Today’s New Albums: Björk, Tyler Childers, Pixies, Yeah Yeah Yeahs & More

Titus Andronicus, Snarky Puppy, The Bad Plus, Dropkick Murphys, Wilco and Dave Matthews Band also have new music out today.

By Team JamBase Sep 30, 2022 6:20 am PDT

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 Björk, Tyler Childers, Pixies, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Titus Andronicus, Snarky Puppy, The Bad Plus, Dropkick Murphys, Wilco and Dave Matthews Band. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.

Björk – Fossora

Renowned Icelandic artist Björk is back with her first album in five years, Fossora. Björk collaborated with her children on Fossora with her son Sindri appearing on “Ancestress,” a song she wrote after the death of her mother. Björk’s daughter, Ísadóra, features on “Her Mother’s House.” The LP also contains contributions from Serpentwithfeet and Indonesian dance duo Gabber Modus Operandi. The follow-up to 2017’s Utopia, the singer-songwriter compared that LP to the new record, writing of Utopia that it was “all island in the clouds element air and no bass,” and describing Fossora, “sonically…about bass, heavy bottom-end, we have six bass clarinets and punchy sub.” If Utopia was about air then Fossora is about earth, with mushrooms figuring strongly into the themes as well.

“It’s something that lives underground, but not tree roots,” Björk said in a Pitchfork profile. “A tree root album would be quite severe and stoic, but mushrooms are psychedelic and they pop up everywhere…My fungus period has been bubbly and fun, with a lot of dancing. And the head-banging at the end of each song…”

Tyler Childers – Can I Take My Hounds To Heaven?

Tyler Childers took an unusual approach to recording his new album, Can I Take My Hounds To Heaven?, which features his longtime backing band The Food Stamps. Out today on Hickman Holler Records/RCA Records, the triple LP presents the same eight songs arranged in three different styles: Hallelujah, Jubilee and Joyful Noise. Childers and The Food Stamps — James Barker (pedal steel), Craig Burletic (bass), CJ Cain (guitar), Rodney Elkins (drums), Chase Lewis (keyboards) and Jesse Wells (guitar, fiddle) — co-produced the follow-up to 2020’s mostly instrumental, Long Violent History. The ensemble recorded a mix of traditional songs and new originals primarily at Barker’s Dragline Studios. Childers and his band played the eight songs live in a single room over the course of two days for Hallelujah, while Jubilee adds strings, horns, backing vocals and instruments from around the world. The Joyful Noise edition was revealed today. Childers shared the following regarding the album:

“I grew up Baptist and I was scared to death to go to hell. And a lot of that stuck with me. Filtering through that and trying to find the truth, and the beauty, and the things you should think about and expelling all that nonsense has been something I’ve spent a lot of time on. This is a collection that came together through those reflections. In a lot of ways, this is processing life experiences in the different philosophies and religions that have formed me, trying to make a comprehensive sonic example of that.

“Working with the same song three different ways is a nod to my raising, growing up in a church that believes in the Holy Trinity: The Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and what that means. The Father being the root, the place from which everything comes from, and The Son coming to free up some of those things, allowing it to be more open and welcoming. And then you have the Holy Ghost once The Son is gone — that feeling that’s supposed to keep us sustained until we are reunited, in whatever way that looks. Message wise, I hope that people take that it doesn’t matter race, creed, religion and all of that like — the most important part is to protect your heart, cultivate that and make that something useful for the world.”

Pixies – Doggerel

Veteran alt-rockers Pixies add to their enduring and influential legacy with today’s release of their eighth studio album, Doggerel. The follow-up to 2019’s Beneath the Eyrie was produced by Tom Dalgety. The Boston-born band that currently consists of guitarists Black Francis and Joey Santiago, bassist Paz Lenchantin and drummer David Lovering recorded the new 12-track album earlier this year at the eco-friendly studio Guilford Sound in Guilford, Vermont. Pixies previewed the album with the singles “There’s A Moon On,” “Vault Of Heaven” and “Dregs Of The Wine.”

“We’re trying to do things that are very big and bold and orchestrated,” Black Francis stated. “The punky stuff, I really like playing it but you just cannot artificially create that shit. There’s another way to do this, there’s other things we can do with this extra special energy that we’re encountering.”

“This time around we have grown,” Santiago added. “We no longer have under two-minute songs. We have little breaks, more conventional arrangements but still our twists in there.”

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Cool It Down

Yeah Yeah Yeahs have returned with their first new studio album in nine years, Cool It Down. Marking the band’s Secretly Canadian debut, Cool It Down serves as the longawaited follow up to their 2013 album, Mosquito. The group consisting of Karen O, Nick Zinner and Brian Chase had started talking about making a fifth studio album in early 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic interfered with those plans. Work on the album then kicked off in 2021 as longtime collaborator, producer Dave Sitek got involved. The band reached out to Perfume GeniusMike Hadreas who appears on the album opener and lead single, “Spitting Off The Edge Of The World.” Regarding the new LP, Karen O stated:

“I was having dreams, as I’m sure many people were during the early part of the pandemic and lockdown, of places I’d been. Dreams of cities we’ve toured in the last 20 years together, whether it’s Byron Bay or Paris morphed with Mexico — my brain was taking me to all these places. And I felt, for the first time, ‘what if we don’t get to do it again?’ That thought had never crossed my mind before and I really felt it profoundly during the pandemic: I realized I’d taken for granted that we’ll always be able to go out on the road and play shows, that we’ll always be able to make more music when we want to. And having gone through the collective trauma of what we experienced, I really wanted to get in a room together and jam, and see what our subconscious was going to unleash after all that time …

“To all who have waited, our dear fans, thank you, our fever to tell has returned, and writing these songs came with its fair share of chills, tears, and euphoria when the pain lifts and truth is revealed. Don’t have to tell you how much we’ve been going through in the last nine years since our last record, because you’ve been going through it too, and we love you and we see you, and we hope you feel the feels from the music we’ve made. No shying away from the feels, or backing down from what’s been gripping all of us these days. So yes we’ve taken our time, happy to report when it’s ready it really does just flow out. The record is called ‘Cool It Down’ which is snagged from a lesser known Velvet Underground song. I told Alex Prager whose photo graces our record cover that her image speaks to sweeping themes in the music and sums up how I, Karen, feel existentially in these times! But there’s always more to the story. This is how our new story begins, we present to you with heads bowed and fists in the air ‘Spitting Off the Edge of the World’ featuring Perfume Genius.

Titus Andronicus – The Will To Live

Rockers Titus Andronicus return with their first studio album since 2019, The Will To Live. The follow-up to An Obelisk saw frontman Patrick Stickles and the band heading to Montreal to cut the record at hotel2tango. Stickles and studio owner Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire, Leonard Cohen) co-produced the record. On The Will To Live, Stickles reflects on the death of his cousin and Titus Andronicus founding keyboardist Matt “Money” Miller, who passed away in 2021. But in thinking about death, life also crept into the picture, as Stickles explained:

“Certain recent challenges, some unique to myself and some we have all shared, but particularly the passing of my dearest friend, have forced me to recognize not only the precious and fragile nature of life, but also the interconnectivity of all life. Loved ones we have lost are really not lost at all, as they, and we still living, are all component pieces of a far larger continuous organism, which both precedes and succeeds our illusory individual selves, united through time by (you guessed it) the will to live. Recognition of this self-evident truth demands that we extend the same empathy and compassion we would wish for ourselves outward to every living creature, even to those we would label our enemies, for we are all cells in the same body, sprung from a common womb, devoted to the common cause of survival.”

Snarky Puppy – Empire Central

Musical collective Snarky Puppy pay tribute to Dallas, the city birthed the band, on their new album, Empire Central. The LP arrived today through the group’s own GroundUP Music imprint. Bandleader/bassist Michael League assembled a lineup in which he was joined by three guitarists, four keyboardists, two brass, two reeds, a violinist and multiple percussionists and drummer to create the 16-track album. The musicians recorded Empire Central during sessions held in front of a live-in-studio audience at Deep Ellum Art Company in Dallas over the course of eight nights. Pioneering funk artist and Snarky Puppy’s “musical godfather” Bernard Wright contributed to the album shortly before his tragic death. The set marks Wright’s final recorded performance.

Michael League noted the following about Empire Central:

“Snarky Puppy has always been a band that prioritizes the sound of the music. On this record there was some collaboration in the writing process but when a song goes to the band and the players start making suggestions or changing things our collective feeling really comes through. The songs ended up being a lot more direct and funkier than those on our previous records. I think it reflects the many moods of the city’s scene.”

The Bad Plus – The Bad Plus

The Bad Plus reestablish themselves with their self-titled full-length release that’s out now on Edition Records. After 21 years as a piano-bass-drums trio, co-founding members, drummer Dave King and bassist Reid Anderson, expanded the band’s lineup with last year’s additions of guitarist Ben Monder and saxophonist Chris Speed. Monder is best known for his work with David Bowie (BLACKSTAR), Theo Bleckmann and Guillermo Klein. Speed has performed with a variety of modern ensembles and has a long history with King and Anderson. “Evolution is necessary for life and creativity,” stated Dave King and Reid Anderson. “We’ve evolved, but we’re still The Bad Plus.” The four musicians assembled last summer to begin intense rehearsals before entering the studio with engineer Brett Bullion to record the eight songs making up the new LP.

“We feel like we’ve pulled off a magic trick,” King stated, “Changing the lineup from a trio to a quartet with guitar and saxophone that still sounds coherent as The Bad Plus. Having two main composers was our greatest card to play. Our language remains, and that’s the magic.”

Dropkick Murphys – This Machine Still Kills Fascists

Dropkick Murphys released their album featuring Woody Guthrie lyrics, This Machine Still Kills Fascists, today via their Dummy Luck Music label. Standouts on the record include lead single, “Two 6’s Upside Down,” “Dig A Hole” (featuring Woody’s grandson Cole Quest on dobro), “Never Git Drunk No More” (featuring Nikki Lane) “The Last One” (featuring Turnpike Troubadours’ Evan Felker) and more. When it came time to cut the record, Dropkick Murphys and their longtime producer Ted Hutt headed to The Church Studio in Tulsa, Oklahoma not far from Woody’s hometown of Okemah, Oklahoma, which the band visited. In further homage to the folk legend, DKM recorded the album acoustically without using an amp.

“The project has been a long time in the making,” DKM founder Ken Casey said. “Nora Guthrie thought her father would’ve got a kick out of us, would’ve liked us, that we were somewhat kindred spirits so to speak, which to us was a huge honor. We wanted to get into small town America…Tulsa, into Woody’s roots and not be doing it in New York City or Boston. Woody Guthrie, he’s the original punk. He went against the grain, he fought the good fight, he spoke up and sang about his beliefs. I’m motivated by reading what he wrote and am inspired by his courage. One man and a guitar – it’s powerful stuff.”

“I collected lyrics on all kinds of topics…lyrics that seemed to be needed to be said – or screamed – today,” Nora Guthrie added. “Ken Casey is a master at understanding Woody’s lyrics, which can be complicated, long, deadly serious, or totally ridiculous. DKM is capable of delivering them all.”

Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot 20th Anniversary Reissue

Out today from Wilco on Nonesuch Records are seven new editions of the band’s iconic 2002 album, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, celebrating the LP’s 20th anniversary. The reissues include a Super Deluxe box set featuring 82 previously unreleased tracks. The 11-song album has been remastered for inclusion in all versions spanning CD, vinyl and digital downloads. Officially issued by Nonesuch on April 23, 2002, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot marked the band’s debut for the label after they parted ways with Reprise in 2001. Wilco initially made the LP available for streaming on their website on September 18, 2001.

The Super Deluxe reissue consists of the remastered original album; an assortment of demos, outtakes and instrumentals from the YHF sessions and live audio of Wilco’s concert at The Pageant in St. Louis on July 23, 2002. Additionally, the massive collection also includes both performances and interviews from the group’s September 18, 2001 appearance on Chicago radio station WXRT’s Sound Opinions. All of the audio is accompanied by a book that collects previously unseen photos, an essay by journalist/author Bob Mehr and interviews with Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy and drummer Glenn Kotche as well as YHF mixer Jim O’Rourke.

Dave Matthews Band – Live Trax Vol. 61

Dave Matthews Band today put out official audio of their August 25, 2005 concert as Live Trax Vol. 61. The latest installment of the group’s live archival series features a show that took place in Chula Vista, California at what was then named Coors Amphitheatre. Founding members Dave Matthews, Boyd Tinsley, Carter Beauford, LeRoi Moore and Stefan Lessard were on the road with touring keyboardist Butch Taylor in support of their Stand Up album. Fittingly, DMB focused on material from an LP that came out three months prior to the gig in the San Diego area. An array of classics such as “One Sweet World,” “Say Goodbye,” Warehouse” and “Tripping Billies” were also part of the setlist on a night featuring eight cuts off Stand Up.

Compiled by Scott Bernstein, Nate Todd and Andy Kahn.

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