Category Rock

Francesca Blanchard – Happy For You [Tone Tree Music] (LOCAL)

The Burlington singer-songwriter’s latest EP compiles four singles released over the past year, each depicting different aspects of a strained relationship. The title track is an acoustic guitar number with strings, while others take a more heavily produced indie sound. Track Picks: 2, 4 FCC: Clean RIYL: Mitski, Phoebe Bridgers, Clever Girls

Madaila – West [Future Fields] (LOCAL)

The first of four EPs announced for release in 2020 by Mark Daly’s one-man band Madaila, West takes a rootsier approach to the project’s sound without sacrificing any of their songcraft. A gorgeous collection of harmonic folky rock with a psychedelic twinge. Track Picks: 1, 2, 5 FCC: Clean RIYL: Lord Huron, Iron and Wine, […]

Waxahatchee – Saint Cloud [Merge Records]

From promoter: ” Her best album yet.” – Rolling Stone Saint Cloud is an intimate journey through the places she’s been, filled with the people she’s loved.” Label: Merge Records Start w/ 2, 3, 4 FCC: Clean RIYL: Lucinda Williams, Angel Olsen, Big Thief, Courtney Barnett

Circa Waves – Sad Happy [PIAS]

From promoter: “Liverpool indie rock band Circa Waves illustrate the jarring, yet fascinating close proximity between immense sadness and happiness on their fourth studio album, Sad Happy. The two-part album features fourteen tracks that are equally split into happy and sad sides.” Label: PIAS Start w/ 1, 6, 8 FCC: 3, 4 RIYL: Sam Fender, Blossoms, Viola Beach

Half Waif – The Caretaker [ANTI]

From promoter: “Nandi Rose is on her own again, and on ​The Caretaker​, the singer, songwriter and producer declares her fearlessness. ​The record ​is a statement of intent in high resolution, a deliberate move from the obscured, muted mystery of her previous work. An eleven-song journey through mind, memory and home, ​The Caretaker ​finds Rose astutely […]

Sorry – 925 [Domino]

From promoter: “Sorry’s 925 is an album to escape to. Together, best friends Asha Lorenz and Louis O’Bryen weave a dreamscape in which idyllic and hellish scenes intermingle, making you question what is real and what is make believe. Sleazy riffs rub up alongside hip-hop inspired beats, with tracks regularly flipping between neon-lit night time adventures […]

Sufja Stevens – Aporia [Asthmatic Kitty]

From promoter: “A collaboration between Sufjan and his stepfather Lowell in the spirit of music by Giorgio Moroder, Vangelis, Tangerine Dream, New Order and more 50% of proceeds go to COVID-19 food focused charities Label: Asthmatic Kitty Start w/ 2, 7, 16, 17, 18 FCC: Clean RIYL: Grizzly Bear, Fleet Foxes, Perfume Genius

Porches – Ricky Music [Domino]

From promoter:”New York based artist Porches mixes his rock-tuned synth-pop sound with new experimental productions to impart a more amorphous sound on his new album Ricky Music. The project from the DIY artist casts a personal, yet emotionally open feeling with 11 cracked-glass tracks.” Label: Domino Start w/ 1, 2, 11 FCC: 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 […]

Overcoats – The Fight [Loma Vista]

From promoter: “New York natives Hana and JJ are inspired by everything from Young Marble Giants to The Violent Femmes to Iggy Pop, Overcoats rooted this next chapter in electric guitar and punk energy culled from nearly two years on the road.” Label: Loma Vista Start w/ 2, 3, 6, 7 FCC: Clean RIYL: Sylvan Esso, Tegan & […]

Swamp Dogg – Sorry You Couldn’t Make It [Joyful Noise]

From promoter: “The soul/R&B musician returns to country roots w/ help from Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, John Prine, Jenny Lewis & more!” Label: Joyful Noise Start w/ 1, 2, 6, 10 FCC: Clean RIYL: Ann Peebles, Mavis Staple

Anna Burch – If You’re Dreaming [Polyvinyl]

From promoter: “Anne Burch‘s If You’re Dreaming​ was tracked with producer Sam Evian in his home studio in the Catskill mountains of upstate New York. With recurring themes of isolation, weariness and longing, her songs deliver an emotional arc with a delicate but uncompromising execution. Burch’s intrinsically catchy songwriting dials down the urgency of her debut […]

Yves Tumor – Heaven To A Tortured Mind [Warp Records]

From promoter: “As an artist Yves Tumor melds restraint and chaos, sometimes identified as making experimental noise but moving through ambient, dream-pop, and 90’s R&B sounds with fluidity and grace, grounded by searingly personal and evocative lyricism.” Label: Warp Records Start w/ 4, 5, 7 FCC: Clean RIYL: serpentwithfeet, Oneohtrix Point Never, Blood Orange

M Ward – Migration Stories [Anti-]

From promoter: While he’s perhaps best known for his own remarkable output—nine acclaimed studio albums that have prompted Rolling Stone to hail him a “folk hero” and The Guardian to praise him as “a maverick auteur who draws upon blues, folk, country and art-rock, and is equally adept within each genre”—Ward may be equally celebrated […]

GIRL SKIN – Shade is on the other side [Jullian]

From promoter: “GIRL SKIN‘s gentle folk songs benefit enormously from their soft chamber-pop bent, which helps an ambitious, sweeping quality to Sid Simons’ softly contemplative lyrics.” Label: Jullian Start w/ 1, 4, 8 FCC: Clean RIYL: Oasis, The Flaming Lips, The Style Council, Elliott Smith

Empress of – I’m Your Empress of [Terrible]

From promoter: “This is the artist’s third LP, following 2018’s downtempo dream pop album Us. Influenced by music curated by her Honduran parents, Rodriguez was later on inspired by avant-pop artists like Bjork and Imogen Heap.” Label: Terrible Start w/ 2, 4, 7 FCC: 8 RIYL: Jay Som, Hatchie, Kilo Kish

Peach Pit – You and Your Friends [Columbia]

From promoter: “Rising indie pop band Peach Pit put unique spins on their boisterous and heart-breakingly relatable sound on their latest release, You and Your Friends. ” Label: Columbia Start w/ 2, 4, 9 FCC: 1, 5, 10, 11 RIYL: Kid Bloom, Wallows, Vundabar

Bambara – Stray

Release date: February 14, 2020 Label: Wharf Cat Records Another weird band from Athens, GA – Bambara hangs out in the dark, cold alleys of rock-n-roll. They stalk and prowl like Nick Cave and constantly threaten danger and violence. Even the song titles reflect their commitment to the “dark side.” Miracle is slow and skulking and hits you with […]

Maudiir – Le Temps Peste

Release date: February 2, 2020 Label: Self-Released Maudiir is a one-man black/thrash metal project that has emerged from the underbelly of Montreal. The opening track, Product, is intense and dark. From the album emerge influences drawn from 80s thrash, black metal, and punk. Abuse the Used is hauntingly dark, corrosive, and galloping. It seems that Maudiir is an outlet for […]

COIN – Dreamland [AWAL]

From promoter: “Alt-pop trio COIN releases their new album Dreamland today! The project brings to life COIN‘s most sonically adventurous yet emotionally direct songs to date, but also hold a memory map of all the places the globe-trotting band has travelled in the making of this album.” Label: AWAL Start w/ 1, 2, 4, 6, 9 FCC: Clean […]

Christine and the Queens – La Vita Nuova [Because/Capitol]

From promoter: “Christine and the Queens has created an electrifying and passionate new project called La vita nuova. The French singer-songwriter, Héloïse Adelaïde Letissier, engages with the themes of strength and extreme vulnerability in the new release while adapting to a new life of fame.” Label: Because/Capitol Start w/ 1, 2, 5 FCC: 3 RIYL: Shura, MUNA, Caroline Polachek

Caribou – Suddenly [Merge Records]

From promoter: “Suddenly is the most surprising and unpredictable Caribou album to date. Though it retains the trademark Caribou warmth and technicolor, this album is littered with swerves and left turns. Songs drop out and morph into something else entirely just as they’re hitting their stride, samples chopped up beyond all recognition burst out of nowhere.” […]

Real Estate – The Main Thing [Domino]

From promoter: “Coming three years after their last project, Real Estate dives even further into their hook laden indie rock on The Main Thing. The New Jersey band’s bright guitar lines are set against emotionally nuanced lyrics and complex arrangements. What emerges is a superb collection of interrogative songs chock full of depth, charming quirks, […]

Boy Romeo – Pure Soul [Self-Released]

From promoter: As Boy Romeo, John Steiner makes power pop as joyful as it is ruthlessly efficient. The Chicago-via-Sacramento singer-songwriter’s music has the sweetness of something you might hear in a Broadway musical while erring towards the economy of what you might hear on A Hard Day’s Night Label: Self-Released Start w/ 2, 3, 5, 9 FCC: Clean […]

Franc Moody – Dream In Colour [Juicebox]

From promoter: “Franc Moody‘s sound is contemporary funk, awash with electronic inspiration, human touches, and throbbing grooves and via the tight-knit warehouse rave scene of London to where they are today, Franc Moody has been releasing music since 2016.” Label: Juicebox Start w/ 1, 2, 3, 8, 10 FCC: Clean RIYL: Hot Chip, Francis & The Lights, Chromeo

Blanks – Blanks EP [Self-Released]

From promoter: Gooey, dreamy indie pop! Label: Self-Released Start w/ 1, 3, 4 FCC: Clean RIYL: Dayglow, COIN, Skylar Spence