Release Day Picks: August 9th New Album Highlights

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Each week Release Day Picks profiles new LPs and EPs Team JamBase will be checking out on release day Friday. This week we highlight new albums by Bon Iver, Blind Boys of Alabama with Marc Cohn and The Hip Abduction. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.


Bon Iver – i,i

The Scoop: Out today – several weeks before its announced release date – Justin Vernon‘s latest Bon Iver album i,i was recorded over a lengthy period of time at his April Base recording facility in Wisconsin and completed at Sonic Ranch in Texas. The 13-track album essentially came out yesterday through a series of lyric videos for the tracks. Vernon was supported by a core group made up of Sean Carey, Matt McCaughan, Andrew Fitzpatrick and Michael Lewis with Rob Moose and Jenn Wasner, along with an expansive supporting cast. Among the contributors to the album was Bruce Hornsby, The National’s Aaron Dessner and Bryce Dessner, Phil Cook, Brad Cook, James Blake, Velvet Negroni, Moses Sumney, Wheezy, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and others. “[i,i] feels very much like the most adult record, the most complete,” said Vernon. “It feels like when you get through all this life, when the sun starts to set, and what happens is you start gaining perspective. And then you can put that perspective into more honest, generous work.”


Blind Boys Of Alabama and Marc Cohn – Work To Do

The Scoop: Legendary gospel vocal group the Blind Boys Of Alabama and acclaimed singer-songwriter Marc Cohn came together for the collaborative album, Work To Do. Seven of the album’s tracks are from a live performance at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook, Connecticut that was recorded for the PBS program The Kate. The live portion includes Cohn’s hit “Walking In Memphis” and other songs from his catalog, as well as a version of “Amazing Grace” sung by the Blind Boys to the tune of “House Of The Rising Sun.” Produced by John Leventhal, Work To Do presents three new studio collaborations by the Blind Boys and Cohn, including a pair of new originals and an arrangement of the gospel favorite, “Walk In Jerusalem.”

“My collaboration with the Blind Boys of Alabama has been a thrilling chapter in my musical life,” said Cohn. “We’ve performed dozens of shows together and I was honored to co-write three songs for their previous album. Now, with the release of our new album, my early love and feeling for gospel music has come full circle. It was wonderful to both write new songs with their heavenly voices in mind, and to capture the joy that they bring to some of my older songs in a live setting.”


The Hip Abduction – To The Ends Of The Earth

The Scoop: The Hip Abduction follow 2016’s Gold Under The Glow with the 11-track To the Ends of the Earth. Work on the band’s fourth full-length studio album started at The Lala Mansion in Tampa. Then, The Hip Abduction teamed with co-producers Jackson Hoffman and Ryder Stuart to complete the LP in New York. The aim was to make a record that was infused with the bliss the band had when they first started and would get together for jam sessions. “It helped us come to terms with who we are as a band, defining our sound. We weren’t trying to sound like anything but ourselves,” vocalist/guitarist David New said of those early days, which continue to inform the music The Hip Abduction makes. New added that the process of creating the album “was the best production experience of my career” and both natural and organic, in a similar fashion to the resulting LP.


Compiled by Scott Bernstein and Andy Kahn.