The Monthly RecommNeds: October

Check out this month's new music picks from longtime JamBase contributor Aaron "Neddy" Stein.

By Aaron Stein Oct 5, 2021 12:13 pm PDT

We are now knee-deep in fall when new music releases come quicker than we can get ‘em into our ears. Hopefully, the RecommNeds can help you find some of those hidden gems you may not have uncovered yet.

Just in case you’ve missed any of this year’s columns, you can check ‘em out here:

More The Monthly RecommNeds on JamBase
  • The Monthly RecommNeds: September

    The Monthly RecommNeds: September 

  • The Monthly RecommNeds: August 2021

    The Monthly RecommNeds: August 2021 

  • The Monthly RecommNeds: July 2021

    The Monthly RecommNeds: July 2021 

  • The Monthly RecommNeds: June 2021

    The Monthly RecommNeds: June 2021 

  • The Monthly RecommNeds: May 2021

    The Monthly RecommNeds: May 2021 

  • The Monthly RecommNeds: April 2021

    The Monthly RecommNeds: April 2021 

  • The Monthly RecommNeds: March 2021

    The Monthly RecommNeds: March 2021 

  • The Monthly RecommNeds: February 2021

    The Monthly RecommNeds: February 2021 

As a reminder, the RecommNeds is a monthly rundown of maybe-not-on-your-radar new music, hopefully with something-for-everyone variety. I’m also putting together a special 25-track playlist each month: songs I’ve been digging, some from the monthly picks, some from albums that weren’t featured, some singles from upcoming releases and maybe a random blast-from-the-past favorite or two. This month’s playlist is here. Dig it!

Without further ado, here are my latest finds, enjoy!

The Monthly 10:

Ten under-the-radar albums released last month that I think you might dig, presented in alphabetical order.

Riddy Arman: Riddy Arman

This week’s set starts off with some perfect autumn music, some crisp leaf Americana. The self-titled debut from Montanan Riddy Arman is some lovely, country with any extra qualifiers attached to it. Open-plains imagery, transport-you-there storytelling, a voice that doesn’t try to be too pretty and, of course, a healthy amount of pedal steel wail. Arman is the real deal and worth getting acquainted with right now.

Corntuth: The Desert Is Paper Thin

Taking the pedal steel in the other direction are Corntuth. If you’re looking for something to blissfully zone out to (and we all need something to blissfully zone out to every once in a while), The Desert Is Paper Thin is just the medicine to get you to that space. Steel mixing with acoustic guitars and analog synths, create ambient tapestries to lose your gaze in for what might feel like hours. Take your temperature down like a million degrees and find your inner joy at the same time. This is a glacial work of art, highly recommended to take you there.

Spencer Cullum: Spencer Cullum’s Coin Collection

It’s quite a treat to listen to an album, know exactly what the artist was trying to achieve and know that he or she pretty much nailed it. Spencer Cullum is the kind of sideman you imagine grow on trees in Nashville. Here out on his own (but enlisting too many great Nashville musicians to list), Cullum hits a sweet spot of ’60s and ’70s folk vibes. Even as it evokes and pays tribute to a cozy past, it manages to create a modern freshness. Cullum creates a lush space here that you just want to settle into for a while. Give it a listen and I think you’ll see what I mean. A must hear.

Dr. Joy: Dr. Joy

How could you not want to check out an album called Dr. Joy? Hailing from Toronto, Dr. Joy has created a collage of sound on their debut. It’s haunting, it’s blissful, it’s groovy, it’s weird, it’s cinematic and it’s really freakin’ good and kind of gets even better as it goes along. Dr. Joy sets up your expectations and then swerves wildly to avoid them. Check it out, I think you’ll dig it.


Can’t keep you waiting any longer, here, my friends, is your monthly Eurojam fix. The band is , they’re a guitar/bass/drum trio from Budapest, Hungary and their sound is a wig-flipping blend of Eastern European motifs, tight-knit improvisation and dark, heavy grooves. Sounds pretty good, right? Believe me, this is the good stuff. Enjoy!

Lizzie Loveless: You Don’t Know

Lizzie Loveless is a New York City-based artist who feels (to me) like she’s been around a while, but in fact has just put out her first album under her own name. It’s quite a debut, hovering between plucked-guitar folk and synth-bass groove. The songwriting matches Loveless’s voice to perfection, sussing out the emotional center of each song. There’s something new and different to fall in love with on each track, you’re torn between hitting repeat to listen again and going on to the next to see what awaits.

Pearl And The Oysters: Flowerland

If you don’t know them, Pearl and The Oysters are a French-American duo and their latest record is about as fun as the dayglo album cover. A delicious retrofuturistic blend of ’60s pop and tropicalia grooves, Flowerland is altogether irresistible. This is candy confection for your ears, but don’t fret, it won’t give you a tummyache if you overindulge.

Hayden Pedigo: Letting Go

Longtime RecommNeds’ers know I always like to throw in some gorgeous guitar music whenever we can and for those of you who love it as much as I do, here’s a treat for ya! Hayden Pedigo is a guitar player out of Amarillo, Texas and his latest is just a delight of acoustic guitar: a cool breeze on a hot day and a warm blanket on a cold one all at the same time. Lose your thoughts in Pedigo’s strings and they’ll be all the better for it when you find them again after you’ve had your fill. Simply beautiful.

Nolan Potter: Music Is Dead

Still with me here? Good, because you won’t want to miss this next one. The album is Music Is Dead (just a name, don’t worry!) and the artist is Nolan Potter. Apparently, he made the whole thing on his own, but I have trouble believing it! Not a bedroom record at all, this is a fully-fledged psych-rock masterpiece, very evocative of Frank Zappa’s finest in the best way possible. This is the kind of record that just kind of trucks along at a nice pace and then, BAM!, takes a left turn and knocks your socks off. Except it does that repeatedly. A must listen.

Smoke Bellow: Open For Business

Dang, so many great new releases to send your way this month, and may very well that we’ve saved the best for last. Smoke Bellow are impossible to wrap your arms around, they do so much on their new record and so much of it very, very well. There’s an intelligence matched with creative grooves that puts it up amongst the great art-rockers of yore. It’s always the case that you should just go listen to any of these recs, but this one I think it best to discover its secrets without another word from me. Trust me, it’s that good.

Bonus Round

In addition to the Monthly 10, I’ll try to throw in a few other picks each month.

For my live pick this week, check out this collection of live tracks and weirdjams from Sunburned Hand Of The Man. It’s all over the place, but it’s also brimming with a lot of cool shit. Well worth a listen.

As far as EP’s to recommend, I can’t recommend Nora Brown’s latest enough, one of the best things going in folk music these days, in my opinion, deep historical knowledge meets a natural feel for the music and her banjos. If funky funky is more your thing, you could do worse than the latest short player from Gotts Street Park.

And finally, five more recommendations that may not be on your radar but are well worth a listen, presented without comment: Dori Freeman, Holy Hive, Maston with L’Eclair, Christopher Paul Stelling, Adia Victoria … what other good ones did I miss this month?

I think that’ll do, more next month.

Please note: all of the music mentioned in this column can be found in this October compilation playlist on Spotify. I’ll also keep up this running playlist with all the recommendations from 2021 so they’re all in one place for easy new music discovery at any time.


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