Today’s New Albums: Jack White, Father John Misty, Lucius, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong & More
Andy Frasco and The U.N., Calexico and Pavement 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 Jack White, Father John Misty, Lucius, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Andy Frasco and The U.N., Calexico and Pavement. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.
Jack White – Fear Of The Dawn
Guitarist Jack White kicks off an ambitious 2022 with today’s release of Fear Of Dawn, the first of two full-length albums set to come out this year on his Third Man Records label. With Entering Heaven Alive due on July 22, the LPs are White’s first new full-length releases in over four years. White produced, engineered and mixed the 12-track album, providing all of the instrumentation on several songs while being credited with playing electric guitar, vibraphone, drums, piano, bass, synthesizer, percussion, theremin and acoustic guitar.
Others contributing to Fear Of The Dawn included drummer Daru Jones, bassist Dominic Davis, guitarist Olivia Jean, keyboardist Quincy McCrary, bassist Scarlett White, keyboardist Mark Watrous, bassist Jack Lawrence and guitarist Duane Denison. Rapper Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest appears on the Fear Of The Dawn track “Hi-De-Ho.”
Father John Misty – Chloë And The Next 20th Century
Available today is Chloë And The Next 20th Century, a new Father John Misty album released via Sub Pop/Bella Union. The fifth studio album issued by Joshua Tillman under the Father John Misty moniker was once again co-produced by frequent collaborator Jonathan Wilson. Tillman wrote and primarily recorded the 11-song follow-up to 2018’s God’s Favorite Customer at Wilson’s Five Star Studios facility between August and December 2020. Drew Erickson provided arrangements with Dave Cerminara handling engineering and mixing duties. Additional sessions to capture strings, brass and woodwinds featuring Dan Higgins and Wayne Bergeron and many others took place at the legendary United Recordings in Los Angeles. Tillman previewed the album with the singles “Funny Girl,” “Q4,” “Goodbye Mr. Blue” and “The Next 20th Century.”
Lucius – Second Nature
Lucius returns with their first album in six years, Second Nature, arriving today via Mom + Pop Music. The follow up to 2016’s Good Grief grew out of a period of change and reflection along with new endeavors as the group’s frontwomen Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe took a break from Lucius to tour with Roger Waters and also collaborated with Sheryl Crow, Ozzy Osborne, John Legend, The War on Drugs, Brandi Carlile and more.
Reconvening with the band in 2020, Lucius tapped Carlile along with Dave Cobb to co-produce Second Nature, which was largely recorded at Nashville’s storied RCA Studio A facility. Along with Lucious members Peter Lalish and Dan Molad, the album also sees vocal contributions from Carlile and Crow along with Drew Erickson, Rob Moose and Gabriel Cabezas. Wolfe and Laessig wrote much of the material for Second Nature as they always have with the longtime friends throwing out ideas over “coffee talks,” which took a heavier turn in recent years as a number of momentous events, both personal and universal, affected them.
“We’ve gotten so used to helping each other write about very personal things,” Laessig said. “It’s funny, because Second Nature makes perfect sense as a title: it’s become second nature to write for each other. A lot of what we wrote about on the record were things we hadn’t talked about before: there wasn’t a readiness to face some of those things.”
“It is a record that begs you not to sit in the difficult moments, but to dance through them,” Wolfe added. “It touches upon all these stages of grief, and some of that is breakthrough. Being able to have the full spectrum of the experience that we have had, or that I’ve had in my divorce, or that we had in lockdown, having our careers come to a halt, so to speak—I think you can really hear and feel the spectrum of emotion, and hopefully find the joy in the darkness.”
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong – Perspective
Out today from jam quartet Pigeons Playing Ping Pong is their sixth studio album, Perspective. The 12-track follow-up to 2020’s Presto features a number of songs debuted by the band live over the past few years. There’s also oldie “Indiglo,” which got the studio treatment and includes keyboards from ALO’s Zach Gill, while the Here Come The Mummies’ horn section added to “Elephante.”
“When touring shut down in 2020, we gained immense perspective,” explained frontman Greg Ormont regarding an album recorded at Wright Way Studios in the band’s hometown of Baltimore. “The album title speaks to the perspective of the pandemic as well as our growth over the years. During this turbulent time, everyone in the world has been forced to look in the mirror and ask what’s truly important. If there’s anything we’ve all gained from this, it’s perspective, and a recurring theme from our band is to not waste time. Now more than ever, we recognize that you only get one life, so you might as well live it to the fullest and lift people up in the process.”
Andy Frasco and The U.N. – Wash, Rinse, Repeat
Andy Frasco & The U.N. used the time off the road due to pandemic to record Wash, Rinse, Repeat, a new studio album released today. Wash, Rinse, Repeat follows the group’s 2020 LP, Keep On Keeping On, which came just as COVID-19 led to a pause in live music. The band enlisted multiple producers to work on the 12-track LP including Chris Carraba (Dashboard Confessional), Nathaniel Motte (3oh!3), Kenny Carkeet (AWOLNATION), Eric Krasno (Ledisi, Tedeschi Trucks Band) and Justin Osborne (Susto).
Frasco shared the following about Wash, Rinse, Repeat:
“This album means a lot to me because it sparked new ideas of what life is about. I’ve been on tour for so long that I have never been in my house for this long ever. I got sad, I got confused, I got existential because all these feelings were new. Normally I can run away to the next town, see new things and distract myself if I’m feeling sad or depleted. But during this pandemic I really had to stay at home, live with the demons in my head and figure them out myself. Through this, I found who I am and what I like a little more as I’m getting older. I’m just trying to be friends with my brain again.”
Calexico – El Mirador
Calexico released their album, El Mirador, today through ANTI- Records. The new LP is the group led by multi-instrumentalist Joey Burns and drummer John Convertino’s first since releasing the holiday album, Seasonal Shift, in December 2020. The band took to longtime member keyboardist Sergio Mendoza’s Tucson, Arizona home studio throughout Summer 2021 to record El Mirador, which also features contributions from Guatemalan singer-songwriter Gaby Moreno and Spanish rocker Jairo Zavala.El Mirador sees Calexico channeling “cherished memories of Southwestern landscapes and joyful barrio melting pots into an evocative love letter to the desert borderlands that nourished them for over 20 years,” as per press material for the album.
“There is romance in this music,” Convertino noted. “When I was driving out to Tucson to work with Sergio and Joey, I didn’t have any specific song ideas in mind. I was searching for a vibe and a mood.”
“El Mirador is dedicated to family, friends and community,” Burns added. “The pandemic highlighted all the ways we need each other, and music happens to be my way of building bridges and encouraging inclusiveness and positivity. That comes along with sadness and melancholy, but music sparks change and movement.”
Pavement – Terror Twilight: Farewell Horizontal
An expanded version of influential 1990s alternative rock band Pavement’s fifth and final album, 1999’s Terror Twilight, was released today by Matador Records as Terror Twilight: Farewell Horizontal. The long-in-the-making deluxe reissue contains 45 tracks including the remastered original album, B-sides, outtakes, live recordings, demos and more. Included are 28 previously unreleased tracks, among them rough tracks from the sheleved recording sessions held at Sonic Youth’s Echo Canyon studio in New York City that didn’t make the cut in 1999.
Terror Twilight was recorded by Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus, Bob Nastanovich, Mark Ibold, Spiral Stairs (Scott Kannberg) and Steve West. The album marked the band’s first, and ultimately only, time working with a well-known producer as they were connected with Nigel Godrich whose credits include Radiohead, Beck, Travis and others. A 4xLP edition presents Terror Twilight in the order originally suggested by Godrich while the 2xCD edition uses the same sequence picked by the band. Scott Kannberg discussed the reissue with Pitchfork, stating:
“The reissue has been in the back of our minds since probably 2009, but [their U.S. label] Matador didn’t want to put it out because there weren’t really any good extras. And we were just starting that first reunion tour [in 2010], so we shelved it. But when we did our worldwide deal with Matador [in 2020], they were like, ‘All right we’ve got to do Terror Twilight, everybody keeps asking about it.’ Jesper [Eklow, Matador’s former director of production and Farewell Horizontal overseer] talked Stephen into releasing some of his demos, and we found a bunch of rehearsal tapes that we didn’t have before. For a fanatic, it’s gonna be cool. But for just the casual fan, I don’t know if they’ll want to hear the rehearsal tape of ‘Billie,’ you know? [laughs]”
Compiled by Scott Bernstein, Nate Todd and Andy Kahn.