Releases from March–April 2019
Great albums from around the world
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Find releases from 2018.
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Pre-sale of the week is Fishing For Fishies by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, out on 26 April.
Sleeper | Steve Earle & The Dukes | Mansun | Mekons | Lucy Rose | Ibibio Sound Machine | Keith Richards | Better Oblivion Community Centre | Jenny Lewis | Robin Trower | Ty Segall & Freedom Band | Suzi Quattro | Son Volt | Devin Townsend | These New Puritans | Iron & Wine | Billie Eilish | White Denim | Jamie Lawson | Marry Waterson & Emily Barker | Rozi Plain | Jade Bird | The Cranberries | David Bowie | Band Of Skulls | Fat White Family | Catfish And The Bottlemen | Lamb | Soak | Fontaines D.C. | The Chemical Brothers | Aldous Harding | Idlewild | Weyes Blood | Mike + The Mechanics | Damien Jurado | Cage The Elephant | Josh Ritter | Marina | Peter Doherty & The Puta Madres | Rodrigo Y Gabriela | King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard | Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes | The Felice Brothers | The Heavy | Thea Gilmore | Lewis Capaldi | Honeyblood | The National
Releases for 22 March 2019
Leading off our top picks for 22 March is an album that wasn’t meant to happen – in fact, Sleeper promised each other it wouldn’t! Thankfully they clearly didn’t listen to each other, and The Modern Age is the outward-facing sound of a band refreshed and revitalised, adding a shiny contemporary feel to Sleeper’s classic pop sensibilities. Lucy Rose uses her voice to devastating effect on No Words Left. In spite of the title, Lucy has plenty to say, and the album is lyrically and musically fearless, a beautifully intense but often unsettling listen with a dash of brooding, Joni Mitchell-like troubadour folk in there as well. Long lauded for jubilant, explosive live shows, Ibibio Sound Machine fully capture that energy on Doko Mien, and album of inventive, glittering collages of genre, for which your dancing shoes will most definitely be required! These New Puritans, the great heretics of British music, return with Inside The Rose, a record unlike anything else you’ll hear this year – 40 minutes of powerful melodies, lush strings and progressive electronics, packed with jaw-dropping sonic left turns. It’s rare to find a ’60s legend still on trailblazing form, but 73-year-old Robin Trower, the iconic guitarist who rose to fame with Procol Harum, finds himself in a golden late bloom of creativity, and his songcraft and soulful performances have never sounded more alive as on Coming Closer To The Day.
Our release of the week is On The Line, the highly anticipated return of Jenny Lewis, which features a backing band of legendary talent including Beck, Benmont Tench, Don Was, Jim Keltner, Ringo Starr and Ryan Adams. Lewis is a songwriter of rare talent and this album proves it all over again.
- On The Line is the highly anticipated return of Jenny Lewis, following 2014’s critically acclaimed The Voyager. The 11 original songs on the album were written by Lewis and recorded at Capitol Records’ Studio B, and feature a backing band of legendary talent including Beck, Benmont Tench, Don Was, Jim Keltner, Ringo Starr and Ryan Adams. Dry marketing speak that may be, but that doesn’t hide the fact that Jenny Lewis is a songwriter of rare talent and this album proves it all over again.
- 2019 brings us the first album from Sleeper in 21 years! It wasn’t meant to happen. In fact, the band had promised each other it never would. But, as singer Louise Wener said: “We had no plan to get back together. Sometimes life throws you a massive curve ball. You end up jumping off the cliff, just to see what it feels like.” And so The Modern Age is here.
- This is the outward-looking sound of a band revitalized and refreshed, and covers subjects from motherhood and social media to personal loss and, inevitably, relationships. The Modern Age retains Sleeper’s classic pop sensibilities but has a shiny contemporary feel.
- Note: the LP will be available on indies-only coloured vinyl.
- We last heard from London-based Lucy Rose with the release of 2017’s Something’s Changing, a record that heralded a new outlook for a musician re-evaluating what she wanted to do and how she wanted to do it. If Something’s Changing was an artist rediscovering their voice, No Words Left is Lucy using that voice to devastating effect. Don’t misinterpret the title, though: Lucy has plenty to say. The album is stuffed full of words, every one carefully chosen and sincere. Lyrically and musically fearless, this record is a beautifully intense but often unsettling listen. It’s an integral body of work, a fine modern example of the enduring strength of the album format. Rose’s various credits are a testament to her perceptive modern songwriting, but there lingers a dash of brooding, Joni Mitchell-like troubadour folk in there as well.
- Note: the LP is available on white vinyl.
- Long lauded for jubilant, explosive live shows, Ibibio Sound Machine fully capture that energy on Doko Mien, the followup to Uyai. The labels tells us that: “The songs follow in the tradition of much African music, making themselves the conscience of a community. By pulsing the mystic shapes of Eno Williams’ lines through further inventive, glittering collages of genre, Ibibio Sound Machine crack apart the horizon separating cultures, between nature and technology, between joy and pain, between tradition and future. That propensity for duality and paradox seems common in people whose lives span continents.”
- I’m not sure what all that guff means, but your dancing shoes will be required!
- These New Puritans, the great heretics of British music, return with Inside The Rose, their first new studio album since 2013’s critically acclaimed Field Of Reeds. Brothers Jack and George Barnett began writing the album in Essex in 2015 before relocating to Berlin to finish things off in a former Soviet broadcasting studio in the city’s industrial suburbs. Inside the Rose is a record unlike anything else you’ll hear this year – 40 minutes of powerful melodies, lush strings and progressive electronics, packed with jaw-dropping sonic left turns.
- Note: the LP is available on coloured vinyl.
- It’s rare to find a ’60s legend still on trailblazing form in their eighth decade. But while his peers recycle the old hits or retreat from view, the 73-year-old Robin Trower, the iconic guitarist who rose to fame with Procol Harum, finds himself in a golden late bloom of creativity. Even at this career pinnacle, Trower admits he “just can’t stop”. And with his new album, Coming Closer To The Day, his songcraft and soulful performances have never sounded more alive.
Releases for 15 March 2019
Our selection of treats from 15 March’s releases start with a stellar collaboration between Karen O, lead singer of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and super-producer Danger Mouse, who has worked with pretty much every musician ever, who have teamed up to make Lux Prima, on which they push each other’s sound out towards the furthest limits and inspire each other to take risks. The Cinematic Orchestra have assembled collaborators old and new to produce To Believe, a definitive new album that explores a timeless question of particular importance in 2019 – what to believe? Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery is the second album from The Comet Is Coming, Mercury-nominated side project of Sons Of Kemet’s Shabaka Hutchings, and serves to expand the trio’s 21st-century take on spiritual jazz. Brian Jonestown Massacre burst into 2019 with a self-titled album that was recorded this time last year and originally slated for release in September but was held back because of the runaway success of their world tour. And Jack Savoretti returns with his stunning new album, Singing To Strangers, feturing highlights such as ‘Touchy Situation’ was co-written with Bob Dylan, and ‘Music’s Too Sad Without You’, co-written with Kylie Minogue.
Our release of the week comes from dazzlingly talented blues-rock guitarist Joanne Shaw Taylor, whose fans include Joe Bonnamassa, Glen Hughes and Jools Holland. She travels back to her roots in Reckless Heart, incorporating her love of soul, blues and rock into what she says is “probably my most honest work to date.”
- With famous fans such as Joe Bonnamassa and Glen Hughes and having been described by Jools Holland as a dazzling talent, Joanne Shaw Taylor has certainly mastered her craft and become one of the world’s most formidable guitar players. Joanne is thrilled to be releasing her new album, Reckless Heart.
- “I decided for this album I wanted to go further back to my roots,”, she says. “A large part of that was my decision to work with Al Sutton. Al’s been a good friend of mine since I moved to Detroit in 2008 and I’ve always been a big fan of his work with the Detroit Cobras, Thornetta Davis and most recently Greta Van Fleet. Working together was something we’d always discussed and in particular that he’d like to hear me do something more raw and live. The other main reason for recording in Detroit was the calibre of musicians in that town, we managed to incorporate my love of soul, blues and rock into the album and I think it’s probably my most honest work to date.”
- Two stars from different genres of music – Karen O, lead singer of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and super-producer Danger Mouse, who has worked with pretty much every musician ever – have teamed up to make Lux Prima, on which they push each other’s sound out towards the furthest limits and inspire each other to take risks.
- Note: the LP is available on indies-only red vinyl.
- The Cinematic Orchestra are back with a definitive new album that explores a timeless question of particular importance in 2019 – what to believe? Founding member Jason Swinscoe and longtime partner Dominic Smith have enlisted contributions to To Believe from collaborators old and new: Moses Sumney, Roots Manuva, Heidi Vogel, Grey Reverend (vocalist on Bonobo’s ‘First Fires’), Dorian Concept and Tawiah (Mark Ronson, Kindness), Miguel Atwood-Ferguson (Flying Lotus, Anderson Paak, Thundercat, Hiatus Kaiyote) features on strings and photographer and visual artist Brian “B+” Cross collaborated with Swinscoe and Smith on the album’s concept.
- The Comet Is Coming, the side project of Sons Of Kemet’s Shabaka Hutchings who were nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2016, release their second album, this time on the Impulse! label. The themes on Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery revolve around universal truths and questions, and expands the trio’s 21st-century take on spiritual jazz.
- Note: The LP version is due back in stock on 4 April, at £22.99.
- Brian Jonestown Massacre burst into 2019 with the release of their 18th full-length album, just 7 months after their last one. The self-titled album was recorded and produced at Anton Newcombe’s Cobra Studio in Berlin this time last year and was originally slated to be released in September but was held back because of the runaway success of their global tour taking in USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. The album features Sara Neidorf on drums, Heike Marie Radeker (LeVent) on bass, Hakon Adalsteinsson (Third Sound & Gunman & Holy Ghost) on guitar and Anton Newcombe on multiple instruments.
- Note: the LP is available on clear vinyl.
- Jack Savoretti returns with his stunning new album, Singing To Strangers. Jack explains this origin of the title track: “That’s my job: I sing to strangers. That’s what I’ve spent most of my life doing. Singing to friends and family and fans; they’re already onside, so you can to some extent sing anything. Strangers need convincing, touching, connection.”
- Two co-written tracks on the album are amongst its highlights: ‘Touchy Situation’ was co-written with Bob Dylan, possibly because he’d heard Jack’s cover of the Dylan rarity ‘Nobody ’Cept You’, a song Jack found in Jackson Browne’s studio, on Written In Scars. From the sublime to the … even more sublime: ‘Music’s Too Sad Without You’ is the song Savoretti co-wrote and sang with Kylie Minogue for her recent Golden album. “She sing-whispers the song,” says Jack, “and I fell in love with that side of Kylie on her duet with Nick Cave on Where The Wild Roses Grow.”
Releases for 8 March 2019
There are some great new releases coming out on 8 March, starting off with Foals, who continue to hit new peaks with the bravest and most ambitious project of their career: not one but two astonishing new albums, of which Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1 is released this week. Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind kick-start 2019 with their incendiary second album, CollectiV, on which chain-gang chants, mutant soul, gospel and psychedelia mix with rock’n’roll at its most primal, feral and elemental. Sky Blue is a newly discovered time capsule of unreleased songs that Townes Van Zandt, one of the most celebrated songwriters of the twentieth century, created 46 years ago, plus two new, never-heard-before songs. Gold In A Brass Age is a vital new collection of songs by the multi-platinum-selling David Gray, who clearly still revels in song-craft, surprising himself as much as his fans along the way. And Dido is back with Still On My Mind, an album that wafts in like a beautiful breeze – a chilled-out tumble of sadness and joy, melancholy and bliss – with that familiar voice.
Our album of the week is Beware Of The Dogs, the full-length debut from proud, self-proclaimed stirrer Stella Donnelly, who fearlessly tells it like it is, whether to an abusive man, a terrible boss or a clueless significant other. Delivered entirely with a sarcastic wink and a full heart, this is a life-affirming statement of the power in sticking up for yourself, for your friends and for what’s right, and showcases an artist totally in command of her voice, able to wield her inviting charm and razor-sharp wit into authentically raw songs.
- Beware Of The Dogs is the full-length debut from proud, self-proclaimed stirrer Stella Donnelly. When something needs to be said, whether it’s to an abusive man, a terrible boss or a clueless significant other, the 26-year-old musician from Fremantle, Western Australia is fearless in telling it like it is. Delivered entirely with a sarcastic wink and a full heart, the 13 life-affirming songs that make up Beware Of The Dogs prove the power in sticking up for yourself, for your friends and for what’s right. The album showcases an artist totally in command of her voice, able to wield her inviting charm and razor-sharp wit into authentically raw songs. It’s a resounding statement of purpose in recent memory; and, most importantly, it’s a portrait of Donnelly taking charge.
- Note: the LP is available on olive-green vinyl.
- Foals have had a remarkable trajectory, from playing chaotic house parties in their home city of Oxford to becoming major festival headliners across Europe. And while the majority of their contemporaries have fallen by the wayside, Foals continue to hit new peaks. Now, after more than a decade in the game, Foals again embrace that love for the unconventional with the bravest and most ambitious project of their career: not one, but two astonishing new albums: Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost. A pair of releases, separate but related, they share a title, themes and artwork. Part 1 is released this week, with Part 2 following later in the year. “They’re two halves of the same locket,” explains frontman Yannis Philippakis. “They can be listened to and appreciated individually, but fundamentally, they are companion pieces.”
- Hot on the heels of 2018’s successful reunion with garage-psych testifiers Thee Hypnotics, singer and guitarist Jim Jones returns with The Righteous Mind. The band give 2019 a kick-start with the release of their incendiary second album, CollectiV. Rising from the ashes of The Jim Jones Revue, Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind paint from a broader sonic palette. Incorporating elements of chain-gang chants, mutant soul, gospel and psychedelia, Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind are fervent torchbearers for rock’n’roll at its most primal, feral and elemental.
- Sky Blue, a collection of unreleased songs by one of the most celebrated songwriters of the twentieth century, is a time capsule that Townes Van Zandt created 46 years ago, and that we’re only now able to unearth and open to find the treasures inside. This release shows the artist working out some of his most iconic songs in an intimate, comfortable setting with one of his life-long confidantes.
- Two new, never-heard-before songs sit alongside the unreleased acoustic archive recordings.
- Gold In A Brass Age is the eleventh album from David Gray, whose career has spanned more than 25 years and included several Brit and Grammy nominations and three No.1 UK albums, including the breakout, multi-platinum White Ladder. It is also a vital new collection of songs from an artist still revelling in his passion for song-craft, pushing himself into unfamiliar terrain, surprising himself as much as his fans along the way.
- Still On My Mind wafts in like a beautiful breeze, a chilled out tumble of sadness and joy, melancholy and bliss. That familiar voice is fully present, soft, intimate and delightfully conversational, caressing melodies over a subtle flow of beats, with an aching catch that tugs at the heart strings. She was the girl who got away. But after five years of silence, Dido is back.
Releases for 1 March 2019
Our recommendations for 1 March start with Lines, a trilogy of song cycles from The Unthanks, each using poetry to focus on a different female perspective: lines by Maxine Peake on fishermen’s rights campaigner Lillian Bilocca; on the centenary of World War One; and poems by Emily Brontë set to music played on her own piano in the parsonage in Haworth where she lived and worked. While Gary Clark Jr. didn’t set out to make a political album, writing This Land during the US elections in 2016 leant an inevitability to the outcome; this album demonstrates about empathy for all. Sundara Karma follow up their acclaimed debut, Youth Is Only Fun In Retrospect, with Ulfilas Alphabet, continuing their primary sound of hook-laden guitar-driven indie music. What a 12 months it’s been for Tom Walker! After scoring an international hit with ‘Leave A Light On’, the UK’s biggest breakout star starts 2019 with a bang with his much-anticipated debut album What A Time To Be Alive and a Brits nomination. 2019 looks certain to be a big year for this exciting artist. This week’s recommended dose of the heavy stuff comes from hard-rock veterans Queensrÿche, one of most respected and celebrated acts in the scene, who with The Verdict bring us their most metal and most progressive record in a long time.
Our release of the week is Wasteland, Baby!, singer-songwriter Hozier’s follow-up to his ridiculously successful eponymous debut album and last autumn’s Nina Cried Power EP. Hozier says: “The album has been over a year in the making and it’s a pleasure to finally turn out my pockets and share the work.”
- Wasteland, Baby! is singer-songwriter Hozier’s follow-up to his ridiculously successful eponymous debut album and last autumn’s Nina Cried Power EP. Hozier says: “The album has been over a year in the making and it’s a pleasure to finally turn out my pockets and share the work. I want to sincerely thank fans and listeners for their continued support in between the records. See you out on the road soon.”
- The Unthanks Lines (Trilogy)
- Lines is a trilogy of song cycles from The Unthanks, each with a very different subject but each using poetry to focus on a different female perspective.
- Note: this was released on 22 February.
- Lines Part One – Lillian Berocca CD £10.99 / LP £14.99
- Gary Clark Jr. was writing his new album, This Land, during the US presidential election in November 2016; and, while he didn’t set out to make a political album, there’s an inevitability to the outcome. Gary says: “I don’t wanna make this thing a whole political statement, who’s right or who’s wrong, because people are right and wrong anywhere you go.” His desire was to demonstrate and sing about empathy for all.
- Sundara Karma follow up their acclaimed debut, Youth Is Only Fun In Retrospect, with Ulfilas Alphabet. The album continues their primary sound of hook-laden guitar-driven indie music. Frontman Oscar Pollock says: “Normally I’ll have a batch of ideas and I’ll chip away at them for months until something emerges but I was fortunate enough to have that moment where everything fell into place.”
- What a 12 months it’s been for Tom Walker! After seeing his single ‘Leave A Light On’ become an international hit in 2018, the UK’s biggest breakout star has started 2019 with a bang with the release of his much anticipated debut album What A Time To Be Alive. Add to to that a Brits nomination, then as big as 2018 was, 2019 looks certain to be even bigger for Tom Walker.
- Queensrÿche are one of most respected and celebrated acts in the scene, selling over 30 million albums around the world. The Verdict is the most metal and the most progressive record that Queensrÿche have made in a long time.
Other releases for 2019
Find releases from 2018.
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