Editor’s Note: Do you think we “missed” an album this week? Click here.
Each month, we always seem to come to the same conclusion when it comes to our Editors’ Picks column: Friday release days open the floodgates and unleash a seemingly endless stream of quality new music. But while some of our Editors and Contributors sit down gleefully each week to dive into this newly stocked treasure trove, others find themselves drawing a blank at the end of the month due to the breakneck pace needed to keep up to date with what’s been released. Which brings us to this Heavy Blog PSA: a weekly roundup of new albums which pares down the week’s releases to only our highest recommendations. Here you’ll find full album/single streams, pre-order links and, most importantly, a collection of albums that could very well earn a spot on your year-end list. Enjoy!
Father John Misty – Chloë and the Next 20th Century (chamber pop, singer/songwriter)
As much as I love Josh Tillman, I’ll admit that the last Father John Misty album was a slight step back from a string of incredible string of releases. After his Americana-leaning debut Fear Fun (2012), Tillman released two of my favorite contemporary folk albums: the snarky, romantic I Love You, Honeybear (2015) and bitter, satirical Pure Comedy (2017). Both records offered stirring nostalgia trips with a modern lyrical twist, pairing observational humor with impeccably arranged and performed piano rock, chamber pop, and indie folk.
While all of this was present to some degree on God’s Favorite Customer (2018), it felt more like Tillman releasing some leftover creativity from his Pure Comedy sessions than another excellent addition to his discography. Despite plenty of highlights, the overall experience felt like a compromise between the more direct approach on Fear Fun and the grandiosity of its two successors, with mixed results.
Thankfully, Chloë and the Next 20th Century feels like a return to form that achieves a more successful middle ground between Tillman’s first three records as FJM. While I’m still waiting on my vinyl pre-order, the singles I’ve heard so far have a lush, “composed” vibe that hearken back to classic film and TV scores. While I still think God’s Favorite Customer was a good album, I’m glad to hear Tillman writing great music again.