With the consistent haze of winter slowly fading into the rearview, 2021 is finally starting to kick it into high gear on the new music front. This week, Steven Hyden and Ian Cohen are digging into new releases from Julien Baker and Cloud Nothings, but not before taking a moment to eulogize the end of Daft Punk after 28 years.
For Julien Baker, Little Oblivions is her first album in nearly four years, and marks a turning point for the 25-year-old songwriter. Where her arrangements were previously sparse and centered around a looped guitar or a piano, the new album incorporates a full band aesthetic with drums and much more space to roam. What does a fleshed-out sound mean for one of indie’s most earnest songwriters?
While Baker was quiet for nearly four years, Cloud Nothings have been more active than ever during the pandemic, turning to a Bandcamp subscription plan as a way to keep fans engaged. They released the home-recorded The Black Hole Understands in July of 2020, and have already followed it up with the proper next studio album, The Shadow I Remember. Where does it stack up in their nearly decade-long discography?
In this week’s Recommendation Corner, Hyden is honoring the late Miles Seaton by revisiting the catalogue of his band Akron/Family, while Cohen has been enjoying the new EP from Canadian outfit Arm’s Length.
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