Release Day Picks: May 4th New Album Highlights

By Team JamBase May 4, 2018 6:16 am PDT

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 Leftover Salmon, Trampled by Turtles, Leon Bridges, Lake Street Dive, Spafford and Eleanor Friedberger. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.

Leftover Salmon – Something Higher

The Scoop: Jam scene veterans Leftover Salmon are quickly approaching their 30th anniversary and wanted to go a different route for their 10th studio album. The band’s latest effort is Something Higher, a 12-track LP which finds LoS showing off some of their influences beyond bluegrass and rock including jazz, hip-hop and R&B. All six members of the group contributed material to an album that was produced by longtime collaborator Steve Berlin of Los Lobos fame. Leftover Salmon spent 10 days in Tucson late last year with as they went all-analog for the release. Watch the video for the contemplative single “Southern Belle” off Something Higher:

Label: LoS Records

Producer: Steve Berlin

Number Of Tracks: 12

Running Time: 57:20

Guest Musicians: Gilbert Elorreaga, Mark “Speedy” Gonzalez, Josh Levy, Joe Novelli, Lydia Rogers


  1. Places
  2. Show Me Something Higher
  3. Southern Belle
  4. Analog
  5. House Of Cards
  6. Evermore
  7. Astral Traveler
  8. Foreign Fields
  9. Game Of Thorns
  10. Let In A Little Light
  11. Winter’s Gone
  12. Burdened Heart

Stream / Download / CD/LP

Trampled By Turtles – Life Is Good On The Open Road

The Scoop: In October of 2016, Trampled By Turtles announced that they would be “going away for a little while.” After 14 years together, the Duluth, Minnesota-based band embarked on an extended hiatus that saw lead singer Dave Simonett put out his second solo album as Dead Man Winter. After some time apart, the quintet reunited at a cabin in rural Minnesota to see if they still wanted to make music together. With a new sense of purpose, the band went into the studio to record Life Is Good On The Road, their first album of new material in four years. The 12-song collection features Simonett’s introspective lyrics set to the band’s interpretation of bluegrass music that features frenetic foot-stompers, aching heartfelt ballads, heartland rockers all highlighted by their impeccable harmonies. Check out the music video for “The Middle”:

Label: Banjodad Records

Number Of Tracks: 12

Running Time: 39:12

Guest Musicians: N/A


  1. Kelly’s Bar
  2. We All Get Lonely
  3. The Middle
  4. Thank You, John Steinbeck
  5. Annihilate
  6. Right Back Where We Started
  7. Life Is Good On The Open Road
  8. Blood In The Water
  9. I Went To Hollywood
  10. I’m Not There Anymore
  11. Good Land
  12. I Learn The Hard Way

Stream / Download / CD/LP

Leon Bridges – Good Thing

The Scoop: In 2015, Leon Bridge put out his solo debut Coming Home which was a collection of retro-soul music steeped in the vintage sounds of the 1950s and 1960s that justly garnered him comparisons to some the genre’s most iconic names. For his highly-anticipated follow-up, Good Thing, the 28-year-old singer broadened his scope, while still putting a modern spin on nostalgic sounds. This time around Bridges is melding 1970s R&B and funk with the 1990s “slow jams” that he grew up listening to – think some combination of Marvin Gaye meets Usher. The results should help break through to a wider audience that missed out on his instant classic debut, who will now fall in love his more danceable sounds. Check out the music video for “Bet Ain’t Worth The Hand”:

Label: LisaSawyer63, Inc./Columbia Records/Sony Music Entertainment

Producer: Niles City Sound (Austin Jenkins and Josh Block), Ricky Reed

Number Of Tracks:10

Running Time: 34:47


  1. Bet Ain’t Worth The Hand
  2. Bad Bad News
  3. Shy
  4. Beyond
  5. Forgive You
  6. Lions
  7. If It Feels Good (Then It Must Be)
  8. You Don’t Know
  9. Mrs.
  10. Georgia To Texas

Stream / Download / CD/LP

Lake Street Dive – Free Yourself Up

The Scoop: The second Lake Street Dive album issued by Nonesuch Records, Free Yourself Up was self-produced by the band made up of singer Rachael Price, guitarist/trumpeter Michael “McDuck” Olson, bassist Bridget Kearney and drummer Michael Calabrese. For the follow-up to 2016’s Side Pony, the quartet enlisted the aid of touring keyboardist Akie Bermiss during recording sessions held in Nashville at Goosehead Palace Studios with engineer Dan Knobler. “This album is based in the realities in our time, which have inevitably become part of everyone’s daily life,” Kearney stated. “It’s something you think about and obsess over—and write songs about. Free Yourself Up is about empowering yourself, emboldening yourself, no matter what’s going wrong.” Here’s the video for the track “I Can Change”:

Label: Nonesuch Records

Producer: Lake Street Dive

Number Of Tracks: 10

Running Time: 42:48

Guest Musicians: Akie Bermiss


  1. Baby Don’t Leave Me Alone With My Thoughts
  2. Good Kisser
  3. Shame, Shame, Shame
  4. I Can Change
  5. Dude
  6. Red Light Kisses
  7. Doesn’t Even Matter Now
  8. You Are Free
  9. Musta Been Something
  10. Hang On

Stream / Download / CD/LP

Spafford – For Amusement Only

The Scoop: After five long years, the wait for a new Spafford studio album is finally over. Guitarist Brian Moss, bassist Jordan Fairless, keyboardist Andrew “Red” Johnson and drummer Cameron Laforest assembled at Chicago’s I.V. Labs last summer and came away with For Amusement Only, a 12-song collection. Spafford’s sophomore effort mixes a pair of brand-new songs (“Fuel,” “When It Falls”) with material debuted in 2017 (“Mind’s Unchained,” “It’s A Bunch”) and plenty of beloved setlist staples (“Leave The Light On,” “Todd’s Tots”). “We became residents of the city of Chicago for a few weeks last summer and had a blast playing pinball and recording For Amusement Only,” the band told Guitar World about their new LP. “After so long releasing all of our live shows, we’re excited to share the studio versions of all of these songs with the world.” Check out the lyric video for “Leave The Light On”:

Label: Self-Released

Number Of Tracks: 12

Running Time: 73:51


  1. Leave the Light On
  2. Ain’t That Wrong
  3. It’s a Bunch
  4. Fuel
  5. Mind’s Unchained
  6. Simon & Lilly
  7. All In
  8. Hollywood
  9. The Postman
  10. When It Falls
  11. Slip and Squander
  12. Todd’s Tots

Stream / Download / CD/LP

Eleanor Friedberger – Rebound

The Scoop: Eleanor Friedberger found inspiration for her latest studio album during a trip to Greece that she took shortly after the 2016 election. While there, the singer-songwriter’s friend insisted that she visit Rebound – a 1980s-themed nightclub in Athens – which she would eventually name her fourth studio album after. Friedberger’s latest finds her embracing the “1980s dark goth pop” sounds from that night. Drum machines and synthesizers are heard throughout the 10-track effort that channels her Patti Smith-vibe through The Cure and New Order. Check out the music video for “Make Me A Song”:

Label: Frenchkiss Records

Producer: Clemens Knieper, Eleanor Friedberger

Number Of Tracks: 10

Running Time: 40:05


  1. My Jesus Phase
  2. The Letter
  3. Everything
  4. In Between Stars
  5. Make Me A Song
  6. Nice To Be Nowhere
  7. It’s Hard
  8. Are We Good?
  9. Showy Early Spring
  10. Rule Of Action

Stream / Download / CD/LP

Compiled by Jeffrey Greenblatt, Andy Kahn and Scott Bernstein.

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