Kristine England

Apr 30, 2022



April 2022

Kristine England

April 30, 2022


At the Hot Spot

At the Hotspot is dirty, nasty funk, and it’s a whole lotta fun. The group has evolved from punk electronica to funky disco for its fourth album, conceptually centered around a club called the Hot Spot. Is it an oasis from the drudgery of the real world, or a dangerous place where you can find love, pain or joy? The band has been called “in your face,” “seedy,” and “dangerously debauched.” The Line Of Best Fit described their last album "gritty, poppy, tasty, and utter, utter filth.” They meant it as a compliment, and Warduscher has thankfully not cleaned up its act one iota.

“Wild Flowers”


Beware Believers

Crows create noisy and topical post-punk (somewhat reminiscent of early Psychedelic Furs to my ears and hurray for that). The group has traveled a rocky road since its inception, moving from label to label and studio to studio to record its debut Silver Tongues. The band nearly crumbled along the way, with its drummer departing and frontman Cox about to pack it in when he got a lift up from IDLES’ Joe Talbot who admitted he loved the group’s record and encouraged him to keep going. And here they are with Beware Believers, with “themes of governmental decline, social division, and self-reflection…that shines brightest when at its darkest.” (Clash Magazine)

“Slowly Separate”

The Dead Tongues


Singer-songwriter, musician, and producer Ryan Gustafson has been creating folk music under the Dead Tongues moniker for some years, and his latest is the entrancing Dust. The work began after a months-long musical hiatus, where he reportedly didn’t even pick up his guitar. Another work created during the pandemic, Gustafson took the opportunity to delve into old notebooks with work he had lain aside and found new inspiration in past ideas. The songs are quiet, melodic, and mesmerizing.


Blue Violet

Late Night Calls

The husband and wife duo brings the drama. Starting out as a beautiful ballad, “Halo” builds to a glorious theatrical climax. The rest of the album offers dreamy soundscapes, slow-burning rockers with notes of Americana, some country-pop, and more. This record is rich with great vocals and instrumentation.



Fire Becomes Me

Originally from LA but now based in NYC, singer Nakaya is the daughter of a hip-hop producer which may have granted her early inspiration to pursue a musical career in her own right. Casting herself as an outsider (a queer woman of Panamanian-Filipino descent), she brings her unique perspective to her art. “Fire Becomes Me” begins with a contemplative tone, building in intensity with her powerful vocals. It’s a song she describes as “...perspective between my current and past selves. I wrote this as part of a series I ran in 2020 when I felt galvanized by the world’s eyes on Black issues.”

"Fire Becomes Me"

Oumou Sangaré


The latest record from "the Songbird of Wassoulou" is yet another product of the pandemic lockdown. Singer Sangaré began singing on the streets of her native Bamako, Mali to help make ends meet after she, her mother, and siblings were left to care for themselves after the departure of her father.  She’s come a long way since then, and 30 years after her formal debut, she’s still fusing West African traditions with Western influences to create magic.



New Meaning

Tempers, the NYC duo of Jasmine Golestaneh and Eddie Cooper, creates a mood with music that is darker than it suggests at first listen: layered synth-pop with themes of loss and living through a shared and catastrophic crisis. "Sightseeing,” for example, offers meditations on the “the anguished city” that was an early victim of the pandemic in the US.


Christian Lee Hutson


Picking up Eliott Smith’s torch, LA’s Christian Lee Hutson began as part of The Driftwood Singers, releasing titled We Will Never Break Up in 2012. But break up they did, and he moved on to a solo career in 2013. Over the years he’s released several albums and EPs and collaborated with Phoebe Bridgers who produced his last two records.