This time of year is truly special — the leaves turn, the days shorten, and the air becomes brisk and bracing.
In my first few months as Radio 1190’s music director, my co-music director Lydia and I have heard lots of exciting, unique albums, many of which I keep in mind as we head deeper and deeper into the fall months. Here are three albums that I hope will pique your interest as much as they did mine.
The first one on my mind is (Sandy) Alex G’s new album House of Sugar, and I’m sure I’m not alone — many of us at 1190 have been excitedly talking about it. Alex G’s music is strangely spellbinding; his densely packed, guitar-led recordings often use unorthodox elements to convey feelings of despair, desperation and yearning. The Philadelphia singer-songwriter’s new album might just be his best, too. Songs like “Gretel” and “Hope” are heartwrenchingly raw and full, while the album’s middle section has a more experimental, psychedelic tone. You can catch (Sandy) Alex G live at the Marquis Theater in Denver on Nov. 6.
One of the more unusual records we’ve been playing a lot is the new release from Welsh musician Cate Le Bon, Reward. This one is deceptively normal-sounding. Don’t let the medium tempos, clear mixes, and consistent grooves fool you, though; lurking beneath is an exhilaratingly weird album. Le Bon uses layered lines of guitars to create smooth, strange rhythmic worlds — when you throw in bursts of saxophone and Le Bon’s own playful vocals, you get an album of music that manages to be really weird and straight-up catchy at the same time. Perfect music for early fall mornings.
Finally, I can’t think about our favorite fall music without shouting out Peaer, one of the best new rock bands I’ve heard this year. Their new album A Healthy Earth is thick with surprises: one second you’re listening to the unpredictable full-band shredder “Circles,” the next you’re hearing “Ollie,” an adorable little love song written from a dog’s perspective towards his owner. The Brooklyn-based band combine their affinity for unique riffs and uncommon time signatures with earnest lyrics that address large-scale topics without feeling impersonal. Peaer are the newest exciting band representing indie rock’s new wave.
If you’ve been looking for some new music, I hope these three brilliantly unique albums do the trick for you. You can always tune in at 1190 AM, 98.9 FM, or online at radio1190.org to hear more exciting independent music, new and old. Happy fall from all of us at Radio 1190 — stay warm and thanks for listening!