Exclaim!'s Staff Picks for July 25, 2022: Spencer Krug, Medicine Singers, beabadoobee

BY Exclaim! StaffPublished Jul 25, 2022

Whether or not it's true, the popular conception has long been that it takes 21 days to form a habit. So we're officially there (or close, anyway) with this latest edition of Exclaim!'s Staff Picks — a weekly round-up of some of the new releases we've been keeping in heavy rotation. We understand, in excruciating detail, the way that an incessant buzz of new content can make the security blanket of a mix from 2008 all the more appealing. Here are some of the latest unknowns worth venturing into.

As always, check out our album reviews section to discover even more new music.

(Dirty Hit)

Named for the kingdom she conjured to escape feeling like an outsider at her mostly-white UK school after emigrating from the Philippines, Beatrice Laus grows her sound on her sophomore album by revisiting the exoneration of a childhood safe haven. There, she finds hooks stickier than Elmer's in the nostalgic spirit of early-2000s pop rock; from the Nelly Furtado pocket on "Sunny day" and the bossa nova syncopation of "the perfect pair," to exactly that when matching her syrupy coo with a pop-punk punch ("10:36," "Talk," "Don't get the deal").
Megan LaPierre

James Wyatt Crosby
"Is There a Reason?"
(Wavy Sun)

The breezy effervescence of "Is There a Reason?" makes you wonder why its protagonist can't just be patient. Hazy and nostalgic tones trickle over the warm track, while James Wyatt Crosby explores the finality of urgency. "Is there a reason why you want it so bad? / Now that you've said it, there's no taking it back," he sings softly, only for the bouncy guitar hook to usher his signature optimism back in. 
Sydney Brasil

Spencer Krug 
Twenty Twenty Twenty Twenty One
(Pronounced Kroog)

The co-frontman of Wolf Parade and former leader of Sunset Rubdown and Moonface has long specialized in complex, anxious music across an ever-changing array of styles — but his recent solo work has found him settling into a quiet, cozy vibe. The mellow guitars, minimal percussion and sci-fi synths push his sound into new territory, while the cryptic lyrics are quintessential Krug.
Alex Hudson

Lil Silva 
Yesterday Is Heavy
(Nowhere Music Ltd.)

​​Arriving over a decade into a career that's seen him produce a wealth of UK bass tracks and land writing credits with Adele, BANKS and Mark Ronson, Yesterday Is Heavy brings the creative worlds of Lil Silva together for a debut of measured, beat-focused beauty. It's rendered by standout collabs with Sampha and Little Dragon — not to mention a talented Canadian contingent of BADBADNOTGOOD, Charlotte Day Wilson and Skiifall.
Calum Slingerland

Medicine Singers
Medicine Singers
(Mothland / Stone Tapes)

Yonatan Gat is my favourite living guitarist, and anyone who has seen him perform knows that he pulls riffs out of his brain like a magician's endless chain of scarves. Eastern Medicine Singers, the Rhode Island-based Algonquin drum group, have matched his energy live for years, and this offshoot maintains the main outfit's frenetic energy on a debut album that's as unpredictable as it is exciting. Jazz, electronic, noise, blues, spoken word, chant — it's all here and it's all thrilling.
Matt Bobkin

Neighbor Lady
For the Birds
(Park the Van)

Georgia-based four-piece Neighbor Lady dig deeper into their hazy, atmospheric sound with the follow-up to 2018's Maybe Later. For the Birds is a masterclass in alternative country-rock, with twangs of melancholy guitar sounds, echoey pianos and distanced background vocals. Closing track "Too Far Gone" tenderly begs the listener for attention while laying them to rest — bringing up the house lights in a theatre so as to not startle, but to linger.
Kayla Higgins

"Let the Lights On"

Sorry's "Let the Lights On" is pure adrenaline. A frenetic slice of rusted-out rock, it pulses with the inexhaustible fervour of pop, flailing its limbs in every direction and screaming, "I found you! Thank God I found you." It's the kind of love song that eschews any prettiness in favour of total abandon; a sparking, discombobulating declaration of life-altering obsession.
Kaelen Bell

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