In a new series, resident music nerd Taylor will be recommending 5 new albums each week that are absolutely worth your time. Probably. Okay, let’s be honest, music taste is very subjective. Nevertheless, here are 5 albums you may or may not love or hate, or mildly like or dislike, and everything in between.
Jeff Tweedy – Warm
The first solo effort from Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy was a collection of acoustic, solo covers of songs he has written, ranging from his days in Wilco and side project Loose Fur. His second solo album is his first collection of original songs. Like his longtime indie band, Warm features country and rock influences in a very unique manner, emphasizing lyricism and thoughtful composition.
Releasing alongside the album is a memoir about Tweedy’s longtime battle with opioids and chronic migraines. As the co-inventor of an entire music genre, alt-country, and musician of nearly 25 years, Warm is a wonderful record that allows Tweedy to shine in a new way without abandoning the charm of Wilco.
Earl Sweatshirt – Some Rap Songs
Earl Sweatshirt was a member of the rap outfit Odd Future before venturing off on his own, much like fellow standout members Tyler, The Creator, and Frank Ocean. His other solo albums have been triumphs in retrospective rapping and uncovering some of the darker sides of the rap star lifestyle.
After disappearing for some time, his new album has been teased for a few weeks and the anticipation is met with an album that is equally unexpected and a huge step forward. For a late November release, Earl Sweatshirt may have the rap album of the year here.
Ex:Re – self-titled
Ex:Re is the work of Daughter front-woman Elena Torna. Known for her stripped-down style of indie rock and very eclectic songwriting, Ex:Re is set to be a project in which Torna can explore some more of her favorite themes: loneliness, love, and being afraid of the unknown.
For an artist with such a quiet approach to music, Torna’s music always packs a punch. Look for Ex:Re to be a favorite for those looking to fight the winter months with some urgency and anxiousness. If you haven’t explored Daughter’s catalog, use this as a time to catch up as well. Same goes with Wilco for that matter.
The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships
The 1975 aren’t afraid of abstract album titles, as told by their second album, I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It. This third album’s title is a bit shorter, but much more complete, packing a punch that makes political commentary seem hip. Frontman Matty Healy is a favorite of younger audiences and indie rock fans alike, making this a unique band.
With a large fan base and increasingly great music every time around, the 1975 are a band that outshines expectations consistently. These are catchy songs, and they also mean something. That’s not easy to do.
Rainer Maria – Look Now Look Again
In 1997, Rainer Maria officially became the first active band on the Polyvinyl roster with the release of their debut full-length, Past Worn Searching. All five of their Polyvinyl albums have been remastered and reissued now on 180-gram vinyl, meaning you can revisit this underrated emo punk group.
Look Now Look Again is a great place to start with the group. The band is a bit more punk than Polyvinyl darlings American Football, but still just as emotionally uneasy. Their second album was a great step forward in a career that is grossly underrepresented in conversations about indie rock and emo influencing the greater alternative scene.
(Editors Note: All links are affiliate. Some albums are explicit and not suitable for children.)