Release Day Picks: October 5th New Album Highlights
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 The Marcus King Band, Cat Power, Doyle Bramhall II, Jackie Greene, Phosphorescent, Jim James, Mungion and Kikagaku Moyo. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.
The Marcus King Band – Carolina Confessions
The Scoop: Greenville, South Carolina-based group The Marcus King Band picked a historic location and lauded producer to record and work on their third studio album. Carolina Confessions was tracked at Nashville’s RCA Studio A with Dave Cobb behind the board. The 10-track Fantasy Records release includes nine songs penned by Marcus along with a tune co-written by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys and singer-songwriter Pat McLaughlin. King is joined on what is described in press materials as their “most sonically layered and emotionally complex compositions to date” by the current MKB lineup of keyboardist DeShawn Alexander, bassist Stephen Campbell, trombonist/trumpeter Justin Johnson, saxophonist Dean Mitchell and drummer Jack Ryan.
Cat Power – Wanderer
The Scoop: After spending 20+ on Matador Records, singer-songwriter Cat Power (Chan Marshall) moved to Domino Records for her latest release Wanderer. The self-produced effort, her first album since 2012, was written and recorded over the past few years in Miami and Los Angeles. According to Marshall, the 11-track LP is said to document her “journey so far,” adding, “The course my life has taken in this journey – going from town to town, with my guitar, telling my tale; with reverence to the people who did this generations before me. Folk singers, blues singers, and everything in between. They were all wanderers, and I am lucky to be among them.”
Doyle Bramhall II – Shades
The Scoop: “Without appearing immodest, I can admit that I’ve led a pretty charmed life,” said Doyle Bramhall II. “I’m thrilled and honored to have all of these incredible people guest on my record.” The receord the southpaw guitarist referenced is his new solo album Shades and the guests include Bramhall’s longtime collaborator, renowned guitarist Eric Clapton, as well as Norah Jones, Tedeschi Trucks Band and Greyhounds. The 12-tracks feature Bramhall supported by a band composed of bassist Chris Bruce, multi-instrumentalist and string arranger Adam Minkoff and drummers Carla Azar and Abe Rounds. Shades is the follow-up to Bramhall’s 2016 solo LP Rich Man, which at the time was his first solo release in 15 years.
Jackie Greene – The Modern Lives – Vol 2
The Scoop: Singer-songwriter Jackie Greene recently returned to the area where he was raised in Northern California after spending a few years living in Brooklyn. While in Brooklyn he recorded 2017’s The Modern Lives – Vol 1 and The Modern Lives – Vol 2, which is out today through Blue Rose Music. Jackie played every instrument on the EP. “The sounds of the city would creep in sometimes,” Greene told Parade. “There’s the muffled sound of a car horn here and there. I just kept it all in there,” the musician added about what he calls “a pretty raw album.”
Phosphorescent – C’est La Vie
The Scoop: It’s been five years since Matthew Houck put out new Phosphorescent music. During the years between, Houck moved from New York to Nashville, had two children, built a new recording studio and nearly died of meningitis. Those major life events helped inform the material on his latest studio effort C’est La Vie. The nine-track release was self-produced and recorded at his newly built home studio Spirit Sounds Studio. ”These significant moments in life can really make you feel your insignificance,” Houck stated. “It’s a paradox I guess, that these wildly profound events simultaneously highlight that maybe none of this matters at all …”
Jim James – Uniform Clarity
The Scoop: My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James earlier this year released his solo album Uniform Distortion and now comes the companion album Uniform Clarity. James tapped producer Shawn Everett to helm the sessions for the 13-track Uniform Clarity, which presents solo acoustic versions of each of the songs on Uniform Distortion plus the tracks “It Will Work Out” and “Flash In The Pan.” In a statement, James explained: “The idea for Uniform Clarity came from Uniform Distortion, an album of intentional chaos/dirt: literal and figurative distortion of lyrics and sound meant to echo and hopefully shed some light on the twisted times and distortion of the truth in which we now live. Uniform Clarity is meant to illuminate the other side – raw and real, but very clear, much like in the early days of recording where all you could hear was the truth because there were no ways to manipulate recordings in the studio … A crystal clear illustration of the flawed beauty of what a song starts off as or sometimes remains – a thought. a seed. a light from the womb of the universe brought to life down here on earth.”
Mungion – Ferris Wheel’s Day Off
The Scoop: Just over three years since forming, up-and-coming jam act Mungion now has three albums under their belts. Ferris Wheel’s Day Off, the Chicago-based quartet’s second studio record, was tracked at a variety of different studios, cities and apartments over the past 15 months. Guitarist/vocalist Justin Reckamp, bassist/vocalist Sean Carolan, keyboardist/vocalist Joe Re and drummer/vocalist Matt Kellen enlisted 10 of their musical friends — including a full horn section — to contribute to the 10-track LP. “With this record, we really wanted to incorporate our personalities into the music and songwriting,” Carolan said of Ferris Wheel’s Day Off. “We made sure that the light-hearted energy that is prevalent during our live shows came through on the record – I think that is one of the big differences from our previous works.” The result is a mix of the four-piece act’s many influences produced by their friend Ben Factor.
Kikagaku Moyo – Masana Temples
The Scoop: The name of Japanese psych-rockers Kikagaku Moyo translates in English to “Geometric Patterns,” which could be applied to the sounds found on the group’s fourth studio album, Masana Temples. Issued by Guruguru Brain — like their last release, 2016’s House in the Tall Grass — the 10-track new LP was produced by Portuguese jazz guitarist Bruno Pernadas during sessions held in April at Valentim de Carvalho studio in Lisbon. All five members contributed to writing the songs on the record, through which they attempted to “challenge their own concepts of what psychedelic music could be.”
Compiled by Jeffrey Greenblatt, Andy Kahn and Scott Bernstein.