Release Day Picks: August 17th 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 Death Cab for Cutie, Animal Collective, Cory Wong, Fruition, Circles Around the Sun and Oh Sees. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.

Death Cab For Cutie – Thank You For Today

The Scoop: The ninth Death Cab For Cutie studio album marks a huge transition for the band. Thank You For Today features the new DCFC lineup, as Chris Walla departed while multi-instrumentalists Dave Depper and Zac Rae have joined since the 2015 release of Kintsugi. Death Cab recorded the 10-track effort with producer Rich Costey, who also teamed with the band on their last LP. Frontman Ben Gibbard feels the resulting album would have been extremely different if Walla was still in the band. “It’s been liberating for me to take on the role of creative leader,” Gibbard told The Independent. “I guarantee you that a lot of these songs would not have ended up the way they did if Chris was still in the band. They might not have been recorded at all.” Watch the official video for lead single “Gold Rush” below:

Label: Atlantic Records

Producer: Rich Costey

Number Of Tracks: 10

Running Time: 38:30

Guest Musicians: Lauren Mayberry


  1. I Dreamt We Spoke Again
  2. Summer Years
  3. Gold Rush
  4. Your Hurricane
  5. When We Drive
  6. Autumn Love
  7. Northern Lights
  8. You Moved Away
  9. Near/Far
  10. 60 & Punk

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Animal Collective – Tangerine Reef

The Scoop: Animal Collective’s audiovisual album Tangerine Reef “is a visual tone poem consisting of time-lapse and slow pans across surreal aquascapes of naturally fluorescent coral and cameos by alien-like reef creatures (note: no CGI or artificial enhancement was used in this film). Tangerine Reef is the sight and sound of a literal underwater collective of animals.” The trio of Avey Tare, Deakin and Geologist collaborated on the album with Coral Morphologic in conjunction with the 2018 International Year Of The Reef. Marine biologist Colin Foord and musician J.D. McKay founded Coral Morphologic in Miami in 2007. Animal Collective and Coral Morphologic have collaborated on several projects since 2010, including co-performances at the 2017 Borscht Film Festival in Miami and at this year’s David Lynch- curated Festival of Disruption in Brooklyn, New York, which helped prompt the production of Tangerine Reef. Watch A Short Trip Through Tangerine Reef below:

Label: Domino Records

Producer: Avey Tare, Deakin, Geologist

Number Of Tracks: 13

Running Time: 52:45

Guest Musicians: N/A


  1. Hair Cutter
  2. Buffalo Tomato
  3. Inspector Gadget
  4. Buxom
  5. Coral Understanding
  6. Airpipe (To A New Transition)
  7. Jake And Me
  8. Coral By Numbers
  9. Hip Sponge
  10. Coral Realization
  11. Lundsten Coral
  12. Palythoa
  13. Best Of Times (Worst Of All)

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Cory Wong – The Optimist

The Scoop: Guitarist Cory Wong recorded his sophomore solo album The Optimist over the course of three sessions that lasted a cumulative six days. The guest-filled record finds the Minneapolis-native performing alongside Prince’s horn section The Hornheads, as well as The Purple One’s drummer Michael Bland and bassist Sonny Thompson. Others contributing to the following to Wong’s 2017 self-titled debut include his Vulfpeck collaborator Antwaun Stanley, Ripe frontman Robbie Wulfsohn and Twin Cities-based pedal steel guitarist Joe Savage. “All in all, I’m excited about this record because it was also such a community building thing,” said Wong. “I worked with so many people of different age/cultural/musical backgrounds that really captured something fun. I hope you dig it!” Check out the funky single “Jax”:

Label: Self-released

Producer: Cory Wong

Number Of Tracks: 8

Running Time: 27:50

Guest Musicians: Joe Savage, The Hornheads, Sonny Thompson, Michael Bland, KATIS, Antwaun Stanley, Robbie Wulfsohn, Marti Fischer, Ben Rector Band


  1. Jax
  2. Light As Anything (Feat. Robbie Wulfsohn)
  3. ’91 Maxima
  4. Jumbotron Hype Song (Feat. Antwaun Stanley & Sonny Thompson)
  5. Sitcom
  6. Juke On Jelly (Feat. KATIS & Marti Fischer)
  7. The Optimist
  8. Massive Action [Physical only]

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Fruition – Fire

The Scoop: Earlier this year, Americana act Fruition released their latest full-length album Watching It All Fall Apart. The Portland, Oregon-based band worked with producer Tucker Martine on the LP and today issued a new EP containing more material from the same sessions. Fire features three songs tracked with Martine as well as a song mixed and engineered by Fruition’s own Tyler Thompson. Songwriting from multiple members of Fruition are showcased on “Fire” as Mimi Naja contributed “Baby Let’s Go,” Kellen Asebroek penned “New Colossus” and Jay Cobb Anderson wrote both the title track and “Dirty Thieves.” Listen to the single “Baby Let’s Go” below:

Label: LoHi Records

Producer: Tucker Martine & Tyler Thompson

Number Of Tracks: 4

Running Time: 14:47

Guest Musicians: N/A


  1. Baby Let’s Go
  2. Dirty Thieves
  3. Fire
  4. New Colossus

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Circles Around The Sun – Let It Wander

The Scoop: Back in 2015 a series of psychedelic instrumental jams were played during set breaks of the Grateful Dead 50th Anniversary Fare Thee Well concerts. The mysterious sounds that many thought were from the Dead themselves, actually turned out to be new music composed by guitarist Neal Casal, keyboardist Adam MacDougall, bassist Dan Horne and drummer Mark Levy. The music was never intended to see an official release and the one-off project was supposed to end with the shows. Fast forward three-plus years later and Circles Around The Sun are now more than just a one-off project. The four-piece act’s sophomore album Let It Wander finds them stretching their legs outside of the swirling kaleidoscope of sounds of their debut looking to everything from funk to acid-jazz to prog-rock. Check out the music video for “One For Chuck” which features Public Enemy’s Chuck D:

Label: Rhino Records

Producer: Neal Casal

Number Of Tracks: 6

Running Time: 1:17:53

Guest Musicians: Chuck D, Jeff Franca


  1. On My Mind
  2. One For Chuck
  3. Immovable Object
  4. Halicarnassus
  5. Tacoma Narrows
  6. Electric Chair (Don’t Sit There)
  7. Ticket To Helix NGC

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Oh Sees – Smote Reverser

The Scoop: Following-up last year’s Orc, the ever prolific Oh Sees (they dropped the “Thee” before releasing Orc and issued Memory Of A Cut Off Head under the OCS moniker last year as well) are back with another full-length, Smote Reverser. The self-described collection of “head-destroying psych epics to grok and rock out to” features keyboardist Tom Dolas alongside frontman John Dwyer, bassist Tim Hellman and former official band member, vocalist Brigid Dawson. Here’s the track “C” from the new record:

Label: Castle Face

Number Of Tracks: 11

Running Time: 59:54

Guest Musicians: Tom Dolas, Brigid Dawson


  1. Sentient Oona
  2. Enrique El Cobrador
  3. C
  4. Overthrown
  5. Last Peace
  6. Moon Bog
  7. Anthemic Aggressor
  8. Abysmal Urn
  9. Nail House Needle Boys
  10. Flies Bump Against the Glass
  11. Beat Quest

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Compiled by Jeffrey Greenblatt, Andy Kahn and Scott Bernstein.