Last updated on May 24, 2022
1. “Please Send To J.F.” – José Medeles w/ Marisa Anderson. J.F. is John Fahey; Medeles’ project here is a tribute album to the guitar legend by way of new compositions indebted to and honoring his sound. This is one of the highlights of the record, a bright, sprightly, spontaneous-sounding jam that just feels like a sunbeam and a half.
2. “Sunset” – Medicine Singers. Fuses Pow Wow singing with jazz, post-rock, and electronic flourishes to create an urgent, pounding, brilliant work. This is truly unique, and powerful. Highly recommended.
4. “Secret of the Megafauna” – Cool Maritime. Somewhere between chillwave and vaporwave, Cool Maritime is making idiosyncratically elegant pieces that turn kitsch into beauty.
5. “Walkin’” – Fresh Pepper. A low-key Ratatat tune morphs into a horns-and-bass funk tune partway through. It’s like driving across the boundary of radio stations in a car; one moment you’re chilling, the next you’re chilllllllllllinnnnnnnnnnnn.
6. “Super Lucrative” – Anna Butterss. Erratic without falling into chaos, glitchy without being abrasive, emotive without being on-the-nose; this little (1:39) electronic piece operates in a unique space and does its own thing.
7. “George the Revelator” – Revelators Sound System. Low-key jazz with tight kit work, smooth keys, and crushed-red-velvet-curtains horns. Vibes on vibes on vibes.
8. “Eight Below Zero” – Benny Bock. The keys and pedal steel here drive the piece to dance along the line between sad and happy (given that the key is only perceived by my ear as lightly minor; there are a lot of offramps toward the major partner). The liminal space offers a lot of openings for exploration, which Bock & co. take with aplomb. Could have gone on a lot longer than it did, but I’m happy for the three minutes we got!
9. “SHIVERS” – Kety Fusco. Refusing to let the harp be circumscribed, Fusco uses the harp and a pedal board to create all manner of sounds. The resulting soundscape has lead lines that will resonate with any lover of harp, placed into a sonic space that approximates electronic music. It’s an exciting, invigorating exploration of unique sonic concepts.
2. “To Catch Light I” – Mat Ball. Icy, subtle, and evocative, this piece for solo electric guitar calls to mind Low, slowcore singer/songwriters, Ryan Dugré, and other folks interested in mournful yet inviting pieces.
11. “Unmoored” – Fog Chaser. You can always get me with pizzicato strings, and Fog Chaser’s latest elegant composition pairs lithe piano with ghostly pad synths and those pizzicato plucks. It’s gorgeous.
12. “Thousands of pianos floating on the moon” – David Gómez. This is a delicate, beautiful piano-led piece that has a truly fantastic title. It sounds more like one piano floating on the moon, but that title wasn’t as evocative.