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Merrill Garbus and Jenn Wasner released monumental records just a week apart this year: Tune-Yards fifth album—sixth if you count their score to Boots Riley’s film Sorry to Bother You—is called Sketchy, and it’s as puzzling and progressive as you’ve hopefully come to expect. Garbus and bassist Nate Brenner are never content to rest on their past glories: They’re always searching for new modes of thought and expression, and Garbus’ lyrics meld the personal and political into one fiery concoction.
Jenn Wasner is best known for singing and playing guitar in Wye Oak, and she’s also released albums with Dungeonesse and solo style under the name Flock of Dimes, in addition to being a recent touring member of Bon Iver. It’s her Flock of Dimes project that’s garnering some incredible, well deserved attention this year, including a huge feature in the New York Times. It makes sense, considering that the album she’s promoting is so extraordinary: Head of Roses will be both familiar to her fans and unexpected, with new sounds, textures, and lyrical motivations. The story is that it’s an album about heartbreak, but it’s so much more. It’s a great conversation between two great friends. Enjoy.
This episode was produced by Melissa Kaplan. The Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range.
(Photo Credit: left, Pooneh Ghana; right, Graham Tolbert; Edited by: Keenan Kush)