New releases for 19 April 2024

This week’s hot six blasts off with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Pearl Jam, who return with their highly anticipated new album, Dark Matter. The band’s 12th studio album was produced by Grammy Award-winning producer Andrew Watt.

It All Comes Down to This features 10 straight-to-the-point tracks and takes A Certain Ratio back to their roots, with a sprinkling of electronics for good measure. It is the first time the band has recorded as the core 3-piece line-up of Jez Kerr, Martin Moscrop and Donald Johnson with no members of their live set-up or additional collaborators. Following on from last year’s acclaimed album 1982 and electrifying EP 2023, It All Comes Down to This continues the lineage of constant progression demonstrated by the band.

Lucy Rose was busy balancing the success of her own career with running a record label when she was diagnosed with a rare illness in the summer of 2021. This Ain’t the Way You Go Out is an album constructed from the ashes of despair, nurturing the tiniest of green shoots and giving life to something that had looked otherwise spent. It’s a new era for Lucy, and an era in its purest, truest sense. This is an artist re-awakening herself to the power of music, and having a lot of fun in the process of its discovery and delivery.

Live on Mountain Stage: Outlaws & Outliers compiles some highlights from the ‘Mountain Stage’ radio programme curated by the show’s co-founder and long-time host, Larry Groce. With four decades worth of recordings in its archives, many documenting artists in their formative years, this is an essential release. “I’ve had the privilege of listening to some of these tracks and they’re just jaw-droppingly gorgeous,” says Groce. Produced by West Virginia Public Broadcasting in Charleston, ‘Mountain Stage’ is heard on nearly 300 public radio stations nationwide and continues to present world-class performances with the same passion, dedication, and curiosity that’s guided it from the start. Some of their most iconic guests include John Prine, Wilco, R.E.M., Phish, Townes Van Zandt, Patti Smith, Allen Ginsberg, Dr. John, Buddy Guy and Preservation Hall Jazz Band, to name but a few.

Grammy- and Oscar-winning producer, musician and songwriter T Bone Burnett is back to form with an album of 12 folk tracks featuring artists Lucius, Roseanne Cash and Weyes Blood. “With this record, I tried to treat myself as kindly as I would try to treat other people,” says Burnett, who likens his producing approach to that of a photographer. “I try to find the person’s best angle and light them so they look the most like themselves or the best version of themselves. And this time, rather than staying in the romantic notion I previously had of myself – of a rebellious artist, a firebrand or whatever I thought I was trying to be – I just tried to be kind to myself.” Ultimately, in looking for ‘you’, T Bone Burnett found himself on The Other Side.

There can be only one choice for our release of the week. Undeniable, unreviewable and unstoppable: the behemoth that is Taylor Swift returns with The Tortured Poets Department – her eleventh studio album. Nothing more needs to be said.

Taylor Swift - The Tortured Poets DepartmentPearl Jam - Dark MatterA Certain Ratio - It All Comes Down to ThisLucy Rose - This Ain’t the Way You Go OutVarious Artists - Live on Mountain Stage: Outlaws & OutliersT Bone Burnett - The Other Side

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