New releases are starting to ramp up as we move away from the holiday season. This week had notably more new releases than last week and I see a lot of good artists on the horizon for the coming weeks. Looking at this week, though, I do have one standout and a few honorable mentions to share with y’all.

The standout is Sleater-Kinney’s new album, Little Rope, which just happens to be their best record in probably 20 years and most definitely their best album since Janet Weiss left the band. (Listen)

Sadly, both of Carrie Brownstein’s parents passed away in a car accident just as she and Corin Tucker came together to start writing this album. And according to the Apple Music editorial notes on the album, Brownstein used the act and ritual of playing guitar and writing music to get her through the tough times. She and Tucker poured all of their heart and soul into making each song perfect.

Lyrically, Sleater-Kinney are masters, as usual. They address these unpredictable endings and grief in songs like “Say It Like You Mean It”:

Lie gently with me
All clocks have stopped
Our minds they can’t reach
All counting off
No bitter endings
And no false starts
Just tell me one thing
Just say the words

“Say It Like You Mean It” by Sleater-Kinney

And on “Small Finds”:

One more time for us to ride
And then we walk away
Every step, remember it
A memory to stay
One more time for us to fly
And then we walk away
A bone, a bowl, a sweet hello
And nothing more today

“Small Finds” by Sleater-Kinney

Personally, both my wife and I have each lost parents in the last year and a half. I also lost my sister and my teenage daughter unexpectedly lost one of her best friends last summer. I don’t know if it’s my age or what, but I know a lot of people that had similar experiences over the last three years, so I’m sure these songs will hit home. They certainly do for me.

My favorite tracks include: “Hell”, “Say it Like You Mean It”, “Small Finds”, and “Untidy Creature”.

As a side note, I’ve seen Sleater-Kinney in concert five times over the last 20+ years and they are without a doubt one of the best live acts in rock music today. I highly recommend checking them out, if you aren’t familiar.

Honorable Mentions

Plastic Death by glass beach (Listen)
Think Dismemberment Plan x Radiohead x Joan of Arc x Yes. My brain struggled to process the complexity of a few songs (at least with the first couple listens), however a lot of tracks are in the “OMG so good” category. It’s definitely worth checking out, if you think that band collaboration I mentioned is even half interesting. Highlights: “rare animal”, “cul-de-sac”, “puppy”, and “the CIA”.

Melt the Honey by PACKS (Listen)
Lo-fi indie rock with quirky melodies. Some real high moments on “Missy”, “Her Garden”, and “Hfcs”. Definitely going to give this one another pass or two.

Going Through It by Eliza Mclamb (Listen)
For fans of Phoebe Bridgers/boygenius/singer-songwriter. A solid listen I will definitely give another pass to in the future. Highlights: “Glitter”, “Mythologize Me”, and “Modern Woman”.

s/t by EKKSTACY (Listen)
This sound (think synth pop, lo-fi indie, post punk, with some Soundcloud rap influences) has definitely been done before, so it’s not noteworthy for breaking new ground. It is, however, well done and catchy. If you like Surf Curse, YOT Club, Day Wave, Current Joys, Bedroom, Beach Fossils, and Miloe you will probably dig this record. I can definitely see my teenage kids liking this a lot. Highlights: “bella”, “alright”, and “chicago”.

Anything we miss this week? Let us know in the comments!

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I am a patient boy.

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