As part of my resolution to write more, I’ve set up some specific intervals to write about particular passions. The first of these is a weekly look at new music based on Friday’s new releases.
As an initial aside, I really miss the weekly Tuesday release that was prominent in the days of physical media. There was something nice about the regular not-quite-midweek gift of new tunes (and video, and games, etc.).
The way I tend to listen to music, perhaps because of the old schedule, is to heavy up om my newer picks earlier in the week and favorite mixes on the weekend. So the Friday drops have tended to languish a few days in my queue.
For this first entry, I’ll also note that my tastes are fairly eclectic; and that I use several different tools to keep up with the latest releases. Increasingly, just the “For You” tab on Apple Music (my preferred service) is enough, catching 90% of what I’m seeking. (The algorithm has gotten significantly better just in the past month. I supplement with the app MusicHarbor, and a weekly newsletter from AllMusic.
So with that prelude, this week’s picks:
This was the big find of the week for me. Moses was an underappreciated funk guitarist and soul singer. These are mostly soul covers of pop hits, with lots of groove and hammond organ.
I’m a sucker for female-fronted punk acts, and this debut from an Australian group wears its influences on its sleeves. It might even be derivative enough to merit a Greta Van Fleet-esque diss, but it passed my drive-around-town-headbang test.
“Gospel Slide Guitar” is a bona fide, albeit very specific genre. Think Robert Randolph doing all Gospel tunes. The Lee Boys are among the best, and I always prefer the live performance.
If you read anything, you know that the Elton John biopic Rocket Man launches this weekend and that the inevitable soundtrack includes very little Elton John. Instead, Taron Egerton gets his method actor on by singing the songs himself. He acquits himself decently, but without any revelations that would do anything but send you back to the source material. The one new song of Egerton and John dueting is fairly cringe-worthy, so instead, go back to my favorite Elton live disc:
And one rando from shuffle in my massive library. (Each week I’ll literally hit shuffle on my full library and highlight the first song that comes up.):
Aretha takes on the Nina Simone classic, in inimitable Gospel style, in the title track from her 1972 album. And to tie it back to the weekly releases, believe it or not, Elton John once covered this track with a not-terrible-save-for-the-whiteness version: