New Release Round-Up 28th January 2022
'Blind Date Party' is a lockdown covers project uniting two of indie-Americana's great voices in BILL CALLAHAN & BONNIE "PRINCE" BILLY, not to mention a whole host of guests including Ty Segall, Mick Turner, Meg Baird, David Grubbs and more. It proves to be just what the doctor ordered- a joyous, playful set of great musicians covering songs they love from the pens of the likes of Lowell George, John Prine, Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam and Leonard Cohen. A bottleneck slide reading of Steely Dan's "Deacon Blues" with guitarist Bill MacKay is a smooth delight, an affectionate recasting of Billie Eilish's 'Wish You Were Gay' with The High Llama's Sean O'Hagan takes it brilliantly into Conchords territory, while a euphoric take on Silver Jews' "The Wild Kindness" featuring former Joos Cassie Berman and Brian Kotzur with Slint/Papa M's David Pajo on lead guitar, stands as a fitting tribute to the late David Berman.
EELS 'Extreme Witchcraft' continues a fertile run from the indie-rock stalwarts with a biting and self-aware post-divorce record. This time out, E splits production duties with PJ Harvey collaborator John Parish, the first time the two have worked together since 2001's 'Souljacker'.
'The Alien Coast' is the fourth full-length from St. Paul & The Broken Bones, whose albums have been getting progressively more ambitious since their gospel throwback debut. It sticks with the fuzzy psychedelia and complex arrangements of the last two while interpolating elements of hip-hop, trap and R&B. Powerhouse vocalist Paul Janeway remains in fine voice, particularly when the band tap into up-tempo groove.
SIMONE FELICE's 'All The Bright Coins' shifts between more conventional but thoughtfully penned troubadour fare and striking spoken word poetry owing as much to rap lyrics as the Beats. Musicians including some of his former Felice Brothers bandmates and recent collaborator Four Tet lend a hand on a direct and intimate record.
On the prog front, there's a first studio album in nearly 20 years from JETHRO TULL plus there are new releases from former Mansun frontman PAUL DRAPER and BIG BIG TRAIN. There's a new EP from influential outsider producer BURIAL 'Antidawn', an official release for jazz vocalist LADY BLACKBIRD's 'Black Acid Soul' and a new album from blues guitarist Eric Gales 'Crown'. If you're quick of the mark, you might be able to grab the latest Dinked Edition from krautrock outfit KREIDLER 'Spells And Daubs', plus there are vinyl issues of the latest releases from TORI AMOS, TRIVIUM and SUNN O))).
Out on CD
There's the first solo album in a number of years from 'Hadestown' creator ANAIS MITCHELL. Produced by her Bonny Light Horseman bandmate Josh Kaufman and featuring contributions from Kaufman, The National's Aaron Dessner and a number of artists who straddle the indie/contemporary classical divide including Nico Muhly and Thomas Bartlett, this eponymous effort is packed with beautifully observed writing and sensitive arrangements. Vinyl is due in March.
'Dawn FM' the surprise album from THE WEEKND which debuted at No. 1 in the Official Albums Chart is released today with vinyl being released in April.
JOHN COLTRANE's classic Impulse! album 'Crescent' gets an audiophile pressing.
GEORGE EZRA returns with his much anticipated third album 'Gold Rush Kid'.
'Radiate Like This' is WARPAINT's first album in almost six years.
And there's a Merseyside meeting of minds between one of our most underrated songwriters MICHAEL HEAD and producer/multi-instrumentalist Bill Ryder-Jones on 'Dear Scott'