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Next Week in Music | Sept. 6-12 • The Short List: 15 Titles You Want to Hear

All the best new music, from Amyl & The Sniffers to Andrew W.K. & plenty more.

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And so it begins. The 2021 fall music lineup officially kicks off right here, right now, with these 15 releases. And if they’re a sign of things to come, it’s going to be an interesting autumn. See (and hear) for yourself:

 


Amyl And The Sniffers
Comfort To Me

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Amyl And The Sniffers, the Melbourne, Australia rock band fronted by Amy Taylor, are releasing their second album Comfort To Me, the followup to their self-titled 2019 debut. Taylor and her bandmates — guitarist Dec Martens, bassist Gus Romer, and drummer Bryce Wilson — wrote Comfort To Me during the pandemic while quarantining in the same house together, spending more time refining the songs than they had previously. “The nihilistic, live in the moment, positivity and panel beater rock-meets-shed show punk was still there, but it was better,” says Taylor. “The whole thing was less spontaneous and more darkly considered. The amount of time and thought I put into the lyrics for this album is completely different from the EPs, and even the first record. Half of the lyrics were written during the Australian bushfire season, when we were already wearing masks to protect ourselves from the smoke in the air. And then when the pandemic hit, our options were the same as everyone: Go find a day job and work in intense conditions or sit at home and drown in introspection. I fell into the latter category. I had all this energy inside of me and nowhere to put it, because I couldn’t perform, and it had a hectic effect on my brain. My brain evolved and warped and my way of thinking about the world completely changed.”


Bomba Estéreo
Deja

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Bomba Estéreo’s new album Deja is their first album in four years. Deja is about leaving behind the unnecessary baggage in our lives and re-connecting with what is meaningful and essential — the Earth. It’s about a hope for our future and finding a better balance between technology and the natural world. Deja is divided conceptually into four sections that correspond to the earth’s four elements: Agua, Aire, Tierra, and Fuego. “The album is about the connection and disconnection of human beings—from the planet, from one’s own self,” Bomba vocalist Liliana “Li” Saumet says. “It’s about how we’re disconnected, more connected to electronic devices and virtual things than real things. So, we decided to use the four elements, because they’re part of the equilibrium of human beings.”


Colleen Green
Cool

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Colleen Green has always been cool, but on 2015’s I Want To Grow Up, she didn’t necessarily feel it. Too young to be free of insecurities but old enough to be sick of them running her life, Green was experiencing an existential crisis. Five years and a new album later, we find her parsing out what it means to be grownup — and realizing that it’s actually pretty Cool. Burnt out on bad feelings and ready to have fun with melodies and beats, Green enlisted producer Gordon Raphael (The Strokes) to take her songs to higher ground while keeping her lo-fi aesthetic intact. Raphael was already a fan, having caught a show in L.A. and finding himself “struck by how confident and powerful she looked, even though she was the only one onstage.” He agreed to take the gig, and together with drummer Brendan Eder and hip-hop producer Aqua over a few weeks in Los Angeles, Cool was created.”


Elvis Costello & The Attractions
Spanish Model

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In 2018, Elvis Costello had a dream where he heard his entire This Year’s Model album performed in Spanish. He reached out to frequent collaborator, Argentinian-born, Latin Grammy Producer of the Year Sebastian Krys about the idea, and it wasn’t long before the two were recruiting some of the biggest Latin rock and pop artists from around the globe to interpret these songs in Spanish, backed by Costello and The Attractions’ original performances, for the daring, first-of-its-kind record Spanish Model. Spanish Model features such artists as Cami, Draco Rosa, Fito Páez, Francisca Valenzuela & Luis Humberto Navejas, Gian Marco & Nicole Zignago, Jesse & Joy, Jorge Drexler, Juanes, La Marisoul, Luis Fonsi, Morat, Nina Diaz, Pablo López, Raquel Sofía & Fuego, Sebastián Yatra and Vega. They sing these timeless and universal songs, which have been expertly translated and adapted into Spanish to retain their meaning, energy, attitude, and wit.”


Chris Jagger
Mixing Up The Medicine

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Chris Jagger’s new studio album Mixing Up The Medicine was recorded during lockdown with a host of musician friends and peers, and is being released on the same day as the publication of his autobiography Talking To Myself. The album is a loose, lively collection of originals that features a hit list of top players, including brother Mick on backing vocals. “Mostly the tracks were cut live in the studio as that’s what I know,” says Jagger. “Then I realised ‘mixing up the medicine’ is also a line in Subterranean Homesick Blues. I’d forgotten that. But I’m a big Bob Dylan fan, so that can’t be a bad thing, right?”


Pokey LaFarge
In The Blossom Of Their Shade

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In March 2020, Pokey LaFarge packed up and left his Los Angeles abode behind, putting his belongings in storage in anticipation of spending extensive time on the road in support of his then-forthcoming album Rock Bottom Rhapsody. He couldn’t wait to head down to Austin a few weeks later to showcase those songs and launch the album with his band at SXSW. Then the pandemic hit and all of LaFarge’s well-laid plans went into thin air. Stuck in East Austin with nowhere to go, LaFarge did what he does best: he got to work. He used the sudden change in plans to his advantage, having perhaps his greatest period of personal growth in the midst of the crippling pandemic. LaFarge offered, “This album is a result of my 2020 experience. Before the pandemic, I was in a dark place but the pandemic actually created the much-needed space for me to reflect. Turns out that being completely sedentary for once was a good thing. I found peace in the stillness. I was able to recalibrate what it is I do and why I’m doing it. Who I’m to do it with and most importantly, who I’m doing it for.”


Gift Of Gab
Finding Inspiration Somehow

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The tragic passing of Gift Of Gab has led to an outpouring of love and support from fans across the globe. As one half of trailblazing Bay Area hip-hop duo Blackalicious, Gift Of Gab headlined a string of classic albums, laying down complex, tongue-twisting lyrical acrobatics alongside iconic artists like Gil Scott-Heron, Jurassic 5, Rage Against The Machine, Questlove, George Clinton, DJ Shadow and more. In recent years, Gab endured kidney failure, dialysis, and an emergency transplant, but remained resilient, finding empowerment in music. Recorded in the midst of these health struggles, Finding Inspiration Somehow was already complete and set for release upon his death. An impressive showcase from one of the great wordsmiths in rap history, the album is a testament to perseverance, and a fitting tribute to an artist who will never be forgotten.”


Low
Hey What

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Focusing on their craft, staying out of the fray, and holding fast their faith to find new ways to express the discord and delight of being alive, to turn the duality of existence into hymns we can share, Low present Hey What. These 10 pieces — each built around their own instantaneous, undeniable hook — are turbocharged by the vivid textures that surround them.The ineffable, familiar harmonies of Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker break through the chaos like a life raft. Layers of distorted sound accrete with each new verse — building, breaking, colossal then restrained, a solemn vow only whispered. There will be time to unravel and attribute meaning to the music and art of these times, but the creative moment looks forward, with teeth. Hey What is Low’s 13th full length release in 27 years, and their third with producer BJ Burton.”


Metallica
The Black Album 30th Anniversary Edition / The Metallica Blacklist

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Metallica mark the 30th anniversary of their self-titled fifth album — aka The Black Album — with two landmark releases. The Black Album is one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed records of all time. To commemorate its anniversary, the Grammy-winning, 16x platinum-certified album is receiving its definitive re-release in a Deluxe Box Set containing the album remastered on 180G 2LP, a picture disc, three live LPs, 14 CDs (containing rough mixes, demos, interviews, live shows), six DVDs (containing outtakes, behind the scenes, official videos, live shows), a 120-page hardcover book, four tour laminates, three lithos, three guitar picks, a lanyard, a folder with lyric sheets, and a download card. Much more than a mere tribute album, The Metallica Blacklist celebrates the enduring influence of this musical milestone with one of the most ambitious projects ever conceived by the Metallica team: An unprecedented 50+ artists spanning an unbelievably vast range of genres, generations, cultures, continents and more, each contributing a unique interpretation of their favorite Black Album cut.”


Kacey Musgraves
Star-Crossed

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Six-time Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves’ highly anticipated fourth studio album Star-Crossed arrives the same day as the film of the same name, which features Musgraves in the starring role. The album found Musgraves collaborating once again with co-producers and writers, Ian Fitchuk and Daniel Tashian, and was recorded in Nashville earlier this year. The 15-song collection, structured as a modern-day tragedy in three acts, tells an extremely personal journey of heartache and healing and displays Musgraves continued growth as one of the finest singer-songwriters of our time.”


Daniel Romano’s Outfit
Cobra Poems

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The earth is a drum, they say. Shrouded by magnetic halo that beats and oscillates in traceable resonance. All heaven can bear witness to the sonorous vibrance of our globe and mark that claim as truth. Who then is bold enough to strike its batter-head? Who hears the metronomic thrum at the heart of all earthbound life and marking the tempo, plays in rapturous consonance? Who tunes the harps and lyres of all lowing beasts, to blaze euphonic across the glowing firmament? The Outfit, The Outfit, The Outfit, The Outfit. Strum, and strike, and sing, in tune, in joy, in love. Mark well the name. They who lift the bowing head of every grieving flower. They who coo that unvanquished animal hymn to every dog, and ox, and muskox, and muskdog. That well-shod fiefdom of unmatched capacity. That feckful gang beholden to spirit alone. If child is father to the man, then what cosmic nursery sired such pleiadic songsmiths? The trueborn enemies of all tuneless brutality. The wreckers of every false rural minstrel and showboat lout of ill-repute. The Outfit, The Outfit, The Outfit, The Outfit. Here then is the document – the evidence, the proof, the truth, the real thing, the one thing, the only thing. Daniel Romano’s Outfit, now and always. Call it communion. Call it a rhapsody. Call it Cobra Poems. Go on. Dig it.”


Sleigh Bells
Texis

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “It’s been twelve years since Sleigh Bells — producer and guitarist Derek Miller and singer Alexis Krauss — burst into the public consciousness, emerging fully formed from tiny New York City venues onto the global stage with a sound entirely their own. Over four full-length albums and one EP, Miller and Krauss have shaken up independent music. Now they’re releasing a brand new collection of music. Their new album Texis is the sound of the duo letting go of hang-ups and inhibitions and allowing themselves to embrace the sort of loud, colorful, genre-melting music only they could make. “We stopped worrying about whether or not we’re in or out of our comfort zone, or if we were being repetitive or formulaic,” says Miller. One of the band’s goals in writing Texis was to infuse even the most abrasive and full-blast songs with something that made the music feel “nourishing” to them. “The thing I’m most attracted to is the juxtaposition of happy and sad, melancholy and hope,” says Miller. “A lot of this is about trying to hold on to a shred of optimism through sheer force of will, and I hope this music can give people some joyful energy and confidence.”


The Vaccines
Back In Love City

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Vaccines’ fifth album Back In Love City was recorded at Sonic Ranch, El Paso, TX., with producer Daniel Ledinsky (Tove Lo, TV on the Radio, Rihanna). Inspired by fictional cities — from Ridley Scott’s version of L.A. in Blade Runner to Cowboy Bebop’s Fear City — as much as places like Las Vegas, Tijuana and Tokyo, the idea of Love City took shape when the band’s frontman Justin Young set himself up in a house swap in Los Angeles, fuelling his fascination with disconnection: “I literally swapped lives with a stranger. I lived in in house and drove his car while he lived in mine, but we’d never met and had no previous connections.” A modern-day pleasure island – equal part utopia and dystopia – Love City was born from the band’s fascination with emotions as commodities and the desperation for human connection. “In some obvious ways we’re more connected than ever,” Young explains. “But we’re also more polarised than we’ve been for 100 years and the world is getting colder. What if there was a place where love and other emotions had run dry — but you could go to Love City to get them?”


Andrew W.K.
God Is Partying

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Internationally acclaimed hard rock musician and God of Partying, Andrew W.K., marks another extraordinarily intense chapter in his fabled and perplexing tenure as a pop culture icon, with his fifth full-length rock album God Is Partying. Hovering in the fluorescent spotlight of his legendary party power, God Is Partying sees Andrew W.K. ransack the corners of the human psyche, reaching a triumphant apex in his catalog nearly 20 years after the release of his chart-topping 2001 full-length debut I Get Wet. Showcasing his indisputable musical chops, God Is Partying features Andrew W.K. performing all the album’s instruments on nine exhilarating exaltations soaked with a flood of epic energy — often traversing nearly impenetrable lyrical themes while remaining refreshingly relatable, inspiring, and vital for survival.”