Another Friday, another list of fine musical products for your ears.

“Hot & Heavy” – Lucy Dacus
Dacus was responsible for my favorite song of 2018. She may have released my favorite song of 2021 this week. This is just so freaking good, and she is a total treasure.

“Complex” – Tristen
Tristen also had one of my favorite songs of 2018. She’s right in that indie/Americana/folk pocket that I can really get into.

“Why Don’t You Come Out Anymore” – The Natvral
I was a big fan of Kip Berman’s The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. For his latest project he has gone in a completely different direction, making big, warm, shaggy songs like this. His Tethers album has quite a few terrific tracks on it.

“Something New” – Melby
There are worse things to be called than Swedish Big Thief.

“Afrique Victime” – Mdou Moctar
You don’t have to speak French or Tamasheq to feel the power of this track, which focuses on atrocities the French colonialists committed as they raced through Africa, claiming territory in the 19th century.

“Distant Lullaby” – UV-TV
Absolutely nothing wrong with this.

“Hunger Strike” – Temple of the Dog
ToD released their only album 30 years ago today. It is, of course, one of the great moments of the grunge era. It is also part of one of the great ironies of the era: it came out four months before Pearl Jam’s Ten, which came out one month before Nirvana’s Nevermind. And then the albums/groups got successful in reverse order, with “Smells Like Teen Spirit” kicking the door open in late ’91, Pearl Jam ascending in the summer of ’92, and Temple of the Dog getting a second life in late ’92/early ’93 as the record companies attempted to capitalize on the explosive Seattle scene. It is completely nuts that Eddie Vedder sounded so confident here, when Pearl Jam had yet to release their own album. Chris Cornell had one of the all-time greatest voices, and wrote an amazing ode to his lost friend Andrew Wood. But it was when Eddie came in that this song turned into a stone, cold classic.