There’s no avoiding that it has been a socially and politically raucous past couple of months. And frankly, we shouldn’t avoid it. But as usual, music is here to offer some sort of release. More than that, concerts are here to facilitate community and creativity. So let’s gather together.
This month is chock full of current indie scene staples — from Adult Mom to Wild Nothing. Read on + get your tickets.
At the time of Natalie Prass’ 2015 self-titled LP release, the level of emotion with which she addressed broken heartedness and insecurity seemed apt. But now it’s 2018, and things are different. Prass has responded to today’s oppressors and backwards thinkers with The Future and The Past — an uproar that is louder, more poignant and unmistakable.
The most conspicuous of her subversive messages comes on the track “Sisters” — a call for female and femme-identifying citizens to stick together, and a gracefully angry retelling of the injustices faced by women. This release feels like Prass has stepped out from behind a curtain and is showing us that she’s more than just a pretty voice, in the form of bouncing percussion, layered vocals and melodies reminiscent of ‘80s disco. Although it would be easy to address these topics with solemnity and sadness, she brings a danceable buoyancy to her cry for change. — Erin Patrick
Wild Nothing has become a synth-pop institution. Jack Tatum kicked off the shimmering project in 2009, with the surf rock standard single “Summer Holiday.” The band has continued to produce hazy chillwave over the years, but its latest effort Indigo leans more towards the ‘80s side of synth.
Lead single “Letting Go” set Wild Nothing’s modified tone, with glitchy keyboard and lush guitar riffs. Sultry “Partners in Motion” followed suit, bringing a modernized retro feel. However the crown jewel of Indigo arrives at its close. Co-written by Mitski, “Bend” takes Tatum’s textured instrumentation, and layers a distinctive Mitski melodic line overtop, as the vocals wind and modulate. — Kristy Guilbault
Capacity is one of the best albums of 2017. That’s an indisputable fact, for both critics and fans. Devastating, arresting and delicate, Adrianne Lenker’s songwriting taps into the power of raw vulnerability.
Arriving as Big Thief’s sophomore release, Capacity details the pain of familial tensions, domestic abuse, young love and death. Within the album’s first minutes, Lenker unflinchingly recounts a near death experience from her childhood: “Blood gushing from my head / You held me in the backseat with a dishrag, soaking up blood with your eyes /I was just five and you were twenty-seven / Praying, “Don’t let my baby die.” Earlier this month, Lenker quietly released an equally gorgeous solo album. abysskiss is more simplistic instrumentally, but the potency of Lenker’s voice remains. — KG
Aside from being Adult Mom’s singer, Steph Knipe leads the group with their personality, placing the quartet at the forefront of queer rock. Knipe is a fiery and spirited songwriter, although Adult Mom’s music is known for its melodic simplicity. This simplicity leaves room for Knipe’s pointed social commentary to breathe and be fully digested.
The group’s most recent full-length, Soft Spots, came in 2017, followed by a release of demos from that same album earlier this year. The LP is a collection of brief tracks that are more tender and introspective than any of Adult Mom’s previous work. “Drive Me Home” shows us Knipe’s vulnerable side, as they plead for acceptance and human company: “If I am good / If I am really fucking good / Will you please take me home / Validate me / And create the space I can’t make.” — EP
Alt-punk band Mom Jeans. is taking over The Drunken Unicorn on October 25. The quartet are known for embracing the sad and emo labels. Their 2018 release Puppy Love bursts with worries of understanding how to figure out one’s life. “Wouldn't it be nice / To not have to care about anything or anyone?...I think that I'm just having trouble / Feeling successful in my own life / Maybe we could take some time to think,” is mused on the track “glamourous” — a calming cloud of truth in communicating what you really need to say. — Katie Lipsiner
Our Halloween plans just have been consumed by the need to see Michael Cera Palin’s farewell show. Aside from a great band name, Michael Cera Palin sought to create interesting emo music, and succeeded. The trio released an excellent EP, I Don’t Know How To Explain It, in February, which is comprised of songs written during the three years between their 2015 debut. “Shoutout to every venue that has let us play, every person who watched us in those venues, every band we've played with, and every dog,” the band says in a Bandcamp statement.
Alongside 529 regulars Blis., YOU and King of Summer, the spookiest night of the year is going to be filled with bounties of cheap beer, great punk music that brings the community together and, of course, some gnarly costumes. — KL
If this September is noted for anything, it's remarkable live music. We rounded up some must-see gigs for your enjoyment and social life. Check these artists out, listen up and get out there for some amazing Atlanta shows.
Punk music is often viewed as cacophonous snippets of impulsive rage, but Empath is proof that the rowdy genre can spit out a great deal of compassion, too. The Philly-based four-piece has released two ambitious projects this year, Liberating Guilt and Fear and Environments. The former is a raucous exploration of the concept of healing frequencies, while the latter is an ambient, lo-fi portrayal of water and wind.
Liberating Guilt and Fear is equal parts refined and unruly – a nod to the tape’s recording process, which occurred in both a Brooklyn studio and frontwoman Catherine Elicson’s bedroom, where a Rock Band USB microphone was employed. Empath brings comradery, catharsis and queerness to a genre that has long been ruled by pretentiousness and heteronormativity. – KG
Comprised of John Pierce and Alex Teich, Atlanta-based duo Post Hunk released their first LP this year – a raucous post-punk rambler complete with samples from the Simpson’s and Andy Kaufman. Celebrity Pets is a well-constructed mash-up of malaise and satire that pokes fun at life’s struggles via honest and at times humorous lyricism. Pierce brings his deep, brooding voice to the tracks, at once exploding into near-screams that accompany pronounced guitar licks. The outcome is a danceable catharsis and a chance to dig in and access the angsty punk inside you that you’ve forced to lay dormant. The duo ends their tour on September 8 with a show in their hometown at East Atlanta’s 529 with Palm Ghosts, Tears for the Dying, Peeko and Mannequin Lover. – EP
Field Medic’s leading man Kevin Patrick Sullivan has mastered his brand of lo-fi freak folk, bringing us tracks that are as warm as they are fussy with emotion. Late last year, the San Francisco-based artist brought us Songs from the Sunroom, an aptly named 15-track LP that is both declaratory and inquisitive. As Sullivan sings to us about what “powerful love” feels like, he seems unsure of that power still.
Listening to Songs from the Sunroom or his 2018 EP boy from my dream, the feeling is that of satisfied melancholy. You’re bobbing up and down to the twinkling guitar picking and percussive shaker, cracking smiles at the quirky and honest lyrics, all while in the midst of honest emotions that are at times, profound. Opening for Remo Drive and Prince Daddy & The Hyena at The Masquerade, Field Medic is sure to impress the unsuspecting listener. – EP
The Athens and Atlanta music scenes have long been intertwined, exhibiting that great musical experimentation is often times the result of home recordings. Since their first EP release in 2010, Andrew McFarland (Reptar, Neighbor Lady, Giant Giants) and longtime collaborator Ryan Engelberger (Reptar, Giant Giants) have brought the rebirthed sound of Athens DIY to Atlanta with their dynamic project Semicircle.
Semicircle's first full-length record, Blown Breeze, Grown Grass and We are Part of the Earth (2014) is teeming with dark, soulful sounds that remind us why it’s nice to talk a long stroll alone, as fall takes over the city landscape. The hometown heroes are taking over 529 on September 10, alongside Atlanta’s own Rose Hotel and Honyock. – KL
For the past 11 years, frontman Zac Little has led Saintseneca to redefine folk rock and Americana for the modern era. The Columbus, Ohio five-piece melds a comprehensive collection of acoustic instrumentation (balalaika, mandolin, dulcimer, Turkish Baglama, floor percussion) with more conventional sonic elements such as electric guitars and synth.
Saintseneca’s 2018 most recent release Pillar of Na is the eclectic group’s most ambitious album to date. Opener “Circle Hymn” sets the cyclical tone of the album, which is resolved in the outro of the LP’s final track, “Pillar of Na,” with the nearly identical lyrics: “Turn all eternal / Eternity round / A circle in circle / May be unbroken now.” Saintseneca specializes in the weird, wonderful and otherworldly, and their live mysticism is a spellbinding spectacle that should not be missed. – KG
Greta Kline has been recording under the moniker Frankie Cosmos for the past decade, but her latest release, Vessel, shows us that Kline is still diving deeper and reinventing herself. Vessel tackles real world factors such as love, friendship and the deep, dark spaces where anxiety hides: “Being alive / Matters quite a bit / Even when you / Feel like shit / Being alive / I’m collapsing inwardly,” Kline plainly states on “Being Alive.” Frankie Cosmos has long been a forerunner of the ever-changing DIY scene, bringing authenticity and pure joy to everyday occurrences. – KL
Lucius owes their acclaim not only to their tantalizing vocal melodies and seamlessly woven harmonies, but also in part to their strong stage presence and unmistakable style; the bold ensembles they wear on and off stage mimic the strength and identity of their music. The female-fronted foursome released their second LP Good Grief in 2016, followed by this year’s Nudes – a collection of stripped down, acoustic covers and tracks from their past albums. Good Grief is marked by clear, powerful electric guitar and percussion that many times is just as much on the forefront as the melodic line. Above all, their music is marked by their explosive harmonies that remind us that harmonizing isn’t just for choir girls or slow burning acoustic diddies. Often calling back to the synth and dance music of the 80’s, Lucius puts on an exciting live show, complete with frontwomen Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig often playing drums together at the top of the stage, while singing, and never missing a beat. – EP
Will Toledo is a master at taking past projects and making them feel completely brand new. From the reworked single versions of Teens of Denial, to the re-recording of Car Seat Headrest’s breakout album Twin Fantasy (2011), Toledo seems to have an obsessive knack for reinvention and an uncanny understanding of the density of human connection, that continues to grow throughout his music.
The 2018 re-release of Twin Fantasy is an ambitious exploration in mental health, swarming with dense feelings of anxiety and self-reflection: “You never lifted your voice / You never raised your hand / You never showed me your inhuman / You understand,” Toledo says on “Nervous Young Humans.” The “new” album lends a hand to Car Seat Headrest’s legacy of hard-hitting emo anthems for the lost and the emotionally riveted, bringing newfangled relevance to young sad boys and gals, alike. – KL
June: the collection of 30 days that bridges the gap from early summer excitement into relentless late summer heat waves (at least in Atlanta).
This month, we've got lots of local and smaller names for you that deserve your attention and best concert goer game-face.
If you didn’t know any better, you’d guess these four Seattle transplants had lived the California lifestyle for decades. After 2015's record, Weirdo Shrine -- produced by Ty Segall -- psychedelic surf-rockers La Luz crafted their third studio album Floating Features against the backdrop of Los Angeles’s iconic and star-studded terrain after departing their home in Seattle. The LP dropped this past May via Hardly Art Records. It successfully captures the group's restless energy, and is thematically centered on the struggle and triumph that comes with La Luz's vibrant Latina background. On track "The Creature," layered vocals and swirling guitar evoke a dream-like state, while displaying the group's talent for producing what some have called "surf goth." - KL
Los Angeles indie pop outfit TV Girl consists of Brad Petering, Jason Wyman and Wyatt Harmon. While the trio finds themselves primarily classified as indie pop, some of their tracks include unmistakable electronic elements that set them apart from many of their indie neighbors. Since 2014, the group has released an LP bi-yearly, with EPs and singles dating back to 2010. 2018’s Death of a Party Girl rises and falls over the span of 10 tracks, with a bouncy, dream-like tone that is reminiscent of surf rock -- if surf rock got dancey. The trio headlines at Atlanta’s Drunken Unicorn on June 20, alongside local Atlanta band Fantasy Guys and North Carolina group Infinity Crush. - EP
The Australian psych-rock collective promised fans five new albums in 2017, and they followed through on each of those five promises. The masterful fifth album Gumboot Soup dropped hours before the New Year hit, and the album demonstrated that that the Aussie psych-rockers of King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard worked tirelessly, managing to create an album of some of the group's most tenderly crafted hard-hitters. Following their New Years release, the band continues their North American Tour, and will undoubtedly set Variety Playhouse on fire on during their sold out June 20 show. - KL
My First Rodeo takes hold of East Atlanta’s 529 with a hefty lineup of eight bands and multiple DJs. This is the first year of the country themed party, although local label Irrelevant Music hopes to make the event a quarterly installment. Many in the Atlanta music community have been working toward a “country night” in some fashion for a while and are excited to see it culminate on June 22. The headlining band New Madrid hails from Athens, GA and released their most recent record, magnetkingmagnetqueen in 2016. The LP is one of the group’s strongest efforts to date since their first full length release in 2012. Marked by the swirling sounds of psychedelic rock, magnetkingmagnetqueen shows New Madrid’s willingness to experiment with new sounds.
Other local groups on the line up include Post Hunk, a lo-fi punk rock duo with plans to release their first full-length LP, Celebrity Pets on June 30, and Jordan Reynolds of soft-rock group Rose Hotel, who released a single, “Honestly, One Thing” on June 1. - EP
This month's concert calendar brings a steady lineup of artists, from a big name at The Tabernacle to local and regional up-and-comers at 529. Read on for a glimpse into what not to miss this month.
Groovy dream pop trio Fantasy Guys return to 529 with Berndsen & Hermigervill, Raindeer & and Atlanta’s own True Blossom. Fantasy Guys’ 2017 EP Cruisin’ Around Respectin’ Babes is the perfect tropical follow-up to On Poppy Island (2016). Following their debut EP Surfin’ on A Wave of Juice (2015), Fantasy Guys have continued to create lush chillwave against the grit of the Atlanta cityscape. It’s almost too enthralling to be able to transport listeners to beach daydreams, filled with smooth vibes of sun kissed sensations. – Katie Lipsiner
The female-fronted group Speedy Ortiz released their third full-length, Twerp Verse, on April 27. Prior to unveiling the album, the noise pop outfit released three singles, all of which are marked with the grimy 90’s-esque guitar lines that characterize the group’s sound. On “Villain,” frontwoman Sadie Dupuis sings about the unfortunately commonplace harassment that women experience on a daily basis, describing a scenario many of us can relate to: “We ride the same bus, he knows my name / I wanna know what kind of games you like / He talks like he knows me, so I’m being polite.”
Opening for Speedy Ortiz is 20-year-old Sophie Allison, who began playing and self-publishing music under the name Soccer Mommy in 2015. The young musician signed a record deal with Fat Possum after her first show under the moniker at Silent Barn in Brooklyn. She released her second full-length LP, but first studio release, Clean this year to much acclaim. The album includes tense tracks like “Your Dog,” which draws a frighteningly accurate metaphor between a dog and her owner, and a girl and her partner in a suffocating relationship. Allison sings, “I’m not a prop for you to use, when you’re lonely or confused / I want a love that lets be breathe, I’ve been choking on your leash.” Although “Your Dog” is undoubtedly aggressive, on the track “Cool” Allison shows us her versatility with a pop-style vocal hook that effortlessly turns into earworm you’ll find yourself singing all day long.
Together, Speedy Ortiz and Soccer Mommy are geared up to put on a show led by women, charged with angst, and bound to make you bob (if not bang) your head. – Erin Patrick
Listening to Hop Along, lead singer Francis Quinlan’s voice is the first thing to stand out. It isn’t gentle – it grabs you and holds on tight as she wails on notes and lets her voice crackle. But make no mistake, that crackle is by no means a sign of weakness. Quinlan’s vocals are strong, as are the words she sings alongside the other 6 members of the Philadelphia-based rock band. The band released their follow up to 2015’s Painted Shut last month. Bark Your Head Off, Dog is 40 minutes of start-to-finish raw emotion, with guitar and strings that prove that rock music is alive and well. On this record though, Quinlan and co. also dabble in new sounds like the autotune used during “Somewhere a Judge” the LP’s driving second track.
Hailing from Ohio, folk rockers Saintseneca will open for Hop Along. Signed to ANTI- Records, the group is led by songwriter Zac Little, whose distinctive voice and captivating melodies have earned the band recognition in the indie rock scene. Saintseneca finished recording their forthcoming album this spring, and their most recent single, “The Wandering Star,” features misty vocals above twinkling guitar that builds as the song progresses and percussion is added. The track takes on an ominous feeling, as Little sings “I guess you never know what you never know,” and “You will never know firsthand what day you're born on.” – EP
If there’s one thing Cicada Rhythm exponentially excels at, it’s their ability to effortlessly mix blues, jazz and folk. As Georgia natives, the sound of Andrea DeMarcus and Dave Kirslis points to the modernized folk that hone in on soulful harmonies. The duo released their sophomore full-length, Everywhere I Go, on April 27 via Athens’ New West Records. Songs like album opener “America’s Open Roads” evoke the feeling of a breeze floating in from an open car window in the dead of summer, with DeMarcus’ arid, soulful vocals. – KL
Over the past year, Neighbor Lady has slowly taken over the Atlanta DIY scene with an arresting blend of indie-rock and country western, fronted by Emily Braden’s warbling vocals. Too nervous to play solo, Braden looked to fellow Athens, Ga. musician Jack Blauvelt for support. Neighbor Lady has grown massively since – popping up on dozens of local show bills and opening for the likes of Lomelda – all the while lacking a substantial online presence or any recorded music.
In January, the eclectic quartet announced their forthcoming debut LP, Maybe Later, due out May 11. The seven “country kissed alt-rock” tracks embody the spellbinding energy of Neighbor Lady’s live performances, with fiery guitar riffs and heartbreaking melodic lines. “Wring Me Out” brings Maybe Later to a volatile end, as Braden nearly yells over apprehensive instrumentation, before resolving into a minute of ambient synth. Neighbor Lady brings their twang-tinged vigor to 529, to celebrate the highly-anticipated release of Maybe Later. – KG
Dr. Dog returns to Atlanta with their 10th studio album Critical Equation – due out April 27 via Thrifty Tigers – proving to the world time and time again that they are the kings of sweet and soulful rock n’ roll. The Philadelphia-based psych rockers are back on tour after two years away from the road, in support of the new 2018 record.
The follow-up to last year’s Abandoned Mansion retains the band’s signature Americana influences, such as on Critical Equation’s debut single, “Listening In.” The track begins with a bobbing bassline, before co-frontman Scott McMicken’s twangy vocals stealthily appear. Whether you’re a die hard Dr. Dog follower, or just looking for a transformative psych-rock musical experience, the band’s show at the Tabernacle this month can’t be missed. – KL
With steady opening slots for groups like Twin Peaks, Whitney, Melkbelly, et., Deeper has been heavily rooted in the Chicago indie scene for the past four years. But, with the forthcoming release of their debut self-titled album – due out May 25 via Fire Talk Records – the agit-pop four-piece is widening their gaze beyond their local circles.
Deeper’s first single “Pink Showers” is bursting with angular guitar riffs, reminiscent of fellow art-punk groups Omni and Palm, overlaid by Nic Gohl’s speak-singing vocals. The track’s pointed nature is softly contrasted by the dreamy synth and heavily reverbed guitar of follow-up single “Pavement.” Deeper will hit 529’s newly renovated stage, ahead of post-punk Atlanta natives Small Reactions, Trashcan and Omni. – KG
With lush surf rock riffs and catchy melodic hooks, it’s hard to believe that the members of Lunar Vacation aren’t yet old enough to drink, and that frontwoman Grace Repasky is still burdened by 18+ show age restrictions. Atlanta’s own “pool rock” five-piece formed during high school, and quickly went on to self-release Swell, a sharp EP that’s wise beyond their years. With hopes to soon record a follow-up project, Lunar Vacation are hard at work touring and writing new tunes. The band will perform a graduation show at Westside’s new DIY venue the Bakery, in honor of Maggie Geeslin (guitar) and Repasky (vocals, guitar) finishing high school. – KG
This month's guide is belated but nonetheless, April's second half has a strong roster of shows to get you through the month and propel you into May.
Read on for more + keep an eye here for May's guide soon!
Over the past five years, Kevin Morby has made unbelievable strides with his solo career. The former Woods bass guitarist and the Babies frontman made his solo debut in 2013 with Harlem River, a stunning eight-song ode to New York City. Themes of big city living have continuously found their way onto Morby’s material, but never quite like last year’s City Music.
Morby’s fourth studio album is a matured continuation of the sound that was so loved on Singing Saw tracks like “I Have Been to the Mountain,” featuring vocals that are fondly reminiscent of the peaks and troughs in Bob Dylan’s iconic timbre. Morby’s sound is spare in the way that it seems to echo in even the smallest room, embodied on “Come To Me Now” with a percussion line that seems as if it's miles away.
Morby has been compared not only to Dylan but to Lou Reed as well, and on tracks like “Crybaby” that Velvet Underground-esque songwriting style is prevalent, as he croons effortlessly over rhythmic, cyclical guitar. Despite stylistic comparisons, what Morby does is very much his own in the world of modern folk rock. -- EP
Sometimes you just want to start a fight while listening to Ty Segall & The Freedom Band’s double album Freedom’s Goblin (2018). Packed with nineteen tracks of pure rock n’ roll revelation, Segall fully evolves with some of the most powerfully violent and rageful tracks he has ever created – from the hard-hitting guitar psychedelics of “When Mommy Kills You,” to the romantically sinister melodies consuming “Shoot You Up.” Over the course of his decade-long solo career – with a discography boasting 15 full-length albums, six singles and three EPs – Segall has become the poster child for living and breathing garage rock. --- KL
Mental health tends to carry a negative connotation within American culture, however, Nashville singer-songwriter Elizabeth Anne Odachowski, known as Liza Anne, amplifies that stigma into melodies you can’t help but dance to. Her third studio album, Fine But Dying (2018), explores every nook and cranny of depression, isolation, anxiety and paranoia, as well as the larger social issue at hand: “You brush it under the bed/Another time/But it won’t stay down,” Liza Anne sings on the explosive track “Paranoia.”
Although primarily mental health-centered, Fine But Dying also touches on less contentious concepts, such as comparing a lover to a favorite pair of socks that you can’t bear to throw in the wash and potentially lose (“Socks”). The 11 country-tinged tracks harken back to Liza Anne’s southern roots, as a Belmont alumnus and former longtime resident of St. Simons Island, Georgia, making her Atlanta performance a show you won’t want to miss. -- KG
Although both primarily drummers, Austin musicians Charlie Martin and Will Taylor found themselves bonding over an endearment for muted music in the fall of 2014. The duo promptly went on to self-record their debut EP and, later, the acclaimed full-length, Taster, that caught the attention of Brooklyn indie label Double Double Whammy.
2018 brought the release of Hovvdy’s (pronounced “howdy”) excellent sophomore LP. Despite its relatively monotonous sonic pallet, Cranberry deftly achieves a broad range of dynamics and emotions. Album opener “Brave” morosely narrates seeing a love interest for the first time, backed by hushed acoustic guitar; with organ-like synth and overdubbed vocals, “In the Sun” – Cranberry’s second track – evokes soaking up every aspect of a perfect sunny day. Hovvdy has proven that slow-moving doesn’t always mean sluggish, and that some of life’s moments are best experienced at your own leisure. -- KG
Los Angeles sweethearts Haim are back in Atlanta on their “Sister Sister Sister Tour,” in support of 2017’s Something to Tell You. The follow-up to the Haim sisters’ debut, Days Are Gone (2013), proves that the trio are hard-hitting rockers with a soul all their own. Partnering up with Rostam, Twin Shadow and Blood Orange’s Dev Hynes, Something to Tell You takes the love ballads and heartbreak bops that caught the music world’s attention in 2013 to a whole new level.
Songs like album opener “Want You Back,” or first single “Right Now” employ new elements of electronic vocal effects, while “Kept Me Crying” shows off Danielle Haim’s guitar prowess. With two excellent albums and a top Coachella spot under their belts, the Haim sisters are showing 2018 who’s boss, with their unique mix of 80s synth-pop and classic rock n’ roll. -- KL
90s indie rock luminaries Built to Spill have been virtually MIA since the 2015 release of Untethered Moon, the band’s eighth full-length album. However, their spring co-headlining tour, with Afghan Whigs, is hopefully hinting at new music on the horizon. Untethered Moon sustains the Idaho outfit’s signature sound, comprised of dark melodies and tethered emo ventures that reign true regardless of what decade they make music in.
There’s something exponentially thrilling about a band that can create a same comforting sound for their fans that have stuck with them through and through. “Like they're waiting for your guard to fall/So they can see it all and you're so/Occupied with what other persons are/Occupied with/And vice versa,” Doug Martsch sings, as “Carry the Zero” continues to bridge the gap of classic 90’s rock that is still so deeply centered around Built To Spill’s music discography to this day. -- KL
Concert season kicks back into high gear in spring, and this March, Atlanta is lucky enough to have a packed month of shows to bookend most weeks.
Take a peek + a listen, and keep your eyes peeled for more in depth looks at some of the touring artists you don't see listed here.
By: Kristy Guilbault
In early 2016, Lucy Dacus quietly rolled onto the neo-folk scene with her debut album, No Burden. The green-eyed, red-faced singer-songwriter quickly garnered the attention of indie label Matador, who reissued the LP as a physical release within the same year, and the young-and-hungry musician has been continuously touring ever since.
Dacus’ latest release reminds listeners that though her voice is meek, the Richmond, Virginia musician is a master of the emotional slow-burn, exhibited on aggressive tracks like “Night Shift” and “Timefighter.” Historian builds on the cut-and-dry storytelling of Dacus’ debut, adding layers of strings and horns to the songwriter’s palette. The LP’s 10 tracks dissect the various ways people support and neglect each other, and is likely to be a fierce contender for the top albums of 2018.
By: Erin Patrick
The sound of Sylvan Esso is comprised of the sweet, smooth vocals of Amelia Meath and the always-engaging beats of Nick Sanborn. The two musicians have struck the perfect balance between driving electronic sounds, old-school samples and melodic hooks to produce two albums that you can simultaneously dance and stare out the window to.
On their 2017 release, What Now, Meath’s voice maintains its soft, siren-like quality overtop tracks that are glitchier than anything the duo has done before. The album was well-received by critics and fans alike, showing off the beloved tenderness of 2014’s Sylvan Esso, while demonstrating an intentional evolution that bodes well for the duo’s future.
By: Katie Lipsiner
New York songwriter Aaron Maine, behind synth-pop project Porches, returns with his highly anticipated January release. Maine’s most recent album, The House, follows his 2016 release of Pool.
At the core of The House the listener will find glittery beats and experimental samples, taking LP one step further into the growing bedroom-pop genre. Maine stays true to the storytelling he demonstrated on his vastly different 2013 LP, Slow Dance in the Cosmos, while supplying an array of dance hits, such as “Find Me” and “Now On Water.”
By: Erin Patrick
Sean Carey is perhaps best known as a Bon Iver backing vocalist and drummer, however, with his 2010 debut, All We Grow, Carey proved to be a talented musician and vocalist in his own right.
Under the name S. Carey, the studied classical percussionist creates ambient folk music, softly crooning alongside trickling guitar textures, strings and understated bass lines. Carey’s most recent release, Hundred Acres, features complex instrumentation and accessible melodic lines. Songs like “Yellowstone” and “Fool’s Gold,” which is likely to grow Carey’s following even further.
By: Katie Lipsiner
Since forming in 2013, Connecticut-based quartet Sorority Noise is back in Atlanta performing from their third album YOU’RE NOT AS __ AS YOU THINK, released last March. The follow up to 2016’s It Kindly Stopped for Me, the most recent LP shows talks of the brutality that comes with attempts at resilience. Grief and loneliness rage through the record in a way that still manages to provide a knowing comfort to the listener. The quartet has shown that they succeed at creating honest music capable of empowering through the recognition of life’s deepest sorrows.
By: Erin Patrick
Singer-songwriter Margaret Glaspy is first and foremost a storyteller. She tactfully intertwines personal narratives with somber, but unmistakably edgy, melodies. Bolstered by a voice that’s equal parts hearty and delicate, Glaspy’s lyrics reflect on her emotions from a healthy place of distance and growth, making for a cathartic experience on the side of the listener.
Glaspy arrived on the Brooklyn music scene in 2010, soon after releasing a grouping of songs under in 2012 the title If & When. Tracks such as the popular “You’re Smiling (But I Don’t Believe You)” demonstrate the artist’s ability to and set Glaspy up for her debut studio album release. 2016’s Emotions and Math sustains the singer-songwriter’s signature tender epithet, while adding a rock edge that sets her apart from others in her genre. Glaspy has toured alongside the likes of Lucius, Rayland Baxter and The Milk Carton Kids. Her latest release, Born Yesterday, is a trio of poignant singles, hopefully teasing a new and noteworthy LP from Glaspy in the coming year.