The pandemic is still a very real concern, but the vaccine rollout is really speeding along (everyone 16+ in NY is eligible) and live music is starting to return. As of this past weekend, live shows (with restrictions) started happening again in NYC, and we posted photos and recaps of three of them: Kelsey Lu, The Natvral (ex-TPOBPAH), and Jesse Malin, the latter of which features an essay by Jesse about what it was like to get up on stage in front of an audience for the first time in over a year. We're also starting to see more and more tours get announced, like Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Julien Baker, and Japanese Breakfast. Let's hope these (and the many tours and festivals that have been postponed and postponed and postponed) happen when they're scheduled to!
As for this week's new music, I highlight five albums below and here are some honorable mentions: Vijay Iyer Trio, Lakeyah, Assertion (ex-Sunny Day Real Estate), Evan Greer, Purgatory, Max Richter, CFCF, Requin Chagrin, Elephant Micah, Zao, Arabrot, Come Closer (Tiltwheel, Dan Padilla), Bill MacKay & Nathan Bowles, Silver Synthetic, The Pink Stones, Nick Waterhouse, HIRAKI, PONY, LAPÊCHE, Raf Rundell (The 2 Bears), the Rejoice EP, the Skullcrusher EP, the Andy Bell (of Ride) EP, the Miguel EP, the Sorry EP, the Field of Flames EP, "Taylor's version" of Taylor Swift's Fearless, and volume one of Sufjan Stevens' five-volume ambient album.