Back in the saddle and ready to roll for 2023, Bernie Sparrow, Jeremy Wren, Jimmy the Finch, Cletus Crow, Nigel Owl, and the rest of the staff at Rock is the new Roll is gearing up for another great year of good music and good vibes.
Rock is the New Roll favorite Indie popster Brett Dennen is out front and center with his ode to the new year with “This Is Going To Be The Year.”
The Nude party is gearing up for a new record later in the year with the infectious new sing “Ride On” where they deftly and without a net rhyme Mexico, a vaquero named Alfredo, and Mexico.
And, if you are not hip to the Nervous Eaters, take this opportunity to check out this band that combines the Velvets with 80’s Loverboy vibes on their latest “Last Chance.”
But, enough of all that, here are five new records to savor this week.
CVC – Get Real
CVC, Church Village Collective, is a Welsh band that favors tight CSN harmonies, breeze-pop tunes, and yacht rock adjacent melodies. With this, their first proper record following up on 2022’s Real to Real.
From the opening salvo courtesy of “Hail Mary” the sonic palate of ’80s influenced AOR widescreen classic rock is front and center with its Christopher Cross by way of America vibe, while “Knock Knock” takes you on a trip into Little River Band territory.
The band was heavily influenced by their parent’s respective record collections, most notably, Wings, Neil Young, and REO Speedwagon. With the song “Anogo,” try picturing in your minds ear the Electric Light Orchestra singing doo-wop, and you will get a sense of how cool and eclectic this record is.
Margo Price – Strays
Opening this song-set by proclaiming that she has been to the mountain and back is a strong declaration that Margo Price is back and better than ever once again shape shifting her sound, this time into a cross of the Pretenders Chrissie Hynde backed by Crazy Horse, and indeed it is cool.
Not as confessional as you might think it would be, she saves that for her memoir, here she embarks on a set of story songs including “Light Me Up,” with an assist from Heartbreaker Mike Campbell, and “Radio” with Sharon Van Etten that takes the ears for a ride to the glory days of AOR radio on a song that could have been a Fleetwood Mac single back in the day.
Often times, subtle mood-shifts and turns are the sign of a confident artist that is in control of her own art, and that is certainly the case here. The flow from breezy to contemplative to downright fun will have you returning to this record for months to come.
Whitehorse – I’m Not Crying, You’re Crying
On their latest record I’m Not Crying, You’re Crying, Whitehorse, the husband-and-wife duo named after the Capital of Yukon, Canada, channel the best of the ’60s Country male-female partnerships in the George and Tammy mold to sublime perfection.
Transported quickly to your favorite honkytonk from the opening lap-steel teer in your beer beauty “If The Loneliness Don’t Kill Me” to the mournful “I Might Get Over This (But I Won’t Stop Loving You)” this set puts the classic in classic country.
Belle and Sebastian – Late Developers
Indie pop heroes Belle and Sebastian are fresh out of the box with another pristine record of power pop goodness.
Stylistically, few bands blend musical tones and textures better than this band, and here case in point, “Give A Little Time,” a bouncy up-tempo wonderment that even features a dusting of a Thin Lizzy influence. “Will I Tell You A Secret” would make Donovan blush, and “So In The Moment” is the first great driving tune of 2023.
With songs as strong as the “Juliet Naked,” and the semi-funk “When You’re Not With Me,” we are calling our shot now. This record will be in contention for record of the year. It’s that good.
The Subways – Uncertain Joys
For those not in the know, The Subways are a British rock band from Welwyn Garden city that is influenced by Oasis, AC/DC, T Rex, The Ramones, the Beatles, and The Carpenters.
With touches of the Smiths on “Waiting On You,” boy band Brit-pop on the title track, and Black Sabbath by way of Billy Idol all over “Incantation” this record is about as eclectically cool as it can get.
“Black Wax” wears a Depeche Mode mood ring, and the semi-ballad “Amelie” is pure Oasis, love it or loathe it at your own discretions.
This band is definitely a fresh find worthy of your ear-time.