Luther Dickinson rolls doubles, Magic Giant tell an elephant joke, It Came From Beneath go dark and more in today’s Roundup. RIP Mark Hollis.
1 Once is not enough for Luther Dickinson. Hot on the heels of Amour, his recent romantically rootsy romp with Rodeo King Colin Linden, the Mississippi All-Stars singer-guitarist is gearing up for next month’s release of Solstice, an all-star collaboration with Sisters of the Strawberry Moon — a.k.a. a revolving cast of female artists including Amy Helm, Amy LaVere, Birds of Chicago, Sharde Thomas and the Como Mamas. And in keeping with his double-time theme, here are two new previews of the disc: A live performance video of Like a Songbird That Has Fallen, a glimmering swamp ballad co-starring Helm and singer-fiddler Lillie Mae (above); and the tender, Under the Boardwalky Hallelujah (I’m a Dreamer) featuring LaVere. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The whole idea of this album was to introduce a bunch of friends and get them to collaborate with each other,” says Dickinson. “I wanted to let the chemistry flow, to create an environment where everyone’s flavors naturally blended together and each artist could just be themselves.” Hallelujah, indeed:
2 You might think an elephant never forgets. But that’s only because you haven’t met Freddy, the pachyderm protagonist of L.A.pop-rock crew Magic Giant’s video for the single Rocketman. He’s clearly forgotten where he belongs. Good think he’s got a dance crew — and the gents from American Authors — to help him get back in touch with his humble beginnings. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The song captures a sense of “looking back on a relationship that was missing something and the realization that maybe it just wasn’t the right fit…but you still can’t help loving that person.” Pack your trunk:
3 What’s Monday afternoon without a little French deathcore brutality — along with some subterranean blowtorch vocals, of course? And maybe a video that’s so dark you can barely make out what’s going on — and might be somewhat creeped out by the few moments you can? Well, look no further than the fittingly titled Fading Lights, the new clip from Lyon death merchants It Came From Beneath. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “With its new album the guys goes beyond anything they have been able to produce before, interweaving without any complexes devastating rhythmics, deep melodies, breakdowns and dramatic atmospheres to redefine its own vision of Deathcore.” Easy for you to say:
4 Too often, EDM tracks are the equivalent of amusement park rides: They build and build in speed and intensity while some anonymous dude asks if you wanna go faster — but ultimately, you end up right back where you started. Give credit to Matroda for flipping the script with his new single True G — a track that’s unafraid to turn the knobs the other way and slow down the sounds until they practically halt dead in their tracks. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Mixing his signature rousing low-end with infectiously quirky percussion and sly vocals from Brux, Matroda flashes his chops on the heavy hitting True G. The new single highlights the essence of Matroda’s distinct sound on a sonic joyride through bass music.” Do you wanna go slower? I can’t hear you!
5 He’s No. 1! Ne’s No. 1! At least in Germany. EdGuy frontman Tobias Sammet has apparently topped the album charts in his homeland with Moonglow, the latest disc from his supergroup-collective Avantasia. So, in the fine tradition of striking while the iron is hot, he has released a new lyric video for the song Starlight, a propulsive, tightly constructed number that balances a chugging low-neck riff with a soaring vocal. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “It’s beautiful to see how this worked out for me with a sound, for which – according to the opinion of some experts – there is no place in this generic mainstream world. And the best thing is: Fans all around the world love the record and we can kick off our world tour knowing of their support and have lots of fun!” Word:
6 As the cliche goes, almost nobody bought The Velvet Underground’s albums — but everyone who did started a band. Guess that trope still holds true for Montreal quintet Pottery, judging by the strummy garage-rock simplicity of their latest single Lady Solinas — not to mention its lyrical content. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Lady Solinas is a satirical take on the story of Andy Warhol’s shooter, Valerie Solanas (Warhol’s writer of the screenplay UP YOUR ASS, also the writer of SCUM Manifesto). The story is used to consider the power of passion in artists and its effect on their mental condition. Although the lyrics hold a serious message, the approach to convey it is ultimately comedic.” I guess their 15 minutes begins now:
7 At least once a week — and sometimes more than once a day — I am introduced via email to the new single from the latest so-called Next Big Thing. Most of the time, they turn out to be pretty forgettable. Not this time. Tell Your Friends, the new single from L.A. pop-rocker Maddie Ross’s upcoming debut album Never Have I Ever, is one of those songs that sinks its hooks into you instantly and is harder to get rid of than glitter after the party. You have been warned. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Tell Your Friends kicks off the LP by painting the picture of a high school morning drop-off scene, where the new kid pulls up to school for the first time … It’s about inviting everyone to a party, and is supposed to feel inclusive and positive, like graduation night when all of the drama has passed and everybody is down to drink together, no matter their old friend groups.” Tell your mom:
8 Leo (Bud) Welch was in many ways a typical Delta bluesman. For better or worse. Although the Mississippi native played music his entire life, moving between the juke joints on Saturday night and the church on Sunday morning, he earned his keep doing the hard manual labour of a lumberjack. He didn’t make an album until he was in his 70s — and died last year after releasing just two discs. Thankfully, before he passed, he went into the studio with Black Keys leader Dan Auerbach and his band The Arcs. So now we have the wonderfully titled posthumous album The Angels In Heaven Have Done Signed My Name, due in March. And if the soothing gospel of I Want To Be At The Meeting is anything to go by, this album is going to be truly heavenly. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Working with Bud was a true blessing and I’ll never forget it,” Auerbach shares. “Bud taught us the songs that he’d been playing since he was a kid. He was so soulful. When he sang, you listened. And his guitar playing was steady as a rock.” Amen.