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Next Week in Music | March 7-13 • The Short List: 6 Titles You Want to Hear

Ghost, Hoodoo Gurus, Sam Jr., Sonic Youth, Tanya Tagaq & more plays of the week.

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Ghost time travel, Hoodoo Gurus ride high, Sam Jr. steps out, Sonic Youth dig deep, Tanya Tagaq speaks out and Widowspeak suit up. Here are your plays of the week:

 


Ghost
Impera

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “We’re building our empire from the ashes of old,” say Grammy-winning Swedish theatrical rock outfit Ghost, announcing the impending arrival of Impera, the band’s fifth studio album. Impera finds Ghost transported hundreds of years forward from the 14th century Europe Black Plague era of its previous album, 2018’s Grammy nominee Prequelle. The result is the most ambitious and lyrically incisive entry in the Ghost canon: Over the course of Impera’s 12-song cycle, empires rise and fall, would-be messiahs ply their hype (financial and spiritual alike), prophecies are foretold as the skies fill with celestial bodies divine and man-made. All in all, the most current and topical Ghost subject matter to date is set against a hypnotic and darkly colorful melodic backdrop making Impera a listen like no other — yet unmistakably, quintessentially Ghost.”


Hoodoo Gurus
Chariots Of The Gods

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Despite the global COVID-19 pandemic, Hoodoo Gurus had a busy 2021, preparing for the release of their 10th studio album, Chariot of the Gods. Lead singer Dave Faulkner describes the recording of Chariot of the Gods: “The last two years have been frustrating and nerve-racking for everyone, but for the Hoodoo Gurus, this dark cloud has had a silver lining. Forced to rely on ourselves instead of the outside world for validation, there has been a creative rebirth within the band that has resulted in a new album. Most important of all, the musical bonds between the four of us have never been stronger. When the discussions are all about which songs we’re sad about having to leave off the record, that’s a damn good sign. I’m tellin’ ya, folks, we’ve got a real spring in our step right now.”


Sam Jr.
Sam Jr.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Sam Jr. eh? What’s all this, then? Fuzzed out guitars with psychedelic laced wah wahs and bongos?? And flutes? Evil nihilist ooze-rock slacker fuzz? There’s a lot of play within that framework of Sam Jr.’s self-titled debut so we’ll leave it to you to decide for yourself what Sam Jr. — you may know him as a member of Broken Social Scene, UncutBodega, Bionic, Hawaii and Yardlets — is all about when the appropriate moment comes. And far greater ambitions were afoot during the record’s creation. “My concept for awhile making this record was actually ‘What would The Dude’s band from The Big Lebowski sound like?’” laughs Sam Goldberg, Jr., the titular architect behind this long-overdue solo stepping-out. “ I’m not sure it landed there at all, but I think I was trying to harness the easygoing nature and spirit of that character. I’m a hardwired optimist and a mellow person overall, and I wanted that to come across in the songs.”


Sonic Youth
In​/​Out​/​In

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In mulling over their career, it’s staggering to realize that Sonic Youth not only delivered a healthy slab of releases as a unit but also have a myriad of shelved material still waiting for broader ears. While the group’s current Bandcamp abode lays out a generous amount of it, a bunch more has yet to surface. And it’s a massive mountain to chip away at in the sense of the group output alone; individual members’ projects are a whole other game, needless to say. In/Out/In ably delivers a new slab of mostly-unheard Sonic righteousness, with a scope on the post 2000-era band in especially zoned/exploratory regions. In/Out/In reveals their last decade to be still heavy on the roll-tape and bug-out Sonic Youth. Not all recorded in one session but rather spread out over 2000-2010, the sequencing here is especially well thought out. Shifting on the drop of a dime from quiet/deep forays into full on noised-out Autobahn stomps, they paint detailed and varied brush strokes and create organic sounds that undoubtedly carried the signature sound of the band, while ringing loud with their continual drive to free themselves from just that.”


Tanya Tagaq
Tongues

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “You don’t think about what’s underfoot until it stirs. Tanya Tagaq, an experimental, improvisational, exceptional artist, has felt the land beneath her shake. To survive, you have to know what you’re doing. To survive, you have to trust in the body. Tagaq’s power, her voice, still comes from this place, where to defy nature is doom. Tongues, Tagaq’s new album, enters deep chasms and dangerous spaces. Produced by Saul Williams and mixed by Gonjasufi, Tagaq’s Tongues speaks not to horrors and crisis, as previous Tagaq albums wordlessly, powerfully encircled, but directly of these things. Tongues is Tagaq at her most explicit and specific. Delicate, poetic passages from Split Tooth, Tagaq’s bestselling, award-winning mythobiography, crash against an industrial, electronic exoskeleton.”


Widowspeak
The Jacket

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Written in the months before and after the release of their critically acclaimed 2020 album Plum, The Jacket feels like a full-circle moment for the duo of Molly Hamilton and Robert Earl Thomas. Thematically, it considers Plum’s broader questions about the values ascribed to one’s time and labor through the more refined lens of performance and music-making. Sonically, The Jacket finds the band at their usual and best: the album breathes deeply, balancing moments of open lushness with a straightforward, Velvets-y approach. Dynamics shift seamlessly between gentle, drifting ballads and twangy jams, built up from layered guitars, dusty percussion and ambling bass lines. Elsewhere: whimsical flutes, choral textures, and basement organs. Thomas’s guitar playing is as lyrical and emotive as it’s ever been, and Hamilton’s voice: comfortable and effortless. They expertly pepper in slow-core, dream-pop, pacific northwest indie, and outlaw country, resulting in a ’60s-meets-’90s aesthetic. But the duo also wield their own aesthetic feedback loop as a tool of its own, a way to better tell multi-layered stories in their own RIYL language. This sense of sonic nostalgia adds another layer to lyrics that reflect on old selves, invented and true.”