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Next Week in Music | Jan. 31 – Feb. 6 • The Short List: 6 Titles You Want to Hear

Animal Collective, Black Country, New Road, Cassels, Tymo & the rest of the best.

If you’re excited about the new Korn album next week, good for you. Me? Not so much. Ditto the new titles from Bastille, Cate Le Bon and Mitski. I mean, don’t get me wrong; I’ll check them out. But these are the albums I’ll be spinning first:


Animal Collective
Time Skiffs

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Time Skiffs, Animal Collective’s first studio album in more than half a decade, feels like listening in on a conversation among four old friends, just as it felt during their inchoate early days or their Strawberry Jam heyday. These nine songs are love letters, distress signals, en plein air observations, and relaxation hymns, the collected transmissions of four people who have grown into relationships and parenthood and adult worry. But they are rendered with Animal Collective’s singular sense of exploratory wonder, same as they ever were. There are harmonies so rich you want to skydive through their shared air, textures so fascinating you want to decode their sorcery, rhythms so intricate you want to untangle their sources. Here is Animal Collective past 20, still in search of what’s next.”

Black Country, New Road
Ants From Up There

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Following on almost exactly a year to the day from the release of their acclaimed debut For The First Time, Black Country, New Road have harnessed the momentum from that record and run full pelt into their second, with Ants From Up There managing to strike a skilful balance between feeling like a bold stylistic overhaul of what came before, as well as a natural progression. With For The First Time, the band melded klezmer, post-rock, indie and an often intense spoken word delivery. On Ants From Up There they have expanded on this unique concoction to create a singular sonic middle ground that traverses classical minimalism, indie-folk, pop, alt rock and a distinct tone that is already unique to the band.”

A Gut Feeling

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Tripe. It’s what graces the cover of Cassels’ third album, A Gut Feeling. It looks gross. And Cassels are a rock band who’ve often sounded gross — ‘Discordant’, ‘Angular’, ‘Cynical’.
Listening to A Gut Feeling, though, Cassels sound different. Not too different — the molten riff of advance single Mr Henderson Coughs puts paid to the idea that the London-based duo have taken a hard 180. But instead of writing as quickly as possible, riding the churn forced on DIY bands by an indifferent ecosystem, the Covid-19 pandemic gave the brothers Beck (Jim, guitar/vocals, and Loz, drums/BVs) some time to mull things over. Instead of sticking with the stripped-back recording approach of previous LPs, Jim and Loz spent time considering tone, layering tracks, and bringing new instruments into the fold. The result is the most satisfying and unexpected collection of songs in the Cassels catalogue.”

The Jazz Butcher
The Highest in the Land

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “It’s not often that an artist gets to do a Bowie by consciously carving their personal epitaph into the grooves of their final LP. The Highest In The Land is that rarity of an album, and it could not have been made by a more brilliantly poetic and fearlessly sarcastic writer than Pat Fish, also known as The Jazz Butcher. There are many existentially charged moments on a record whose songs were written throughout the last seven years of Fish’s life before his untimely passing in October 2021, aged only 63. It is not without irony that a career that began in witty defiance of the Thatcher years should end under the shadow of the Johnson era. The Highest In The Land sounds as relevant to today as A Scandal In Bohemia did to 1984. In musical terms, it feels like the closing of a circle.”


THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Rave-Ups’ three previous albums — 1985’s Town + Country, 1987’s The Book of Your Regrets and 1990’s Chance — established the group as one of the pioneers of the cowpunk genre that eventually transformed into Americana, following in the footsteps of L.A.-bred country-rock groups from The Flying Burrito Brothers and The Byrds through contemporaries like X, The Blasters, and Rank + File. The original Los Angeles lineup — singer-songwriter Jimmer Podrasky, guitarist Terry Wilson, bassist Tommy Blatnik and drummer Timothy Jimenez — have reunited for Tomorrow. “The best part of this project was when the four of us were in a room making music together,” says Jimmer. “That was brilliant. I never doubted how the four of us would sound. That was the most joyous thing about making this. We didn’t overintellectualize or analyze. We trusted each other musically and the finished album made it all worthwhile.”

The Art Of A Maniac

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Art Of A Maniac is a great representation of where we are at now! Playing live with other Alberta thrash bands such as Hazzerd and WMD has definitely influenced this record! It feels good to have finally written a full-on thrash album and it was good to take the extra time over the pandemic and make sure we were satisfied with everything! We pushed our speed and playing boundaries on this record, it’s really different from our last album Purge & Reset. Any fans of thrash metal will definitely appreciate this record and we hope it’s added to their collection. Definitely our most aggressive and most focused record yet! … The album has a common theme of destruction and chaos! Themes of destroying to gain control and take over! Lyrically and musically the album moves very fast, we wanted to create a feeling of chaos happening all around the listener! We touch on subjects of mental illness, alien invasion, civil conflicts, social media, and substance abuse! We accompany that with fast riffs, shreddy solos and thick angry vocals!”

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