Steven Hyden’s Favourite Music Of September 2021

Each month, Uproxx cultural critic Steven Hyden makes an unranked checklist of his favourite music-related gadgets — songs, albums, books, movies, you identify it — of the month.

1. Low, “All Evening”

Possible my favourite track of the yr, and it comes from probably my favourite album of the yr. Low has been a well-respected indie establishment shepherded by the husband-and-wife workforce of Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker for almost three a long time, however they’re now making the best music of their lives. I can’t consider one other legacy act who has pulled off a metamorphosis so unimaginable at this level of their profession. As producer B.J. Burton put it to me in an interview printed this week, “Alan and Mim have this vibe that they write these songs from heaven.” After which they tasked Burton to take them into hell. If this isn’t within the trailer for the following Safdie Brothers film, any individual tousled.

2. David Bowie’s “Life On Mars?” within the Licorice Pizza trailer

Talking of trailers, there was some grumbling on-line about utilizing this Hunky Dory basic within the completely charming teaser for the brand new Paul Thomas Anderson film. “Too apparent!” the social media critics railed. I’m a agency believer that we’re all entitled to our personal opinions. Nevertheless, within the case of the Licorice Pizza trailer, I’ll simply say this: If you happen to watched that figuring out PTA’s historical past of by no means being apparent or predictable in his precise movies — commercials are a distinct story, in fact — and you continue to determined to do the knee-jerk killjoy act, I’m sorry, however your opinion-having privileges have been quickly suspended.

3. Aeon Station, “Queens”

Again in January, I interviewed Charles Bissell of legendary New Jersey indie band the Wrens. On the time, it appeared that their lengthy, loooooong awaited follow-up to the 2003 masterpiece The Meadowlands would possibly lastly see launch this yr. Flash ahead 9 months and — shock, shock! — there’s no new Wrens album. However there will likely be a brand new file from the opposite principal songwriter within the Wrens, Kevin Whelan, within the type of splinter act, Aeon Station, which can launch Observatory in December. However what about Bissell? In our interview, he was optimistic about placing out the music … finally? “I believe this file will come out and I’m pleased with it, I believe,” he mentioned. “It’s fairly good, I believe.” Fingers crossed!

4. Tonstartssbandht, “What Has Occurred”

This Florida-based duo — it’s pronounced “Tone-starts-band-hut,” by the way in which — has been extremely prolific since forming in 2008, placing out a whopping 17 data. However the forthcoming Petunia is their first since 2017, and it looks like a possible breakthrough, with the superb new single “What Has Occurred” sounding like a jammier Radiohead throughout their Hail To The Thief period.

5. Andy Shauf, Wilds

Once I spoke with this understated, story-oriented singer-songwriter in 2020, he revealed that he wrote 50 songs for The Neon Skyline, his idea album a couple of neighborhood bar and the patrons who drink there. He mentioned it was a part of a course of during which he slowly pieced collectively an over-arching story. “I’d write a batch the place one principal level has to occur, after which write 4 songs in that course, after which be like, ‘Oh, that’s horrible,’” he mentioned. “Then these songs are scrapped and I’ve to put in writing 4 extra.” 9 of these leftover songs ended up on Wilds, a shock companion LP that works surprisingly properly exterior of The Neon Skyline regardless of revisiting the identical characters. It helps that Schauf is as expert at producing gloriously retro instrumental tones as he’s at spinning evocative narratives.

6. The Warfare On Medication, “I Don’t Dwell Right here Anymore”

One in all my favourite songs on the forthcoming Warfare On Medication album, which can also be titled I Don’t Dwell Right here Anymore. If I had been a nitpicker, I’d level out that it’s actually onerous to bounce to “Desolation Row.” However I’m not a nitpicker relating to this track, most likely as a result of the “Shelter From The Storm” subtweet at first completely disarms me.

7. Karen Dalton: In My Personal Time

A strikingly stunning folks singer with an uncommon, otherworldly blues voice that’s been likened to Billie Vacation, Karen Dalton is exactly the form of hard-luck musician who appeared predestined for cult obscurity. A up to date of Bob Dylan within the Greenwich Village folks scene of the early Sixties, Dalton launched simply two studio albums, 1969’s It’s So Onerous To Inform Who’s Going To Love You The Greatest and 1971’s In My Personal Time, earlier than substance abuse issues torpedoed her profession. In 1993, she died from an AIDS-related sickness. She was solely 55. Since then, her music has grow to be a touchstone for youthful generations of indie-folk artists like Joanna Newsom and Devandra Banhart. However she stays largely unknown, with out the mainstream publicity that made Nick Drake a posthumous star. Hopefully, this documentary (which premieres Friday) will assist to rectify that. A part of the thriller of Dalton is that there’s so little video footage of her, however In My Personal Time crucially helps to fill in a few of these gaps. Even for those who already know and love Dalton’s music, the movie will really feel like a recent introduction.

8. Pastor T.L. Barrett And The Youth For Christ Choir, I Shall Put on A Crown

Listening to Karen Dalton inevitably sends the thoughts and spirit down some darkish corridors. So, I like to recommend taking part in this wondrous five-LP field set as a chaser. Barrett and choir — made up completely of youngsters — initially launched the rousing Like A Ship … in 1971, although it wasn’t extensively heard till the important reissue label Mild In The Attic put it out in 2010. It achieved a measure of notoriety when Kanye West sampled a track on The Life Of Pablo, however a lot of the pop gospel gems on I Shall Put on A Crown stay ripe for discovery. Using brilliant, jazzy piano chords, splashy horns, and funky guitar towards a refrain of life-affirming voices, that is merely among the sunniest and uplifting music you’ll put on this yr. Assured to place any and all listeners in a great temper.

9. Silverbacks, “Put on My Medals”

There’s been no scarcity of talky post-punk bands to emerge from Europe in recent times. However Eire’s personal Silverbacks leaven the same old components — spiky guitars, dead-eyed vocals, chaotic rhythms — with bursts of sunny, ’60s-style guitar pop melody. You possibly can hear this on the profitable new single “Put on My Medals.”

10. The New Gang Of Youths Album That Hasn’t Come Out But

Earlier this month, I chatted with Dave Le’aupepe of the nice Australian band Gang Of Youths about their long-in-the-works follow-up to 2017’s masterful Go Farther In Lightness. Based mostly on some tracks that Dave shared with me, it feels like an early AOTY candidate for 2022. Within the meantime, the track “Unison” from the latest Complete Serene EP is an effective trace on the epic within the works.

11. Donald Fagen, The Nightfly: Dwell

There are two Steely Dan-related stay albums that dropped this month — the best hits-oriented Northeast Hall: Steely Dan Dwell! and this revisiting of Fagen’s 1982 debut. In reality, they’re each Fagen solo data, during which the 73-year-old is backed by disgustingly expert gamers. It’s simply that Northeast Hall sticks with the model. Not that I’m complaining — I’m in fact an unrepentant Dan-head so I dig each albums. Although it’s nonetheless a bit bizarre to me to listen to a Steely Dan file with out the opposite half of Steely Dan, Walter Becker, who handed away in 2017. Apparently it’s bizarre for Fagen, too, in line with this wonderful interview printed this month: “I used to be used to attempting to maintain issues afloat. Although the truth that he merely isn’t there may be form of scary. However in a means he’s at all times there. He’s in my physique, we’ve been collectively for thus lengthy, he’s like my brother, you recognize.” Gulp.

Some artists lined listed here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an unbiased subsidiary of Warner Music Group.

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