The holiday season is usually a graveyard for new music, unless you like the same seven Christmas songs lazily rehashed by 100 different artists. I personally don’t. I didn’t even plan on making a list of December, but here we are. Check out these great albums released last month.
Steve Sobs – Open Spaces
This is a cool record. Open Spaces shifts masterfully between mesmerizing and upbeat bedroom pop like “The Undergound” and “Nights Out” to songs like the borderline sinister “Empty Streets”, which is what I imagine plays in the waiting room of Satan’s dentist office. Bottom line, Open Spaces is all about blending expansive sounds to create the sensation of open spaces (reverb helps) and, like most bedroom bandcamp projects, it’s about doing a lot with a little. In this it succeeds tremendously.
You’ll like this if you like: Fog Lake and Alex G
Best song: “The Underground”
Blah Blah Blah – This is for the Time
These veterans of ballroom-rock hailing from Chicago dropped this 12 track treat on New Year’s Eve. This is for the Time is 29 minutes of romantic, soulful guitar rock fit to make a NME columnist change his pants.
You’ll like this is if you like: The Smiths, Ski Lodge, and Cut Off Your Hands
Best song: “I’ve Been So Down”
Holy Wave – The Evil has Landed pt II
Holy Wave’s third effort is equal parts psychedelic, lo-fi, and noisy pop goodness. It’s also 100% worth a listen.
You’ll like this if you like: Chastity Belt and Cloud Nothings
Best song: “Hood Dreams”
Plastic Flowers – Summer of 1992
A pretty straightforward dream pop EP. It’s five songs, all of which are solid. You can tell they’ve really cleaned up their sound from their 2014 debut LP Evergreen, for better or for worse, and laid off the synth a bit in favor of jangle-y slacker guitar riffs.
You’ll like this if you like: Ducktails, Keep Shelly in Athens, and Widowspeak
Best song: “Cloudy Wastelands”
The Walters – Young Men
I’m going to keep this short because I’ve been preaching about The Walters since before I had this blog and even I’m getting tired of it, but these guys are going to be huge. This follow-up EP just further proves my point. Their self-styled cardigan rock is universal in its charm and if their motivated enough, they’ll break through to the inner circle of beloved, indie starlets by the end of 2016.
You’ll like this if you like: Good Morning and Alex Bleeker & The Freaks (first album only)
Best song: “City Blues”
Other great albums from December
Emily Yacina – Soft Stuff
Florist – Holdly
Olivier Heim – A Different Life
Archy Marshall – A New Place to Drown