New Washtenaw music in the time of quarantine: Volume 7


Washtenaw quarantine music volume 7 cassette tape

Image by Rahu/Pixabay

Another round of new releases from Washtenaw County musicians in the age of quarantine. (Visit our mini-guide on livestreams by local artists here.)

Volume one is here.

Volume two is here.

Volume three is here.

Volume four is here.

Volume five is here.

Volume six is here.

Volume seven is below and features music/mixes from Benjamin Green, Matthew Dear, Idle Ray (Fred Thomas), Dagoretti Records, XV, Shigeto, Josef Deas, Todd Osborn, Charles Trees, The Fearless Flyers, The Kelseys, Chirp, Jib Kidder, Virago, MEMCO, Lily Talmers, and Chris Dupont.

May 2020 U-M graduate and trumpeter Benjamin Green just released the five-song live EP with his Harmolodics Quartet, which took standards such as "If I Were a Bell" and "Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise" and interpreted them using the music theories of Ornette Coleman.


Matthew Dear's Backstroke series finds the Ann Arbor songwriter/DJ digging through his archives for tunes that didn't quite fit on his albums; he just released volumes two and three. Dear also livestreamed a couple of DJ sets from his house on April 29 and April 30.


Ann Arbor's Idle Ray (Fred Thomas) follows a recent experimental contribution to Dagoretti Records' Lockdown Tapez series with a tight five-song demo recorded on cassette four-track as if these great songs were guided by voices.


The Ann Arbor label Dagoretti Records continues to look far and wide for its Lockdown Tapez contributions, including two new contributions: Moontriangles' sax-drums duets recorded in Japan and Benni's synths from outer space via New Orleans.


The Ann Arbor-Detroit no-wave tiro XV recently put its album debut up on Bandcamp a year after it came out on vinyl. Now comes a collection of sick subterranean jams on Basement Tapes.


Ann Arbor native Shigeto (Zachary Saginaw) released a slew of dancefloor-filling singles on his Portage Garage Sounds label, including a few with Washtenaw County connections, including music by Josef Deas, Todd Osborn, and Charles Trees (whose tunes feature U-M grad Marcus Elliot on tenor sax and Saginaw on drums). The label also out the vinyl-only Music Is a Shortcut to a Short Life compilation featuring music from Shigeto, Trees, Osborn, and more. 


The Fearless Flyers -- featuring Vulfpeck bassist Joe Dart and touring guitarist Cory Wong alongside drummer Nate Smith and Snarky Puppy guitarist Mark Lettieri -- released the first funk-filled single from its forthcoming vinyl-only record Tailwinds.


The U-M-affiliated Empty Mug Records has been rolling out The Kelseys' acoustic sessions; the first was "Everything Is Beautiful" and the latest is "FOMO."


Ann Arbor jam-band Chirp continues to release music from its live archives, including 3​.​7​.​2020 - Live at the Park Theatre - Holland, MI.


The solo Ann Arbor artist Jib Kidder put up a new five-song EP of intimate, leftfield folk songs.


The new-music quintet Virago, which is composed of U-M students, released two live albums to Bandcamp by the Ann Arbor-based experimental 1473.


After numerous mixtapes and livestreams, the inspiring Michigan Electronic Music Collective released its first compilation album, Sounds of MEMCO: Vol. 1, with all proceeds from this U-U-M-associated group going to the Michigan Artist Relief Fund by the Michigan Music Alliance.


Lily Talmers put out her latest single, "Warm Bodies," another folk-rock charmer by the recent U-M grad.


The final entry in this epic edition of Washtenaw music in the time of quarantine comes from Chris Dupont, who released a two-song single of plaintive, singer-songwriter balladry.

Christopher Porter is a library technician and the editor of Pulp.