Band: THE MARS VOLTA Who: Former At The Drive-In members Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Active: 2001 present / 6 LPs so far
Last September they released their critically praised self-titled comeback album.
The experimental prog-rock duo stripped that album down to the bone afterward
and recorded an acoustic version of all songs. They named the collection QUE DIOS
TE MALDIGA MI CORAZON(May God Damn Your Heart) and it will be out on 21st April.
Rodríguez-López (guitarist, producer): “It was a fun process. And it made me think about the history of record music in the United States. There was ‘traditional music’, which became ‘Americana’, or country music. And the other genre was ‘race music’, which was exactly what it sounds like: music made by anyone who was an ‘immigrant’, mostly meaning black people. So that means everything that wasn’t ‘country’. In other words, all the interesting shit: r&b, blues, rock’n’roll, electronic music… It says a lot about this country. It was super-fun. I feel like The Mars Volta is finally beginning – that’s why the last album was self- titled, because we’ve finally stripped everything away and arrived at what the whole concept was at the beginning. And this acoustic version comes from a profound place, with its own meaning and philosophy, and its own reason for being.”
New album: HENRY ST. – his 6th Out: 14 April 2023 – order details here
Matsson:“Henry St. is the most playful, most me album yet, because it covers so many
of the different noises in my head. When you overthink things, you get further away from
your original ideas. And God knows I overthink things when I’m by myself. Having been away from it taught me that making music and performing is what I’m doing for the rest of my life, and I’m so grateful for it. It has given me new confidence and playfulness. This is what I do.
Band: THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS Who: A musical collective and supergroup of
singer-songwriters and musicians from multiple
projects led by conductor A.C. Newman. Active: On/off since 1997 / 9 studio LPs (new one incl.)
Info: Even as bandleader A.C. Newman embraces a collaborative spirit more than ever, Continue as a Guest is a testament to his ability to discover new artistic sides of himself.
“I started out as a songwriter more than as a singer, but at some point, you have to sing
your own songs. For a long time, I felt like the idea of changing asong because I couldn’t hit a note wasn’t okay—I could just get someone else to singit. But I’m learning now that my songs can actually be a lot more malleable than Ithought.” And it’s in that spirit that Continue as a Guest sounds like a thrilling path forward for The New Pornographers, with songs that generate a contagious feeling of excitement for the future as well.
Singles shared so far: Really Really Light / Angel Cover
Band: A CERTAIN RATIO (Greater Manchester) Who: Art-funk collective who started their journey
back in 1978. Active: 1977–present / 11 LPs (new one included)
New album: 1982 Out: 31 March 2023 – pre-order info here
Info: “Looking backwards and forwards all at once, drawing on influences from across every spectrum, 1982 is an unpredictable record that will reward a dedicated listener dozens of times over.
Even by the band’s high standards – which includes a gleeful disregard for boundaries of style and genre, their eye fixed firmly on constant movement forwards – their latest studio album 1982 is multidimensional. Recorded by the core ACR line up of Jez Kerr, Martin Moscrop and Donald Johnson, alongside Tony Quigley, Matthew Steele and Ellen Beth Abdi, it shoots off in every direction, whether via searing Afrobeat, mind-melting jazz breakdowns or moody electronic experiments.
And the album title? Although 1982 might conjure memories of the year that saw ACR put out both the acclaimed Sextet and the cult favourite I’d Like To See You Again, it’s more of a playful red herring than an invitation to nostalgia.”
Singles/clips (so far): Samo / Waiting On A Train / Afro Dizzy
– SAMO –
Funky as hell
– WAITING ON A TRAIN –
(feat. Ellen Beth Abdi & Chunky)
Pitchfork says: “The Louisville rock band refines its major-label sound on a brief but
charming new album: It hits hardest when you don’t think too much about it. It’s a refinement of the Major Label White Reaper Sound, where the hooks and melodies are undeniable and now include some Kiss-sized muscle. At its best, Asking for a Ride confirms that they have evolved from writing songs daydreaming of playing stadiums to writing songs that would sound huge in one. But at 29 minutes, this is their shortest album, and for the first time, there’s some filler.
The van is a lot nicer, but the destination feels unclear.” Score: 6.5/10.
TUTV: Tons of riff extravaganza but too much on automatic pilot.
Info: “The most live-sounding Yo La Tengo album in years. Times have changed for Yo La Tengo as much as they have for everyone else. In the past, the band has often worked with outside producers and mixers. In their latest effort, the first full-length in
five years, This Stupid World was created all by themselves. And their time-tested judgment is both sturdy enough to keep things to the band’s high standards, and nimble enough to make things new. At the base of nearly every track is the trio playing all at once, giving everything a right-now feel. There’s an immediacy to the music as if the distance between the first pass and the final product has become more direct.”
Pitchfork says: “On their liveliest album in at least a decade, indie rock’s most steadfast institution squares up against ubiquitous darkness. This Stupid World is just a particularly timely chapter in the modest saga of indie rock’s most unassuming institution.”
Full review here. Score:8.5.
TUTV: Yo la Tengo is all things indie. They follow their own capricious path, for almost
40 years now. They create uncomplicated melodies and then give them an edgy touch
that guides them in different directions. Musing (Aselestine / Tonight’s Episode / Apology Letter / Miles Away), wrought-up (Brain Capers / Fall Out) and pitch-psychedelic-black on
the distorted title track. From acoustic to electric and back. Different moods, different sonic tones. It’s old news that we live in a stupid world where political me, myself, and I leaders use the 2000-year-old trick of divide and conquer. YLT know too, of course, but reality as it is, obviously inspire them to make another remarkable record.
A spot-on indie opus.
Singles/clips: Fall Out / Aselestine / Sinatra Drive Breakdown
Band: FUCKED UP Who: Ominous hard-core-noise warriors from Toronto making
electrical waves for 20 years now / 6 studio albums (new one incl.)
The Canadian noiseniks were very productive last year with no less than
4 LPs centered around the same theme Year Of The Horse and a couple
And only one month in the new year and the hardcore maniacs
already have a new longplayer to offer, baptized ONE DAY.
Press info: “With ‘One Day’, Fucked Up have delivered one of the most energizing and intricate albums of their career, a massive-sounding record that arrives in deceptively small confines. The Canadian hardcore legends have been known for their epic scale in the past, so it might be a surprise that Fucked Up’s sixth studio album is their shortest to date, written and recorded in the confines of one literal day (hence the title). Don’t mistake size for substance, though: The band’s sound has only gotten bigger, more hard-charging, with even denser thickets of melody.”
Mike Haliechuk (guitarist): “I wanted to see what I could record in literally one day.”
Damian Abraham (vocalist) It almost felt like it might be the last time I’d ever get
to record vocals for anything.”
TUTV: It’s back to their fuckin’ roots. Raw and rough, loud and Herculian, and
at times, yes, surprisingly catchy with strings! Final result: a power-core-house
juggernaut nailed in 24 studio hours.
68-year-old iconoclastic songstress RICKIE LEE JONES was once
labeled The Duchess Of Coolsville by Time Magazine (in the late 70s).
The musician who fused jazz with pop/R&B/folk/ and soul with style,
verve and bravoure.
And she will return to her love for jazz again with a new album,
named PIECES OF TREASURES. The record will feature 10 jazz
classics from the Great American Songbook.
01“Just In Time” (Jule Styne, Betty Comden, Adolph Green) 02“There Will Never Be Another You” (Harry Warren, Mack Gordon) 03 “Nature Boy” (Eden Ahbez) 04 “One for My Baby” (Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer) 05“They Can’t Take That Away from Me” (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin) 06 “All the Way” (Jimmy Van Heusen, Sammy Cahn) 07“Here’s That Rainy Day” (Jimmy Van Heusen, Johnny Burke) 08 “September Song” (Kurt Weill, Maxwell Anderson) 09 “On the Sunny Side Of The Street” (Jimmy McHugh, Dorothy Fields) 10“It’s All In The Game” (Charles G. Dawes, Carl Sigman)
RLJ: “This album is as much about being human, the view of surviving,
which means aging, and loving relentlessly, as it is about anything. We
love ’til the day we die, love our lives, our families, and finally ourselves.”
The album arrives on 28 April. Pre-order info here.
The first taster is the opening trackJust In Time.
Anton Newcombe:“My son Wolfgang is very different to me, thank god, but we have so many things in common; dancing, making up songs, and vocalizing strange combinations of words and ideas that make us laugh, or make sense to us in some meaningful way,” frontman Anton Newcombe said in a press release. “At a certain point, I started writing down these words and random ideas to use as titles.I felt like everything was so sad and hopeless, but I am not helpless. I decided to sing anthems to empower me, to remember to remember, to fight the beast until it dies, to give it everything you got because that’s all there is to give… these were not songs for COVID times, for these times of war and crisis after crisis, these are songs for all time.”
(Photo by Turn Up The Volume)
Singles/clips (shared so far): Fudge / The Future Is Your Past