Last updated on December 8, 2022
1. “Grinners Circle” – Surprise Chef. Low-slung, chilled-out guitar work that fans of Khruangbin will love. The mood starts from the first second and never stops.
2. “540 Supercell” – Daniel Bachman. Bachman’s Almanac Behind is an urgent call to address climate change. This single from it uses the sound of rain, so often calming, against the ostinato banjo to indicate flooding and distress. The video details more about flooding in Bachman’s region and how it has gotten worse due to climate change. Art’s not always supposed to make you happy. Get out there and talk to people about climate change and what we can do together to fight it.
3. “Liminal Space” – The Kompressor Experiment. My current favorite post-metal outfit delivers another exciting, dense, and melodic piece. Twists and turns galore.
4. “Monus Bonus” – Son Cesano. This spacey post-rock jam sprawls out over seven delicious minutes. The engineering on this cut is impressive: every instrument sounds amazing.
5. “Emonzaemon” – Mandrake Handshake. A combination of wiry post-punk, hazy psych rock, and the loose vocals of Khruangbin. It’s an intoxicating, invigorating mix.
6. “Devil’s Playground” – Punkadelic. Mike Dillon is back with more frantic marimba attack. This time he’s got Brian Haas from Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey (hometown heroes from my stomping grounds in Tulsa!) and Nikki Glaspie (Beyonce, Nth Power) with him for added firepower. It’s very, very good.
7. “Outer Boroughs” – Circles Around the Sun. Funky, groovy, and sexy guitar/synth jam in a very late 1970s/early 1980s sort of way.
8. “Pearlescent Floating Clouds” – Sherry Finzer. Flutes are not my wheelhouse, but I can recognize when really good stuff comes along. Light, airy, floating tendrils of sound do indeed evoke the title.
9. “Sun of Keshava” – Surya Botofasina. Fifteen minutes of meditative, delicately jazzy piano and synths.
10. “Ever Presence” – Cabin Fever Orchestra. A big orchestral work that resolves fidgety, nervous tensions into a warm strings embrace.
11. “Breathing Space” – Quist. Slow tempo, peaceful vibes, and round sounds from the guitar and keys. It does feel like it gives me more room to breathe.
12. “Darkness to Light” – Ryan Judd. An elegant, relaxed nylon-stringed guitar rumination that feels appropriately wintry.
13. “WAITING ROOM” – David Cieri. A delicate yet sturdy piano and guitar piece. Like sneaking purposefully across a room: quiet, tense, interesting.