A Closer Listen tends to be positive in its reviews, so sometimes it’s difficult to tell what we like the most.  This page highlights the releases we have on repeat.

Meitei ~ Kofū II (Kitchen Label)
A brilliant trilogy now concluded, the artist returns to his musical archive to extract a new series of evocative tracks.  Meitei honors the soul of ancient Japan while tipping a musical hat to the modern era.  Merchants, courtesans and samurai all take part in this exuberant play.


Ian Wellman ~ On The Darkest Day, You took My Hand and Swore It Will Be Okay (Room40)
Is it wrong to call something a “great COVID album?”  Ian Wellman’s set encapsulates the anger, frustration and fear of the past two years.  The album is bold enough to tackle the hard subjects, but optimistic enough to end on an up note: a tiny beam of grace.


Resina ~ Speechless (FatCat/130701)
A powerhouse of an album, Speechless uses voice without words to convey a message of protest and resolve.  The visceral impact is immediate, the depth cavernous, the sonic world immense: a triumph from every angle.


Hammock ~ Elsewhere (Hammock Music)
In times like these, it’s good to have artists such as Hammock, who understand loss and pain, but refuse to give in.  Instead, the duo fights through waves of sorrow and desperation to land on the shores of endurance.


Patrick Shiroishi ~ Hidemi (American Dreams)
One of the year’s most important projects, Hidemi connects the sorrow of a beloved grandfather, incarcerated in an American camp during WWII, to racism against Asian-Americans in the 21st century.  And yet the tone is one of perseverance, tinted with hope.

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