Today’s New Albums: Tedeschi Trucks Band, Muse, Lotus, Jim Lauderdale, Chris Forsyth & More
Marcus King, Valerie June, Dirty Heads and Lou Reed also have new music out today, Friday, August 26.
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 Tedeschi Trucks Band, Muse, Lotus, Jim Lauderdale, Chris Forsyth, Marcus King, Valerie June, Dirty Heads and Lou Reed. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.
Tedeschi Trucks Band – I Am The Moon: IV. Farewell
Tedeschi Trucks Band completes their ambitious I Am The Moon project by releasing the fourth and final installment of the series today. I Am The Moon: IV. Farewell contains six new songs to cap a collection of 24 originals that started in June with I Am The Moon: I. Crescent and continued last month with I Am The Moon: II. Ascension and I Am The Moon: III. The Fall. The 12-piece ensemble led by Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks assembled at the couple’s Swamp Raga home studio in Jacksonville, Florida at various points of 2021 to work on I Am The Moon with Derek producing and longtime collaborator Bobby Tis handling recording and mixing duties.
Read a summary of Farewell penned by renowned music journalist David Fricke:
“Farewell – the final record in the groundbreaking studio release by Tedeschi Trucks Band, I Am The Moon – concludes a remarkable adventure and new beginning for the group, now in its 12th year as America’s premier rock & roll big band: four distinct and, at the same time, deeply connected albums with a total of 24 original songs capturing the power of devotion in a time of crisis and separation, with a renewed energy in collective songwriting and performance. Opening with the lusty confrontation of “Last Night In The Rain” and ending with the rousing benediction “Another Day,” Farewell is “a wish of well-being at parting,” as one dictionary defines that word – with more road and love ahead.”
Muse – Will Of The People
English rockers Muse return today with their first album in four years, Will Of The People. The new LP follows Muse’s 2018 record, Simulation Theory, as well as their Grammy-winning 2015 effort, Drones. Produced by Muse, Grammy-winning engineer Serban Ghenea mixed eight of the 10 tracks on Will Of The People. Additional mixing came from Dan Lancaster and Aleks von Korff on “Won’t Stand Down” and “Kill Or Be Killed” respectively. “Won’t Stand Down” previewed the album in January and “Compliance” arrived with the official album announcement in March. “Kill Or Be Killed” and the title track also counted among the advance singles. Muse frontman Matt Bellamy detailed the band’s latest release:
“Will Of The People was created in Los Angeles and London and is influenced by the increasing uncertainty and instability in the world. A pandemic, new wars in Europe, massive protests & riots, an attempted insurrection, Western democracy wavering, rising authoritarianism, wildfires and natural disasters and the destabilization of the global order all informed Will Of The People. It has been a worrying and scary time for all of us as the Western empire and the natural world, which have cradled us for so long are genuinely threatened. This album is a personal navigation through those fears and preparation for what comes next.”
Lotus – Bloom & Recede
Livetronica quintet Lotus continue their prolific ways with today’s release of Bloom & Recede via AntiFragile Music. The band’s 17th album is their first to feature new guitarist Tim Palmieri. The Kung Fu/Breakfast co-founder joined Lotus last fall to replace longtime member Mike Rempel. All nine tracks were written and produced by brothers and Lotus co-founders Luke and Jesse Miller. All five members were unable to record in the same space at the same time due to the pandemic, so the follow-up to 2021’s Citrus was created piecemeal with each musician contributing separately.
Bloom & Recede finds Lotus utilizing a modular system of synths built by Jesse Miller throughout its nine tracks. Jesse explains the genesis of the LP and details its focus on dance music in the statement below shared on the band’s Bandcamp page:
“The origins of this album go back to a special set of music we performed at our Summerdance festival in the summer of 2019. We brought out a large stack of modular synths, mixers and effects to play a set that leaned heavily into techno, house and electronica – almost a hybrid live DJ set without turntables. A few ideas from that set became the origins of “Pluck” and “Tar Pits” and created a template for us to dive further into synth-focused music and for me to build a modular system to use live with Lotus. In many ways the musical influences here go back to some of our earliest electronic music experiences – Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, Underworld. In the 90s those artists used a lot of hardware synths and analog gear. To my ear, it is a timeless sound that savors the imperfections of the instruments.”
Jim Lauderdale – Game Changer
One might call veteran singer-songwriter Jim Lauderdale’s 35th full-length album a game changer — mostly likely due to its title: Game Changer. A 2022 Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame nominee, Lauderdale recorded Game Changer at Blackbird Studios in Nashville. The album serves as the follow-up to 2021’s Hope and once again sees Lauderdale collaborating with co-producer Jay Weaver. Among those who contributed Game Changer was Steve Hinson on pedal steel guitar and dobro, Craig Smith on electric guitar, Wes L’ Anglois on acoustic guitar, Micah Hulscher on keyboards, Dave Racine on drums/percussion, Lillie Mae Rische and Frank Rische on backing vocals and Weaver on bass.
“There’s a mixture on this record of uplifting songs and, at the same time, songs of heartbreak and despair—because that’s part of life as well,” Lauderdale said. “In the country song world especially, that’s always been part of it. That’s real life. Country music is constantly evolving, but I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for steel guitar and a Telecaster. I have done my job on this record if people who love classic country feel like they can put it on, or have it in their collection, and it would fit right in.”
Chris Forsyth – Evolution Here We Come
Guitarist Chris Forsyth released a new album, Evolution Here We Come. The seven-song follow-up to Forsyth’s 2019 LP, All Time Present, was recorded in Richmond, Virginia with bassist Doug McCombs (Tortoise), drummer Ryan Jewell (Ryley Walker) and guitarist Tom Malach (Garcia Peoples). Additional contributions came from Bill Nace (Body/Head), Steve Wynn (The Dream Syndicate), Linda Pitmon (Baseball Project), Marshall Allen (Sun Ra Arkestra), Nick Millevoi and Dave Harrington (Darkside). Co produced by Forsyth and Harrington, the former described the album as “about change and our ultimate helplessness – as individuals, as artists, as societies – in the face of it. I think it represents a major shift in my work, and at the same time, it’s probably the most deeply rooted project I’ve done, blessed by the presence of friends and collaborators – each of whom has been an inspiration for me.”
Marcus King – Young Blood
Guitarist Marcus King is back with his sophomore solo studio album, Young Blood, which arrived today on Rick Rubin’s American Records/Republic Records. The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach-produced the follow-up to 2020’s El Dorado, which was recorded at Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound Studio facility last summer. Backing King in an effort to replicate the classic power trio sound that was prominent in the late ’60s and ’70s was a rhythm section of drummer Chris St. Hilaire and bassist Nick Movshon. Personal hardship informed the lyrical content written by the 26-year-old guitarist for Young Blood. According to King:
“I was going through a lot during the album with addictions, breakups, and addictions because of breakups. I was overindulging in everything. It’s not a big secret to my friends. I was in a real rough place for a while. I was trying to process the death of family members and I was on the wrong medications.”
Valerie June – Under Cover
Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Valerie June prepped Under Cover, a set of eight covers that arrived today on Fantasy Records. June selected songs by some of her favorite artists for the collection including Mazzy Star (“Fade Into You”), Frank Ocean (“Godspeed”) and Gillian Welch (“Look At Miss Ohio”). The Memphis-based musician also interpreted Bob Dylan’s “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You,” Joe South’s “Don’t It Make You Want To Go Home,” John Lennon’s “Imagine,” Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ “Ito My Arms” and “Pink Moon” by Nick Drake. Both “Pink Moon” and “Imagine” were previously released on the deluxe edition of June’s critically-acclaimed 2021 album, The Moon And Stars: Prescriptions For Dreamers.
Dirty Heads – Midnight Control
Southern California-based reggae act Dirty Heads released their eighth studio album, Midnight Control, today. The new LP is the band’s first album of new music since 2019’s Super Moon. Dirty Heads also clocked a big hit with the 2021 single, “Vacation”. The group continued their success with Midnight Control’s first single, a cover of Joe Walsh’s “Life’s Been Good.”
“’Life’s Been Good’ is the perfect follow-up to ‘Vacation,’” frontman Jared Watson stated. “It just felt right. If you like the vibe of ‘Vacation’ and that song impacted your life in a positive way, ‘Life Is Good’ is the continuation of that feeling. I think the story of enjoying life is really what Dirty Heads are all about.”
Dirty Heads further previewed the record with the original song, “Heavy Water,” which features Grammy-nominated group Common Kings. “’Heavy Water’ is a song about empowerment,” Watson said. “Being in the water constantly from a young age, we know the power of the ocean – there is nothing more powerful or uncontrollable. ‘Heavy water’ is a metaphor for life because when life throws something at you that’s unforeseen and uncontrollable, you will be ready for it and not let it overtake you.”
Lou Reed – Words & Music, May 1965
The first installment in the Lou Reed Archive Series — the previously unheard Words & Music, May 1965 — arrived today. Released by reissue label Light In The Attic Records in cooperation with Lou Reed’s widow, artist Laurie Anderson, Words & Music, May 1965 contains the earliest-known recordings of what would become Velvet Underground classics including “Heroin,” “I’m Waiting for the Man” and “Pale Blue Eyes.” Produced by Anderson, Don Fleming, Jason Stern, Hal Willner and Matt Sullivan, Grammy-nominated engineer John Baldwin mastered the audio from the original tapes. Elsewhere in the collection is “Men Of Good Fortune” (not to be confused with Lou’s 1973 solo cut), “Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams” and more. With the help of future VU bandmate John Cale, Reed cut the embryonic folk versions of the songs in May 1965 and then mailed them to himself as a “poor man’s copyright.” The envelope remained sealed for nearly fifty years. Lou Reed archivists Don Fleming and Jason Stern noted:
“In Cale’s autobiography [2000’s What’s Welsh for Zen] he describes an early memory of Reed showing him songs that later became Velvet Underground songs ‘as if they were folk songs.’ And that is precisely the sound of the songs on this tape, Reed on acoustic guitar and harmonica, with Cale singing the harmony parts in a style closer to The Weavers or Peter, Paul & Mary, than the gritty sound that they pioneered a few months later.”
Compiled by Scott Bernstein, Nate Todd and Andy Kahn.