Joan As Police Woman - The Classic
The band Joan as Police Woman has struck gold with their latest album, The Classic, released April 1. It seems front woman Joan Wasser has shed the skins of melancholy of her past albums, revealing underneath a stunning joie de vivre. Opening with fast-tempo, novel melodies in "Witness" and "Holy City," the palpably innovative album also manages to be, as its name suggests, classic, featuring elements of Motown and soul. Not to mention the classical instruments she throws in for good measure—such as the violin solo she broke out during the song "Get Direct" to loud applause at her May 6 show at Rough Trade in Brooklyn—among the many instruments she plays in addition to singing.
We might have seen glimpses of this new joyful sound coming in past albums, most noticeably with "The Magic" (The Deep Field, 2011) with lyrics that exclaimed, "I'm looking for the magic. . . . / I'm looking for the alchemy to release me from the maze I am making myself." As it turns out, Joan didn't need to manufacture gold; she had natural gold buried underneath all along. It seems she found the magic, and, now, with this latest release, we're invited to join her celebration. Grab the album now on Amazon or iTunes. —Mary Rose Somarriba
JohnnySwim - Diamonds
It’s refreshing to see a happily married couple conjoin their passion for music and create something so raw, real, and incredibly talented. JohnnySwim, composed of Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano, is a firecracker folk and pop-rock duo whose album Diamonds released April 29. Their brutal honesty and lack of reservation are channeled into Abner’s powerful and pure vocals, Amanda’s strong yet soothing voice, folky guitar chords, and heart-palpitating drum lines.
And honest music is what JohnnySwim is all about. At their April 22 show at Rockwood Music Hall, the duo paused before they sang each song to tell the story of how the song came to fruition. For example, the track “Diamonds” was created out of the negativity the two experienced getting to where they are now. Their vigorous chemistry on stage added a completely personal element to their already de-privatized music. Grab the album now on Amazon or iTunes. —Allison Baughman
The Flight - The Sinner Inside EP
The melancholy production duo The Flight are back, and they sound better than ever. Last year The Flight wooed us with their Hangman EP, which was beautiful, ominous, and moderately dark. This time, they’re back with the gorgeously menacing vocals of Alana Stewart, and the tracks are haunting, pure, and completely stunning. The EP is an amalgamation of lugubriously pretty violin strings, light hearted bells, heart wrenching synths, and painfully raw lyrics. An excellent production on all accounts, the EP is available now for pre-order, and available for purchase next week on May 12. —Allison Baughman