New Music Tuesday – 3/3/15
For those that have followed along on Instagram for the last year plus, one of our most popular features has been New Music Tuesday. Music sites always do a great job telling us what albums to look forward to coming up, but we never did a good job alerting us the day of that our favorite new album is out. So we started making an aggregate list.
This is a list full of albums that we may have already heard and can recommend (noted), albums we have been looking forward to for months but are hearing for the first time, or just interesting new albums we deemed worthy of being on this list and highlighted. Who knows, one of these may be our new favorite album.
Purity Ring: Another Eternity – After sixty-five fortnights, Purity Ring have returned with their super-tight second album Another Eternity. The pair ventured home to the frozen industrial landscapes of their birthplace Edmonton, Alberta to document much of what was to become the album. For the first time, vocalist Megan James and producer Corin Roddick were able to create a record in the same room.
Policy is American music—in the tradition of the Violent Femmes, The Breeders, The Modern Lovers, Bob Dylan, Smokey Robinson, The Magnetic Fields, Ghostface Killah. And John Lennon (I know, but it counts). Music where the holy fool runs afoul of the casual world.
Policy was recorded in one week in Jimi Hendrix’s old living room (upstairs at Electric Lady Studios). Jeremy Gara played drums; other musicians contributed woodwinds and backing vocals. Most everything else was played by Will.
Andrew Combs: All These Dreams – Like a character in a dreary West Coast short story by Raymond Carver, Nashville songwriter Andrew Combs moves through a hazy modern world, trying to find the meaning in life on his sophomore album, All These Dreams. “I sometimes find myself wondering what the hell I am doing with my life and what it all amounts to,” Combs says, explaining the album’s opening track, “Rainy Day Song,” which sets the narrative tone for the album.
Taggart & Rosewood: The Killingest (recommend) – Featuring members from Solid Gold, Gayngs, Polica and even Spoon, Taggart & Rosewood first revealed themselves in a video last month called “Drone Boning” and the clip went viral almost immediately. The core pair being Ryan Olson and Zach Coulter. The video combined HD cameras with cutting edge drone rigs to film duos at a distance doing it au naturel in the backdrop of majestic wilderness shots. The intersection of psychology and technology dovetailed nicely with a major building block of the album – the pair sampled the synaptic responses of their DMT-influenced brains with the help of an Emotiv EEG. AV Club summed it up upon premiering their first full track “Samantha Corrie” remarking that the album is “a lumbering, auto-tuned trip into the deepest recesses of the mind.”
Lady Lamb the Beekeeper: After – To many, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper (aka Aly Spaltro) is an enigma. Her songs are at once intimate and unbridled- both deeply personal and existentially contemplative. Spaltro is a fearless performer who can command a pitch-black stage with nothing more than her voice. Yet, when the band bursts in and the lights come up, what began as a demonstration of restraint shifts seamlessly into an emphatic snarl.
On her newest work, After, Spaltro explores dualities further – giving equal attention to both the internal and external, the before and after. Her most palpable fears and memories are on display here, with a familiar vulnerability even more direct than her last effort. These new works – which found Spaltro co-producing with her Ripely Pine partner Nadim Issa – are sonically vibrant, with an assertive use of grit and brightness. Thematically, they provide direct insight into Spaltro’s rumination on mortality, family, friendships, and leaving home. Where Ripely Pine sometimes lacked in personal narrative and directness is where After shines. The last line on After encompasses the self-assurance of the work as a whole, stating “I know where I come from.” This theme is constant throughout the album.
Of Montreal: Aureate Gloom – The brainchild of singer/guitarist Kevin Barnes, Of Montreal was among the second wave of bands to emerge from the sprawling Elephant 6 collective. A native of Athens, Georgia, Barnes was inspired to form the euphoric indie pop group in the wake of a broken romance with a woman from Montreal. He signed with Bar/None Records while living in Florida, subsequently moved to Cleveland and Minneapolis in search of compatible bandmates, and finally returned home to collaborate with bassist Bryan Helium (also a member of Athens’ Elf Power) and drummer Derek Almstead.
Kenosha Kid: Inside Voices – Based in the humid indie-rock haven of Athens, Georgia, Kenosha Kid has supplied the world with their own unique blend of modern-jazz-meets-college-radio for over a decade. In 2004, after several weeks study and improvisation at the Banff Centre for the Arts, bandleader Dan Nettles emerged with a flame of inspiration, a host of new collaborators and an invigorated sense of purpose: Build a scene, write for people you know, and listen to your creative heart regardless of music idiom. Returning to Athens, Nettles did just that, which became the beginning of Kenosha Kid.
Their newest album, Inside Voices, showcases the telepathic core trio of Dan Nettles, Robby Handley and Marlon Patton alongside a formidable horn section comprised of Nettles’ Banff colleagues trumpeter Jacob Wick, alto saxophonist Peter Van Huffel and tenor/bari saxophonist Greg Sinibaldi. A companion record, Outside Choices, recorded during the same week in Athens, is due out in 2016.
The melodies are haunting, the grooves are devastating, and the band expertly serves jazz purists, indie-rock hipsters, and funk loving jam fans alike.
More we are excited to check out this week:
Brandi Carlile: The Firewatcher’s Daughter – Brandi Carlile will make her independent label debut on ATO March 3 with the release of ‘The Firewatcher’s Daughter.’ The 12-song album explodes with energy, urgency and pristine harmonies and represents the start of a fresh chapter for Carlile and her longtime collaborators Tim and Phil Hanseroth, also known as “The Twins.”
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds: Chasing Yesterday – The former Oasis member is back with a new album.
Lilly Hiatt: Royal Blue – Royal Blue, the second album by East Nashville firebrand Lilly Hiatt, is about the majesty of melancholy—or, as she explains it, “accepting the sadder aspects of life and finding some peace in them.” A dance between pedal steel and synths, the album examines the vagaries of love and commitment but steadfastly refuses to romanticize any notion of romance. Singing in a barbed lilt full of deep worry and gritty determination in equal measure, she conveys emotions too finely shaded to be easily named, yet will be familiar to any listener who’s had their heart broken—or has broken a heart.
Ryan Culwell: Flatlands – Ryan Culwell grew up in a forgotten place. His songs were forged in the great void that is the panhandle of Texas—The Great In-Between, a land so desolate that few even thought to settle there until oil was discovered beneath the emptiness. And the solitude of the plains comes pouring out of him when he opens his mouth to sing. Like an approaching dust storm, Culwell’s songs whisper and howl and embed the dirt of the flatlands deep into your skin.
Listening to these songs about the empty plains, we also encounter something unexpected: hope. In many ways,Flatlands is an optimistic record, like a lighted window seen from many miles away. On the eponymous track Culwell sings: “The earth can break a man/ But I will take my stand/ I’ll climb my mountains/ Out in the Flatlands.” And on “I Will Come For You” when he cajoles, “Let’s head on out to the front porch/ And wait for the cold to come,” an almost giddy joy can be heard behind his lonesome Texas drawl.
The tenderness on this record will surprise listeners who first encounter Culwell’s weather-beaten resolve. But this, too, comes from Culwell’s dualistic relationship with his home. Like many from West Texas, he loves this land and he hates it. He’s not unlike Tom Joad: tough, but gentle. But tough. A Culwell song brings to mind an old sharecropper who limps into the town diner on a Sunday morning. The man’s weary face commands respect, but his limp puts you at ease somehow.
Swervedriver: I Wasn’t Born To Lose You – I Wasn’t Born to Lose You is the Oxford, England rock unit’s first full-length in 17 years, and while Swervedriver’s return hasn’t gotten the same level of ballyhoo as contemporaries such as Slowdive or Ride, it should. Swervedriver pick up right where they left off, their sound relatively unchanged by the passing of nearly two decades. More from Under The Radar Mag here.
Moon Duo: Shadow Of The Sun – Formed in San Francisco in 2009 by Wooden Shijps guitarist Ripley Johnson and Sanae Yamada, Moon Duo’s first two critically acclaimed EPs, Killing Time (2009) and Escape (2010), fused the futuristic pylon hum and transistor reverb of Suicide or Silver Apples with the heat-haze fuzz of American rock ‘n’ roll to create tracks of blistering, 12-cylinder space rock. This new 2015 is supposed to be their most psychedelic yet.
Check out the full new music Tuesday playlist on Spotify here: