October in Music
The month of October is somehow coming to a close. I'm in shock how fast this year is rolling. There was a ton of new music this month that excited me. In fact, there was so much that I had a hard time giving each album its proper time. So these reviews might be a little shorter and rushed than I would normally like.
The Simple Fear by Brooke Annibale
I had no prior encounter with Brooke Annibale. Going into her latest album completely blind, I was completely blown away by the artsy and spacey music blend that she has got going on in the title track "Like the Dream of It."
Many times throughout the album Annibale reminds me of the best from Tristan Prettyman (e.g. "Find My Way," "All over Again") and Missy Higgins (e.g. "Go"). What causes her to stand out is the general atmosphere of the music. "Remind Me" has a groove to it but Annibale's vocals almost sound like a whisper. There is no direct "pop" track though there is a distinct pop to many of her hooks.
Listening to "The Simple Fear" is a highly enjoyable event. I'm not sure if Brooke Annibale does enough to stand out among some phenomenal artists. But that I'm even talking about her among some of my favorite female musicians is incredibly telling. This CD dominated the month's rotation.
S/T by Watkins Family Hour
This album was not released in October. But I stumbled across them during this month. This album immediately had me foot tapping, humming along, and feeling joyful (despite some sad songs). For me, this album is the epitome of what music should be.
"Feeling Good Again" is a great opener but I'm head over heels for "Where I Ought to Be." The storytelling, guitar playing, and harmonies hook me every single time. the novelty of "Not in Nottingham" is not lost on me. I just grin and wait for the violin introduction and harmonies of "Steal Your Heart Away."
Critical to this album's value for me are the closing storytelling songs. "She Thinks I Still Care" is a sad song. "The King of the 12 Ounce Bottles" is a funny song. Both are essential components of a great country album. Songs like this keep me excited about every portion of this great album. This will be an album I return to for decades to come.
Nothing More by The Alternate Routes
I have no idea where this album came from. Suddenly, I was listening to it and was hooked. Despite what I thought were some cheesy lines in "Nothing More," I could not stop myself from moving to the music. I was concerned that the album would not be able to maintain this level enjoyment. The spacey and groovy feel of "Sun so High" did not disappoint.
By the time I reached the slow and quiet "Me and You" and "Sundress" I knew the album would get an instant replay. Instantly the album turned back up with the arena sounding "Nobody Else" and spacey "Stereo."
I don't really know how to classify this album. Maybe it just typical adult contemporary pop. Does not really matter to me. I love having this album playing in the background. I love being able to listen attentively. This album rounds out the "big three" this month that absolutely consumed my listening time this month.
Old Time Reverie by Mipso
This album started out my month of October. I was pretty convinced that the sweet bluegrass music would dominate my month. All of the previously discussed albums proved me wrong. I blame the opening track "Marianne" which just never really hooked me. After my irrational issues with the opening track, this is a solid banjo picking, toe-tapping album.
The harmonies throughout the album bring delight to my ears. The storytelling is good. But the general song structures seems really awkward to me. It puts the entire album at just the right tilt for me to pass by the album when I want this banjo, country, bluegrass sound.
Highlight tracks include "Momma," "Captain's Daughter," and "4 Train." This is the type of album that has gems scattered amidst forgettable tracks.
Absentee by Violents
This little EP showed up in my recommend list this month. Though released earlier this year it is new to me. The main artist backing Violents is Jeremy Larson. Apparently he brings in a different female vocalist for every EP. This particular EP features Stacy King. I knew absolutely nothing about any of these artists. I was grateful for four tracks and four gems.
The background borderline house music is delightful. On "Northeast" there are even moments where I think I am listening to Lily Allen.
I love the slow build up of "All I Have." I love the storytelling of "Where We Are Now." This EP is tiny so it is easy to listen to over and over.