This Week's New Album Releases (3/15/11)
Each week we highlight notable album releases we care about. This week’s list includes a new chamber-pop 12-piece, a rough-and-tumble bluesman and the twee-est band on the planet.
Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears – Scandalous
The fact is, in a decade dominated by effects and autotune, a rough-and-tumble bluesman who howls away and plays three chords is a rarity. It’s why terms like “retro” and “throwback” got tossed around when Lewis and his group, the Honeybears, burst onto the scene in 2009. But Lewis has always been more than a one-trick pony, and it’s never been more apparent than on his sophomore album, Scandalous_. Read Bonnie Stiernberg’s reviewscandalous.
Heidecker & Wood – Starting From Nowhere
“Sometimes, there is something so weird even drugs can’t explain it. For three years, that thing was the Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! After the show’s final episode in May, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim began work on a spin-off, Check It Out! with Dr. Steve Brule, starring John C. Reilly, as well as a Tim and Eric movie.” Read Travis Atria’s interview with Heidecker & Wood.
Hoots and Hellmouth – Face First in the Dirt
The band’s earliest demos were recorded over one weekend with the help of “a big bottle of red wine and a whole fried chicken,” Hoots recalls. “We holed ourselves away in our friend’s studio and made a holy ruckus.” Read our Best of What’s Next piece from back in 2007.
J Mascis – Several Shades of Why
“It’s hard to believe that—after 25 years of squalling guitar rock with Dinosaur Jr and a slew of other bands (from The Fog to Witch)—J Mascis is just now releasing his first proper solo album, and that it’s a laid-back acoustic record. But, after listening to Several Shades of Why, it’s even harder to believe he hasn’t explored this format more often.” Read Steve LaBate’s review, later this week.
Noah and the Whale – Last Night on Earth
Noah and the Whale’s somber-yet-pretty brand of folk earned them high acclaim when they debuted their sophomore album The First Days of Spring, a chilling breakup record written after NATW lead singer Charlie Fink broke up with longtime girlfriend and English folk artist Laura Marling. The First Days of Spring had the feeling of Fink moving on, and now his music has too, as evidenced in the video for “L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.” off of the band’s upcoming Last Night On Earth. Stream Wild Thing, the first single—Nathan Spicer
The Damnwells – No One Listens to The Band Anymore
If simplicity is a good thing, then this video is damn near perfect. The song “The Great Unknown” is a new track from the Damnwells’ upcoming record. If you like the song as much as we do, you might want to download the free mp3.
The Dodos – No Color
""Frenetic" accurately describes The Dodos. The duo transforms its songs into expansive pieces, which is quite a feat considering only two people create the sound." Read Nathan Spicer’s interview with the band.
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Belong
“The Pains of Being Pure at Heart is named after an unpublished children’s book. A track on their debut was titled “Young Adult Friction.” Their latest album, Belong, features an Anne of Green Gables reference (“Anne with an E”). The Brooklyn quartet is twee-er than hand-knitted leg warmers, but their music is strong, which covers a multitude of cutesy sins.” Read Rachel Dovey’s review
Typhoon – A New Kind of House
“Music critics throw around adjectives like “orchestral” and “expansive” all the time these days. But here’s a band that actually deserves such labels. Portland’s Typhoon is an indie rock geek’s dream: a dynamic 12-piece with a seemingly unending reservoir of energy, emotive vocals, arpeggiated guitars, horns, multiple drum kits, strings—there are so many sonic details crammed into the five tracks on A New Kind of House, the band’s second official release, that you might need two pairs of headphones to properly connect the dots."