It's hard to believe that June is coming so soon. On the festival of vinyl records - Record Store Day, everything is as usual but fast as eating a sandwich; everyone is blown away by the new tour in the middle of the year, the music list added, the star album commercial submerged.
Music is a much-needed solace and a cooling ice cube in today's vinyl boom, so here's Angels Horn® - Top 3 Records from the Favorite "Record Store Day."
（Partial reference to "Spotify"）
# Angel Olsen: Big Time
The singer's highly anticipated follow-up to All Mirrors delivers devastating, urgent triumphs of self-acceptanceOn Big Time, Angel Olsen Bares Her Solemn Country Heart
In promotional spots for Big Time, Olsen has claimed the album is both “not a country record” and “not NOT a country record.” Regardless, it sounds Western, akin to the romanticization of cowpokes kissing each other sweetly while roaming endless deserts with nothing but an unreachable horizon before them—which is, maybe, the sound that has always lived beneath the soaring breadth of her previous compositions. Parts of Big Time come across like skeletal remains of All Mirrors, but they never feel like demos or unrealized works. “Ghost On,” specifically, is one of those tendrils, as the song meditates on healing and growth in a failing relationship. “And I don’t know if you can love someone stronger than what suits you,” Olsen sings in an early spotlight, before Jake Blanton’s sitar paces beautifully towards the finish.
Big Time is like Olsen took Stephen Sondheim’s “Being Alive” and translated it into an album. The record presents a similar visceral worry: that no longer being vulnerable means no longer feeling things as profoundly. There is a certain beauty to the ways in which our hearts can carry so, so much; a misunderstood terror in being happy and unable to remember the hurt. Big Time is emotionally devastating, but never toes a line of melodrama. When Olsen confronts certain traumas, and the optimism spurred in her after a period of loss pokes through, it stands alongside the joy she feels in her own personhood and the love she holds for others. After five records, Angel Olsen arrives here emotionally lighter and singing through grief, rather than against it. There’s devastation afoot, but not without gestures of romantic and personal euphoria. She’s documenting how joyful it is to feel alive and have it make sense, and on Big Time, no grandiose, orchestral gravitas is needed to justify why.
# Bartees Strange: Farm to Table
The polymath’s second album is yet another showcase for his versatile excellenceBartees Strange Is Only Getting Started on Farm to Table
It’s this musical elasticity that has earned Bartees universal praise and a devoted fanbase. Although he released a covers EP of The National songs months before his debut, it was Live Forever that ultimately launched him into a different league. He understood that the record was going to change his life for better or worse, and he used this uncertainty as fuel for his next project. “I wanted to preserve the brain I had in that moment,” he said in the aforementioned interview. “If everyone hated Live Forever, I was going to be fucked up. If everyone loved it, I was going to be fucked up.” To preserve his artistic spirit, he began tracking the new record just a day shy of Live Forever’s release. Initially an EP, Farm to Table quickly metamorphosed into a full-blown LP. Similar to the way in which the Super Mario Galaxy team kept churning out brilliant level ideas and used them for a sequel, Farm to Table is yet another showcase for Bartees’ versatile excellence.
Farm to Table, by and large, reckons with Bartees’ life after the immense success of Live Forever. That’s why it’s imperative to take the weight off in whatever way you need to: “Why work so hard if you can’t fall back,” Bartees asks in the song’s final couplet. “Then I remember I rely too much upon my heavy heart.” This is an album about crawling out of the void to find a new light. It’s about recognizing that anguish is only one part of the human experience, how restoration follows suit. Farm to Table, in some ways, is Bartees’ sunrise. It’s proof of his undeniable spark. As Farm to Table demonstrates, Bartees Strange is only getting started.
# ELUCID: I Told Bessie
The title is a reference to his late grandmother, whom ELUCID thanks for “pouring early ideals of Black consciousness into me,” according to the album’s Bandcamp description.ELUCID
ELUCID, best known as half of the acclaimed rap duo Armand Hammer, has arrived with his third solo offering, I Told Bessie.
He’s a master lyricist, twisting and turning into sticky, deep, uncomfortable detours describing violence and drugs, with a gritty New York filter over it all. He’s also accompanied by a cast of excellent collaborators, including billy woods, Quelle Chris and Pink Siifu, with even more contributing to I Told Bessie’s production. Whether using a sample of erotic moans on “Sardonyx” or finding rhythm in the chaotic drums of “Jumanji,” ELUCID is hungry, limitless and focused, with the quick thinking of a seasoned jazz vet and the heart of a poet. —Jade Gomez
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