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Reviews: New Louisville music you need to hear now

Reviews: New Louisville music you need to hear now

Sheri Streeter
I am that shadow too
There is a quiet south just below the surface of I am that shadow too, the latest from singer-songwriter Sheri Streeter. From Streeters’ dull voice to the rolled-up calm of their compositions, I am that shadow too reminiscent of the bittersweet tribe of contemporaries like Chelsea Wolfe or Emma Ruth Rundle, a powerful company to keep. Lyrically, Streeter has an undeniable talent honed by many years of craftsmanship that is wonderfully illustrated on this album, from the strict intensity of “Inside Her” to the sadly timeless (but no less beautiful) “Love in a Time of Hate”. “Love in a Time of Hate”, written a few years ago, is an overly gripping meditation on finding love despite the odds, and one that is particularly enchanting after the recent Supreme Court ruling against elections. In many ways, Streeters’ work remains evergreen, and does not reflect on the specific characteristics of our time, but on commonalities that everyone who has ever felt on the outside understands. It’s damn beautiful.

Shitfire
Hey bitch
I’m not sure if shit was on your agenda today, but now it is, because when you listen Hey bitch by Shitfire, you’re about to get rowdy. It should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the garage punk provocateurs, especially on an album of joy Hey bitch. The compositions are at once frightening and hooked, pop music that is definitely left in the middle and on purpose, but which is not afraid of being catchy. Tracks like “Leadfoot” really emphasize the musical feat, the juxtaposition of dissonant, almost Dischord-like noise with a vibe reminiscent of bands like Sleater-Kinney or Bikini Kill. On “No Home”, the band gives an ode to irresponsibility, to everyday drinking, to fucking, to the nihilism that capitalism promotes in many. Hey bitch is sunshine on a dark day, a five-song anthem to ward off the worst in the world.

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Joan Shelly
Traces
The music of Joan Shelley is an ointment for the worst times. As previously established (and to no surprise), the musicianship here is superlative, a robust use of acoustic instrumentation and light production projections that keep things light, but never too much. As such, Traces is an album of moderation, of changing topics, of tonal shifts from the calm and pastoral to thoughtful and melancholy. Sometimes there is a world-weariness here, moments of silent procrastination that require an inward turn, while other times Shelley’s voice is a beacon of light at night, a reminder to enjoy the moments you can control. For example, “Like the Thunder” is a study of connection and belonging, of thinking about the people you love and the communities we create to support each other. At least that’s what it looks like, as Shelley’s texts are deliberately left open, inviting a broad interpretation of the meanings found there. Traces is a cipher that rewards your time with gentle melodies and thoughtful storytelling.

Thurgood Bartholomew
Luka Doncic
Louisville hip-hop has evolved slowly but surely, building on the talents of OG employees like Thurgood Bartholomew, also known as Skyscraper Stereo’s Mr. Goodbar. The album, named after the Slovenian ball player for the Dallas Mavericks, is a far too short call to action, a three-singer EP dedicated to continuing that gate. In the title opening, Thurgood talks about his experiences of somehow staying on the outside of the system built to target him. As such, it is a bittersweet victory here, partly underlined by Thurgood’s nostalgia for his youth; he has made it, and he still makes it. On “Thunder Over Louisville”, the production refers to beats of the type RZA or MF Doom, lo-fi but high quality, with Thurgood on the microphone by Dave.Will.Chris and Doh Joker. The album ends with “Porcelain”, a soft banger that shows off Thurgood’s poetry. The only problem with Luka Doncic is its brevity, but like all the big ones, this EP makes you want more.

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