June 26, 2019 | by No Recess! Staff
High marks all around. If there's anyone out there complaining about how music sucks this year, lo, it does not!
Bird Songs of a Killjoy (Spacebomb)
Spending some time with the soothing sounds of LA folkie Azniv Korkejian is always a good idea. Bird Songs of a Killjoy is a worthy follow-up to her gorgeous 2017 debut, featuring all its stripped-back splendor with the welcome injection of carefully-applied string arrangements. Though edge is in short supply here, Korkejian’s voice is warm and reassuring, and the way it effortlessly glides over the disc’s easy melodies makes this project one of the most listenable things I’ve heard this year. – Daniel Alvarez
Watch the video for “Bird” below and buy the album here.
Car Seat Headrest
Commit Yourself Completely (Live)
They basically recorded every show on tour and picked out the ones with the clearest sound, so the quality is there for a mid-level band live album. Otherwise, it's a compilation of their more well-known songs played live. For the trew fans. – Jocelyn Hoppa
Watch the live performance for “Fill In the Blank” below and buy the album here.
Gold Past Life
Wanna feel old? Fruit Bats have been in existence for 22 years!! Though there have been several lineup changes around Eric D. Johnson’s project, and they’ve taken up to five years in between albums, Fruit Bats has also remained fairly consistent in their output of offbeat indie folk. Gold Past Life conveys a more mature, less bright-eyed outlook, but remains very rich in the lyrics department (“Cigarette fingers, shake in the knees, a bit blue, kind of tired, but not broken” — from “Ocean”) . The music is as breezy and wistful as it’s always been, with standouts including title track “Gold Past Life,” “Cazadera,” “Barely Living Room,” and album closer, “Two Babies in Michigan.” Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold. – Jocelyn Hoppa
Listen to “Barely Living Room” below and buy the album here.
I’ve done this criticism stuff long enough to know that it’s not really acceptable just to write a two-word review, and everyone wants to do that sometimes because why sully up some music you’re just supposed to enjoy with a bunch of words, and so I am writing all of these words to fill up space just to tell you that this record gets a resounding and unruly “fuck yeah” from me. The end. – Jocelyn Hoppa
Watch the video for “Cream” below and buy the album here.
Richard Reed Parry
Quiet River of Dust Vol. 2: That Side of the River
A follow up to 2018’s Quiet River of Dust Vol. 1, Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry was so inspired by British folk music, death poems, and Japanese folks myths he turned out 10 more meditative, ambitious tracks (with more to come). If you’re still waiting around for that mystical shift to happen in your life, take this record in with headphones. When you take them off, reality will still be all up in your grill, but for a good 40 mins you'll have been somewhere else, pleasant. – Jocelyn Hoppa
Watch the trailer for Quiet River of Dust Vol. 2: below and buy the album here.
The Titus album Lester Bangs would have loved, meat and potatoes punk and rock n’ roll that seems to have given Patrick Stickles a new direction. Bob Mould’s production gives the huge riffs a real heft, while songs like “Troubleman Unlimited” and “On the Street” hurl vitriol at both society and the self. No concept album ambition in sight, but that’s the idea. Good to have you back, Titus. – C.M. Crockford
Watch the video for "(I Blame) Society" below and buy the album here.
Ride Me Back Home
Country fan or not, it’s hard to resist Willie Nelson. At 86 years old, Ride Me Back Home, his 69th solo studio album (yes, that’s right… he’s released SIXTY-NINE solo albums!) is delivered with the same seasoned grace and wry amusement he’s captivated fans with over the previous six decades. Ride Me Back Home is Willie at his best: solid songwriting (a mix of originals and well-crafted covers here), warm complementary instrumentation, and charismatic vocals, all wrapped in his timeless Texas twang. May he live forever. – Angela Zimmerman
Watch the video for “Ride Me Back Home” below and buy the album here.