It’s finally starting to warm up, and complimenting the joyous transition into spring are three incredibly different artists that all have released great albums earlier this month.
Durand Jones & The Indications: American Love Call [Dead Oceans]
Don’t let anyone tell you soul music is dead. They’re (1) wrong and (2) clearly haven’t listened these Indiana-based jammers. Combining easygoing vocal harmonies and string instrumentation with a sound that pulls equally from ‘70s folk rock and classic R&B, the band’s sophomore album is enjoyable from front to back.
Essential tracks: listen to the whole record, silly.
Delicate Steve: Till I Burn Up [Anti]
A painfully overlooked face in the instrumental rock scene, the brainchild of New Jersey-based guitarist Steve Marion soars to new heights on his fourth (not counting The Christmas Album or Delicate Steve Live in Las Vegas) full-length record. Steve’s inventive style continues here — layering the sounds of progressive rock, African-pop, and brooding electronica — it’s a dense record that packs one hell of a punch.
Essential tracks: “Madness,” “Selfie of a Man,” “Rubberneck,” “Way Too Long,”
“Freedom”Stella Donnelly: Beware of Dogs [Secretly Canadian]
Hailing from Fremantle, Western Australia; Stella Donnelly’s debut is witty, unapologetic, and a raw statement to all of the a-holes in her life (surprise, “dogs” is code for men). Her voice is captivating on each track, shining through especially on those that are stripped down to just her and her guitar. It’s a biting piece that is empathetic to its core. Sometimes you’re unsure if you should laugh or cry during some of these songs — Donnelly proudly thrives on the unsettling dichotomy of your emotions. She says, “this album really made me feel like I was back in the driver’s seat. It was liberating and grounding to realize no one can f*** with it except me.”
Essential tracks: “Boys Will Be Boys,” “Tricks,” “Old Man,” “Die”