“Is This How You Feel?” — The Preatures
After generating some buzz in their home country of Australia, The Preatures have thrown their hat into the ring of new music this week with their debut album, “Blue Planet Eyes.” With some production help from Spoon’s Jim Eno, “Is This How You Feel?” shows that the members of this quintet are already masters of crafting irresistibly catchy, punchy guitar pop evocative of Haim and The Strokes.
“Wow” — Prince Feat. 3rdEyeGirl
The artist formerly and still known as Prince is back after a successful legal battle with Warner Bros. Records with not one, but two new albums. “Wow” is the first track off of “PlectrumElectrum,” the second of those records, a collaborative effort that features the all-girl trio 3rdEyeGirl. This tune finds Prince channeling his classic blend of rock-meets-funk swagger into a tight jam that closes with a face-melting guitar solo, as if to remind listeners just how good he is at playing the guitar.
“Millions” — Gerard Way
The cover art and title of Gerard Way’s new solo album, “Hesitant Alien,” seem like a sly nod to the glam rock of David Bowie; an artistic admission of Way’s obsessions with an art-punk tradition far older than he. While the former My Chemical Romance frontman does channel Bowie’s interstellar swagger on “Millions,” the dirty emo pomp of this track feels firmly original and should be comforting for fans of Way’s earlier work. This mixture of the new and old makes “Hesitant Alien” a vibrant triumph for one of emo music’s founding fathers.
“Wondering How” — Pieta Brown
“Wondering How” is a delicate canvas of a song, displaying the raw power of Pieta Brown’s organic and graceful voice. Accompanied by smoky lines of electric guitar and warm production, every syllable of Brown’s lyrics carry weight thanks to her grainy delivery. For the student craving a stress-free studying soundtrack, Pieta Brown’s new album, “Paradise Outlaw,” is highly recommended. Modern folk music doesn’t get much more stunning than this.
“Urban Soul” — The Commonwealth
“I need a new urban soul!” cries Andrew Kuhar, voice desperate for recognition in the murky fog of this track’s production. Released on Cleveland’s own Cellar Door Records, “Urban Soul” is The Commonwealth’s latest album; a record hell-bent on proving that Cleveland still rocks. The trio will be performing live at the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern’s free concert “On The Road Again,” a celebrating of the completed road construction in the Waterloo Arts District. Doors open at 7 p.m. this Saturday, and The Commonwealth are on at midnight.
Retro Pick of the Week:
“Can You Travel in the Dark Alone”— Gandalf
Trailblazers in the genre of baroque-psychedelic space pop, Gandalf are one of the late-60s strangest groups, but also one of the most enjoyable. “Can You Travel in the Dark Alone” is the best original song in their limited body of work; a sunny piece of Beatle-esque pop, at least until the unsettling whirs of the chorus hit and instantly transport the listener to another world. For understanding the origins of psychedelia, Gandalf are a necessary stepping-stone in the musical patchwork of the ‘60s.
Teddy Eisenberg is a third year programmer at WRUW-FM 91.1 Cleveland. He hosts The ’59 Sound, an exploration of rock music, every Thursday morning from 8-10 a.m. and co-hosts the variety talk show Max and Teddy in the Morning at Night (Sometimes) on Mondays from 5-6 p.m. The crackle of vinyl warms him on cold Cleveland nights.