Reviews: New Louisville Music You Need to Hear Now

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Sheri Streeter
This shadow too am I
There’s a silent bubbling just below the surface of This shadow too am I, the most recent from singer-songwriter Sheri Streeter. From the suave voice of Streeter to the coiled calm of their compositions, This shadow too am I recalls the bittersweet brood of contemporaries like Chelsea Wolfe or Emma Ruth Rundle, powerful company to keep. Lyrically, Streeter has an undeniable talent honed by years of work that shines beautifully on this album, from the austere intensity of “Inside Her” to the sadly timeless (but no less beautiful) “Love in a Time of Hate”. Written a few years ago now, “Love in a Time of Hate” is an all too poignant meditation on finding love despite the odds, and one that’s especially haunting after the Supreme Court’s recent no-choice verdict. In many ways, Streeter’s work still remains relevant, reflecting not the specifics of our time, but the commonalities that anyone who has ever felt outside understands. It’s damn beautiful.

fire shit
hello female dog
I don’t know if shit was on the agenda today, but now it is, ’cause when you listen hello female dog by sydney, you’re about to get rowdy. This should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with garage punk provocateurs, especially on an album gleefully titled Hi female dog. The compositions are both off-putting and heavy, pop music that’s certainly left-of-center and intentional, but isn’t afraid to get catchy as all hell. Tracks like “Leadfoot” really underscore this musical feat, the juxtaposition of dissonant, almost Dischord-esque noise with a vibe reminiscent of bands like Sleater-Kinney or Bikini Kill. On “No Home”, the group delivers an ode to the irresponsibility, to the daily consumption of alcohol, to the shit, to the nihilism that capitalism maintains in many. hello female dog is sunshine on a dark day, a five-song anthem to ward off the worst in the world.

Joan Shelly
the spur
Joan Shelley’s music is a balm for the worst times. As previously established (and to no one’s surprise), the musicality here is superlative, a robust use of acoustic instrumentation and light production touches that keep things light, but never too much. As such, the spur is an album of moderation, shifting subject matter, shifting tones from serene and pastoral to pensive and melancholic. At times there is a world-weariness here, moments of quiet respite that demand withdrawal, while at others Shelley’s voice is a beacon of light in the night, a reminder to enjoy times that you box control. For example, “Like the Thunder” is a study in connection and belonging, contemplating the people you love and the communities we create to support each other. Or so it seems, as Shelley’s lyrics are intentionally left open, inviting wide interpretation of the meanings within. the spur is a number that rewards your time with sweet melodies and thoughtful storytelling.

Thurgood Barthelemy
Luka Doncic
Louisville hip-hop evolved slowly but surely, drawing on the talents of OG entertainers like Thurgood Bartholomew, aka Mr. Goodbar of Skyscraper Stereo. The album, named after the Slovenian Dallas Mavericks player, is Too Short a Call to Action, a three-song EP dedicated to continuing that grind. In the titular opening, Thurgood talks about his experiences of somehow staying outside of the system designed to target him. As such, there’s a bittersweet victory here, partially underscored by Thurgood’s nostalgia for his youth; he did and he still does. On “Thunder Over Louisville,” the production references RZA or MF Doom-like, lo-fi but high-quality beats, with Thurgood joined on the mic by Dave.Will.Chris and Doh Joker. The record ends with “Porcelain,” a mellow banger that showcases Thurgood’s lyricism. The only problem with Luka Doncic is its brevity, although like all greats, this EP leaves you wanting more.

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