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Six Songs To Hear Today | Sept. 25, 2018

New tunage from John Hiatt, Rolling Blackouts CF, UMO & Whigs' frontmen and more.


Another day, another batch of tunes to help you get through it. Here’s a six-pack of new songs:

1 | I have written about John Hiatt‘s upcoming album The Eclipse Sessions before. But if you think I’m going to get tired of sharing previews, you’re wrong. Here’s the third peek at the southern singer-songwriter’s Oct. 18 release: A rootsy little firecracker called Poor Imitation of God. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “Hiatt places The Eclipse Sessions in a lineage alongside two of his greatest works — 1987’s mainstream breakthrough Bring the Family, which sprung from an impulsive four-day session with an all-star combo led by Ry Cooder, and 2000’s Crossing Muddy Waters, an unplanned and largely unplugged effort that garnered a Grammy Award nomination and also set Hiatt on the rootsier path he’s still pursuing today. “The three albums are very connected in my mind,” Hiatt says. “They all have a vibe to them that was unexpected. I didn’t know where I was going when I started out on any of them. And each one wound up being a pleasant surprise.” Get ready to sing his praises:

2 | Here’s a weird one: Chicago experimentalist Ryley Walker has reimagined the Dave Matthews Band’s lost 2001 album The Lillywhite Sessions. Why? Why not, I guess. Anyway, here’s his version of the leadoff track Busted Stuff. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “Walker delivers a powerful, heartfelt meditation on the twists and turns of an individual’s musical journey across a life of enthusiastic and curious listening. Through his thoughtful performance and rearrangement, with frequent collaborators Andrew Scott Young and Ryan Jewell, he submits that perhaps DMB is justly due the reassessment it’s slowly been granted in the pop zeitgeist as of late.” If you say so:

3 | Now that The Whigs don’t tour as much as they used to, frontman Parker Gispert has decided to take up the slack with a solo album. Sunlight Tonight comes out Nov 16 on New West Records, but you can hear the dreamy first single Life in the Goldielocks Zone right now. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “The morning we had booked the studio to record the harp for Goldilocks, we awoke to the news that Stephen Hawking had died. It was truly eerie and gorgeous to listen to Timbre Cierpke pluck an angelic harp on this cosmic song about outer space and ‘life’ in the immediate wake of Stephen’s passing.” Ladies and gentlemen, we are floating in space:

4 | Speaking of moonlighting frontmen, Unknown Mortal Orchestra leader Ruban Nielson apparently had some spare time during recording sessions for their latest disc Sex & Food. So he did what anybody would do: He made an instrumental album in Vietnam. Hear the jazzy, exotic results on Hanoi 6, a preview of the Oct. 26 album IC-01 Hanoi. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “The band recorded live sessions with local musician Minh Nguyen on Sáo Trúc, Đàn Môi, and Vietnamese Percussion and Nielson’s father, Chris, on flugelhorn, saxophone and keyboards. These sessions became IC-01 Hanoi: a sonic distillation of the band’s influences in Jazz, Krautrock, and the avant-garde. At its core Hanoi is a record of exploration, finding its closest antecedent in Miles Davis’ experimental On The Corner – itself a record full of nods toward avant-garde composers and jazz outsiders alike.” Expand your horizons:

5 | Seattle psychedelicists Night Beats shared Her Cold Cold Heart, the first track from their upcoming album Myth Of A Man, due Jan. 19 on Heavenly Recordings. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “While Danny Lee Backwell has always fed off the musical legacy of his Texas roots — Roky Erickson and the 13th Floor Elevators, The Red Krayola, The Black Angels and more paving the way for the the napalm-coated psych-rock headtrip of past albums — Myth Of A Man has him pulling from the surrogate wellspring of Nashville, Tenn. It was there that he worked with the eminent Dan Auerbach, and a murderer’s row of battle-worn session musicians—the combined weight of experience that comes from working with every legend from Aretha Franklin to Elvis not lost on Blackwell. “I was just humbled by being accepted,” he explains, “Big hearts all around.” Hear them beating:

6 | The wheels on the bus go round and round on the video for Sister’s Jeans, the summery new single from Australian pop-rock outfit Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: ”The first lines ‘stand on the morning / head like a weathervane’ came immediately – that was the clue. Then was the slow process of finding the other pieces to fit. The song is a platonic love song. It offers no answers. Just says, ‘Hi, I see you.’ ” Settle in for the ride:

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