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Next Week in Music | Feb. 28 – March 6 • The Short List: 6 Titles You Want to Hear

GBV, Mike Campbell, Stereophonics, Band Of Horses & the rest of the best.

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Well, we’ve almost made it through another February — though it’s still pretty much the dead of winter around here. Whatever it’s like where you are, these six new albums ought to heat things up a bit. I don’t know if this lineup means that March is coming in like a lion, but I can safely say there ain’t no lambs in this bunch (except maybe Peach Pit). See for yourself:

 


Area Resident
Quasar

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Make no mistake, Jordon Zadorozny says — this is your best album. He should know, he’s been half of all six of them. There’s a few bangers, there’s a lovely ballad featuring John Higney on lapsteel. There’s a song commissioned by Thomas Marolda. Stuff about quitting booze. Stuff about getting diagnosed with ADHD. Even an instrumental. I moved four times during the making of this album. I got divorced. I fell in love — and Chelle even sings on two of the songs. I got new people involved besides her, too — Patrick Lawlor and Wayne Coulis. Three of the songs are recorded using Jim Bryson’s bass. Andrew King did the artwork again.”


Band of Horses
Things Are Great

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Their sixth studio album and their first record in more than five years, Band of Horses’ Things Are Great is a return to their earlier work and the kind of raw ethos that lies at the heart of Band of Horses. This time around, band founder Ben Bridwell took a bigger role in production than he ever has previously, producing or co-producing every song on the album. He brought in old collaborators including Grandaddy’s Jason Lytle, Dave Fridmann and Dave Sardy, but it’s not just old friends who were able to help Bridwell achieve the sound he envisioned. For the first time he worked with engineer Wolfgang “Wolfie” Zimmerman. The two had an instant connection which can be felt throughout the record. Emotionally intense, both on a personal and elemental level, the songs for the most part were written before the world shut down, when all of us were faced with our own mortality and began to take stock of our lives. Here we find Bridwell more autobiographical than he’s ever been on record detailing the nebulous frustrations and quiet indignities of relationship changes and what a person will do to make things right. And what you do when you can’t.”


Mike Campbell & The Dirty Knobs
External Combustion

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Mike Campbell & The Dirty KnobsExternal Combustion showcases the band’s evolution, pushing their sound to a new level and jumping ahead in vision and drive, while proving the first record was no one-shot deal Co-produced by Campbell and George Drakoulias (Black Crowes, Jayhawks), the 11-track album was recorded at Campbell’s home studio. External Combustion also features Margo Price and Ian Hunter as well as fellow Heartbreakers member Benmont Tench on Lightning Boogie. Although Campbell wrote most of the songs on the new album within the past year, two of the tracks had been written in the 90’s, only to be rediscovered in Campbell’s extensive vault of unreleased compositions. Campbell recalled, “The band became this spontaneous type of combustion – to borrow a word. The longer we played, the more intuitive it got.”


Guided by Voices
Crystal Nuns Cathedral

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The mighty Guided By Voices are set to unleash upon the world their 35th and quite possibly best album, Crystal Nuns Cathedral. How do they do it you might ask? Well we have no idea how they do it, but we certainly do know why they do it. They do it because quite honestly we need them to do it. The world needs The Rock, and we need loud guitars, we need anthemic songs, we need a reason to raise a rock fist in the air and give a “Hell Yeah”! On Crystal Nuns Cathedral, the band delivers all of this and so much more. Just four months since It’s Not Them. It Couldn’t Be Them. It Is Them!, comes this latest, 12 songs determined to challenge for the title of greatest Guided by Voices album of all-time. Hyperbole you say? Not this time. The guitars are bigger, the arrangements are more ambitious, the songs are uplifting, epic, and as incredibly hook-laden as always! This record is a statement, a challenge, a monument, a call to arms. Top this one if you can, this is the new benchmark. Who will best it? Who will try? Listen to Crystal Nuns Cathedral and report back to us. We will be eagerly waiting.”


Peach Pit
From 2 To 3

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Indie-rock band Peach Pit’s new album From 2 to 3 infuses more organic and acoustic elements into Peach Pit’s signature-smooth sound, with many band members playing multiple instruments on the record such as tambourine, cowbell, harmonica, lap steel, and more. Lead singer Neil Smith says: “From 2 to 3 is a collection of songs that were written late at night, alone in a small apartment with a hushed voice so as not to wake anyone … The guys and I and our long-time collaborator Lester also went on a road trip this summer and filmed some videos that we really feel capture the spirit of the music perfectly. We’re very excited about releasing new music; making records together is really one of the most fun things for us. But there’s nothing as exciting as the thought of playing live again. It’s something obviously everyone has missed so much, going to concerts, hanging out with your buds. And for us it’s by far the best part of what we get to do. And things are looking up, baby! We can’t wait to see everyone in 2022.”


Stereophonics
Oochya!

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:StereophonicsOochya! features 15 tracks. As the veteran band celebrate 25 years as one of the U.K.’s most loved bands, with Oochya! Kelly Jones continues to cement his place amongst the great British songwriters. Having now achieved seven No. 1 albums and 8.5 million albums sold in the U.K. alone, Stereophonics stand as undeniable giants of British music. Kelly says the single Hanging On Your Hinges “was influenced by my love of early ZZ Top and darker stuff like Masters Of Reality and maybe some Iggy Pop too and probably nods back to Bartender And The Thief. It’s the song on this album that says Oochya! more than anything else, so it’s something we wanted the fans to hear first.” As for that unusual album title, Jones explains: “Oochya! was always a saying me and the band used in the studio to mean ‘let’s have it’ — a blast of energy and optimism — and that’s what we wanted to get across with Hinges.”