Albums and an EP Released Last Week:
Alex Vargas - Cohere It feels like we've heard a lot of the songs that feature on Alex Vargas' debut album before and this is made even more apparent by the appearance of the single artwork rather than the album artwork on Spotify for a couple of the previously released tracks. I don't even know how one does that and I've been working with release metadata for the past four and a half years. (See above that this has actually ruined the playlist thumbnail.) This is all a bit by the by, although I still reckon single 'Higher Love' is a standout from the record. I'm not a fan of interludes on anything ever but once you sift those out Cohere is very good whilst retaining coherence. I think Alex Vargas may frequently get dismissed as another singer/songwriter type but the way tracks like 'Tidal' and 'Renegade' incorporate dance/electronic elements, for example the DnB feel of the former, does allow Vargas to bring something new to the table. 7/17 tracks added to library - 17 sounds like a hell of a lot, doesn't it? Too many for a debut I think, regardless of interludes.
Carter Reeves - Fresh Fruit EP This is Carter Reeves' first EP, and after falling in love with his debut single 'Fresh Fruit', I had really high hopes for these five tracks but I'm quite disappointed. 'Fresh Fruit' opens the release and it's still as quirky, fun and innovative as the first time I heard it, but the tracks that follow it fall into more typical indie-RnB territory. Fresh Fruit has grown on me a lot though through multiple listens, 'Say Yeah' in particular. Most of all I'm a big fan of the brass elements that run through the tracks; those instruments are used sparingly yet effectively and that's a cool thing to nail. 3/5 tracks added to library.
Charlotte OC - Careless People I'm not sure Charlotte OC is a human whose music I would typically like so listening to her debut album is a bit peculiar. Would I ever actively listen to these songs again regardless of how objectively good they are. And also I'm not having a great deal of fun listening I this, you know? This all implies her album isn't good which isn't true, but it does feel quite sophisticated, a little too much so for me. There are some nice pop tracks on here though including 'Darkest Hour' and 'Running Back To You'. 3/11 tracks added to library.
Chase Atlantic - Part Two I still can't work out if what these guys do is good or not, but it just seems to edge better than average. This is only their second EP with this new musical direction but I'm not sure how long they'll be able to recycle this formula for. The elements that made Chapter One good are still the highlights on Chapter Two, saxophone sections that just work and the vocal balance between the whiney one and the other one. It'll be all about marketing for Chase Atlantic; get that right and they'll be well on their way. 2/3 tracks added to library.
Ider - Gut Me Like An Animal See Ider live. Before you do anything, see Ider live. Go in blind. Have no expectations. Know nothing. Then get back to me. This female duo are not the kind of thing I'd typically like in the slightest but I've witnessed first hand how good they are. Having released a string of singles last year, Gut Me Like An Animal is their first EP and it pretty much covers all their bases. Upbeat song that features a lyric about a "wasteman". Check. A shura produced slow jam. Check. Haunting eerie harmonies. Check. This pair are just the right side of weird to gather momentum amongst the masses and I can't wait to see where their music takes them. 3/4 tracks added to library.
Leah Mcfall - Ink You remember Leah Mcfall, off of that first series of The Voice? It's a shame she didn't get the label and release treatment she deserved because there are some really nice moments on this EP. Because her voice is so wild there are some crazy rad production quirks that use her trills to fill out the track like on opener 'Ink'. However there's obviously a counter to this, and those are average pop songs that don't seem to go anywhere or say anything, see 'Happy Human' or ballad 'Colours At A Funeral'. For an EP no one was particularly looking forward to or hyped about, this isn't a bad effort at all. 3/6 tracks added to library.
Releases I Listened To So You Don't Have To
G-Eazy - Step Brothers Fuck me, just when you thought he couldn't get any worse, he can. This was painful.