Today’s New Albums: Phish, Lake Street Dive, Pino Palladino & Blake Mills + More
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 Phish, Lake Street Dive, Pino Palladino and Blake Mills, Valerie June, Tash Neal, Neal Francis and Mike Dillon. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.
Phish – Atlanta 1997
The Scoop: For their latest live archival release, Phish unveiled official audio featuring the band’s July 23, 1997 performance at Lakewood Amphitheatre in Atlanta. Atlanta 1997 is now available for download via LivePhish.com and for streaming by LivePhish+ subscribers. The concert marked the third night of the quartet’s U.S. Summer Tour 1997. Highlights include an otherworldly “Ghost,” a raging “You Enjoy Myself” and adventurous “Split Open & Melt.” The “You Enjoy Myself” gave way to brief cover of Joe Walsh’s “Rocky Mountain Way” and the second ever U.S. “Ghost” spans nearly 27 minutes.
Lake Street Dive – Obviously
The Scoop: Lake Street Dive returns with their first studio album since 2018’s Free Yourself Up. Obviously, arriving today via Nonsuch, sees the band exploring new sonic territory with Grammy-winning producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Mike Elizondo at the helm. Elizondo has worked with a number of artists across genres including Fiona Apple, Carrie Underwood, Mary J. Blige and more but is perhaps best known for his work in the hip hop world with towering figures in that genre like Dr. Dre and Eminem. “It felt like a really good time to bring another person like Mike [Elizondo], and he really opened us up,” bassist Bridget Kearney said in a statement. “He encouraged us to make bolder arrangement choices, take those chances and try those things.” For the new record, Lake Street Dive also brought keyboardist Akie Bermiss on board as a permanent member. On Obviously, LSD offers a glimpse into the past, present and future beginning with the lead single, “Nobody’s Stopping You Know,” a letter of encouragement from lead vocalist Rachael Price to her younger self co-written with Kearney, as well as with, “Making Do,” which addresses climate change and the world that future generations will inherit.
Pino Palladino & Blake Mills – Notes With Attachments
The Scoop: Renowned bassist Pino Palladino and highly sought-after producer Blake Mills released their collaborative album, Notes With Attachments, today via New Deal / Impulse! The team-up began as a solo album for Palladino with Mills producing but quickly transformed into a full on collaborative project. “It all evolved from me playing Blake a few ideas, getting a reaction from [him] and seeing if he’d be interested in working on [them],” Palladino said in a statement. “As the project evolved in the first few weeks and months—even though the music was mostly coming from my original ideas, some of which I’d had for quite a while—[because of] Blake’s response to the ideas, it dawned on both of us that it would be a collaborative record.”>
Notes With Attachments also features a seasoned group of players from across genres including the saxophonists Sam Gendel, Marcus Strickland and Jacques Schwartz-Bart as well keyboardist Larry Goldings (John Scofield, James Taylor) and drummer Chris Dave (D’Angelo, Anderson .Paak). Given their penchant for experimentation and exploration, Blake and Pino released a number of performance videos of Notes With Attachment tracks like “Just Wrong” and “Djurkel,” the latter being inspired by the West African instrument of the same name. The collaborative duo draws heavily from the West African music tradition on Notes With Attachments, also evident on the single, “Ekuté,” inspired by afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti.
Valerie June – The Moon And Stars: Prescriptions For Dreamers
The Scoop: “With this record, it finally became clear why I have this dream of making music,” Valerie June said. “It’s not for earthly reasons of wanting to be awarded or to win anybody’s love—it’s because dreaming keeps me inquisitive and keeps me on that path of learning what I have to share with the world. I think when we allow ourselves to dream like we did when we were kids, it ignites the light that we all have within us, and helps us to have a sort of magic about the way we live.”
June’s third album on Fantasy Records, The Moon And Stars: Prescriptions For Dreamers is the follow-up to 2017’s The Order of Time. June and Jack Splash co-produced the 14-track LP that was recorded during sessions held in Los Angeles at Fresh Young Minds and in Miami at Hit Factory Criteria. Legendary Stax vocalist and The Queen of Memphis Soul Carla Thomas appears on two tracks, providing a spoken word reading of an African proverb as well as backing vocals on the album’s centerpiece, “Call Me a Fool.”
Tash Neal – Charge It To The Game
The Scoop: Former London Souls frontman Tash Neal released his debut solo album today. The 11-track Black Hills Records LP comes after Neal nearly lost his life in a horrific 2012 car accident. Both the accident and Tash’s long and hard road to recovery informs the music on Charge It To The Game. “It’s a celebration of life and a celebration of getting over shit,” the guitarist/singer-songwriter said regarding the LP. “That’s what I love about the album and the album title — it’s such a statement. Whatever you have to face, it’s like, charge it to the game, man. I’m still here. I’m still living.”
Neal Francis – Changes (Demos)
The Scoop: Chicago-based singer-songwriter and keyboardist Neal Francis sheds light on his creative process with the release of the Changes (Demos) EP. The collection shares early versions of four songs that landed on Francis’ excellent 2019 debut album, Changes. Francis, who was recently championed by noted music critic Bob Lefsetz, included his early attempts at “How Have I Lived,” “Lauren,” “Can’t Live Without Your Love” and the record’s title track. Mastered by JJ Golden at Golden Mastering, a vinyl edition of the EP is available in a limited run of just 2000 copies.
Mike Dillon – Suitcase Man, Shoot The Moon, 1918
The Scoop: Singer-songwriter and vibraphonist Mike Dillon spent time during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic recording three albums, Suitcase Man, Shoot The Moon and 1918 that were released last year on Bandcamp by Royal Potato Family. The triology of albums are avialable today on digital platforms and in vinyl editions. Dillon took a minimalist approach on Suitcase Man, a gentler, self-reflective release. Frequent collaborator JJ Jungle and Tiff Lamson of Givers were the only other musicians who appeared on the album. Dillon labeled Shoot The Moon, “Punkadelic-Funk-Psych,” with themes touching on the politics of the time. Guests contributing to the album included Matt Chamberlain, Steven Bernstein, Nicholas Payton, Robbie Seahag Mangano, Jean-Paul Gaster and Nick Bockrath, among others. Dillon utilized electronic features for 1918 whose title references the Spanish Flue pandemic of 1918. The album thematically ties together that global event with the one currently underway.
Compiled by Scott Bernstein, Nate Todd and Andy Kahn.