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Next Week in Music | Aug. 16-22 • The Short List: 10 Titles You Need to Hear

Don't let Lorde's Solar Power overshadown the rest of the week's top titles.

The feverishly anticipated new album from Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor — or as you might know her, Lorde — will undoubtedly reign supreme (at least in terms of media coverage) when it arrives next Friday. But don’t let Solar Power outshine the other worthy contenders to the throne. Bend the knee for these new albums:


Jake Bugg
Saturday Night, Sunday Morning

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Saturday Night, Sunday Morning marks a bold and exciting new chapter for Jake Bugg. His fifth studio album is filled with catchy guitar hooks, rhythmic base lines & anthemic choruses giving the record a huge euphoric feel. Cleverly set against more introspective songs with beautifully crafted lyrics, the album plays with a spectrum of emotions that we can all relate to. Jake says it was “the most fun he’s ever had making a record.” At 27 years old and with 4 albums and numerous hit singles to his name, Bugg has a seasoned knowledge beyond his young years, which he couples with a refreshing wry sense of humour.”

Divine Horsemen
Hot Rise Of An Ice Cream Phoenix

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Divine Horsemen, the fiery, eclectic ’80s group that rode the unique vocal chemistry of Chris Desjardins (aka Chris D.) and Julie Christensen, return to the musical stage with Hot Rise of an Ice Cream Phoenix, their first new music together in 33 years. The 2021 Divine Horsemen lineup is completed by drummer DJ Bonebrake of the incomparable L.A. band X (also was a member of the 2018 recording and 2019 touring editions of The Flesh Eaters) and returning keyboardist Doug Lacy. A bracing new achievement by a distinctive musical partnership that has always marched to the beat of its own drum, it’s a welcome return that plays to the group’s historic strengths.

GA-20 Does Hound Dog Taylor: Try It…You Might Like It!

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “High-energy blues rock trio GA-20’s new album GA-20 Does Hound Dog Taylor: Try It…You Might Like It! features ten blistering performances of songs written or performed by Chicago blues legends Hound Dog Taylor & The HouseRockers. Since first forming in 2018, GA-20 (guitarist Matt Stubbs, guitarist/vocalist Pat Faherty and drummer Tim Carman) have drawn inspiration for their primal, original music from late 1950s/early 1960s blues, R&B and rock ‘n’ roll. They use rare and vintage gear (including, at times, the famed Gibson GA-20 amplifier for which the band is named), creating powerfully raw, driving music that is at once traditional and refreshingly modern. The band’s dynamic sound and feel is as fresh and real as the old blues they love and perform, including songs by Otis Rush, J.B. Lenoir, Howlin’ Wolf, Junior Wells and especially their favorite, Hound Dog Taylor. According to Stubbs, “Not enough people know just how cool Hound Dog Taylor was.”

Wanda Jackson

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Wanda Jackson, the Rock and Roll, International Gospel and Rockabilly Hall of Famer, teams with fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Joan Jett and Kenny Laguna to conceptualize Encore. The album is rooted in the belief that the pure rock ’n’ Roll that Wanda pioneered has lived in Jett’s modern version of agency, independence and audacious self-expression that has been taboo for women in music. Jackson’s 32nd album is a final chapter amplifying a career that’s ignited others too, from The Cramps to Amy Winehouse, Adele to Jack White, who produced her 2009 critic’s favourite The Party Ain’t Over. Marked by Wanda’s incandescent swagger and effervescence, Encore is an in-your-face sonic experience that walks listeners through the rockabilly, country and even punk colors of one of music’s most thrilling vocalists.”


The Joy Formidable
Into The Blue

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Joy Formidable’s highly anticipated album Into The Blue follows the band’s critically acclaimed, kaleidoscopic 2018 album AAARTH. It arrives into a much different world, and birthed a new energy for the band. Written in North Wales and later completed at their homes in Utah, Into The Blue is about opening your eyes to beauty and love again. Making it to the other side. The Joy Formidable’s Ritzy Bryan says, “Whilst not conceived as a metaphor for the times we all live in now, it certainly turned out that way.”

Solar Power

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Lorde’s third studio album includes 12 tracks and is produced by Jack Antonoff, who also collaborated with her on her previous chart-topping album Melodrama. Lorde says, “The album is a celebration of the natural world, an attempt at immortalizing the deep, transcendent feelings I have when I’m outdoors. In times of heartache, grief, deep love, or confusion, I look to the natural world for answers. I’ve learned to breathe out, and tune in. This is what came through.”

James McMurtry
The Horses and The Hounds

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In James McMurtry’s new effort The Horses and the Hounds, the acclaimed songwriter backs personal narratives with effortless elegance and endless energy. This first collection in seven years spotlights a seasoned tunesmith in peak form as he turns toward reflection and revelation. Familiar foundations guide the journey. “There’s a definite Los Angeles vibe to this record,” McMurtry says. “The ghost of Warren Zevon seems to be stomping around among the guitar tracks. Don’t know how he got in there. He never signed on for work for hire.”

Sturgill Simpson
The Ballad Of Dood & Juanita

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The Ballad Of Dood & Juanita is the new concept album by Sturgill Simpson. Says Sturgill: “I just wanted to write a story — not a collection of songs that tell a story, but an actual story, front to back. The album is a rollercoaster ride through all the styles of traditional country and bluegrass and mountain music that I love, including gospel and a cappella. It is a simple tale of either redemption or revenge.”

Tropical Fuck Storm
Deep States

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Most of us have lived some inner Tropical Fuck Storm over a year and a half of isolation. Gareth Liddiard, frontman for the Aussie band with a name perfectly suited to the times, was like the rest of us in feeling the malaise. On not writing any new songs for the first six months of the global shutdown, he says, “Why would I? Everything seemed pointless.” Even for a band that’s made a career out of crafting songs attuned to political and social crisis, there was a new bleak in the air, what the band calls “give-a-fuck fatigue.” The band wedded a brave new worldview to an ever lively acid punk sound. Which made you sometimes despair. While still wanting to dance.”

Martha Wainwright
Love Will Be Reborn

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Martha Wainwright is beginning again. The beguiling performer and songwriter is set to return with her Love Will Be Reborn, her first album in five years. Not since 2012’s Come Home to Mama has a Wainwright record been so full of original written material. Like most records this year, the album was made during the global pandemic and recorded in Wainwright’s hometown of Montreal, in the basement of her brand-new cafe, which also served as a studio. She enlisted the help of Toronto musicians Thom Gill, Phil Melanson and Josh Cole to perform in her band, and producer Pierre Marchand, best known for his collaborations with Sarah McLaughlin on her iconic ’90s songs.”