“Dark On Us” – Lucas Oswald. A Shearwater member’s solo effort. Not too shabby.

“Offa My Hands” – Jessica Lea Mayfield. Mayfield’s new album, Sorry Is Gone, is focused on an abusive relationship she recently escaped. She left the relationship with a broken shoulder following a physical encounter. Heavy stuff. And while the lyrics of this song are heavy as well, I do enjoy the little bit of whimsy she sings them with and the confident sway of the music behind her. 

“Back In Your Head” – Tegan and Sara, Ryan Adams. The sister duo of Tegan and Sara chose to honor the 10th anniversary of their breakthrough album, The Con, by having some of their favorite artists join them to cover the entire disk. So of course Ryan Adams is involved. This is a fine update of the original, which was bouncy and light. Now it is loud and crunchy, fitting perfectly into what Adams has been doing over his last few albums.

“Man On The Moon” – R.E.M. It took me a long, long time to get into R.E.M. At first I was too young for them. Then too pop. Then too R&B/hip hop. But by 1992 my tastes had drifted their way. Automatic For The People was the first R.E.M. album I ever bought shortly after it came out. We just hit the 25th anniversary of its release, so I’ve been skimming some retrospectives for it over the past few days. And I spun the disk last night. It’s such a beautiful, sad, and perfect album. I could have picked any song to include here, but I’ve always been amazed at how they wrote such a compelling song about Andy Kaufman. 

“Brilliant Disguise” – Bruce Springsteen. Why not one more album anniversary this week? Tunnel of Love came out 30 years ago Tuesday. Wow! I’ve long expressed my love for that album, so no need to reiterate it again. I loved this piece I read over the week on the album. And I couldn’t agree more with the author’s comments about “Brilliant Disguise.” Every single word is stunning and perfect. And this is a highly underrated video. Gorgeous cinematography and an amazing, live vocal track. I still remember seeing it for the first time with a group of people and someone saying, “He just looks so sad,” during the extreme closeup at the end.