Release Day Picks: September 4th 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 Dirty Projectors, Hayes Carll, William Tyler, Bill Callahan, The Rolling Stones and a Marc Bolan and T. Rex tribute compilation. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.
Dirty Projectors – Super João
The Scoop: Today, Dirty Projectors continue a cycle of five EPs due in 2020 with the release of Super João. Dirty Projectors’ third of five 2020 EPs features four songs written, produced and performed by Dave Longstreth. “Super João is a feeling,” Longstreth said of the collection, which was inspired by the music of Brazilian bossa nova pioneer João Gilberto as well as Chet Baker and Arthur Russell. Dave Longstreth wrote the material on the Domino Records release with Kyle Field (Little Wings). Super João was recorded by Dave and neighbor Kyle Thomas (King Tuff) in Los Angeles straight to tape.
Hayes Carll – Alone Together Sessions
The Scoop: Singer-songwriter Hayes Carll used the break from the road afforded by the COVID-19 pandemic to rework songs from throughout his career. His new Dualtone release, Alone Together Sessions What Is Is as well as a cover of Whitney Shafer and Lefty Frizzell’s “That’s The Way Love Goes.” Hayes was accompanied by his wife, Allison Moorer on the LP’s lone cover. “It’s probably good to pause every now and then, to take stock of everything,” Carll explained. “When you make your living playing out there for people, you’re constantly in motion. That momentum doesn’t leave much time for thinking about what happened, let alone what it all means. How often does someone get to go back in, change the rhythms, turn up guitars, shift the perspective of a lyric or the delivery of a vocal? The more I sang these songs, the more I learned about them.” Longtime Hayes Carll collaborator Darrell Scott performs on and produced Alone Together Sessions. Violinist Lake Moeller also contributed to the LP.
William Tyler – New Vanitas
The Scoop: Guitarist William Tyler’s new EP, New Vanitas, is out today via Merge Records exclusively on Bandcamp, which is again waiving its artist fees on the first Friday of the month. The seven-track, 39-minute EP follows Tyler’s contributions to the 2020 feature film, First Cow that was directed by Kelly Reichardt. William issued the note below regarding New Vantias:
The concept of “vanitas” in medieval art refers to the juxtaposition of macabre symbols of death with material ephemera in order to illustrate the impermanence of earthly things. What struck me about this was not the representation of death in a macabre/morbid way, but rather that very sense of ephemerality and impermanence. Reading an article about the history of ephemera in art led me to the concept of vanitas, and I wanted to find a way to pivot that in a more, well, hopeful direction. But these paintings force us to bear witness to the contrasts of life, death, and impermanence, and if 2020 has taught me about anything, it is this concept of “bearing witness” both on a personal and political level.
This year has been an ongoing series of mental health highs and lows while just as an individual I try to reckon on a daily basis with the transformation, pain, growing awareness, and, hopefully, growing empathy we are experiencing. Everyone has encountered loss this year—many have suffered a great deal of loss—but no one who is at least conscious is immune to this time of change. And thus, as a psychiatrist friend put it, we must bear witness. Part of that bearing witness for me on a personal level has been trying to step away from my familiar sense of self—both the parts I might feel good about and definitely the parts I abhor or want to change. I came back to Nashville during the shutdown in March to be close to my parents. And in that space of isolation, I have been trying to get back to some of the sonic building blocks that made me want to start making music in the first place. Listening to a lot of old cassettes, slightly warped records, nature recordings, southern Protestant hymns of childhood, homemade music—sounds that sort of inhabit a kind of “smallness” and intimacy. Sounds that do, in fact, decay—the beautiful saturated analog reality that is alive around us. I spend a lot of evenings listening to AM radio as the static starts to give way to a swirl of radio stations from near and far. The sun retreats, the crickets and cicadas crescendo.
When I was working with Kelly Reichardt on the score for her film First Cow, she challenged me to confront some of my own melodic and compositional tendencies towards, as she put it, sentimentality: “Don’t tell people how to feel with this. Be open to the moment.” I feel like the way Kelly incorporates sound into her films makes her as much a sound artist as a master filmmaker; every sonic decision in her films is deliberate—radio broadcasts, passing noises, hushed dialogue, etc. With these new songs, I really just wanted to create a sort of mood board for where my head and soul have been at the last few months. Part of ephemera to me is in what Kelly told me: “Be open to the moment” because the moment changes. The sound dissolves into another sound, the image into another image. Time passing, transience, change. Although “static” means lacking movement, static sonically is almost the literal opposite: it is transience, noise, change.
Bill Callahan – Gold Record
The Scoop: Bill Callahan’s new album, Gold Record, is out now via Drag City. The singer-songwriter’s follow-up to last year’s Shepherd In a Sheepskin Vest contains songs written by Callahan while preparing to tour in support of that album. Callahan discussed the album with Apple Music, stating:
I’m the type of person that can only do one thing at a time. I just knew that if I didn’t finish [Gold Record] before the tour, then it would be a year before I could even think about working on these songs. And I knew that if I did finish it, I would feel like a million bucks … I have a natural inclination to try to make a narrative out of a whole record. But this time, it’s really just a bunch of songs that stand on their own, not really connected to the others. That’s why I called it Gold Record — it’s kind of like a greatest hits record, though singles record is maybe more accurate.
Callahan recorded Gold Record with guitarist Matt Kinsey and bassist Jaime Zurverza, tracking six of the 10 songs on first takes. Drum and horn overdubs were added to some of the tracks. Callahan previously released the song “Let’s Move to the Country,” on his 1999 album under his Smog moniker, Knock Knock.
The Rolling Stones – Goats Head Soup (Deluxe)
The Scoop: The Rolling Stones release the deluxe edition of their classic 1973 album, Goats Head Soup, today via Polydor/Interscope/UME. The reissue — which arrives in multiple formats including four-disc CD and vinyl box set editions — boasts demos, outtakes and three previously unheard tracks including “Scarlet” (which the legendary rock band shared earlier this summer), featuring Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page along with “Criss Cross” and the newly unveiled, “All The Rage.” The bonus disc of unreleased material also contains alternate takes on Goats Head Soup tracks “100 Years Ago,” “Hide Your Love” and more. Additionally, the box set edition includes a 15-track live album from a 1973 concert in Belgium dubbed the Brussels Affair, which contains Stones classics along with Goats Head Soup songs “Star Star,” “Dancing With Mr. D,” “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)” and “Angie.” The original 10-track album — which the Stones recorded in Jamaica, Los Angeles and London as their final collaboration with producer Jimmy Miller — received the 5.1 Surround Sound, Dolby Atmos and Hi-Res remixing treatment.
Various Artists – AngelHeaded Hipster: The Songs Of Marc Bolan And T. Rex
The Scoop: Father John Misty, Kesha, Joan Jett, Lucinda Williams, U2 (featuring Elton John) and Perry Farrell are among the artists who contributed to AngelHeaded Hipster: The Songs Of Marc Bolan And T. Rex. The 26-song collection of Bolan covers out today on BMG was created by Hal Willner before he died from COVID-19 on April 7. “Hal had a unique vision of Marc Bolan’s music, and working on AngelHeaded Hipster brought him great joy,” explained Willner collaborator and Supervising Producer of AngelHeaded Hipster, Rachel Fox. “Hal, who referred to AngelHeaded Hipster as his ‘White Album’, was eager for everyone to hear these beautiful songs and to start thinking about Bolan and T. Rex again. This album is a testament to Hal’s spirit.” The sessions for the LP spanned multiple years and locations. Special guests include Donald Fagen, Mike Garson, Bill Frisell, Wayne Kramer, Van Dyke Parks and Marc Ribot, with arrangements by Thomas Bartlett, Steven Bernstein, Eli Brueggemann, J.G. Thirlwell and Steve Weisberg.
Compiled by Scott Bernstein, Nate Todd and Andy Kahn.