From time to time I post picture galleries of new music that's come my way. This time it's an eclectic mix I've streamed from Tidal, or heard on CD or LP. Some of it's by artists you've at least heard of, but a lot of it is off the beaten path. My goal here is to turn you onto new things, and there will be more than a few gems, I promise.
When I heard Jones being interviewed on National Public Radio my ears perked up. The guy has an authenticity other contemporary singers lack, and his band has just the right mix of grit and soul. The entire record feels like a time capsule of a lost recording from the late 1960s, but it's new. Hope it's an indication of things to come from Durand.
This is jazz, but it's not your father's jazz. Sons of Kemet's Your Queen Is a Reptile is a fusion of sorts. Sons of Kemet are leading the charge in the "UK Jazz Wave," and there's a lot going on here with just tuba, saxophone, drums, and sometimes voice. "Queen" rocks and grooves over African and Caribbean rhythms, the sound is deeply soulful.
Liberty's twangy guitars first struck me as the lost soundtrack to the first season of HBO's "True Detective". It's not, but Ortega's stirrings of scary love gone wrong churn with lots of old western atmosphere in the mix. It's music you can lose yourself in.
I haven't cited too many brute force hard rock albums for sound, so here's one, Shellac's "Excellent Italian Greyhound," sounds tight and clear, especially the drums. It came out in 2007, but I've only recently discovered it.
It's been a while, but Kim Deal's new Breeders full-length sounds just like I remember them. There are hints of her old band the Pixies in there too, the music's tumultuous melodic turns and howling vocals made me smile.
Bluesman Doug Macleod and his National Reso-Phonic guitar are at it again with his easy-rollin' delivery and a new set of tunes. Macleod is one of the rare artists who gets better with every new album. Sound quality is top notch, definitely demonstration quality.
I can't do better than the way the album's cover describes the music, "Medieval Europe Meets Traditional Chinese Meets Avante-Gard." It's a mesmerizing acoustic suite that juxtaposes Medieval French with traditional Chinese Pipa music, and the recording quality feels authentic and you-are-there realistic.
Kid Koala, Floor Kids (soundtrack)
Mix master Kid Koala is a favorite of mine since I heard his 12 Bit Blues CD a few years ago. This is a children's hip hop, let's-have-fun video game soundtrack. It also sounds great, and there's definitely material in there to exercise your woofers. It's on LP and streaming platforms.
Paradox is a soundtrack to the Daryl Hannah-directed western, and Young sounds better here than he has in years as acoustic and electric tunes set each other off well. If you think Young is too old to belt one out of the park give a listen to Paradox. The standout track isn't Young's, it's Lukas Nelson doing Willie Nelson's Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground. Another album, Young's Hitchhiker, is a recently released suite of solo acoustic demos from 1976 which is a must for fans. Both album's sound quality is excellent.
Robert Silverman, Chopin’s Last Waltz
A reference-quality solo piano recording on LP. Firstly because the piano's tonality is spot-on, and secondly because the dynamics feel right. Oh, and Robert Silverman's performance is awe-inspiring. Available as a DSD file, CD, or as I listened to it, on LP, it's really special.
Bill Frisell, Music IS
I've been a Frisell fan for years, but this solo one with just Frisell on guitar strips away production, and lets the man's creative juices flow. He's not the type to dazzle with a frenzy of notes, Frisell savors each one. If I wasn't a fan before I'd be one now.
This mesmerizing nearly ambient music from guitarist Steve Tibbetts will expand your mind. The sound of the guitars and percussion is loaded with palpable texture. A gorgeous recording that demands repeated listening sessions.