New Music Monday – 7/19/21

T. Hardy Morris | Athens, Ga.

Shopping Center Sunsets (New West Records)

“Nature sees my need to believe/And sends me shopping center sunsets/Electronic cigarettes/Car title cash regrets/Shopping center sunsets”

T. Hardy Morris has emerged from the pandemic with the brilliant album “The Digital Age of Rome,” which challenges us to consider the decadence and materialism of our times, but I find the record ultimately more upbeat than cynical. Sure, we might have to view the sunset from the nearly-deserted parking lot of that sad strip mall that we all know so well, but it’s still the sunset, still a promise of new directions in the night or with the next dawn. – bill

Lucy Dacus | Richmond, Va.

VBS (Matador)

Savannah Stopover alum Lucy Dacus dropped her third album Home Video (via Matador Records) on June 25 and it has catapulted the young singer-songwriter to a whole new stratosphere of critical acclaim with feature articles in Rolling Stone and late night TV appearances. The coming of age album is her best yet; strong from start to finish- making it really tough to choose just one song. VBS (which stands for “Vacation Bible School”) showcases some of her best songwriting with her delicate voice able to deliver razor sharp opening lines like “In the summer of ’07/I was sure I’d go to heaven/but I was hedging my bets at VBS.” For anyone who has ever felt abandoned by an evangelical religion thrust upon them, Lucy Dacus’ story about summer bible camp is here to let you know you’re not alone. – kayne

Manchester Orchestra | Atlanta, Ga. 

The Million Masks Of God (Loma Vista Recordings)

If you Google Manchester Orchestra, one of the most frequently asked questions pops up: “is Manchester Orchestra emo?” Good question. Centered in the epic breadth of a Manchester Orchestra album you often find incredible lyrics melded to cascading, gigantic crescendos coupled with soft lows. (And always, incredible composition and arranging.) On their six studio album, Andy Hull has lulled his band into yet another spiritual quagmire. And it’s fucking gorgeous in there. Hull’s lyrical aptitude is akin to The National’s Matt Berninger in its willingness to express poetically, and quite well, the inner-most intimate moments of a singular life. Is that emo? Probably. – joshua 

Chipper Bones | Savannah, Ga. 

Energy/Carry My Own Light 

Chipper Bones, a post-post post band from here in the Garden, grooves in the reverb sun of two light-hearted singles new to the world and released together as an EP. An LP would be three songs, right? Singles are doubles now? Extended Play means two? Long Play is more than two? All this new technology and its easter eggs. We need new terms. And a search engine for the soul. Energy/Carry My Own Light is chill. And easy to listen to over and over again, and easy to find on streaming channels. Highly recommended. Would listen again. – joshua 

Wavves | San Diego, California

Hideaway (Fat Possum Records)

A bunch of new, catchy, scrappy and stoned indie-rock tunes from Wavves? Please and thank you. Nathan Williams songs sound vaguely familiar at first listen, then burrow themselves into your brain upon repeated listening. Perfect for summer. – tom