This Week's New Album Releases (4/26/11)
Any week that includes new releases by Steve Earle and Emmylou Harris is a good one. But it’s not just Americana legends with new music. Check out the 11 most notable albums due out today.
Cass McCombs – Wit’s End
“Despite making music for much of the past 10 years, few people really know much about 34-year nomad Cass McCombs. The Californian songwriter has embraced anonymity as part of his musical persona. His approach recalls the way like-minded melancholic songwriters Bill Callahan and Will Oldham have conducted their careers. Through avoiding interviews and remaining ambivalent to his public perception, McCombs has created an enigmatic aura around both himself and his despondent and pensive ballads.” Read Max Blau’s Best of What’s Next story on Cass McCombs.
Eastern Conference Champions – Speak-ahh
“Speak-ahh, the latest effort from rock trio Eastern Conference Champions, is an album that you don’t really realize is playing until it stops.. If interpreted by an optimist, this could mean that there is nothing offensively wrong with the album; if interpreted by a pessimist, it could mean that there was nothing inherently impressive about it. It means both.” Read Ani Vrabel’s review of Speak-ahh.
Emmylou Harris – Hard Bargains
“Harris keeps it simple on her 25th solo album, a stripped-down, intimate affair that relies on trust and intuition as much as it does on hard work and professionalism. With producer Jay Joyce on guitar and Giles Reaves on piano and percussion, Hard Bargain is an example of world-class woodshedding and features log cabin music of the highest order. As ever, the spotlight is on Harris’ still -transcendent voice.” Read Doug Heselgrave’s review of Hard Bargains.
Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs – No Help Coming
Last year, Holly Golightly stopped by the Paste office for a live performance. She’s back with a new record. Read Ashley Melzer’s upcoming review of No Help Coming.
of Montreal – Thecontrollerspere
We’ll let Kevin Barnes tell you about his new 23-minute EP: ““Here’s your folk record, I hope you like that I’ve carried on the tradition of such folk luminaries as Abu Bakr Khairat, Benny More and Nawal Al Zoghbi. These songs were written in Sunlandia, that’s where most of the folk songs are written now a days, and they were recorded up there, as well as in LA with Jon Brion, with no small contribution from Matt Chamberlain (drum du lum and yerba matte enthusiast) and K Ishibashi (my most modern classical friend). It is my hope that you can tolerate listening to this short EP in one sitting and appreciate it like a fine dining experience. …This little EP is a freak out record, have you ever seen anyone dancing to folk music? Well, like my fellow folk singing brother Bob Dylan once said, ‘I’d dance with you Maria, but my hands are on fire”. Though, in this case, the world is roughly one year from extinction or not.’”
Son Lux – We Are Rising
Andy Whitman said of Son Lux’s 2009 debut: “Ryan Lott, who records under the name Son Lux, is a classically trained pianist and hip-hop and Radiohead fan who makes upside-down music. The 11 songs here consist of lyrical fragments – short phrases repeated, like a mantra, like rosary beads – that serve as the musical anchor, much like the rhythm section traditionally serves as the musical anchor. The result is an electronica collage that is a bundle of contradictions; noisy and meditative, hypnotizing and endlessly, continually evolving. If Beck recorded in a monastery, this is what he might sound like. This is the best debut album I’ve heard in years.”
Steve Earle – I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive
“Steve Earle has never been one to pull his punches. In both his spectacularly troubled personal life and his rough and tumble songs, subtlety has never been the name of the game. Nothing’s changed this time around, and recent successes evidenced by Grammy and Emmy awards, a celebrated acting career and a soon-to-be-released novel have done nothing to dull his wicked edge.” Read Doug Heselgrave’s review of I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive.
Thao and Mirah – Thao and Mirah
“Thao and Mirah aren’t the likeliest pair. Sure, they share a love of acoustic guitars and prefer to be on a first-name basis, but you probably won’t find them grouped together in a RIYL list. But when Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn moved from Olympia, Washington to San Francisco, she found a kindred spirit in Thao Nguyen, and the two eventually toured together. Now they’re debuting their first recorded collaboration, aptly titled Thao & Mirah.” Read Joel Oliphant’s upcoming review.
The Airborne Toxic Event – All At Once
“A band that gets its name from a catalyzing section of Don DeLillo’s postmodern masterpiece White Noise is going to be saddled with intellectual expectations. In the case of The Airborne Toxic Event, the band doesn’t simply seem aware of this, but it’s as though they’re inviting literary analysis. Which shouldn’t be a surprise for an album scribed by a novelist and published author (Mikeel Jollett) who uses music as a way to tell a story as much as he uses it as a way to move a crowd. " Read Jeff Gonick’s upcoming review of All At Once.
Times New Viking – Dancer Equired
“The spastic, ear-needling noise surrounding Times New Viking’s songs has always been hard to justify. Sure, their music has an ornery, almost inhospitable exterior, but the cores of albums like Rip it Off are happily indebted to spontaneous pop—the trio’s glimmering yelps are at once both mangled and ambrosial, and a hell of a lot more disarmed than all the tape-hiss around it. But Dancer Equired is probably the most transparent the band has ever sounded.” Read Luke Winkie’s review of Dancer Equired.
The Wombats – The Modern Glitch
“The British indie-rockers are back with a more danceable, darker output than 2007’s A Guide To Love, Loss & Desperation. Every song is designed to get people moving by focusing on rhythms that all build to infectious, energetic choruses.” Read Nathan Spicer’s review of The Modern Glitch.