You have an array of choices for in-person shows these days, but sometimes you just want to sit down with a good record. Our authors have nine new tracks to recommend from musicians across the Music City spectrum. Add them to your playlist for that road trip you’re planning or get a physical copy from your favorite record store. Or put them on your wishlist for #BandcampFriday, the promotion in which the platform forgoes its reduction in artist fees on the first Friday of the month – the next installment of which is July 2.

Also check out our previous lists for even more recommendations:


Sara Bug, Sara bug (Egg hunt)

Everything there is to love about indie rocker Sara Bug’s self-titled debut album – her Dolly-esque chirp, heartbreak-haunted razor-sharp lyrics, lush, layered guitars, and warm percussion – which got me going. impresses the most, it is his perseverance to create in the face of discomfort and self-doubt. The Mississippi-born, Louisiana-raised musician who describes herself as “the world’s best Southern kitsch artist,” moved to Nashville in 2013 with the Music City Dreams of Success textbook. Shortly after arriving, idealism faded and self-awareness took hold. In an article for FrontView Magazine, she described the intricacies of creating in Nashville to reporter Margaret Farrell: “Sometimes it’s hard to do your job and your thing in a real way without feeling super judged, or feeling if you’re not at one. certain level, your art doesn’t. It doesn’t matter. But after seven years of writing and recording, she has a beautiful album – I dare say perfect – in her hands. JACQUELINE ZEISLOFT

D’Wynter Cold, I love you later (Spirits of the Capitol)

You may have heard D’Wynter Cold – whose name is one of the best in local music – bring his rich and varied voice to local hip-hop and R&B releases. His new five-track EP brings this moving instrument to the fore in a collection of R&B songs that examine how relationships evolve, sometimes resulting in a natural ending. Sounds good as it is, but as an added bonus, several of the tracks (especially “All the Feels”) are prime candidates for a mind-blowing dance remix. STEPHEN TRAGESER

Yellowish, Thought cloud (self-published)

There’s a team of six local indie-punk-metal musicians that counts Shibby Poole as their common thread, and they’ve had a huge year. Metal trio Yautja gained hard-earned recognition with their breakthrough LP The sheer on Relapse Records, and the hardcore quartet Thirdface joined the Exploding in Sound label with their raw but complex sound Do it with a smile. Sallow’s Thought cloud is the sullest, slowest, and – heard in the right headspace – the best of the three. Last year the Scene preview Thought cloud with a premiere of the flagship track “Claw”, but you can now purchase the entire album through Bandcamp. The long-overdue record is powerful, angry, melodic, catchy, beautiful, expertly crafted and – should I continue? OKAY. There is an Unwound-style knottiness in the intuitive bass-drums-guitar interaction, an Albini-esque rawness in the brutal separation between the instruments of the recording and the bittersweet voice of Maddy Madeira, compared by a client of Bandcamp to Shirley Manson of Garbage. Some synonyms for “sallow” are “pale” or “weak”. Thought cloud is the opposite of that. CHARLIE ZAILLIAN

Dave Jacques, What was I thinking! (Henola sound recordings)

Nashville sidemen’s solo recordings tend to be somewhat trivial matters, but bassist Dave Jacques isn’t. What was I thinking! Jacques, whose credits include a 25-year stint with John Prine, explores the intersection of soundtrack, blues and rock music throughout the album, and the results are as interesting as anything. on, say, Charlie McCoy’s 1977 album. Country kitchen or Jerry Kennedy’s From Nashville to Soulsville from 1965. Like those legendary session cats, Jacques is a versatile and imaginative musician. What was I thinking! finds Jacques playing all instruments, and his take on Booker T. & the MG’s style, the original “West Memphis Blue”, is as effective as his pastiche of surf music, “Sunrise Surf”. The only thing Jacques doesn’t do is sing, but his music satisfies without the distraction of the lyrics. EDD INJURED

Bren Joy, 1920s (Deluxe) (Warner Bros.)

I’m very excited for the possibility of a massive show featuring a lineup dubbed New Kings of R&B of Nashville. I’d love to see Houston Kendrick, R.LUM.R, Bryant Taylorr, and Pink $ weats on the same bill. Without a doubt, Bren Joy is part of it too. In the spring, Joy released a deluxe edition of her record-breaking 2019 Around twenty with a bunch of great singles released in the meantime. “Freezing,” a bouncy jam on preparing to face challenges in a relationship and “Lil Rich,” a meditation on the tension between loving beautiful things and knowing that money can change a person, are just some of the thoughtful additions to the original version that make the deluxe version a must-have. STEPHEN TRAGESER

Stream or buy 1920s (Deluxe) via this handy link.

Altered statesman, Four easy pieces (Searching)

Every time they record, the Steve Poulton-led ringing group presents themselves a little differently, although you can still expect the result to push the boundaries set in soul and R&B. Their latest EP Four easy pieces brings dubby and trip-hop sound elements into the mix – comparisons to Portishead are not inaccurate in this case, although we music journalists tend to overdo them. As always, the sound comes to support Poulton’s tales, which examine how we could make our world a better place by focusing on being better towards each other. STEPHEN TRAGESER

Visit Spotify or Apple Music to stream or buy Four easy pieces.

Bill DeMain, Vaudeville (Tin panda)

Pop singer-songwriter Bill DeMain, who many know thanks to beloved duo Swan Dive, has a nostalgic new EP called Vaudeville it is a delicious diversion in these difficult times. There are six originals and a Harry Nilsson cover that give vaudeville, swing and jug & jive a thumbs up. DeMain’s voice has never sounded more relaxed and confident – he even does a little scat on the opening, “Everything Old Is New Again”. He is backed by a number of renowned Nashville musicians including multi-instrumentalist Jim Hoke. Hoke appears on every track, playing bass and a variety of woods and brass, and he contributes swinging and whimsical arrangements that perfectly complement the romantic optimism of the material. Famous jazz pianist Larry Goldings contributes piano on the closest “Shut-Ins”; DeMain dreamed that he wrote the song with his friend Goldings, then he did. DARYL SANDERS

Rachel Baiman, Cycles (Signature sound recordings)

Part of the music on singer-songwriter Rachel Baiman Cycles owes a debt to a widespread idea of ​​country music, but Baiman’s voice is purely pop-folk, with the emphasis on pop. Thematically, Cycles fits as a classic faith-based singer-songwriter, right down to how Baiman sings the joys of “chasing every penny” in the record’s most striking track, “Joke’s on Me”. Sometimes the folk-country-pop accompaniment seems a bit too stylized, but Cycles, which was recorded in Australia, manages to combine what I call Indie Rock Lite with Joni Mitchell-style chord changes. Check out “The Distance”, which suggests that Baiman listened to Pavement with The hiss of summer lawns. It is a painful, carefully crafted and often beautiful record. EDD INJURED

Roadblock, Roadblock (self-published)

As one wise observer recently pointed out, various projects that include Nathan Vasquez – whom you know from the big August punks Be Your Own Pet – deserve a lot more attention. Among those musical endeavors is Roadblock, a currently inactive team whose hook-laden triple guitar attack and fierce rhythm section make them look a bit like Dinosaur Jr. from White light / white heat-ère Velvet Underground. Roadblock compiles bittersweet songs about confusion and frustration recorded between 2013 and 2019. If nothing else, get it for the gnarly, cheerful opus “Animal Alley”. STEPHEN TRAGESER



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