8/28/20: Widowspeak, Kelly Lee Owens, Triathalon, and more

Welcome to the August 28th edition of First Listen Friday!

Widowspeak released their fifth album Plum this today, out via Captured Tracks (the label also released Becca Mancari’s latest album which I recommended back in June). The band consists of singer-songwriter Molly Hamilton and guitarist Robert Earl Thomas and their music is influenced by 90’s dream pop and 60’s psychedelia among other things. I definitely enjoyed the arrangements and the warm, laid-back vibe on this album that is so en vogue these days but it doesn’t fall into the trap of sounding like everything else going for that sound. The stand-out tracks on here for me were “The Good Ones”, “Money” (really loving this track especially), and “Even True Love”.

Kelly Lee Owens released her new LP Inner Song today. It follows 2017’s Kelly Lee Owens, her excellent debut. This new album should cement her as one of the most deservedly celebrated electronic music producers and artists going right now. This album feels practically tailored to my interests, it opens with an instrumental cover of Radiohead’s “Arpeggi”, brings atmospheric textured techno (on “Melt!”), an excellent electronic pop ballad with “L.I.N.E.” and has one of the best album closers I’ve heard this year with “Wake-Up” which may be my favorite track on the album, Kelly’s voice really shines on this one and the strings and swirling synths seal the deal. Definitely check this one out.

Triathalon released their new EP SLEEP CYCLE which arrives via Dead Oceans as part of the larger Secretly group of labels “Friends Of” series, the series is meant to be a set of releases “from an array of artists who may otherwise operate outside of the Secretly roster, but have now joined the group’s creative community in ways uniquely suited to the current moment”. This EP lands somewhere between lo-fi indie pop and a beat tape and the 7 tracks go by quickly at 14 minutes but it’s a rewarding listen. Favorite tracks were “GARDEN 2” and “YOU”.

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Kansas City-based Shy Boys released an infectious new single from their forthcoming full-length Talk Loud which will arrive on September 25th via Polyvinyl.

Jason Lytle released a reworking of a track from 2000’s The Sophtware Slump. It’s part of a project that will see the entire album remade titled The Sopthware Slump…..on a wooden piano which will come out on November 20th of this year.

Tim Heidecker released another single from his next LP Fear of Death. Great piano-driven tune featuring Weyes Blood.

Guitarist/composer Adam Ratner released an excellent single “Into The Wave” today. Really love the guitar on this track, looking forward to hearing more from this project.

Boiler Room is streaming a performance from Yaeji performing her new mixtape What We Drew and is raising funds for funds during the show which will go directly to The Bail Project.

That’s it for this week, here’s the Spotify playlist of selections from this edition. I hope you enjoy the new tunes!