New Releases for September 11, 2020
Artemis – Artemis CD (Blue Note)
Artemis – the jazz supergroup comprised of pianist and musical director Renee Rosnes, clarinetist Anat Cohen, tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana, trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, bassist Noriko Ueda, drummer Allison Miller, and featured vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant – release their self-titled debut album on Blue Note Records. Artemis conjures a powerful collective voice from seven of the most acclaimed musicians in modern jazz. Artemis is a superb nine-song set that features material composed and/or arranged by each of the band’s six instrumentalists. Artemis unfurls with a dynamic flow, stunningly eclectic yet entirely cohesive.
Elizabeth Cook – Aftermath CD/2xLP (Agent Love)
A fixture of Nashville’s singer-songwriter circles, Elizabeth Cook channels a season of divorce, addiction, and misdiagnosed mental health into her latest album Aftermath. Aftermath is Cook’s seventh full-length album, and musically, it is her most adventurous and rock-influenced. The collection echoes the southern rock of Tom Petty, the Allman Brothers, and Lynyrd Skynyrd that Cook grew up on.
Delta Spirit – What Is There CD/LP (New West)
“The fourth studio album from Delta Spirit is a lush, epic foray into arena-ready rock, more so than anything they’ve done before. Into The Wide, as it’s so aptly titled, feels grand and big, like it’s ready to move mountains. They’ve always had a knack for creating pop rock head bangers, but on Into The Wide they’re honing in on it with each and every last-night-of-our-lives chorus. There’s urgency here, and it shines through in almost every song like bursting fireworks on the fourth of July. This collection of songs does feel more pop heavy than anything Delta Spirit has done previously, but the record is cohesive and they never lose themselves in any of it. Lead vocalist Matthew Vasquez has always had a gorgeous voice, but it’s showcased more than ever on Into The Wide. The record almost serves as a reminder that he’s such a great singer and we’re thankful for it. Wide is full of more radio-ready songs than we’re used to hearing from Delta Spirit, but it never feels like a sellout. In fact, it feels like it’s going to make a killer tour with live shows that are energetic and electrifying.” – Glide Magazine
Flaming Lips – American Head CD/2xLP (WB/Bella Union)
American Head is the best and most consistent studio album from The Flaming Lips since the release of their most successful brace of albums The Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots. Similar to those records, the 13 cinematic songs on American Head are classically structured and feature the same sonic and production qualities. Kacey Musgraves (a fan who covers “Do You Realize” in her live set) is a guest on three tracks – “Watching The Lightbugs Glow” as well as the focus tracks “Flowers Of Neptune 6” and “God And The Policeman”. “Flowers of Neptune 6” serves as the first new music from The Lips since 2019’s internationally acclaimed King’s Mouth Music And Songs. Produced by Dave Fridmann and The Flaming Lips, it reflects the gentler side of the band’s paisley oeuvre and melodically flows downstream into a welcoming wormhole of wistful summer pop.
Marilyn Manson – We Are Chaos CD/LP (Loma Vista)
As chaos envelopes the world, Marilyn Manson penned the perfect prescription with the aptly titled concept album, We Are Chaos. Co-produced by Manson and Grammy Award winner Shooter Jennings (Brandi Carlile, Tanya Tucker), the ten-track opus was written, recorded, and finished before the pandemic blanketed us all. Manson’s painting, Infinite Darkness, which can be seen on the album cover, was specifically created to accompany the music. Manson on working with Shooter Jennings: “When Shooter and I decided to start making this album almost two years ago, we were both doing tours so we had to work around our schedules. Shooter and I had a shared love for Bowie’s era with Brian Eno. And I wasn’t afraid to try new things with him writing the music. He also helped me to be unafraid to try old things. As a producer he really pushed me to be both new and still true to what the core of Marilyn Manson is. His perspective added the trans-dimensional element that I was always looking to tap into.”
Mastodon – Medium Rarities CD (WB)
Medium Rarities is the first rarities collection from Mastodon covering their entire career. The compilation features one brand new song – “Fallen Torches”. It also includes a bevy of classic covers, soundtrack contributions, instrumentals, B-sides, and live recordings on one complete package for the very first time. Among an eclectic array of covers, the musicians tackle “A Commotion” by Feist, “A Spoonful Weighs A Ton” by The Flaming Lips, “Atlanta” by Butthole Surfers, and “Orion” by Metallica. It also features soundtrack cuts such as “White Walker” (from the Game Of Thrones inspired mix tape) and the soundtrack song “Cut You Up With A Linoleum Knife” (Aqua Teen Hunger Force). Meanwhile, they get under the hood with instrumental versions of “Asleep In The Deep”, “Toe To Toes”, “Jaguar God”, and “Halloween”. [Vinyl edition due October 16.]
Stray Cats – Rocked This Town: From LA To London CD/2xLP (Surfdog)
Brian Setzer, Lee Rocker, and Slim Jim Phantom reunited in 2019 to celebrate their 40th anniversary, released their first new studio album in 26 years appropriately titled 40, and toured Europe and America, celebrating 40 years of timeless rock ‘n’ roll and rockabilly. Rocked This Town: From LA To London documents that critically acclaimed tour and features the Stray Cats classics “Stray Cat Strut”, “Rock This Town”, “Fishnet Stockings”, “Rumble In Brighton” and “Runaway Boys”, as well as several brand-new scorchers from the 40 album.
Chick Corea – Plays 2xCD (Concord)
Plays is a captivating and intimate double album of solo performances. Showcasing his charming rapport with enthusiastic audiences in these spirited renditions, he’s in good company throughout, engaging with a list of icons represents a wide swath of musical history, from the classical repertoire of Mozart and Chopin to jazz influences like Bill Evans and modern pop sensibility of Stevie Wonder. Several pieces are reprisals or spontaneously improvised. [Vinyl edition due October 16.]
PJ Harvey – To Bring You My Love: Demos CD/LP (Island)
PJ Harvey – To Bring You My Love [Reissue/1995] LP (Island)
PJ Harvey’s third album To Bring You My Love, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2020, receives a heavyweight vinyl LP reissue alongside an album of previously unreleased demos. The 10 track collection To Bring You My Love: Demos includes early versions of the singles “Down By The Water”, “C’mon Billy”, and “Send His Love To Me”. The audio has been mastered by Jason Mitchell at Loud Mastering under the guidance of longtime PJ Harvey collaborator John Parish. The release also features new artwork with previously unseen photos by original photographer and designer Maria Mochnacz.
Ihsahn – Pharos CD/LP (Spinefarm)
New album from prog metal guitarist/composer/songwriter Vegard Sverre Tveitan. Ihsahn’s Pharos is musically and conceptually like a reversal of previous EP, Telemark. Where that EP was all about the familiar, close to heart and home, Pharos is taking a distant perspective, a journey, in a more exploratory mindset. Going into Pharos was more like taking on a challenge. Binding them together is the structural similarities of three original songs and two cover songs that influenced its direction. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Logic – No Pressure CD (Def Jam)
Logic, 6ix and No I.D. come full circle for a sequel to his debut album, Under Pressure, with the first new music since Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind.
The Pineapple Thief – Versions Of The Truth CD/LP (Kscope)
Over the last half-decade, The Pineapple Thief – led by musical polymath Bruce Soord and bolstered by the involvement of master drummer Gavin Harrison – has rapidly ascended to the upper echelons of Europe’s alternative rock scene. Versions Of The Truth is the latest installment in the band’s rise to success. The band’s anthemic 2018 release Dissolution garnered worldwide acclaim. Versions Of The Truth represents a conceptual progression from Dissolution (a contemplation on our ‘post truth’ world) and lyrically tackles similar themes, but from a more personal perspective. Reflecting on how there can be more than one ‘version of the truth’, the album’s songs revolve around the impact the media can have on our lives and the people we love.
Sam Prekop – Comma CD/LP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
Sam Prekop’s boundless imagination is guided by his strong sense of melody. For more than 25 years, as a solo artist or as part of The Sea and Cake, Prekop creates a singular sound inventive and warm. His distinctive vocals, guitar playing and work on modular analog synthesizers are inventive, delicate, and always bear his signature sense of melody. Comma finds Prekop for the first time working extensively with beat programming, focusing his enveloping synthesizer pieces around a newfound rhythmic pulse.
Duke Robillard – Stretchin’ Out CD (Stony Plain)
New release from the blues guitarist. Duke Robillard’s career path was forged in 1967 when he founded the iconic Roomful Of Blues, later holding down the guitar spot in The Fabulous Thunderbirds (following Jimmie Vaughan’s departure), then working with rockabilly maverick Robert Gordon and recording two albums with the Legendary Blues Band (a sterling group of former members of Muddy Waters bands).
Skillet – Victorious: The Aftermath CD (Atlantic)
Victorious: The Aftermath features all twelve original tracks from 2019’s Victorious, plus eight additional tracks, including two brand new unreleased songs and five reimagined songs.
Richard & Linda Thompson – I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight [Reissue/1974] LP (Island)
Richard & Linda Thompson – Pour Down Like Silver [Reissue/1975] LP (Island)
Richard & Linda Thompson – Hokey Pokey [Reissue/1975] LP (Island)
180gm vinyl reissues of the British folk duo’s first three albums.