Mal Blum - Pity Boy LPDon Giovanni Records
Though the subject matter gets heavy, Blums wry, self-aware sense of humor weaves it's way throughout the record. Pity Boys pithy title was just a funny pun I thought of, like, a sad pretty boy, Blum explains. It's a worthy expansion on 2015s You Look A Lot Like Me (Blums fourth album, but their label debut). Since then, Blum has become one of Don Giovannis most popular artists. They've toured relentlessly, both solo and with a band, most notably this year traveling in support of Lucy Dacus as well as the live show of popular podcast Welcome to Night Vale. It's impactful to listen to these songs through a transgender lens and some of the songs do touch on Blums experience coming out as non-binary and transgender, a never-ending project in a starkly binary world - but truthfully, all these songs offer crashes of loneliness and sparks of euphoric recognition that will feel familiar to anyone surviving in 2019.