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Hard Jamz

Just a list of recent digs, some in heavier rotation than others.
1Pianos Become the Teeth
Wait For Love

Hailing from Baltimore myself, I'm maybe unfairly predisposed to be defensive of these guys, but damn if this initially somewhat disappointing album hasn't seriously grown on me. I'll absolutely still admit that the middle section sags a bit--but honestly, and maybe it's just the power of reinforcement, but even my early least-favorites have started feeling much more impactful (looking at you, "Bay of Dreams" and "Forever Sound"). "Love on Repeat" feels like it could've been well-served by another minute of crescendo-ing catharsis at its climax, but its build to the album-capping "Blue" is still stellar. And for its part, the latter may, at least in my opinion, rival "I'll Get By" for best closer, lyrically if not musically. Worth revisits, even if you weren't floored on first listen.
2Luca D'Alberto

It's no slight to say this is a wonderful album to fall asleep to--but that anecdote also grossly undersells how vigorous and captivating this burgeoning instrumental artist can be. Fans of the likes of Max Richter, Olafur Arnalds, and the dearly departed Johann Johannsson (still processing that one), do yourself a favor and don't sleep on this one.
3The Out Circuit
Burn Your Scripts Boys

Speaking of, slept on these guys, which is a pretty big blunder, since I definitely dug the better part of Frodus' discography (basically from F-Letter onwards) after coming to them after-the-fact, as well, incidentally (which, thanks, Thrice!). Frankly, Out_Circuit's catching up quickly in replayability, and while I haven't cracked into their sophomore album yet, definitely looking forward to delving deeper into this (evidently widely) underappreciated band.
4Iron Chic
You Can't Stay Here

So, first thing: Almost all these songs sound the same. Second thing: If you dig it, that can be a feature rather than a bug. For me, it is firmly a feature. Still, with that said, the lyrics are what truly elevate this at least a notch or two above a lot of similar-sounding acts. They've also, to their credit, given me some homework to do, since until very recently, I was also woefully ignorant of this band's pedigree, so now Latterman, Shorebirds, and RVIVR are all on my to-check-out docket.

A definite kurveball from Kele here, but one that I think justifies its existence pretty handily. Again, the lyricism (always a strong suit for Okereke) goes a long way towards taking this beyond a mere popular-singer-goes-(mostly, kinda sorta)-acoustic diversion, and I feel like this should earn a little more praise--or at least attention--than it's received.
6Do Make Say Think
Stubborn Persistent Illusions

Gotta spin this one a few more times before I settle on a final judgment, but the handful of listens I've given it so far certainly seem to attest to this post-rock outfit's longevity, and how they've managed to remain pretty vital and interesting in ways that many of their peers--even once-mighty heavy-hitters like Godspeed and Explosions--simply haven't. Then again, maybe they were never as burdened by the spotlight as those others, so the comparison might be an unfair one, but nonetheless, a lot of consistency from this corner of the oversaturated genre.
7King Krule
6 Feet Beneath the Moon

Another new addition meriting more listens on my end, but definitely leaves a distinctive impression even in its first go-round or two. Looking forward to getting even better acquainted with this, along with the seemingly even-more-lauded follow-up.
8Secret And Whisper
Teenage Fantasy

A perennial favorite right here, but one I only recently unearthed from a box of CDs after a move. "Blush" is the bidness. So's most everything else on display. If anybody knows what any of these musicians is up to today, please let me know, since the fact that Secret and Whisper only put out two albums is a goddamned crime (and the formative auditory baby pictures of Stutterfly and thebleedingalarm only get you so far, nahmsayin?).
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