Taylor Swift, Arctic Monkeys, Archers Of Loaf & More Return With New Albums Out Today

Dry Cleaning, Goat, Rubblebucket, Alice Sandahl, and a Sleater-Kinney covers album are also out now.

By Team JamBase Oct 21, 2022 6:31 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 Taylor Swift, Arctic Monkeys, Archers of Loaf, Dry Cleaning, Goat, Rubblebucket, Alice Sandahl, and Sleater-Kinney. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.

Taylor Swift – Midnights

Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift released Midnights, her first album of new material since 2020’s folklore and its companion evermore. Once again working with producer Jack Antonoff, Swift described the 13-track Midnights as “the stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life.” Antonoff co-wrote 11 of the 13 songs on the album. Swift is solely credited with writing “Vigilante Shit,” while the song “Sweet Nothing” is a co-write between Swift and her partner Joe Alwyn (under his pseudonym William Bowery). Actor Zoe Kravitz is among those credited with co-writing the opening track, “Lavender Haze,” along with Sounwave, J. Sweet and Sam Dew. Fellow singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey‘s vocals can be heard on the song “Snow on the Beach.”

Arctic Monkeys – The Car

Arctic Monkeys are back with their first studio album in four years, The Car. The band released Tranquility Moon Base & Casino in 2018 and in an interview earlier this year, drummer Matt Helders noted that The Car “picks up where the other one [Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino] left off musically.” Frontman Alex Turner penned the LP’s 10 tracks, which the English rockers captured at a trio of locales: Butley Priory in Suffolk, RAK Studios in London and La Frette in Paris. Longtime producer James Ford returned to helm the new record.

The Car finds Arctic Monkeys running wild in a new and sumptuous musical landscape”, press materials for the LP noted, “and contains some of the richest and most rewarding vocal performances of Alex Turner’s career.”

Archers Of Loaf – Reason In Decline

After 24 years a new full-length Archers Of Loaf studio album finally dropped today, as the band put out Reason In Decline through Merge. The quartet featuring singer/guitarist Eric Bachmann, guitarist Eric Johnson, bassist Matt Gentling and drummer Mark Price reunited for concerts in 2011 and 2015 following their dissolution in 1998. While primary songwriter Bachmann was inspired to write new material when the 2015 shows were finished, he just wasn’t feeling it. “For Archers lyrics, songs, everything, I had to imagine I was this angry white curmudgeon college guy who hates capitalism and consumerism and has a broken heart,” he explained. “He’s bitter about relationships, so he makes fun of things to seem cool. As I’ve aged, I’m far less like that anymore, but it is a part of my personality. I just wasn’t excited about re-energizing it. I used that guy as a starting point to get myself out of the gate, but in the course of writing the actual songs, he eventually went away.”

However, the pandemic led to major and unfortunate changes in his life as a full-time stay-at-home dad without the ability to earn a living on the road. Bachmann put his feelings into the 10 tunes featured on the group’s long-awaited follow-up to 1998’s White Trash Heroes. “I’m 51, I’ve been [writing and playing music] since I was 14,” he added. “I’ve been doing it for a living since I was 22, that’s 37 years. For the first time, when COVID happened, I couldn’t do it. It was a massive psychological setback, to the point that I had to get help. I already had a problem with suicide ideation, constantly thinking about this shit. And I’m not ashamed to say that. Thousands and thousands of people have the same problem. Anyway, all this got baked into the songs.”

Dry Cleaning – Stumpwork

Stumpwork is the second full length release of British rockers Dry Cleaning. Out now through 4AD, Stumpwork comes on the heels of the band’s well-received 2021 debut LP, New Long Leg. The South London-based group consisting of vocalist Florence Shaw, drummer Nick Buxton, guitarist Tom Dowse and bassist Lewis Maynard followed the same formula as New Long Leg, returning to Rockfield Studios in rural Wales in late 2021 to once again record with producer John Parish and engineer Joe Jones. While the debut album was completed in only two weeks, the follow-up released today was tracked under less urgent conditions, giving the band “time to experiment, improvise, play, [and] sharpen their table tennis skills.” According to the label’s description of the album:

Stumpwork was inspired by a plethora of events, concepts, and political debacles, be they represented in the icy mess of ambient elements reflecting a certain existential despair, or the surprising warmth in celebrating the lives of loved ones lost through the previous year. Surrealist lyrics are as ever at the forefront – but there is a sensitivity now to the themes of family, money, politics, self-deprecation, and sensuality. Furious alt-rock anthems combine across the record with jangle pop and ambient noise, demonstrating the wealth of influences the band feed off and their deep musicality.

Goat – Oh Death

Enigmatic Swedish psych-rock outfit Goat have returned with Oh Death, their first album in six years. The mysterious masked group that emerged from the remote village of Korpilombo appeared to enter an open-ended hiatus after the release of their 2016 album, Requiem. Ending speculation that the previous release was the band’s final album, the 10-song Oh Death lands today through the Rocket Recordings label. Previewed by the tracks “Under No Nation” and “Do The Dance,” the album’s description states:

Invigorated by forces we can only guess at the origins of, Oh Death is a party to which all are welcome. Blithely waving away easy classification, these heat-hazed serenades are just as comfortable in the headspace of vicious ‘70s funk as they are in zesty ZE records post-punk. Folk-haunted incantations and free jazz skronk here find common ground, buoyed by relentless forward motion and raucous energy.

Rubblebucket – Earth Worship

Rubblebucket returns with their new album Earth Worship today. The record marks the genre-blending group’s first full-length since their 2018 LP, Sun Machine. The interim between albums saw Rubblebucket co-founders and co-producers Kalmia Traver and Alex Toth exploring other projects, but ultimately coming back together to write material for Earth Worship over two week-long writing sessions in May and November of 2020, producing 28 tracks and drawing from a number of influences including disco for Toth and Blondie’s Debbie Harry for Traver among others. After tracking a significant chunk of the record at home, the duo convened with the rest of the band —bassist Ryan Dugre, trumpeter/keyboardist Sean Smith and drummer Jeremy Gustin — at Catskills’ Spillway Sound in March 2021. Rubblebucket also rekindled their relationship with producer Eli Crews (Tune-Yards, Deerhoof); engineer Claudius Mittendorfer (Parquet Courts, Weezer) putting the finishing touches on the album. As the title suggests, Earth Worship is about breaking down the barriers between humans and the natural world. Traver spoke about the LP and title track’s central theme:

“Feeling the heaviness of being life is OK, and we humans are in a pickle. When we say we ‘would like to break up these patterns,’ we’re talking about the unhealthy addictive extractive patterns enmeshed into our whole human-centric society. Patterns that lead us to mistakenly believe we’re isolated and not deserving of the love & pleasure of our dreams, lead us to cause needless harm to ourselves and our planet. Healing on a big scale is tied to healing on a mini scale and that’s what this album and song are working on, hoping to dance with, hoping to dream about.”

Alice Sandahl – Bright & Blue

La Luz keyboardist Alice Sandahl goes solo on her new album, Bright & Blue, which was released today through Eerie Organ. Sandahl (who has recorded and performed as Alice In The River) wrote the 12 original songs that constitute her debut solo album. While La Luz is known for surf-rock paired with lush harmonies, Bright & Blue showcases the Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter’s jazzier tendencies. Multi-instrumentalist (drums/bass) Riley Geare co-produced Bright & Blue with Sandahl at La Planta Recording. Former La Luz drummer Marian Li-Pino contributed backing vocals. Others appearing on the record include bassist Erica Shafer, guitarist/pedal steel guitarist Chris Salter and violinist Stephanie Yu. A preview of the album stated:

On solo debut Bright & Blue, Alice Sandahl (La Luz) excavates with unvarnished vulnerability themes of loss, grief, and hope for the future with keyboard-driven music that combines pop, jazz, and the Great American songbook. Nina Simone meeting Harry Nilsson in a smoky bar anywhere in the world.

Sleater-Kinney – Dig Me In: A Dig Me Out Covers Album

Today, Sleater-Kinney honors the 25th anniversary of their 1997 Dig Me Out with the release of Dig Me In: A Dig Me Out Covers Album. All 13 tracks from the original LP have been reimagined by the likes of Margo Price, The Linda Lindas, Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires, Courtney Barnett, St. Vincent, Wilco and more. Sleater-Kinney will donate a portion of proceeds from the album to Portland, Oregon LGBTQIA+ youth center Sexual and Gender Minority Resource Center. The group shared the following in regards to the cover collection celebrating their third studio album:

“The artists who appear on Dig Me In have not so much covered the 13 original songs, but reinterpreted and reimagined them. Through added layers or the subtraction of guitars and drums, they provide a new way into the songs. Fresh rage, joy, pain, reclamation, slyness, and longing. Other interpretations slow down or stretch out the songs, trading urgency for contemplation, weariness or even a hint of ease.”

Compiled by Scott Bernstein, Nate Todd and Andy Kahn.

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