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Album of the Week: Gracie Abrams – The Secret of Us

Apple Music described these as “clear-eyed modern love songs”- an appropriate description for this clean melodic collection. The Telegraph said that “The Secret of Us marks her move into a more anthemic sound – one that sounds remarkably Swiftian, ready to be blasted out in larger venues.” Its incredible that she sat on an excellent song like “Close To You” for seven years! OK there is nothing revolutionary here but if you like good melodic indie-pop this is a very satisfying collection.

New Zealand Net Radio plays a song from our irregularly updated #albumoftheweek every hour from 9am to 12pm. Listen in @tunein at http://tun.in/sfAtE or on the web player.

Album of the Week: Hockey Dad – Rebuild Repeat

Staying ‘down under’ for our Album of the Week we venture to Australia for Indie Pop band Hockey Dad and their new fourth album. As Rolling Stone say this is more solid ‘festival ready’ Rock from the band, but they’ve broadened their sonic signature here. Drummer Billy Fleming told Apple Music:

OK, let’s peel back a few layers and actually understand what we’re doing here and what songs we want to write. Let the songs write themselves . . . if it’s a delicate song, let it be delicate”

https://music.apple.com/nz/album/rebuild-repeat/1729451774

They’ve done that here with songs like the beautiful “Dancing On The Other Hand”. An excellent ‘no skips’ album.

New Zealand Net Radio plays a song from our irregularly updated #albumoftheweek every hour from 9am to 12pm. Listen in @tunein at http://tun.in/sfAtE or on the web player.

Album of the Week: Mel Parsons – Sabotage

Kiwi artist Mel Parsons is back with a stunningly beautiful collection of folk rock tracks on her sixth album. Radio New Zealand evokes well the sadness in this album in their review, but that said this isn’t a morose album. As Rolling Stone say this is a “tight, fat-free collection of her trademark alt-country and indie folk, featuring some of her best songwriting to date”.

New Zealand Net Radio plays a song from our irregularly updated #albumoftheweek every hour from 9am to 12pm. Listen in @tunein at http://tun.in/sfAtE or on the web player.

Album of the Week: Cage the Elephant – Neon Pill

Since their last album in 2019 Cage the Elephant have been through tough times. Brothers Brad and Matt Shultz lost their Dad and other challenges have tested them. Neon Pill isn’t a sad exploration of tough times but rather triumphant, a celebration of music’s healing power. As AllMusic say the band “once again cannily synthesizes a variety of alt-rock eras, marrying a neo-garage rock bounce with washes of psychedelia, punctuating the proceedings with new wave flair and the occasional earnest ballad”.

New Zealand Net Radio plays a song from our irregularly updated #albumoftheweek every hour from 9am to 12pm. Listen in @tunein at http://tun.in/sfAtE or on the web player.

Album of the Week: Angus & Julia Stone – Cape Forestier

The Stones are back – the talented Australian sibling duo that is! With Fleetwood Mac vibes this is a rich and highly enjoyable mix of Fleetwood Mac-ish AOR. Quite retro sounding the songs are catchy and satisfying on their fifth album. Coming back together after several years of solo projects, Angus told Rolling Stone “There’s an authenticity to having that time away and discovering what it is you’re looking for when you write a song,” Angus reflects. “That “coming home” feeling is what this recording represents for us – heading back to the garage and recording in the living room. We want to bring people into that space, which is what the tour has been set up to be.”

AllMusic summed it up: “While not for cynics, Cape Forestier should well please longtime fans and romantics alike.”

New Zealand Net Radio plays a song from our irregularly updated #albumoftheweek every hour from 9am to 12pm. Listen in @tunein at http://tun.in/sfAtE or on the web player.

Album of the Week: Sia – Reasonable Woman

No, this isn’t gentle singer-songwriter or edgy Indie. Sometimes you just need some quality singalong pop and this week we’re highlighting the return of a master of the form. Aussie Sia hasn’t produced a full-length original album since 2016 (focusing on one-off soundtrack contributions and her interesting Music soundtrack, all of which we enjoyed) but she’s back on form here. We can’t say it better than AllMusic: “Oversized singalong anthems and addictive dance cuts share space as she does her thing: focused, hardened, and hungry, she balances bleeding vulnerability with an intense drive to prove herself once again as one of the premier songwriters and inimitable vocalists of her generation.” Love the Kylie and Labrynth colabs!

New Zealand Net Radio plays a song from our irregularly updated #albumoftheweek every hour from 9am to 12pm. Listen in @tunein at http://tun.in/sfAtE or on the web player.

Album of the Week: Iron & Wine – Light Verse

Sam Beam of Iron & Wine found lockdown hard, and it took him three years to kickstart his musical creativity. Light Verse, the first album since 2019 is a playful and positive album – he has exorcised any demons and produced a light and open set of songs overlaid with his majestic voice. AllMusic said “in the end Light Verse turns out to be one of the most enjoyable, varied, and well-crafted of the band’s records”. We’d have to agree! Highlight track: “All in Good Time”, a collaboration with Fiona Apple.

New Zealand Net Radio plays a song from our irregularly updated #albumoftheweek every hour from 9am to 12pm. Listen in @tunein at http://tun.in/sfAtE or on the web player.

Album of the Week: Pearl Jam – Dark Matter

Rock, Rock’n’Roll, we love it and play lots of it here (amongst lots of other genre). There are two sub genre exceptions – Heavy metal not at all, and to a lesser extent grunge. Although there are definitely songs we enjoy grunge didn’t really grab us back in the 1990s and never quite has. Perhaps its age but we really enjoyed the last Foo Fighters album and this latest work from Pearl Jam is excellent. Thirty years on and its pretty neat that when Eddie Vedder got excited making solo music with Andrew Watt he called his bandmates and this album is the product. In his AllMusic review Stephen Erlewine describes how Watt has the band playing to their strengths and summoning much of their 1990s sound but with a cleaner sound, “highlighting their empathetic interplay by pushing melodies and hooks to the forefront.”

New Zealand Net Radio plays a song from our irregularly updated #albumoftheweek every hour from 9am to 12pm. Listen in @tunein at http://tun.in/sfAtE or on the web player.

A Plethora of Albums

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We’ve been treated to a real plethora of excellent albums over the past couple of weeks including:

  • Mark Knopfler – One Deep River
  • Maggie Rogers – Don’t Forget Me
  • The Black Keys – Ohio Players
  • X Ambassadors – Townie
  • Conan Gray – Found Heaven
  • Vampire Weekend – Only God Was Above Us
  • Benson Boone – Beautiful Things

What have we missed?

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Album of the Week: Maggie Rogers – Don’t Forget Me

New Zealand Net Radio plays a song from our irregularly updated #albumoftheweek every hour from 9am to 12pm. Listen in @tunein at http://tun.in/sfAtE or on the web player.

Such a talented lady. Breakout single (“Alaska”) in 2016 then two splendid albums (both past Albums of the Week) Heard It In A Past Life (2019) and Surrender (2022) whilst also knocking out a Masters degree. This is another superb album – great tunes, singing and variety of instrumentation ranging from Indie catnip like “So Sick of Dreaming” to the beautiful bare title track closing the album. But don’t trust us – read the excellent AllMusic review and backgrounder then enjoy the songs!