I won’t sugarcoat it — it’s not been a great week. Virginia’s politics taking a hard right turn sends an ominous signal to those living both inside and outside the commonwealth, and only time will reveal the cost and implications. I will say that working on this post has lifted spirits significantly, as there’s so much wonderful music made here, whether by Virginians or by those stopping to perform on their way through. There’s a little of both below, and I hope you find something that helps you end your week on a positive note. As a reminder, it’s Bandcamp Friday, so your dollars go directly to the labels and artists who made this music possible.
Tonstartssbandht — Petunia
Before Tuesday the week was going great! I got to see these folks at Richmond Music Hall on Monday night, and I left feeling so grateful that they came to town. It’s a true you-need-to-see-it-to-believe-it situation, given all the sound and intricacy Tonstartssbandht is able to achieve with a lineup of two. I’m posting Petunia here, since it’s their latest LP, but I left the show with multiple Tonstartssbandht albums in tow, and would recommending exploring all the nooks and crannies of their Bandcamp page. I certainly plan to.
Any new DJ Harrison release is always reason to celebrate, but Tales from the Old Dominion will be the omni-talented Richmonder’s second full-length for Stone’s Throw Records, giving this one an added sense of anticipation.
Selfish side note: Did anyone see if there’s going to be vinyl for Tales from the Old Dominion? The Stone’s Throw site says “SOLD OUT,” but it’s hard to tell what had been for sale. All the more reason to pre-order digitally via Bandcamp today!
DJ Harrison isn’t the only multi-faceted member of Butcher Brown with an exciting new LP on the horizon. Tennishu’s latest, entitled Three Sides, is due out 11/19 on Subflora Records (formerly American Paradox). I’ll have lots more to share on this one soon, hopefully, but for now, enjoy the outstanding second single, “Ngoni.”
Spacebomb House Band, Sinkane — “Happy Together“
Sinkane is now part of two Spacebomb serials: the “Alive at Spacebomb Studios” series (I spin Gettin’ Weird regularly, and you should too) and now the collaborative singles series in which the Spacebomb House Band enlists guest vocalists when covering classic songs. Given how great Gettin’ Weird turned out, it’s a thrill to hear more from this well-suited partnership, and this take on the Turtles’ “So Happy Together” is yet another reason to be happy Sinkane and Spacebomb got together.
Abby Huston — AH HA
If you haven’t had a chance yet, I hope you’ll take a few minutes and check out my RVA Magazine interview with Abby Huston. AH HA may be the album I’ve spun most often in 2021, and I consider myself so fortunate to have been able to speak with Huston about their path in music so far, and how this dynamic collection of R&B-leaning indie pop songs made its way out into the world. I know it’s November, but there’s still time for this to be your own Most-Spun-in-2021.
Speaking of Abby Huston, I started that RVA Magazine article off by describing a video in which three bandmates of Huston’s perform inside a second-story room while Huston strums and sings outside on the roof. (It’s such a cool video. Check it out here.) Those three bandmates — brothers Alec and Ryan Gary and Nathanael Clark — are also three quarters of soul/jazz/R&B group E 33rd, which released a self-titled debut EP a few weeks back. It’s stunning all the way through, with excellent vocals throughout from Sydney Murray, but I couldn’t resist highlighting “Side of Your Face,” on which the brilliant Benét is featured. And did I mention Abby Huston is credited with a lyrical co-write on four of the seven songs, “Side of Your Face” included? And did I mention that Benét is also featured on the Huston song I embedded in the last section?!? I’m now realizing that this post has turned into a musical version of the meme where Spidermen are pointing at each other.
Other releases on my radar today:
Bradford Thomas — Healthy Shenanigans
Christian Lee Hutson — “Strawberry Lemonade”
Dogwood Tales — Too Hard To Tell (new pressing on snazzy translucent gold/orange wax!)
Pelt — Reticence / Resistance (some silver vinyl copes available!)
Elkhorn — The Golden Lag
Jonathan Rado — PEACHPLANETHOLLYWOOD
The Mountain Goats — The Jordan Lake Sessions: Volumes 3 and 4