The writers of Hear & Now get together with a vinyl of their choice, a bottle of wine, and an open mind full of things to say about each album.
Spike brought Foreign Born's Person to Person
SPIKE: This band is defunct, and that is unfortunate.
JASON: The first track sounds like a collaboration between Coldplay and Remain in Light-era Talking Heads.
ELISE: The lead singer sounds like Delta Spirit, but the sound is kinda different.
MANDI: I can definitely hear the Delta Spirit connection.
JASON: The singer's voice sounds incredibly nasally.
MANDI: His vocals remind me of The Walkmen.
ELISE: I really like the voice. I feel like this song could be a great movie score.
SPIKE: I love the drums on this whole album. They are so tribal.
ELISE: I will probably go listen to this song on repeat.
JASON: "That Old Sun" sounds like a psychedelic Scottish jig.
ELISE: I totally agree.
MANDI: Now, THIS song sounds like Temples!
JASON: This album is overloaded with percussion and I love it.
SPIKE: Derek (Cooper) would appreciate this percussion.
ELISE: I'm digging the cowbell.
JASON: "Vacationing People" is the most '60s sounding track on here so far.
ELISE: I'm digging this surfer tribal feel.
MANDI: Ooooh...those harmonies!
JASON: That horn outro though.
MANDI: These guys seem like they'd be cool live. Kinda like Dr. Dog.
JASON: "Winter Games" is incredibly (Rolling) Stonesy. I feel like I should be riding a camel while listening to this.
MANDI: Oh my god, that guitar melody in "Early Warnings" is so good!
JASON: "Early Warnings" sounds like what would happen if the Beach Boys covered a song off of All Things Must Pass.
ELISE: Okay, now this one is super beachy.
MANDI: My guess is they wrote that guitar part first, then built the song around it.
JASON: Also the harmonies on this song are on point.
ELISE: It sounds kinda like they went on a world tour and picked up inspiration from every place they went.
SPIKE: Brett's (Sister Cities, The Holy Coast) old band opened for these guys and Cold War Kids at The Clubhouse way back in the day.
JASON: Hey Foreign Born, can you please be a band again? Thanks.
Elise brought Nikki Lane's All or Nothin'
MANDI: She just played here last month.
SPIKE: Instantly pissed I didn't go to her show.
ELISE: I wonder what kinda stage performer she is. I could see her being similar to Florence + the Machine.
MANDI: Whoa...Dan Auerbach produced this album? And for FREE?!
JASON: Having a member of The Black Keys produce your record is instant credibility.
SPIKE: She is bridging the gap between indie and country music really well.
MANDI: She sounds like the female version of Sturgill Simpson.
JASON: "Right Time" is like the kind of song you'd hear right before a shoot-out.
MANDI: Did that song just rip off the "Be My Baby" drum intro?
JASON: "Good Man" totally sounds like a Phil Spector tune.
SPIKE: "I Don't Care" was almost "London Calling".
JASON: Major props to whoever played the pedal steel on this. Holy awesome solo Batman!
MANDI: Ooooh...I'm really digging this mellow track.
JASON: "You Can't Talk to Me Like That" is a total torch ballad with a total The Band vibe.
ELISE: I like this song. It's pretty.
JASON: Someone totally needs to cover this.
MANDI: I'll do it.
SPIKE: "Seein' Double" could be in a Quentin Tarantino movie.
JASON: I could totally hear "Seein' Double" in a Quentin Tarantino movie.
SPIKE: Also sounds like Love Me Nots if they were a country band.
MANDI: Dan Auerbach sings on this next song.
SPIKE: There he is. Hi Dan.
ELISE: I love the sound of their voices together.
JASON: "Love's on Fire" is easily the most straightforward track on here.
ELISE: This is such a feel-good song. I think it might be my favorite on the record.
JASON: Love how it goes from an acoustic intro to a full-band stomp
SPIKE: Hell yeah I love me a fiddle. Why did the fiddle wait this long to come in?
JASON: Yup, this is TOTALLY a record Derek Cooper would love.
MANDI: I feel like my sister would love this album.
JASON: I really need to find this record ASAP.
Mandi brought Alvvays' ALVVAYS
ELISE: Pretty blue record!
MANDI: The cassette tape is blue too. I got it at their show.
SPIKE: Like I've "alvvays" said, they are a way cooler Best Coast.
JASON: "Adult Diversions" is just an all-out great pop tune.
ELISE: Ooooh, that voice!
JASON: Seriously, it totally has the feel of a lost '60s classic.
ELISE: I love the line, "Is it a good time or is it highly inappropriate?"
SPIKE: Man, "Archie, Marry Me" is so cool but Stars ruined it when they covered it.
ELISE: This sounds like it could be on the score for the movie 10 Things I Hate About You.
JASON: So did she ever end up marrying Archie? If not, then it's his loss, because this song is awesome and will probably be stuck in my head all day.
MANDI: God, I love this song.
JASON: "Ones Who Love You" sounds like an alt-rock lullaby.
SPIKE: "Ones Who Love You" sounds so nice.
JASON: Except I don't think most lullabies would have "you can't feel your fucking face" as a lyric.
SPIKE: Wait, did she just say "you can't fucking feel your face"?
MANDI: "Next of Kin" is so dark lyrically, and i didn't realize it until I was singing along one day.
JASON: But you can't tell from its summer surf rock vibe.
ELISE: I wonder what the inspiration for this song was.
JASON: "I left my love in the river." #rude
ELISE: I like songs with dark lyrical content mixed with lighter sounds.
JASON: I totally dig the Keith Moon-esque drum fills in the bridge, though.
MANDI: This music video is cool, too. It's animated and doesn't really touch on the message of the song.
ELISE: I gotta check that out!
JASON: Overall a perfect summer record.
Jason brought Stay Awake
SPIKE: What the fuck.
JASON: This first track is freaky as fuck. Why'd they have to make Pinnochio sound so scary?
SPIKE: This is super creepy.
MANDI: This is not a track for children.
JASON: This Bambi song makes me feel like I'm in the secret garden on acid.
MANDI: Okay, this track is better.
ELISE: I dig that clarinet transition.
SPIKE: Second song in, still kinda creepy.
JASON: Los Lobos totally takes "I Wanna Be Like You" into a seedy Latin nightclub.
MANDI: It's super zydeco. It kinda reminds me of Dry River Yacht Club.
JASON: Bonnie Raitt's slaying "Baby Mine" from Dumbo (and so is the upright bassist).
MANDI: I NEED to cover this version. Jazzy version of a lullaby? Yes please!
SPIKE: What is up with with the Pinocchio songs?
MANDI: These medley titles are disturbing.
JASON: As expected, Tom Waits totally fucks up "Heigh Ho Heigh Ho" and makes it sound like something from my nightmares.
MANDI: Tom Waits' music always makes me feel like I'm on a train.
JASON: This is totally Dismaland music.
MANDI: THE CREEPY GUY RETURNS.
SPIKE: "Blue Shadows on the Trail," this is from Three Amigos!
JASON: "Blue Shadows on the Trail" is what you listen to when you're riding through the desert on a horse.
SPIKE: This song is not from Three Amigos!
MANDI: It sounds like The Staves!
JASON: "Castles in Spain" sounds like a Latin Tom Waits.
MANDI: Now there's opera? This record goes all over the place.
JASON: The "Mickey Mouse Club" theme has never sounded so soulful.
MANDI: Play that version at my funeral.
SPIKE: "Feed the Birds" from Mary Poppins had a total Italian feel (probably the accordion) but the harmonica is just throwing that while vibe off.
MANDI: Whoa, that transition into "Whistle While You Work" was really sudden.
JASON: This is one funky rendition of "Whistle While You Work."
SPIKE: NRBQ put very little effort into "Whistle While You Work."
MANDI: Time to FaceTime a VERY intoxicated Freddie in England right now.
JASON: Betty Carter does a totally jazzy rendition of "I'm Wishing."
SPIKE: "I'm Wishing" by Betty Carter; Jazz is my jam and this is awesome right now.
JASON: The Replacements' take on "Cruella DeVille" is surprisingly jazzy.
MANDI: Freddie has just confirmed that he has had two bottles of champagne, two bottles of wine, and about eight beers. Welcome to WINYL.
JASON: "Pink Elephants on Parade" sounds exactly like the Disney version in the best way possible.
MANDI: Oh my god, Freddie is dancing.
SPIKE: This is weird, and kinda awesome.
JASON: Harry Nilsson just made "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" into a total showstopper.
SPIKE: "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah." This is fucking awesome.
MANDI: The creeper is back and it sounds like he's narrating Law & Order.
JASON: Ringo Starr singing "When You Wish Upon a Star" is the perfect way to close out this album. #Starception
MANDI: RINGO STARR SINGING DISNEY IS EVERYTHING I NEED IN LIFE.
JASON: What a fucking journey that album was.
MANDI: If this record makes me feel like I just did drugs for an hour, then this is not a record for children.