Songs du Jour, 5/21/23

The past few months have been hectic: We prepared for and executed our third move in 10 years. While we still have boxes and boxes (and boxes!) to unpack, and a few loose ends to tie off at the former homestead, I’m hoping to finally get back to where I once belonged—at my desk most weekend mornings tap-tap-tapping on my now-ancient MacBook’s keyboard about this and that singer and band.

That said, most of what I’ve played over the past month hasn’t been the new and up-and-coming artists I often glom onto. Instead, I’ve found myself in something of a nostalgic if not wistful mood, grooving to SiriusXM’s ‘60s Gold and ‘70s on 7 channels when in the car and to Bob Seger, Neil Young and my college-era favorites when at home. I think of years ago and the years to come, of the life I knew vs. life today. 

Occasional new songs have percolated into my on-the-fly playlists, however, thanks to the whims of social media. While Twitter is turning into a trash heap, Instagram seems to have tweaked its algorithms to serve up more tasty treats than usual.

1) Riders of the Canyon – “Master of My Lonely Time.” Joana Serrat and Co. deliver the goods on this, their latest single. It’s reminiscent of both the latter-day Byrds, when Clarence White was in the fold, and latter-day Flying Burrito Bros., when Chris Hillman and pals were joined by Rick Roberts.

2) CHLSY – “Crush.” Fronted by former coffee addict Chelsea Gilliland, the Nashville-based CHLSY is a rock band that mines the early ‘90s vibes laid down by Nirvana, the Breeders and Belly, among others. Their music restrained yet raucous, and as addictive as caffeine (though sans its side-effects).

3) Hannah Jadagu – “Lose.” It’s not every day that a 20-year-old sonic shapeshifter finds her way into the pages of the New York Times, yet Jadagu did just that two weeks ago. She recorded her first EP, What Is Going On?, in 2021 on her iPhone 7; it turned enough ears to land her a deal with Sub-Pop. For her recently released debut album, Aperture, she traveled to Paris to record with Max Robert Baby in an actual studio. “Lose” is just one of the richly layered tracks; all are as stellar as this.

4) DiElle – “Keep It Simple.” When non-Brit music fans think of England, my hunch is that most think of three cities: Liverpool, London and Manchester. Singer-songwriter DiElle, however, works the circuit along the country’s southern coast. This hypnotic song, about letting go of regrets and recriminations, hails from her excellent One Girl, One Guitar album: “Sometimes it’s time to write the next story/Give up the grief that got us here/Sometimes it’s time to give up the glory/Walk on ahead without so much fear.”

5) Margo Cilker – “Lowland Trail.” If this plaintive song is any indication, Cilker’s forthcoming sophomore set, Valley of Heart’s Delight, is sure to be a stunner.

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