Release Day Picks: February 8th 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 Mavis Staples, Galactic, LCD Soundsystem, Cass McCombs, The Lemonheads, Jessica Pratt and Bob Mould. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.
Mavis Staples – Live In London
The Scoop: At 79-years-old, vocalist Mavis Staples is still a powerhouse performer. Today, the Rock And Roll Hall Of Famer issued Live In London, a live album recorded over two nights at Union Chapel in London. The ANTI- release focuses on material from her recent Jeff Tweedy and M. Ward-produced albums. Mavis also puts her own spin on a handful of covers including Talking Heads’ “Slippery People” and Funkadelic’s “Can You Get To That.” The 14-track LP is her first live album since 2008 and here’s hoping she’s still around for another one in 2030.
Galactic – Already Ready Already
The Scoop: Galactic, the new owners of famed nightclub Tipitina’s in their hometown of New Orleans, collaborated with a number of vocalists from the Crescent City on their new album. Already Ready Already is the band’s 10th studio album and is out today on their own Tchoup-Zilla Records imprint through Thirty Tigers. Princess Shaw, Miss Charm Taylor, David Shaw, Nahko, Erica Falls and Boyfriend each contribute to the eight-track LP, which was produced by Galactic’s Robert Mercurio and Ben Ellman. “We definitely take influence from our hometown and try to do something new with it,” Mercurio said. “We tour all around the world and we’re exposed to tons of elements that filter their way into our consciousness and come out through our music.”
LCD Soundsystem – Electric Lady Sessions
The Scoop:James Murphy assembled the touring version of LCD Soundsystem at the famed Electric Lady studios in their hometown of New York City. The band recorded a 12-track album live entitled Electric Lady Sessions. Most of the songs on the LP were originally recorded for 2017’s American Dream with some thrown in from This Is Happening and Sound Of Silver. There’s also a pair of covers that serve as bookends with a take on Human League’s “Seconds” opening the album and Heaven 17’s “(We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang” closing the record. Electric Lady Sessions gives fans a listen to LCD Soundsystem as a full unit as opposed to studio albums, which are James Murphy’s visions.
Cass McCombs – Tip Of The Sphere
The Scoop:Singer-songwriter Cass McCombs follows 2016’s Mangy Love with a collection of 11 new songs. Tip Of The Sphere, out today on ANTI- Records, was recorded at Shahzad Ismaily’s Figure 8 Studios in Brooklyn. McCombs was joined by the core band of bassist Dan Horne, drummer Otto Hauser and multi-instrumentalist Frank LoCrastro. “Tip of the Sphere presents an artist trying to make sense of it all through a relentless, ever searching creative process. Throughout, he floats through a suite of songs driven by a journeying mysticism and dark grace. While most of his albums have been pieced together in different studios over an extended period of time, Tip of the Sphere was recorded quickly and with a strong sense of purpose at Figure 8 Studios in Brooklyn,” reads a press release announcing the LP.
The Lemonheads – Varshons 2
The Scoop: In 2009, the Lemonheads put out an album filled with covers entitled Varshons. Today, Evan Dando & Co. released Varshons 2 featuring 13 new covers via Fire Records. Lemonheads once again picked a diverse set of songs to record that range from NRBQ’s “Magnet” to “Take It Easy” by the Eagles to Florida Georgia Line’s “Round Here.” The band tapped Matthew Cullen to produce their 10th studio album and Howie Weinberg to master the LP.
Jessica Pratt – Quiet Signs
The Scoop: Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Jessica Pratt wrote the nine songs on her third album, Quiet Signs, in her hometown. The album was recorded over the past two years in Brooklyn at Gary’s Electric, marking Pratt’s first output from a professional recording facility. The follow-up to 2015’s On Your Own Love Again features co-producer Al Carlson on flute, organ and piano, with Matt McDermott contributing additional string synthesizer and piano parts. “On some level I considered an audience while making the last record,” stated Pratt. “But my creative world was still very private then and I analyzed the process less. This was the first time I approached writing with the idea of a cohesive record in mind.”
Bob Mould – Sunshine Rock
The Scoop: Bob Mould spent the majority of the last three years in Berlin, where he made a decision to “write to sunshine” for a new album. The resulting 12-track Merge Records release is fittingly titled Sunshine Rock. “Almost four years ago, I made plans for an extended break,” Mould said. “I started spending time in Berlin in 2015, found an apartment in 2016, and became a resident in 2017. My time in Berlin has been a life changing experience. The winter days are long and dark, but when the sun comes back, all spirits lift.” While some of Mould’s vocals are raw, they are counterbalanced by the inclusion of an 18-piece orchestra that appears on five Sunshine Rock tracks. “I had this idea as we were right up on recording, ‘Why not take some of these extra melodies that I’ve got kicking around and build them all into string arrangements?'” Bob added. “I like really big, dense chordal structures and rhythm guitars, those layers that come at you. This time, I was just trying to be mindful of adding more melody.”
Compiled by Andy Kahn and Scott Bernstein.