Today’s New Albums: Sturgill Simpson, Lorde, Anderson East, Maggie Rose & More
Angel Olsen, Sierra Ferrell and Frute also have new releases out today.
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, Lorde, Anderson East, Maggie Rose, Angel Olsen, Sierra Ferrell and Frute. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.
Sturgill Simpson – The Ballad Of Dood And Juanita
The Scoop: Singer-songwriter Sturgill Simpson continues his streak of bluegrass albums with today’s release of The Ballad Of Dood And Juanita. The 10-track concept album was written and recorded in less than a week with the same group of musicians that worked with Simpson on his pair of Cuttin’ Grass LPs that came out last year. The lineup includes fiddler Stuart Duncan, drummer Miles Miller, guitarist Tim O’Brien, mandolinist Sierra Hull, bassist Mike Bub and banjo players Scott Vestal and Mark Howard. Outlaw country legend Willie Nelson appears on the song “Juanita.”
“I just wanted to write a story – not a collection of songs that tell a story, but an actual story, front to back,” Simpson stated. “[This album is] a rollercoaster ride through all the styles of traditional country and bluegrass and mountain music that I love, including gospel and a cappella. It is a simple tale of either redemption or revenge”
Lorde – Solar Power
The Scoop: Lorde’s highly anticipated third studio album, Solar Power, arrived today via Universal Music New Zealand. Solar Power is the follow-up to Lorde’s 2017 album, Melodrama, and sees Melodrama producer Jack Antonoff returning to helm the new record.
As the title suggests, Solar Power is “a celebration of the natural world,” Lorde explained in a press release, “an attempt at immortalizing the deep, transcendent feelings I have when I’m outdoors,” she continued. “In times of heartache, grief, deep love, or confusion, I look to the natural world for answers. I’ve learned to breathe out, and tune in. This is what came through.”
In the spirit of celebrating the natural world, Lorde is offering the album in a discless, eco-conscious Music Box format featuring extra visual content, handwritten notes, exclusive photos and a download card with bonus tracks. As far as the music goes, Lorde previewed the album with the title track and shared subsequent singles “Stoned In The Nail Salon” and “Mood Ring.”
Anderson East – Maybe We Never Die
The Scoop: Nashville-based singer-songwriter Anderson East once again teamed with longtime collaborator, producer Dave Cobb to record Maybe We Never Die. Out today on Cobb’s Elektra imprint Low Country Sound, the 12-track LP was co-produced by another of East’s frequent cohorts, Philip Towns. As he discussed on The JamBase Podcast, East went into the project with an open mind, which resulted in new sounds and sonic styles, different from his previous releases. Among those who joined East, Cobb and Towns in the studio was drummer Nate Smith, while Aaron Reitiere, Benjy Davis, Fancy Hagood and Lucie Silvas were among those with songwriting credits.
“I wanted to create something unique with this record,” East stated. “A piece of music, that as a whole, knew where its footing was but yet still attempted to see what was behind the curtains. I’m very proud of what it took to make and its ultimate outcome. I am very grateful to the wonderfully talented humans that lent their gifts to make it what it is.”
Maggie Rose – Have A Seat
The Scoop: Nashville’s Maggie Rose returns with Have A Seat, her third full-length album. The singer-songwriter recorded the LP, which came out today via Starstruck Records, at the historic FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Ben Tanner of Alabama Shakes produced the follow-up to 2018’s Change The Whole Thing. Contributors include bassist David Hood of the legendary Muscle Shoals-based session players The Swampers, guitarists Will McFarlane (Bonnie Raitt, Levon Helm) and Marcus King as well as members of Maggie’s band, Them Vibes.
“Working with musicians of that caliber and knowing they were giving my music so much attention definitely made me thrive,” said Rose. “I felt so safe going deep into the emotional places within the songs, and I think you can feel that love and camaraderie when you listen to the record … I’ve worked in this industry for over a decade, and I feel like I’ve finally carved out a lane that’s genre-bending and all my own … I had to really fight to find that space for myself, and this record is my way of staking my claim.”
Angel Olsen – Aisles
The Scoop: Singer-songwriter Angel Olsen added her own spin to five ’80s classics on Aisles, an EP that arrived today on her new Jagjaguwar imprint somethingscosmic. Olsen recorded takes on songs by Laura Branigan, Billy Idol, Men Without Hats, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark and Alphaville with co-producer and engineer Adam McDaniel at Drop Of Sun Studios in Asheville in the winter of 2020. The project came after Adam and his wife, Emily invited Angel to stay at their home the previous summer, giving Olsen a place to feel comfortable to “create and let go” before work on Aisles began.
“I told Adam I had an idea to record some covers and bring some of the band into the mix, or add other players. I needed to laugh and have fun and be a little less serious about the recording process in general,” Olsen explained. “I thought about completely changing some of the songs and turning them inside out. I’d come over to find Adam had set up five or so synthesizers, and we’d get lost on a part for a while messing with some obscure pedal I knew nothing about. We’d spend a good amount of time going through sounds before finding one or two, sometimes we’d get real weird and decide to just go with it.”
Sierra Ferrell – Long Time Coming
The Scoop: Singer-songwriter Sierra Ferrell released her album Long Time Coming today on Rounder Records. Australian musician Stu Hibberd and 10-time Grammy-winner Gary Paczosa (Alison Krauss, Dolly Parton, Sarah Jarosz) co-produced the album, which Ferrell recorded at Nashville’s Southern Ground and Minutia studios. Sierra is also joined by an all-star cast of guest musicians on the album including Billy Strings, Sarah Jarosz, Dennis Crouch, Jerry Douglas, Tim O’Brien, Chris Scruggs and Rory Hoffman. Musically, Long Tome Coming sees Ferrell exploring new sonic territory inspired by her eclectic tastes.
“I want my music to be like my mind is — all over the place,” Sierra said in a statement. “I listen to everything from bluegrass to techno to goth metal, and it all inspires me in different ways that I try to incorporate into my songs and make people really feel something.” Ferrell previewed Long Time Coming with lead single and opening track “The Sea.”
Frute – Stephen Hawking Told Me So!
The Scoop: Atlanta-based quintet Frute returns today with Stephen Hawking Told Me So!, their sophomore full-length studio album. The LP arrives via the band’s Frutopic Records label less than two years after the group was formed and just 10 months after the release of The Great Surround, Frute’s debut full-length studio album. Consisting of keyboardist Ian Payne, guitarists Matt Payne and Jeff Axelrod, drummer Stuart Kent and bassist Patrick Lydon, the five-piece mixes elements of psych-rock, funk and Americana with their inventive brand of space-themed rock on Stephen Hawking Told Me So!.
Compiled by Scott Bernstein, Nate Todd and Andy Kahn.