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The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas
Tip o’ the hat to Stereogum’s Tom Breihan for this one. I hadn’t heard of Courtney Barnett prior to this, but, goddam, she’s got the goods. Patient in her songwriting, Barnett ambles her way through reflective tunes that reveal much about who she is. And that Aussie voice! Fantastic stuff. Album opener “Out of the Woodwork” is a gently flowing river of images.
The Deep Dark Woods
Interestingly, this is not a *jubilant* album. But it’s a delight, nonetheless. The melody of “18th of December” hits just the right spot. On a different note, the jangly shuffle of “Red, Red Rose” accomplishes the more danceable feats of the album (and dig that organ!).
“Atmospheric,” for whatever that term’s worth, in all the right ways… Darkside’s latest cruises the ocean depths, presenting listeners with something closer to a biological entity than an album. It’s minimalist, and the musicians choose to revel in their sound-making capabilities rather than pursue classic song structure. “The Only Shrine I’ve Seen,” for instance, wriggles among shadows for a while before making way for a delightful, bluesy guitar riff. Check it out.
The Blind Boys of Alabama
I’ll Find a Way
Legends of gospel already, The Blind Boys of Alabama have managed to propel their own legacy by leagues with this latest album. And with Justin Vernon helming the production, there’s plenty here to draw the listener in. “I was extremely excited to be in a room with these guys who have been doing it for decades and decades,” Vernon said. From opener “God Put a Rainbow in the Cloud” to the powerful “Every Grain of Sand” and everything in between, this album (and all its guests) is another badass contribution to the Blind Boys’ canon.