2020 has been a harsh mistress in many ways and musicians have not been exempt from her brutal capriciousness. It ain’t a good time to make a new album.
But that has not stopped musicians in the Pacific Northwest from releasing new materials. Thus far this year I have catalogued 188 new albums released in the region, and this is only in genres that I’m interested in. The actual number is probably significantly higher.
So with lockdown and quarantine and such, how exactly are albums being made? Perhaps most amazingly are long-distance recordings where band members who live thousands of miles apart record their bits individually and then put the whole thing together. One such local album is House Bound Jazz by Andrew Oliver. This most excellent old-timey hot jazz album, filled with intricate interaction between band members, was recorded through the magic of the interwebs, a feat which continues to impress me.
Others recorded material earlier but released it in 2020, such as fabulous local country artists Wildcat Rose’s latest, On Fire!. Leaning slightly to the rockabilly side of country, but still firmly entrenched in traditional country tropes, Wildcat Rose delivers.
Other groups have released live recordings that were perhaps not originally intended to be released or recorded albums in their own homes with amazing technologies that were unavailable not all that long ago. Neither rain nor sleet nor germs!
A few of these new releases are available at Everett Public Library including:
Sadly, most of these new releases are not currently available through Everett Public Library. However, you can find albums by many of these same artists in the EPL collection, including:
And lastly I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite local albums of 2020 that will hopefully be available through the library soon:
A Look Back by The Burying Ground 1961 by The Evanstones
Ridiculosis by Robb Benson Rock & Roll Party 66 by Scott the Hoople
So even in tough times we can find beautiful art. Check into recent local music releases to invigorate the spirit and soothe the soul.