North Carolina rock trio Sinai Vessel are no stranger to doing a lot with a little. Last year’s excellent and understated Ground Aswim feels like a master class in the use of sparse instrumentation and minimal production to achieve an impactful sound. Track after track is carefully composed and executed beautifully, culminating in what is undoubtedly one of the best indie rock records of 2020. Great news: there’s more.
By Ethan Bloomfield, Staff Writer
Key tracks: “I Won’t Care How You Remember Me”, “Lemon Mouth”, “Anniversary”
In the past year, Indie rock and DIY music in general have taken a major hit, and much of the grassroots music industry appears to be in dire straits. Nevertheless, as this year-long catastrophe rages on, independent music has found a way to shine through. Whether that be Sinai Vessel’s excellent Ground Aswim last Halloween or The Mountain Goats’ lo-fi quarantine tape, Songs for Pierre Chuvin––the stripped-back, quarantine-inspired album is a growing musical trend––musicians have found a way to get their message to people regardless of restrictions and problems associated with COVID.
By Ethan Bloomfield, Contributor[Merge; 2020]Rating: 6/10 Key Tracks: “The Last Place I Saw You Alive”, “Bell Swamp Connection”, “Getting Into Knives” What can be said about The Mountain Goats that hasn’t been? John Darnielle and company have created 13 studio albums and some of the biggest indie classics for the better part of three decades….
By Ethan Bloomfield, Contributor
[Run For Cover Records; 2020]
Rating: 7/10 Key tracks: “-h-o-u-s-e-k-e-y-z-”, “older now (it hurts)”, “before your body goes” 2020 is not a year for connection. Amidst the pandemic and months of isolation, it is sometimes hard to feel a true, heartfelt connection with others. During this time, though, music remains one of the main defenses against boredom for many people, and reminders of humanity and closeness still shines through in it. This is more than evident on Floral Prince, the new full-length project from lo-fi musician Field Medic, aka Kevin Patrick Sullivan.