Release Day Picks: February 24th New Album Highlights

By Team JamBase Feb 24, 2017 5:22 am PST

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 Rhiannon Giddens, Dirty Projectors, Old 97’s, Thundercat, Big Something and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.

Rhiannon Giddens – Freedom Highway

The Scoop: Given our current political climate it’s reassuring to know that we’ve got an artists like Rhianon Giddens to look to, to make a impacting statement with her music. For the follow-up to her critically-acclaimed solo debut, the multi-talented Giddens looked to the struggles of African-Americans in this country stretching back to the days of slavery, through the civil rights movement and the current #BlackLivesMatter movement. Freedom Highway, which takes it’s title from and includes a cover of The Staples Singers’ civil-rights anthem, finds Giddens stepping out as a true songwriter for the first time and creating a true modern folk masterpiece that is meant to inspire, challenge and inform. Check out the video for the album’s opening track “At The Purchaser’s Option”:

Label: Nonesuch Records

Producer: Rhiannon Giddens, Dirk Powell

Number Of Tracks: 12

Running Time: 49:49

Guest Musicians: Bhi Bhiman, Lalenja Harrington, Leyla McCalla


  1. At The Purchaser’s Option
  2. The Angels Laid Him Away
  3. Julie
  4. Birmingham Sunday
  5. Better Get it Right the First Time
  6. We Could Fly
  7. Hey Bebe
  8. Come Love Come
  9. The Love We Almost Had
  10. Baby Boy
  11. Following the North Star
  12. Freedom Highway

Stream / Download / CD/LP

Dirty Projectors – Dirty Projectors

The Scoop: Dave Longstreth returns with the first Dirty Projectors album since 2014’s Swing Lo Magellen. The seventh Dirty Projectors LP is said to be Longstreth’s “elegy to the Obama years, to a generation of indie rock, and to a relationship.” That relationship was between Longstreth and former band member Amber Coffman, and is the subject of much of the record’s nine-tracks which were largely recorded by Longstreth on his own – much like early DP releases. The album was given an unexpected surprise release earlier this week. Here’s the emotionally charged lead track “Keep Your Name”:

Label: Domino

Producer: Dave Longstreth

Number Of Tracks: 9

Running Time: 48:14

Guest Musicians: Dawn Richard, Solange


  1. Keep Your Name
  2. Death Spiral
  3. Up In Hudson
  4. Work Together
  5. Little Bubble
  6. Winner Take Nothing
  7. Ascent Through Clouds
  8. Cool Your Heart
  9. I See You

Stream / Download / CD/LP

Old 97’s – Graveyard Whistling

The Scoop: The 11th album by veteran alt-country rockers Old 97’s found the band returning to their roots and recording the LP in the same Tornillo, Texas studio where they made Too Far To Care in 1996. Their second album for ATO Records follows up 2014’s well-received Most Messed Up. Frontman Rhett Miller, guitarist Ken Bethea, bassist Murry Hammond and drummer Philip Peeples brought in guests including, Brandie Carlile, Nicole Atkins and Butch Walker to help record the 11-song effort. Here’s the video for the Carlile-assisted “Good With God”:

Label: ATO Records

Producer: Vance Powell

Number Of Tracks: 11

Running Time: 41:48

Guest Musicians: Brandie Carlile, Nicole Atkins, Butch Walker


  1. I Don’t Wanna Die In This Town
  2. Bad Luck Charm
  3. All Who Wander
  4. Jesus Loves You
  5. Good With God (feat. Brandi Carlile)
  6. Hates Everybody
  7. Irish Whiskey Pretty Girls
  8. Nobody
  9. Drinkin’ Song
  10. Turns Out I’m Trouble
  11. Those Were The Days

Stream / Download / CD/LP

Thundercat – Drunk

The Scoop: Bassist Thundercat (Steven Bruner) follows up his 2015 mini-album The Beyond / Where The Giants Roam with a guest-filled 23-track LP Drunk. The enigmatic performer brought together a diverse lineup of support from the likes of renowned musicians Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins, rappers Kendrick Lamar and Wiz Khalifa, producer/vocalist Pharrell and others. Saxophonist and regular collaborator Kamasi Washington also was among the musicians who contributed to Drunk. Here’s “Show You The Way” featuring Loggins and McDonald:

Label: Brainfeeder

Producer: Thundercat, Flying Lotus

Number Of Tracks: 23

Running Time: 51:24

Guest Musicians: Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins, Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa, Pharrell, Kamasi Washington, Cameron Thomaz, Dennis Hamm, Taylor Graves, Steve Ellison, Charles Dickerson, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Louis Cole


  1. Rabbot Ho
  2. Captain Stupido
  3. Uh Uh
  4. Bus In These Streets
  5. A Fan’s Mail (Tron Song Suite II)
  6. Lava Lamp
  7. Jethro
  8. Day & Night
  9. Show You The Way (feat. Michael McDonald & Kenny Loggins)
  10. Walk On By (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
  11. Blackkk
  12. Tokyo
  13. Jameel’s Space Ride
  14. Friend Zone
  15. Them Changes
  16. Where I’m Going
  17. Drink Dat (feat. Wiz Khalifa)
  18. Inferno
  19. I Am Crazy
  20. 3AM
  21. Drunk
  22. The Turn Down (feat. Pharrell)
  23. DUI

Stream / Download / CD/LP

BIG Something – Tumbleweed

The Scoop: On-the-rise North Carolina band BIG Something lived together in a house in Asheville for two weeks with producer John Custer (Corrosion Of Conformity) to record Tumbleweed, their fourth full-length studio album. The six-piece mixes multiple genres over the course of the LP’s eight tracks, from reggae, to psych-rock, to funk, with bits and pieces of many others thrown in for good measure. BIG Something aimed to capture the energy that has helped them build an ever-growing fanbase through their live shows. Listen to the title track off the new BIG Something album, Tumbleweed:

Label: Truth Serum Records

Producer: John Custer

Number Of Tracks: 8

Guest Musicians: N/A


  1. Tumbleweed
  2. Song For Us
  3. Passenger
  4. Blue Dream
  5. The Flood
  6. UFOs Are Real
  7. Waves
  8. In The Middle

Stream / Download / CD/LP

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Flying Microtonal Banana

The Scoop: There seems to be no slowing down King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. The Australian psychedelic-rock band have been on a looping write/record/tour/repeat cycle, having steadily put out at least one new full-length album (and sometimes more) every year since 2012. The seven-piece act has even loftier goals the current calendar, as they have plans to issue five albums in 2017. The band’s first of the five is Flying Microtonal Banana. The 10-track effort finds the sprawling ensemble continuing to fine tune their modern take on psych-rock melding propulsive Krautrock rhythms with snaking acid-drenched guitar sounds and plenty heady day-glow lyrics. It’s said to be the band’s “first-ever experience in microtonal tuning, which features intervals smaller than a semitone and not found in customary Western tuning octaves.” Check out the lo-fi ’90s-inspired video for “Rattlesnake,” that would have been a field day for Beavis and Butthead:

Label: ATO Records/Heavenly Recordings/PIAS

Number Of Tracks: 10

Running Time: 41:53

Guest Musicians: N/A


  1. Rattlesnake
  2. Melting
  3. Open Water
  4. Sleep Drifter
  5. Billabong Valley
  6. Anoxia
  7. Doom City
  8. Nuclear Fusion
  9. Muddy Waters
  10. Flying Microtonal Banana

Stream / Download / CD/LP

Compiled by Jeffrey Greenblatt, Andy Kahn and Scott Bernstein.

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