October’s Top Indie Albums by Kurt Vile, Cat Power, and Pinegrove

On this week’s episode of Celebration Rock I invited Pitchfork senior editor (and now friend of the podcast) Stacey Anderson to discuss this month’s most notable indie-rock albums. Our discussion began with Pinegrove, who’s latest album Skylight is an affecting alt-country-leaning album that’s a worthy follow-up to the band’s 2016 breakout Cardinal. But much of the discussion of this band — or conspicuous lack of discussion — stems from the charges of sexual coercion levied against frontman Evan Stephens Hall that prompted Hall to voluntarily push back the album’s release and reschedule tour dates. Stacey and I explored whether it’s possible to set that baggage aside when listening to the music — or whether it’s even right to do that.

In the second half of the episode, we talked about two of the most reliable legacy artists in indie rock. Chan Marshall, who has put out records since the mid-’90s as Cat Power, returned in early October with her first album in six years, Wanderer, which ranks among her very best. As for Kurt Vile, he’s been putting out consistently strong albums on a regular basis for a decade now. While his latest Bottle It In doesn’t radically reinvent his formula of languid and meditative guitar jams, it suggests that his craftsmanship and lyrical insight are only growing richer with time.

Finally, Stacey and I share some recent recommendations: Robyn’s pop confessional Honey for her, and Colter Wall’s country throwback Songs of the Plains for me.


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