Recommended New Music: August 2018

FRANKIE COSMOS- VESSEL

 

3rd full-length album by Frankie Cosmos, AKA Great Kline, the NYC-bred daughter of actors Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates.  Kline plays a short & simple, but hooky hybrid of indie-rock and twee pop.  “Vessel” is 18 songs in under 35 minutes, blunt but often profound musings on life and love in the big city.  Not every song is perfect, but she never leaves you time to get bored.  The track “Duet” melts my heart and songs like “Same Thing” and “Apathy” are some of her best work yet.

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TIRZAH- DEVOTION

 

 

“Devotion: is the debut album by British singer/songwriter Tirzah, which veers away from the electronic indie-dance pop of her past singles, and delivers a beautiful and hypnotic 11 love songs.  She takes her cues from the best of mid to late nineties R&B and adds modern electronic beats, but slowed way down giving out a raw and spare vibe.  “Gladly”, “Fine Again” and “Affection” are three highlights of an album which reveals greater depth which each listen.

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MITSKI- BE THE COWBOY

 

Third album by Japanese-American Mistki Miyawaki is her most accessible and charming to date.  Moving away from the distortion of her last album, “Puberty 2”, “Be The Cowboy” offers up a more polished approach while sacrificing none of her music’s more challenging & complex aspects.  On “Be the Cowboy” Mitski adopts the persona of a typical suburban wife longing to break free of the marital and societal expectations placed on her.  Standouts include lead track “Geyser” and the disco-banger “Nobody”.

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ARIANA GRANDE- SWEETENER

 

 

My favorite pop album of the year so far, “Sweetener” is Grand’s fourth and perhaps her best. On “Sweetener” she reconciles with the horrific and tragic 2017 bombing during her concert in London, while celebrating her new love and engagement to SNL’s Pete Davidson.  They have sadly since broken up, but apparently remain friends.  “No Tears Left To Cry” was one of the songs of the summer and best pop songs of 2018, while follow up singles “God Is A Woman” and “Breathin'” show that “Sweetener” shows no signs of slowing down and is one of the most successful big name releases of the year.  Grande has the big voice and vocal chops to pull off a great ballad with the pizazz and taste to deliver a plethora of dance floor bangers. She is as close to a sure thing that we have in pop right now.

 

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BLOOD ORANGE- NEGRO SWAN

 

 

“Negro Swan”, Dev Hynes’s fourth album as Blood Orange, examines the flipsides of ‘ugly’ and ‘beauty’ and what is is like to live in the margins as an African-American gay person in modern America.  Hynes is a top-notch producer, who works with some of the biggest & best pop stars of today including Solange Knowles, Haim, Sky Ferreira & Carly Rae Jepsen.  Though his music is never boilerplate pop, Blood Orange is the place where he expands and explores his music to the greatest depth.  “Negro Swan” is a lot to dig through and is not immediately accessible, revealing its greatness slowly. “Nappy Wonder”, “Orlando” and “Runnin’ (with Georgia Anne Muldrow) are early highlights.

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