Taylor Swift & Pearl Jam Lead Big Day For New Albums

T Bone Burnett, Local Natives, Melvins, Cloud Nothings and The Brother Brothers also have new releases out today, Friday, April 19.

By Team JamBase Apr 19, 2024 7:15 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 Taylor Swift, Pearl Jam, T Bone Burnett, Local Natives, Melvins, Cloud Nothings and The Brother Brothers. Read on for more insight into the records we have ready to spin.

Taylor Swift – The Tortured Poets Department

Global pop star Taylor Swift released her 11th album, The Tortured Poets Department, through Republic Records. Swift recorded the follow-up to 2022’s Midnight in secret during her Eras Tour. Swift once again worked with producers/co-writers Jack Antonoff and The National‘s Aaron Dessner on the 16-track album (four bonus tracks are available individually on separate alternate editions). Post Malone and Florence + The Machine‘s Florence Welch each contributed to songs on The Tortured Poets Department. Shortly after its release, a deluxe 31-track version was released entitled The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology.

“I’ve been working on [The Tortured Poets Department] for about two years,” Billboard noted Swift told the crowd at her February 6 show at Tokyo Dome … “I’ve been working on Tortured Poets since right after I turned in Midnights … I kept working on it throughout the U.S. tour, and when it was perfect — in my opinion when it’s good enough for you — I finished it and I am so, so excited that soon you’ll get to hear it.”

“It kind of reminded me of why songwriting is something that actually gets me through my life,” Swift told the crowd at her February 16 Eras Tour stop in Melbourne. “I’ve never had an album where I needed songwriting more than I needed it on Tortured Poets.”

A message accompanying the album stated:

The Tortured Poets Department. An anthology of new works that reflect events, opinions and sentiments from a fleeting and fatalistic moment in time – one that was both sensational and sorrowful in equal measure. This period of the author’s life is now over, the chapter closed and boarded up. There is nothing to avenge, no scores to settle once wounds have healed. And upon further reflection, a good number of them turned out to be self-inflicted. This writer is of the firm belief that our tears become holy in the form of ink on a page. Once we have spoken our saddest story, we can be free of it.

And then all that’s left behind is the tortured poetry.

Pearl Jam – Dark Matter

Pearl Jam released their 12th album, Dark Matter through Monkeywrench Records/Republic Records. The 11-track LP is Pearl Jam’s first new studio album since 2020’s Gigaton. frontman Eddie Vedder, bassist Jeff Ament, guitarists Stone Gossard and Mike McCready and drummer Matt Cameron went to Rick Rubin’s Shangri-La Studios in Malibu to record the new album with producer Andrew Watt. Dark Matter was written and recorded in the span of three weeks.

“We’re still looking for ways to communicate,” Vedder said. “We’re at this time in our lives when you could do it or you could not do it, but we still care about putting something out there that is meaningful and we hopefully think is our best work. No hyperbole, I think this is our best work.”

“It’s a lot heavier than you’d expect,” McCready said of the album in an interview with Classic Rock. “There’s the melody and energy of the first couple of records. Andrew pushed us to play as hard and melodic and thoughtful as we’ve done in a long time. I feel like Matt Cameron’s drumming has elements of what he did in Soundgarden.”

T Bone Burnett – The Other Side

Renowned producer and musician T Bone Burnett issued his first solo album since 2006, The Other Side, via Verve Forecast. Burnett co-produced The Other Side — the follow up to his 2006 solo record The True False Identity — with Colin Linden and Mike Piersante. Lucius appears on three The Other Side tracks. The LP also sees guest turns from Rosanne Cash, Weyes Blood and early Burnett bandmate Steven Soles. The Grammy and Oscar-winning producer assembled a team of longtime collaborators to perform on the LP including Dennis Crouch, Stuart Duncan, Jay Bellerose and Rory Hoffman. Although the record contains older pieces of music Burnett had been crafting, the lion’s share of The Other Side was written in a flurry of inspiration after the musician bought some new guitars.

“Every time I picked one up, a song would pour out of it,” Burnett recalled on the creative process. “There were all these songs in these guitars. And they just came out over a three-week period.”

Some of the material sees Burnett ruminating on the word “you” in songs.

“I was reading a news story that some shocking percentage of number one hit songs had the word you in the title,” he said. “I view the purpose of art as creating conscience, so I was constantly appealing to people’s consciences, but I realized when a songwriter uses the word you, he is, of course, in the world of conscience, but he’s also in the world of people’s dreams. And when you enter into people’s dreams, you have to be very careful with them.”


Local Natives – But I’ll Wait For You

Los Angeles-based Local Natives released their sixth album, But I’ll Wait For You, which arrived today through Loma Vista Recordings. The album comes ninth months after the release of its companion album, Time Will Wait For No One. The complementary albums were recorded at the same time with producers John Congleton, Michael Harris and Danny Reisch. The quintet consisting of keyboardist/guitarist Kelcey Ayer, bassist Nik Ewing, drummer Matt Frazier and guitarists Ryan Hahn and Taylor Rice, prepared the message below explaining the connection to between the two records:

But I’ll Wait For You is the second half of a large body of music we made together, the first half we shared last year with Time Will Wait For No One. It’s a companion piece. A sister album. Maybe not an answer to a question, but an exhale to an inhale. So little is in our control, but among all this chaos we can choose to be there for each other. Thank you again to John Congleton, Michael Harris and Danny Reisch, the incredibly talented producers who helped us bring these songs into their fully realized selves.

Melvins – Tarantula Heart

Tarantula Heart is the 27th Melvins album. Out today on Ipecac, the five-song album was was recorded, mixed, and produced by frequent Melvins collaborator Toshi Kasai at The Sound of Sirens Studio in Los Angeles. The centerpiece of the new album is the 19-minute opening track, “Pain Equals Funny.” Tarantula Heart features longtime Melvins members vocalist Buzz Osborne and drummer Dale Crover, along with current Melvins/Redd Kross bassist Steven McDonald and We Are The Asteroid guitarist Gary Chester. Also brought into the fold was second drummer Roy Mayorga of Ministry.

“The way we approached Tarantula Heart was different than any other Melvins’ album,” explained Osborne. “I had Dale and Roy Mayorga come in and play along with Steven and I to some riffs, then I took those sessions and figured out what parts would work and wrote new music to fit. This isn’t a studio approach we’ve ever taken. Usually we have the songs written BEFORE we start recording!”

“The majority of Tarantula Heart has dual drum parts,” Crover stated. “We invited Roy Mayorga from Ministry to come record with us. Roy is an amazing drummer! We would discuss what we would do pattern wise, then we’d just go for it! Improvising riffs and trading off on drum fills.”

Cloud Nothings – Final Summer

Making their debut on Pure Noise Records, Cleveland’s Cloud Nothings today released a new album entitled Final Summer. The band, which was formed in 2009 by guitarist/vocalist Dylan Baldi, Cloud Nothings grew from his lo-fi project into a trio currently comprised of Baldi, drummer Jayson Gerycz and bassist Chris Brown. The follow-up to 2021’s The Shadow I Remember was recorded with Jeff Zeigler, mixed by Sarah Tudzin and mastered by Jack Callahan. When describing the new record and passion behind the band, Baldi stated:

“I just like making things. I love having something that I’ve made by the end of the day, even if it’s just one song. It’s like proof that my day happened. I’m just always trying to refine the thing we do, which is to make songs that take you from one place to another … It’s about feeling all right in the moment/ A lot of these songs sort of ended up being about getting by or trying to keep improving despite everything.”

“We’ve just never felt inclined to stop. It’s not like this makes us millions of dollars, but it’s a great gig, it’s what we love to do.” Gerycz adds, “It’s just still so fun every time we do it, every time we go get in the basement and start writing.”

The Brother Brothers – The January Album

The Brother Brothers – the duo made up of identical twin brothers Adam Moss and David Moss – released The January Album today on Stumbling Rose Records. The siblings’ new album of original music is their first since 2021’s Calla Lily. The January Album was produced by bassist Bridget Kearney of Lake Street Dive, who appears on the album alongside multi-instrumentalist John Fatum on percussion. The album was heralded by the single “The Illinois River Song” a song inspired by The Brother Brothers’ hometown of Peoria, Illinois. The title grew from the January 2021 recording sessions that yielded the new album, which were held at Montrose Studios in Richmond, Virginia. Regarding the 12-track new LP, the Moss brothers stated:

“Almost all of the songs were written in NYC during those first few months of the COVID lockdown and tumultuous police protests in the city. It was important to capture the zeitgeist but also just as important not to dwell on it in the music.

“This is our most collaborative effort to date. The fact that we wrote so many of these songs together, and intentionally arranged them together, makes us feel like we’ve finally arrived at our ‘sound!’”

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