My Five Favorite Albums Released in February 2023

 My Five Favorite Albums that I listened to which were released in February 2023 (in no particular order)

Brainorchestra. "It Means A Lot"

I've been a longtime listener of Brainorchestra and watched as the albums went from being released on cassette to being released on vinyl.  These are still some of the most chill and intense beats out there.   Brainorchestra has a style of creating hip hop that not everyone else does because not everyone else can.  

What's perhaps even the most fun part of this album is that after the initial eight songs with lyrics, they come back as instrumentals.   This reminds me of what Hand'Solo Records does, how the Side A of a cassette is the songs with vocals then Side B is instrumental.  I assume the vinyl is split that way but regardless this is quickly becoming one of my favorite albums ever.  

Laure Briard "Ne pas trop rester bleue" (Midnight Special Records)

The music of Laure Briard is somewhat psychedelic, but it also reminds me at times of the type of music my parents would listen to when rollerskating was popular.   Somewhat like The Polyphonic Spree, there are group efforts (such as on "Magical Cowboy") and with horns at times this can even be jazz, yet a little bit funky.

With smooth soul, there is perhaps no sound or genre that Laure Briard doesn't look to reshape.   This album feels like it has enough of variety to pull you in with one of the sounds on at least one of the songs, but the way that this entire album is pulled together like a rollercoaster ride is what will keep you sticking around.  

Best Fern "Earth Then Air" (Youngbloods)

At some point, the best way to define the sound of Best Fern is as electronic folk.  There are definitely electronics which you can hear within from the start, but there is also this overall looming feeling like this is Simon & Garfunkel or something in a similar folk sense.   Big harmonies bring about minimal glitching sounds at times as well.

A song such as "Moon On Your Back" can be trippy like we're in space, yet at the same time bring out this ambient way about it.   Wind chimes tones also make their way into the mix.   Big strings kick off the song "See Me" while "Do You Want Me" has big strings.   This can feel slow and plotting, yet so intense it cannot be ignored.  

Tennis "Pollen"

Tennis has always been one of those artists who is pleasant to listen to so there's never really anything to dislike about them but they don't always stand out in their music either.  With "Pollen" that has changed, for me at least, as the song "Hotel Valet" just takes this album and Tennis in general to places I've never quite heard before.

Upbeat pop rock with synths, on the "Pollen Song" it is rather dreamy as well.  There is this looming feeling of this sounding like No Doubt ("Return Of Saturn" era specifically) and while I hear that throughout it is especially clear near the end of "Never Been Wrong".  As someone who is allergic to pollen, this is one version of "Pollen" I can send directly to my ears.

MF Tomlinson "We Are Still Wild Horses"

The songs of MF Tomlinson are definitely under the genre of folk.   They can feel like spoken word, but that might also just be because the lyrics can also feel like storytelling.  Big strings and swirls, it can really open up and become operatic before the horns come out on "Winter Time Blues".  There are also some vibes of The X-Files.   Folk piano takes over on "End of the Road" and the first three songs are the same length combined as the fourth and final song.

So if you were to listen to this on record it would likely be the first three songs together on Side A and then the final song by itself on Side B, which also happens to be the titular track.  I also really enjoy the fourth song because it has big pianos as well as a magical flute ride.   This might not be particularly trippy as far as music goes, but it definitely is a trip and I enjoy that ever so much.  


Popular Posts