New York Music Daily

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Tag: chamber pop

Robin Holcomb Brings Her Loaded Imagery and Tersely Crystallized Songcraft to Roulette

Few songwriters have the ability to crystallize a troubling image and build a tableau around it as memorably or tersely as pianist Robin Holcomb. She’s enjoyed a cult following since the 90s; she has an environmentalist streak and prefers shadowy melodies that draw as deeply on 19th century American front-porch folk and balladry as Charles Ives.

She had to go to the free state of Montana to find a studio to record her new solo album One Way or Another, streaming at Bandcamp. She’s playing the album release show on Nov 10 at around 9 at Roulette. Her husband, keyboardist Wayne Horvitz (of Presidents of the United States of America fame) opens the night at 8 in a duo performance with the brilliantly thoughtful bassoonist Sara Schoenbeck. You can get in for $25 in advance.

Holcomb’s new record is a mix of intimate versions of older songs, material from a couple of theatrical projects and a couple of covers. If anything, the songs are crystallized to a finer diamond finish than before: most of them clock in at under three minutes, some considerably less.

She opens with the title track (an original, not the Blondie hit), a spare spacious, gospel-tinged reflection. “Remember learning to crawl as you stagger out under the weight of the world, one foot it starts to fall,” Holcomb intones with her usual graceful understatement.

Track two is simply titled Waltz, Holcomb building a a distant sense of foreboding with her sparse, modal melody and imagery to match, a big-sky tableau with “nary a place to bury the bones.” Holcomb reinvents Stephen Foster’s Hard Times Come Again No More with tightly clustering phrases that bring to mind Dawn Oberg.

Doc Pomus’ I’ve Got That Feeling comes across as minimalist Carole King, at least until Holcomb really pounces on it after the second chorus. She shifts between gospel resonance and Carol Lipnik phantasmagoria in Once: the Steely Dan references and the trick ending are spot-on.

Likewise, Holcomb works uneasy Carla Bley harmonies over a jaunty Appalachian dance beat in A Lazy Farmer Boy, playing up the underlying grimness in the rustic tale. She builds the album’s most hauntingly allusive narrative in I’m Gonna Lose Again: the way she brings the story full circle will give you chills. It’s one of the best songs of the year.

“Don’t confuse me with my laughter, I won’t return the morning after,” Holcomb reminds in Copper Bottom, a key track from her Utopia Project about early 20th century cults.

“The mirror allows what the darkness divides,” she reveals in Rockabye, a subtly venomous, Tom Waits-ish lullaby for a drunken abuser. The darkness and regret is buried much deeper in the hypnotic circles of Shining.

Holcomb goes back to waltz time for Electrical Storm: the devil’s also in the details for that one. She mutes the absence and sense of sheer abandonment in the light-fingered Britfolk cadences of another Foster song, Old Dog Tray. The final cut, The Point of it All provides a wary, broodingly detailed coda for this inviting and often haunting record.

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An Ornate, Magically Orchestrated, Fresh New Album From Art-Rockers GADADU

Hannah Selin, frontwoman and violist of art-rock band GADADU explains that her songs are “equally inspired by the natural and the supernatural.” The title of the art-rock band’s new album The Weatherman Is Wrong – streaming at Bandcamp – reflects both the unpredictability of Selin’s through-composed melodies as well as the world around us. It’s definitely an album for our time, even if the overall atmosphere is breathtakingly verdant and optimistic: the arrangements are nothing short of sumptuous. It’s as if Selin is saying, “Bring it on, we can handle it!”

The strings rises with a swirl and then echoes around in the album’s evocative opening track, Cicadas. Keyboardist Nicki Adams adds blippy loops as the horns – trumpeter Patrick Adams and tenor saxophonist Ayumi Ishito – enter regally over the sway of bassist Dan Stein and drummer Arthur Vint. “In our little house, the walls are slowly crumbling down,” Selin asserts brightly: the band take it out with an enigmatic wash that dissolves into reflecting-pool piano. Does this fit the zeitgeist, or what?

The second song, Bear is a catchy, tantalizingly brief anthem, bursting out of a delicate thicket of pizzicato: the gist of it is facing down one’s inner demons.

The elegant web of pulsing string, keyboard and horn textures in Dreamhouse are deliciously layered: the cyborg vocals and woozy synths in contrast to the organic, sun-drenched crescendos bring to mind the NYChillharmonic in a reflective moment.

Likewise, the harmonies between the electric piano and horns in the next cut, At Play: there’s reverie but also danger in the stabbing accents and enigmatic depths. Bright, tersely incisive piano stands out against a balmy backdrop in Makeup, descending to a more organic take on Radiohead minimalism before a sweeping, tidal return.

Vint plots out a circling Afrobeat groove as Selin’s voice soars upward with the horns in Ocean’s Children, then the harmonies pulse in and out over a series of rhythmic shifts, up to a dizzying chorale of sorts. There are echoes of slow, broodingly orchestrated Portishead in Tides, Selin floating an aptly vast, dynamically shifting expanse, the horns bursting over organ and electric piano that resist complete serenity.

The Xanthoria Quartet – violinists Abby Swidler, Kate Goddard and cellist Alexandra Jones – bolster the towering grandeur of Prove to You, a soul ballad at heart beneath the flurries and uneasy maze of concentric riffage. The album’s final cut is City of Lights: just when it seems this is going to be a warmly swaying soul tune, Nicki Adams pierces the veil with his alternately biting and sagely blues-infused piano. This is the band’s best album, one of the most beguiling releases of 2022 and reason to hope this allstar cast – all of whom have their own careers in new classical music, jazz and latin sounds – continue to weave fresh spells like these.

Jessie Kilguss Brings Her Purist Tunesmithing and Subtle Lyrical Power to the Rockwood

Jessie Kilguss wrote Great White Shark in prison. We don’t know if the multi-instrumentalist lit-rock songwriter violated any of ex-Governor Andrew Cuomo’s insane 2020 antisocial distancing regulations, but she wasn’t in the slammer because of that. She actually walked out of jail that day. Full disclosure: she came up with the song while leading a songwriting class for prisoners.

It’s the first single on her new album What Do Whales Dream About at Night?, which is due to hit her Bandcamp page this weekend. It’s got stately, bittersweet ELO major/minor changes, Naren Rauch’s layers of jangly guitars mingling with Kilguss’ harmonium and soaring, subtly mapled vocals.

The rest of the record reflects Kilguss’ stature as one of the great tunesmiths to emerge from this city in the past decade. It’s her deepest dive into lush chamber pop, and her most lyrically opaque release to date: her narratives really draw you in. She paints a guardedly hopeful if surreal picture in the first track, House of Rain and Leaves over a distantly bucolic guitar backdrop: “The rules don’t apply to you, at least not mine,” she relates

Rauch teams with bassist Whynot Jansveld and drummer Brian Griffin for a Some Girls-era Stonesy drive in the second track, Outside, Kilguss channeling righteous anger as she reaches for the rafters. The Attacca Quartet‘s Nathan Schram is a one-man string section over increasingly brooding layers of jangle and clang in The Tiger’s Wife, a metaphorically-loaded tale.

Coyote Street is the big anthemic hit here, a vivid LA tableau which could be the Church at their late 80s peak with a woman out front. Kilguss took the inspiration for the elegantly orchestrated, swaying title track from Serhiy Zhadan’s poem Headphones, a reflection on psychologically escaping an earlier Ukrainian conflict. Kilguss finally drops her signature allusiveness for a witheringly direct look at how violence percolates downward.

The album’s longest, most lushly symphonic track is Sleepwalking Heart, a slow, Lou Reed-tinged existential view of the psychology of denial. She picks up the pace with the similarly Velvetsy Roman Candles and closes the record with You Were Never Really Here, a delicate, painterly detailed portrait of a doomed relationship, spiced with wistful glockenspiel. Listeners who’ve been entranced by Kilguss’ earlier and often more overtly dark work are going to love this. It’s one of the best albums of 2022.

Kilguss is playing the album release show with a string section at the downstairs room at the Rockwood on Sept 23 at 8:30 PM for $10. Onstage, she can be outrageously funny: check out her deliciously snarky dismissal of Ted-talk pretense.

Revisiting the Prophetic Musical Side of One of This Era’s Most Visionary Journalists

Tessa Lena may be best known as one of this era’s most fearless investigative journalists, but she’s also something of a prophet. While covering the technology sector several years before Event 201, she warned how the infrastructure that would eventually enable the 2020 plandemic was being rolled out.

But Tessa Lena does a lot more than just write. She hosts a podcast, Make Language Great Again, where she interviews guests as diverse as historian Steven Newcomb, New Zealand freedom fighter Emmanuel Garcia and mass media polymath Mark Crispin Miller.

She’s also a musician. Trained in her native Moscow as a classical pianist, she has as many voices as a singer as she has as a writer, with a special fondness for Armenian music. And her songwriting is just as prophetic and colorful as her prose.

There’s a lot of Tessa Lena up at Bandcamp. Her 2017 album Tessa Fights Robots is the soundtrack to a multimedia project and most closely aligned to her current work (her article The Great Reset For Dummies is as definitive an analysis of the ongoing totalitarianism as anyone has written in the past two years). The album, a satire of social media obsession fueling a global takeover by tech oligarchs. is as venomously funny as it is prescient: “A bunch of metaphorical walking dead who figured out a way to siphon your creative energy into making money for them…they’re training you to act like viruses,” she intones. And the jokes aren’t limited to lyrics.

The music shifts from dystopic synthpop to delicate, moody Slavic psych-folk, to sarcastic Brechtian circus-rock and creepy, twinkling dystopic disco. There are also two covers: a witheringly icy version of Michelle Gurevich’s Party Girl, and a spare, poignant take of Tom Waits’ Blue Valentines.

Tessa Lena’s earliest track, a darkwave anthem, dates from 2013 and serves as a launching pad for her signature spine-tingling, operatic vocals. The next one, I Am This Child, is just as brooding and sounds like Portishead on acid.

The 2016 short album Tessa Makes Love is all over the map, ranging from jazzy noir cabaret to metal to a somber solo vocalese evocation of a duduk. Living Her Dream, a menacingly sarcastic 2017 art-rock tableau, could be David J with a woman out front.

Tessa Lena’s next appearance is not as a musician but as an activist onstage at the upcoming daylong Festival in a Field at at 55 Wenzels Lane in the town of Hudson, upstate, starting at 10 AM on Sept 10. Other freedom fighters scheduled to appear include Children’s Health Defense’s Mary Holland, hero attorney Bobbie Ann Cox (currently battling to stop Kathy Hochul’s appeal of the court ruling against her concentration camp edict), Autism Action Network’s John Gilmore and more. There’s music, too. It’s on the crunchy side. The highlight is shamanic multi-percussionist Kevin Nathaniel. Other artists scheduled to appear are Americana soul jamband the Mammals, multi-instrumentalist Bibi Farber’s Action Figures 432, kirtan-rock jammers Samkirtan Band, the Red Threat, Journey Blue Heaven and Americana guitar picker Jude Roberts, There’s also a haybale maze for the kids, local homemade food and crafts; it’s $25 for the whole day.

A Subtle, Soaring New Art-Rock Gem From Carol Lipnik

Singer Carol Lipnik‘s career was derailed by the lockdown in more ways than one. By March of 2020, she was already putting the icing on the sonic confections on her album Goddess of Imperfection, She ended up in limbo until March of this year, when she finally released that long-awaited follow-up to her 2015 art-rock masterpiece Almost Back to Normal in  But there’s more. She had two other albums in the can! She wrote the second of the three, Blue Forest – streaming at her music page – in an 1893 stone tower at the Yaddo artist retreat, where she’d been invited. It was worth the wait.

Lipnik may be a streetwise Coney Island-bred New Yorker, but her songs are galactic. Where Goddess of Imperfection is lavish and orchestral, Blue Forest is more intimately ethereal. Lipnik’s practically five-octave range mingles within a sometimes swirling, sometimes cascading mix of Kyle Sanna’s guitar alongside her longtime pianist Matt Kanelos, with Mathias Künzli on percussion.

The loosely connecting thread between the songs is the imperiled state of our natural world, a persistent theme throughout Lipnik’s music. She opens with the title track, a gorgeous, ELO-tinged mini-anthem with a towering, glistening coda from Kanelos.

“While our world was coming apart, we dreamed,” she intones soberly in the second song, All the Colors of the Sky, Kanelos’ stately, rippling, baroque-tinged piano behind Sanna’s spare fingerpicking. “Will we miss it when it’s gone?” she asks, on the way to one of her signature, breathtakingly operatic crescendos.

“There’s radiant energy, fire in the sky, darkness is coming to open our eyes,” she sings in the stately, similarly baroque Birds of a Feather. You want prophetic or what?

Sanna’s chiming guitar and drifting synth provide a starry backdrop for I Don’t Work Hard, an elegantly soaring cabaret number. The album’s only cover is Thrice Toss These Oaken Ashes, a rare gem by Elizabethan composer and poet Thomas Campion, Lipnik channeling both grit and poignancy over Sanna’s elegant lute-like ukulele work.

She goes back toward a sly, knowing cabaret ambience as Sanna and Kanelos supply bouncy cheer in Tick Bite: “The flame that burns within you is the same flame that burns you,” Lipnik observes. The final cut is A Pure Dose of Mercy, a spacious, minutely nuanced meditation on the pros and cons of staying on the sunny side of the street…including when it gets dangerous. It’s a characteristic blend of deceptively simple, straightforward songcraft and vocal pyrotechnics. and an apt way to close the record. Even better, there’s another one on the way!

A Lushly Ambitious New Album and a Return to a Favorite LES Haunt From Becca Stevens

Becca Stevens has made a career out of defying all attempts to fit her songwriting into any particular category. It’s probably overly reductionistic to call her an artsy rock tunesmith who has engaged various configurations of jazz musicians – and most lately, Balkan and classical ensembles – to play her acerbically complex material. Her latest album may be her most ambitious yet, a collaboration with her husband, violist Nathan Schram’s group the Attacca Quartet, streaming at Soundcloud.

The music itself is closer to Elvis Costello’s Juliet Letters album, or Tift Merritt’s work with Simone Dinnerstein, than, say, Rasputina or My Brightest Diamond.

The tracks are a mix of material from throughout Stevens’ career. The original of the opening number, Be Still was a more energetic take on what a certain songwriter who quit Spotify in a huff over something Joe Rogan did was doing back in the 70s. This version is more lush, as you would expect, but also more hypnotic, although Stevens’ vocals are impassioned bordering on breathless.

The quartet – which also includes violinists Amy Schroeder and Domenic Salerni and cellist Andrew Yee – dig in with a similarly rhythmic attack in the second track, Reminder, an anxious entreaty to try to smile, more or less.

There’s a welcome storminess in Canyon Dust, downplaying the spiky circularity of Stevens’ earlier version. A new number, For You the Night Is Still coalesces into an energetic lullaby out of Stevens’ signature, tricky syncopation. She and the ensemble elevate No More – from her 2011 Weightless album – from a catchy, swaying ukulele pop tune to a striking, dynamically shifting, metaphorically loaded seaside tableau.

Venus is even punchier and more anthemic than the original, tightly tethered by a stern undercurrent from Schram and Yee. Schram’s new chart gives welcome, pulsing gravitas to I Am No Artist, the closest thing to a straight-up pop song here.

She and the quartet play Radiohead’s 2 + 2 = 5 with a crescendoing, flamenco-esque, rhythmic drive, Stevens rising to a practically feral intensity on the mic. It blows the original away – and that was a good song. 45 Bucks, one of Stevens’ big rockers, gets a slightly stripped-down, starkly pulsing attack: it makes a good segue.

She sticks with the world of numbers, in a brooding, alternately stark and sweeping version of 105, from her 2015 Perfect Animal album. The quartet have fun with a plucky take of Little Dragon’s Klapp Klapp, raising it far above the level of the original’s second-rate Goldfrapp goofiness.

There’s an icy glisten to the acoustic guitar mingling within the steady gusts from the quartet in We Knew Love: it’s one of the most evocative numbers here. Stevens’ signature anthem Tillery has a determined sway with a lull before the end. She and the quartet close the record with the balletsque bounce of Traveler’s Blessings.

Her album with brilliant Balkan group the Secret Trio made the best albums of 2021 page here and this one ought to do the same when the best of 2022 page is up here in December – if there is an internet in December, anyway. Stevens’ next gig is with the Secret Trio on July 7 at 7 PM at the big room at the Rockwood. Cover is $20.

Some Fireworks But No Marching Bands on Today’s Fourth of July Playlist

Today Americans celebrate a nation born in a spirit of defiance and freedom. Wherever we are in the world, the time has come to reclaim our sovereignty. As this blog’s favorite intuitive, Adrienne Elise says at her youtube channel today, “It’s time to stop living everybody else’s lie.”

So here’s a playlist to give us a jumpstart: about half an hour of good tunes and a few snarky visuals, since we don’t want to lose our ability to laugh at the New Abnormal, right? If you know this blog, you know the drill: click on artist names for their webpages, click on titles for video or audio.

The most telling clip of this entire playlist is ten seconds of a baby girl responding to a muzzled adult. Sometimes a video really is worth a thousand words. Thanks to Substack author Mathew Aldred for passing this along.

On the sweet vengeful visual tip, Alex Schaefer paints the LA Federal Reserve in flames, with a gallows in the foreground. Thanks to the mysterious polymath New Yorker who calls himself the 2nd Smartest Man in the World – whose Substack is a must-read – for spotting this.

First song on this list is Pretending, Van Morrison’s gorgeous, bittersweet portrait of lockdown-era atomization. “Pretending I’m not depressed…pretending that it’s not real…pretending I’m someone else, pretending that I’m in the present tense, I’m really miles away in a trance.”

This rare solo acoustic clip of New York noir legend LJ Murphy playing his big mid-zeros audience hit Sleeping Mind makes a great segue.

Milwaukee legend Peggy James delivers a somber parable of both Kristallnacht and the Putin invasion of Ukraine in her dark Americana ballad Isn’t Anybody Coming. One of the most gorgeous songs of the year so far.

There were a million Siouxsie wannabes kicking around in the 80s. Ava Vox‘s Silent Tear is better than most of them were. Is this about a lockdown suicide? A satanic ritual? Both?

Lydia Ainsworth‘s hypnotically drifting orchestral rock miniature Cosmic Dust makes a good setup for Maria BC’s Carol Lipnik-lite Betelgeuse. Then we crash back down to earth with Love’s Sudden Death, by Darkher.

Thereminist Nebula and the Velvet Queen‘s Can U Teach A Robot How 2 Love? is pretty self-explanatory: “Will it cry or will it pretend to cry?”

Let’s bring this full circle with a cruelly amusing meme: here’s Jake Shields’ idea of a hot new toy, the Pfizer Doll. An unbeatable Halloween present! Thanks to El Gato Malo for passing this along.

The Best-Ever Playlist on This Page

Today’s playlist is a murderer’s row of singles. Just for starters: a deviously subtle new video for the best song of 2020, and a new electric recording of the best song of 2016. There’s about half an hour worth of music here, plus some funny visuals. If you know this blog, you know the drill: click artist names for their webpages, click titles for audio or video.

Karla Rose’s allusive, slinky serial killer parable Battery Park topped the charts here in what was a pretty nightmarish 2020. She’s got a new video for it: see if you can spot her!

Another noir-inspired artist, LJ Murphy earned the top spot for 2016 with his cruelly prophetic Panic City. It was mostly acoustic then; it’s an electric scorcher now.

We live in perilous times, and Grace Bergere offers a more metaphorical take in A Little Blood, one of the most offhandedly chilling songs of the past several years.

Mark Breyer made a name for himself as sort of the Elvis Costello of powerpop and janglerock with his long-running studio project, Skooshny. And he keeps cranking out sharp, jangly anthems as Son of Skooshny. His latest is Runs in the Family: imagine the Church at their lyrical peak in the 80s..

Atlanta band Faithless Town‘s roaring slide guitar-driven protest anthem New World Order has a great newsreel video: protestors battling SWAT teams in Europe in the summer of 2020, images of the Lockstep tabletop exercise and Event 201, and plenty of usual Davos suspects.

Amy Rigby was not idle during the lockdown here in New York. Here’s her hauntingly hazy cover of the Bob Dylan classic Not Dark Yet

From the anonymous protest songwriter known as POTP – the same guy responsible for the viral video Bill Gates Sings – here’s Vaxx in the Cradle, sung to the tune of the old Harry Chapin hit. Beyond the snarky jokes, it’s amazingly well-crafted – it even follows the plotline of the original. “This song has Emergency Use Authorization to be deployed far and wide in the effort to stem the epidemic of infant experimentation.”

Loosie‘s No Future is the catchiest, most anthemic thing the band’s ever done, with a wistful Lynchian edge. A scruffier Sharon Van Etten, maybe?

You might know Mike Adams as the scientist in the lab coat who founded Brighteon, home to innumerable good censored videos. Want to know what video is at the very top of the search page today? The full stream of the Plandemic II documentary!. But believe it or not, Adams also has a history as a rapper. Check out his hauntingly prescient 2010 video Vaccine Zombie, which has resurfaced courtesy of the consistently brilliant and provocative Midwestern Doctor Substack page.

Moirai’s Völuspa is a starkly gorgeous recreation of an ancient Icelandic dragonslayer myth. Is this classical music? Folk music? 21st century minimalism? Maybe all of the above?

Let’s close with some funny stuff. First, click and scroll down the page for a 45-second tv ad for Oomph’s new “human meat plant based burger” via Jeff Childers’ indispensable Coffee & Covid. Reputedly the jury’s out on how it tastes compared to genuine human flesh.

And here’s a meme from cartoonist Anne Gibbons: a spot-on take on the FDA’s self-declared “future framework,”  where if they get their way there will be no more safety trials for any pharmaceutical products.

Playful Cosmopolitan Songs and a Falafel Hill Album Release Show From Eclectic Chanteuse Ourida

Algerian-French-American singer Ourida was making tracks in the small-club scene in New York before the 2020 lockdown crushed the arts here. The good news is that this irrepressible, genre-defying songwriter is back in action, with a new album, Wings, which hasn’t hit her Bandcamp page yet. She’s playing the album release show on June 21 at 7:30 at a new venue, Atlantic Brooklyn at 333 Atlantic Ave. just off Hoyt. Cover is $15; it’s about equidistant from the Atlantic Ave. station and the F at Bergen St.

On the album, she sings in expressive English and French, and plays both keys and ukulele, joined by Jonathan Levy on guitar and bass, Eli Crews (who also produced) on EWI, theremin and optigon, and Joe Hertenstein on drums.

The first song, simply titled Blues, is a more psychedelic, dubwise take on dark Amy Winehouse soul that draws a line straight back to Nina Simone. Ourida and band go for a cheerily minimalist trip-hop vibe in the second track, Don’t Talk. She sticks to a similar 90s groove, switching to French for track three, Deux Guitares, lightly spiced with violin from Ernesto Llorens.

Kane Mathis adds warily spare oud in Berlin, a surreal, shadowy rai-cabaret number with an unexpectedly towering, intense coda. Ourida returns to the piano for the hypnotically vampy Bees and follows that with G Train, a catchy, stomping uke-rock salute to the lure of deep-Brooklyn nightlife.

Siren Song, a coyly swaying nocturne, has two basses on it: that’s Panagiotis Andreou on electric and Or Bareket on acoustic. Levy’s film-noir reverb guitar trades off eerily with Mathis’ oud in Porte de la Chapelle, a shout-out to the Paris neighborhood. She stays in broodingly catchy North African/Parisian mode for the next track, Joker.

Ourida and the band rise from a brisk hip-hop groove to a whirling circus rock atmosphere in L’emeute (“Uprising”). The longest and trippiest number here is a mysteriously cut-and-pasted, dubby take of Leonard Cohen’s Dance Me to the End of Love. The album’s final cut is Home. a benedictory gospel tune that wouldn’t be out of place in the Rachelle Garniez catalog. This record grows on you: the arrangements are stark and imaginative and Ourida’s joie de vivre is infectious.

Singles for Early June: The Theme Is Laughter, More Or Less

Been a long time since there’s been a collection of singles on this page. In celebration of how we managed to make it through May without losing our collective sovereignty to the WHO, and that all the concentration camp proposals died in session in the New York State legislature, here’s a bunch of songs, a couple of snarky videos and a meme to keep our spirits up. Click on artist names for their webpages (a couple of these are anonymous), click on titles for audio or visuals.

This one just came over the transom today thanks to the irreplaceable Mark Crispin Miller’s News From Underground. Bill Gates Sings! At :41 “I identify as a medical doctor!”

Muzzleboy reads a book on German history in the 1930s! Sometimes a meme is really worth a thousand words.  Screenshot this and make it your screensaver maybe?

El Gato Malo reminds us, in a minute 41 seconds, how in the fall of 2020 all the Democratic candidates were railing against the “Trumpvax.”

Sage Hana offers a creepy, dystopic mini-movie about what bioweapons may be waiting for us this fall courtesy of the sinister Ralph Baric of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Genius animator Ken Avidor has launched his Unjabbed short video series about freedom fighters in a postapocalyptic future, which have been banned from Vimeo. Thanks to Steve Kirsch for grabbing these and saving them for all of us

Here’s a real subtle one. In the stately chamber pop cadences of Matter of Time, Lydia Luce wants to know, “Who’s gonna grow food for the masses?”

Here’s another subtle, drifting pastoral pop number: Meadow, by Emily Tahlin. “The meadow stretches out for miles, I have come to hide.”

Let’s wind up today’s playlist on an upbeat note with Rebecca Day & the Crazy Daysies doing their Americana tune Old Jeans Blue. “A shot of Jim and a sixpack in and I can’t pretend.” Scroll down to the middle of the page for the video. Thanks to Tom Woods of the absolutely essential Tom Woods Show (a guy with great taste in music too) for the heads-up on this one