Today’s New Albums: My Morning Jacket, Hand Habits, Parquet Courts, Hiss Golden Messenger & More

La Luz, Marble Eyes, Elton John, John Coltrane and The Rolling Stones also have new releases out today.

By Team JamBase Oct 22, 2021 6:20 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 My Morning Jacket, Hand Habits, Parquet Courts, Hiss Golden Messenger, La Luz, Marble Eyes, Elton John, John Coltrane and The Rolling Stones. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.

My Morning Jacket – My Morning Jacket

The Scoop: There was a time when the members of My Morning Jacket thought of disbanding the group. However, MMJ was inspired by how they felt after four live performances in the summer of 2019 to move forward and went about crafting a self-titled studio album released today through ATO Records. My Morning Jacket was recorded at 64 Sound in Los Angeles during two multi-week sessions that followed the aforementioned concerts. Frontman Jim James served as both producer and engineer for the 61-minute, 11-track LP. The album marks the first of newly-recorded music since the 2013 – 2014 sessions that yielded 2015’s The Waterfall and the companion The Waterfall II in 2020.

“I hope this album brings people a lot of joy and relief, especially since we’ve all been cooped up for so long,” noted Jim James. “I know that feeling you get from driving around blasting music you love, or even lying in bed and crying to the music you love. The fact that we’re able to be a part of people’s lives in that way is so magical to us, and it feels really good that we’re still around to keep doing that.”

Hand Habits – Fun House

The Scoop: Multi-instrumentalist Meg Duffy released their new Hand Habits studio album, Fun House, today on Saddle Creek Records. The 11-track Fun House follows the 2021 EP, dirt and 2019 LP, placeholder. Duffy worked on the new album with producer Sasami Ashworth (Sasami) and engineer by Kyle Thomas (King Tuff). Duffy’s friend and collaborator Mike Hadreas (Perfume Genius) recorded additional vocals on the album tracks, “No Difference” and “Just to Hear You.” Read Duffy’s statment regarding the album below:

“When the pandemic happened, everything stopped. I had been touring consistently for five years, both on my own and playing in other people’s bands, so I wasn’t really writing a lot in between. It had been full pedal to the metal in terms of traveling and scheduling, which meant I really didn’t have a lot of time to think about how I felt or really check in with myself. Then, when the world basically stopped, it turned out to be the longest I’ve been alone in my entire life — without being in a relationship, without being on the road, without working myself to exhaustion — and the result was really like, holy shit. I slammed on the brakes and everything psychologically that I’d been pushing down and ignoring for the past few years suddenly flew to the foreground.

“I felt a massive shift in the way that I was seeing the world and seeing myself, moving through certain emotional patterns and behavioral patterns, and really taking them apart. Sasami empowered me to take up a lot of different sonic spaces and challenged me to rethink these limitations that I had about my own identity. I wouldn’t allow myself to step into certain roles because of the little box I was putting myself in based on all of these false narratives that I had come to believe about myself. I think this also coincides with my trans identity too, because so much of that journey for me has been me really fighting against what I’m not ‘allowed’ to be.”

Parquet Courts – Sympathy For Life

The Scoop: Parquet Courts’ new album fuses influence from dance music culture with the rock for which the quartet is known. Sympathy For Life, out today on Rough Trade Records, consists mainly of tracks culled from improvised jams. The follow-up to 2018’s Wide Awake! features 11 songs and found the band working with co-producers John Parish and Rodaidh McDonald.

Wide Awake! was a record you could put on at a party,” explained co-frontman Austin Brown. “Sympathy For Life is influenced by the party itself.”

The members of the band were inspired by dance parties they attended at New York clubs such as The Loft before the pandemic began to create their seventh full-length studio album. Parquet Courts recorded Sympathy For Life in the Catskills Mountains, the area in upstate New York where they tracked 2014’s Sunbathing Animal and the bulk of 2016’s Human Performance.

“It’s an area of sacredness,” Brown told DIY. “A magic and fertile place with clean air, mountain water, and a lot of protected land.”

Hiss Golden Messenger – O Come All Ye Faithful

The Scoop: Announced two days ago, Hiss Golden Messenger’s first holiday album, O Come All Ye Faithful, came upon the midnight clear via Merge Records. The album mixes originals written by Hiss’ MC Taylor in fall 2020 (“Grace,” “Hung Fire” and “By The Lights Of St. Stephen”) with a few seasonal covers (Spiritualized’s “Shine A Light,” Woody Guthrie’s “Hanukkah Dance” and Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “As Long As I Can See The Light”) and traditional holiday classics (“Joy To The World,” “Silent Night” and the title track. Taylor recorded O Come All Ye Faithful with most of the same musicians that contributed to Hiss Golden Messenger’s album Quietly Blowing that came out in June, including Chris Boerner, Matt McCaughan, Devonne Harris, Matt Douglas, Scott Hirsch and Sonyia Turner. The record also features guest performances by Aoife O’Donovan, Buddy Miller, Nathaniel Rateliff and Erin Rae. Read a protion of Taylor’s essay regarding the album:

“A little backstory: In December of 2020 I went into Target to pick up some wrapping paper and was overwhelmed by the aggro full-tilt Christmas anthems blaring from the tinny overhead speakers. It was a moment of such cognitive dissonance—belligerent holiday music soundtracking a time of such collective confusion, exhaustion and grief—that I actually laughed out loud. When the shopper next to me glanced over in apprehension, I point up towards the music and asked her, ‘Do you feel like this?’

“The more I thought about the gap between the brash, brassy music that is so often played in public spaces during the holidays and the way that so many people seem to feel around this time of year, the more I felt compelled to make a record specific to this season. Some of my friends thought I was going a little crazy. My go-to holiday record has always been Vince Guaraldi’s soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas — a perfect record for any time of year because of the deep emotional places it goes — and I wanted to try to make an album that lived in that universe: Lush, bittersweet, contemplative. Hopeful and sorrowful in equal measure. That’s always been my sweet spot. Maybe I was l looking for an antidote to the chaos that seemed to have enveloped our world, a project that could serve as a meditation …

O Come All Ye Faithful exists as a standalone album or as a deluxe version that includes a remixed, completely reinvented set of music called The Sounding Joy that was created by Cameron Ralston, my partner in a new project called Revelators (more on that later), based on our shared love of free and spiritual jazz, dub reggae and electronic music. Along with the album, you can order other Hiss holiday merch including sweatshirts, Tshirts, ornaments, Chanukah candles and more. I’m leaning into it all. Making this record brought me some peace, and I hope you enjoy it enough to let it soundtrack your days, wherever you might be and whomever you might be with. Grace be on us.”

La Luz – La Luz

The Scoop: Surf-rock-soulful-doo-wop group La Luz is back with their first album in three years, the self-titled LP out today on Hardly Art. The core trio of guitarist Shana Cleveland, keyboardist Alice Sandahal and bassist Lena Simon recruited producer Adrian Younge for the follow-up to 2018’s Floating Features.

“We both create music with the same attitude, and that’s what I love about them,” Younge stated. “They are never afraid to be risky and their style is captivating. It was an honor to work with them.”

Cleveland, the band’s primary songwriter, wrote some of her most personal lyrics for the songs that appear on the band’s fourth full-length release.

“I don’t think I could bring an album this intimate to a band that I didn’t feel that closeness with,” Cleveland stated. “We have a musical understanding that’s very intimate.”

Marble Eyes – Return To The Roses

The Scoop: New England-based rockers Marble Eyes offer up their debut album, Return To The Roses, via Color Red. Forged during the pandemic, Marble Eyes is a supergroup consisting of bassist Eric Gould (Pink Talking Fish), drummer Adrian Tramontano (Kung Fu), guitarist Mike Carter (The Indobox) and keyboardist Max Chase (Amulus). The quartet took to The Noise Floor studio in Dover, New Hampshire to record the LP and enlisted ​​Tim Walsh to mix with mastering from Doug Krebs Mastering. Marble Eyes previewed the record with the Gould-penned “Tollbooth” which press materials for the album describing as “a song with a modern post-rock feel that speaks about facing the battles ahead with strength but realizing that there is a toll to be paid.” The band followed with the Chase-composed “Can’t Fool Me,” a “pop-funk track that delves into the mystery of a relationship where no one knows who is fooling who.”

Elton John – The Lockdown Sessions

The Scoop: Elton John returns with his star-studded collaborative album, The Lockdown Sessions, arriving today via Interscope Records. With the pandemic putting the iconic artist’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour on hold, remote projects began cropping up with an eclectic group of artists including Brandi Carlile, Charlie Puth, Dua Lipa, Eddie Vedder, Gorillaz, Lil Nas X, Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, Rina Sawayama, SG Lewis, Stevie Nicks, Stevie Wonder, Surfaces, Years & Years, Young Thug and more. Making The Lockdown Sessions — which saw the Rocket Man working with Grammy-winning producer Andrew Watt on five of the tracks — brought Elton back to his roots as a session musician in the 1960s, as he explained in a statement:

“The last thing I expected to do during lockdown was make an album. But, as the pandemic went on, one‐off projects kept cropping up. Some of the recording sessions had to be done remotely, via Zoom, which I’d obviously never done before. Some of the sessions were recorded under very stringent safety regulations: working with another artist, but separated by glass screens. But all the tracks I worked on were really interesting and diverse, stuff that was completely different to anything I’m known for, stuff that took me out of my comfort zone into completely new territory. And I realized there was something weirdly familiar about working like this. At the start of my career, in the late 60s, I worked as a session musician. Working with different artists during lockdown reminded me of that. I’d come full circle: I was a session musician again. And it was still a blast.”

John Coltrane – A Love Supreme: Live In Seattle

The Scoop: Legendary tenor saxophonist John Coltrane rarley performed his landmark A Love Supreme suite from his similarly titled 1965 album live in concert. Coltrane, who died in 1967 at age 40, recorded the album in Decemebr 1964 while accompanied by his classic quartet, bassist Jimmy Garrison, drummer Elvin Jones and pianist McCoy Tyner. A never-before-released recording of Coltrane and the classic quartet performing the four-movement A Love Supreme suite from a concert held at The Penthouse in Seattle on October 2, 1965 was made available today. The performance also featured saxophonists Pharoah Sanders and Carlos Ward and second bassist Donald Rafael Garrett. The Seattle concert tapes made by saxophonist Joe Brazil were found by saxophonist Steve Griggs in 2013.

The Rolling Stones – Tattoo You 40th Anniversary

The Scoop: The Rolling Stones released the 40th Anniversary edition of their landmark 1981 album Tattoo You today via Polydor/Interscope/UMe in Standard CD, Deluxe 2CD and 4CD Super Deluxe Boxset formats. The collection boasts a freshly remastered version of the original 11-track album which includes the classic opener “Start Me Up” along with standouts like “Hang Fire” and “Waiting On A Friend.” The deluxe 4-CD edition features a Lost and Found: Rarities disc with previously unreleased songs from the era, freshly reworked by the band, including the preview single “Living In The Heart Of Love” along with covers of Jimmy Reed’s “Shame, Shame, Shame,” Dobie Gray’s “Drift Away” and a reggae-tinged version of “Start Me Up” among others.

Additionally, the deluxe boxset contains two discs encapsulating a live show dubbed Still Life: Wembley Stadium 1982. The Tattoo You hometown tour stop is full of Stones classics including “Under My Thumb,” “Let’s Spend The Night Together,” “Honky Tonk Women” and “Brown Sugar” along with covers of The Temptations’s “Just My Imagination,” Eddie Cochran’s “Twenty Flight Rock,” the Miracles’ “Going To A Go Go” and more. The live disc also sees the legendary rockers performing Tattoo You tunes like “Start Me Up,” “Neighbours,” “Little T&A” and “Hang Fire.”

Compiled by Scott Bernstein, Nate Todd and Andy Kahn.

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