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Next Week in Music | June 14-20 • The Short List: 8 Titles You Want to Hear

Backxwash, H.E.R, Deap Vally, Amythyst Kiah, FZ and the rest of next week's best.

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Back when I used to crank out between 20 and 30 reviews every week to fill up a bunch of newsprint pages, I had to make sure I got my hands on every new album from every big-name major-label artist. Now, of course, I just get to listen to whatever the hell I want — including some of the left-field entries that made it onto this week’s diverse list. See what’s in store:

 


Backxwash
I Lie Here Buried With My Rings And My Dresses

Aside from the title, the June 20 release date and the title track, I can’t find any info online about Montreal rapper and producer Backxwash’s upcoming third full-length. All I know is that if it’s even half as insanely incredible as her groundbreaking (and award-winning) 2020 album God Has Nothing To Do With This Leave Him Out Of It, you better strap yourself in.


Deap Vally
American Cockroach

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Deap Vally, the L.A. duo of Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards, have always relished the challenge of working within the limitations of being a two-piece, but after two records (2021’s Sistrionix, and 2016’s Femejism, produced by Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and years of touring as a duo, they felt an urge to reinvent their writing and recording process. They say: “American Cockroach is a collection of songs we’ve been working on for a while, including collaborations with Jennie Vee (Eagles of Death Metal) and Ayse Hassan (Savages) that run the gamut from deeply personal to outright satire and everything in between. These are songs for the underdog, the outlaw, the defeated, for days when you feel like no one understands you or you can’t do anything right.”


H.E.R.
Back Of My Mind

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Fresh off the heels of an epic, genre-blending performance of Hold On with country music mega star Chris Stapleton at the 2021 CMT Awards, H.E.R. will release her full-length album Back Of My Mind. In just under 5 years, H.E.R. has proven herself as a versatile R&B force to be reckoned with, earning 13 Grammy nominations and four wins, plus an Academy Award for her powerful song Fight For You from the film Judas and the Black Messiah. This year, H.E.R. added a Song of the Year Grammy Award for I Can’t Breathe, written in response to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless other Black lives lost unnecessarily to police brutality. She also earned a Best R&B Song Grammy for her contribution to Robert Glasper’s Better Than I Imagined.”


Amythyst Kiah
Wary + Strange

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Amythyst Kiah’s Wary + Strange finds her redrawing the lines of roots music, and then coloring completely outside of them with a collision of styles that is fearless, iconoclastic and exhilarating. Amythyst’s writing on Wary + Strange is raw yet nuanced, as she expresses grief, alienation, and ultimately the hard-won triumph of total self acceptance. Throughout the album, the Tennessee-bred Amythyst uses inventive rhythms and textures to create a sound that is genuinely new. But the sonic grandeur of Wary + Strange never eclipses the visceral impact of Amythyst’s storytelling, which is unflinching in its examination of her mother’s suicide, the realities of being a Black and queer woman living in the Bible Belt, her own struggles with alcohol and more.”


Lounge Society
Silk For The Starving

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “U.K.’s The Lounge Society are about to release their Dan Carey-produced debut EP Silk For The Starving. With three singles under their belts — Generation Game, Burn The Heather and Cain’s Heresy — plus a raft of accolades for 2021, there is much anticipation for what lies next for the band. The EP title Silk For The Starving probes at a society that routinely neglects the needs of the have-nots. The Lounge Society sing about what they know then. Make no mistake, this is the sound of young England: articulate, enraged and energised. And — perhaps crucially — highly danceable too. It should give hope to anyone who has lost faith in the future, because here the future is in safe hands.”


Speed Dealer Moms
SDM-LA8-441-114-211

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “A decade after releasing their debut EP, Speed Dealer Moms — a collaborative electronic music project with a fluid lineup commonly made up of Aaron (Venetian Snares) Funk, John Frusciante of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Chris McDonald —are set to make their return with SDM-LA8-441-114-211. The three-track EP offers a glimpse into the treasure trove of Speed Dealer Moms’ unreleased material, with each song title alluding to the date in which it was recorded and in how many takes During the writing process, which includes in-depth discussions and days of programming, Speed Dealer Moms record live to stereo with no overdubs or edits, improvising arrangements that often feel composed. Eash session pushes the limits of what an arsenal of modular synthesizers and other machines are capable of, creating tracks that are driven by mathematics, mechanical understanding and musical spontaneity alike.”


Wind-Ups
Try Not To Think

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Born out of Covid boredom and a freshly acquired TASCAM 388 in Northern California, The Wind-Ups are the fully realized bedroom project of Jake Sprecher (Terry Malts, Smokescreens, Jonathan Richman). The debut LP Try Not To Think is a lo-fi punk rock ‘n’ roll burst that veteran Infrasonic mastering tech Dave Gardner (Black Lips, King Khan) calls “one of the loudest records I’ve ever worked on.” It might quickly remind you of The Saints, The Ramones or The Spits. But listen a little longer and you’re certain to pick up on an unabashed power pop backbone, one that sources influence from The Modern Lovers, Paul Collins’ Beat, The Shoes and so forth.”


Frank Zappa
Zappa ’88: The Last U.S. Show

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Nobody knew, not even Frank Zappa, as he led his 11-strong band through a celebratory version of America The Beautiful to close out his show at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. on March 25, 1988, that it would be the last time he’d ever play in the United States. Days later, the ’88 band would trek to Europe for a multi-country tour, only to implode on the road before they could make it back to the States for another round of scheduled shows. Despite the growing tensions in the band, the ensemble was considered one of the best Zappa ever put together, a skilled mix of extremely talented musicians made up of both longtime members that had played with The Maestro from the early days alongside exciting new additions, bolstered by his favorite new instrument, the Synclavier. A well-oiled machine armed with an extensive 100-song repertoire, the adroit band were equally as adept at playing Zappa’s complex and challenging, genre-defying songs as they were performing Beatles hits and classical compositions by the likes of Bartók, Ravel and Stravinsky.”