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Next Week in Music | March 30 – April 5 • The Short List: Five Titles To Check Out

James Elkington, Lovely Eggs, PigsX7 & other titles that will have you thinking small.

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The bad news: It’s a particularly quiet week for big-name album releases. The good news: That gives you more time to sample some smaller artists and titles that might otherwise fall through the cracks. I’ll help you get started:


James Elkington
Ever-Roving Eye

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Chicago songwriter and guitarist James Elkington — who has collaborated with everyone from Richard Thompson to Jeff Tweedy to Tortoise — recorded his sophomore album at Wilco’s Loft, expanding upon his celebrated 2017 debut Wintres Woma as well as his recent production and arrangement work for the likes of Steve Gunn, Nap Eyes, and Joan Shelley. Casting glances back to British folk traditions as well as toward avant-garde horizons, these brilliant new songs, as accessible as they are arcane, buttress Elkington’s brisk guitar figures and baritone poesy with strings, woodwinds, and backing vocals by Tamara Lindeman of the Weather Station.”


The Lovely Eggs
I Am Moron

THE PRESS RELEASE: “For the last two years, The Lovely Eggs have watched England and the rest of the world slowly crumble. Their new album I am Moron contains their observations and relentless analysis of a modern culture that has brought humanity to its knees. I Am Moron is the follow-up to The Lovely Eggs’ critically acclaimed 2018 album This is Eggland. It marks their second album co-produced and mixed by Dave Fridmann (The Flaming Lips, MGMT, Tame Impala) and continues their journey through Eggland and into the unknown. Throughout their 13-year career, married couple Holly Ross and David Blackwell have embraced isolation. They’ve chosen to shun ordinary social conventions and dedicate their band and their life to the pursuit of what feels right. On I Am Moron, the Eggs retain the emotional weight of This is Eggland while using a mix of heavy psych, pop and strangeness to deepen their sound. Some songs flicker between earthly realism and the otherworldly loneliness of a one-way space mission.”


Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs
Viscerals

THE PRESS RELEASE: “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig” reasoned George Bernard Shaw. “You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.” True to form, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs have left the wiser of us aware that they are no band to be messed with. In the seven years since this band’s inception, the powerful primal charge at their heart has been amplified far beyond the realms of their original imagination. What’s more, no one has been more taken aback by this transformation than the band themselves. This upward trajectory has done nothing to make the Newcastle-based quintet complacent however, as they’ve used the cumulative force behind them as fuel for their most ambitious and hard-hitting record yet. Viscerals, their third proper, is an enormous leap forward in confidence, adventure and sheer intensity even from their 2018 breakthrough King Of Cowards. Incisive in its riff-driven attack, infectiously catchy in its songcraft and more intrepid than ever in its experimental approach, Viscerals is the sound of a leaner, more vicious Pigs, and one with their controls set way beyond the pulverising one-riff workouts of their early days.”


Thundercat
It Is What It Is

THE PRESS RELEASE:Thundercat’s new album It Is What It Is was produced by Flying Lotus and Thundercat, with musical contributions from Ty Dolla $ign, Childish Gambino, Lil B, Kamasi Washington, Steve Lacy, Steve Arrington, BadBadNotGood, Louis Cole and Zack Fox. It Is What It Is follows his game-changing third album Drunk (2017). That record completed his transition from virtuoso bassist to bonafide star and cemented his reputation as a unique voice that transcends genre. “This album is about love, loss, life and the ups and downs that come with that,” Thundercat says about It Is What It Is. “It’s a bit tongue-in-cheek, but at different points in life you come across places that you don’t necessarily understand … some things just aren’t meant to be understood. Thundercat first released Golden Age of Apocalypse (2011) and Apocalypse (2013), followed by EP The Beyond / Where The Giants Roam, featuring the modern classic Them Changes. He was later “at the creative epicenter” of the 21st century’s most influential hip-hop album: Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly, where he won a Grammy for his collaboration on the track These Walls before releasing Drunk.”


M. Ward
Migration Stories

THE PRESS RELEASE: “A prolific writer, producer, and performer, M. Ward has established himself as one of modern American music’s most unique and versatile voices. While he’s perhaps best known for his own remarkable output, Ward may be equally celebrated for his wide-ranging and adventurous collaborations. In just the last decade alone he’s teamed up with Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis, and Jim James to form the beloved super group Monsters of Folk, paired with Zooey Deschanel for six records as She & Him and worked in the studio and on the road with the likes of Mavis Staples, Jenny Lewis, Norah Jones, Cat Power, Neko Case, Lucinda Williams, Peter Buck, and countless more. Ward’s newest album Migration Stories marks his 10th studio release. Recorded at Arcade Fire’s Montreal studio, the collection is languid and hazy, blurring the lines between reality and fantasy as it reckons with a world that feels more divided than ever before, even as its inhabitants grow more inextricably linked by the day. Ward’s delivery is tender and gentle throughout the album’s eleven intimately rendered meditations, but there’s an undercurrent of darkness floating just beneath the surface, a persistent sense that the end may be closer than any of us dare to realize.”