The new music faucet finally seems to have been turned down a notch. My Latest Songs playlist is as light as it has been in months. Hopefully just a brief respite before things pick back up again for the fall.

“Paradise” – Briston Maroney
One of my favorite artists of 2020 is back with his next phase of music. Not sure this matches those ’20 highs, but this isn’t anything to complain about, either.

“After You (Samantha’s Song)” – Snarls
Another of my favorite bands of 2020 – they placed second on my favorite songs of the year list – is back. Sounds like they’ve been listening to The Cure.

“Black Obsidian” – Caitlin Rose
Caitlin Rose is one of those artists who often falls on the far side of that mysterious line between country and alt-country in my brain. This song, though, is just fine. Probably the poppiest thing I’ve ever heard from her.

“Minutes to Memories” – John Mellencamp
You might wonder why JM showed up in my Stats post yesterday. When we were in Kansas City a month ago and had dinner with my aunt and uncle, he asked if I had ever listened to this song. I had not and it only took me three weeks to remember to look it up. I listened to most of the Scarecrow album a couple times through. I think that’s my favorite version of Mellencamp, when he was politically charged and absolutely locked in musically. “Scarecrow” itself is an underrated classic. This song treads similar territory, but isn’t as amped up. At least until the end. While listening to the album I realized a ton of the Heartland Rock of the modern era that I’ve loved has its roots deep as deep in this album as any of the other touchtones critics often suggest.

“Summer Soft” – Stevie Wonder
“Suddenly Last Summer” – The Motels
The calendar never lies.

“All The Good Times” – Angel Olsen
Speaking of that alt-country/country line…Olsen jumped right over to the far side with her latest album, Big Time. I gave it a listen and it was just too Patsy Cline for me. Then I saw this performance, which might be the greatest thing that’s been on TV this year. The payoff at 2:44 – when the drums kick in, the harmony vocal gets added, and Olsen starts grooving – makes the slow burn intro totally worth it. Then Olsen’s throwback, cornball ending is absolutely perfect. Shame she did it on Fallon and not a different show.