Margo Price, Belle & Sebastian, Bob Weir & Others Release New Albums Today
Rachael & Vilray and Myron Elkins also dropped new records 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 Margo Price, Bob Weir, Belle & Sebastian, Rachael & Vilray and Myron Elkins. Read on for more insight into the records we have queued up to spin.
Margo Price – Strays
Singer-songwriter Margo Price today released her new studio album, Strays, through Loma Vista Recordings. The follow-up to Prie’s 2020 album, That’s How Rumors Get Started, was co-produced by Price and Jonathan Wilson and recorded at his Fivestar Studios located in California’s Topanga Canyon. Price and her husband, fellow singer-songwriter Jeremy Ivey, wrote some of the songs on Strays during a trip to South Carolina in 2020. The 10-song Strays features Price backed by her longtime band the Pricetags. Guests on Strays include Sharon Van Etten, Mike Campbell and Lucius. Regarding her fourth studio album, Price stated:
“I feel this urgency to keep moving, keep creating. You get stuck in the same patterns of thinking, the same loops of addiction. But there comes a point where you just have to say, ‘I’m going to be here, I’m going to enjoy it, and I’m not going to put so much stock into checking the boxes for everyone else.’ I feel more mature in the way that I write now, I’m on more than just a search for large crowds and accolades. I’m trying to find what my soul needs.”
Bob Weir – Ace: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir’s 1972 debut solo album Ace received an expanded, 50th-anniversary reissue today. Weir recorded Ace in early 1972 at Wally Heider’s Studio in San Francisco. Ace features such treasured songs as “Playing In The Band,” “Mexicali Blues” and “Black-Throated Wind.” The album also saw Bobby begin working with lyricist John Perry Barlow. “Cassidy” and “Looks Like Rain” represent the long-running collaboration. While Weir didn’t initially plan to have his Dead bandmates back him on the LP, each member at the time besides Ron “Pigpen” McKernan wound up contributing to Ace.
“I pretty much knew in the back of my mind what would happen,” Weir explained to Crawdaddy shortly after work on the album was completed. “I go and get the time booked and start putting the material together. Everybody gets wind of the fact I got the time booked and I may be going into the studio. So, one by one, they start coming around…”
The 50th-anniversary reissue features a remastered new mix of the original album along with performances of each track from an April 3, 2022 concert at Radio City Music Hall celebrating the LP’s 50th anniversary. The show at Radio City Music Hall was the second of two special concerts at the New York City venue. Bob Weir & Wolf Bros featuring The Wolfpack horns and strings played Ace in its entirety each night along with special guests Tyler Childers and Brittney Spencer.
Belle & Sebastian – Late Developers
Belle & Sebastian are back with a quick follow-up to their 2022 album, A Bit Of Previous, which was their first LP in seven years. The Scottish band captured the new record, Late Developers, during the same Glasgow sessions for A Bit Of Previous. But the group didn’t show their hand that another album was coming having just announced Late Developers earlier this week. Along with the surprise announcement, Belle & Sebastian also shared the preview track, “I Don’t Know What You See In Me,” which saw the band working with an outside co-writer for the first time.
“I was bicycling across Scotland last summer, listening to a mix of this song. It was written and produced for us by our friend Pete ‘Wuh Oh’ Ferguson. As I listened to it, I felt lucky to be the first person to get to sing this song,” Belle & Sebastian frontman Stuart Murdoch said of the co-writing experience. “I let my voice swoop and soar in ways that it maybe hasn’t before. And as I continued through fields of gold and green I allowed myself to forget it was Belle And Sebastian, and pretend it was the latest hit on some random radio station. All music is escape, and perhaps we managed to escape a little further than usual with this unexpected tune. Thanks Pete!”
A press release further detailed the 11-track record:
“Juliet Naked” channels frantic Billy Bragg-energy with rugged electric guitar and a football stadium worthy chant from Stuart Murdoch…“When The Cynics Stare Back From The Wall” is an unearthed 1994-era pre-Belle and Sebastian gem, with help from Camera Obscura’s Tracyanne Campbell. “So In The Moment” is breathless psychedelic pop that is arguably one of Stevie Jackson’s best ever songs. “When We Were Very Young” is Smiths-esque jangle rock that is bittersweet, devotional and yearning: “I wish I could be content / With the football scores / I wish I could be content with my daily chores / With my daily worship of the sublime.”
Rachael & Vilray – I Love a Love Song!
Rachael & Vilray — the pairing of Lake Street Dive frontwoman Rachael Price and guitarist/singer-songwriter Vilray — today put out their second studio album, I Love A Love Song!, through Nonesuch Records. The 12-track follow-up to their 2019 self-titled debut was recorded at United Recording in Los Angeles. Dan Knobler (Allison Russell) produced, engineered and mixed the LP featuring arrangement from Jacob Zimmerman.
I Love a Love Song! consists of 11 songs penned by Vilray. The album also includes the pair’s take on “Goodnight My Love,” a 1930’s gem written by Mack Gordon and Harry Revel. Vilray shared the following about prepping I Love A Love Song! in his artist notes:
Inside Studio A at United Recording in Hollywood, for three and a half days in April, the company around us also felt legendary. Five superlative horn players steeped in the trad jazz scene, some going back forty years. A rhythm section comprised of three eminent session players who we’ve listened to and read about in DownBeat Magazine since high school. They told stories about playing with Benny Goodman, James Brown, Bill Evans, and Tony Bennett! And in the control room, keeping us on task, was Dan Knobler, who engineered, mixed, and produced this album, dynamically capturing the interplay between these wonderful musicians in the single open room we all shared.
Myron Elkins – Factories, Farms & Amphetamines
Up-and-coming singer-songwriter Myron Elkins arrives with his debut album, Factories, Farms & Amphetamines, which is out today on Low Country Sound/Elektra. Prior to recording the album, the 21-year-old from Otsego, Michigan had spent three years working as a welder, holding a factory job until just before the album was made. Elkins recorded the 10-song debut LP with acclaimed producer Dave Cobb at the historic RCA Studio A in Nashville. Along with Elkins and Cobb, Factories, Farms & Amphetamines also features the members of Elkins’ touring band, drummer Jake Bartlett, bassist Nathan Johnson, and guitarists Caleb Stampfler and Avry Whitaker. Elkins stated the following regarding his first record:
“I’m from a small town in Michigan and I started out welding for a living at age 17, so going from that into Studio A and recording an album with Dave Cobb is just kind of surreal. It was a great experience, and I loved being able to record the album as a live band. I’m real proud of this album … I actually wrote a lot of these songs on the album in my head while I was welding. I just loved to play and write all of the time. Finding people who want to do that with you isn’t always easy, but we made it work. And with this bunch of songs, it made it all worth it.”
Compiled by Scott Bernstein, Nate Todd and Andy Kahn.