Emily Haines and new music Friday, September 15, 2017

If you’re a regular reader of our New Music Friday column, you might notice a bit of a different tone today. That’s because we’ve got an interim writer stepping in while Jason is on vacation.

I’m hoping to use this experience to usurp him. All petitions to keep me permanently can be directed right at our Twitter. Thank you all for your votes!

Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton – Choir of the Mind

This album is full of heavy tunes. Emily Haines’ beautiful melodic voice really shines against simple, piano-driven arrangements and drumbeats. A lot of the songs seem to explore different facets and themes of love. Definitely not something to pregame to, though. It would be super depressing and you’d probably just end up staying home and watching TV.

Deer Tick – Deer Tick Vol. 2

Do you like bluesy country rock? Do you like punk-ish California vibes? Well, you definitely get both with this album. They also released another album today called Deer Tick Vol. 1. Why, you might ask? Luckily for you, I Googled it so you don’t have to because I think you’re fantastic. Vol. 1 is an acoustic set, Vol. 2 is electric. Both have pretty much the same sound, one is just done with different instruments. Take that as you will.

Prophets of Rage – Prophets of Rage

Ever since Run-DMC made their own version of Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way,” the rock-rap mashup has held a unique and broad appeal across genres. That’s good for this political era because Prophets of Rage has a message to deliver. The supergroup is made up of members of Audioslave and Rage Against the Machine accompanying the rhymes of members of Public Enemy and Cypress Hill. All legends, all with something to say. Like “Unfuck the World.”

Son Little – New Magic

If you’re looking for a soulful, throwback sound, you’ve come to the right place. That’s definitely right in my wheelhouse, Leon Bridges and Jonny P are others in the same general area. That said, Son Little is a little less ’60s Sam Cooke, and a little more ’70s funk, maybe closer to Gary Clark Jr. at times. Either way, it’s a personal favorite of mine this week.

Gary Numan – Savage (Songs from a Broken World)

Just an album full of really danceable, poppy tunes. That was a joke. I mean, what did you expect from an album subtitled “Songs from a Broken World”? That said, this thoughtful album furthers the development of Gary Numan’s sound with buzzy electronic touches to what is still the heart of a rocker.

Ariel Pink – Dedicated To Bobby Jameson

This one is weird, but kind of in a wonderful way. Actually, it’s the first half of the album that gets the most wacky, turning away from where you expect each song to go after hearing the last one. By the back half though, they settle into a sound they like and carry that through, one that’s a bit more conventional. But wow, the first half is a trip.

Superfruit  Future Friends Part Two

In case you didn’t know, Superfruit is the project of two of the members of Pentatonix (the two who don’t have their own individual Wikipedia pages). They’re also a YouTube duo. So yeah, lots of appeal to the under-18 set. That said, the album is boppy and fun to listen to. And you’ll get what those darn kids are talking about for once.

Hundred Waters – Communicating

If you only know Hundred Waters from that one song they did with Chance The Rapper, you need to change that right now. Their latest album is a great collection of sharply produced songs that sweep across the spectrum from breezy beats to harder hitting dance tracks to more sensitive ballads and finishing off with what I suppose you could call a “good night song.”

Myrkur – Mareridt

I’m not sure what’s in the water up there in the Nordic countries, but they sure like their black metal. Because of the prevalence of the genre, to stand out, you’ve got to push the limits. That’s exactly what’s happening here. Sure, it’s built on the same foundation as any black metal album. But what’s on top is her incredible and incredibly haunting vocals and fascinating instrumentation, including pianos, traditional drum patterns, and strings. I have a hard genre bias against metal and even I found myself enjoying this.

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