Each week, Release Day Selections feature new LPs and EPs for the JamBase team to check out on release day Friday. This week we’re highlighting new albums from Howlin Rain, Natalie Hemby, James Blake, Bahamas, The Record Company, BadBadNotGood and Kevin Morby. Read on for more information on the records we’ve all queued up to spin.
Howling rain – The wheel of dharma
The scoop: The wheel of dharma is the new six-song, 52-minute album released today from Howling rain. The group led by the main member Ethan Miller recorded the album during breaks on tour, sometimes reaching the studio within hours of leaving the stage. Miller was joined by the guitarist Daniel Cervantes, bass player Jeff McElroy and drummer Justin smith during sessions that took place before the COVID-19 pandemic. Miller spent confinement finishing songs with Tim Green at his Louder Studios in Grass Valley, Calif. Two songs on The wheel of dharma (“Prélude” and “Annabelle”) feature renowned violinist Scarlet rivera whose credits include Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue, among many others. Circles Around The Sun keyboardist Adam macdougall appears on the songs “Don’t Let The Tears”, “Rotoscope” and the 16-minute title song that closes the album.
“I wanted to The wheel of dharma to be a portal to our everyday world, the one from which you stand on hard ground and hold the album in your hands and look into the artwork and into another universe, ”Miller said. “You step into this universe with your eyes, ears and mind and take a tour through a free-form meditation on these ideas – from the great fundamental concepts of our existence to the fat that rolls on a person’s arm. Pulp Novel Killer as he eats a gas station hot dog in an old dodge in an alleyway.
Nathalie Hemby – Pins and needles
The scoop: Renowned singer-songwriter Nathalie Hemby released his album Pins and needles today via Fantasy Records. While the new record marks only Hemby’s second solo album after his debut solo LP in 2017 Puxico, the acclaimed songwriter has co-written eight No.1 singles for a list of star country artists over the past 15 years. Natalie continues her collaborative work on Pins and needles, teaming up to write with Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Brothers Osborne, Aaron Raitiere and more with other songwriters like Daniel Tashian and Barry Dean, among others. Sonically, the record – produced by Hemby’s husband Mike Wrucke – captures the sound of the 1990s, a formative period in Natalie’s musical journey. The 11-track effort claims “influences from Tom Petty to Sheryl Crow and… rock and early ’90s roots,” the release material for the album noted.
“Have ants is the record that I’ve never had the chance to make and always wanted to make, ”Hemby said in a press release. “It’s the sound of the late 90s, which is the sound of my life as a young adult.”
James Blake – Friends who break your heart
The scoop: English singer-songwriter and producer James blake published today Friends who break your heart, his fifth studio album. The 12-song, 44-minute set was released via Republic / Polydor after a month of delay due to the pandemic. Guests include SZA, JID, SwaVay and Monique Martin. Blake wrote or co-wrote all 12 songs on the LP under his legal name of James Literland. James worked with a wide range of producers on the 2019 follow-up Assume the form including Dominic Maker, Jameela Jamil, Take a Daytrip and Joji.
James Blake has been asked to bring in “big names” for LP collaborations, but has instead chosen musicians he enjoys working with. “Features seem to be the biggest part of the conversation because it’s all about ‘cross-pollinated fan bases’, but ‘who’s going to be on your album?’ is the conversation I hate the most, “Blake told GQ.” I just want to make great music and work with people I have fun with. Today I don’t do a session if I think it’s not gonna be fun.If I don’t want to laugh or have fun, I just don’t see the point.
Bahamas – Live To Tape Volume I
The scoop: Bahamas (Afie jurvanen) kept busy during the peak of the pandemic by performing with some of his favorite artists remotely from his studio in Halifax, Nova Scotia for the Live on tape live series. Jurvanen has put together the highlights of the series for a digital EP, single, and vinyl release. Today the Bahamas released the digital EP Live To Tape Volume I with six performances of Live on tape collaborations produced and mixed by Robbie Lackritz (Feist, Jack Johnson, The Weather Station).
Jurvanen recorded two tracks included on the EP with longtime Jason Isbell band, Unit 400. Live To Tape Volume I also features collaborations between the Bahamas and Secret sisters in which they were accompanied by the famous drummer of musicians from Nashville Chrisman Gene (Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson), bassist Dave roe (Johnny Cash, Sturgill Simpson) and multi-instrumentalist Russ pahl (Kacey Musgraves, Glen Campbell). “Dan Knobler is our conductor in the field, turning the chords into numbers and helping everything run smoothly, ”explained Jurvanen of the guitarist’s key role in the long-distance collaborations between Halifax and Nashville. Expect the second volume to arrive in November and the third in March.
The record company – Play loud
The scoop: Los Angeles based trio The record company released their third album, Play loud, today via Concord Records. The group composed of the guitarist / singer Chris Vos, bass player Alex Stiff and drummer Marc Cazorla have embarked on the project with the intention of expanding their blues rock sound. To help facilitate this, the group enlisted Grammy-winning producer Dave Sardy (Oasis, Wolfmother, Modest Mouse, LCD Soundsystem). The basic tracks for the 12-song album were recorded live in May 2020, with extra time given by the pandemic to complete them in the following months.
“We came to the table for our third album with solid demos on songs that could have passed for our first two albums, and we asked, ‘Can we beat it? Vos said. “And for the first time, we allowed talented people to come into our little circle to push the music higher.”
“In the past, we were really islanders,” Stiff said. “It was all just us. We totally reversed the process on this record to allow for all the ideas and possibilities, so it wasn’t just the three of us, locked in our bubble. It was like, ‘Let’s take risks and see what we can really do.’ ”
Bad Bad Not Good – Talk Memory
The scoop: Cutting-edge Canadian band and production group Bad Bad Not Good come back with their first studio album in five years, Talk Memory, via XL Recordings. The sequel to 2016 IV sees the trio – guitarist and woodwind specialist Leland whitty, drummer Alexander Sowinski and bassist Chester hansen – returning to their jazz roots after working in the hip hop sphere with a number of acclaimed artists in the genre including Kendrick Lamar, Ghostface Killah, Tyler, The Creator and more. In the spirit of jazz, the tracks on the album – recorded in various analog studios and mixed by Russell Elevado – focus on improvisation and how a song evolves over time live. Rather than recording the tracks and developing them on tour, BBND tested the songs for the studio.
“It took a year or two of living life to get to where the creative process was exciting again, and once we got into the studio, these are the most concise studio performances we’ve ever had. eues, ”the group said. in a report. “We hope that the improvised studio performances bring the listener closer to our live experience.”
Improvisation is a highly collaborative process and BBNG has invited a number of guests for the album, including the iconic Brazilian producer and musician. Arthur verocai, which appears on several tracks including the single “Beside April” as well as “Talk Meaning” closer with Martin Terrace and Brandee Young. Multi-instrumentalist Laraaji contributes to the opening of the album, “Unfolding (Momentum 73).”
Kevin Morby – A night in little Los Angeles
The scoop: A night in little Los Angeles is a collection of Kevin Morby’s demos he did in his home studio (“The Little Los Angeles”) in Kanasas City on a 4-track Tascam 424 recorder. The demos served as the source material for Morby’s 2020 album, Sunset. Demos of nine of the 10 songs on Sunset are presented on A night in little Los Angeles. The demo of Morby 2020’s standalone single, “US Mail,” is also included in release today on Dead Oceans. Morby discussed the recording of the A night in little Los Angeles demos on an episode of The JamBase podcast, by declaring:
“I’ve had [a 4-track recorder] in high school and never really made it. And I just thought that since I was going to be here with a little bit of free time, I might as well buy something that I could play with, and kind of just stay almost as a hobby or something. And by then I was done writing [Morby’s 2019 album] oh my God.
“So I kind of got this idea, ‘oh, maybe I’ll have a 4 track’, and I can do like a 4 track version just to learn the machine. And before I could even really start this project, I ended up writing this brand new collection of songs, which became Sunset.
“I wrote the whole record with headphones, sort of listening to myself in real time. It was kind of like I was in this closed environment, in two different ways: in a way in my house. in Kansas City sort of isolated, and in another way it was very internal – I was singing into a machine and it was playing it straight on me and I was shut off by my headphones. really became a writing companion in a way.
Compiled by Scott Bernstein, Nate Todd and Andy Kahn.