This week sees music from some classic Ones To Watch favorites including Spoon and Jenny Lewis, with forthcoming releases from Chapel Hill’s Spider Bags and a new beach-pop record to turn your attention to.
Jenny Lewis - The Voyager
The Rilo Kiley and Postal Service frontwoman has spent a considerable amount of time making her new album; six years have passed since we last heard from her as a solo artist. In that time, she’s embarked on a reunion tour (with the Postal Service), struck up a musical project - Jenny and Johnny - with her boyfriend Jonathan Rice, and said goodbye to a parent. For a Gen X baby who came of age in the ’80s, experiencing such milestones in the last half decade create a considerable amount of things to talk about. Lewis explores all this in her wryly honest way, her musicianship holding hands with Buddy Holly, Neko Case, and The Shins: out of place in any decade, and that’s about one of the best things we’ve heard all year.
Spoon - They Want My Soul
Britt Daniel has taken a momentary break from Divine Fits to record a new Spoon record, They Want My Soul, out on August 5. Like Lewis, the last we heard from Spoon was in 2010. On the heels of their weird new video for “Inside Out,” which premiered exactly a week ago, you can advance stream They Want My Soul on iTunes now.
Alvvays - Alvvays
Beachy, lo-fi guitar pop that’s not a painstaking carbon copy of Best Coast? Toronto-based quintet Alvvays delivers this up in their debut self-titled record which you can stream on Spotify here. While the members were each involved in individual musical projects prior to forming Alvvays, including a Canadian pop-folk family act, the band found its new sound in the sleeper hits of Peter, Bjorn, and John. This Indie-folk-inspired talent is surely on the rise.
Spider Bags - Frozen Letter
The noisiest upcoming release comes, not surprisingly, from Merge Records (Arcade Fire, Neutral Milk Hotel) artist Spider Bags with their debut release Frozen Letter. Touting the frenetic energy of a punk rock band beneath a fuzzy veil of harmless cobwebs, frontman Dan Magee, formerly of DC Snipers, unleashes garage party dance anthems with the unparalleled glee of a recently liberated delinquent. Hear their album via First Listen on NPR.