The Round-up: It seemed like ages ago. Maybe it was.


Here is some very good new music


Restroy – Restroy (1980 Records/Milk Factory Productions)

Pretty sure I’ve never used the phrase hauntingly tuneful before to describe an album, but that’s what you got with the self-titled debut from Restroy.  The ominous tones and ethereal presence combined with striking melodic inspirations gives the sensation of a band that is channeling the spirits of forgotten pop songs.  A solid line-up of bassist Christopher Dammann, trumpeter James Davis, cellist Kevin Davis, keyboardist Paul Giallorenzo, pianist Mabel Kwan and drummer Avreeayl Ra bring about a communion of organic and electronic sounds that comes off as an uneasy alliance… a quality that kicks up the undercurrent of tension a few notches.  Music from Chicago.

Artist site | Listen | Buy:  Bandcamp


Soon – Something Out Of Nothing (Caligola Records)

This is one of those recordings you just sink into like the most comfortable sofa at the end of a long week.  The melodies on this trio session are an open door, but the depth of the recording is felt in the waves of harmonics that wash over everything.  With this lovely piano trio recording in hand, pianist Roberto Soggetti, bassist Giulio Corini and drummer Emanuele Maniscalco are here to make everything right in your world.  Music from Brescia, Italy.

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Mauro Gargano Mo’Avast Band – Born in the Sky (iOSA)

The casual lyricism on Born in the Sky can lull you into a place where it’s easy to forget just how powerfully these melodies are gonna get delivered.  And Mauro Gargano‘s quartet does lean into these melodies, returning to them frequently between some wonderful soloing.  And while those solos will keep the attention locked in place, the album is at its strongest when the entire quartet gets involved, meshing into and criss-crossing the trajectories of their counterparts.  Music from Paris, France.

Artist site | Listen | Buy:  BandcampAmazon


Alvaro Severino – Ngen-Kürüf (Discos Pendiente)

That Alvaro Severino takes a sonic road trip across South America’s folk musics is plenty absorbing all on its own, but it’s his airy, free-flowing delivery on acoustic guitar that represents this recording at its most captivating.  The Chilean guitarist’s quartet (with trumpet, double bass and drums) keep up an amicable chatter throughout the session, and a tone that could give a beam of sunlight a run for its money.  Music from Essen, Germany.

Artist site | Listen | Buy:  BandcampAmazon


Evil Genius – Experiments on Human Subjects (Orenda Records)

The enthusiasm of Evil Genius is pretty damn infectious.  The music is too volatile to contain, too fast to keep pace with, and so damn fun.  The trio of guitarist Max Kutner, tubist Stefan Kac and drummer Mike Lockwood get a whiff of a melody and take off after it, never looking back.  Those brief, rare moments when they enter a fugue state of harmony are captivating as hell.  Punchy attitude, party atmosphere.  Music from Los Angeles, CA.

Artist site | Listen | Buy:  BandcampAmazon