Already a frontrunner for Album of the Year, Natalie Mering finally fulfills her promising singles and records. As she makes her great leap forward, Mering carefully orchestrates a lush suite of Baroque pop that harkens back to the hazy ‘60s/early ‘70s of Laurel Canyon.
While a lot of artists have come around to that sound, Mering makes it sound thoroughly modern. Her mellifluous Karen Carpenter-esque vocals inject each song with just the right amount of longing.
These 10 songs are powerful but feather-light, allowing Mering to tug consistently (not relentlessly) on those heartstrings. "Titanic Rising" is lovelorn but not crestfallen.
The waves of beauty rise around you, but never take you under.
Night of the Worm Moon
Cleveland is a masterful acoustic guitarist. "Worm Moon" has two instrumentals that best showcase her skill and ability. "Castle Milk" would make a dynamite opener for the album, it neatly frames all of her fluid guitar work and her hints of hidden melody. When Cleveland writes to sing, her music does not show the same formation. Sadder and less dynamic, "Worm Moon" does demonstrate that Cleveland is on the right track ("Invisible When The Sun," "A New Song" and the title cut) and the best is truly yet to come.
Brooks and Dunn
Last week, it was the return of George Strait. This week, country's biggest hit-making duo is back in the game with 12 remakes of their charttoppers helped by charttoppers of today like Luke Combs, Kane Brown, Kacey Musgraves, Midland and Thomas Rhett.
REISSUE OF WEEK
Bob Stanley, Pete Wiggs
Three Day Week: 1972-1975
In the modern world of compilations, Saint Etienne's Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs continue to raise the standards. "English Weather" remains a must. A near-perfect mix of the willingly obscure Prog, Pop and even Library music of the early Seventies. It is only fitting the pair would find the roots of Punk in the unrest brewing beneath the charts in 1973.
Their nation unmoored. Strikes. Unrest. General unhappiness with the government. Inflation. Oil shortages. At least the Top of the Pops was still there to bring home a new torrent of anthemic songs (The Strawbs' "Part of the Union", the majestic "Sailing" from the Sutherland Brothers,) glam shakers (Stud Leather's booming "Cut Loose") and novelty weirdness (Dan The Banjo Man's "Londonderry" and Lieutenant Pigeon's tin whistle-driven "And The Fun Goes On.") Most of these cuts were never even released over here - where we had our own fair share of wild, one-hit wonders.
DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK
ART OF THE MEMORY PALACE
Dusk at Trellick Tower
Manchester-based synth-rock group that dusts the parameters of instrumental music. Their first single was a spellbinding piece that featured Scottish poet James Robertson. However, "Dusk" is far darker and more cinematic. Their music carries that same mixture of deep, woozy synths and falsetto vocals that makes Tame Impala so enticing. "Wretched Mortal" floats along on its swirling bass line and bittersweet melody, while the standout "Black Lighthouse" begs to be used in movies or at least while you are reading J.G.Ballard. By the time you get to the Cure-ish lilt of the second side, the vocals are truly just another instrument in the intoxicating mix. Beautiful.