3 new Louisville albums to listen to on repeat

giant dunesAt Echo Lake

Throughout his career, singer-songwriter Joe Manning has crafted some beautiful, thoughtful songs, such as Giant Dunes, his latest musical work featuring a host of talented musicians. Every track on At Echo Lake is carefully paced, equal parts Neil Young and The For Carnation, never rushing to go anywhere in particular; the trip is absolutely the point. As such, At Echo Lake is an exquisite album, whether it manifests itself through an austere vocal passage, an instrumentation reduced to the essentials or an elegant sax solo. Manning’s vocal delivery is as comforting as it is confident as he carries you through his storytelling. On the dreamy “Utrillo,” Manning transports the listener with the lines, “And the spoil goes to those who can augur the signs of thousands caught in the wing / And look through the snow on the road on the line trailing, where the tangent is lost on the string. The only real issue on the album – and this one is very minor – is that I wish the vocals could pop into the mix a bit to better showcase Manning’s wonderful performance. Still, it’s a pleasure to listen to and rewards repeat listening.

Air Chrysalis miniature comet

There’s an ease to being part of Air Chrysalis with careful attention to detail and a rigorous practice routine, the kind that makes the challenge simple. With miniature comet, the duo deliver an ethereal pop masterpiece reminiscent of heavy indie bands like Air or Beach House filtered by Ennio Morricone. Pointing to eight songs, miniature comet has the soul of Boards of Canada, hazy and heavy with groove, but with an incredible pop sensibility. These songs are catchy and will absolutely take root in your mind, a collection of earworms that invite you to revisit again and again. Compositionally, songs like “In This Starlight” highlight their wonderful use of harmonic tension, between bass and drum groove, guitar/synth work and vocals, which carve out all their own niche. It’s a wonderful album that, even on the coldest winter days, will brighten and complete your day.

Satellite Twin – Routines

It’s been a while since Satellite Twin graced our speakers. At Routines the trio rebounds, drawing on their post-punk origins for a dense, stimulating, yet familiar sound. Beginning with the fiery “A Pale Light”, the band establishes a refreshed tone, a bright and bold direction that has its roots in bands like Fugazi and melodically dense bands like Hum. Vocalist Scott Boone plays with the form somewhat, harmonizing with himself for an almost choral effect. In contrast, songs like “Evil” or “I Don’t Suppose” evoke disparate comparisons like Springsteen or Neil Young. However, the album seems completely coherent, any change of direction not signaling a departure, but the retreat of the influences relating to any seasoned act.

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