Feel Feelings is the third album from Soko, and like most things the French singer/multi-instrumentalist does, she did it her way. The two-time César-nominated actress made the 12-track LP during a year-and-a-half period of self-imposed celibacy. Soko wanted to channel all of her affection into her music, and you can’t really argue with the results. She’s joined on this journey to the heart of feelings by Sean Lennon and members of Beach Fossils, MGMT, Babyshambles, Warpaint, Chairlift and more. But it’s Soko who wears the pants.
Sparta is back with its first album in 14 years, and kids, Trust The River (Dine Alone) was worth the wait. Clocking in at a lean, mean half-hour, the fourth LP from Jim Ward and Co. showcases his growth as a songwriter, incorporating the post-hardcore of Ward’s former band At The Drive-In, the alt-country of his Sleepercar project and a pop-rock veneer that would sound great in an arena, especially now that we’re all stuck at home. (Speaking of which: If you missed the three online shows that Ward did to promote Trust The River, he compiled the “best versions” of the songs and made an album out of them called 11 Hour World Tour, available for $5 on Bandcamp.) Trust The River is the sound of Sparta taking back control.
Craig Wedren is the only person to ever appear topless on the cover of MAGNET. This was back in 1997, while he was the frontman of the stylishly sophisticated, strangely sexy Shudder To Think. Since, Wedren has composed music for films and television (School Of Rock, Role Models, Laurel Canyon), published a photo book (My ’90s) and, earlier this year, launched the Sabbath Sessions podcast, featuring musical meditations to soundtrack mindfulness and mantras (check out daily livestreams on Facebook and Instagram). He has also survived both Hodgkin’s disease and a heart attack. Through it all, Craig Wedren still really rocks.
It’s only taken three decades, but Sonic Boom has finally released the “proper” follow-up to 1990 solo debut Spectrum. All Things Being Equal (Carpark), of course, isn’t the first music Peter Kember has issued in that time. Spectrum came out while his legendary Spacemen 3 was still an active band and before its 1991 swan song, Recurring. After S3’s dissolution, Kember released records as Spectrum and E.A.R., produced the likes of MGMT, Beach House and Panda Bear and collaborated with Yo La Tengo, Stereolab and others. All Things Being Equal proves Kember is still a modern master of soothing psychedelia sounds, which are the perfect prescription for today’s trying times.