Top Moon Tunes 2019 Volume 9

A month and a bit on from Volume 8 here is Volume 9 of the monthlyish Top Moon Tunes.

It is one of the most rock n roll, but also one of the most Top Pop of the year and is the most Trumpyland dominated, with 14 tracks and just two from (not quite yet) Brexshit Blighty.

It is 16 tracks on Spotify but 15 on Playmoss as Starcrawler are not on Bandcamp and on Ubend only via Vevo. Therefore, I have embedded No More Pennies below the Playmoss version.

As ever, there is a bit of guff on each artist beneath the embedded video.

1. Chelsea Wolfe - Deranged for Rock & Roll

This is from the 7th LP from this Californian artist I have only recently come across thanks to the AV Club.  This new LP is rather reminiscent of the recent Marissa Nadler LP with Stephen Brodsky and the most recent Emma Ruth Rundle LP. Her back catalogue apparently varies between acoustic folk to black metal and this LP leans towards her folksier side but of the more Gothic variety.

2. Seratones -  Power

Wikipedia describe this Louisiana band as "soul rock" but this track is one of the Top Pop tunes of the year and it is from the album of last month on The Moon. It is their second LP and one that has not been rushed out since their debut from 2016. Every track is Top Pop, but is also varied with soul with soul, Quincy Jones inspired pop, some fantastic rock n roll  guitar and Beatle-esque melodies.

3. David Woodcock

Mr Woodcock is from Essex in the heart of (not yet) Brexshit Blighty and is a previous Moon offender and I described him as an "amalgamation of many of the finest elements of a particularly southern English take on rock n' roll encompassing The Kinks, The Specials, Madness, Paul Weller and Blur." Now I would also add quite a big dose of  The North's Jarvis Cocker -  in terms of his voice and his brilliant lyrics. This second LP does not have quite the instant impact of his debut but if given a bit of time it will have a longer lasting impression.

4. Beeef - I'm So Sorry

This is another artist brought to my attention by the excellent Station Breaks post from the NPR Music Blog

They are band from Boston USA and this track is from their second LP and features vocals from Sidney Gish - another Bostonian artist.

5. Esther Rose - Sex and Magic

This is a magical slice of old skool Americana brought to my attention by Folk Radio UK (FRUK). Mis Rose is from Michigan USA but is now New Orleans based. This track is just one of many highlights from her excellent second LP.

6. Sacred Paws  - Almost it

This is another artist brought to my attention by the Finest Kiss mid year list of notable albums

They are a band from Glasgow and London UK with vocals from Rachel Aggs who also manages to be the vocalist and guitarist in Shopping and Trash Kit. This track is one of the Top Pop moments of the year and as the Finest Kiss puts it, the album is "a perfect mix of indie jangle and afro-pop rhythm".

7. Ohtis - Runnin

This is yet another example of some top Americana being brought to my attention by FRUK. They are from a town called Normal in Illinois and this track is described on their Spotify bio as "a fitting introduction to songwriter Sam Swinson's autobiographical journey through indoctrination and addiction; an endlessly inviting confession from his past battles with substance abuse, and the religious demons lingering from his upbringing in a fundamentalist evangelical cult."

8. Queen of Jeans - Get Lost

This is a Philadelphia USA based band and their new album was recommended by both the AV Club and NPR music. This is the opening track and just one of many highlights from a top second album dealing with "homophobia to depression to grief."

9. The Paranoyds  - Carnage Bargain

The Paranoyds were my new discovery of the month back in June on Top Moon Tunes 2019 Volume 5. Now they have released their debut album and it thankfully does  not include many of their pre released tracks, but does maintain the standard of the single and EP releases and so a playlist of all 16 tracks released is brilliant. This track well represents their more default punk style with top 60's organ, but the non LP track Trade Our Sins, as featured on Volume 5, remains one of the Top Pop moments of the year.

10. Black Belt Eagle Scout  - My Heart Dreams

This artist first appeared on The Moon back on Top Moon Tunes 2018 Volume 10 with this description:

"Black Belt Eagle Scout is the incarnation of Katherine Paul who was raised in the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community in northeast Washington state, Trumpyland, but is now Portland based."

She has now released her second LP and although nothing quite reaches the heights of  the previously featured Soft Stud , it is a more consistently very good and with a sound just as atmospheric and gorgeous.

11. French Vanilla - How Am I Not Myself?

This is another example of a hard to categorise USA artist being brought to my attention by the excellent NPR Music feed. The are from the apparently vibrant LA indie scene and this track is from their second LP which is described in their Spotify bio as "refining their angular, no-wave sonance into a powerfully melodic and disciplined dance party".

12. Wilco -  Hold Me Anyway

It has been a few years since we have had a new album form the multiple Moon offending Wilco, but it has not felt it due to the release of the prolific Jeff Tweedy's solo material in-between. Their cultural influence across the pond has also been marked by a recent Uncut magazine cover CD of Wilco covers by some of the finest and most pioneering current rock n roll artists and many who are Moon offenders. The new album is most like A Ghost Is Born and like that album it is one that needs a bit of attention to fully reveal itself, but is very much worth it. Also, as with A Ghost is Born, Mr Tweedy can't totally masque his McCartney-like knack for a great melody - as is well illustrated by this track.

13. Olivia Jean - Night Owl

This is Ms Jean's Spotify profile which brilliantly says all I want to say and more:

"Olivia Jean, Detroit born n’ bred, current resident of Nashville, TN, first staked her flag with the gothic garage rock upstarts The Black Belles in 2010 and quickly set herself apart from the pack, performing as a side musician to a varied group of stylistically diverse musicians on a variety of instruments, culminating with her debut solo release Bathtub Love Killings in 2014.

Bathtub Love Killings was produced by Jack White with Olivia Jean composing and playing every instrument on the album. The album was an exciting and concise statement with a controlled vision of where rock n roll can go in these modern pop dominated times. Her latest, Night Owl, takes this vision even further by placing Olivia behind the control desk in the role of producer. Surf guitar, 60s Girl Group harmonies, and punk commingle into a collection of songs depicting heartache, revenge, guilt, and frustration — It’s 'Bubblegum Garage' at its best."

14. Starcrawler - No More Pennies (Spotify only)

This is a cracking track from this very young LA USA based band. I was aware of their debut but it did not quite float my boat but, the first pre releases and subsequent releases for their second LP did, with a more produced and robust rock n roll  sound. This is one of the last pre-release from a fine LP, which brings to mind the best bits of Dinosaur Jr and The Replacements.  Sadly it only features on the Spotify version of the playlist as it is not on Bandcamp and on Youtube only via Vevo.

15. Big Thief -  Not Yet

Big Thief have previously appeared twice on The Moon on A Best of 2016 and 2017. This is from their second LP of the year, but as with the lead singers Adrianne Lenker's solo LP it did not manage to float my boat, possibly because I was not able to give it enough time. This new LP has not been as quite critically acclaimed as the first, but it is much more of a band record - as well illustrated by this cracking track.

16. Angel Olsen - Chance

Ms Olsen first appeared on The Moon back in 2014 and in 2016 she got her very own Moon post with one of the albums of that year. This follow up is another step change into bigger and longer songs full of orchestration This closing track as a prime example and a One for Dame Shirley Bassey. Some critics have said the LP goes on a bit, and it was my initial impression, but then I accidentally listened to it in shuffle mode and it began to very much float my boat and it also highlights how fantastic her voice is.


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