Today’s tunes include a rock album that will pierce through your heart and a couple of sophomore albums, one for the better, one for the worse.---
Those who rang in the New Year with the Heartless Bastards at The State Room got a taste of Arrow, as the band played it in its entirety, intermingled with some old classics. Led by steel-piped lead singer Erika Wennerstrom, this scorching quartet does not disappoint with an album of energetic rock tunes. To read an interview with Wennerstrom about the album, and NYE, go here. And watch "Parted Ways" below.
Tennis knows just when to drop their sunny, breezy pop songs: wintertime. Following their 2011 debut, the married duo (with a bit of help), release Young and Old; it comes at just the right time. It is not the thematic sailing album from last year, and, although it does make a small stride for the band, it does little to sate the high hopes cast for this Denver-based band (unless you just wanted something to warm your winter bones).
The Phenomenal Handclap Band’s sophomore album achieves better results than Tennis’. Form & Control is a tighter, brighter effort than their self-titled debut album, fusing a futuristic soul sound with synthy new wave -- think Chromeo-meets-Rubblebucket-meets-The Juan Maclean. It’s party-ready, but if you’re looking for soulful lyrics and a depth to songwriting outside of just plain fun, look elsewhere.
Other notable albums worth mentioning are The Punch Brothers’ Who’s Feeling Young Now? and Islands’ A Sleep & A Forgetting.