2022 is already off to a wild start—we’ve had rounds and rounds of tour postponements thanks to the pandemic, and we at Left of the Dial have postponed our own live sessions for the month due to the COVID-19 case spikes.
But no worries! There are still plenty of reasons to be excited about music this year. We’re not even two weeks into January yet, and there’s already been some stellar releases. Here are a few of our favorites so far.
Feather River Canyon Blues – Pigeon Pit
Vulnerable and beautiful, Feather River Canyon Blues is the latest from singer-songwriter Lomes Oleander. The album is full of alt-country twang, with beautiful instrumentation from fiddles, banjos, and pedal steel guitars. While the album isn’t as lo-fi as her previous releases, it’s still just as raw. The title track, “Feather River Canyon Blues,” and the penultimate track “Sunbleached,” are both gorgeously evocative.
Apparently this month is a great month for folky alt-country, because we also have a wonderful release from the Chicago based group, Modern Nun. The harmonies found throughout the EP envelope you like a cozy, musical blanket.
Really, every song on this is pretty great, but “Honey” is a real standout. The chorus soars, and the vocal affectations that pop up as the song goes on are sure to make you smile. Be sure to keep an eye on this band for more “lesbian rock,” and check out the full EP here on bandcamp.
“Curse Your Fail” – Broken Social Scene
Broken Social Scene have put out another single from their upcoming compilation of B-sides and rarities. This track is from the 2009 split that the collective did with The Sea and Cake. It’s a chilled out song filled with the gorgeous instrumentation that Broken Social Scene is known for. The previous single they released, “This House Is On Fire,” was an outtake from Forgiveness Rock Record—and amazingly, even their outtakes sound beautiful.
“Amateur Hour” – Eels
A few days ago, Eels released the fourth promotional single for Extreme Witchcraft. The album is due to release January 28th, and if these wry and catchy singles are any indication, we’re in for a treat. Extreme Witchcraft will be produced by Eels frontman Mark “E” Oliver Everett and guitarist John Parish.
“Get You” – Eve 6
Though their bio on Velocity Records reads, “eve6 isn’t a very good band,” the excellent singles they’ve been releasing lately show that they’re not some 90s one-hit wonder. “Get You” is a deliciously catchy song that seems to take influence from glam rock, much like their December single, “androgyne friend.” Eve 6 is slated to release their full length album, Hyperrelevisation, sometime later this year. In the meantime, you can listen to our interview with Eve 6’s Max Collins from early last year.
“Excited Ones” – Guided By Voices
Indie rockers GBV have started teasing their 35th(!) album with their new single, “Excited Ones.” This power-pop track has a steady energy and does, indeed, make us at Left of the Dial some excited ones. Their album, Crystal Nuns Cathedral, is set to come out later this year. GBV will also be going back on tour this March, after postponing the first stretch of their tour due to the spike in COVID-19 cases.
“Sunny Day” – Never Shout Never
It’s been a minute since we heard anything from Christofer Drew. The Never Shout Never Twitter and Facebook pages have been inactive since 2020, but the band (now seemingly only consisting of Drew) has dropped an unexpected new single. If you’re nostalgic for the sugary sweetness of songs like “Big City Dreams” and “Trouble,” you’ll enjoy this one.
Another promotional single for SASAMI’s upcoming album Squeeze was released last week. The song, a “rage anthem” about lack of communication, continues to feature the post-industrial sounds found in her other recent singles, “Skin A Rat” and “Sorry Entertainer.” Squeeze is due for release on February 25th.
Take a listen to our playlist of new songs, which we’ll update throughout the month!