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Next Week in Music | June 7-13 • The Short List: 10 Titles You Want to Hear

Welcome to the biggest week for new music so far this year. Are you ready for it?

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Welcome to the biggest week for new music so far this year. Along with a bazillion Record Store Day releases, you’ve got new albums from a slew of major-label artists like Maroon 5, Migos and Mammoth WVH, the band from Eddie Van Halen’s son Wolfgang. Of course, as usual, I don’t care about any of those. Here are the ones I’ll be checking out:

 


Ryan Adams
Big Colors

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Big Colors is the soundtrack to a movie from 1984 that exists only in my soul. It’s a cliché inside a watercolor painting of neon blue smoke rising up off summer streets in the night. It’s the most New York California album I could cut loose from my musical soul, and for me as both a guitar player and songwriter, this is the zenith point dream time. While I won’t be able to match this album for it’s depth and broad color forms in the future, this is the sound of my soul and a door to a place I’ll be returning to again. The treasures in our past are the shamanic visions of the future when the destination is dream zone 3000. This is that. I’m only dreaming in Big Colors now.”


Black Sabbath
Sabotage: Super Deluxe Edition

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Black Sabbath were embroiled in a protracted legal battle with its former manager in 1975 when the band started recording its sixth studio album Sabotage. The group felt sabotaged at every turn — hence the album’s title — but that feeling helped fuel the intensity of the new music they were making. In spite of the distractions, the band created one of the most dynamic — and underappreciated — albums of its legendary career. Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward recorded Sabotage in London and Brussels and co-produced the album with Mike Butcher. The eight songs were released first in the U.S. in July 1975, and then in the U.K. that September. Certified gold in America and silver in the U.K., Sabotage earned positive reviews for hard-hitting tracks like Hole In The Sky and Symptom Of The Universe, as well as more experimental music like Supertzar, which featured harp, Mellotron, and the English Chamber Choir. Sabotage: Super Deluxe Edition introduces 16 live tracks (13 of which are previously unreleased) that were recorded in 1975 during the quartet’s U.S. tour for the album. The performances include songs that span the group’s career, from the title track to its 1970 debut Black Sabbath to Spiral Architect and Sabbra Cadabra from its previous album, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973). Sabotage is represented as well with live takes of Hole In The Sky and Megalomania.”


Danny Elfman
Big Mess

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Big Mess is Danny Elfman’s first solo album in 37 years. Clocking in at 18 tracks, the sprawling, ambitious double album finds the Grammy and Emmy-winning composer breaking bold new ground as both a writer and a performer, drawing on a dystopian palette of distorted electric guitars, industrial synthesizers and orchestra in an effort to exorcise the demons brought about by four years of creeping fascism and civil rot. He is joined on the album by drummer Josh Freese (Devo, Vandals), bassist Stu Brooks (Dub Trio, Lady Gaga), and guitarists Robin Finck (Nine Inch Nails, Guns N’ Roses) and Nili Brosh (Tony MacAlpine, Paul Gilbert). Big Mess was almost entirely created spontaneously during quarantine in 2020. It began as an experiment Elfman had been considering which combined aggressive rock band and orchestral strings in a way that had not been heavily explored. “Once I began writing,” he explained, “It was like opening a Pandora’s box and I found I couldn’t stop. None of it was planned. I had no idea how many songs I would write but from the start it quickly became a 2-sided project with heavily contrasting and even conflicting tones.”


Garbage
No Gods No Masters

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “This is our seventh record, the significant numerology of which affected the DNA of its content: the seven virtues, the seven sorrows, and the seven deadly sins,” says Garbage frontwoman Shirley Manson of the band’s ferocious new album No Gods No Masters, which tackles everything from capitalism and lust to loss and grief. “It was our way of trying to make sense of how fucking nuts the world is and the astounding chaos we find ourselves in. It’s the record we felt that we had to make at this time.” Speaking about the title-track single, Manson says: “I tried to make sense of the world. I was trying to make sense of left and right, literally. Like why do some people vote right? Why do some people vote left? And all of that comes from a concern for ourselves, for our friends, for our families, ultimately, for our babies… this song is about re-imagining our society for the future, for our children and not making the same mistakes over and over again and allowing greed to corrupt our thinking.”


Islands
Islomania

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “At the end of 2016, after 10 years and seven albums, Nick Thorburn quietly decided to put an end to Islands and retire from music. “This seemed like a perfect time to put a cap on things and close out the circle,” Thorburn says. He switched focus, selling and producing a pilot television script, creating a graphic novel, and scoring a few films and the occasional BBC radio show. Thorburn’s years-long leave of absence resulted in a kind of rock ’n’ roll Rumspringa, with Nick unable to shake the bug for making records. After a sudden burst of creativity from a few weeks of working in his kitchen studio, Thorburn had written dozens and dozens of songs informed by everything from late-’70s avant-disco to Thea Lim’s time-travel novel An Ocean of Minutes, and would write dozens more over the next year and a half, almost all with a clear focus on rhythm and groove. “At the time I still wasn’t sure what this new music was going to be, or if coming back to Islands even made any sense,” says Thorburn. “But once we started playing, it quickly became clear this would be the next Islands album.”


King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
Butterfly 3000

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Butterfly 3000 might be their most fearless leap into the unknown yet; a suite of 10 songs that all began life as arpeggiated loops composed on modular synthesisers, before being fashioned into addictive, optimistic and utterly seductive dream-pop by the six-piece. The album sounds simultaneously like nothing they’ve ever done before, and thoroughly, unmistakably Gizz, down to its climactic neon psych-a-tronic flourish. This is undoubtedly the most accessible and jubilant album of their career.” Says bassist Lucas Harwood: “We are all so pumped to release this, and of course for y’all to hear it. I think it’ll be a divisive record among fans — but healthy debate is a good thing. For me, it really feels like a distilling of all of our various influences and musical personalities — reaching for places we haven’t reached for before and having confidence in sparsity — every part is considered, important and confident. I think we’re throwing away our youthful tropes of adding layers and layers of sound. That’s fun and will always hold a place within Gizzard, but this record is different. It’s probably the most positive Gizzard record too — almost completely in major keys! It feels good to release something so uplifting in such a gloomy, pessimistic global landscape at the moment.”


Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real
A Few Stars Apart

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:A Few Stars Apart is a testament to finding a human connection: between close family and friends, as well as one’s own heart. Produced by Grammy-winning producer Dave Cobb, the album was inspired by the stillness Lukas Nelson found while riding out the beginning of the pandemic with his family in Texas and was recorded with the full band live on eight-track tape over three weeks at Nashville’s historic RCA Studio A. The 11 songs reveal what it means to come home again, to be still, and to find community — and yourself. “I’m from what one might say is the ultimate road family—I’ve been on the road my entire life,” shares Nelson. “I’ve never been anywhere longer than three months, and suddenly here we are, the four of us together. And thank god we were together. I can’t remember the last time we had that much time together as a family. We had a lot of really important bonding that happened during that time. And I have to say, as terrible as the pandemic has been in so many ways, for my inner peace, I was able to take a lot of good from this time. I was able to pause and reflect.”


The Oh Sees / Osees
The Chapel, SF 10.2.19

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Oh Sees at the peak of their prog obsession, super jammed out and totally dominating. The Chapel, SF 10.2.19 is a 53-minute, beautifully recorded, hi-fidelity live explosion of orc puke and kraut-gone-punk rock dominance by one of the rippingest bands of the 21st century.”


The Scientists
Negativity

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Scientists’ powerful brand of deranged swamp-rock returns with a vengeance with Negativity, an all-new magnum opus featuring the first new full length album by the Australian band’s penultimate lineup in 35 years. The bruising 11-track collection features a Scientists configuration much beloved by connoisseurs of the band’s work: singer-guitarist Kim Salmon, lead guitarist Tony Thewlis, and bassist Boris Sujdovic, all veterans of the group’s defining 1981-’85 outfit, and drummer Leanne Cowie, who replaced drummer Brett Rixon on the storming 1986 release Weird Love. Happily, rousing receptions during the band’s American treks and a sense that fans would welcome a new full-length project resulted in sessions for Negativity, The Scientists’ first full-length collection of new material since their 1987 last bow Human Jukebox.”


Sleater-Kinney
Path Of Wellness

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Sleater-Kinney’s 10th studio album was recorded in Portland, Oregon during the summer of 2020, against a backdrop of social unrest, devastating wildfires, and a raging pandemic. It’s music for an imagined togetherness. This marks the first Sleater-Kinney album produced by the band members themselves.”