Jay Reatard definitely has his roots in some pretty mean punk rock, but these days there’s a bit more melody and a little less aggression. That’s fine with me. His older stuff certainly is more angry, but his most recent LP “Watch Me Fall”, which dropped only a few weeks ago, is a pleasant change of pace for an artist I had already enjoyed. “Ain’t Gonna Save Me” is probably the best track on the album and I’m sure is the most raucous live.
I discovered Langhorne Slim by chance last year opening for about 4 other bands ahead of him. The last year I’m guessing has gone fairly well for him as he’ll be releasing his new LP, “Be Set Free”, tomorrow to some decent expectations. I’ll be sure to pick it up when it drops, but in the mean time this is a good time to give a listen to his other work. His loftier songs don’t usually do much for me, but his aggressive neo-folk songs are fantastic. “Rebel Side of Heaven” is a great track and if you get a chance to see him live, hope he plays “Honeypie.”
Sufjan Stevens has essentially reached the pinnacle of indie music. Following the release of “Illinoise” (which if you haven’t listened to yet…exchange currency now, it will make your ear) he has carte blanche to do whatever the hell he wants and it will be called genius. This time he was commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music to create a movie and arrangement inspired by the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. It’s entirely instrumental, which may or may not be your deal, but it really shows how great of a composer he is and the ocean sized gap in talent between him and some of his contemporaries. Check here for all the details, but if nothing else get your life together and listen to Illinoise.