Has time flied quicker than usual during this strange 2020 year? Not sure but we already reached one semester in terms of releases. The least we can say is that one did not feel any sign of decrease in quality in the best releases of the year so far, starting with this extraordinary record.
Album of the month: Phoebe Bridgers – “Punisher” – Pop Rock – Phoebe Bridgers is a 25-year old female artist from California and after a common project with Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes‘ driving force), “Punisher” is her 2nd LP. I love everything about this record: the beautiful cover, the attention given to the vinyl version with a specific booklet for the lyrics, her voice which is powerful and soft at the same time and the beautiful melodies and arrangements. What makes it different though is the quality and intensity of the lyrics which reflect the current themes of her generation. I was personally amazed to find my personal thoughts the way she describes the syrupy Eric Clapton‘s song “Tears In Heaven” in her own “Moon Song“: “We hate ‘Tears in Heaven’. But this is sad his baby died“. Final song “I know the End” is also by far my favourite of the year. Discover at any price this fantastic record.
- Runner-up: Bob Dylan – “Rough And Rowdy Ways” – Nobel prize music – I would honestly never have thought having the great man back in such a list of new recommended records. If you are not really familiar with his career, I really recommend to go above the ‘voice of a generation’ cliché and listen to his masterpieces. Announced a few weeks ago by the very long and impressive ‘Murder Most Foul‘, Robert Zimmerman shows that he can be as relevant at 79 years old when he wants to. His first indispensable record since 1997’s “Time Out Of Mind” and I hope it will not be his last.
- Also recommended:
- Run The Jewels – “RTJ4” – Hip Hop – 4th album of Messrs Killer Mike and ELP while their voice is more needed than ever in the current context.
- Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – “Sideways To New Italy” – Pop rock – 2nd LP from one of the greatest current Australian bands. For those loving The Go-Betweens as much as 70’s NY rock.
- Benjamin Biolay – “Grand Prix” – French – An excellent return to form from OL fan Benjamin Biolay in a record very influenced by classic period New Order or The Verve.
- Nadine Shah– “Kitchen Sink” – Pop Rock – 4th album from Geordie female singer Nadine Shah and probably her best so far.
- Jehnny Beth– “To Love Is To Live” – Pop Rock – French artist Camille Berthomier, formerly from Savages, has published a very interesting although sometimes obscure album. Fans of “Peaky Blinders” should recognize a familiar voice on one of the tracks…
- Lest we forget: album of the previous month – Ghostpoet – “I Grow Tired But Dare Not Fall Asleep“