Release Day Picks: February 28th 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 Real Estate, James Taylor, Mihali, Kyle Hollingsworth, The Secret Sisters, Soccer Mommy and The Allman Brothers Band. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.
Real Estate – The Main Thing
The Scoop: Brooklyn-based band Real Estate returns with new album The Main Thing, out today on Domino. The five-piece — consisting of guitarist/vocalist Martin Courtney, bassist Alex Bleeker, keyboardist Matthew Kallman, guitarist Julian Lynch and drummer Jackson Pollis — headed upstate to record at Marcata Sound with producer Kevin McMahon, who stepped into the producer role on The Main Thing after working with the band as an engineer on their 2011 album Days. Real Estate also, for the first time ever, brought in outside instrumentalists on the record including Sylvan Esso’s Amelia Meath on the album’s lead single “Paper Cup,” the video for which traces the last performance of a giant animatronic squirrel named Chipper, highlighting the album’s central theme of what it means to be a performer.
James Taylor – American Standard
The Scoop: Legendary singer-songwriter James Taylor is back with a fresh twist on classic material. His new album American Standard, arriving today via Fantasy Records, sees Taylor delivering songs from the American songbook based around the acoustic guitar. For this endeavor, Taylor enlisted the help of guitarist John Pizzarelli, who also helped produce the album along with Dave O’Donnell, as well as JT’s usual cast of supporting characters including drummer Steve Gadd, bassist Jimmy Johnson, keyboardist Larry Goldings, vocalists Kate Markowitz, Caroline Taylor, Andrea Zonn, Dorian Holley and Arnold McCuller as well as horn players Lou Marini and Walt Fowler. The record also sees guest contributions from dobro ace Jerry Douglas, upright bassist Viktor Krauss and violinist Stuart Duncan. For the album’s material, James selected 14 songs that he grew up listening to including “My Blue Heaven,” “Almost Like Being In Love,” “The Nearness of You” and Billie Holiday’s “God Bless The Child.”
Mihali – Breathe & Let Go
The Scoop: Twiddle frontman Mihali has been working on his debut solo album for years. Breathe & Let Go, produced by Eric Krasno, is finally here via 11E1even Records. Contributors include Citizen Cope, Matisyahu, G. Love, Nahko and Trevor Hall. The 11-track LP contains a number of songs Mihali has long been performing during his live shows including “Carved Lines,” “Breathe & Let Go” and “Fading State.”
Kyle Hollingsworth – 2020
The Scoop: While The String Cheese Incident is in the middle of a six-month break, keyboardist Kyle Hollingsworth isn’t spending the time resting. Hollingsworth has been performing with his Kyle Hollingsworth Band ensemble and today issues a new EP entitled 2020 via SCI Fidelity Records. Included within are four originals and a cover of Vampire Weekend’s “Step.” The Motet frontman Lyle Divinsky added to the track “Got It Figured Out.” Here’s what Hollingsworth wrote about the EP:
With the SCI six-month break coming up in 2020, I decided to branch out and develop some ideas on my own. I love the ability to try different styles and feels with my solo band, it helps me be centered with the mothership of SCI. With this EP, I was just throwing out a collection of songs that speak of where I am right now in my writing, just a fun project to bring in the new decade. From old school prog rock to ’90s alt grunge…hope you enjoy it.
The Secret Sisters – Saturn Return
The Scoop: The Secret Sisters — Laura Rogers and Lydia Rogers — named their new album Saturn Return after an astrological occurrence that happens once every 29 and half years. The album, like its 2017 predecessor You Don’t Own Me Anymore, was produced by frequent collaborators, Brandi Carlile, and her band mates, “the twins” Tim Hanseroth and Phil Hanseroth. The Rogers siblings wrote the 10 songs on Saturn Return, which was recorded at Carlile’s home studio near Seattle and for the first time features the sisters singing individually. The pair issued the below statement about the album:
As we age, we face obstacles that are beyond our control. Some forces are internal: insecurity, anxiety, fear. Some are external: the loss of loved ones, an unjust system and the fragility of time. Yet the mark of maturity is how you respond when you realize you’re not in control. Where do you find your resilience?
This album is a reflection of us coming to terms with how to find our power in the face of an unfair world. These songs lead listeners past “where happy man searches, to a place only mad women know.” We question our purpose, our relationships, our faith. Trading the fears of our youth for the dread that rages within us as mature women.
With Saturn Return, our hope is that women can feel less alone in their journey through the modern world. We need each other more than we ever have; the less competition and the more inclusiveness and understanding, the better. We are southern women in the 21st century, convicted by our beliefs.
Soccer Mommy – color theory
The Scoop: Out today on Loma Vista Recording, color theory is the second album released by Soccer Mommy, the project led by Sophie Allison. The 22-year-old Allison once again worked with producer Gabe Wax who served the same role on her 2018 debut, Clean. Recorded in her hometown of Nashville at Alex The Great, the 10-track album’s content surrounds the “ongoing mental health and familial trials that have plagued Allison since pre-pubescence.” color theory is said to explore three primary themes:
Blue, representing sadness and depression; yellow, symbolizing physical and emotional illness; and, finally, gray, representing darkness, emptiness and loss.
The Allman Brothers Band – Trouble No More: 50th Anniversary Collection
The Scoop: Selections from The Allman Brothers Band’s legendary career are compiled on the massive Trouble No More: 50th Anniversary Collection. ABB historians Bill Levenson, John Lynskey and Kirk West produced Trouble No More, which contains 61 Allman Brothers Band classics, live performances and rarities. Included within are seven previously unreleased tracks such as a live performance of the song that gives the box set its name from the group’s final show and their original 1969 demo of the tune. The box set is available as a 10-LP deluxe vinyl collection, 5-CD set and digitally.
Compiled by Scott Bernstein, Nate Todd and Andy Kahn.