After the jump, see my quick appraisal of new, newish and new-to-me tunes from artists including Mikky Ekko, Paris Ontario, Dead Antlers, Natalie Prass and more. Many of the tunes are available for download (some for free and some at a small price), but you can stream every last one of them over at Bandcamp.
* The Non-Commissioned Officers’ Cheyenne Medders put up Window Magic Volume 1, a Triple, which he recorded on a Tascam 488 in the month of October. It’s wistful, sparse Southern folk. RIYL: Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt.
* Just today, Nashville’s Dead Antlers posted a twitchy, four-song EP featuring electronic noise-pop numbers that sound like the VHS soundtrack to a Harmony Korine film. (Korine, by the way, also responded to this year's Rock 'n' Roll Poll.) As far as I can tell, there’s no further info on Dead Antlers anywhere on the Ninnernet. RIYL: Junk Culture, Bob Ross samples.
* Natalie Prass put up a handful of demos a couple months back. Sweet, rich, occasionally playful pop numbers with loads of trad-country and trad-pop influence. “Your Fool” is a stand-out. RIYL: Patsy Cline, Norah Jones, Skeeter Davis, She & Him.
* Austin Yarbrough’s 16-track experimental R&B/pop collection Extraterrestrial is, according to his Bandcamp profile, slated for release in 2018. At its most interesting moments, Yarbrough’s material brings to mind noteworthy pop-electronica acts (Miike Snow, for instance), but it typically lands pretty close to radio-friendly R&B. Usher and the like.
* Dramatic, Jeff Buckley-inspired vocalist and self-described “post-pop” artist Mikky Ekko just posted the brand-new Blues (though its release is posted as December 14) — it’s a four-song collection and likely a counterpart to June’s Reds. Disjointed future-pop with genuinely impressive vocal performances and some intriguing arrangements. “Monster” is the stand-out. RIYL: Radiohead, NIN, Muse.
* Maloney’s spoken on Spoken Nerd's Apocalypse Awareness Day before, but I just got around to peeping it on Bandcamp. I mean, it’s obviously nerdy, but it has its melodic moments and its clever turns. RIYL: a mash-up of Postal Service, Pedro the Lion and Aesop Rock.
* Paris Ontario’s Clouds and Constellations has been up since the summer, but I’m just now familiarizing myself. It’s the sort of commercially viable but beautifully arranged pop-folk with interesting stylistic diversions — note the ragtime turns in "Take It Easy With Love" ... totally syncs perfectly with my current Boardwalk Empire obsession — that can reel you in for a full nine songs. Plus, there's a cameo from Tristen on “Actor in the Movies.” RIYL: De Novo Dahl, Fleet Foxes.