Steve Horowitz

90
Hurray for the Riff understands that we are all part of the same world and share the same past. The past may be alive, but that doesn’t make us zombies.
70

Harm’s Way serves as evidence of the power of music to redeem.

80

Folk music’s Willi Carlisle suggestively reminds us of our place in the animal kingdom as we are just critters doing the best we can with Critterland.

80
This is pop music spiked with something stronger than liquor. Eliza McLamb knows that happiness is an illusion yet she can’t help wanting and rejecting it.
70

Laura Veirs’ Phone Orphans works because of its roughness. She’s not gilding the lily, and she offers her direct sensibility as a way to address her ignorance.

70

Irish country pop artist CMAT’s Crazymad, for Me is a portrait of how we rationalize our behavior as a way of coping rather than a therapeutic dream.

80

Jamila Woods’ Water Made Us is full of creativity. The songs are not just liquid, solid, and gas; they are blood, wine, and soul.

80

Molly Burch’s Daydreamer succeeds because of its multilevel approach. She has an enchanting voice that can be touching and stoic simultaneously.

70

Devendra Banhart’s Flying Wig was produced by experimental musician Cate LeBon, and she has made his spacey music more spacious by closing him in.

80

Margo Cilker serves as a stand-in for all of us, which is why she can get her audiences to sing with her in concert and enjoy Valley of Heart’s Delight‘s details.

80

Like Neil Young, Kurt Cobain, Buddy Holly, and others before her, Lucinda Williams proclaims allegiance to ROCK on Stories From a Rock n Roll Heart.

70

Brandy Clark is a mixed bag. The country singer-songwriter sees herself and others with a well-trained eye but doesn’t always reveal what she has learned.

80
The music was recorded at Sear Sound during a five-day stint in New York City and sounds as sophisticated as the city that never sleeps.
80
This music is too good not to be shared.
80

Andy Schauf’s Norm offers journeys down sonic trails that start in the same hallway but change from room to room as he ponders the big topic of love.

80

Young Fathers declare their awareness of what’s going on but take it a step further. Heavy Heavy urges the audience to do the heavy lifting and “have fun”.

70

Billy Strings and Terry Barber’s Me/And/Dad is for the traditionalists who love bluegrass and country in its raw form and find its plainness attractive.

70

Tomberlin’s songs on i don’t know who needs to hear this seem to dwell in a space where time doesn’t pass. There’s something cosmic about the experience.


February Playlist
AOTY Discord