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Next Week in Music | Oct. 12-18 • The Short List: 8 Titles You Want to Hear

Gord & Tom, Sam & Matt, Connie & the rest of the big names headed this way.

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Tom Petty and Gord Downie offer up posthumous releases, The National’s Matt Berninger steps into the solo spotlight, The Damned are outstanding in their field, Low Cut Connie, Sam Roberts and The Struts add to their catalogues, and Autechre gives us a sign next week. Read all about ’em:

 


Autechre
Sign

THE PRESS RELEASE:Sign is Autechre’s first new album since Elseq and contains some of their most emosh compositions in eons, perhaps since Tri Repetae. Practically pocket-sized in comparison to their sprawling torrent of live material and radio recordings in recent years, Sign is a return to the sort of concision found circa Exai and their earlier albums. Effectively they’ve gotten better to grips with their live setup, and the hyper ideas found in their work-in-progress demonstrations on the five-volume Elseq and eight hours of NTS Sessions have been refined into moments of crystalline ambient baroque beauty and liquid-limbed swag on Sign. After their music has undergone what could be called a growth spurt in recent years, the acrid plasma of their complex, hyper-inorganic systems feels to congeal, create more intricate snaps across the album, from the lush cosmic collisions of M4 Lema, to the rhizomic arp weaving on F7, while refining their tendons and muscle in the gyrostep of au14 and such.mefd2. The anthropomorphisation of their synthesis accelerates with the album’s second half with the elegiac catharsis of Metaz form8 displaying a greater emotional intelligence, while their shapeshifting synthesis grows semblances of glowing hair and teeth and skin in th red a, and even a plaintive human heartache in the systolic thud and bloo pads of psin AM that rawly bleeds out in the album’s future classic closer r cazt. This LP was hinted at by Autechre as one of two albums ready for 2020, so we’ll take it this is their U Ok Hun? one to some possibly more hardcore turns in the future. Have it.”


Matt Berninger
Serpentine Prison

THE PRESS RELEASE:Serpentine Prison is the debut solo record from Matt Berninger, front man of internationally acclaimed group The National. The album is produced by renowned Memphis multi-instrumentalist Booker T. Jones (of Booker T. & The MG’s fame). “For a long time, I had been writing songs for movies and musicals and other projects where I needed to get inside someone else’s head and convey another person’s feelings. I liked doing that, but I was ready to dig back into my own garbage,” Berninger says. The album features contributions from a wide array of notable artists, including Matt Barrick (Walkmen, Jonathan Fire*Eater), Andrew Bird, Mike Brewer, Hayden Desser, Scott Devendorf (The National), Gail Ann Dorsey (David Bowie, Lenny Kravitz), Booker T. Jones, Teddy Jones, Brent Knopf (EL VY, Menomena), Ben Lanz (The National, Beirut), Walter Martin (Walkmen, Jonathan Fire*Eater), Sean O’Brien, Mickey Raphael (Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan), Kyle Resnick (The National, Beirut), Matt Sheehy (EL VY, Lost Lander) and Harrison Whitford (Phoebe Bridgers). Additional production on the album was provided by Sean O’Brien.”


The Damned
The Rockfield Files

THE PRESS RELEASE: “In 1980 / 1981, The Damned went to Rockfield Studios for a series of sessions that eventually became The Black Album, The Friday 13th EP & Strawberries. Their time there produced some of The Damned’s greatest musical moments and memorable stories of horses, cows, vampires, rifles and Lemmy. In 2019 The Damned returned to Rockfield Studios to record the first new music since 2018’s Top 10 Evil Spirits album. The lineup included three out of the four Damned members that were at the original sessions — David Vanian, Captain Sensible & Paul Gray. There was also Monty Oxymoron on keyboards and Pinch on drums. Unbeknown to the band, this was to be the last recordings with the long-time drummer Pinch, who departed The Damned after their legendary show at The London Palladium last Halloween. For the first time, Tom Dalgety (Royal Blood, Rammstein, Ghost) took over the producer duties for the EP. Tom also mixed the tracks at his studio in Bath.”


Gord Downie
Away Is Mine

THE PRESS RELEASE:Away Is Mine is Gord Downie’s final solo recording, steered to life by “my oldest Toronto friend,” guitarist and co-writer Josh Finlayson. Downie recorded the 10 songs of Away Is Mine in July 2017 at The Tragically Hip’s studio in Bath, Ont., mere months before he died on Oct. 17 that year. A characteristically questing and idiosyncratic work that holds fast to its author’s unwavering artistic spirit, Away Is Mine is a contemplation on Gord’s life, written with his deft hand and forever inscrutable sense of humour even as he locked eyes with the Great Inevitability. “This won’t be his last release, but these are the final 10 songs Gord sang before he passed away. The last time he ever sang into a mic,” brother Patrick Downie wrote in a statement. “That’s pretty special to us.” Presented as a double album with electric and acoustic versions of all 10 songs, the 20-track collection highlights Gord’s poetic mastery at its most bare and personal, with vibrant yet haunting production that casts each song in different otherworldly light.”


Low Cut Connie
Private Lives

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Alternating between raucous, full-tilt, rock and roll ecstasy and gritty, stripped-down vulnerability, Private Lives is Low Cut Connie’s most potent and wide-ranging work to date. While Adam Weiner might not call it a concept album, there is an underlying architecture at play here. The record vacillates between riotous, anarchic anthems and raw, painfully honest solo performances, underscoring shifts between the public and private self. Coincidentally released against the backdrop of a global quarantine, Private Lives reminds us that our isolations and connections relate to so much more than the external, physical world. “Where do people go to be with ‘their people,’ and how do they find them? How well do we see ourselves and our own isolation?” Weiner asks. “I’m obsessed with understanding people’s interior lives. In order to explore that idea, I had to create a flow that went in and out of these characters’ private spheres. There had to be a push and pull between their external and internal worlds. I knew if I was going to pull that off, I was going to have make a big album.”


Tom Petty
Wildflowers & All The Rest

THE PRESS RELEASE: “During Tom Petty’s final interview with the Los Angeles Times, as the triumphant 40th-anniversary tour with The Heartbreakers was coming to an end, he announced that his next big focus would be to finally revisit his 1994 masterpiece Wildflowers, co-produced with Rick Rubin and Mike Campbell. Wildflowers in many ways changed Tom’s creative life — as a recording artist, collaborator and band leader — while a profound, personal crisis transformed the stories and emotional thrust in his songs. Tom ultimately wrote more songs than he could release at the time. In fact, Tom, Rubin and Campbell completed the album as a double CD with 25 songs, nearly two hours of music, but his label advised restraint. Released on Nov. 1, 1994, Wildflowers — a single CD with 15 songs, still more than an hour in length — was Tom’s most acutely confessional album to date. Tom had always intended to release the second half of the album — a collection he named All The Rest, featuring 10 songs from the sessions that were left off the original version and five unreleased tracks (different versions of four other songs would appear on the soundtrack to the 1996 film, She’s The One). Wildflowers & All The Rest, the long-awaited reissue and comprehensive collection, is becoming a reality due to the commitment of his loving family, bandmates and collaborators who helped unearth many previously unheard gems.”


Sam Roberts
All Of Us

THE PRESS RELEASE:Sam Roberts Band have been teasing fans with new music from theirnew studio album All Of Us. The album’s opener Wolf Tracks immediately dumps us in the Covidian wilderness, socially distanced from the pack, scattered and alone. Where does the path lead? To a version of the abyss that holds promise? This twilight-set album is not, however, radically optimistic so much as it refuses to fall into despair. Throughout this heartbreaking journey, Sam Roberts Band moves emphatically towards the 21st year of the 21st century, where life isn’t just passing us by, it’s coming at us with a chainsaw and an eviction notice. In this swirl of malevolence, salvation arrives not in the narrow kinship of the wolf pack, but in a much larger program of solidarity. The clue is in the album’s title: All Of Us. One of their strongest efforts yet, All Of Us is a compelling body of work from a band whose future continues to unfold.”


The Struts
Strange Days

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The third full-length from British rock band The Struts, Strange Days came to life over the course of a charmed and frenzied burst of creativity last spring. After getting tested for COVID-19, singer Luke Spiller, guitarist Adam Slack, bassist Jed Elliott, and drummer Gethin Davies all moved into the Los Angeles home of Jon Levine, a producer who worked extensively on their acclaimed sophomore effort Young & Dangerous. Within just 10 days of couch-crashing at Levine’s house, The Struts had laid down nine original tracks and one masterful cover of a Kiss B-side: a lean, mean body of work that amounts to their most glorious output to date. “It was so much fun to make a record this way instead of getting everything done in between touring, working with multiple producers in multiple countries,” says Spiller. “We were all just burning to capture that excitement as much as we possibly could, and at times it felt like the songs were literally just falling from the sky.” In an organic turn of events for a band massively embraced by some of rock ’n’ roll history’s greatest icons, Strange Days finds The Struts joining forces with a formidable lineup of guest musicians: Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott and Phil Collen, Albert Hammond Jr. of The Strokes, Tom Morello and Robbie Williams. Mixed by Claudius Mittendorfer (Panic! At the Disco, Arctic Monkeys, Johnny Marr), the result is a powerhouse album that lifts The Struts’ glammed-up breed of modern rock to entirely new and wildly thrilling heights.”