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Sunday, October 4, 2020

Fresh tracks from Dawes, Fleet Foxes, Lauren Mann, Bastille, Bully added to our big mix

Dawes: Still Feel Like a Kid

With its updated take on 70's California folk-rock and its thoughtful lyrics, this band fits neatly into our mix. We'll be playing various tracks from their new, seventh LP, Good Luck With Whatever. As puts it, lead singer/songwriter Taylor Goldsmith "is in an anxious mood ... writ[ing] candidly about growing older and finding ways to retain a sense of identity in an increasingly complicated and troubling world." This song is one of the most light-hearted on the album, and we can relate to the idea of never really feeling like a grown-up. 

Fleet Foxes: Can I Believe You

The first couple of albums by this Seattle folk/rock band were filled with sweet vocal harmonies. They branched out into more complex (and less radio-friendly) music on their third album, Crack-Up. Their new release, Shore, combines some of that album's "more experimental elements [with] the brightness found on preceding albums," the Associated Press wrote. For this track, singer/songwriter Robin Pecknold wanted a swelling chorus of voices. Unable to assemble singers amid social distancing, AP reports, "he reached out to fans on Instagram to gather the vocals. The track features hundreds of voices who answered his call."

Lauren Mann: Dear Forever

From California and Seattle we move farther up the Pacific Coast to British Columbia's Gulf Islands, home to this singer-songwriter who captured our attention four years ago with her third album, Dearestly. She describes this track from her new collection, Memory & Desire, as "a song for those moments in a relationship when you start asking questions and wondering if the future really is forever." The album is billed as Mann's "most honest and vulnerable, chronicling ... the ending of a marriage, the rediscovery of self, and the exploration of love, community, and meaning."  

Bastille: Survivin'

The South London group headed by Dan Smith continues turning out music at a rapid pace. They followed last year's Doom Days LP with this summer's single "What You Gonna Do???" and are back with another that pushes their sound in a different direction. This one is less edgy, more of groovy shuffle. We could do without the touches of auto-tune but love the saxophone breaks. The song features yet another lyric that was written pre-Covid but takes on new resonance. Says Smith: "At the start of lockdown I felt very self-conscious about having written a song that felt relevant when it wasn’t intended to be, but then I also think 2020 is the year we all stopped pretending everything’s fine.” 

Bully: Where To Start

Needing a dose of high-energy rock to round out our New Music bin, we turn back a few months to catch up with Sugaregg, the third album by Nashville-based Alicia Bognanno, a.k.a. Bully. Stereogum called it "pretty much the platonic ideal of a rock song as a pop song, right down to its exactly three-minute runtime." Since the 2017 LP Losing, Bognanno has parted with her former bandmates and turned Bully into a solo project, while working for the first time with outside producers.

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