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Next Week in Music | April 12-18 • The Short(ish) List: 15 Titles You Want to Hear

Lennon, McCarney, Greta, Greg, Eric and the rest of the big names on your playlist.

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No time for snappy patter — there are too many albums to talk about this week. Let’s get right down to business:

 


The Armed
Ultrapop

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Featuring work from Mark Lanegan and Queens of the Stone Age guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen, this is the first album co-produced by the band’s own Dan Greene in collaboration with Ben Chisholm (Chelsea Wolfe). Kurt Ballou remains at the helm as executive producer.  Ultrapop is the genre of music that said album features. It reaches the same extremities of sonic expression as the furthest depths of metal, noise, and otherwise “heavy” counterculture music subgenres, but finds its foundation firmly in pop music and pop culture. As is always The Armed’s mission, it seeks only to create the most intense experience possible, a magnification of all culture, beauty, and things.


Autogramm
No Rules

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Autogramm is a synth-driven, power-pop trio from Vancouver drawing influences from the likes of The Cars, The Go Go’s, Gary Numan, 20/20 and Devo. The band members are Jiffy Marx of Brooklyn’s Hard Drugs and Vancouver’s Blood Meridian, CC Voltage of Berlin’s Dysnea Boys, London’s Loyalties and Vancouver’s Black Halos and Spitfires, and The Silo of Vancouver’s Black Mountain, Lightning Dust, Destroyer and more recently Chicago’s Spun Out. The band have a longstanding connection to the art, punk, and skateboarding community. No Rules is Autogramm’s sophomore release. The album keeps with their tradition of crafting singalong pop-anthems, while adding angular elements that are reminiscent of Ghost in the Machine-era Police. For the band, the album title No Rules refers less to a no-gods-no-masters set of rules as it does to a no boundaries aspiration. Instead of building walls they want to build bridges.”


Cannibal Corpse
Violence Unimagined

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The title tells you everything you need to know about Cannibal Corpse’s 15th hellish opus. Comprised of 11 tracks, it is state of the art death metal played with passion and breathless precision, making for another flawless addition to what is inarguably one of the premier catalogues the genre has thrown up. “It really follows the path we’ve been going down for a few years now,” states bassist and founding member Alex Webster. “I think we approach the writing in a similar way most every time: each of us try to write the heaviest, most memorable songs we can. We want each song to have its own identifiable character. Showing my age, I like to say you can ‘drop the needle’ on any point of one of our albums and quickly tell which song you’re listening to.”


Eric Church
Heart

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Speaking directly to fans in a video message, CMA Entertainer of the Year Eric Church confirmed new music is on the horizon: “I have three albums coming out in April. They came out of my 28 days in the mountains of North Carolina, where the songs were recorded and written. The collection is entitled Heart & Soul.” In keeping with his longtime commitment to put fans first, Church created the middle album, &, specifically for the Church Choir and will make it available exclusively to those fans and only as a vinyl record on April 20. The other two albums, Heart and Soul, will be available everywhere on April 16 and April 23. “I’ve always been intrigued when a song is born in a writer room — there is a magic that happens there,” shares Church of the unique process that went into making this project. “I wanted to put that in the studio form. So, every day, we would write a song in the morning and we would record the song that night. Doing it that way allowed for the songwriters to get involved in the studio process and the musicians to be involved in the creative process. You felt a little bit like you were secretly doing something that was special, and you knew it… You started going, ‘hmm, wait ’til the world finds out about this.’”


Garage A Trois
Calm Down Cologne EP

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Garage A Trois return in the form from which they were born 22 years earlier with a new studio album, Calm Down Cologne. Comprised by guitarist Charlie Hunter, saxophonist Skerik and drummer Stanton Moore, OG GAT released their debut album Mysteryfunk to wide acclaim in 1999. The band evolved over the pursuant years in various configurations before eventually going on hiatus following its 2015 album, Always Be Happy, But Stay Evil. In 2019, however, the original three piece line-up reunited for a handful of shows. This would also result in an afternoon spent recording at Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard’s Studio Litho in Seattle, right across the street from where the band was playing a sold-out three-night run at Nectar Lounge. A high-stepping mind/body elixir, Calm Down Cologne finds Garage A Trois in full improvisational flight, composing live, in the moment, on the studio floor.”


Greta Van Fleet
The Battle At Garden’s Gate

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Greta Fan Fleet are hurtling into the future with their second album The Battle at Garden’s Gate. A bold evolution from the band’s 2018 full-length debut Anthem of the Peaceful Army, The Battle At Garden’s Gate came together primarily on the road or while in the studio after the runaway success of 2017’s Highway Tune led to the band packing up, leaving home, and eagerly soaking up new experiences on an extended road trip around the world. Accordingly, Greta Van Fleet poured everything they experienced into these new songs — the music reflects their spiritual and intellectual growth, increased awareness of the inequalities plaguing the modern world, and deep empathy for what other people are going through. “We realized that while growing up, we had been shielded by many things, and we were unaware of a lot of things,” says drummer Danny Wagner. “And then we were thrown out into this huge world, and it was a bit of a culture shock at first. But as we started to travel a lot, meet new and different people and experience different cultures, our definition of ‘normal’ changed.”


Norah Jones
…’Til We Meet Again

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Nearly two decades into her storied career, nine-time Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, pianist, and 2020’s most livestreamed artist Norah Jones…‘Til We Meet Again on is her will release her first full live album. The collection presents globe-spanning performances from the U.S., France, Italy, Brazil, and Argentina that were recorded between 2017-2019. The 14 songs featured on …‘Til We Meet Again span Jones’ entire career from her 2002 debut Come Away With Me, 2004’s Feels Like Home, 2012’s Little Broken Hearts, 2016’s Day Breaks, as well as her more recent singles series. The album closes with Jones’ stunning solo piano performance of Soundgarden’s Black Hole Sun, a tribute to Chris Cornell that was recorded at the Fox Theatre in Detroit just days after Cornell’s death following a performance at the same venue.”


Greg Keelor
Share The Love

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Blue Rodeo co-founder Greg Keelor had a solo album, Share the Love, finished in early 2020. It was mastered and ready to manufacture, and he was scheduled to meet his record company for a marketing meeting when the world shut down. For months he laid low, like everyone else. Finally, he figured: fuck it. Everyone else is still releasing records, and it’s not like this is a Marvel movie. So he assembled a band, booked a community centre near his Kawartha farm, had everyone tested beforehand, and spent two days playing the new material live — physically distant, in a semi-circle, no headphones — while shooting a promotional film and rolling tape. It felt good — really good, in fact. Then a funny thing happened. Listening back to the audio mixes, Keelor thought it was far superior to the finished studio record. There was a magic here. No surprise: for Keelor and likely everyone else, this was the longest period in their life when they’d gone without playing music with others. Everyone had been pent up. With only two rehearsals, they brought the material to life in ways Keelor couldn’t have imagined. Harmonious, in every way. He soon made the decision: this should be the album. Leave the studio version on the shelf. Share the Love was reborn.”


Spencer Krug
Fading Graffiti

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Spencer Krug’s Fading Graffiti is an experiment in two ways. The first is the way in which it reimagines what were once intricate piano ballads — originally posted to the artist’s Patreon page over the course of 2019 — into full-band rock songs. The approach finds the songs brimming with new electricity, yet still alluring in their abstract lyricism and unconventional structures. The second experiment: this is Wolf Parade member’s first self-release, through a tiny operation called Pronounced Kroog, with the aforementioned Patreon used to help fund the creation of the album. Being the first LP released under his own name, Fading Graffiti marks a new way of making records for this songwriter.”


John Lennon
John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band: The Ultimate Collection 

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “From the haunting, funereal bells and emotional wails of opening track Mother, it was immediate — John Lennon’s first solo studio album was unlike anything he had made before. Recorded in 1970, shortly after the demise of The Beatles, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band saw John stripping away the artifice and ornamentation for a visceral artistic exorcism that was confessional, raw, painfully honest, and revelatory. Inspired by the primal scream psychotherapy he and wife Yoko Ono had been practicing with Dr. Arthur Janov, John, joined by the minimalist Plastic Ono BandRingo Starr on drums and Klaus Voorman on bass, and producer Phil Spector — confronted his demons, professed his love for his wife, railed against false idols and declared the dream was over on his most personal album. Today it stands as the towering achievement of his solo career — the moment the biggest rock star in the world bared his soul for all to hear — as real as it was revolutionary. To celebrates the 50th anniversary of the transformational and influential masterpiece, it’s being reissued in an eight-disc super deluxe box set containing scores of unreleased and rare demos, rehearsals, outtakes, jams and studio conversations, creating an immersive, deep listening experience and in-depth exploration of what Lennon described as “the best thing I’ve ever done.”


Paul McCartney
McCartney III Imagined

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Hailed upon its release last year, Paul McCartney’s McCartney III is moving into the future in the form of McCartney III Imagined.  Personally curated by Paul, McCartney III Imagined features an A-list assortment of friends, fans and brand new acquaintances — Damon Albarn, Beck, Blood Orange, Phoebe Bridgers, Josh Homme, Khraungbin, 3D RDN of Massive Attack, Ed O’Brien (EOB), Anderson .Paak, St. Vincent and more — each covering and/or reimagining their favorite McCartney III moments in their own signature styles. The result is a kaleidoscopic reinterpretation of an album Rolling Stone accurately tagged “an inspiration to us all” — one that serves as an extension of the instantly beloved album while standing on its own as brilliant and adventurous milestone in the McCartney discography.”


Miesha & The Spanks
Singles EP

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Miesha & The Spanks offer a dynamic mixture of punk, garage and hard rock embellished with straightforward lyrics, gritty production and hard hitting performances. Inspired by proto punk classics like The Runaways, MC5 and The Stooges, and ’90s riot grrrl/grunge like L7 and The Gits, M&TS conjure an energy that hits you in the face, throwing you into a world of killer riffs and sweaty gig venues. Taking a brief hiatus while Miesha birthed twins, M&TS are back with their next release, Singles EP.  What was meant to be a mixed tape of self-serving, standalone tracks for radio and licensing, Singles EP instead became a collection of songs influenced by the immediate life-changing effects of life during lockdown. Working with Western Canadian Music Award winning artist/producer Leeroy Stagger was meant to rein in Miesha & The Spanks, to clean up the noise for crisp, polished songs — but visited from the ghost of punk rock past, Stagger instead turned it up (way up) and imbued their crunchy mono-guitar sound with extra doses of fuzz and feedback, guaranteed to get the blood pumping.”


Mihi Nihil
Mihi Nihil

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The name Mihi Nihil (Mee-Kee Nee-Keel) sounds like a University’s Latin motto, but it was actually lead singer Mihi Vox’s nickname in college. Now a band motto, the name represents the groups approach to life and music as they write songs together in one room, staying open not only to each other but to the music. Mihi Nihil’s ‘everyone is present’ writing method is apparent when listening to their self-titled debut album. The former New York City Opera singer and three self-taught rockers are ready to unleash what feels like a box of explosives that has stored up a tremendous amount of energy. The band shifts effortlessly with maximum emotional thrust through a sound that bridges the past and present musical zeitgeists. Like a rock formation with different colored layers, the music encompasses a myriad of subtle tints and bold textures. Together with producer Adam Lasus (Yo La Tengo, Helium, Madder Rose), they created a nine-song record that is grounded in earthiness and redolent with nostalgia. Mihi Nihil’s music feels at once mysterious and familiar, like a fog curling heavily and dankly around the listener only to be cut through by rays from the sun.”


The Offspring
Let The Bad Times Roll

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “One of the best-selling punk rock bands of all time, The Offspring are releasing Let The Bad Times Roll, their first new album in almost a decade. The new music was written and recorded over the course of the last several years at various locations including the band’s Huntington Beach  studio. The album is the band’s third time working in collaboration with legendary rock producer Bob Rock. True to the irreverence at the core of punk rock music, the band and lyricist Dexter Holland took a view to today’s cultural moments and didn’t shy away from creating topical material in this album. Holland said: “I feel like we’re in a unique period in history where instead of our world leaders saying ‘we’re doing our best’ it’s more like they’re saying ‘fuck it’ and its really scary.”


Portugal. The Man
Oregon City Sessions

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In 2008, Portugal. The Man had been a band for just over two years and was riding a creative wave that is rarely seen. In the first two years of the band’s existence, they released three full-lengths, one EP, and a couple of standalone singles while performing just shy of 500 shows. This young band from Alaska drove from city to city, bought bulk bags of rice, and seldomly splurged. They ended the tour in December of 2008 and instead of taking a much-needed break, made the decision to record the culmination of what their live performance had become. They found a rare gem of a studio in the suburbs of Portland, piled in with their live gear and a handful of friends with handheld cameras. Longtime collaborator and filmmaker Graham Agcaolli and engineer/mixer Jacob Portrait (who would later join Unknown Mortal Orchestra) would help to document. They performed their full set, one time through — with no re-takes or overdubs — just the band in its natural form. “The first few years of PTM were whirlwind,” says singer/guitarist John Gourley. “We didn’t have a place to live so we were pretty much either recording or touring. We were so wide-eyed coming out of Alaska that every day was an exciting new adventure. I think you can see it in our playing.”