Release Day Picks: February 21st 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 Califone, Grimes, Best Coast and Miles Davis. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.
Califone – Echo Mine
The Scoop: Chicago’s Califone put out their first album in seven years, Echo Mine, via Jealous Butcher Records. The LP has a dual function as it also serves as the score to a dance performance dreamed up by Robyn Mineko Williams. “The movement and the music started together and grew together, like two clear entities,” Califone’s Tim Rutili said. “At times totally intertwined and at other times bouncing off one another, sort of like reflections. But, somehow, always connected and listening.” Rutili worked on the 10-track record with Ben Massarella and Brian Deck. Massarella was charged with “adding percussion, feel, essential textures and colors” as per Tim, while Deck handled “the engineering, electronics, drums and overall sound of the piece.” As for Tim, “I felt like my job was to hover over all of it like a moth. Find melody in everything.”
Grimes – Miss Anthropocene
The Scoop: With Miss Anthropocene, Grimes (Claire Boucher) returns with her first full length release since 2015’s Art Angels. The new record, out today on 4AD, presents 10 new tracks (plus a deluxe edition with five additional tracks) with one featuring 潘PAN and another featuring i_o. The content on Miss Anthropocene was heavily influenced by the death of Boucher’s manager and friend Lauren Valencia. “It’s like someone who’s very core to the project just disappearing,” Boucher told Apple Music. “I’ve known a lot of people who’ve died, but cancer just feels so demonic. It’s like someone who wants to live, who’s a good person, and their life is just being taken away by this thing that can’t be explained. I don’t know, it just felt like a literal demon.” The new album’s title combines the words “misanthrope” and “Anthropocene” and, according to Grimes, “Miss Anthropocene” is the “Goddess of Climate Crisis.”
Best Coast – Always Tomorrow
The Scoop: Southern California duo Best Coast are back with their first album of new studio material in five years after their critically acclaimed 2015 LP California Nights. The material for Always Tomorrow saw guitarist and vocalist Bethany Cosentino pulling herself out of a malaise after the excitement of the last album cycle subsided. To produce the record, Cosentino and guitarist Bobb Bruno enlisted the help of Carlos de la Garza as well as Justin Meldal-Johnsen who have both produced for the likes of Paramore and M83. The album’s singles, “For The First Time” and “Everything Has Changed,” do well in highlighting how hard it can be to create and how good it feels when that writer’s block finally breaks.
Miles Davis – Music From and Inspired by “Miles Davis: Birth Of The Cool”
The Scoop: The highlight of the Music From and Inspired by “Miles Davis: Birth Of The Cool” soundtrack album is the track “Hail To The Real Chief,” which features previously unheard recordings of late jazz legend Miles Davis. Davis’ trumpet recordings were paired with music composed by Lenny White that was recorded by former members of Davis’ backing groups, including White, John Scofield, Vince Wilburn Jr., Marcus Miller, Emilio Modeste, Jeremy Pelt, Antoine Roney, Bernard Wright and Quinton Zoto. The 28-track soundtrack album that accompanies the 2019 Stanley Nelson-directed documentary film is interspersed with commentary provided by the likes of Herbie Hancock, Carlos Santana, Wayne Shorter and others. Miles Davis: The Birth Of Cool will make its television premiere on Tuesday, February 25 as part of PBS’ American Masters series.
Compiled by Scott Bernstein, Nate Todd and Andy Kahn.