New releases for 22 September 2023

First out of this week’s box of delights is João, a collection of songs made famous by Bebel Gilberto’s father. João Gilberto, widely regarded as the father of bossa nova music, passed away in 2019 after a 70-year career in music. Bebel began singing with him as a small child and the songs she sings on this new album have been with her all her life. Says Bebel: “João is a love letter to my father. Since my first album I’ve never really covered any of my Dad’s music. Now it’s time to present to the public the songs from João Gilberto that have influenced me since I was born – and even before.

Southern Star is the brand-new album from Grammy-nominated, critically acclaimed singer/songwriter Brent Cobb. He explains the album: “You know how when you’re growing up you’re told that if you ever get lost out there, look for the northern star to help find direction back home? Well, I’m from Georgia, so I always look for the southern star. This album, the songs, the sounds … it’s all a product of where I’m from both musically and environmentally. Historically and presently that place also happens to be the same place that cultivated a good many of the most influential artists in the whole world of music. Music as we know it would not exist without the American south. It’s funky and sentimental. It’s simple and complex.

Kylie’s brand-new studio album, Tension, is a record of euphoric, empowered dancefloor bangers and sultry pop cuts – eleven tracks of unabashedly joyful, pleasure-seeking, seize-the-moment pop tunes – with the hypnotic electro of ‘Padam Padam’ opening the album. Discussing Tension, Kylie says: “I started this album with an open mind and a blank page. Unlike my last two albums there wasn’t a ‘theme’; it was about finding the heart or the fun or the fantasy of that moment and always trying to service the song. I wanted to celebrate each song’s individuality and to dive into that freedom. I would say it’s a blend of personal reflection, club abandon and melancholic high.

Flying Wig is an album of recurrent dualities: a can of paradoxes, a box of worms. The cabin studio, surrounded by redwood and pine trees, in which Devendra Banhart was constantly listening to The Grateful Dead somehow birthed something slick, modernist, city pop-adjacent and Eno-esque. Banhart’s eleventh record is the actualisation of a precious friendship with the acclaimed solo artist, multi-instrumentalist, producer and Mexican Summer stable-mate Cate Le Bon – a coming together prophesied by the mirror-image titles of their early solo albums (Banhart’s 2002 Oh Me Oh My to Le Bon’s 2009 Me Oh My) and a tenderness built on crude haircuts (“we finally met, soon after she was cutting my hair with a fork and that was that”) and home-made tattoos – but never previously translated into the recording studio.

After forty years of marriage, Buddy & Julie Miller have learned to welcome a song however it arrives, questioning only where the song is taking them rather than where it originated. There’s no process, no assembly-line procedure; just an openness to those bursts of inspiration and those hours of refinement. This means their fourth album together, In the Throes, sounds lively and diverse, eccentric and slightly askew: a deeply soulful collision of mournful gospel, dusty country, cosmic blues, lusty rockabilly, ecstatic r&b and anything else that crosses their minds.

Our release of the week is Teenage Fanclub’s eleventh full studio album, Nothing Lasts Forever – a beautifully rich and melodic album that is the sound of a season’s end, of the last warm days of the year as nights begin to draw in and thoughts become reflective and more than a little melancholy. That reflection is everywhere on the record, whether on the autumnal folk-rock of ‘Tired of Being Alone’ that repositions Laurel Canyon to somewhere deep in the heart of the Wye Valley, the William Blake-quoting ‘Self-Sedation’ or the song that preceded Nothing Lasts Forever’s completion, last year’s ‘I Left a Light On’, where a spark of hope is kept alight at the end of a relationship.

Teenage Fanclub - Nothing Lasts ForeverBebel Gilberto - JoãoBrent Cobb - Southern StarKylie - TensionDevendra Banhart - Flying WigBuddy & Julie Miller - In the Throes

Click on an image to order your copy.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *