As the recorded music industry continues to rumble awake after the Christmas break, here are five songs vying for places on playlists.
1. Let’s Eat Grandma, Happy New Year
Twin Ribbons (Transgressive Records)
Recommended If You Like: Cute bands with terrible names
I know there’s Larry David’s limit on when you need to stop wishing people a happy new year—in fact, I think we’re past it—but I’m going to make an exception for this duo from Norwich, England. Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth will release their third album in April. This lead single details a rift between the two women that saw them not speak to each other for a long time. Things are cool now, though.
2. The Districts, Outlaw Love
Great American Painting (Fat Possum Records)
RIYL: Smooth alt-pop
This three-piece band is from Philadelphia but this album was written by frontman Rob Grote who holed up in a cabin in the woods in Washington State (for two months!) during the height of the pandemic. He sought inspiration in the peacefulness of the place and as a break from taking part in all kinds of protests through 2020. The whole album comes out on February 4.
3. Father John Misty, Funny Girl
Chloë and the Next 20th Century (Sub Pop)
RIYL: Being confused about the direction of music
If you didn’t know it, you’d think that this was a Mitch Miller-produced easy listening track recorded in 1961. I honestly don’t get this song and why it’s being championed in some circles of the alt-rock world. This is the kind of stuff our grandparents listened to. Maybe you can explain it to me.
4. Falling in Reverse, Zombified
Neon Zombie EP (Epitaph)
RIYL: Er, zombies?
If you’re into the shouty kind of hard rock that was big earlier this century (Rob Zombie, Three Days Grace, Chevelle, etc.), you’ll find much to like with the latest from Las Vegas’ Falling in Reverse and their first release since 2017. If you’re into George Romero’s oeuvre and The Walking Dead, crank this one up.
5. Eels, Amateur Hour
Extreme Witchcraft (PIAS)
RIYL: Tight power pop
Mark Oliver Everett, the guy who’s been working as Eels for a quarter-century, has always been a tough guy to pin down in terms of style and musical headspace. One thing is for sure, though: no matter what he’s into at the moment, he writes some awfully catchy songs. Extreme Witchcraft will be his fourteenth album. Watch for it on January 28. Fun fact: His father, Hugh Everett III, was a big name in the world of quantum physics.
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