Jen Wood: Wilderness
With her first album since 2010, Jen Wood reveals a bolder, more layered sensibility. Her pretty voice shines over poppy piano riffs, anthemic guitars and smashing cymbals graced with electronica elements. The result feels like rushing forward into hope.
Best played: During last-minute food prep, final table decorations, general pre-dinner optimism
CD release party 11/15 at Barboza on Capitol Hill.
Photo credit: January Fredericks
Smokey Brights: Taste for Blood
This debut full-length album resonates with a warm, vintage rock feel that blends flickers of Pink Floyd and Death Cab for Cutie for an entirely contemporary indie sound. The overall vibe is mellow and inviting, suggesting you sit down and sink into it.
Best played: During the meal, when the strummy guitars pair perfectly with a pleasant food buzz
Photo credit: Andrew J.S.; layout by Josh Froscheiser
Perfume Genius:Too Bright
The third album from avant-garde musician Mike Hadreas has garnered praise in The New Yorker and on NPR as much for his intense, Radiohead-Portishead-PJ Harvey–ish sound as for his confidently raw lyrics. Hadreas doesn’t shy from dark, personal places—and he’s so intriguing you can’t help but follow him.
Best played: During the post-meal coma, when bellies are distended and family tensions have broken through the holiday veneer. As Hadreas sings, “I wear my body like a rotted peach/You can have it if you can handle the stink,” you will think: “Exactly.”
Photo credit: courtesy of Matador Records