Release Day Picks: February 14th New Album Highlights
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 Tame Impala, Nathaniel Rateliff, Huey Lewis and the News, Puss N Boots and Tennis. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.
Tame Impala – The Slow Rush
The Scoop: Five years have passed since Kevin Parker released a Tame Impala album. Perhaps aptly titled, The Slow Rush — out today on Interscope — is the follow-up to 2015’s Currents. The 12-track new LP was recorded, produced and mixed by Parker in Los Angeles and his studio in his hometown of Fremantle, Australia. Parker previewed the album with four singles, 2019’s “Borderline,” “It Might Be Time” and “Posthumous Forgiveness” and “Lost In Yesterday,” which came out last month. “A lot of the songs carry this idea of time passing, of seeing your life flash before your eyes, being able to see clearly your life from this point onwards,” Parker told the New York Times. “I’m being swept by this notion of time passing. There’s something really intoxicating about it.”
Nathaniel Rateliff – And It’s Still Alright
The Scoop: On And It’s Still Alright, singer-songwriter Nathaniel Rateliff leaves the Night Sweats behind for a return to his roots as a solo artist. Rateliff originally began writing material discussing his unraveling relationship but the concept changed when his friend and longtime producer Richard Swift died in 2018. “Across the 10 tracks on And It’s Still Alright, you can feel Rateliff faltering but never losing hope—hope that it’s all part of a bigger plan,” notes press materials announcing the LP. “While the songs are quieter and more reflective than the exuberant soul The Night Sweats have become famous for, they are no less urgent and indelible, as he pushes the boundaries and finds new depths in his songwriting—a singular voice embarking on a personal exploration of love, loss and perseverance.” Nathaniel recorded the LP at Swift’s National Freedom facility in Oregon and tapped Patrick Meese and James Barone to co-produce. Contributors include Tom Hagerman, Luke Mossman, Elijah Thomson, Daniel Creamer and Eric Swanson.
Huey Lewis And The News – Weather
The Scoop: The past few years have been rough for Huey Lewis as the iconic musician lost his hearing before taking the stage for a concert in 2018 as the effects of Meniere’s disease became so intense he’s been unable to tour since. Lewis, thankfully, has finally been able to put the finishing touches on Weather, a new album recorded with The News at their Troutfarm Studio facility in the Bay Area before the hearing issues peaked. Weather, which consists of seven songs and runs 26 minutes, marks the group’s first release of mostly original material since 2001. “We were in no hurry with these songs,” Lewis said of the LP. “The more we road-tested them, the tighter they got, and I think we ended up with some of our best work.”
Puss N Boots – Sister
The Scoop: Puss N Boots, the supergroup formed in 2008 and comprised of Norah Jones, Sasha Dobson and Catherine Popper, are back with their sophomore full length album, Sister. The 14-track album serves as the follow-up to their 2014 debut LP, No Fools, No Fun, and last year’s holiday EP, Christmas All Over Again. Released on Blue Note Records, the three members of the group described the project in the following statements:
Norah Jones: This band has always been a great adventure. Sasha and Cat’s fearlessness eggs me on to try new things, be it playing guitar, drums, writing a new way or wearing an elf costume on stage. We feed off of each other’s eagerness to jump in, sink or swim. And singing together feels like the most natural thing in the world. It’s a real privilege to have found this space together, try different things and to watch this band grow into what is at this moment. It is ever evolving and so fun.
Sasha Dobson: For me this band has always been an incredible and uniquely safe outlet for trying new things. For example, I’d been writing all year on bass but was too shy to tell anyone, but when Norah asked me if I had anything new, before I knew it we were covering those tunes and I was playin’ bass in the band!
Catherine Popper: We were rehearsing for something and we took a break. I sat at the drums and started messing around, Norah came back and picked up a guitar and riffed, and Sasha picked up the bass, and in an hour we had “It’s Not Easy.” My band mates just love to make music and it’s been a great learning experience for me about setting my ego aside and taking a chance.
Tennis – Swimmer
The Scoop: Tennis, the Denver-based wife/husband duo of Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley, took the same approach as their 2011 debut LP Cape Dory and 2017’s Yours Conditionally and wrote the songs that make up Swimmer while at sea. Along with the four-month sailing trip in the Sea of Cortez off Mexico, writing was done at the duo’s Denver-based recording studio. The nine-track Swimmer was produced by Moore and Riley and mixed by Claudius Mittendorfer. The death of Riley’s father and his mother’s illness, as well as Moore’s own health scare, helped inform the material on Swimmer. Part of a statement from Moore reads:
Swimmer is a tour of the darkest time in our lives. But it is not a dark record. Named for the feeling of suspension and upendedness that characterized this period, it is the story of deep-rooted companionship strengthened by pain and loss. These songs carried us through our grief. It is us at our most vulnerable, so we kept a small footprint, recording everything ourselves in our home studio. I set out to describe the love I have come to know after 10 years of marriage, when you can no longer remember your life before that person, when the spark of early attraction has been replaced by a gravitational pull.
Compiled by Scott Bernstein and Andy Kahn.