Don’t Miss New Albums From Kamasi Washington, Mdou Moctar, Jessica Pratt, Camera Obscura & More

Adeem the Artist, Amy Aileen Wood, Ibibio Sound Machine, WILLOW, Sia and Brian Thomas also have new releases out today, Friday, May 3.

By Team JamBase May 3, 2024 6:32 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 Kamasi Washington, Mdou Moctar, Jessica Pratt, Camera Obscura, Adeem the Artist, Amy Aileen Wood, Ibibio Sound Machine, WILLOW, Sia and Brian Thomas. Read on for more insight into the records we have ready to spin.

Kamasi Washington – Fearless Movement

Acclaimed jazz musician Kamasi Washington released his new album entitled Fearless Movement via Young. Washington called the 12-track Fearless Movement his “dance album.” The follow-up to 2018’s Heaven And Earth sees Washington joined on the new LP by several collaborators including André 3000, George Clinton, Thundercat, Terrace Martin, Patrice Quinn, Brandon Coleman, D-Smoke, Taj, Ras Austin, his daughter and others. Washington noted “It’s not literal” in describing Fearless Movement as a dance album.

“Dance is movement and expression, and in a way it’s the same thing as music—expressing your spirit through your body,” Washington explained. “That’s what this album is pushing.”

Mdou Moctar – Funeral For Justice

Tuareg rockers Mdou Moctar issued their new album album, Funeral For Justice, today through Matador Records. Funeral For Justice sees Mdou Moctar — lead guitarist Mdou Moctar, rhythm guitarist Ahmoudou Madassane, drummer Souleymane Ibrahim and American bassist/producer Mikey Coltun — continuing to speak out for the Tuareg people in the African nations of Mali, Algeria and Niger, the latter the state the band hails from. Shortly after Mdou Moctar completed Funeral For Justice in July 2023, Niger’s democratically elected government was overthrown in a military coup, causing France — who colonized Niger in the early 20th Century — to withdraw from the region. While Niger gained independence in 1960, France maintained political, economic and military ties to the country.

“This album is really different for me,” Mdou stated. “Now the problems of terrorist violence are more serious in Africa. When the US and Europe came here, they said they’re going to help us, but what we see is really different. They never help us to find a solution. I don’t support the coup, but I never in my life liked France in my country. I don’t hate France or French people, I don’t hate American people either, but I don’t support their manipulative policies, what they do in Africa. In 2023 we want to be free, we need to smile, you understand?”

“Mdou Moctar has been a strong anti-colonial band ever since I’ve been a part of it,” Coltun added. “France came in, fucked up the country, then said ‘you’re free.’ And they’re not.”


Jessica Pratt – Here In The Pitch

Five years after releasing her acclaimed 2019 album Quiet Signs, singer-songwriter Jessica Pratt returns with Here In The Pitch, out now on Mexican Summer. The Los Angeles-based Pratt once again recorded the new album where Quiet Signs was recorded, Gary’s Electric Studio in Brooklyn, New York. Pratt was again joined by multi-instrumentalist/engineer Al Carlson and keyboardist Matt McDermott, as well as bassist Spencer Zahn and percussionist Mauro Refosco. Additional contributions came from guitarist Ryley Walker, multi-instrumentalist Peter Mudge and drummer Alex Goldberg.

“I never wanted it to take this long,” Pratt said of the span between albums. “I’m just a real perfectionist. I was just trying to get the right feeling, and it takes a long time to do that.”

Camera Obscura – Look To The East, Look To The West

Scottish outfit Camera Obscura‘s released Look To The East, Look To The West, the band’s first album since 2013’s Desire Lines. During the period between album releases, longtime member, keyboardist Carey Lander, died in 2015 after being diagnosed with osteosarcoma during recording of Desire Lines. The project led by singer-songwriter Tracyanne Campbell went on hiatus for several years after Lander’s death. Upon return, keyboardist Donna Maciocia joined Campbell, guitarist Kenny McKeeve, bassist Gavin Dunbar and drummer Lee Thomson, with Maciocia becoming a trusted songwriting partner of Campbell’s. The 11-track album was produced and mixed by Jari Haapalainen and recorded between October 2021 and May 2022. A description of Look To The East, Loot To The West, which was issued by Merge, stated:

“Recorded in the same room where Queen wrote ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ Look To The East, Look To The West feels big, a widescreen reframing of Camera Obscura’s sound that, paradoxically, saw the band go back to basics — there are no string or brass arrangements, with more emphasis placed on piano, synthesizers, Hammond organ, and drum machines, and, perhaps most strikingly, the group have dropped the veil of reverb that characterized their previous albums. The tinges of country and soul that give Camera Obscura’s baroque take on pop music its bittersweet edge have never been more apparent — guitars shimmer into the distance, keys haunt, and Campbell’s voice searches for the heart, reflecting on love, loss, and the passage of time.”

Adeem The Artist – Anniversary

Adeem the Artist‘s new album, Anniversary, arrived today via Four Quarters Records/Thirty Tigers. Captured live to tape at Nashville’s The Butcher Shop with producer Butch Walker (Taylor Swift, Frank Turner), Anniversary boasts an ace band including Megan Coleman (Brandi Carlile), Nelson Williams (Jake Blount), Ellen Angelico (Wheeler Walker Jr.), Jessye DeSilva, Aaron Lee Tasjan and Katie Pruitt. The 12-song Anniversary build on their two previous full-length releases, their 2021 debut album, Cast-Iron Pansexual and its 2022 follow-up, White Trash Revelry.

“This one feels a lot more personal and earnest — a lot of it is very close to the chest,” the Knoxville, Tennessee-based Adeem stated. “This record is a marker as well as a collection of individual markers. I’m saying, ‘This is who I am as an artist and this is the world I want to try to help create.’ Traumatic events and warm events leave psychological imprints — there’s this pattern to it. Different moments and different impressions throughout our lives will ripple out and demand repeated engagement. They play out in little holidays that we celebrate over and over.”


Amy Aileen Wood – The Heartening

Los Angeles-based drummer/producer Amy Aileen Wood released a new solo album, The Heartening, today through Colorfield Records. Wood was prompted to record a solo album by Colorfield Records’ Pete Min, with whom she recorded The Heartening at his Los Angeles studio Lucy’s Meat Market. Wood, who earned a co-producer credit on Fiona Apple’s acclaimed 2020 album Fetch The Bolt Cutters, recruited Apple for three of the new album’s 10 tracks. Others Wood brought into the experimental project include Fetch The Bolt Cutters contributors Sebastian Steinberg and John Would. Additional musicians heard on the record include Daphne Chen, Nicole McCabe, Wayne Whittaker and Kelsey Wood. Regarding the single “Time For Everything,” which features the sounds of Apple laughing, Amy Aileen Wood stated:

“‘Time for Everything,’ one of the final tracks Pete and I worked on for the album, was pure fun. It was liberating, and felt a bit like crossing the finish line. We kept it light and tried not to overthink. And when Fiona’s infectious laughter came into play, it felt like the universe was nodding along.”

Ibibio Sound Machine – Pull The Rope

British dance outfit Ibibio Sound Machine issued a their latest album, Pull The Rope, today on Merge Records. The group helmed by London-born Nigerian singer Eno Williams and multi-instrumentalist Max Grunhard, recorded the 10-song new album at McCall Sound in Sheffield and Vanguard Studios in London. The album was co-produced by Grunhard and Ross Orton, who also mixed the record and played drums. The follow up to 2022’s Electricity also sees contributions from Tony Hayden (synthesizer, trombone), Scott Baylis (synthesizer, trumpet), Alfred Bannerman (guitar), PK Ambrose (bass guitar) and Afla Sackey (percussion). A description accompanying the album stated:

“The hope, joy, and sexiness of their music remain, but, further honing the edge of their acclaimed 2022 album Electricity, the connection they aim to foster has shifted venues from the sunny buoyancy of a sunlit festival to a sweat-soaked, all-night dance club. The atmosphere has changed, but you’re still having the time of your life.”

WILLOW – empathogen

WILLOW released her sixth album, empathogen, today through Three Six Zero Recordings. The 12-song collection features Jon Batiste on the opening track “Home” and St. Vincent appears on the track “Pain For Fun.” The follow-up to 2022’s is said to see WILLOW taking a “new alternative and jazz tinged direction.”

“I think how I’m a changed person after making this album is realizing it’s for the rest of your life, Willow,” WILLOW told Zane Lowe. “You’re going to pick up that guitar and you’re going to practice and try to sharpen your skills for the rest of your life. There’s never going to be an end moment. Hopefully when I’m 70 I’m still going to be like, ‘Oh, a C major scale. There’s so much to learn from this.’”

Sia – Reasonable Woman

Reasonable Woman is Australian singer-songwriter Sia‘s 10th tenth album, available now through Monkey Puzzle and Atlantic Records. The 15-track album — Sia’s first proper full-length in eight years — was largely produced by Greg Kurstin and Jesse Shatkin. Additional production was provided by Jim-E Stack, Nathaniel Ledwidge, Charlie Heat, Rosalía, bülow, Mark “Spike” Stent, Benny Blanco and Jasper Harris. Guests recruited by Sia to appear on Reasonable Woman include Chaka Khan, Kylie Minogue, Labrinth, Tierra Whack, Kaliii and Jimmy Jolliff. The track “Fame Won’t Love You” also features Paris Hilton.

Brian Thomas – Live At The Fallout Shelter Set 1

Trombonist Brian Thomas assembled an all-star cast of long-time collaborators on December 30, 2023 for a performance at The Fallout Shelter in Norwood, Massachusetts. The concert at the intimate venue near Boston was recorded and is featured on the newly issued EP, Live At The Fallout Shelter Set 1. Thomas is joined by Jared Sims (baritone saxophone), Steve Fell (guitar), Sam Gilman (organ) and Tom Arey (drums). The EP consists of three new compositions, “Eventide Parade,” “Dad’s Chicken Stew” and “Hunker Down,” as well as a small group arrangement of BT ALC Big Band’s “Bring Forth Change.” Thomas recruited long time friend Alan Evans to mix and master the album.

“I’ve always wanted to put out a live album,” Thomas said. “I am proud of all the albums I have released with Akashic Record, BT ALC Big Band and under my own name that were recorded in the studio but there is something special about having the energy of an audience. Albums like Maceo Parker’s Life On Planet Groove, Grant Green’s Live At The Lighthouse and Art Blakey’s Ugetsu have been the soundtrack to my life and I love how you can feel the excitement and interaction in the room.”

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