Today’s New Albums: Anders Osborne, Edie Brickell, The Hold Steady, Hand Habits & More

By Team JamBase Feb 19, 2021 6:17 am PST

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 Anders Osborne, Edie Brickell and New Bohemians, The Hold Steady, Hand Habits and Melt. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.

Anders Osborne – Orpheus And The Mermaids

The Scoop: New Orleans-based guitarist Anders Osborne returns with a new full length album, Orpheus And The Mermaids, which is out today on 5th Ward Records. “I am really proud of this record for many reasons,” Osborne wrote. “One, it’s inspired by so many of you guys. Our lives and what we’ve all gone through this year. Two, how painless and fast the whole record was executed and done, start to finish. Real teamwork!! Three, that it turned out even better than I had hoped and imagined. A really satisfying experience through and through.” The album is a follow-up to 2019’s Buddha And The Blues and features nine new Osborne originals, including the singles “Pass On By” and “Jacksonville To Witchita.” The vinyl editions of Orpheus And The Mermaids come with a treasure map containing a code that can be deciphered for a chance to win a “special treasure box.”

Edie Brickell & New Bohemians – Hunter And The Dog Star

The Scoop: Edie Brickell & New Bohemians issued a new album entitled Hunter And The Dog Star today via Thirty Tigers. The new LP is the band’s first since 2018’s Rocket, which in turn marked the group’s first album following a 12-year hiatus. The Dallas-bred band recorded Hunter And The Dogstar at Austin’s Arlyn Studios with the help of producer Kyle Cusham who also contributed vocals and keyboards.

Led by celebrated singer-songwriter Edie Brickell, the New Bohemians — Brandon Aly (drums), John Bush (drums, percussion), Brad Houser (bass, synthesizer) and Kenny Withrow (bass) — rounded out the album along with pedal steel from Burton Lee as well as background vocals from Kelly Micwee and Alice Spencer. The singles “Tripwire,” “My Power” and “Horses Mouth” previewed the 11-song set, which Brickell spoke about in a statement. “Hunter And The Dog Star is a collection of songs reflecting the mystery of self-expression, loyalty, companionship and love in the darkest sky just before dawn,” Edie noted.

The Hold Steady – Open Door Policy

The Scoop: Today marks the release of The Hold Steady’s eighth studio album, Open Door Policy, which is now available through the group’s Positive Jams label via Thirty Tigers. Open Door Policy is the second The Hold Steady LP to feature the lineup of Craig Finn, Steve Selvidge and Tad Kubler on guitar, Franz Nicolay on keyboards, bassist Galen Polivka and drummer Bobby Drake. Josh Kaufman produced the 11-track effort, which was recorded at The Clubhouse in Rhinebeck, New York. Contributors include vocalists Annie Nero and Cassandra Jenkins, horn players Stuart Bogie and Jordan McLean and percussionist Matt Barrick.

Craig Finn shared the following regarding the making of Open Door Policy:

Open Door Policy was very much approached as an album vs. a collection of individual songs, and it feels like our most musically expansive record. This album was written and almost entirely recorded before the pandemic started, but the songs and stories explore power, wealth, mental health, technology, capitalism, consumerism, and survival – issues which have compounded in 2020.

Hand Habits – dirt

The Scoop: dirt is a new EP by Hand Habits, the project led by multi-instrumentalist Meg Duffy. The two songs on dirt were recorded by Duffy at the home studio located in the shared living space in Los Angeles they live in with fellow musicians Sasami Ashworth and Kyle Thomas (King Tuff). Duffy co-produced the track “4th of july” with Ashworth, while they and Thomas co-produced the other track on dirt, a cover of “I Believe In You” by Neil Young. “‘4th of july’ feels like trying again,” Duffy said. “Rolling around in the wreckage of the past and finding new ways out of the maze of memory.” Regarding the “themes of growth through trust” prevalent in the Young cover, Duffy noted, “There’s a foundation, and when there’s a foundation there’s opportunity to reimagine structures; physical and otherwise.” The digital version of dirt comes with a bonus track featuring a Katie Dey remix of “what’s the use” from the 2019 Hand Habits album, placeholder.

Melt – West Side Highway

The Scoop: New York City-based psychedelic soul dulcet Melt put their focus on studio work after the pandemic led the band to scrap their touring plans. Melt today unveils West Side Highway, an EP featuring six tracks. The group — consisting of vocalist Veronica Stewart-Frommer, guitarist Marlo Shankweiler, drummer Josh Greenzeig, trumpeter Colou, bassist Lucas Saur, saxophonist Nick Sare and keyboardist Eric Gabriel — recorded the EP at Brooklyn’s The Bunker Studio with producer/engineer Aaron Nevezie.

“Prior to this EP, we had recorded our songs in a live-setting with all seven of us tracking at the same time,” Shankweiler explained. “This time we all tracked individually. It allowed us to hone in on our parts and capture new levels of detail. We all do miss how exciting it is to track together — so who knows, maybe we’ll return to that next time we’re in the studio.”

Compiled by Scott Bernstein, Nate Todd and Andy Kahn.

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