Today’s New Albums: Band Of Horses, Scott Metzger, Mike Campbell & The Dirty Knobs + More
The Weather Station and Madi Diaz also have new releases out today.
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 Band of Horses, Scott Metzger, Mike Campbell & The Dirty Knobs, The Weather Station and Madi Diaz. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.
Band Of Horses – Things Are Great
Band Of Horses returns with their first album in over five years, Things Are Great, via BMG. The follow-up to 2016’s Why Are You OK sees frontman Ben Bridwell producing or co-producing the entire album. Bridwell enlisted the help of longtime collaborators Grandaddy’s Jason Lytle, Dave Fridmann and Dave Sardy to achieve his sonic vision and also worked closely with engineer Wolfgang “Wolfie” Zimmerman on the 10-track record, which boasted singles including “Crutch,” “In Need Of Repair” and “Lights.”
“Emotionally intense, both on a personal and elemental level, the songs for the most part were written before the world shut down, when all of us were faced with our own mortality and began to take stock of our lives,” press materials for Things Are Great noted. “Here we find Bridwell more autobiographical than he’s ever been on record detailing the nebulous frustrations and quiet indignities of relationship changes and what a person will do to make things right. And what you do when you can’t.”
Scott Metzger – Too Close To Reason
Guitarist Scott Metzger has a distinguished 20-plus year career that includes membership in RANA, WOLF!, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead and The Showdown Kids as well as performing with Phil Lesh, Nels Cline, John Scofield and countless others. However, Metzger has never released a solo album. That finally changes today with the arrival of Too Close To Reason on Royal Potato Family. The album features 12 instrumental compositions recorded at Brooklyn’s Restoration Sound facility. Metzger produced Too Close To Reason himself and provided all of its instrumentation with the exception of “Only Child,” a track he recorded with his wife, The Who violinist Katie Jacoby. Once COVID took hold and forced a halt to live music, Metzger invested in a Martin acoustic guitar from 1955. The melodies and progressions for many of the songs featured on the LP came to him quickly after the guitar arrived.
“I hate to be the guy that comes out of the pandemic being like, ‘I did this thing’ … but I wouldn’t have had the time to focus on the concept had it not been for the pandemic,” the in-demand musician explained during an interview for an upcoming episode of The JamBase Podcast.
While the songs on Too Close To Reason are contemplative, the album is anything but sleepy.
“I was very wary of not making … a ‘spa music record,'” the guitarist added. “That’s the last thing I ever want somebody thinking of when they think of Scott Metzger.”
Mike Campbell & The Dirty Knobs – External Combustion
Mike Campbell & The Dirty Knobs return with External Combustion, a new full-length album out today on BMG. The follow-up to their 2020 debut album, Wreckless Abandon, features Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers/Fleetwood Mac guitarist Mike Campbell joined by his band mates, guitarist Jason Sinay , drummer Matt Laug and bassist Lance Morrison. Co-produced by Campbell and George Drakoulias, the 11-song LP was recorded last summer at Hocus Pocus Recorders — Campbell’s home studio in Los Angeles. The record features guest contributions by Margo Price and Ian Hunter (of Mott the Hoople). Campbell’s fellow Heartbreakers co-founding member Benmont Tench played piano on “Lightning Boogie.” Most of the songs on External Combustion were composed by Campbell over the past year, while two songs (“Cheap Talk” and “State of Mind”) were written as far back 1980s that the guitarist recently rediscovered in his vast cache of unreleased compositions.
“The band became this spontaneous type of combustion – to borrow a word,” Campbell stated. “The longer we played, the more intuitive it got. If I say, ‘What about this song?,’ maybe they’ve heard it, maybe they haven’t. They just follow me, and they’re tight. I’m lucky to have them.
The Weather Station – How Is It That I Should Look At The Stars
The Weather Station’s new album, How Is It That I Should Look At The Stars, is out now on Fat Possum. The album is a companion to the 2021 LP Ignorance. The Weather Station, project led by singer-songwriter Tamara Lindeman, recorded the new record over three days, March 10 – 12, 2020, just at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Co-prodcued by Lindeman and Jean Martin, the new album was recorded live at Toronto’s Canterbury Music Studios. The three-day session saw Lindeman sing and play piano while the other musicians improvised their parts. The drum-less album features With Christine Bougie (guitar/lap steel guitar), Karen Ng (saxophone/clarinet), Ben Whiteley (upright bass), Ryan Driver (piano/flute/vocals) and Tania Gill (Wurlitzer/Fender Rhodes/pianet). Regarding How Is It That I Should Look At The Stars, Lindeman shared:
“When I wrote Ignorance, it was a time of intense creativity, and I wrote more songs than I ever had in my life. The songs destined to be on the album were clear from the beginning, but as I continued down my writing path, songs kept appearing that had no place on the album I envisioned. Songs that were simple, pure; almost naive. Songs that spoke to many of the same questions and realities as Ignorance, but in a more internal, thoughtful way. So I began to envision How Is It That I Should Look At The Stars, a quiet, strange album of ballads. I imagined it not as a follow-up to Ignorance, but rather as a companion piece; the moon to its sun.”
Madi Diaz – Same History, New Feelings
Singer-songwriter Madi Diaz released her guest-filled Same History, New Feelings EP today through ANTI-Records. The four-track EP contains reimagining of songs off Diaz’s 2021 LP, History Of A Feeling. Each song on Same History, New Feeling features a different guest including Waxahatchee (Katie Crutchfield), Angel Olsen, Courtney Marie Andrews and Natalie Hemby. Diaz previewed the record with “Resentment (New Feelings Version)” featuring Waxahatchee and also shared “New Person, Old Place” with Courtney Marie Andrews.
“I’ve been listening as a fan to these four women for quite a while now,” Diaz said of her collaborators. “I’m honored to call them my friends and to have their voices singing these songs with me is something that I still can’t quite fathom. I’m so thankful for their artistry and their stories giving these songs a whole new world and a whole new life. To share this earth and make music with them in this lifetime is a treasure and a gift from beyond the beyond.”
Compiled by Scott Bernstein, Nate Todd and Andy Kahn.