September Audio: Euge Groove, Morgan Delt, Katie Dey + More

Euge Groove

Still Euge

[Shanachie]

There’s not much of summer left and this new disc from Euge Groove will ease you right into the breezy feeling of the fall. The American saxophonist is the frontrunner for contemporary jazz on the smooth side. He started out as a sideman in 1987 and now has completely hit his stride with a few hit records under his belt. This is his latest studio effort and is sure to follow his others right to number one. Pleasant *and* creative is a rare combination in contemporary jazz CDs and this one has them both in spades. The lush arrangements never feel rushed. Coffee and a Kiss — great title — is a standout, as is Let’s Chill. – Thomas Cahill

 

Morgan Delt

Phase Zero

[Sub Pop]

Morgan Delt is one of the most compelling exponents of the kind of modern, psychedelic pop that catapulted Tame Impala to the position of festival headliner. Delt however works on a smaller scale, and his syrup-thick concoctions are unlikely to trouble the Topman playlist anytime soon. The fuzz that characterised Delt’s first record has been peeled back to leave a collection of songs that gently unfurl like an orchid in timelapse. As trippy as it is soothing, this is like the contents of a lava lamp committed to wax. – Danny Wilson

 

Ryley Walker

Golden Sings That Have Been Sung

[Dead Oceans]

Ryley Walker’s take on folk-rock sounds so wonderfully lived-in that the unfamiliar would be forgiven for thinking that they were dealing with some recently unearthed gem as opposed to the work of an admittedly kinda goofy twentysomething. Walker’s virtuosity alongside the quality of the players he surrounds himself with has (again) made for an approachable yet dense, endlessly rewarding record. It’s as rare as it is refreshing to hear such a uniquely modern lyrical approach fit so comfortably alongside such timeless accompaniment. Strongly recommended. – Danny Wilson

 

The Smoke Clears

The Smoke Clears

[All City Records]

 

John Daly follows up his last The Smoke Clears album (released on Further Records in 2013) with an identically named one, just to give nobody the wrong idea. In a way it’s fitting, because there’s a kind of elemental purity to this release, with its adherence to genre constraints. Composed of lengthy, sweeping ambient passages that are only kept from floating away by the intense train-track rhythms hammering away on the drum-machines, The Smoke Clears bears a passing resemblance to Wolfgang Voigt’s GAS, and provides a nice counterpoint to this month’s Factory Floor record. – Ian Lamont

 

Haley Bonar

Impossible Dream

[Memphis Industries]

Tilting ever more strongly towards the rock end of folk-rock, Haley Bonar’s latest nonetheless retains the most appealing elements of her earlier, more stripped-down output. At its best, Impossible Dream is a perfect fusion of sensibilities, with album (and career) highlight Called You Queen managing to sound anthemic without losing any specificity in its storytelling. After more than ten years of developing her craft, Bonar is quite capable of inspiring listeners to fist-pump with one hand even as they dry tears with the other. –Leo Devlin

 

Cass McCombs

Mangy Love

[ANTI-]

McCombs’ last two records, a double and an odds-and-sods collection, both sprawled just into jam-band-ish territory a little too often, a characteristic that is more beneficial when he’s dipping into his rich, rich catalogue on stage. And while he hasn’t made anything close to a bad or dull record yet, Mangy Love feels less crucial than those released during his unparalleled hot-streak between Dropping the Writ and Humor Risk. – Ian Lamont

 

Katie Dey

Flood Network

[Joy Void]

Melbourne’s Katie Dey asdfasdf introduced her an artist who made music that really sounded like no-one else at all. On Flood Network it’s still impossible to identify what is happening, partially because it’s so foreign-sounding, and partially because it never sticks around for more than a minute or two before melting into something else. Dey sounds like she is wrestling her hyperactivity and anxiety into increasingly desperate/beautiful works of art, with the striden Fear O’ The Light being the highlight. – Ian Lamont

 

All Tvvins

IIVV

[Warners Bros.]

The transformation from being members of two of the squall of instrumental-technique bands that Dublin produced for years into potential FIFA 17 soundtrackers non-ironically applying last year’s Autotune on an actual major label is the biggest surprise to emerge from the Dublin music scene in recent years. It seems completely unfathomable, as is figuring out the target market for this grinding mediocrity from the thinking man’s Script. – Ian Lamont

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