Release Day Picks: May 18th 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 Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, Courtney Barnett, Ray LaMontagne, Ryley Walker, Bombino and Parquet Courts. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Sparkle Hard

The Scoop: The Decemberists’ Chris Funk produced Sparkle Hard, the latest album from Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, which follows-up the group’s 2016 LP Wigout At Jagbags. Pavement guitarist Stephen Malkmus was joined by a Jicks lineup made up of keyboardist Mike Clark, bassist Joanna Bolme and drummer Jake Morris during sessions held in Portland, Oregon at the newly established Halfling recording facility. Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon contributed vocals on a track, while Funk also appears on the album, as does fiddler Luke Price and violist/violinist Kyleen King. Watch a short documentary about Sparkle Hard below:

Label: Matador Records

Producer: Chris Funk

Number Of Tracks: 11

Running Time: 43:41

Guest Musicians: Kim Gordon, Chris Funk, Luke Price, Kyleen King


  1. Cast Off
  2. Future Suite
  3. Solid Silk
  4. Bike Lane
  5. Middle America
  6. Rattler
  7. Shiggy
  8. Kite
  9. Brethren
  10. Refute
  11. Difficulties – Let Them Eat Vowels

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Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel

The Scoop: Courtney Barnett follows-up her critically-acclaimed 2015 debut studio album Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit with Tell Me How You Really Feel. In between, Barnett teamed with Kurt Vile in 2017 for the collaborative Lotta See Lice. The Australian guitarist recorded her sophomore effort at a small studio near her home in Melbourne with the Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit production team of Burke Reid and Drones guitarist Dan Luscombe. Barnett is backed by Luscombe as well as bassist Andrew “Bones” Sloane and drummer Dave Mudie from her live band. Additionally, The Breeders’ Kim Deal and Kelley Deal make cameos on the highly-anticipated LP. Watch the video for Tell Me How You Really Feel single “Need A Little Time”:

Label:Mom + Pop, Marathon Artists & Milk! Records

Producer: Courtney Barnett, Dan Luscombe, Burke Reid

Number Of Tracks: 10

Running Time: 37:16

Guest Musicians: Kelley Deal, Kim Deal, Dan Luscombe, Dave Mudie, Bones Sloane


  1. Hopefulessness
  2. City Looks Pretty
  3. Charity
  4. Need a Little Time
  5. Nameless, Faceless
  6. I’m Not Your Mother, I’m Not Your Bitch
  7. Crippling Self Doubt and a General Lack of Self-Confidence
  8. Help Your Self
  9. Walkin’ on Eggshells
  10. Sunday Roast

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Ray LaMontagne – Part Of The Light

The Scoop: Ray LaMontagne continues to defy expectations about what you think a Ray LaMontagne album should sound like. The singer-songwriter is seemingly in the midst of a creative period with the release of Part Of Light his third album in a four year span. Self-produced and recorded at his home studio, the nine-track effort picks up where he left off with Ouroboros as LaMontagne continues to meld Pink Floyd-influenced sounds with country-infused folk-rock. If Ouroboros was his Saturday night psychedelic rock record, then Part Of The Light is his acid-drenched Sunday afternoon in the park album. Give a listen to “Such A Simple Thing”:

Label: Stone Dwarf/RCA Records

Producer: Ray LaMontagne

Number Of Tracks: 9

Running Time: 45:58

Guest Musicians: Carl Broemel, David Givan, Seth Kauffman, Bo Koster, Kevin Ratterman, John Stirratt


  1. To The Sea
  2. Paper Man
  3. Part Of The Light
  4. It’s Always Been You
  5. Let’s Make It Last
  6. As Black As Blood Is Blue
  7. Such A Simple Thing
  8. No Answer Arrives
  9. Goodbye Blue Sky

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Ryley Walker – Deafman Glance

The Scoop: With the announcement of his new studio album Deafman Glance, Ryley Walker posted a long, rambling message about the creative process that went into making it. Walker stated that he “wanted to make something deep-fried and more me-sounding. I didn’t want to be jammy acoustic guy anymore. I just wanted to make something weird and far-out that came from the heart finally.” Walker was inspired by his hometown, describing the record as “the sound of walking home late at night through Chicago in the middle of winter.” The results are a nine-track effort that still sounds like quintessential Walker: psychedelic-folk tinged with jazz. While his past releases had a more ethereal, loose sound his latest features a healthy dose of composed jam sections that are reminiscent of something that could be found on a Frank Zappa or a Phish album. Give a listen to “Spoil With The Rest”:

Label: Dead Oceans

Producer: Ryley Walker/ Leroy Bach

Number Of Tracks: 9

Running Time: 41:29

Guest Musicians:Leroy Bach, Brian Sulpizi, Bill Mackay, Mikel Avery, Quin Kirchner, Andrew Scott Young, Matt Lux, Nate Lepine, Cooper Crain


  1. In Castle Dome
  2. 22 Days
  3. Accommodations
  4. Can’t Ask Why
  5. Opposite Middle
  6. Telluride Speed
  7. Expired
  8. Rocks On Rainbow
  9. Spoil With The Rest

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Bombino – Deran

The Scoop: Touareg guitarist Omara “Bombino” Moctar recorded Deran, the follow up to 2016’s Azel in Casablanca, Morocco. Bombino came away with a 10-track effort which is a love letter to his culture and home. “You have to begin with the question of who you are,” Moctar said. “You’re a Touareg. With all the travels, all the experience of world, it’s as if I’m making myself remember where I come from. Where I come from will always be my home, my memory.” As usual, all the songs are sung in Tamashek, the language of the Touareg. Moctar selected his manager Eric Herman to produce the LP. “The idea was to take this raw, spontaneous, unadulterated approach to capturing his songs,” Herman said of the mission behind Deran. Listen to the lead single “Tehigren”:

Label: Partisan Records

Producer: Eric Herman

Number Of Tracks: 10

Running Time: 45:02


  1. Imajghane
  2. Deran Deran Alkheir (Well Wishes)
  3. Tehigren
  4. Midiwan
  5. Tenesse
  6. Oulhin
  7. Adounia Idagh
  8. Tamasheq
  9. Takamba
  10. Adouagh Chegren

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Parquet Courts – Wide Awake!

The Scoop: For their fifth full-length release, New York City-based post-punk quartet Parquet Courts enlisted the assistance of acclaimed producer Danger Mouse. A sprawling 13-track effort was written by the band’s guitarists Andrew Savage and Austin Brown. The follow-up to 2016’s Human Performance also features contributions from the group’s rhythm section comprised of drummer Max Savage and bassist Sean Yeaton. The band described the record as “filled with their traditional punk rock passion, as well as a lyrical tenderness” that “reflects a burgeoning confidence in the band’s exploration of new ideas in a hi-fi context.” Here’s a video for the title track:

Label: Rough Trade Records

Producer: Danger Mouse

Number Of Tracks: 13

Running Time: 38:37

Guest Musicians: Eleanor Adams, Lucie Bismuth Berger, Rita Bochi, Ariane Bourdain, Caden Castro-Kudler, Julian Cohen, Ava DiFelice, Kofi Dufu, Minelle Jeddy, Mia Nikov, Frank Locrasto


  1. Total Football
  2. Violence
  3. Before the Water Gets Too High
  4. Mardi Gras Beads
  5. Almost Had to Start a Fight / In and Out of Patience
  6. Freebird II
  7. Normalization
  8. Back to Earth
  9. Wide Awake
  10. NYC Observation
  11. Extinction
  12. Death Will Bring Change
  13. Tenderness

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Compiled by Jeffrey Greenblatt, Andy Kahn and Scott Bernstein.