“Empty City” – Dan Casey It snowed for the first time this season on Tuesday morning, surprising everyone the same way it does every year. I also listened to this album for the first time Tuesday. I hate to simplify through comparison, but Dan Casey hits you as a more centered, Kurt Vile type. But while Vile wanders, Casey stays with the path he has meticulously set out for you, composing his songs in such a way that it feels like a gentle hand, perfect for walking through or looking out at a thick, slow falling snow.
If You Like: Real Estate, the changing of seasons
“All Bad” – Justin Bieber
For all you long time readers (lol), I generally review entire albums or EPs in this column. But on Sunday, Justin Bieber released a new single as an installment of his weekly single release program he has going on as he tours South America. Some of them have been good (“Recovery”) and some of them have been really mediocre (“Bad Day,” though it’s not the worst song ever recorded with this title). J Beebs shows an actual moment of honesty and vulnerability, something that I at least have never really seen in him before. Granted, it’s still the vulnerability of someone who’s a sociopath in ways that only an insanely popular, ridiculously wealthy nineteen-year-old can be. But you can’t deny it’s interesting.
If You Like: J Beebz 2.0, sad pop stars
“Slow Dance In The Cosmos” – Porches
This album came out in August, but it was the only other album I listened to this week that I really liked that I hadn’t written about before. I saw one of the members of this band’s solo act, Frankie Cosmos, at SUNY Purchase a few months ago and since then had heard Porches’ name in different places and heard a song or two here and there. Sitting down with this album, though, brings you the specific kind of contentment that only comes with hearing something totally new. Porches is equipped with excellent writing (the painfully honest narrative of “Headsgiving” being cut with an equally honest amount of goofiness is one of the best songs I’ve heard in a long time) with an ability to craft low-profile melodies couched in slouching guitars and pleating vocals.
If You Like: Pavement, but you’re tired of listening to Pavement