Friday, May 07, 2021

5 albums to snag on this (potentially) final Bandcamp Friday!

I've been meaning to write about a few of these albums for a while now—though there is one surprise in here, even to me!—and rather than let the final Bandcamp Friday (for now) pass by I wanted to alert you to their existence in hopes you'll dig them too and give the artists all the dough. SO....

PONY's TV Baby was one of those albums I found in a weird corner of the internet, listened to, and immediately bought a physical copy of it because it absolutely slays. All really big crunchy guitars, great vox, and super catchy. LOVE IT. It's short, sharp, focused, fun. DO NOT MISS OUT.

I was going to save the "surprise" for the end, but I'm just too excited—Analog Radio finally released a new EP! The group got their start in Chicago, and were on a loooooong hiatus, but the members managed to come together (virtually, I assume?) from their various locations and started making new music again last year. But I didn't expect this to drop today! Also, for Bandcamp Friday, they are matching all proceeds and donating everything to the NAACP legal defense fund. So hop to it!

Tamar Berk played in a bunch of Chicago bands and led her own project Starball, before heading west. She's kept making music, most notably heading down the slightly prog classic rock route of Paradise. On this new album the restless dreams of youth sees her returning to a grittier power-pop, and it is fantastic. She also just announced a limited vinyl release of the album, so pick that up too if you dig it!

What would happen if Ted Leo and Joe Jackson started a band together? It would sound like Proper Nouns' Feel Free. This is an absolute furnace blast of frenetic guitars and impassioned vocals that are buried in so many hooks nothing ever sounds melodramatic. It just feels real, and big, and excellent.

Sparked by his break-up with his Rubblebucket bandmate, Tōth worked through it by writing music. And the first song that leapt out to me while listening was "Guitars Are Better Than Synthesizers For Writing Through Hard Times," which I discovered turned out to be the starting point that led to the rest of the album. And it's a lovely album, managing to weave in the occasional horn line and other little sonic flourishes that just make the ol' ears perk right up. Perfect for getting lost in or winding down with.

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