New Music on 2SER 01/11/21

Image: Jacob Boll

Welcome to the new music review where we connect you with some of the best new music spinning on Breakfast, The Daily and Drive programs.

Nightmares on Wax – Shout Out! To Freedom… (FEATURE ALBUM)

Charlotte Cornfield – High in the Minuses
Dean Wareham – I Have Nothing to Say to the Mayor of L.A.
Good Morning – Barnyard
Hand Habits – Fun House
My Morning Jacket – My Morning Jacket
North Arm – Bring the Daylight
Screensaver – Expressions of Interest

The Black Seeds – Let the Sunshine Through
Lady Lyon – All Night Temple
Lewis Goldmark – Psycho City
Mo’Ju – Sometime
Obongjayar – Message in a Hammer
Ruby Jones – The Woman Who Loves You

For the last few years, New York musician Meg Duffy has been at the centre of some of the best albums to come out of American indie rock, playing on Flock of Dimes’ Head of Roses, William Tyler’s Goes West, and Jess Williamson’s “Pictures of Flowers”. But during this period, Duffy has also been making fascinating albums under her indie folk moniker Hand Habits. On their latest album Fun House, Duffy switches up their style by injecting a Springsteen Born in the USA-era synth rock sound into their acoustic rock tones, creating a sound that’s somehow as epic as it is intimate.

It’s hard to overstate Dean Wareham’s influence in American and British indie rock. As the frontman of Galaxie 500 and Luna, his minimalist pop songs became a blueprint for ’90s twee and dream pop groups (e.g. the Magnetic Fields and Belle and Sebastian) and the soundtrack for films by white American indie directors in the 2000s. This legacy comes with its own baggage and expectations. His latest solo album, I Have Nothing to Say to the Mayor of L.A., sounds exactly as you’d imagine it would, and your response to it will depend a lot on your mileage with this sound. That all said, when Wareham really hits his stride on this record (as he does on the Eleanor Marx elegy “The Last Word”), there’s something still undeniable about the way he can put a sentence together.

Montreal indie rock singer-songwriter Charlotte Confield has a knack for making the quotidian insightful. Take “Headlines” from her newest album High in the Minuses. Cornfield describes waking up on a lockdown morning, making breakfast for herself, and walking through an empty downtown with a general feeling of crisis and collapse. The chorus captures this repetitive malaise: “Skimming headlines, walking slowly / circling around”. The song carries no action beyond what we’ve all experience these last eighteen months, but Cornfield seems better equipped to turn these moments into poetry. This quality runs throughout the record, producing a quarantine record more inspired than many of her contemporaries’ offerings.

Sunday 31st of October, 2021

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