Josaleigh Pollett

Josaleigh Pollett | Strangers | 3hive.com

Josaleigh Pollett | Strangers | 3hive.com

There are several albums from 2017 that have been on my list to get on the site for quite some time. Towards the top of that list is Ogden, Utah’s Josaleigh Pollett. Her latest, Strangers, is a top-notch country/folk album that showcases Pollett’s excellent songwriting, killer guitar picking and powerful vocals. Her backing band is pretty damn awesome too. Check out “Ghost” below for a taste.

Strangers is available now on vinyl or digital via Josaleigh Pollett’s Bandcamp page.

Favorite Releases of 2017 (Sam’s List)

Better late than never – my auditory loves of 2017, in rough order…

Thundercat Drunk (Brainfeeder)
Intoxicating, weird, vulnerable, and soooooo damn funky. My Album of the Year if I had to pick one.

Slowdive Slowdive (Dead Oceans)
The comeback album of our collective dreams.

Trementina 810 (Burger)
If this hadn’t been The Year of Slowdive’s Triumphant Return, I’d like to think this gorgeous offering of dreamy shoegaze from Chile’s Trementina would’ve been the talk of the town.

The xx I See You (Young Turks)
Now that producer Jamie Smith, aka Jamie xx, is getting his due as the driving force behind The xx juggernaut, I might be able to stop raving about him. But why stop now?

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings Soul of a Woman (Daptone)
What a force. What a voice. What a loss.

Big Thief Capacity (Saddle Creek)
This album has quietly slipped on to a bunch of Best of 2017 lists because it is just that: a quiet album of incredible strength.

Grandaddy Last Place (30th Century Records)
“Even still the rockers are…”

Mountain Goats Goths (Merge)
A wonderfully engaging concept/tribute album – whether you are, were, or have ever loved a goth.

Boris Dear (Sargent House)
Rumored to be a farewell letter to their fans, it’s a welcome return to the nuanced take on sludge/drone/doom metal that first lured me in almost 20 years ago.

Fazerdaze Morningside (Flying Nun)
Nearly perfect bedroom pop.

Moses Sumney Aromanticism (Jagjaguwar)
All the feels.

Molly Burch Please Be Mine (Captured Tracks)
A sparse, timeless album that allows nothing to interfere with the purity of Molly’s hypnotic voice.

Doug Tuttle Peace Potato (Trouble in Mind)
Hypnotic psych pop with enough ragged edges to keep you awake.

Homeboy Sandman Veins (Stones Throw)
Based on record sales in the “>3hive Co-op Shop, not everyone agrees – but I think he’s one of the best, most versatile MCs around.

Waxahatchee Out in the Storm (Merge)
Katie Crutchfield finds her sound and voice amidst the rubble of a failed relationship.

Honorable mentions: Iron & Wine Beast Epic [buy vinyl], Protomartyr Relatives in Descent, LCD Soundsystem american dream [buy vinyl], Destroyer ken [buy vinyl], Open Mike Eagle Brick Body Kids Still Daydream, The Courtneys II [buy vinyl], King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard Murder of the Universe [buy vinyl], Jonwayne Rap Album Two, Priests Nothing Feels Natural, Robyn Hitchcock Robyn Hitchcock [buy vinyl]

Favorite Releases of 2017 (Todd’s List)

Here are my favorite albums/EPs from 2017, in no particular order…

Monster Rally Flowering Jungle (Gold Robot)

Spotting Spotting EP (self-released/Aarght)

The Rebel Set 4 Song EP (Hidden Volume)

Ty Segall Ty Segall (Drag City)

Molly Burch Please Be Mine (Captured Tracks)

Doug Tuttle Peace Potato (Trouble In Mind)

David Bowie No Plan EP (Columbia)

FRONDS Cold Across My Skin (Gold Robot)

Jake Xerxes Fussell What In The Natural World (Paradise of Bachelors)

Lilith Apology Plant (Disposable America)

Tall Friend Safely Nobody’s (Exploding In Sound)

Oh Sees Orc (Castle Face)

Bedouine Bedouine (Spacebomb)

UV-TV Glass (Deranged)

Destroyer ken (Merge)

Mountain States Whispers (Coaster)

Kevin Morby City Music (Dead Oceans)

Otoboke Beaver Love Is Short! (Damnably)

Century Palm Meet You (Deranged)

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings Soul of a Woman (Daptone)
RIP

Slowdive Slowdive (Dead Oceans)

Open Mike Eagle Brick Body Kids Still Daydream (Mello Music)

Milo Who Told You To Think??!!?!?!?! (self-released)

Michael Nau Some Twist (Suicide Squeeze)

Thundercat Drunk (Brainfeeder)

Jack Cooper Sandgrown (Trouble In Mind)

Waxahatchee Out In The Storm (Merge)

OCS Memory of A Cut Off Head (Castle Face)

Once And Future Band Once And Future Band (Castle Face)

The Safes Tasty Waves (Hidden Volume)

The Mountain Goats

The Mountain Goats | Goths | 3hive.com

The Mountain Goats | Goths | 3hive.com
I wasn’t a fully committed goth in high school but I listened to my fair share of goth music, and sometimes dabbled awkwardly in goth fashion. The Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle – nowadays known for his storytelling skills, as a lo-fi turned hi-fi musician and awarded novelist – spent his teen years as a “goth kid”, though I reckon we shared a similar awkwardness. So when Darnielle directs an entire album’s worth of songwriting to the genre/culture, it’s because he has enough material to work with.

Whether the Sisters of Mercy-esque strains of “Rain in Soho” or their tribute to the SoM frontman himself, “Andrew Elritch Is Moving Back to Leeds”, Darnielle and company deliver each track with a clear knowledge of and empathy for its subject matter. On “Stench of the Unburied” Darnielle sings, as someone who suffered his way through SoCal summers in all black: “Outside it’s 92 degrees/And KROQ plays Siouxsie and the Banshees”. In typical Mountain Goats fashion, it’s followed by a narrator’s wink and nod: “Ice chest full of Corona and Pineapple Crush/It’ll take 20 years for the toxins to flush.” It’s this tension that makes Darnielle’s songwriting so authentic, endearing, and surprising.

Goths avoids the trappings of a concept album. Musically it wanders, however coherently, from ominous minor key anthems to loungey new wave to flute-driven baroque pop to an entire bonus record of ambient mixes “for the all-night goths who need to reply to the dawn with total darkness.” The thread remains, but Darnielle trusts his listener to figure it out in their own way.

To me, Goths is about the sometimes tragic, sometimes humorous struggle of adolescent identity (which continues to plague some adults). The search for identity often chased by self-doubt and self-consciousness gets summed up in the album’s best line, the chorus to “The Grey King and the Silver Flame Attunement”: “I’m pretty hardcore, but I’m not that hardcore.”

Even without explanation, Goths is a great album. “We Do It Different on the West Coast” – while relevant here – would fit on any Mountain Goats record, with it’s perfectly Californian brand of self-deprecating coastal pride. It’s followed by “Unicorn Tolerance” which is just plain adorable. Do yourself a favor and listen to Goths, regardless of how much black eyeliner, white foundation, red lipstick, and hair spray you have on your person.

[Buy the deluxe edition of Goths on “vampire red” vinyl with the aforementioned bonus LP of ambient mixes in the 3hive Co-op Shop, while supplies last.]

Robyn Hitchcock

Robyn Hitchcock | 3hive.com

Robyn Hitchcock | 3hive.com

I first fell for Robyn Hitchcock in the summer of 1985 when a WNUR deejay played an hour of his songs. I couldn’t put my finger on it – he was trippier than the Beatles, catchier than Syd Barrett, more poetic than Nick Lowe. All I knew is that even after an hour I wanted to hear more.

Fast forward to 2017… Hitchcock has moved native England to Nashville, but he packed his usual bag of tricks – the wry wit, familiar sneer, and psychedelic charm – all of which meld very well with partner Emma Swift’s backing vocals, the touches of pedal steel, and moments of nostalgia. It’s a fantastic album and exactly how I hoped this chapter of Hitchcock’s wandering career would begin.

[Buy Robyn Hitchcock’s self-titled album in the 3hive Co-op Shop while supplies last.]

Jake Xerxes Fussell

Jake Xerxes Fussell | What In The Natural World | 3hive

Jake Xerxes Fussell | What In The Natural World | 3hive

Singer and guitarist Jake Xerxes Fussell’s new album, What In The Natural World, is an enthralling effort of somewhat dark, somewhat humorous folk songs that parallel themselves quite accurately with the nation’s current quandary. Give one of my favorite songs of the year (so far) “Have You Ever Seen Peaches Growing On A Sweet Potato Vine?” (below) a spin.

What In The Natural World is a solid album from start to finish. I highly suggest adding this to your collection – which we can help you with – just jump on over to our Co-op shop and get yourself a copy, at a dang good price too!


Niilo Smeds

Niilo Smeds | Once You Were A Baby | 3hive.com

Niilo Smeds | Once You Were A Baby | 3hive.com

Former Dim Peaks member, Niilo Smeds’ recently released new album Once You Were A Baby is a lo-fi, country-like album of finger-plucked ballads and haunting instrumentals that are definitely worth your time . Check out “Marker of Days” and “Toward A More Thorough Rejection” below.

[Snag Niilo Smeds’ Once You Were A Baby on shiny black vinyl in the 3hive Co-op Shop, while supplies last.]

Tall Tall Trees

Tall Tall Trees | Freedays | 3hive.com

Tall Tall Trees | Freedays | 3hive.com
To record his third album as Tall Tall Trees, Mike Savino packed up and left NYC to be the sole caretaker of an abandoned retreat deep in the national forests of northern Georgia. So it essentially became a solo (meaning, isolated) effort. As you’d guess, his surroundings inspired a certain sound. Yet, while there is plenty of introspection in the lyrics, Savino’s music is by no means quiet. In fact, it’s a dynamic blend of masterful banjo, soaring vocals, and effects wizardry.

[Buy Freedays on pristine white vinyl in the 3hive Co-op Shop. While supplies last.]

Molly Burch

Molly Burch | Please Be Mine | 3hive.com

Molly Burch’s debut LP, Please Be Mine, is an early favorite of mine for album of the year. It’s 10 tracks of reverb-soaked, country-psych twang, along with Burch’s strong, smoky vocals, sets the bar high for the rest of 2017’s releases.

Please Be Mine is available now via Captured Tracks. Please give album standouts “Downhearted” and “Try” a spin (below). You will be glad that you did. Enjoy.

[We have Please Be Mine on vinyl – in the 3hive Co-op Shop, while supplies last.]

Molly Burch FB

Hand Habits

Hand Habits | Wildly Idle (Humble Before The Void) | 3hive.com

Meg Duffy, aka Hand Habits, is known for her work with Mega Bog and as part of the Kevin Morby Band. Now the singer/multi-instrumentalist has ventured into a solo career releasing her self-produced debut, Wildly Idle (Humble Before The Void), with Woodsist Records.

Wildly Idle is an intimate, lo-fi affair. It’s easy to hear that great care was given to its production. Give the standout, slow burner “All The While” (below) a spin, it’s a great taste of Duffy’s skills and one of my favorite songs of the year so far.

Wildly Idle is available February 10 via Woodsist. I highly recommend it.

Hand Habits “All The While” from Wildly Idle (Humble Before The Void) (2017)