Levy-yhtiö: ATO Records
DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS – THE UNRAVELING
Drive-By Truckers are kicking off the new election year with The Unraveling, their first new album in 3 1/2 years (the longest space between new DBT albums ever). Those years were among the most tumultuous our country has ever seen and the duality between the generally positive state of affairs within the band and the turbulent world outside (or as Patterson Hood puts it: "watching so many things we care about be decimated and destroyed”) informed the writing of this album to the core. The Unraveling was recorded at the historic Sam Phillips Recording Service in Memphis, Tennessee over 85 hours, mostly live in the studio, aided by long-time producer David Barbe and famed engineer Matt Ross-Spang.
Levy-yhtiö: Old Omens
JOHN MORELAND – LP5
Over the last half a dozen years or so, John Moreland’s honesty has stunned us––and stung. As he put hurts we didn’t even realize we had or shared into his songs, we sang along. And we felt better. But there has always been far more to Moreland than sad songs. Today, his earthbound poetry remains potent, but in addition to his world-weary candor, Moreland’s music smolders with gentle wisdom, flashes of wit and joy, and compassion. And once again, as we listen, we feel better.
Levy-yhtiö: Bella Union
JONATHAN WILSON – DIXIE BLUR
Where do you go after making an album that the Guardian hailed as “a rich, ambitious triumph”, American Songwriter called “a strikingly original, complex and inspired work”, MOJO described as “a record you could lose yourself in for months”, and Billboard as a “most magnificent recording, one that is mandatory listening if you are in search of an immersive album rock experience in the 21st century”? It's a question Jonathan Wilson asked himself after his “maximalist” album Rare Birds was released in 2018 to glowing reviews. Not only did it earn him Album of the Year awards in Rolling Stone, France and Blitz in Portugal, it brought him his first national television appearances in the US, on Conan and CBS Saturday Morning. Rare Birds had been the culmination of three solo albums in seven years that the singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer released to widespread acclaim. His first, 2011's Gentle Spirit, a beautiful California dream of an album, is a classic by now and won him the admiration and friendship of Graham Nash, David Crosby, Elvis Costello and Jackson Browne. His follow-up, Fanfare, was also well-received with Uncut calling it “a lavish musical epic, the work of a dedicated and stone cold studioholic.” But now Wilson was looking for something completely new.
ANDY SHAUF – NEON SKYLINE
Few artists are storytellers as deft and disarmingly observational as Andy Shauf. The Toronto-based, Saskatchewan-raised musician's songs unfold like short fiction: they're densely layered with colorful characters and a rich emotional depth. On his new album The Neon Skyline (out January 24 via ANTI-), he sets a familiar scene of inviting a friend for beers on the opening title track: "I said, 'Come to the Skyline, I’ll be washing my sins away.' He just laughed, said 'I’ll be late, you know how I can be.'" The LP's 11 interconnected tracks follow a simple plot: the narrator goes to his neighborhood dive, finds out his ex is back in town, and she eventually shows up. While its overarching narrative is riveting, the real thrill of the album comes from how Shauf finds the humanity and humor in a typical night out and the ashes of a past relationship.
Levy-yhtiö: New West
Formaatit: CD/LP/ltd. LP
THE SECRET SISTERS – SATURN RETURN
"As we age, we face obstacles that are beyond our control. Some forces are internal: insecurity, anxiety, fear. Some are external: the loss of loved ones, an unjust system and the fragility of time. Yet the mark of maturity is how you respond when you realize you’re not in control. Where do you find your resilience? This album is a reflection of us coming to terms with how to find our power in the face of an unfair world. These songs lead listeners past “where happy man searches, to a place only mad women know.” We question our purpose, our relationships, our faith. Trading the fears of our youth for the dread that rages within us as mature women. With Saturn Return, our hope is that women can feel less alone in their journey through the modern world. We need each other more than we ever have; the less competition and the more inclusiveness and understanding, the better. We are southern women in the 21st century, convicted by our beliefs." - The Secret Sisters (2019)
Levy-yhtiö: Paradise Of Bachelors
TERRY ALLEN AND THE PANHANDLE MYSTERY BAND – JUST LIKE MOBY DICK
Iconic and iconoclastic Texan songwriter and visual artist Terry Allen’s heartbreaking, hilarious new album, his first set of new songs since 2013’s Bottom of the World, features the full Panhandle Mystery Band, including co-producer Charlie Sexton (Dylan, Bowie, Blaze), Shannon McNally, and Jo Harvey Allen; mainstays Bukka Allen, Richard Bowden, and Lloyd Maines; and co-writes with Joe Ely and Dave Alvin. The connections to Melville’s masterpiece are metaphorical and allusive, as elusive as the White Whale. The masterly spiritual successor to Lubbock (on everything), Just Like Moby Dick casts its net wide for wild stories, depicting, among other monstrous things, Houdini in existential crisis, the death of the last stripper in town, bloodthirsty pirates (in a pseudo-sequel to Brecht and Weill’s “Pirate Jenny”), the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (in the “American Childhood” suite), a vampire-infested circus, mudslides and burning mobile homes, and all manner of tragicomic disasters, abandonments, betrayals, bad memories, failures, and fare-thee-wells.
Levy-yhtiö: Dead Oceans
BILL FAY – COUNTLESS BRANCHES
The great Bill Fay returns with the third album in the celebrated second phase of his recording career.
“21 years ago, Colin Miles of See For Miles records dropped a pebble in a pond.” says Fay. It was Miles who, on a gut instinct, reissued Bill Fay’s albums for Deram - records made in 1970 and 1971 and deleted shortly afterwards - which Miles had always admired. Rave reviews and endorsements from the likes of Jim O’Rourke (Sonic Youth) and Jeff Tweedy (Wilco) led to a huge revival of interest in this vanished artist. Fay, now 76, was not actually a hermit but a quiet, private person who had withdrawn from a music world changed to the point where he felt no longer involved. But he had continued to make music almost every day in the intervening decades. “Colin said to me, ‘You wanna get out there, Bill’,” Fay says, chuckling at the memory. “I replied, ‘I’m a corner-of-the-room person, Colin’.”
Formaatit: CD/LP/ltd LP
BONNY LIGHT HORSEMAN – BONNY LIGHT HORSEMAN
The timeless qualities of traditional tunes can carry us across oceans and eons, linking us not only to the past but to each other as well. It was under the banner of those eternal connections that the trio of Bonny Light Horseman came together. From Wisconsin festival fields and a German art hub to a snowy upstate studio and everywhere in between, the astral folk outfit—comprised of Anaïs Mitchell, Eric D. Johnson, and Josh Kaufman—is mixing the ancient, mystical medium of transatlantic traditional folk music with a contemporary, collective brush. The resulting album, Bonny Light Horseman, is an elusive kind of sonic event: a bottled blend of lightning and synergy that will excite fans of multiple genres, eras, and ages.