Phish’s Page McConnell & Trey Anastasio’s ‘January’ Among New Albums Released Today

Miley Cyrus, Shana Cleveland, Ripe, King Khan, Death Cab for Cutie, UNIVERSE PEOPLES and Van Morrison also have new music out today, Friday, March 10.

By Team JamBase Mar 10, 2023 6:30 am PST

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 Page McConnell & Trey Anastasio, Miley Cyrus, Shana Cleveland, Ripe, King Khan, Death Cab for Cutie, UNIVERSE PEOPLES and Van Morrison. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.

Page McConnell & Trey Anastasio – January

Out today on JEMP Records from Phish keyboardist Page McConnell and guitarist Trey Anastasio is January, an album containing eight new originals. The pair, who previously teamed at The Barn in Vermont to record six stripped-down Phish songs for 2020’s December, tracked their latest joint LP at Trout Studios in Brooklyn this past January.

“We just walked into the studio with literally an acoustic guitar and a couple of synthesizers,” Anastasio told Ari Fink about the Bryce Goggin-produced record in an interview that aired on SiriusXM’s Phish Radio. “[The] [s]ongs are mysterious. They sound different. It was limiting, in a great way.” All of the material featured on January was written by Trey and Page.

Miley Cyrus – Endless Summer Vacation

Miley Cyrus released her eighth album, Endless Summer Vacation, which was her first for Columbia Records after leaving RCA Records last year. The 30-year-old Cyrus, who began her career as a Disney child actor/pop star, worked on the new album with a number of producers, including previous collaborator Mike Will Made It, Greg Kurstin, Kid Harpoon and Tyler Johnson. Guests who contributed to the album include Brandi Carlile (“Thousand Miles”) and Sia (“Muddy Feet”). Cyrus co-wrote the album’s 12 tracks, including the No. 1 hit single, “Flowers,” which is also credited to Gregory Aldae Hein and Michael Pollack and produced by Kid Harpoon and Tyler Johnson. Digital editions come with a bonus “Flowers” demo track. In an Instagram post, Cyrus gave insight into the creation and presentation of Endless Summer Vaction, which was recorded in Los Angeles. Cyrus, who called the album her “love letter to L.A.,” said in the video clip:

“When it comes to the sequencing of Endless Summer Vacation, I divided it by two parts: A.M. and P.M., to kind of almost represent an act. The A.M. to me is representing the morning time, where there’s a buzz and energy and there’s a potential of new possibilities: it’s a new day. And in the nighttime, it feels like there’s a slinky, seediness, and kind of a grime but a glamour at the same time. In the evening, it’s a great time for rest. It’s a time to recover, or it’s a time to go out and experience the wild side. In L.A., there’s a certain energy to the night and you can feel trouble boil up to the surface and it’s very inspiring to me.”

Shana Cleveland – Manzanita

Singer-songwriter/guitarist Shana Cleveland released her third solo album, Manzanita, today through Hardly Art Records. The La Luz frontwoman based in Grass Valley, California previously released Night Of the Worm Moon in 2019 and Oh Man, Cover The Ground in 2015. Produced by Cleveland, the 14-track Manzanita was recorded at Dandelion Gold Studio with engineer/mixer Johnny Goss, who has recorded all of Cleveland’s solo work and early La Luz recordings and also played bass. Additional bass parts were played by former La Luz bassist/current Alvvays bassist Abbey Blackwell. The record also features Cleveland’s “life partner – the also ridiculously talented guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, producer and longtime member of Shannon and the Clams,” Will Sprott who played keyboard, dulcimer, glockenspiel and harpsichord and Olie Eshleman who played pedal steel guitar. The album was influenced by Cleveland’s relocating to California, becoming a mother, and undergoing successful treatment after being diagnosed with breast cancer in early 2022.

“This is a supernatural love album set in the California wilderness,” Cleveland stated. “I think of this as a Springtime record. In California, Spring is the season when nature comes inside. The house is suddenly full of weird bugs. Everything is blindingly in bloom … The songs were all written while I was pregnant (side A) or shortly after my son’s birth in that weird everything-has-quietly-but-monumentally-shifted state (side B).”

Ripe – Bright Blues

Boston-based outfit Ripe returns with Bright Blues, their second full-length studio album. The 12-track follow-up to 2018’s Joy In The Wild Unknown was released today through Glassnote Records. The band tapped producers/songwriters Noah Conrad (BTS, Niall Horan) and Ryan Linvill (Olivia Rodrigo, Dermot Kennedy) to bring more of a pop sensibility to their new LP. Ripe emerged from a difficult few years that included multiple lineup changes and the darkness of the COVID pandemic ready to move forward sonically on what eventually resulted in Bright Blues.

“We thought, how can we do something new?” noted drummer Sampson Hellerman. “Something that still has our sound and vibe at its core, how can we expand our boundaries and reach more audiences while still staying true to what makes Ripe Ripe?”

“The wildest thing for me is that the record simultaneously sounds like it has the scars of everything we’ve been through and also that it doesn’t,” explained vocalist Robbie Wulfsohn. “It’s joyful music, which is very exciting given that it was made in the middle of getting hit in the stomach.”

King Khan – The Nature Of Things

Eclectic musician King Khan (Arish Ahmad Khan) is back with his second addition to the jazz canon. The Berlin-based artist released The Nature Of Things via his Khannibalism label and Ernest Jenning Record Co. The follow-up to his jazz debut The Infinite Ones saw King Khan playing Astro-Infinity bass alongside contributions from a number of renowned musicians including Calexico’s John Convertino on drums, percussion and marimba; Fat White Family’s Alex White on sax and flute; King Khan and The Shrines’ Torben Wesche on saxophone; Mojomatics’ Davide Zolli on percussion; and Younger Lovers’ Brontez Purnell on drums and percussion. Khan previewed The Nature Of Things with the single “Snarlin’ Lil Malcom,” a tribute to Malcom X. The musician detailed the song and record as a whole:

“This song is a tribute to one of my biggest heroes of all time, Malcolm X. When I first wrote this song I wanted to make a free jazz tribute to Malcolm X because of the profound transformation he showed in his life, which ended so tragically. His revolutionary words still ring true to this day. The Nature of Things LP is dedicated to all those folks out there trying their best to fight for environmental peace and justice. Humanity is on its last legs and in these dire times one must always remember Malcolm’s words… “When the “I” is replaced by “We,” even “illness” becomes “wellness.”

Death Cab For Cutie – Asphalt Meadows (Acoustic)

Death Cab For Cutie released Asphalt Meadows (Acoustic), which is a stripped-down reworking of their 2022 album, Asphalt Meadows. consisting of acoustic versions of all 11 original tracks and the Low cover, Co-produced by Andy Park and DCFC, Asphalt Meadows (Acoustic) presents acoustic renderings of each of the 11 songs on Asphalt Meadows, which came out last September on Atlantic Records. The reimagined album also contains a heartfelt cover of Low’s “The Plan” in honor of Low drummer Mimi Parker who passed away last November. DCFC frontman Ben Gibbard shared a statement regarding Parker, who was 55 years old when she died from cervical cancer. Gibbard wrote:

“I first saw Low in 1994 opening for Sunny Day Real Estate at the OK Hotel in Seattle. Since then, they’ve been one of the most influential and important bands of my life. It was the fulfillment of my teenage self’s indie rock dream when our bands became friends while on tour together in 2012.

“We were incredibly saddened by Mimi’s passing this past November. She was an incredible artist and an even better human being.

“We believe the best way to remember the musicians we lose is to play their songs. ‘The Plan’ has always been one of our favorite Low songs and is presented here in tribute to Mimi.”


California-based jam act UNIVERSE PEOPLES issued the new live album Jawn Boy today. The collection of four lengthy tracks, each spanning at least 10 minutes, was recorded at four different “jawns,” or locations, in 2021 and 2022. Moontower produced the LP, which was mixed and mastered by Daniel Archer, who served the same roles on Phish’s 1990 album, Lawn Boy.

“We came together and formed as a live band,” stated uP co-founder guitarist Nathan Reinert regarding the decision to release an album recorded live displaying their improvisational and compositional prowess. “Live shows are really where we shine and where the music happens. We wanted something that would show live demo versions of the songs rather than something in the studio that maybe more polished or more sterile, the interaction of the band the crowd and the living breath of the work.” Reinert and fellow co-founder, drummer Garrett Morris, are joined in the current UNIVERSE PEOPLES lineup by bassist Paul Hiller as well as keyboardists Charlie Hornsby and Matt Schrenk.

Van Morrison – Moving On Skiffle

Van Morrison released his new album, Moving On Skiffle, today. The record sees the legendary musician paying tribute to the genre of music that influenced so many artists of his generation in the UK and Ireland. Skiffle is an amalgamation of a number of American musical genres including blues, folk and bluegrass. I” Morrison gathered together a group of top-notch players to help him record Moving On Skiffle including guitarist Dave Keary, bassist Pete Hurley, drummer Colin Griffin and washboard player Sticky Wicket. Van and company previewed the record with “Streamline Train,” “I’m Moving On,” “Worried Man Blues” and more. Inspired by American artists like Lead Belly and Jelly Roll Morton, Scottish-born, Englsih-raised artist Lonnie Donnagn ushered in the skiffle craze in the British Isles in the mid-1950s with his take on “Rock Island Line.

“I was still in school when I performed with a skiffle band – a couple of guitars, washboard, tea-chest bass,” Morrison recalled. “I was already familiar with Lead Belly’s recordings so when I heard Lonnie Donegan’s version of ‘Rock Island Line’ I intuitively understood what he was creating, I knew that it was what I wanted to do. It was like an explosion. This record retranslates songs from that era.”

Compiled by Scott Bernstein, Nate Todd and Andy Kahn.

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