I know I”m waaaaaay late with this one. Frances Quinlan, formerly of the band Hop Along (who in 2018 gave us the absolutely brilliant album Bark Your Head Off, Dog, available here), released her second solo album in January of this year. But it’s taken me this long to digest it.
Likewise is weighty. All meat, no filler. It starts with the complicated, word-heavy Piltdown Man, and then launches into “Your Reply,” which seems at first to be a gentle, catchy single–but the opening bars read, “Somebody wrote “tender” in the novel’s margins/As if to remind about a precious force/In the next paragraph, the protagonist/Sat down on the belly of a dead horse.” What is going on here? Deeply poetic, musically deceptive, constantly surprising–this is an album that can’t be listened to casually. It pushes boundaries, forces the listener to think, and it’s amazing.
RIYL: Fiona Apple’s 2020 “Bolt Cutters” release. It’s going to be hard at the end of the year to decide which of these is the better album overall.
Next, Phoebe Bridgers, who can do no wrong in the ears of indie music writers, and whose songs are consistently fascinating, has another great album out.
Finally, Tee Grizzley dropped another great album a while back–a mixtape. Tee is consistently producing excellent rap. One of the best doing it today.