New Release Round-Up 04-06-18
Rainbow Kitten Surprise - How to: Friend, Love, Freefall - Elektra
The band worked with GRAMMY award-winning producer Jay Joyce (Cage The Elephant, Sleeper Agent) on their Elektra debut, How to: Friend, Love, Freefall.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Sex & Food - Jagjaguwar
Where are we headed? What are we consuming, how is it affecting us, and why does everything feel so bad and weird sometimes? These are some of the questions posed on Ruban Nielson's fourth album as Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Sex & Food. Recorded in a variety of locales from Seoul and Hanoi to Reykjavik, Mexico City, and Auckland, Sex & Food is a practical musical travelogue, with local musicians from the countries that Neilson and his band visited pitching in throughout. Sex & Food is the most eclectic and expansive Unknown Mortal Orchestra release yet, from the light-footed R&B of "Hunnybee" to the stomping flange of "Major League Chemicals." "If You’re Going to Break Yourself" and "Not in Love We're Just High" chronicle the effects of drugs and addiction on personal relationships, while the lyrics "Ministry of Alienation" drip with modern-day paranoia like the silvery guitar tones that jewel the song's structure. The modern world, and all the thorny complications that come with living in it, loomed large on Ruban's mind while making Sex & Food. Though he's not afraid to get topical throughout, as evidenced on the surprisingly boisterous "American Guilt" or the roomy-disco medication-meditation "Everyone Acts Crazy Nowadays". A statement of selflessness, to be sure-but make no mistake: Sex & Food reaffirms the vitality of Ruban's voice in today’s musical landscape.
Wye Oak - The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs - Merge Records
The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs-the triumphant fifth album by Wye Oak-begins with an explosion. For a few seconds, piano, drums, and a playful keyboard loop gather momentum; then, all at once, they burst, enormous bass flooding the elastic beat. "Suffering, I remember suffering," sings Jenn Wasner, her voice stretched coolly across the tizzy. "Feeling heat and then the lack of it, but not so much what the difference is." The moment declares the second coming of Wye Oak, a band that spent more than a decade preparing to write this record-their most gripping and powerful set of songs to date, built with melodies, movement, and emotions that transcend even the best of their catalogue.
Blackberry Smoke - Find A Light - 3 Legged Records
Pigeonholing Blackberry Smoke has never been easy. Since emerging from Atlanta in the early ‘00s, the quintet – vocalist/lead guitarist Charlie Starr, guitarist/vocalist Paul Jackson, bassist/vocalist Richard Turner, drummer Brit Turner and keyboardist Brandon Still – has become known for a singular sound indebted to classic rock, blues, country and folk. Find A Light, Blackberry Smoke’s sixth studio album, doubles down on diversity. Songs hew toward easygoing roots-rock (“Run Away From It All”) and Southern rock stomps (“The Crooked Kind”), as well as stripped-down acoustic numbers (“I’ve Got This Song”) and bruising alt-country (“Nobody Gives A Damn”). Rich instrumental flourishes – keening fiddle, solemn organ and bar-band piano boogie – add further depth and resonance.
Restoration: Reimagining The Songs Of Elton John And Bernie Taupin - MCA Nashville
Some of the world’s biggest pop, rock and country artists are celebrating Elton John’s most beloved and legendary catalogue of hits with two albums Revamp (Island Records) and Restoration (Universal Music Group Nashville) released this week. The superstar lineup features artists both new and iconic reinterpreting the timeless songs of the over 50 year writing partnership that Elton and Bernie Taupin share. These renditions and artists show the depth of the catalogue these two icons have created, which can easily cross musical genres and their unparalleled influence across popular music of all styles. Restoration highlights countries biggest stars with thoughtful interpretations by Dierks Bentley, Rosanne Cash and Emmylou Harris, Miley Cyrus, Vince Gill and Don Henley, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves, Willie Nelson, Brothers Osborne, Chris Stapleton, Rhonda Vincent and Dolly Parton and Lee Ann Womack. “'It's always a huge compliment when an artist loves your song enough to take the time and effort to rework it,” adds Elton John. “As songwriters, Bernie and myself are thrilled when singers we admire and respect as much as those on Revamp & Restoration choose to add their own unique twist in the process. It means that our music is still relevant and ultimately that our songs continue to reach new audiences. We're humbled and thank them all for their generosity.”
Winter - Ethereality - Everything Blue Records
Winter is the project of songwriter Samira Winter, who’s love for guitar music and nostalgic imagery inspired the dream pop/indie rock four piece. Samira grew up in Curitiba, Brazil listening to her American father’s punk records, and her Brazilian mother’s MPB (Brazilian Popular Music) tunes. Winter’s first full length album, Supreme Blue Dream, was released in 2015 on Los Angeles label Lolipop Records. Ethereality is the long-awaited follow-up album, coming on the heels of various single releases and international touring.
Creed Bratton - While The Young Punks Dance - MRI Associated
Mysterious, eccentric, good-hearted, and downright talented are all words that have been used to describe actor and musician Creed Bratton over the years. Creed may be best known for starring as a fictional version of himself on nine seasons of the award winning, critically acclaimed NBC series “The Office.” For nearly eight years fans worldwide grew to love him as Dunder Mifflin’s quality assurance director who unapologetically forgets the names of his own co-workers, and says bizarre confusing statements on a regular basis. If Creed was onscreen, laughs were sure to follow. While Creed may be best known for his on-screen antics, he is also an established musician with a career in music that spans nearly five decades, and he isn’t slowing down anytime soon. This year Creed is slated to release his 7th full-length album entitled “While The Young Punks Dance,” featuring 10 brand new tracks. The album, produced by Dave Way (Sheryl Crow, Fiona Apple) and Dillon O’Brian, is available this week.
Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker - Seedlings All - Rough Trade US
British duo Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker have built up an avid following as one of Britain's biggest folk acts with thanks to what The Guardian calls their "beautifully textured twilit songs." For Seedlings All, the duo continues to experiment with arrangements, textures, grooves, and exploring genres outside of the realm of traditional folk to create a sound all their own.
King Tuff - The Other - Sub Pop
When asked to describe the title track from his new record, Kyle Thomas—aka King Tuff—takes a deep breath. “It’s a song about hitting rock bottom,” he says. “I didn’t even know what I wanted to do anymore, but I still had this urge—this feeling—like there was this possibility of something else I could be doing… and then I just followed that possibility. To me, that’s what songwriting, and art in general, is about. You’re chasing something, there is something out there calling to you and you’re trying to get at it. ‘The Other’ is basically where songs come from, it’s the hidden world, it’s the mystery. It’s the invisible hand that guides you whenever you make something. It’s the thing I had to rediscover—the sort of voice I had to follow—to bring me back to making music again in a way that felt true and good.”
John Prine - The Tree Of Forgiveness - Oh Boy
The highly-anticipated album, The Tree Of Forgiveness, is John Prine's first collection of new material since 2005's Grammy-winning Fair and Square. Rather than going out on a limb, Prine cultivated the themes that have brought international acclaim since the 1970s. For example, he can take a topic like loneliness and make it funny or heartbreaking. Prine teamed with Grammy-winning producer Dave Cobb to record in Nashville's historic Studio A, enlisting friends like Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell, and Amanda Shires to sing along. The songs are new, although some had waited to be finished for decades, like a co-write with Phil Spectro called 'God Only Knows'; Another incomplete song, 'I Have Met My Love Today' now celebrates the unexpected spark that leads to lifelong romance -- with a dash of youthful innocence. The musical arrangements may be simpler than on past efforts, yet his unique ability to distill complex emotions into everyday language remains fully intact.
For more information on these and other releases out this week, check out our New Releases charts by week section and don't forget that many of these titles are also available on vinyl.