Terry - Call Me Terry - April 14, 2023
Australian rock quartet Terry has a lot to say in just 26 minutes on their 4th full length album, and they do so over blissful downbeat instrumentals evoking imagery of The Velvet Underground and Yo La Tengo. Much like these bands, Terry stands out by brilliantly dichotomizing their instrumentation and their lyrics, with many of these songs discussing political and social turmoil in their homeland and abroad. Not to mention the chaotic sax interjections and abrupt endings giving each a track a unique way to descend the listener into complete insanity. This does nothing to belittle the accessibility of this project, though, as I have seen few bands in the genre with as acute a sense of melody as these guys. This is an extremely fun and easy listen, but the sentiments are why I keep coming back.
Favorite Tracks: "Centuries" ; "Market" ; "Golden Head"
Kara Jackson - Why Does the Earth Give Us People to Love - April 14, 2023
In her debut album, Chicago-based poet, guitarist, and singer Kara Jackson is turning heads all over the independent music community with her charismatic, brutally honest, and elegantly delivered modern folk tracks with a soulful twist, as she brilliantly toes the line between total vulnerability and absolute badassery. Being the 2019 and 2020 National Poet Youth Laureate, she is of course no stranger to subtle imagery and constructing worlds of her own line by line. Whereas many songwriters take a more direct approach to placing the listener in a specific time and place, Jackson does so from an emotional direction. Each song offers a myriad of different unique experiences all sufficiently bizarre yet relatable, showing the raw humanity in her lyrics and in each of us as well. Barebones instrumentation maintains and reinforces the natural and unedited feel of the record, and also helps accentuate the magnitude of the louder and more dense moments that slowly build up at varying rates in each song. It's rare to hear an artist sound this refined in their debut album, and it's left me delighted to see her evolution.
Favorite Tracks: "dickhead blues" ; "free" ; "rat"