New Sounds 04/15/2022
My release calendar indicates a fairly light listening week relative to other April dates, so I've highlighted four selections today (three of which I've heard straight through already), and then to bulk up the post a bit, I've added a few additional album recommendations. Oh, and this is a good reminder to any artists, labels, or PR folks reading this: if you email me album links well before release dates, I'm way more likely to profile them on DC. I get to spend more time with your music that way.
Cool. That's all.
Earthen Sea - Ghost Poems (Kranky) - Jacob Long gifts us another Earthen Sea work on Kranky, and while working on Ghost Poems, the minimalist ambient musician imagined the studio, itself, "as a dub instrument." The advance tracks on Bandcamp each feature soft-flowing melodies, but they also seem restrained, swelling under some pressure. Shifts within Long's compositions are so subtle, and I'm excited to lean in close while listening.
Evan J Cartwright - bit by bit (idée fixe records) - A collaborator with a handful of Canadian indie icons including The Weather Station and U.S. Girls, bit by bit is Evan J Cartwright's solo debut. My favorite pop albums are ones featuring non-standard song structures and plenty of sonic dynamism (think Dirty Projectors), and Cartwright nails it here. It's wild and it's calm, there's noise and there's beauty (often simultaneously), some melodies reach resolution and others are cut short. I dig it.
Jörg Zemmler - Piano Bar - I'm always intrigued by unique takes on the piano, so when I read about Jörg Zemmler's experimental approach on Piano Bar, I was hooked. The album is comprised of live improvised playing and generated loops with no post-processing. Most pieces are minimalist in nature, Zemmler making use of long rests, but his unplanned approach also results in moments of surprise.
Piers - Ire (insrt) - Ire holds only five solo piano cuts, and while it may play short, it echoes with a lasting emotional resonance. The debut offering from Piers, it was completed only after the artist moved from Paris to the French countryside to focus on his work. Piers plays with a Frahm-like tenderness throughout Ire, his compositions backed by subtle environmental textures and hiss. I'm glad to end this week's piece on such a gentle note.
Bonus music: Back in 2018 I embarked on a "365 albums in 365 days" project with the intention of getting to know a bunch of new artists while also learning how to listen more closely - to take in full, uninterrupted pieces while doing nothing else. I ended up sitting with 615 different works across the year, documenting them, and even taking notes on most. Pretty nerdy, really, but that's the way I roll, and it was cool to grow my musical tastes by being exposed to so many new (and old) sounds.
This week I was looking over those notes, and decided to drop three early entries here. Check em out if you haven't already. None of these albums were actually new to me when I heard them in back 2018, but I gained new appreciation for each of them. My first recommendation is Experiencing the Deposit of Faith by Yves Tumor, which was my introduction to their work, and I still believe to be their best release. Then there is Panic Sentry by Dragging an Ox through Water - a classic album by a local mad scientist musician. And finally, Horse Blanket by Posse - the final release by a criminally underrated indie bank hailing from Seattle.
Hmmmm. Maybe I'll give this another go in 2023?