Now Hear This
Magnetically energetic and eternally hopeful, Dayglow (the project of Austin, TX based Sloan Struble) excels in creating catchy, carefully crafted, effervescent indie pop. His home-recorded 2018 debut album Fuzzybrain featured the Platinum Certified single “Can I Call You Tonight?”, which went on to be hailed as 2020’s biggest independent alternative hit. Following up with his sophomore album Harmony House in 2021, Dayglow generated a mountain of indie buzz and critical acclaim anchored by lead single "Close To You". Now, after racking up over a billion streams and selling out headline tours around the world, Dayglow returns with his third album People In Motion. Fun and colorful, People In Motion meditates on the ideas of commitment, inner peace, and movement, while inviting the listener to the dance floor to leave the chaos and noise of our current culture behind.
Grammy-nominated LAMB OF GOD follows their 2020 No. 1 self-titled Hard Rock Album with their 9th studio album, Omens. Produced by longtime collaborator Josh Wilbur (Korn, Megadeath), Omens is also Lamb Of God's most diverse affair. Densely muscular with a pessimistic eye toward inner struggles and global affairs alike, Omens is a furious entry in the Lamb Of God catalog, perhaps their angriest album yet. "The world is crazy and keeps changing. Omens is a reaction to the state of the world,” explains vocalist D. Randall Blythe. "It’s a very pissed-off record. The New Wave of American Heavy Metal architects will support the new album with a massive U.S. headlining tour this fall.
The members of the legendary original 1990s Joshua Redman Quartet—Redman (saxophone), Brad Mehldau (piano), Christian McBride (bass), and Brian Blade (drums)—reunited after twenty-six years for 2020’s RoundAgain; they return now with LongGone, featuring six original songs by Redman, due September 9, 2022 on Nonesuch Records.
RoundAgain, the group’s first recording since 1994’s MoodSwing, debuted at No. 1 on the Current Traditional Jazz Albums chart in the US and at No. 1 on the Jazz & Blues chart in the UK. The album received two Grammy nominations. NPR called it “a flawless effort,” stating that the four musicians have “only gotten better in that time” and are each “at the very top of his game now.”
Created during the pandemic lockdown, The Trouble with Fever, co-produced with her husband, Patrick Carney, is Branch's fourth solo album and follows her critically acclaimed 2017 album, Hopeless Romantic. The time at home gave Branch the opportunity to stretch herself creatively. She says: "The album began during the 2020 lockdown, while Patrick and I were here at home in Nashville. I didn’t realize I was making a record at first — it was more just for our own sanity, living in a house with a toddler, getting time together to play music and screw around in the studio. I had some unfinished songs that I’d started during the Hopeless Romantic recordings that I wanted to revisit and finish."
To confuse parts for the whole is inevitable with Palm. Drummer Hugo Stanley, bassist Gerasimos Livitsanos and guitarists/vocalists/high school sweethearts Eve Alpert and Kasra Kurt started making music together as teenagers, and spent much of their twenties in the kind of proximity unusual for adults, outside of touring bands and the International Space Station. For a number of years the band consumed the lives of its members to a point of exhaustion: “To be honest I think we got a little burnt out. There were times where it wasn’t clear if we’d make another record,” says Alpert. It was only after multiple freak injuries followed by a pandemic, forced a pause - from touring but also from writing, rehearsing, even seeing each other- that the four were able to regroup and see a way forward again.
On their latest effort, Nicks and Grazes, Palm embrace discordance to dazzling effect. “We wanted to reconcile two potentially opposing aesthetics,” Kurt says. “To capture the spontaneous, free energy of our live shows while integrating elements from the traditionally gridded palette of electronic music.” In order to avoid what Kurt refers to as “Palm goes electro,” the musicians spent years educating themselves on the ins and outs of production by learning Ableton while also experimenting with “the percussive, textural, and gestural potential” of their instruments. To this end, the band continued the age-old tradition of instrument-preparation, augmenting guitars with drumsticks, metal rods and, at the suggestion of Charles Bullen (This Heat, Lifetones), coiling rubber-coated gardening wire around the strings. The unruliness of the prepared guitar on songs like “Mirror Mirror” and “Eager Copy” contrasts with the steadfast reproducibility of the album’s electronic elements.
While Palm cite Japanese pop music, dub, and footwork as influences on this album’s sonic palette, they found themselves returning time and again to the artists who inspired them to start the group over a decade ago. “When we were first starting out as a band, we bonded over an appreciation of heavy, aggressive, noisy music,” Alpert reflects. “We wrote parts that were just straight-up metal.” Kurt adds, “I found myself rediscovering and re–falling in love with the visceral, jagged quality of guitars in the music of Glenn Branca, The Fall, Beefheart, and Sonic Youth, all important early Palm influences.” Returning to the fundamentals gave Palm a strong foundation upon which they could experiment freely, resulting in their most ambitious and revelatory album to date.
In These Times is the new album by Chicago-based percussionist, producer and composer Makaya McCraven. This is the album McCraven’s been trying to make since he started making records – and his patience, ambition and persistence have yielded an appropriately career-defining body of work. With contributions from over a dozen musicians and creative partners from his tight-knit circle of collaborators – including Jeff Parker, Junius Paul, Brandee Younger, Joel Ross, and Marquis Hill – the music was recorded in 5 different studios and 4 live performance spaces while McCraven engaged in extensive post-production work at home. the 11 song suite was created over 7+ years, as McCraven strived to design a highly personal but broadly communicable fusion of odd-meter compositions from his working songbook with orchestral, large ensemble arrangements and the edit-heavy “organic beat music” that he’s honed over a growing body of production-craft.
GRAMMY Award-winning singer, songwriter, actress, and author LeAnn Rimes announces her new album, god’s work (EverLe Records via Thirty Tigers/ The Orchard), to be released on Friday, September 16th. The 12-track record features an eclectic group of accomplished artists that bring a genre-bending sound to the album, including Mickey Guyton, Ziggy Marley, Aloe Blacc, Ben Harper, Ledisi, Sheila E., Robert Randolph, and more.
Written and produced by Rimes and her longtime collaborator and close friend/producer/songwriter Darrell Brown, god’s work has been nearly three years in the making and puts Rimes’ breathtaking vocals on full display. The track listing includes a mix of ethereal, rhythmic, and brutally honest songs that take each listener on their own unique journey, exploring the duality of life and recognizing the light and the dark that we all encounter. Rimes made a commitment to highlight females in the creation of the album, from the mixing to the recording and mastering, allowing her to fully immerse herself in the vulnerability of the lyrics and sound.
“For me, god’s work was all about a journey of reclamation, where humanity meets spirit,” Rimes said. “The idea was to really dig into the duality of life, and I needed to be at the place I am in my life now in order to release this record whole-heartedly. It’s so empowering that I am finally there.”
Rimes intentionally chose to go with an all-lowercase album title and track listing, explaining “If we’re arguing about why the ‘g’ is or isn’t capitalized, we’re missing the whole point. It’s so important for us to focus on the messages, rather than the nuances.”
More about LeAnn Rimes:
LeAnn Rimes is an international multi-platinum selling acclaimed singer and ASCAP award-winning songwriter who has sold more than 48 million units globally, won 2 Grammy® Awards; 12 Billboard Music Awards; 2 World Music Awards; 3 Academy of Country Music Awards; 2 Country Music Association Awards and one Dove Award. At 14, Rimes won "Best New Artist” making her the youngest solo artist to take home a Grammy® Award, and at 15, she became the first country artist to win “Artist of the Year” at the Billboard Music Awards.
The powerhouse vocalist lit up television screens throughout the 2018 holiday season as she starred and served as an Executive Producer in Hallmark’s “It’s Christmas, Eve,” which earned the highest TV original movie debut to-date for the channel premiering to over 4.3 million viewers. In 2020, Rimes shined the brightest and won season four of FOX’s The Masked Singer, with Entertainment Weekly stating that she delivered “… the most beautiful performance in the history of The Masked Singer.”
Passionate about using her voice to help heal the world, LeAnn released a chant record in November of 2020 called CHANT: The Human and The Holy (EverLe Records / Thirty Tigers). Rimes continues her wellness journey with two seasons of her iHeartRadio podcast, Wholly Human, which will bring her lifestyle blog, Soul of EverLe, to life and introduces fans to the teachers and wise souls that have made a positive impact on her life. LeAnn is currently serving as the inspiration judge on the discovery+ competition series, Meet Your Makers Showdown, which started streaming on November 27th. LeAnn is also now celebrating her 25th anniversary as a recording artist, commemorating the release of her debut album “Blue,” and will release her next studio album, God’s Work, on September 16, 2022.
Troubadour, meaning an itinerant singer of songs, is a word that dates back centuries, and comes from the French verb “trouver,” which is to find. These musical wanderers would find and invent stories humorous and intellectual, romantic and earthy, performing them as they went from town to town. Troubadour is also the word that acclaimed musician-raconteur Todd Snider leans on to describe himself and his latest release, Live: Return of the Storyteller.
“I think my first thought with this record was I wanted to remind people really quickly that I'm a troubadour,” says Snider. “Playing live is the only chance for me to show, 'This is what I really do.' I've never thought of myself as a recording artist. I'm someone who gets over by traveling around, telling stories, making up new songs and singing them alone on stage.”
Before he even made his professional debut with Songs For The Daily Planet in 1994, Snider already knew that he wanted to be part of this time-honored tradition. “I like the romantic notion of drifting around and laughing your way through life,” he says. “Like Jim Croce or Mark Twain. I felt like I was half-doing that anyway. When I was 19, I was a real drifter and a sofa circuit person. Then when I first saw Jerry Jeff Walker and John Prine play, I became obsessed. I followed them both around like The Grateful Dead. I saw that the difference between a free spirit and a freeloader was three chords.
“And as soon as I figured that out, I knew that it would help me as a person who didn't have a plan. Just to be a busker. I didn't want to sign up for normal life. I wanted to do another thing, and then it turned into a real gig. I was really surprised. It's still funny to be getting away with it.”
That speaks to Snider's modesty about his singular talent and deep catalog of songs of every emotional stripe. Rolling Stone has called him “America's sharpest musical storyteller” while the New York Times described him as “a wryly quotable phrasemaker and worthy antagonist.” Live: Return of the Storyteller – his third live album and nineteenth overall - plays like a masterclass by one man with a guitar and a freewheeling imagination. Threading his husky-voiced phrasing through a likable cosmic cowboy manner, he invites you on a tour of tunes humorous (“Big Finish,” and the have-meets- have-not “In Between Jobs”), Proustian (“Play a Train Song,” “Too Soon To Tell,” and the lump-in-the-throat snapshot of John Prine on “Handsome John”) and heart-worn (“Like a Force of Nature,” “The Very Last Time,” “Roman Candles”). As the fifteen-song set unfolds, you can feel a tangible bond building between Snider and his fans.
But the songs are only half of what makes the connection so compelling.
Acting as palate cleansers and putty, the stories between numbers offer colorful glimpses into Snider's interior life. Whether he's talking about being mistaken for a homeless guy in a nice hotel, searching for a song in the woods while tripping or the poetry of one of his heroes dying on stage, his spoken interludes are delivered with both meandering charm and deadly comic timing.
Snider credits an unlikely source of inspiration for both. “The comedian Richard Lewis is a friend and a mentor, and we talk almost every day,” Snider says. “We met about six or seven years ago through a drummer who's a mutual friend, and really hit it off. I feel like since I've known him, my storytelling has evolved. I don't know that I've gotten better, but a lot of the ways I approach my shows is from learning things from Richard. Especially this idea of being able to go on and on without just going on and on. To ramble without getting boring.”
Snider is also mindful about not repeating himself when he's returning to a familiar venue, which can add a tightrope quality to his performances. “On this record, when I left Nashville, I didn't know what I was going to say,” he admits. “I just knew that it couldn't be the same shit that I've said. I was going to have to have some new stories to tell. That's how it's been for years. Then one night, I'll get up there and open my mouth and something new comes out. And then I'll just keep telling it and refining it. It happens under pressure.”
The timing of Live: Return of the Storyteller's release has extra resonance in our post-pandemic era. Snider says, “I'm glad I recorded the tour last year, because that was the sound of the country getting to see live music again. It was unique and it won't happen again. Everyone just hugs at the start of a concert - you can tell that they're glad to see each other, and then they get more excited than they used to be about just being out and seeing music. I'm sure that it will go back to normal, but it hasn't yet.”
While the album captures what Snider laughingly calls his “second tour - because I went out on the road in '94 and never went home until the pandemic” - it acts as both a summing up of a thirty-year career and a look ahead.
“I always think that being a recording artist isn't something that I've thrived at,” he says. “I have fun with it and try all different kinds of music and try to learn more and more, but the only reason I get to do it is because of the main thing I do - which is travel around by myself and sing and tell stories. That thing works. Since I was twenty, that thing has worked. People come to see me do it and I love to do it.”
Sunny Sweeney, a genre-bending songwriting spitfire who has spent equal time in the rich musical traditions of Texas and Tennessee, returns with 'Married Alone', the celebrated singer-songwriter’s fifth studio album and the follow-up to 2017’s critically acclaimed 'Trophy'. Co-produced by beloved Texas musician and larger-than-life personality Paul Cauthen and the Texas Gentlemen’s multi-hyphenate Beau Bedford, Married Alone is Sweeney’s finest work yet, bringing together confessional songwriting, image-rich narratives and no shortage of sonic surprises for a loosely conceptual album about loss and healing.
"Before I made this album, I did two things I’d never done before. I saw Stevie Nicks in concert with Fleetwood Mac, and I toured with Bob Seger. While Waylon and Loretta are tattooed on my heart and I’m deep-rooted in fiddle, steel, and twangy telecaster, this time, I channelled my deep love for rock icons Stevie, Tom Petty, Neil Young and Bob Seger in a way I never have before. I married ethereal rock vibes with the grit of a country lyric. Paul Cauthen took the helm as producer and brought in the stellar Beau Bedford and Jeff Saenz to complete the trifecta to get the sound we were going for. The majority of the album was recorded at Modern Electric Sound Recorders in Dallas, TX and features some of the band members I play with every night on tour. I want my fans to be able to take home that live experience, the guitar tones, fiddle solos - I leave everything on the stage each night and I want people to feel that in this recording."
“It’s been a process of learning how to be in a community of musicians and less focusing on the lone, depressed songwriter…just playing something that has a beat and is really fun,” Fullbright says. On September 30th, Fullbright is set to end the dry spell with the release of his new LP, The Liar (via Blue Dirt Records / Thirty Tigers) opening up his newfound trust in musical collaboration for the world to hear. “That’s not to say there are no songs on this record where I depart from that because there are, but there's also a band with an opinion. And that part is new to me.”
The Liar was recorded at Steve and Charlene Ripley’s farm-to-studio compound in northeastern Oklahoma. After Steve’s passing, Charlene flirted with the idea of selling the studio property, so Fullbright mobilized quickly to ensure he was able to record there before it changed hands. He threw together a band made up of, as Fullbright calls them, “the usual suspects.” Anyone fleetingly familiar with Oklahoma music will recognize the roster, which includes Jesse Aycock, Aaron Boehler, Paul Wilkes, Stephen Lee, and Paddy Ryan, all of whom are in more bands than seems possible. Along with a few more friends stopping in to lay down takes, they finished the songs and tracked the album with engineer Jason Weinheimer in a whirlwind four days.
“It was such a collaborative thing with some really cool voices,” Fullbright said, expressing surprise at the ease of the process. “It's just like playing music in Tulsa. Everybody kind of does whatever they do, and it works.”
The grab-and-go momentum landed Fullbright in the studio with some old songs (“Unlocked Doors” also appeared on 2009’s Live at the Blue Door), some new, and some unfinished, making his newfound trust in musical collaboration essential to the arrangements and reflected fully on the final album. The Liar, as a result, utilizes emotional and instrumental dynamics in ways Fullbright hasn’t allowed himself to explore fully before. There’s a noticeable slack here, an indulgent instrumental break there, and the general feeling that the tight-lipped John Fullbright who agonized over the writing process and then hesitated to talk about the meanings behind his songs in the past has eased up.
“What rules didn’t I have?” Fullbright says about his former songwriting self. “Even like, how many syllables were in a line, I had arbitrary rules for. So much of that has gone out the door, and I’m so much happier. It’s really just the idea that you don’t have to do this by yourself. It’s so much more fun to collaborate.”
As told by Patrick Watson. This album is about negotiating a world where you don’t know what’s real anymore. I really spent a lot of time reading to improve my lyrics for this record. I was very inspired by Jesus' Son by Denis Johnson, The Waves by Virginia Woolf and Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin. The lyrics are a collection of little thoughts that were pacing in my head. We worked hard on rebuilding the tones of our arrangements and we brought a bigger electronic component to the music. With the addition of modular synths, we able to find a warmer and more touching approach to the electronics, that feel as acoustic as the rest of the instruments and move like liquid. Basically, I went back to school for the last two years to be able to bring something new ha-ha. Andrew Barr from the Barr Brothers joined us on drums for this record, it’s a pleasure to play music with such a great musician. Better in the Shade Height of the Feeling Ode to Vivian Little Moments Blue La La La La La Stay