interactive media assassin. Unassailable producer skills? Check. Lyrically singular voice—her MC skills get third-tier treatment when in fact, they should be way up front more often—that brings to life acute soul-bearing descriptions of day-to-day struggles, while Frankensteining complex arrangements smoothly, that lean on Jazz, hip-hop, and R&B production? Also, check. – Treble
Tre Burt – Caught It From the Rye (Oh Boy Records)
Like his label mate and songwriting hero John Prine, Burt has a poet’s eye for detail, a surgeon’s sense of narrative precision and a folk singer’s natural knack for a timeless melody.
Raul Gonzalez Jr – Keeper (Z Tapes)
Sarah Louise – Earth and its Contents (Self Released)
Today, with so many in isolation and gripped with worry, I offer it as a balm: a re-connection to earth in the past, present and future.
Rose City Band – Summerlong (Thrill Jockey)
It is impossible to talk about modern psychedelic music without mentioning Ripley Johnson. As bandleader of Wooden Shjips and one half of Moon Duo, Johnson has continually charted new cosmic paths that expand on the language of the genre. With Rose City Band, Johnson’s songwriting and beautiful guitar lines take center stage, the veil of psychedelia notably drawn back.
Merce Lemon – Ride Every Day (Crafted Sounds)
we are a band of dads bringing you sweet tunes from the sea
Lemon’s concise, yet insightful discography often reflects upon ideas surrounding water and fluidity, and how it relates to the body, identity, and memory. – Radiotrails
Melenas – Dias Raros (Trouble in Mind)
The elements of these songs are familiar, but the way Melenas combine them creates something unique. You can hear driving motorik beats and washes of shoegaze fuzz mixed with jangle pop hooks and girl group harmonies. – Post-Trash
Mapache – From Liberty Street (Yep Roc Records)
This record is about as close to the sound of home as you can get,” says Mapache’s Sam Blasucci. “We recorded it with a bunch of our friends in the house where we were living in a neighborhood that we loved. It’s a family vibe through and through.
Big Pal – I’m Already on the Gondola (Dead Definition)
Bots, bugs, and buddies.
Bats – There’s a River Up High (Citrus City Records)
Bats is the solo project of Jess Awh, an artist working out of Manhattan and Nashville. There’s a river up high is her second full length album. It was recorded between cities, in bedrooms and living rooms, with help from an army of friends.
Jess Williamson – Sorceress (Mexican Summer)
Across eleven country western prayers and pop incantations, Williamson melds the magical with the day-to-day, and makes it feel universal. On the title track, a gorgeous fireside ballad that finds her accompanied by the chirps of cicadas, she sings “Yes, there’s a little magic in my hat / But I’m no sorceress.” The thing is, she certainly sounds like one.
75 Dollar Bill Little Big Band – Live at Tubby’s (Self Released)
There’s a bittersweetness to these recordings in this context. People have lost their lives, their livelihoods–which is certainly true of many musicians and “gig workers” we know–and we’re often cut off from the ones we love. No one really knows how long it’ll be before live shows will be able to happen again. And while I’m heartened by all the ways that people are finding to stay connected and keep music alive online, listening to this recording really brings home all of the reasons that playing music with people that I love, in a room full of people who are vibing off that energy and projecting it back at us, is so important to me.
And a huge “thank you” to Ezra for including our recent Skyjelly / Solilians split on this list.