As we could not evoke all that we liked during the last six months. We take advantage of the summer break to come back to 10 “favorite” Pop-Rock albums released between January and July 2022.
On the program: Mauvais Sang, Trance Farmers, Astrel K, Early Spring Horses, Sam Cohen, Nasty S And The Ghost Chasers, Porridge Radio, Irnini Mons, Metro Verlaine, Avi Kaplan.
Bad blood – Bodies in the decor
Bad blood : behind this name which brings us back to the first film of Leos Carax, we discover a quintet of young musicians whose first album cannot leave you indifferent. A rock disc between calm and storm with a very personal universe in which the group delivers texts with a high poetic content supported by music of incredible density. You can hear guitars at times noise alongside a harp or electronic sounds. No doubt that Bodies in the decor already constitutes a remarkable entry into the French rock landscape on the part of this formation which is in the wake of Black Desire or of Diabologum.
(December Square/Kuroneko) – April 8, 2022 – listen
Trance Farmers – Queen Of Nowhere
Released on the French label IIKKI which, let’s remember, combines albums with photo collections, offers Queen Of Nowhereor the meeting between the photographic works of Kourtney Roy and the music of Dayve Samek who serves here under the name of Trance Farmers. The latter presents on this new album pieces made of collages, samples from various backgrounds, assembled in lo-fi songs, cobbled together with talent and a lot of imagination. A disc full of charm which brings us back by its sounds to the 60s, with at times small airs of Timber Stamp.
(IIKKI) – May 19, 2022 – listen
Astrel K- Flickering I
Before launching his personal project under the name of Astral K, Rhys Edward enjoyed some success with his band Ulrika Spacek. Now based in Stockholm, the singer and musician imagined this first solo album in a register somewhat different from that of his original formation. On Flickering I it offers songs that are not necessarily immediate but which will make their way as you listen. In a rather sophisticated style, far from the classic pop patterns, Astral K here seems rather inspired by krautrock or bands like Stereolab with little experimental touches here and there.
(Duophonic Super 45t) – April 29, 2022 – listen
Early Spring Horses – freediver
Back from Vincent Stockholm with his group Early Spring Horses. Accompanied byArthur Wilmotte and Ingrid Obledthe singer and musician born in Sweden signs a new nugget in which we find all the sensitivity of an artist whom we had discovered with the delicate What The Wood Whispers To Itself in 2016. With folk pop sounds embellished with Modern Classical touches that often evoke Mark Hollisthese eight titles with majestic arrangements make this freediver an extremely touching record, steeped in intimacy. The kind of work to which it will take time to appreciate all the nuances and subtleties.
(Victorialand Records) – June 10, 2022 – listen
Sam Cohen- Slow Fawn
Here is a very cool record which it would be a shame to miss, especially if you like pop songs from artists like Kevin Morby, Sam Evian Where Chris Cohen. Brooklyn-based producer, contributor to Kevin Morby, Danger Mouse Where Karen O, Sam Cohen offers here a new variation of his talent with a very varied album which gives pride of place to keyboards, in a spirit tinged at times with 70’s soft-rock in Californian colours. A total of 9 titles, 9 delicate ballads, with nods to Terry Riley Where Steve Reich (on Night Beam), or to Todd Rundgren and Moondog. unstoppable!
(self-produced) – June 3, 2022 – listen
Nasty S And The Ghost Chasers – Waiting for the Last Gasp of my Generation
With its cover that evokes those of good old US indie rock bands of the 80s/90s, Waiting for the Last Gasp of my Generation is a compilation of covers signed Nasty Samy, veteran of the underground rock scene. For this album, he offers us covers of Gun Club, Supersuckers, Dramarama, Morrissey, Lemonheads, Hard-Ons, Samhain, Agent Orange, Tumbleweed, Pegboy, Jawbreaker, The House of Love, Dag Nasty, Therapy?, Joy Division. It sends wood for 48 minutes with a very heavy 90’s punk-rock sound and incisive vocals. A successful exercise in style for this musician who has surrounded himself with a lot of accomplices to perform all these covers. Note that the CD is accompanied by a copious booklet.
(Twenty Something) – May 31, 2022 – listen
Porridge Radio – Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder to the Sky
These overwhelming emotional crescendos, this voice in which all the pain and all the combativeness of a rebellious youth seems to mingle, these haunting repetitions of definitive sentences (“I don’t wanna be loved, I don’t wanna be loved“, adlib)… Yes, this is the magic of Porridge Radio which comes back to us in the face in this Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder to the Skythird album of a group which seems to have missed the opportunity of the success promised at the exit of Every Bad. And, indeed, this beautiful record went unfairly unnoticed when it was released last May. Accept, we who love so much Dana Margolin, the most beautiful living flay of the contemporary rock scene, that this music which seems sublime to us, irritates some of them, reluctant to these whirlwinds of negative energy. However, Porridge Radio has clearly evolved, at least formally, with this Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder to the Sky, by lowering the saturated, aggressive guitars by a tone, and by favoring keyboards and welcoming melodies. We even notice a surprising attempt at consensual orchestration, almost “fashionable” for The Rip : but it’s a waste of time, even if you want to be more friendly, Dana Margolin is too steeped in raw pain for the music of Porridge Radio can become harmless.
(Secretly Canadian) – May 20, 2022 – listen
Irnini Mons – Irnini Mons
Sabrinia, Fanny, Valentine and Guillaume come from Lyon, but they could just as well come from Venus, the planet where the volcano sits Irnini Mons. House discovers that Irnini Mons would also be a goddess of the Assyro-Babylonian era, which does not help us much to describe the music of the group, but suggests a whole lot of things that are unusual, even frankly outside our world and our time. And a very playful state of mind that permeates the six songs of this first mini-album (27 minutes, to 3 minutes, it’s a REAL album), all unclassifiable, combining sometimes baroque vocal parts, texts – in French, please – which make you smile without forcing too much on the fantasy, and bursts of noisy guitars, even frankly furious. Irnini Mons don’t look like much else, but could have been born in Brooklyn in 2030. And on stage, they’re even more hair-raising!
(The Seum) – April 22, 2022 – to listen
Metro Verlaine – Funeral Party
We almost waited! No, we waited four years between cut-upthe remarkable first effort of the Norman duo Metro Verlaineand this second album which should be that of consecration. Funeral Party, written and composed during confinement, does not mark a change of style, since we remain in a vintage English cold wave tradition of the eighties. The passage from French to English for the majority of the titles of the album does not correspond to a “normalization” of the music of Raphaëlle and Axel, but to the wish to go towards harder, more violent tones, to which the Shakespeare’s language fits better, and the duo is clearly pushing the sliders here towards more darkness, more anger (You Tear Me Up). But it is despite everything the black and solemn romanticism of the group (Teenage Dreams) which marks the most, especially since Raphaëlle’s voice, rich and powerful, carries the music of Metro Verlaine towards excellence.
(Metro Verlaine) – May 27, 2022 – listen
Avi Kaplan- Floating on a Dream
Coming from an unknown group in the battalion at home (pentatonix) but which was a hit in Texas and elsewhere with a capella covers, Avi Kaplan office now solo. After a few singles and Eps, he released an essential first album in a country folk style with a “cowboy song” trend. With her deep, warm voice (like that of a Lee Hazlewood) but which offers a palette of very varied nuances, the Californian crooner delivers a disc of great beauty, filled with inhabited songs, with at times a certain lyricism which takes you to the deserts and the cayons of California. Arranged around a piano, guitar, pedal steel and ample choirs, Floating on a Dream touches the heart, the soul to the body. A pure marvel!
(Fantasy records) – May 20, 2022 – listen