Everyone is talking about it, so you can probably guess my choice for this week… Cowboy Carter by Beyonce (Listen). I’m not going to spend much time writing commentary, because it’s not necessarily my place nor expertise, but I will let the music speak for itself. And before you write it off, it’s not a “country” album in the sense you think it is… it’s so much more. Obviously country and R&B influenced, but also blues, opera, rock, soul, and disco. Do yourself a favor and listen. Favorite tracks: “Blackbiird”, “16 Carriages”, “Spaghettii”, “Just for Fun”, and “Tyrant”.

The Garden Dream by gglum (Listen) –The Garden Dream is the debut album from London-born Ella Smoker, aka gglum. It won’t get the attention that Beyonce got this week, for sure, but this is a high quality release in its own right. Think bedroom pop, crossed with touches of electro pop and shoegaze.

Favorite tracks: “With You”, “SPLAT!”, “Glue”, “Second Best” and “Eating Rust”.

Honorable Mention

Interplay by Ride (Listen) – the shoegaze pioneers are back with their seventh full length album and first since 2019. It doesn’t necessarily break new ground, but it’s everything you want in a Ride album. Will definitely return to this one.

Missed from Last Week

Trail of Flowers by Sierra Ferrell (Listen) – my goodness. I happened to see an interview with her yesterday on TikTok and the included short clips of her playing around Nashville really piqued my interest. I gave her album a listen today and it’s super good – real old timey bluegrass and folk, just as you’d expect from the album cover. I don’t necessarily like country music, but the really good country-adjacent stuff (think Jason Isbell, Zach Bryan, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Tyler Childers, Waxahatchee, etc) has been in serious rotation the last 6 months or so…and this release will join that group for sure.

Notes from the Crucial Tracks Crew

  • I recently added a band photos section to the site. There are 200+ photos (as of today) taken over the last 30 years. Hardcore, punk, indie and more. Give them a browse…I hope you enjoy!
  • And lastly, a programming note: we’ve slowed down a bit with the Crucial Tracks interviews, but I am happy to say we have a couple new ones coming soon. Keep an eye on your inbox!
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