Here at CT’s Culture section, we take pride in serving the Rochester community’s music needs. So, every Sunday, we’re going to recommend great new albums that you should listen to. Here’s our first batch.
“Fetch the Bolt Cutters” by Fiona Apple
On her first release in eight years, Fiona delivers an hour of gorgeous and righteously angry symphonic pop music. The record loses no momentum over its 13 tracks, and each is as great as the last. Her one-of-a-kind songwriting is evident in her lyrics, melodies, arrangements, and production touches. She’s one of the great talents of our time — go listen to her latest masterpiece.
“Pray for Paris” by Westside Gunn
Buffalo native and Eminem’s Shady Records affiliate Westside Gunn came out with what might be his best album on Friday. Bringing a bit more polish and structure to his songs, Gunn’s revival of boom bap has finally reached its full potential. With more hypnotizing flows, clever wordplay, and hilarious ad-libs, Gunn also seems to have found his pocket as an MC. Behind him are expertly rapped features from Freddie Gibbs, Roc Marciano, Tyler the Creator, and members of his collective, Griselda. The beats on the album are expertly crafted as well, crediting legends DJ Premier, The Alchemist, and again, Tyler the Creator. If you like boom bap or classic rap in general, check out this record.
“Miss Colombia” by Lido Pimienta
Lido Pimienta is a Colombian artist I hadn’t heard of until this week, and I’m glad I did, as her new record is simply wonderful. Writing and producing herself, Pimienta crafts beautiful fusions of traditional Latin music with electronic elements. This fusion is so well-executed that the record truly feels out of time, rustic and modernized simultaneously. She has a voice as well, and her knack for writing danceable songs with an outpouring of emotion is commendable. This is a truly unique record that you should hear ASAP.
“Songs for Pierre Chuvin” by The Mountain Goats
John Darnielle returns with his first lo-fi tape in years, and unsurprisingly, he delivers a short and sweet 27 minutes of weirdo acoustic bliss. His storytelling and melodic sensibilities allow him to create worlds of feeling through his songs, even though the album is only made up of his voice and a guitar recorded through an old tape recorder.
“Winterreise” by Jerskin Fendrix
Jerskin Fendrix, friend of the brilliant band black midi, is an indie-pop star in the making, and his debut record is great and weird as hell. So weird, in fact, that it’s almost indescribable. I can say with confidence that it’s an electronic project, but that doesn’t do it justice. In his songs he’ll jump from dissonant, experimental passages to a catchy pop hook in a second, and his referential lyrics to stars such as Nick Cave and Kanye West are endearing and hilarious. Even though the record is scatterbrained stylistically, the songs at their core are strong. Jerskin knows how to write a damn good chorus and give his songs a feeling of momentum that keeps you listening for their whole runtime. “I want to be Ezra Koenig,” he sings on “Swamp.” Me too, Jerskin, me too.