We’ve got another mixed bag of tasty treats this week including raucous rock, gorgeous ballads, and collaborative pop jams. Pour a drink of your choice, kick your feet back, and unwind for while with these recommendations.
tUnE-yArDs – Nikki Nack
Joyous, energetic, uplifting, and begging repeat listens that are bound to reveal something new every time. – Christine
Naughty Boy – Hotel Cabana
Capitalizing on a deep network of under-rated vocalists, Naughty Boy’s debut album features work by Sam Smith, Emeli Sande, Bastille, and Ed Sheeren. Over 21 tracks and interludes, Hotel Cabana is a fun loosely-themed pop album akin to Gorillaz’ vaunted Plastic Beach. There’s a fun diversity of styles, showcasing Naughty Boy’s versatility in crafting infectious pop songs and moody atmospherics. Hotel Cabana is a fun album that benefits from being played in full. – Jeff
Survival Knife – Loose Power
In college, I loved the band Unwound. They broke up, out of nowhere, like so many other post-punk bands. I believe that was part of the scene these youngsters were apart of. So much angst, so little alternative. Fortunately frontman, Justin Trosper, has formed a new outfit, several years later, called Survival Knife. Their album, Loose Power, took me right back to that sound I have missed. I know post-punk is rock’s emotionally confused cousin. But once you are completely in tune with the album’s trajectory, I hope you feel why a band like this can stir up such potent nostalgia. – Rocky
Joel Baker – Thorns
My rainy day (at least in Chicago), sad bastard selection comes from Joel Baker. It’s a new today second song off his forthcoming EP. It’s pretty, it’s sad, it’s acoustic, and hey, cello! I would suggest going straight to his soundcloud (https://soundcloud.com/joelbakermusic) and just hitting play, but here’s that song, Thorns, to get you started. – Faith
PAWS – Youth Culture Forever
I am on the fence about my recommendation for this week. Two albums stick out for me, each on different ends of the spectrum. The sophomore effort from Scottish trip PAWS, Youth Culture Forever, won the contest because their album was actually released this week (instead of last month).
Youth Culture Forever delivers a 90s alternative rock-influenced record of anthems to celebrate the freedom of youth, the pains of growing up, and the sober realizations of adulthood. Frontman Philip Taylor delivers some solid lyrical content throughout, but there are weak points.
Erreur Humaine provides a solid start and sets the tone for the remainder of the album. Taylor vents about the pains of breaking up during Someone New and dwells in the sober reality of the fallout with Alone.
I admit this record will not be for everyone. But fans of Yuck, Cloud Nothings, and FIDLAR will feel right at home. – Jeremy
Honorable mention: Penny and Sparrow – Struggle Pretty