Five Albums You Should Be Listening To Right Now

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Five Albums You Should Be Listening To Right Now

Great new records chosen by Adam Zacks, founder of the Sasquatch! Music Festival.

Every week, titans of the mediasphere give Nerve their music recommendations. This week: Adam Zacks, Pacific Northwest concert promoter and the founder and producer of the Sasquatch! Music Festival, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this week.


1. Wheedle's Groove, Seattle's Finest in Funk & Soul 1965-75

Wheedle's Groove is a compilation of bands from a golden era of Seattle funk and soul, who, at the time, did not garner the acclaim they deserved outside of the Pacific Northwest. Thanks to the brilliant crate diggers at Light In The Attic Records, these artists are being discovered and appreciated by a whole new generation. There are many gems, but The Black on White Affair's "Bold Soul Sister, Bold Soul Brother" is my favorite, not least for its funky rhythm, banged out on the bell of the ride cymbal.

Listen: "Bold Soul Sister, Bold Soul Brother"



2. Aloe Blacc, Good Things

There are many modern soul singers who offer emotional vocals paired with nostalgic melodies and instrumentation, but none do it with the same heart as Aloe Blacc. He manages to sound vintage and modern simultaneously. This record is great from top to bottom, and it's tough to pick a favorite track, but "Miss Fortune" stands out for its reggae breakdown.

Listen: "Miss Fortune"



3. The Bronx, Mariachi El Bronx

I love when a band I think I've got figured out makes me eat crow. I had The Bronx pegged as a solid but not especially memorable SoCal rock band. With their mariachi record, they created something both unexpected and inspired that I enjoy on repeat. It's also made me appreciate their rock side in a different light. Hooray for being wrong.

Listen: "Cell Mates"



4. Sharon Van Etten, Epic

One thing all my favorite records have in common is that I didn't love them right away. The "grower" phenomenon really applies, for me, to Sharon Van Etten. I enjoy this record more and more with each listen. 

Listen: "Save Yourself"



5. Washed Out, Life of Leisure

I'm always happy when this record comes into rotation on iTunes, right after Villagers and prior to Wilco. "Hold Out" is like a breath of fresh air. Its sound has an impressionist quality that speaks to me beyond the lyrics.

Listen: "Hold Out"