The long-overdue return of Kelly Hogan | Bleader

The long-overdue return of Kelly Hogan


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I thought it was old news that Kelly Hogan had signed with Anti-, but apparently it only became official today—and Pitchfork got to the announcement first, natch. Of course the more exciting part of that post is the fact that Hogan's long-overdue third solo album, I Like to Keep Myself in Pain—her first in 11 years—will arrive on June 5. Pitchfork has posted "We Can't Have Nice Things," a song by Andrew Bird and Jack Pendarvis, and after one listen to the whole album I can confidently say that it's great top to bottom. Hogan is a meticulous artist who pays little heed to the conventions of the music industry. She follows her own instincts and, obviously, her own timetable—but as much of a cliche as this is, the wait was worth it.

Other songs were written by Robyn Hitchcock, Robbie Fulks, Magnetic Fields, Catherine Irwin (Freakwater), Jon Langford, and Vic Chesnutt, among others. Hogan is supported by an all-star band that includes Booker T. Jones, Gabe Roth of the Dap-Kings, and resident Chicago genius Scott Ligon, and the album masterfully balances old-school country and old-school soul—though it's finished with a sophisticated pop veneer that makes it sound totally contemporary. The melodies are consistently gorgeous too—Hogan is an almost magically expressive singer and immerses herself in each tune like the best song stylists. With any luck, a new album to promote will mean she'll be playing more shows.

Today's playlist:

Ketty Lester, Love Letters (Collectables)
Eddie Palmieri & Friends con Lalo Rodriguez, The Sun of Latin Music (MP)
Ornette Coleman, Town Hall, 1962 (ESP-Disk)
Carla Kilhlstedt, Matthias Bossi, and Shahzad Ismaily, Causing a Tiger (Victo)
Minamo + Lawrence English, A Path Less Travelled (Room 40)

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