Check out some of our on-air and music teams’ favorite releases of this season!
From Ray Gill Jr., host of Rudeboy Radio
Bakar – Build Me Away
With the single Build Me Away, Bakar offers an intoxicating sneak peek into his official debut album due out this year, and it sounds just as sonically complex as his 2018 breakthrough mixtape, Badkid. This single is rich with atmospheric subtlety leaving space for luscious harmonies and the musician’s intriguing vocal flow.- OPB ‘Monday Mix’ by Ray Gill Jr
The Smile – The Smoke
Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood worked with frequent Radiohead collaborator Nigel Godrich to capture their signature ethereal sound for the song The Smoke. About one minute in the track seamlessly melted into Yorkes captivating falsetto, opening it up to a wonderful array of instrumentation flared around a funky bassline that anchors this mesmerizing single.
B-Side serves as a dazzling reminder of the Texas collective’s collaborative power. The track announces itself with a groovy funk guitar intro from Khruangbin’s Mark Speer that reflexively conjures up the spirit of the 70′s before transitioning into the grace of Bridges’ soulful vocals. – OPB “Monday Mix” by Ray Gill JR
From Veronica Bisesti, host of Subculture
Hoodoo Gurus – Chariot of the Gods
If you’ve ever listened to Subculture, I’ve stated on many an occasion that the Hoodoo Gurus are amongst my top 5 favorite bands of all time. Australian punk royalty…and still putting music out 40 years later. Their latest album “Chariot of the Gods” is a testament to their musical prowess and adaptability. Music has changed since their first album “Stoneage Romeos” (which everyone should own on vinyl, just a tip from me to you) and yet from almost the first dropped beat, you instantly know Chariot singles “Carry On”, “Answered Prayers” and “Get Out of Dodge” are the Gurus but there is something modern and fresh about it. And if releasing “Chariot of the Gods” wasn’t cool enough, the HG’s are about to embark on their 40th-anniversary tour (with tour mates The Dandy Warhols) throughout Australia and Tasmania. I’d gladly spend a 16-hour plane ride for that show! (Check out my interview with HG frontman Dave Faulkner)
Afghan Whigs – I’ll Make You See God
With their first music release in over five years, the Afghan Whigs did not disappoint. “I’ll Make You See God” is ROCKING! Sharp and driving, which is certainly no departure from songs of the past, the single hits the spot hard! Although they have not released information regarding a full length album, they are doing a brief US tour starting in May. I’d grab a ticket if they are coming to your city – without a doubt they’ll be testing out more new music on the crowds to see what packs an equal punch to “I’ll Make You See God”.
From Jenna D, host of Theme for a Tuesday
Blood Red Shoes – Ghosts on Tape
“Ghosts on Tape is a concept album of sorts, interspersed with Archive 81 style white noise and static, full of soaring tunes imbued with an unsettling pervasive atmosphere of being on the edge of…something sinister. It also proves that after nearly two decades in the game Blood Red Shoes remain a dark irresistible force.” -Under the Radar
Mitski – Laurel Hell
“‘Laurel Hell’ is a slim volume, one that relies on a roiling smear of electronic soundscape, thematically centers on uncertainty, and leaves lingering questions that strike to the core of what it means to be an artist — or a listener. Watching the arc of Mitski’s career, you might expect bombast, but ‘Laurel Hell’ instead highlights the singular insistence of self that made Mitski into the hero she became, even if it comes in the form of honest mid-tempo melancholy.” -Variety
Spoon – Lucifer on the Sofa
“It’s the best thing they’ve ever done, more than exceeding their usual quotient of fire guitars, killer choruses, and crafty rock-history updates.” -Rolling Stone
“It’s the sound of a band in peak form who are pushing to get better, go further and resist any temptation to slack off.” -Paste
From Brooke Carlson, host of Petit Dejeuner Club
Stromae – Multitude
After a long break from releasing new music, Belgian artist Stromae returns to the limelight with his third album. “Multitude” is a powerful, pulsing journey that expertly threads a needle through different sounds; electro-dance pop, hip-hop, dark funk. Though Stromae’s powerful vocal performance is all in French, you don’t need to understand the language to feel something while listening to this album. Whether you’re in the mood to groove or cry, this tracklist has something for you.
Fishbach – Avec Les Yeux
Ever have a craving for theatrical, dreamy, experimental french pop? Then do I have the album for you! French singer-songwriter Flora Fishbach’s 2022 release “Avec Les Yeux” is a stunning production, colored by her powerful alto vocals and ‘80s production style. Start with the track “Masque d’Or” and strap on those dancin’ boots.
From Asia Wagner, Music Director for Fresh Vibe
Bonobo – Fragments
True to his style, Bonobo aka Simon Green, has yet again pushed the boundaries of electronic music with his new release “Fragments”. The UK-born, LA-based producer skillfully blends the sounds of R&B, downtempo, and chill wave. The album is packed with impressive collaborators, including Jamila Woods, Kadhja Bonet, and Jordan Rakei, just to name a few. He and Rakei are touring together and will be dropping by Portland on March 24th. It is a show worth catching, as Green who travels with a full orchestra – he always delivers.
Lady Wray – Piece of Me
Lady Wray, whose full name is Nicole Monique Wray is an Atlanta-based singer and songwriter. Her sophomore album is a modern take on the classic R&B sound.
Here is how Colemine Records describes the sound: “… R&B with the textures of analog Soul, but there is a heavy Hip Hop influence that brings the sum of Nicole’s career together in a new sound that will define her future. Boom-bap drums and chunky bass lines are front-and-center creating a perfect head-nodding backdrop for Lady Wray to take on the good, the bad, the difficult, and the joyful on her most personal collection of songs to date.”
From Jonny Polivka, host of Jonny’s Playlist
MAITA – I Just Want To Be Wild For You
“I Just Want to Be Wild For You is a focused, dynamic, intimate follow-up to 2020’s Best Wishes that finds MAITA deepening their sound. Over the course of 11 tracks, the record hones in on the passion that exists within moments of extreme disconnect, crafting a sonic portrait that grows and shifts with each singular emotion.” – Kill Rock Stars
Reptaliens – Multiverse
“Their third release is a drifting, echoing journey laced with rolling hills of bass, carved by distorted guitar effects, illuminated by upbeat, snare-driven beats. Through the fog of distorted ambiance, atop the rolling green hills, are massive platforms drilling deep into the core of the Multiverse, mining copious amounts of nostalgia through the veins of mid-to-late-90s alt-rock.” – nanobot rock
Fontaines D.C. – Skinty Fia
The first two singles ‘Jackie Down The Line’ and ‘I Love You’ are a little toned down from what they are known for, but you get the hint that they are a guitar post-punk band. ‘Skinty Fia,’ which translates from Irish as “the damnation of the deer”, will be their third album, scheduled to release on April 22, 2022.
Fontaines D.C. will be playing at Revolution Hall, May 12, 2022 (link) as part of their North American tour.
From Jamie Drakos, host of NW Honky Tonk
Andy Bunn – Hickory
Andy Bunn is exploring his family’s deep roots in the Carolinas in this country-bluegrass album. Andy’s voice, with just a little grit, marries itself with the light, perfect instrumentation of violin, mandolin, guitar, and harmonica. The album is a tribute to Andy’s mother, who is living with Alzheimer’s, a disease that also claimed his uncle and grandmother. While many of the songs evoke nostalgia, there are also a few dancing jigs in there to get you moving. Honestly, the album is going to be on repeat for me for a long time. Go buy a copy – all the proceeds go to Alzheimer’s research.
The Delines – The Sea Drift
The groovy soul country sound of The Delines is going to enrapture you again in their latest album, The Sea Drift. It is a leisurely rainy evening sitting by the fire. The songs, written by local author Willy Vlautin, are compelling short stories with interesting characters. The band has included horns and strings to make an incredibly rich sound. Amy Boone’s alto voice, with just a hint of rasp, melds with the band seamlessly.