“Blue Rose” – Amen Dunes. Amen Dunes is the project of New Yorker Damon McMahon. I knew nothing about him before I heard this song. I love it’s trippy, atmospheric, nostalgic vibe. 

“6&5” – Jesse Marchant. I was so looking forward to Marchant’s Illusion of Love album after hearing the first two singles. Unfortunately the rest of the album did not match the quality of those two tracks. The first, “Frame for One,” is one of the best songs of the year. And I love the sound of this one, which feels a little like Andrew Bird filtered through old Radiohead.

“Don’t Move Back to LA” – Okkervil River. OR’s The Silver Gymnasium is one of my favorite albums of the decade. The follow-up, 2016’s Away, went a different direction that I did not dig it at all. The first single for In The Rainbow Rain is much easier on my ears. 

“You Thought You Had Me” – Allie Crow Buckley. Ms. Buckley fits right into a niche I’ve been listening to a lot lately: female singer-songwriters who blur the gaps between folk, pop, indie, and country. This is a damn good song.

“Nonbeliever” – Lucy Dacus. FINALLY we have the first great album of 2018. Dacus’ Historian dropped this morning. I’m already one listen through it and Night Shift, front-runner for song of the year to date, is far from the only great song on the disk. The whole album is magnificent and I could have dropped any one of four new songs in this spot. Go listen to it at your earliest convenience. 

“Baker Street” – Gerry Raferty. Recently I found an amazing thing: there’s a channel on iHeart Radio that does nothing but replay American Top 40s from the 1970s and 1980s. Frankly it’s amazing I haven’t listened to it 24/7 since I discovered it. Sadly, iHeart Radio is rumored to be declaring bankruptcy at any moment, so I don’t know how long the platform or station will be around. Anyway, at some point I heard a countdown from the summer of 1978, when this classic was rising up the charts. And then last night I started watching the new NBC comedy AP Bio, which is fantastic. In episode two there were a couple humorous callbacks to the legendary sax line in this song. That was all the motivation I need to include it as your video of the week. Oh, and it’s a very high quality video, too! Raferty was a dynamic performer.