Release Day Picks: September 27th 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 Sturgill Simpson, Billy Strings, Eric Krasno, Temples, The New Pornographers, Tedeschi Trucks Band, The Beatles and Grateful Dead. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.
Sturgill Simpson – Sound & Fury
The Scoop: Sturgill Simpson’s first foray into anime feature film, Sound & Fury, is out today on Netflix along with its accompanying album recorded by Simpson that shares its same title. The album, which serves as the follow-up to Simpson’s 2016 album A Sailor’s Guide To Earth, was co-produced by Simpson and John Hill. Recording sessions were held with Simpson’s band mates Bobby Emmett, Chuck Bartels and Miles Miller at a studio north of Detroit. The film includes individual anime scenes for each of the record’s 10 tracks. “We went in without any preconceived notions and came out with a really sleazy, steamy rock n’ roll record,” Simpson stated. “It’s definitely my most psychedelic. And also my heaviest. I had this idea that it’d be really cool to animate some of these songs, and we ended up with a futuristic, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, samurai film.”
Billy Strings – Home
The Scoop: Rising bluegrass performer Billy Strings’ sophmore solo album Home comes two years after the release of Turmoil & Tinfoil. Recorded in January with with producer Glenn Brown, Home was crafted at Nashville’s famed Blackbird Studios’ Studio D over the course of six days, followed by an additional week at Zac Brown’s Southern Ground Nashville facility. Joining Strings were his touring band mates, banjoist Billy Failing, bassist Royal Masat and mandolin player Jarrod Walker. Special guests contributing to Home include guitarist Molly Tuttle, fiddler John Mailander, tabla player John Churchville and dobro legend Jerry Douglas. “I’m starting to feel at home in my life,” Strings says. “I know that’s kind of a vague statement but I feel like I’m starting to feel at home in my career, in my relationship with my life partner, all those things. I feel like I’m settling in and starting to actually be content here.”
Kraz (Eric Krasno) – Telescope
The Scoop: Eric Krasno’s concept album Telescope arrives today. The guitarist and producer drew inspiration from classic concept albums like The Who’s Tommy and David Bowie’s The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars for the new project. Released under the moniker Kraz, Telescope traces the intertwined lives of residents living in a Brooklyn brownstone. Krasno previewed the record with a trio of videos that sonically and visually follow Gina in apartment 3A on “Leave A Little,” Nick and Charlotte in 2B on “Vacant” and mother and son Angelina and Ramon in 1C on “Carry My Name.” “It’s a cross-section of the different worlds I’ve lived in — from producing hip-hop records for guys like 50 Cent to performing with the Grateful Dead,” Kraz stated. “I always hoped to eventually combine everything. I also wanted to write from these different perspectives. This was the first time I could. I moved to Los Angeles at the end of making Telescope, but this is my ode to Brooklyn. Some of the songs are based on true experiences and real people. Others are embellished. There’s definitely some of me in the songs too.”
Temples – Hot Motion
The Scoop: UK-based psychedelic rockers Temples return with their third studio album, Hot Motion. The follow-up to the band’s 2017 record, Volcano, the 11-song Hot Motion features Temples’ technicolor take on contemporary psychedelia while exploring darker themes that seeped into the band’s collective conscious from troubling times in the wider world. The group set up shop in an outbuilding at frontman James Bagshaw’s house in the midlands of England to hold the sessions that yielded the new album. Temples emerged with well-crafted psychedelic gems like “You’re Either On Something,” “Context” and the title track.
The New Pornographers – In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights
The Scoop: Longstanding Canadian collective The New Pornographers return with In The More Code Of Brake Lights, their first album since 2017’s Whiteout Conditions. The album is the second straight without “former (and possibly future)” member Dan Bejar and with drummer Joe Seiders. The new 11-track LP prominently presents co-lead vocalist Neko Case and also features longtime touring member, singer/violinist Simi Stone, on a New Pornos’ record for the first time. Written by frontperson A.C. Newman, who co-produced with bassist John Collins, several songs use the automobile for inspiration. “Sometimes unintentional influences come in, and then after you start to notice them, you start consciously doing it,” Newman stated. “I was about two-thirds of the way through the record when I began to notice that lyrically so much of it was pointing toward car songs. The opening track is ‘You’ll Need a Backseat Driver,’ and that was a metaphor that seemed to be running through other songs, too. Next to the love song, I feel like the car song is one of the most iconic kinds of songs in pop music, from Chuck Berry to the present. There was so much of that throughout it that I started thinking: ‘Oh, no, there’s too many references to cars on this record!’ And then I thought, no, that’s good — people might think it’s a concept album. Let’s roll with that.”
Tedeschi Trucks Band – High & Mighty EP
The Scoop: Recorded during the same sessions that produced the Tedeschi Trucks Band’s latest full length Signs, which came out in February, High & Mighty features three tracks from those studio sessions as well as a live cut. The four-song EP was originally issued on vinyl for Record Store Day, but is out now in other formats. The studio cuts include the title track, “All My Friends” and “All You Can Do.” The EP is rounded out with a recording featuring Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi leading their talented ensemble through a performance of “Shame” live at the Chicago Theatre in January 2018.
The Beatles – Abbey Road 50th Anniversary
The Scoop: While Let It Be was the last album The Beatles released, Abbey Road was the final LP the Fab Four actually recorded. The iconic album has been newly mixed by Giles Martin, son of Abbey Road producer George Martin, in honor of Abbey Road’s 50th anniversary. Capitol Records’ Abbey Road 50th anniversary reissue is available as standard, deluxe and super deluxe editions. The super deluxe box set throws in 23 additional tracks which show off the band’s process as they include both demos and outtakes. The physical edition of the box set also comes with a 100-page hardcover book featuring an introduction penned by Giles Martin, a forward written by Paul McCartney and essays from historian Kevin Howlett and journalist David Hepworth. The deluxe edition comes on both vinyl (3-LPs) and CD (2-CDs) while the standard edition includes Giles Martin’s new mix on CD, vinyl or picture disc. “The Beatles recording journey had gone through many twists and turns, learning curves and thrilling rides. Here we were – still wondering at the magic of it all,” McCartney recalled in his forward.
Grateful Dead – Giants Stadium 1987, 1989, 1991
The Scoop: Each year, the Grateful Dead issues one massive box set in addition to all the studio re-issues, Dave’s Picks live archival sets and other releases the group puts out regularly. This year’s box set, entitled Giants Stadium 1987, 1989, 1991 features five previously unreleased GD concerts that were held at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Audio of concerts from July 12, 1987; July 9, 1989; July 10, 1989; June 16, 1991 and June 17, 1991 are paired with pro-shot video from June 17, 1991 on either DVD or Blu-ray in the limited edition box set. Additionally, Rhino released Saint Of Circumstance: Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ, 6/17/91 on vinyl, CD and digitally. The Dead’s July 16 and 17, 1991 concerts are the only shows the band recorded to 48-track masters. Jeffrey Norman mixed the box set from the 48-track masters for the 1991 shows and 24-track masters for the 1987 and 1989 performances.
Compiled by Scott Bernstein, Nate Todd and Andy Kahn.