Release Day Picks: October 2nd 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 Robert Plant, Dawes, Drive-By Truckers, Jonsi, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Rilo Kiley and Frank Zappa. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.
Robert Plant – Digging Deep: Subterranea
The Scoop: Acclaimed Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant compiled 30 tracks spanning four decades for the two-CD set Digging Deep: Subterranea. Plant issued the set today via his Es Paranza label and included tracks from each of his 11 solo albums as well as three previously unreleased songs. The new songs are the Toussaint McCall-penned “Nothing Takes The Place Of You,” “Charlie Patton Highway (Turn It Up – Part 1)” from Robert’s forthcoming Band Of Joy Volume 2 LP and a duet with Patty Griffin on Charley Feathers’ “Too Much Alike.” Jimmy Page, Buddy Miller, Phil Collins, Nigel Kennedy, Richard Thompson and Plant’s backing band, Strange Sensation/The Sensational Space Shifters each contribute to Digging Deep: Subterranea, which takes its name from Robert Plant’s Digging Deep podcast.
Dawes – Good Luck with Whatever
The Scoop: Dawes’ debut release on Ronder Records, Good Luck With Whatever, features nine new songs written by guitarist/frontman Taylor Goldsmith. The band, Goldsmith, his brother, drummer Griffin Goldsmith along with bassist Wylie Gelber and keyboardist Lee Pardini, recorded the follow-up to 2018’s Passwords with producer Dave Cobb in Nashville at the historic RCA Studio A. The band previewed the album with the singles “Who Do You Think You’re Talking To?,” “St. Augustine at Night,” “Still Feel Like A Kid” and “Didn’t Fix Me” the last of which addresses mental health. “In the past, I’ve definitely been more precious about the way I wanted the songs to sound, but that’s never as fun,” Taylor Goldsmith stated. “The music we make is everyone’s mode of expression, and the other guys all have chops that I don’t have and never will. The fact that we’re able to lean on each other and celebrate each other as individuals just makes us so much more excited about getting to play together in this band.”
Drive-By Truckers – The New OK
The Scoop: Just two days ago, Drive-By Truckers revealed they would release their second album of 2020 today. The New OK is now available digitally via ATO Records with vinyl and CD editions due on December 18. The nine-track follow-up to The Unraveling, which DBT issued in January, contains a handful of songs recorded during the sessions that yielded that album. Additionally, The New OK includes songs penned by frontman Patterson Hood during what he dubbed, “this endless summer of protests, riots, political shenanigans and pandemic horrors” as well as a cover of The Ramones’ “The KKK Took My Baby Away.”
Read a note from Patterson Hood about The New OK:
To call these past few months trying would be a dramatic understatement. Our lives are intertwined with our work in ways that give us our best songs and performances. It is a life that has often rewarded us beyond our wildest dreams. Speaking for myself, I don’t have hobbies, I have this thing I do. To be sidelined with a brand new album and have to sit idly while so much that I love and hold dear falls apart before my very eyes has been intense, heartbreaking, anger provoking and very depressing. It has gone to the very heart of our livelihoods and threatened near everything that we have spent our lives trying to build. Here’s to the hope that we can make 2021 a better year than this one has been. In the meantime, here’s to THE NEW OK!
Jónsi – Shiver
The Scoop: It’s been 10 years since Sigur Ros frontman Jónsi released his debut solo album, Go. The Los Angeles-based, Icelandic musician returns with the long-awaited follow-up, Shiver, which is out today on Krunk records. “I’ve been doing this for 30 years,” Jónsi stated. “I get tired of everything really easily. I always want things to be fun and exciting and fresh, and doing another album … I just wanted to have a different approach.” Co-produced by Jónsi and A. G. Cook, the 11-track Shiver was recorded in Berlin, Reykjavik, London and Helsinki. The album features Elizabeth Fraser of Cocteau Twins on the song “Cannibal” and Swedish vocalist Robyn on the song “Salt Licorice.”
Rodrigo y Gabriela – Mettavolution Live
The Scoop: Guitarists Rodrigo Sánchez and Gabriela Quintero, aka Rodrigo y Gabriela embarked on a 92-city tour in support of their Mettavolution LP in 2019. Highlights from the excursion were collected for Mettavolution Live, a 13-track live album available today via Rubyworks/ATO Records. The pair performed Mettavolution in its entirety each night and all seven songs from the LP appear on the new release along with staples “Diablo Rojo,” “11:11” and “Tamacun” and a cover of “Echoes” by Pink Floyd. “Hearing this recording is to be able to reconnect with our marvelous fans from our live gigs during 2019,” noted Rodrigo y Gabriela in a statement, “the year we got to promote our Mettavolution album all over the world. That was the very moment we felt truly complete as artists and musicians.”
Rilo Kiley – Rilo Kiley (Reissue)
The Scoop: In 1998, Rilo Kiley, the band made up of Jenny Lewis, Pierre de Reeder, Blake Sennett and Dave Rock, played their first concert in their hometown of Los Angeles at the now-defunct venue Spaceland. Comedian Dave Foley (The Kids In The Hall/NewsRadio), was in attendance that night, and after meeting the band, decided to help them by funding studio sessions. Foley recalled the events from over 20 years ago, stating:
January 1998, I was a young man, young compared to now, hanging out in L.A’s alt. rock club scene. One night in particular, I found myself at Spaceland, at the bar drinking when a band started playing. They were good, so good that I stopped fighting for the attention of the bartender and turned to see who it was. On stage was a very young, delightfully unpretentious group named Rilo Kiley. Between songs they were charming, smart and funny. During songs they were brilliant. After the set I introduced myself and learned that this was their first public performance. I was astonished. They invited me back to their rehearsal space for Thai food and to hear some songs they didn’t have room for in the set. Dreamily, I filled my belly with noodles and my head with one great song after another. I was in a full on, pop music fan swoon. Having decided to force myself into their lives, I suggested (insisted) that I should fund a demo recording. They relented. I also tried to talk them into changing the band’s name. They were unrelenting. A lot of years have passed. I remain proud to know Rilo Kiley and grateful that I had the opportunity and ability to be of some help.
The result of those Foley-funded sessions was the band’s self-titled, self-released debut, originally printed on CD and sold in limited quantities at early Rilo Kiley gigs. The band went on to release four full-length albums and last toured in 2008 before breaking up. Now, for the first time, Rilo Kiley is being officially released digitally and on vinyl featuring classics “Frug,” “85” and “Glendora,” among six other vintage tracks.
Frank Zappa – Halloween 81
The Scoop: On October 31 and November 1, 1981, legendary guitarist Frank Zappa and his band brought a five-show, four-night run at New York City’s The Palladium to a close. Official audio featuring both the early and late performances from October 31 and the November 1 concert have been issued by Zappa Records/UMe as Halloween 81. The massive box set includes a whopping 70 previously unreleased tracks as well as an FZ costume and booklet containing liner notes and photos. Frank was backed by a band that made its debut that fall, which saw him backed by guitarists Ray White and Steve Vai, percussionist Ed Mann, bassist Scott Thunes, drummer Chad Wackerman and keyboardists Robert Martin and Tommy Mars.
Compiled by Scott Bernstein, Nate Todd and Andy Kahn.