Two weeks ago I posted my Spotify Wrap with my most-listened to songs and artists, filled with a lot of new-to-me music. This week, my YouTube music wrap was released, filled with Alice in Chains.
While Spotify is what I use for new music, I mostly use YouTube to listen to my favorite artists. This year, some of my favorite artists were busy.
In this week’s music update (every Saturday morning First Pitch), I’ll highlight the recent works of some of my favorite artists, along with some stuff I’ve got in the queue.
The Killers – Pressure Machine
This is one of the best albums by The Killers in years, and might be one of their best overall. The interviews before the tracks add a haunting feel to this small town concept album. A collaboration with Phoebe Bridgers on the song “Runaway Horses” was unexpected, and very appreciated. I was disappointed that the vinyl edition removed the interviews and sketches, as they add a deeper layer to the music. The music is still strong on its own.
Kings of Leon – When You See Yourself
This is another band with their best work in years. I loved the “WALLS” album, and didn’t hate “Mechanical Bull” before that. The newest album digs back deeper into their history, going for a sound and feel that is more aligned with their “Only By the Night” success from 2009. The title track “When You See Yourself, Are You Far Away?” is a coming of age song. I love the explosiveness and the energy from “A Wave” and “Time in Disguise” is a classic KoL sound.
John Mayer – Sob Rock
I am basically a John Mayer variant, living in the same timeline and universe as the guitar guru. Therefore, it was guaranteed I was getting this album. I was a bit disappointed that I had already heard six of the songs on the album by the time it was released. It’s got an 80s pop feel, which will be appealing to fans of Clapton, Duran Duran, and others of that era. “New Light” is my favorite on the album, though it was released a few years before the album. My favorite of the newer songs has been “Carry Me Away”. I’m glad to have a new John Mayer album, but unlike the previous two artists, this one doesn’t match his previous work.
CHVRCHES – Screen Violence
I love the synth-pop sound from CHVRCHES, and this newest album is just another great addition to their collection. Highlighted by a single with Robert Smith of The Cure, titled “How Not to Drown”, this album had me hyped from the beginning. The song “Violent Delights” is a perfect song to rock out to and just let your mood dissipate. The song “Final Girl” is classic CHVRCHES angst rock, with momentum building through the whole song through the chorus and almost sounding like you’re listening to a movie.
Saving For 2022
There are a few favorites that I didn’t get a chance to listen to as often this year. Bleachers released an album called “Taking the Sadness Out of Saturday Night” which has the single “Chinatown” with Bruce Springsteen. So far that song, and the title track are all I’ve heard from this album, but I’ll definitely be listening to it at some point.
AJR released a new album called OK Orchestra. I think Neotheater is my favorite album by them, but this new one had that classic AJR sound. It also followed an OK trend this year. Weezer released an album called “OK Human” which I heard was pretty solid.
The other favorite artist I haven’t listened to yet is Hayley Williams, who released “Flowers For Vases” to follow up last year’s solo album “Petals For Armor.” The Paramore lead singer has been switching to a slightly different sound as a solo artist. I’ve yet to listen to the new album because I’m still going through the old album.