Today’s New Albums: Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Fleet Foxes, Jeff Tweedy & More

Listen to these six new albums out today.

By Team JamBase Dec 10, 2021 6:07 am PST

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 Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Fleet Foxes, Jeff Tweedy, Nicole Atkins and Jeff Parker. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Barn

The Scoop: Neil Young & Crazy Horse ride again with today’s release of BARN, the new 10-song studio album issued by Reprise Records. Young recorded the follow-up to 2019’s Colorado with Crazy Horse drummer Ralph Molina, guitarist Nils Lofgren and bassist Billy Talbot. Young co-produced Barn with fellow “Volume Dealer” Niko Bolas. Among the 10 new originals is the single “Song Of The Seasons,” which was “written in Canada about a year ago” and is the “oldest song” on Barn. The recording sessions were held this summer in an exact replica of an 1850s barn, built in the Colorado mountains at the same site as the original it was based on.

Fleet Foxes – A Very Lonely Solstice

The Scoop: Founding and primary member of Fleet Foxes, singer-songwriter Robin Pecknold recorded the live album A Very Lonely Solstice at Brooklyn’s St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church last year during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally premiered as a livestream performance on December 21, 2020, the 13-track album features Percknold performing a career-spanning solo set on acoustic guitar. Resistance Revival Chorus can be heard accompanying in a safe manner on the opening “Wading In Waist-High Water” and closing “Can I Believe You,” both of which appeared on Fleet Foxes’ 2020 album, Shore. In addition to other songs from the Grammy-nominated album, the live album features “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” from Fleet Foxes’ 2008 self-titled debut album, “Blue Spotted Tail” from 2011’s Helplessness Blues and “If You Need To, Keep Time On Me” off 2017’s Crack-Up. Described by Pecknold as, “me by myself on the longest night of the year… honoring the loneliness of 2020 with a nylon string and some songs new and old,” the live set also presents his covers of Nina Simone’s “In The Morning,” and the traditional “Silver Dagger.”


Jeff Tweedy – Love Is The King/Live Is The King

The Scoop: frontman Jeff Tweedy offered up a deluxe edition of his 2020 solo album, Love Is The King, today through dBpm Records. Dubbed Love Is The King/Live Is The King, the collection features the original album along with live takes on all 11 Love Is The King tracks plus a cover of Neil Young’s “The Old Country Waltz.” Tweedy captured Live Is The King at Wilco’s Chicago studio The Loft as well as at Chicago’s Constellation and The Hideout. Jeff’s band features his sons Spencer Tweedy and Sammy Tweedy as well as Liam Kazar, James Elkington and Ohmme’s Sima Cunningham. Recorded in 2020 at the height of the pandemic, Love Is The King was heralded by two singles, “Guess Again” and the title track. Jeff shared his thoughts on the songs and the uncertain time they grew out of:

At the beginning of the lockdown I started writing country songs to console myself. “Guess Again” is a good example of the success I was having at pushing the world away, counting my blessings — taking stock in my good fortune to have love in my life. A few weeks later things began to sound like “Love Is The King” — a little more frayed around the edges with a lot more fear creeping in. Still hopeful but definitely discovering the limits of my own ability to self soothe.

Nicole Atkins- Memphis Ice

The Scoop: Chanteuse Nicole Atkins gave the songs on her 2020 album, Italian Ice, a cabaret-style makeover for Memphis Ice. The 10-track LP, released today via Silver Lock Records, was recorded during a one-day session held at Memphis facility Memphis Magnetic Recording. Atkins was backed by cellist Maggie Chaffee, violinist Laura Epling and pianist Dan Chen for a record consisting of raw Italian Ice reworks and the previously unreleased track “Promised Land.”

“I always thought about my Judy Garland or Liza Minnelli moment coming later in life,” Atkins explained in a statement. “But after we finished that day of recording, I had so much fun just singing and was so in the moment, I thought, ‘I want to do that sooner, I want to do that for my next record.’ I want to make a record of standards that are new if that’s possible.”

Jeff Parker – Forfolks

The Scoop: Guitarist Jeff Parker goes solo on his latest LP, Forfolks, which is out now via Nonsuch Records. The member of Tortoise recorded the follow-up to 2020’s contemplative Suite For Max Brown over two days in June 2021 with Graeme Gibson at Parker’s home recording facility, Sholo Studio in Altadena, California. The eight-song Forfolks features six Parker originals alongside his arrangments of Thelonious Monk’s “Ugly Beauty” and the standard “My Ideal.” Two of Parker’s compositions were previously released, “Four Folks” was written and recorded by the guitarist in 1995 and “La Jetée” was recorded with Isotope 217 in 1997 and again the following year with Tortoise. The four new originals are “loop-driven, stratiform works that marry melodic improvisation with electronic textures.”

“I am trying to create a sonic world for me to wander around in,” Parker stated.


The Band – Cahoots (50th Anniversary)

The Scoop: In celebration of the 50th anniversary of The Band’s album, Cahoots, a remixed and expanded version of the 1971 LP was released today. As for the remixing, The Band guitarist Robbie Robertson oversaw the 50th-anniversary reissue, which, unlike previous anniversary projects, offers a completely new stereo remix of the album, in this case, done by Bob Clearmountain from the original multi-track master tapes. The Band recorded Cahoots in early-1971 at Bearsville Sounds Studios in Bearsville, New York, including such now classics as “Life Is A Carnival” and a cover of Bob Dylan’s “When I Paint My Masterpiece.”

“Robbie told me,” Clearmountain explained in the liner notes. “‘Just think of the original mixes as rough mixes. Pretty much don’t pay attention to the mixes themselves.’”

“I told Bob,” Robertson added, “There are no rules. So, every mix we do, I want to start from scratch. I don’t even want to listen to the original. I want to listen to the way we hear it now and be fearless and experimental with it.”

The expanded portion of the Cahoots 50th anniversary reissue is largely made up of a live recording of The Band’s May 1971 concert at the Olympia Theatre in Paris. The second half of the show was recorded by a French radio station, capturing The Band’s performances of “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” “Don’t Do It,” “Chest Fever,” “Rag Mama Rag,” “Across The Great Divide” and several other songs. Also released were instrumental studio outtakes of “Life Is A Carnival” and “Volcano,” and a stripped-down mix of “Thinkin’ Out Loud.”

Compiled by Scott Bernstein, Nate Todd and Andy Kahn.

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