Release Radar 10/23/20: Local Natives vs Hot Chip

Release Radar 10/23/20: Local Natives vs Hot Chip

Local Natives have finally released their Sour Lemon EP, and it’s sounding fantastic. Last week they debuted the Sharon Van Etten duet, “Lemon,” and today they give us “Lost.” They also just live-streamed their first performance together as a full band since March from the Lodge Room in Los Angeles. You can still get in on it.

Could there be a better combination than Hot Chip and Jarvis Cocker? Not this week. On “Straight To The Morning” we see Hot Chip getting back to form after their lo-fi version of The Velvet Underground’s “Candy Says.” Their cover was just one of four songs, three originals, they donated to the Late Night Tales series, which they curated this time around.


A collab I didn’t see working as well, is this “The Valley Of The Pagans” track. It features Beck trading verses with Gorillaz co-founder Damon Albarn, and these two gel, almost like soulmates. The verses are straight fire, but what happens in the chorus is magic, and I’d love to hear more of Beck and Damon singing together. Who would’ve thought?

Man, I can’t rave enough about this Engelwood cat. “Tasty Jam” is the latest from the 23-year-old music producer who dabbles wildly in hip-hop, jazz, and electronic. Once hailing from Princeton, New Jersey, this dude is currently chilling up in Madison. “Hello, Wisconsin!” Englewood’s vibe is just what we need at the moment. It’s upbeat and carefree. While the unintellectual Van Morrison releases “No More Lockdown,” and bitches about losing his “god-given rights” others are just trying to make it through, stay safe, and have fun.

Marika Hackman, born the year I graduated from high school (1992), sounds wise beyond her years. “Between The Bars” is subtle, gorgeous, and heartfelt. A fingerpicked ballad that is reminiscent of Elliot Smith. While slow, it’s one you don’t want to miss.


Pearl Jam celebrates its 30th anniversary of being a band, by releasing their full 1992 MTV Unplugged performance, for the first time ever on all streaming services and CD. Apparently they have released this set on vinyl twice, and it had sold out instantly. Bummer. But, on the upside, in this week’s Release Radar, I was graced with the acoustic version of my all-time favorite PJ song, “Black.” “Porch” might be my second?

Another blast from the past this week with Toad The Wet Sprocket’s latest release, “Old Habits Die Hard.” This is much better than their previous single that sounded like they were just changing the lyrics to an older song. Here they show their age and it’s so empowering. There’s a touch of Frank, and maybe a splash of Dean, maybe even some Lyle?

Your jazz cut of the week is “Homeland” and comes from Gorden Campbell, featuring, prominently, Kamasi Washington. A super-smooth cut, with Kamasi blowing in the wind.

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