LPs you might’ve missed from the 2010s

In Part II of my look back at the music I dug during the past decade (2010-2019), I’m featuring great albums by bands and artists who got their start in the 1990s or 2000s.  Some were bands I never knew about until the 2010s while others simply knocked me out with new albums they released during the 2010s.

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Portugal. The Man, “Woodstock,” 2017

My wife and daughter braved the crowds and dusty environment at the Coachella Festival a couple of years ago, and upon their return, the band they raved about most was this one.  They’ve been around since 2006 when they emerged from Portland, Oregon with their forcefully melodic brand of rock/pop.  They wanted the band to have a bigger-than-life feel but did not want to name it after one of their members. “A country is a group of people,” guitar player and vocalist John Gourley explained. “Portugal just ended up being the first country that came to mind, so the band’s name is ‘Portugal’ — the period makes that a statement.  ‘The Man’ means that it’s just one person (any one of the band members).”

Portugal._The_Man_Woodstock_album_coverWhew.  Okay then.  The six-person band struggled along, recording albums on small labels to little fanfare, and it wasn’t until they were signed by Atlantic in 2011 and released their sixth LP, “In the Mountain in the Cloud,” that the listening public began to take notice.  Their 2013 album “Evil Friends” made it to #28 on the Billboard 200 and #9 on the alt-rock charts.

My introduction to Portugal. The Man came with the remarkable LP “Woodstock,” whose opening track, “Number One,” includes samples of Richie Havens performing “Freedom/Motherless Child” at the 1969 festival.  Much more compelling are the successful singles, “Feel It Still” and “Live in the Moment,” and album tracks like “Rich Friends” and “So Young.”  Their percussion-heavy sound is bathed in synthesizers and guitars and a virtual sea of vocal harmonies.

Florence + The Machine, “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful,” 2015

Florence Welch and her long-time friend and collaborator Isabella “Machine” Summers got their start in England performing as Florence Robot/Isa Machine, a clunky name they eventually reduced to Florence + The Machine and won praise through exposure on “BBC Introducing” in 2008.  Their debut LP “Lungs” rocketed up the UK charts in 2009, became the best-selling album in England the following year, and reached #14 in the US.

Florence_and_the_Machine_-_How_Big_How_Blue_How_Beautiful_(Official_Album_Cover)I became aware of the group when I heard their excellent third album, “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful,” a #1 hit here in 2015, garnering five Grammy nominations.  It’s a wonderful mixture of classic soul and English art rock, carried by Summers’ keyboards, Robert Ackroyd’s guitar and Welch’s powerful voice.  She describes her career this way:  “I’m lucky that there seems to be a massive revival in female performers.  My icons were always women like Kate Bush, Stevie Nicks and Siouxsie Sioux. Who wouldn’t be proud to carry on that tradition?”

Just give a listen to the first three tracks, all co-written by Welch –“Ship to Wreck,” “What Kind of Man” and especially the bold title track, fortified with strings and a horn arrangement. Will Hermes of Rolling Stone wrote, “Welch isn’t the most rhythmic singer; she’s more about powerful held notes and dramatic articulation.  Her rock moves have sometimes felt fussy in the past, but here, she punches like a prizefighter.”  Amen.

Gotye, “Making Mirrors,” 2011

I was among the approximately one billion souls who loved Gotye’s quirky mega-hit “Somebody That I Used to Know” when it spent seven weeks at #1 in the spring of 2012.  “More!” I said, so I bought “Making Mirrors,” the album it came from.  I wholeheartedly agreed with Caitlin Welsh of The Music Network, who called it “just as rich, cheeky and Gotye_-_Making_Mirrorssteeped in pop history and musicality as its predecessor and as carefully constructed and addictive as its breakout single.”  There are at least another half-dozen tracks that are every bit as appealing:  “I Feel Better,” “Eyes Wide Open,” “State of the Art,” “Easy Way Out,” “Giving Me a Chance,” “Bronte.”

With that impressive track record,  I went back and discovered the album’s worthy predecessor, “Like Drawing Blood,” written and recorded in 2004-05 and released in Australia in 2006 when Gotye was still Wouter “Wally” DeBacker performing in The Basics, a partnership with singer-songwriter Kris Schroeder.  (FYI:  The Dutch name Wouter translates into French as Gaultier, which he eventually chose to respell as Gotye and use as his stage name.)  “Hearts a Mess,” the single from “Like Drawing Blood,” reached #8 in Australia that year.

So where has he been since then?  He disappointed his fans in a 2014 interview when he announced, “There will be no new Gotye music.”  Instead, he has been devoting his time and energy to producing struggling young Australian artists and working with various eco-minded foundations there.  He also befriended electronic music pioneer Jean-Jacques Perrey and worked to preserve his recorded legacy before Perry’s death in 2016.

Brandi Carlile, “By the Way, I Forgive You,” 2018

The emergence of Carlile, and the evolution of her career from 2005 onward without my noticing it, is an indictment of how out of touch I was regarding new artists in the 2000s.  She is right up my alley — a talented and sensitive songwriter with an outstanding voice.  How did I not pay attention?

In any event, I’ve certainly woken up now, thanks to my daughters’ recommendation last year and, more convincingly, her performance of her incredible song “The Joke” at the grammy2Grammy Awards ceremony in February 2019.  Boy, did she ever blow the roof off the place that night!

I started exploring her music via her most recent album, “By the Way, I Forgive You,” which includes not only “The Joke” but also gorgeous melodies like “Party of One” and “Most of All.”  She’s been writing and recording music for 15 years now, proving herself adept at folk, country, rock, you name it.

Most recently, she has collaborated with Maren Morris, Natalie Hemby and Amanda Shires in a project they call The Highwomen, and that’s another fine album I recommend.  Most remarkably a few months ago, she aced a Los Angeles performance of  Joni Mitchell’s 1974 masterpiece LP “Court and Spark” in its entirety, with Joni in attendance (talk about pressure!).  You can find this on YouTube.

Radiohead, “A Moon Shaped Pool,” 2015

Named after a track on an old Talking Heads album, Radiohead emerged from England in the mid-1990s with songs like “Creep” and the wonderfully eclectic 1995 LP “The Bends,” featuring great tracks such as “High and Dry” and “Fake Plastic Trees.”  Lead singer-songwriter Thom Yorke soon took the band down a denser, more electronic road in 1997 with “OK Computer,” with lyrics full of social alienation and emotional isolation.  The darker mood struck a nerve with fan bases in both the UK and US, and critics generally agreed that the album was an experimental landmark with far-reaching impact and importance.

58a7088e5b0786939b439e06a2d08cf9More extreme experimentation (2000’s “Kid A”) and Pink Floyd-like mood music (2003’s “Hail to the Thief,” 2007’s “In Rainbows”) followed as the band continued to sell well and garnered multiple Grammy nominations in alt-rock categories.  Full disclosure:  Throughout this period, I had a hard time relating to much of Radiohead’s vibe.  I guess I wasn’t interested in searching the musical horizons they were reaching for.

Funny thing, though — by 2016, when they returned from a five-year hiatus with “A Moon Shaped Pool,” I was in a more receptive mood, and found the songs far more accessible and intriguing.  “Identikit,” “Decks Dark,” “The Numbers,” “Present Tense” and others make for a great listening experience.  Critics called it “brooding, symphonic, poignant, and well worth the wait…” and labeled it “their most gorgeous album, a stunning triumph.”  Even if, like me, you’ve been indifferent or antagonistic to Radiohead’s catalog, I urge you to check out “A Moon Shaped Pool.”  Fine stuff indeed.

Sheryl Crow, “Threads,” 2019

Crow has been around seemingly forever, or at least since her hugely popular 1993 debut, “Tuesday Night Music Club,” with its big single “All I Wanna Do.”  Her music — a dizzying repertoire of rock, blues, alt rock, country and folk — has continued to sell millions, perform high on the charts and bring in scads of awards and nominations on all the awards shows.  But truth be told, I’ve remained strangely indifferent to her work. R-14067175-1567251475-2353-1.jpegHer voice, for the most part, doesn’t thrill me, although there have been individual album tracks I’ve liked — “I Know Why” and “Always on Your Side” from her “Wildflower” album and “My Favorite Mistake” from “The Globe Sessions” LP are three examples.

After finally seeing her perform in concert at a music festival in Ohio last summer, I became ready to soften my view and concede that she’s better than I’d been willing to acknowledge.  And just in time, too, because right after that, Crow released what may be her best album:  “Threads,” a 17-song extravaganza on which she collaborates with an amazing cross section of artists.  She does one of those time-travel hookups with the late Johnny Cash, where she superimposes her vocals onto his 2010 cover of her old tune “Redemption Day.”  She rocks out with Joe Walsh on their co-write, “Still the Good Old Days.”  She does a duet with Keith Richards on the 1994 Stones tune “The Worst.”  She harmonizes with everyone from Emmylou Harris to James Taylor, from Stevie Nicks to Maren Morris, from Chris Stapleton to Willie Nelson.  I think my favorite may be her sexy groove with Bonnie Raitt and Mavis Staples on “Live Wire.”

Arcade Fire, “The Suburbs,” 2010

They’ve been labeled indie rock, and art rock and dance rock, and baroque pop.  Whatever, Arcade Fire has been hitting my hot buttons ever since I turned on to them with their 2008 album “Neon Bible.”  Songs like “Keep the Car Running” and “Intervention” with their Springsteen-like vocals and energy made them a big favorite around that time.

Arcade_Fire_-_The_SuburbsBut it was their third LP, 2010’s “The Suburbs,” that pushed them into my Top Albums of the Decade list.  Everything about this album grabs me and doesn’t let go — the vocals of founder Win Butler and his wife Règine Chassagne; the incredible instrumental interplay of Butler, brother Will Butler and Richard Reed Parry on guitars and keyboards; and most of all, the captivating songs themselves.  “Deep Blue,” “Ready to Start,” “Suburban War,” “Modern Man” and especially “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)” and the title song are just fabulous.  No wonder the album won dozens of accolades, including the 2010 Album of the Year Grammy.

Since then, Arcade Fire have released two more albums that rival “The Suburbs” in their appeal, and although “Reflektor” (2013) and “Everything Now” (2017) didn’t get near the commercial or critical success of their predecessor, I’m a huge fan of both records.  If you’re not hip to these guys, I suggest you turn your attention to their catalog right away.

Open your ears, this is the new stuff

The name of this blog is Hack’s BACK Pages.  I am, by nature, a pretty nostalgic person.  I enjoy looking back fondly on the days of my youth and young adulthood, and it is the music from those days that I am most passionate about.

But still, as I have eased (or stumbled) into my 40s, 50s and 60s, I have continued to occasionally buy new music when it has been released, or when I have discovered it after the fact.  I remain curious and eager to build my music collection and keep my ears to the ground for artists that make me sit up and take notice.  To those who say “there’s no good music being made anymore,” I call bullshit.  There is a TON of good, even great, music coming out all the time.  You just have to look a little harder to find the music that appeals to you.

I like to think I enjoy many different genres of music, but truth be told, there are some I just can’t (or won’t) digest.  Hip hop?  Sorry, not interested.  Bubblegum pop?  Nope, I’m too old now for that cotton-candy froth.  Country?  Well, I’m more open to it than I used to be, but I certainly don’t prefer it.

My leanings are toward blues-based rock, and straight blues, and progressive rock, and perceptive singer-songwriter folk, and energetic rhythm-and-blues.  So as I have leaned in to the music of the 2010-2019 decade, I have naturally been inclined to find albums by artists in the genres that press those hot buttons.

images-81Some of these musicians are new, meaning they arrived on the scene within the last 10 years.  Others first showed up during the 1990s or 2000s, but I didn’t hear them (or they didn’t come up with their best work) until this decade.  And still others are vintage artists from my years (1960s, 1970s and 1980s) who are somehow still cranking out some amazing new stuff.

This week’s post will take a look at 10 new artists from the 2010s who I’ve been enjoying, artists who I believe are worthy of your attention.   In the next two blog installments, I’ll explore the bands from older decades who captivated me with their new releases during the 2010-2019 period.

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Alabama Shakes

A combination of soulful roots-rock, blues rock and the earthshaking pipes of Brittany Howard brought Alabama Shakes near universal acclaim when they made their full-c5d3279ab03b58701be6ea50a8e8ba5aalbum debut on “Boys and Girls” (2012).  Part of its appeal is its rough-around-the-edges production and down-home earthiness, which make the songs sound rawer and more vital.  Check out “Rise to the Sun” and “Heartbreaker” for a hint of what I’m talking about.

While Howard’s forceful voice shows serious evidence of Aretha Franklin and Janis Joplin, it is actually closer to the late Amy Winehouse in the way she can grab a lyric and shake it like a dog with a squirrel in its mouth.  Conversely, she has a gentler side that coaxes songs like “I Found You” and the delicious title song over the finish line in convincing fashion.  I get the album-coverimpression she could win me over singing the New Jersey phone book.

The Alabama Shakes follow-up “Sound and Color” (2015) continues Howard’s startling dominance over her material, but this LP seems a bit too trippy and experimental in places, and suffers from production trickery that works against the band’s strengths.  But there are still some fine moments — the quirky, staccato rhythms on the the singles “Don’t Want to Fight” and “Future People” provide a seductive platform for Howard’s imaginative vocal play, and her band seem well equipped to the task of backing her up.

I hope to see an Alabama Shakes gig someday, hopefully in a small, sweaty venue.  I get the feeling it would shake me to the core.

The War on Drugs

A heartfelt thanks to my friend Raj for first exposing me to the dreamy music of The War on Drugs.  The rich, layered arrangements and strong vocals heard on “A Deeper 600x600bb-2Understanding” (2017) are truly a wonder to behold.  Adam Granduciel is clearly the wunderkind in charge as chief songwriter, keyboardist and singer, and he joins the ranks of do-it-all musicians like Stevie Wonder, Jack White and Ian Anderson who, although there are other band members who provide color and shading, tend to run the show with an iron fist.

The first track I heard was the 11-minute “Thinking of a Place,” which turned out to be the appropriate introduction to the album.  There’s so much going on here, but its slow development and its sense of not being sure exactly where it’s going is image-3downright thrilling as layer after layer builds into a shimmering production.  There’s such marvelous attention to sonic details, and the push and pull of grittiness and studio polish is mesmerizing.  It’s no wonder “A Deeper Understanding” won a 2018 Grammy for Best Rock Album.

Granduciel’s smooth, strong voice soars along the top edge of his arrangements (take note of “Holding On” and “Nothing to Find” with their Dylanesque influences), and the result is captivating.  The overall excellence of “A Deeper Understanding” has sent me back to explore The War on Drug’s earlier efforts, especially “Lost in the Dream” (2014), and I’m eager to hear if the band’s next release can top their work thus far.

Mayer Hawthorne

If you miss the sound of ’70s soul and ’60s Motown, then Mayer Hawthorne is for you.  Good Lord, this guy — who has chosen a public persona akin to Buddy Holly — has an Unknown-78uncanny ability to sound as retro as Al Green or Bobby Womack, although with a more modern day production.  On “How Do You Do” (2011), Hawthorne has Temptations send-ups like “Hooked,” falsetto-driven grooves (“A Long Time”), and perhaps the finest kiss-off to an ex-girlfriend I’ve ever heard (“The Walk”).  Check out these lines:  “I love the way you walk now, and your legs are so long/ well, your looks had me putty in your hand now/but I took just as much as I can stand now/ and you can walk your long legs, baby, out of my life…”

Unknown-80His more recent album “Man About Town” (2016) is also well worth your time.  Fabulously sexy ’70s-era soul tunes abound, from “Breakfast in Bed” to “Cosmic Love,” seemingly designed to take us back to those summer nights when The Stylistics and Marvin Gaye were our radio companions to romantic adventures in back seats.  There are plenty of dance-floor workouts here too, like “The Valley” and “Love Like That.”  In short, Hawthorne and Company bring a broad smile to my face whenever I slide either of these CDs into the player.

Emily Hackett

Ok, I am biased big time here, but it’s high time my girl got the kind of exposure and success her music deserves, and there’s a growing audience of fans that agrees with me. eh-sunEmily’s songs have matured in both lyrical content and musical sophistication since her early EPs, “Fury, Fear and Heartbreak” (2013) and “The Raw EP” (2015).  In 2018, she completed her first full album but chose to release it as two EPs instead — “By the Sun” (2018) and “By the Moon” (2019), which illustrate two different sides of Emily’s songwriting.

The spirited fun of “Nostalgia” and “Good Intentions” highlights “By the Sun,” offering quality examples 97afa893a4e0eb32a75fdafcd2cf0cc6.1000x1000x1of her pop side and country influence, respectively.  “‘By the Sun’ was open and honest, and that continued onto ‘By the Moon,’ but the songs on that one took me to a more vulnerable place,” she says.  “It’s like, ‘Now that I’ve introduced myself to you, let’s get real, so I can tell you about the mistakes I’ve made and the lessons I’ve learned.’”

Songs like “Easy” and “Worth the Weight” show a lot of the soul searching evident throughout “By the Moon,” and producer Davis Naish has done a marvelous job of adding nuanced electric guitars that turn Emily’s songs into strong recordings worthy of airplay.  The final tune, the achingly pretty “Once in a While,” was recorded in a church with a string quartet, and it might be my favorite of the bunch (I’m a sucker for melodic ballads!).

Imagine Dragons

I was first turned on to this band when I saw their are-you-kidding-me performance at the 2013 American Music Awards.  I’d never heard of them, but was so impressed by Imagine-Dragons-Night-Visions-album-cover-820what they offered that I picked up “Night Visions” (2012) and played it relentlessly for months.  The adrenaline rush I would get from the percussion-heavy “Radioactive” and the marvelous light/dark contrast of songs like “Demons” and “Bleeding Out” made me conclude that I’d found a new favorite band, at least for a while (these things do change, though, don’t they?).

To me, some of the tracks (“Hear Me,” “Amsterdam”) recall Fleetwood Mac at their late ’70s best, thanks to the harmonies provided by lead singer Dan Reynolds and the backing vocals of guitarist Unknown-81Wayne Sermon and bass/keyboard man Ben McKee.  Just as important is how Imagine Dragons utilize drums and percussion in such a dynamic way, taking a simple guitar melody and turning it into something else entirely.

I have been less impressed with the group’s subsequent releases as they have strayed from an alternative rock groove to a more pop-rock sound.  Indeed, when I first heard “Believer” and “Thunder,” the big hits from “Evolve” (2017), I assumed it was Maroon 5’s Adam Levine handling the vocals (not that that’s so bad, but not what I expected from Imagine Dragons).  Not sure what the future will hold for them, but I’ll be watching.

Hozier

What a heart stopping voice Hozier has!  Booming and effervescent, it’s an instrument 220px-Hozier_albumthat communicates passion, adventure and wisdom, and recalls the vocal virtuosity of early Elton John.  Indeed, on his debut, “Hozier” (2014), he channeled Elton on the brilliant, self-penned “Take Me to Church,” with majestic highs and lows.  There’s a virtual Irish stew of great music to be found here — a healthy dose of R&B, a dash of gospel, a hint of folk and a foundation of bass-driven rock.

I’m please to report that Hozier’s sophomore release,  Hozier_WastelandBaby“Wasteland, Baby!” (2019), picks up right where he left off, and is arguably an improvement.  Such great tunes, like “Almost (Sweet Music)” and the riveting opener “Nina Cried Power,” which name drops Nina Simone and others who used music to protest injustice, and he invites the great Mavis Staples to add her magnificent chops to the proceedings.

I heard Hozier perform many of these tracks last summer at an outdoor music festival in Ohio, and he held the crowd rapt with his soulful delivery.  Encore, baby!

Flying Colors

This American band came together through auditions set up by a producer named Bill Evans, who wanted to create a group that combined sophisticated music (complex composition and virtuoso performances) with accessible, mainstream songwriting.  His idea was to channel the instrumental complexity through a charismatic pop singer/songwriter81YKPfd-NvL._SX355_.  He found what he was envisioning when he met Casey McPherson, a fantastic singer-songwriter who had worked in Alpha Rev in Nashville.  Evans put McPherson together with Steve Morse and Dave LaRue from the Dixie Dregs, plus Steve’s brother Neal and drummer Mike Portnoy, and they toiled for many months creating intriguing workups of basic song structures McPherson had written.

The result, “Flying Colors” (2012), is indeed complex yet accessible, sophisticated yet mainstream.  I can’t get enough of this stuff, and you need look no further than the opening track, “Blue Ocean,” to understand what this band is about.  The galloping beat, the guitar/keyboard interplay and especially McPherson’s compelling voice combine to create an instantly likable sound, and it’s an exhilarating roller coaster ride.

There’s a definite progressive rock bent to their music.  Songs like “Everything Changes” and “The Storm” remind me of Kansas at their most melodic, with majestic chord changes and soaring guitars.  While some tracks are as immediately accessible as Unknown-83promised, others take some time to absorb, just as the best progressive rock of the ’70s did (Yes, Genesis, et al).

By the time of their follow-up LP, “Second Nature” (2014), Flying Colors were now self-produced, and had been together long enough to enjoy a productive chemistry in their songwriting.  Each member was encouraged to bring in ideas, maybe song fragments that could then be developed by the entire band.  Again, the opening track, the 12-minute “Open Up Your Eyes,” offers a perfect example of that collaborative effort, with McPherson’s vocals not coming in until the four-minute mark.  Drummer Portnoy describes “A Place in Your World” this way:  “catchy vocal hooks with clever, tasty musicianship sprinkled on top — a great example of the Flying Colors vocal blend.”  Amen!

Leon Bridges

Holy smokes, another amazing R&B voice in the Sam Cooke tradition!  This product of 54bdf139Fort Worth, Texas bars and clubs exploded on the musical scene with “Coming Home” (2015), and quickly gained national recognition for this strong batch of Neo-soul.  I first heard him on “Saturday Night Live,” where he performed the effervescent “Smooth Sailin'” and the amazing gospel ode “River,” and I was struck by his amazing tenor and vocal control.

The songs found here are the product of an excellent four-man songwriting team headed up by Bridges, and the influence of masters like Unknown-84Smokey Robinson and the Holland-Dozier-Holland team at Motown is undeniable.  I’m partial to tracks like “Better Man,” “Twistin’ & Groovin'” and “Brown Skin Girl,” which showcase Bridges’ butter-smooth voice and some luscious saxophone licks.

The more recent release “Good Thing” (2018) puts Bridges’ voice even more out front, and on a more diverse set of material.  “Believe” uses a spare acoustic guitar arrangement, while “Bad Bad News” has a jazzier groove that recalls the later albums of Steely Dan.  “If It Feels Good (Then It Must Be)” positively overflows with danceable vibes.

Ed Sheeran

A friend told me recently, “If I hear Ed Sheeran one more time, I swear I’m gonna snap.”  I get that.  He’s had three albums in the 2010s, and they’ve all had many millions of hits online.  This guy has suffered the backlash that comes from near-unanimous praise and suffocating overexposure.

es-divide-final-artwork-lo-res-1And yet, I really like his songs and the way he sings them.  Take “Supermarket Flowers,” a track from his most recent LP “÷ (Divide)” (2017).  It’s a wispy ballad Sheeran wrote as a tribute to his late grandmother, a retelling of the aftermath of her funeral from the perspective of his mother.  Though the poetic verses deal with how a loved one’s death can be numbing in its monotony, the chorus, with its angel imagery and “hallelujah”-ing, seems built for cathartic group sing-alongs.  It sure worked for me when my mother passed away recently.

“Castle on the Hill” and “Galway Girl” are both also autobiographical but miles apart musically, and they each work beautifully.  The former uses a relentless U2-type rhythm to tell how his sad remembrances of youth can’t keep him from wanting to visit the hometown anyway, while the latter, as you might expect, is all Irish jig and positivity Unknown-85about a lady he admired and then wishes well when she marries someone else.  On the other hand, I can do without the big single “Shape of You,” which I find repetitive and boring.

Sheeran is a ridiculously prolific songwriter, churning out well over 100 songs for “X (Multiply)” (2014), from which he chose 12 for the album (and another dozen for deluxe editions).  Perhaps his best from this group are the megahit “Thinking Out Loud,” a lovely ballad, and the equally gorgeous “Bloodstream.”

His music goes down very easy with me, and it is among the most streamed over the past five-plus years.  He’s certainly my type, even if he doesn’t float everybody’s boat.

Maggie Rogers

DpLbfZSX4AAgAK8Nominated for Best New Artist at this year’s Grammy Awards is 25-year-old Maggie Rogers, a gifted singer-songwriter who has found an appealing way to merge her folk style with electronic production.  The resulting debut LP, “Heard It in a Past Life” (2019), includes songs from earlier EPs and strong new tunes such as “Light On,” “Fallingwater” and “Past Life,” on which her voice recalls early Joni Mitchell.  Several music publications and online sites picked Rogers’ LP as one of the Top 50 of 2019.  I love her stuff, and I’m eager to see what happens next for her.