Since 2014’s “Bury Me At Makeout Creek,” Brooklyn-based Mitski has been on top of the indie rock world. The record, named after an obscure Simpsons reference, was incredibly personal, relatable and successful. Last June, I saw Mitski with low-fi compatriots Elvis Depressedly and Eskimeaux. I was struck by the intensity in her vocal performance, guitar work and onstage demeanor. Over the last year, Mitski has toured around the United States and written new material. Her new record, “Puberty 2,” is a stunning release focused on personal insecurities and growing up in America.
Mitski’s work draws obvious comparisons to Alex G, Waxahatchee and The Mountain Goats, but the singer-songwriter gives an idiosyncratic edge to all of her compositions. “Bury Me At Makeout Creek” felt wild and uneasy, but it’s nothing compared to “Puberty 2.” The new record twists and turns – the listener never knows when a pop hook will turn into an unexpected blast of feedback.
The track “Once More to See You” fits an anxious melody with a shimmering synth-bed to create a totally eerie composition. “Your Best American Girl” starts out as an acoustic guitar ballad but quickly veers into an incredible wall of sound reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine or Slowdive. The record’s lyrics center around phrases of uncertainty: “My Body’s Made of Crushed Little Stars” repeats the line “I’m not doing anything” over and over. This record is for college kids and young adults, because it encapsulates our shared sense of dread for the future. If you already love Mitski, “Puberty 2” will be a welcome surprise. It doesn’t feel as intimate as previous releases, but it still carries that signature Mitski charm. We’ll be spinning it heavily on Radio 1190 for the next couple weeks.
Weirdo-punk supergroup Male Gaze have just released their rad new record “King Leer.” “King Leer” is their first proper full-length for Castle Face records, and it rips just like a Castle Face release should. The first thing you’ll notice is Matt Jones’ prominent baritone vocals. An alum of punk rock group Blasted Canyons, Jones’ voice sounds very similar to Joy Division’s Ian Curtis. Mark Kaiser from Mayyors and Adam Cimino from The Mall complete the three-piece and push Male Gaze to a path of ultimate destruction.
If you’ve heard Male Gaze before, you might expect a torrent of overdriven guitar and buried vocals. “King Leer” changes the formula. A little closer to pop, the new release contrasts explosions of guitar with broody verses and singable choruses. “King Leer” is something your mom can stomach and will amp up your punk-lovin’ dad. Check it out this week on Radio 1190.
Ryan Adams, Bob Dylan, Charles Bradley. Pieces of these artists can all be heard on Daniel Romano‘s new record “Mosey.” An accomplished leatherworker, Romano brings his handcrafted ethos to his brand of Americana.
“Mosey” is clearly country-inspired. “I Had To Hide Your Poem In A Song” puts its winding guitar solo front and center. There are other elements on the record as well — “Valerie Leon” has a kickass horn section reminiscent of Menahan Street Band, while “Hunger Is A Dream You Die In” reminds me of The Rolling Stones. “Mosey” strikes closest to Bob Dylan’s “Blood On The Tracks,” as both records deal with relationships and loss in a country-western context. Check out tracks “Valerie Leon,” “Toulouse” and “The Collector,” and check out Daniel Romano’s “Mosey” on Radio 1190 KVCU.
Jarocki is Radio 1190’s music director. Read more reviews: coloradodaily.com/columnists