Today’s New Albums: Sylvan Esso, Twiddle, Danger Mouse & Black Thought + More
Kelsey Waldon, Greg Loiacono and Dave Matthews Band also have new releases out today, Friday, August 12.
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 Sylvan Esso, Twiddle, Danger Mouse & Black Thought, Kelsey Waldon, Greg Loiacono and Dave Matthews Band. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.
Sylvan Esso – No Rules Sandy
Sylvan Esso, the duo comprised of Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn, released their new studio album, No Rules Sandy, through Loma Vista Recordings. The self-produced No Rules Sandy is the follow-up to 2020’s Free Love. Meath and Sanborn left their home in Durham, North Carolina in early 2022 and decamped to a rental house in Los Angeles where they set up a home studio and began writing and recording. Additional No Rules Sandy sessions were held at the band’s recording facility, Betty’s, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Sylvan Esso performed the new album in its entirety at their recent Newport Folk Festival appearance. Contributors to No Rules Sandy includes drummer TJ Maiani and saxophonist Sam Gendel, as well as string arrangements provided by Gabriel Kahane.
“I think that the ultimate effect of our last record and the pandemic has been the feeling of like, ‘Fuck that, I know what I want,’” Sanborn stated. “And it’s now, or never. So let’s get out there and do it.”
“[No Rules Sandy] feels like who we actually are,” Meath said. “It just feels like us. We’re not trying to fit into the mold, just happily being our freak selves.”
Twiddle – Every Last Leaf
Out today from Twiddle is Every Last Leaf, the Vermont-based quartet’s fifth full-length studio album and first since 2017. Guitarist Mihali Savoulidis, keyboardist Ryan Dempsey, drummer Brook Jordan and bassist Zdenek Gubb wrote and recorded the 15-track LP with producer Clint Bierman throughout 2021. Sessions took place at Bierman’s facility, Vermont’s Sugar Shack and Mihali’s home studio. Twiddle was joined by Blues Traveler frontman John Popper on “The Devil” and Greensky Bluegrass dobroist Anders Beck for “Distance Makes The Heart.”
Mihali revealed the following about the album’s title and concept:
“Every Last Leaf is a metaphor for life. When a leaf falls to the ground, something will grow from it. Everything is part of this grand circle. In the music, we’re exploring all of life’s sides—from the sad and angry to the proud and happy.”
Danger Mouse & Black Thought – Cheat Codes
Acclaimed producer/multi-instrumentalist Danger Mouse and lauded emcee and The Roots co-founder Black Thought came together for their debut collaborative album, Cheat Codes. Out now on BMG, Cheat Codes is the first Danger Mouse (Brian Burton) hip-hop album since his 2005 DANGERDOOM collaborative album The Mouse & The Mask with the legendary late rapper MF DOOM. Cheat Coades also comes on the heels of the Black Thought’s (Tarik Trotter) solo trilogy Streams Of Thought solo trilogy. Danger Mouse and Black Thought first attempted to collaborate back in 2005, but nothing materialized. Danger Mouse’s desire to return to his hip-hop beginnings and Black Thought’s appetite for a new creative expression aligned and the two made another go at collaborating. Guests appearing across Cheat Codes include A$AP Rocky, Run The Jewels, MF DOOM, Michael Kiwanuka, Joey Bada$$, Russ, Raekwon and Conway the Machine.
Kelsey Waldon – No Regular Dog
Kelsey Waldon released her album, No Regular Dog, today via the John Prine co-founded Oh Boy Records. Renowned musician and producer Shooter Jennings helmed Waldon’s new 11-track LP, the follow-up to her 2019 Oh Boy Records debut White Noise/ White Lines.
Jennings contributed keyboards to No Regular Dog which also features Kelsey’s touring band drummer Nate Felty, bassist Alec Newnam, pedal steel guitarist Brett Resnick as well as special guests dobroist/guitarist Doug Pettibone, fiddler Aubrey Richmond and backing vocalists Kyshona Armstrong, Mickie Conley, Maureen Murphy and Kristen Rogers.
Kelsey explained the basis for the LP in the statement below:
“I hope that these songs are able to live with people and help make the world a little better, because I think that’s a big part of what my job is. At the end of the day, I’m so thankful for my passion for music because it’s sustained me throughout my whole life, and now I want it to do the same for other people. And if anyone’s struggling, I hope they can recognize the ‘No Regular Dog’ within themselves, and start to see how much they’re really worth.”
Among the songs on the album are lead single “Sweet Little Girl,” a tribute to Waldon’s mentor John Prine, “Season’s Ending,” as well as the first love song she ever wrote, “Simple As Love,” and more.
Greg Loiacono – Giving It All Away
The Mother Hips co-founding vocalist/guitarist Greg Loiacono is back today with his latest solo album, Giving It All Away. Loiacono recorded the bulk of the 10-track Blue Rose Music LP at Widespread Panic bassist Dave Schools’ Spacecamp facility in Occidental, California. Most tunes were captured live in just a few takes each. Greg recruited Scott Hirsch to produce the follow-up to 2020’s Mystic Traces and is backed by a band that included Schools on bass, keyboardist Danny Eisenberg and drummer Michael Urbano. “Recording live was essential because the rhythm section is the centerpiece of these songs,” noted Loiacono. “We knew we had to keep everything feeling groovy and deep in the pocket at all times, even on the slowest songs.”
The Bay Area musician was inspired to create the set of originals and reimagined covers after devoting much of his listening to country and soul music from the ’60s and ’70s. Loiacono was entranced by classic songs from the time period focusing on love and heartbreak as Giving It All Away is filled with tunes that incorporate both facets of romance. “When I went to the Blue Rose crew with the idea for this record, I was met with immediate enthusiasm and an eagerness to participate,” added Loiacono. “They sent me some great ideas for covers and just championed the vision every step of the way, which is no surprise. That’s been the flow of the relationship throughout our work together, and it’s always super inspiring.”
Dave Matthews Band – Live Trax Vol. 60
The Dave Matthews Band archival release, Live Trax Vol. 60, arrived today. The latest installment in the group’s long-running live recording series takes it back to an August 20, 1995 concert at the Cincinnati Music Hall featuring the classic lineup of guitarist Dave Matthews, drummer Carter Beauford, saxophonist LeRoi Moore, bassist Stefan Lessard and fiddler Boyd Tinsley.
1995 was a big year for DMB. The band was still flying high from the release of their 1994 album, Under The Table And Dreaming, which would go on to achieve multi-platinum status. The venues the group found themselves in got bigger, but not always, as was the case with the 1,300 capacity Cincinnati Music Hall.
Highlights from the intimate show included guitarist David Ryan Harris from opening act Dionne Farris joining the band for Under The Table And Dreaming cuts “Rhyme & Reason” and “Jimi Thing” as well as Dave Matthews performing solo for nearly the entire encore offering an early rendtion of “Raven” amidst “Little Thing” teases. The full Dave Matthews Band would return to bust out “Halloween” for the first time in 61 shows to wrap up the evening.
Compiled by Scott Bernstein, Nate Todd and Andy Kahn.