Fall 2022 Music Preview
Sure, it's still summer for another month or so, but it feels like my season of river sits and yard hangs is coming to a close. You see, in just a few hours my classroom will be packed with nervous sixth graders trying out middle school for the first time. Because I mentally pair back-to-school days with the kickoff of fall (and also because my Septembers are busy busy busy), I've decided to publish DC's Fall 2022 Music Preview piece a bit early. Get it outta the way before I dive into year 12 of teaching.
But first, a quick summer rewind!
I won't shout out all the music I loved over the past couple of months, but do wanna mention a few standouts:
- J. Carter's Speak, You Also doesn't sound anything like a summer album at all, but the artist's second offering in his epic triptych floored me. It was completely off my release radar, making it a nice mid-July surprise.
- But July 29th was my favorite release day of that month. I mentioned Joseph Allred's The Rambles & Rags of Shiloh and Florist's Florist in my summer preview piece, and both were even better than I even anticipated. I took 'em in back-to-back one morning while I picked blueberries. And then Beyonce. Quite the listening experience.
- August 19th saw the release of Dania's Voz, a beautifully unfolding album of ambient works from the Paralaxe Editions founder. Geographic North never misses, and this cassette is one of their best.
- And finally, Rachika Nayar's Heaven Come Crashing, just out last week, is a post rock masterpiece of layered melodies and dynamic builds and drops. She's featured often on the site, and I can't wait to see her open for Ana Roxanne in November. What a ticket!
So that's a wrap on summer, and now here we are.
For this fall preview piece, I've decided to try something slightly different. In the past, I've recommended albums at the start of a season, some of which I've heard, and others I've simply guessed might be good. This time around, I am only recommending albums I've listened to all the way through, giving them my full DC stamp of approval (if that's worth anything at all). No speculation here. I've narrowed down a long list of choices to just eight selections, and I really really really I dig all of these albums. They are listed below by release date, along with a some words and Bandcamp links. And because this post arrives a few weeks before fall officially begins, it is in no way exhaustive. I am sure there are so many more solid October and November albums yet to be announced. I highly recommend checking out A Closer Listen's preview pieces, which will probably come out in the next week or two, and be sure to periodically visit their "Upcoming Releases" tab to stay on top of things.
Okay, here we go.
In just a few days (on September 2nd), Warm Winters Ltd. is set to release Rob Winstone's I dreamt we found a way. It's an album of extended loops and drones with some shorter vignettes, and track titles include "I woke up crying" and "something about sadness" and "haunting, haunting, I leave my suffering here." Winstone's music will block out that summer sun real quick. Much of the music is dark, sure, but there are moments of gentleness folded into the mix, too. It's an intense, but truly gorgeous offering.
Then, on September 16th, Hive Mind Records is releasing Yara Asmar's Home Recordings 2018 - 2021. The artist is described as "a 25 year old multi-instrumentalist, video artist and puppeteer currently living in Beirut with her cat, Mushroom," and her debut album is a collage of lo-fi snippets she recorded using tape and cell phone. Lean in closely and you'll catch toy piano, music boxes, Lebanese hymns, and the artist's grandmother's old accordion. And with repeated listens, you'll uncover so much more.
September 23rd looks to be an incredible release day, and while I can't give my full recommendation to Marisa Anderson's Still, Here (because I don't get Thrill Jockey mailers), there are a couple other albums out that day that I've heard already and adore. You should probably also check out Still, Here though.
I don't feature as much piano-centric music as I used to here on DC, but Jakob Lindhagen's Memory Constructions is a gem. With the exception of one louder side B track, it's an album of soft neoclassical constructions - lots of piano, strings, and light electronics. Can't go a season without shouting out piano and coffee records, so thanks for always sending music my way, Sergio!
Also on September 23rd, Chaz Prymek will release Slow Grass under his Lake Mary moniker. The album is one long composition split over two sides, the first of which you can hear below. Acoustic guitar is the featured instrument here, but Prymek shows off variation in playing styles, and a few pals jump on to add extra flourishes. True to its title, Slow Grass begins slooooow, but the 40-minute piece passes through several movements, so don't get impatient! Enjoy the album in its entirety, uninterrupted from start to finish,
And to close out September (on the 30th), we'll get Dominic Voz's Right To The City on Beacon Sound / Accidental Records. It's a frenetic album of electronic maximalism, but does slow at points, the artist stitching in calmer ambient interludes and spoken word. On Right To The City, Voz sets out to capture the universal urban experiences of beauty and movement, but also dread and decay rooted in capitalism and social stratification. Like Voz, I've lived in both Portland and Chicago, and this album moved me deeply.
There are two excellent albums out on October 14th, the first of which is Eliza Edens' We'll Become the Flowers. Not much folk rock featured here on DC, but there is something about Edens' songwriting that feels just right. The album's naturally-flowing melodies and perfect hooks coupled with the artist's poignant lyricism amount to a stunning sophomore offering.
On the same day, we'll get to hear Matthew J. Rolin's Passing. Or rather, you'll get to hear it. It's a good one, I assure you. Typically, my favorite MJR constructions are his longest, roughest, and most experimental endeavors, so I was a tad bummed when I read that Passing would be the artist's attempt at a more straightforward, no frills, guitar album. But boy was I surprised in a good way! A collection of polished, beautifully-recorded pieces, Passing shows that MJR can do it all.
Oh no! I just started typing out my final album preview, and then scanning back over the mailer, saw that it's not going to be officially announced until next week. So I guess this is a seven-album preview rather than an eight-album feature. I'll just say that it would be a good idea to check in with Dear Life Records on September 7th for a pretty sweet album announcement and single, and the whole shebang is set to come out in late October.
Alright, that's it for fall! Or rather, early fall. As I wrote in this piece's intro, my Septembers are pretty busy with work, so this will likely be my last DC post for a while. I do, however, have a really exciting project announcement, likely coming in October or November. Stay tuned for that.
Thanks as always for reading, and happy listening.