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Next Week in Music | Feb. 10-16 • The Short List: 8 Albums To Try Instead of The Biebs

Who needs Justin when you've got Anvil, Boniface, Huey, Nathaniel, Tami and more?


For those who still care, Justin Bieber has an album coming out next week. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to bother. Frankly, here are eight titles I’m more interested in hearing:

Legal at Last

THE PRESS RELEASE: “When it comes to virtues such as endurance, unconditional commitment and a thoroughly down-to-earth attitude, Anvil are the measure of all things. Like few other metal acts, the band surrounding founding members Steve ‘Lips’ Kudlow (vocals, guitars) and Robb Reiner (drums), plus bassist Chris Robertson have earned their laurels of blood, sweat and tears. This new album is very special to Anvil: “Legal At Last is mainly about two things,” Reiner explains, pointing to the cover artwork with a grin. We celebrate the legalisation of the Anvil bong because Canada changed its marijuana laws last year, which means we no longer sail close to the wind all the time. That’s why the album title announces that Anvil are legal at last. Our fans have always known that, but the public at large treated us like criminals for a long time.” Kudlow adds: “Legal At Last is our way of telling the public: ‘It’s okay, Anvil are okay, you’re allowed to like us at last!’ ”


THE PRESS RELEASE: “Boniface – who uses they/them pronouns – is the brainchild and primary creative outlet for Canada’s Micah Visser. A young artist who once comfortably blended in with the suburban landscape in which they grew up in (Saint Boniface in Winnipeg), but has since spent the last eighteen months finding not only their voice and this innate ear for deliriously affecting songcraft, but eventually finding themselves too; where they sit, their identity, and what they truly believe in and stand for. Boniface’s self-titled debut is a catalogue of Micah and their band’s most formative coming-of-age experiences, each moment captured in diary-like detail and set against a magnificently sprawling backdrop. Throughout the album, Micah reflects on falling in love and facing heartbreak whilst struggling with identity, never failing to find an ineffable beauty within all the pain. The result is a body of work both bracingly honest and powerfully exhilarating — an emotional journey that Visser encapsulates as “taking little detours and exploring the times when everything feels perfect.”

Huey Lewis &
The News


THE PRESS RELEASE:Huey Lewis & The News’ new album Weather features the group’s first new, original songs since 2001’s Plan B LP – plus one cover of the classic Eugene Church soul burner Pretty Girls Everywhere. Weather was produced in-house by Huey and the guys, just like every record they’ve made since the early 1980s. Unaware that recording sessions were about to be cut short by a 2018 Ménière’s disease diagnosis that could keep him from ever singing again, Lewis reflects on fleeting mortality with a rasp as uninhibited, witty, and confident as ever, backed by the same strength of smooth-sailing soul arrangements that first launched the group to international superstardom. “You’ve got to look on the bright side and stay creative. Even if I never sing again, things could always be worse. After all, I’m deaf, not dead.”

Tami Neilson

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Of her new album’s title, Chickaboom!, Tami explains, “I wanted to write an album of punchy little songs, popping firecrackers that, when stripped back to nothing but a guitar, percussion and two voices, would still go boom!” The new collection brings much personal and family history to the table. Chickaboom! is something different again, and even more personal. “In the past year, I started to notice something,” she says. “The artists I would spend time with backstage at festivals, the ones I gravitated to the most and followed on social media … artists like the Secret Sisters, Shovels & Rope, Kasey Chambers, Brandi Carlile … they all have family performing with them. When you tour away from loved ones, it makes a world of difference to have part of your village with you on the road. Not to mention, nothing can come close to that special blend of blood harmonies and silent communication that only comes from being onstage with a person for over 30 years. Family has always been a huge part my music-writing, recording and creating with me, but I wanted family on this project and on the road with me again.” Brother Jay flew to Auckland, New Zealand from Toronto to record a selection of new songs that have unmistakable sibling magic and harmonies. “I don’t think he quite understands what he’s gotten himself into but now the album’s coming out it’s a bit too late. Sucker,” she laughs.

Brian Posehn
Grandpa Metal

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The idea for Grandpa Metal is a perfect aggregate of Brian Posehn’s love of comedy and metal. “The original concept for this album came from bands like Scatterbrain and S.O.D., and even Cheech and Chong,” said Posehn. “They all made music that was fun and funny, heavy music that also made you laugh. I wanted this to be the ultimate comedy/metal record, a loving record that made fun of some of the things in heavy metal, so I called all my friends and asked for a bunch of favors. There’s a Satan song, and there’s a Viking song, there’s one song that sounds like Black Metal, and then there’s one that sounds like a Van Halen party song. The intention was just to make a funny metal/comedy record for people who like both of those things.” Grandpa Metal features guest appearances from some of metal’s finest including Brendon Small (Metalocalypse, Dethklok), Scott Ian and Jonathan Donais (Anthrax), Corey Taylor (Slipknot), Gary Holt (Slayer, Exodus), Jeff Pilson (Dokken), Alex Skolnick and Chuck Billy (Testament), singer/songwriter/comedian Al Yankovic, Pearl Aday, Johan Hegg (Amon Amarth), Joe Trohman and Patrick Stump (Fall Out Boy, The Damned Things), Michael Starr (Steel Panther), Jacob Bunton (Mars Electric), Rob and Aiden Cavestany (Death Angel), Steve “Zetro” Souza (Exodus), Kim Thayil (Soundgarden), Phil Demmel (Machine Head), Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Guns N’ Roses, Asia), and the late Jill Janus (Huntress). “This was such a dream project for me,” said Posehn. “I wanted to take my time, I wanted it to be perfect, so it took us six years to complete. It’s the Chinese Democracy of comedy-metal records. And it didn’t cost thirteen million dollars to make.”

Nathaniel Rateliff
And It’s Still Alright

THE PRESS RELEASE: “What began as a solo album about the painful slow dance of the unraveling of a relationship turned into something altogether different when Richard Swift, Nathaniel Rateliff’s longtime friend and producer of The Night Sweats’ two albums, fell ill from the complications of alcohol addiction. The two were close, both having been raised in strict religious households and experiencing similarly wrenching crises over their faltering faith. They bonded deeply when they worked on The Night Sweats’ 2015 debut album which was certified gold in 2017. “Richard always would say I was like his twin. His lost brother,” says Rateliff quietly. The two frequently discussed working on a solo album for Rateliff — his first since 2013’s Falling Faster Than You Can Run, where the singer/songwriter’s more personal writing could find a home. “Richard was really excited about working on it,” says Rateliff. “He’d send me ideas for it while I was working on The Night Sweats album. He told me, ‘Man, I can’t wait to start working on the solo stuff.’ We had this vision of making it like a Nilsson album. We were both big fans of Nilsson Sings Newman and A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night. We thought you can’t ever have too much Nilsson.” What Rateliff didn’t figure was that he’d be doing his solo album without his friend. In June, 2018 Swift was hospitalized for hepatitis. And soon after, on July 3rd, 2018, he passed away. Not surprisingly, after Swift’s death the scope of the album changed. No longer was it a bitter valentine about his failed marriage. Instead, it became an inquiry into getting older and losing those close to you, but still choosing to carry on, albeit with fractured hope.”

Tame Impala
The Slow Rush

THE PRESS RELEASE:Kevin Parker and Tame Impala’s fourth studio album The Slow Rush is Parker’s deep dive into the oceans of time, conjuring the feeling of a lifetime in a lightning bolt, of major milestones whizzing by while you’re looking at your phone, it’s a paean to creation and destruction and the unending cycle of life. “A lot of the songs carry this idea of time passing, of seeing your life flash before your eyes, being able to see clearly your life from this point onwards. I’m being swept by this notion of time passing. There’s something really intoxicating about it.” The album cover was created in collaboration with photographer Neil Krug and features a symbol of humanity all but swallowed whole by the surrounding environment, as though in the blink of an eye.”

The Third Mind
The Third Mind

THE PRESS RELEASE: “California supergroup The Third Mind, featuring an all-star line-up of players — Dave Alvin (guitar, vocals), Victor Krummenacher (bass, vocals), David Immergluck (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Michael Jerome (drums, percussion) with special guest Jesse Sykes (guitar, vocals) — will release their self-titled debut album, a six-song collection features one original composition and five covers. “Using the Miles Davis technique, there were no rehearsals or written musical arrangements. Just decide on a key, start recording and see what happens,” says Alvin. “During the sessions we simply sat in a circle and looked and listened closely to each other as we made everything up live on the spot. We chose songs/compositions primarily identified with the 1960s underground scene as a tribute to the open-minded music of that period as well as to the fearless musicians like Alice Coltrane, Michael Bloomfield, Fred Neil and Roky Erickson, who helped create the sounds of the era.”