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Next Week in Music | March 21-27 • The Short List: 4 Titles I Want to Hear

Cowboy Junkies, Destroyer, Killing Joke and Placebo are the best of the bunch.

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Michael Bublé? Pass. Kid Rock? Uh, no. Machine Gun Kelly? Not interested. Maren Morris? Not really my thing. Clearly, there are a lot of albums coming out next week that don’t interest me. Here are a few that do:

 


Cowboy Junkies
Songs Of The Recollection

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Saying Cowboy Junkies ‘cover’ songs doesn’t quite do them justice. Like greats from the classic pop standards era, the Junkies interpret the music of others. They embrace the songs, adapting them in their own style. The band’s latest release, Songs Of The Recollection, finds the band as distinctive and individual as when they started. Long admired for their carefully chosen covers, the new album consists of nine songs by some of the band’s favorite artists. Some of the tracks are newly recorded, while some are collected from earlier projects. Listen to Songs Of The Recollection and you’ll hear works originally written and recorded by Neil Young, Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Dylan, The Cure, Gram Parsons, Vic Chesnutt, The Rolling Stones and David Bowie that the Junkies make their own — and make them sound perfectly natural beside each one another. “Long before we were musicians, we were music fans,” says guitarist Michael Timmins. We didn’t grow up sitting around the kitchen table playing instruments and harmonizing. We grew up sitting around the record player listening to each other’s record collections and having our minds blown. This was the passion that we shared.”


Destroyer
Labyrinthitis

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Labyrinthitis is a journey deep into uncharted Dan Bejar country. It brims with mystic and intoxicating terrain, the threads of Bejar’s notes woven through by a trove of allusions at once eerily familiar and intimately perplexing. “Do you remember the mythic beast?” Bejar asks at the outset of Tintoretto, It’s for You, casting torchlight over the labyrinth’s corridors. “Tintoretto, it’s for you / The ceiling’s on fire and the contract is binding.” More than an arcane puzzle for the listener, Labyrinthitis warps and winds through unfamiliar territory for Bejar as well. Written largely in 2020 and recorded the following spring, the album most often finds Bejar and frequent collaborator John Collins seeking the mythic artifacts buried somewhere under the dance floor, from the glitzy spiral of It Takes A Thief to the Books-ian collage bliss of the title track. Initial song ideas ventured forth from disco, Art of Noise and New Order, Bejar and Collins championing the over-the-top madcappery.”


Killing Joke
Lord Of Chaos EP

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Killing Joke confirm that all hope is probably lost (or at least missing) with their first new studio material in over seven years. Enter the Lord of Chaos EP — two brand new recordings, plus two re-workings of songs from the confrontational U.K. band’s last studio album, 2015’s Pylon. “I’ve never known anything like the time we are living in now; not since the Cuban Missile crisis but now in comparison we have multiple flash points,” says Jaz Coleman. “Lord of Chaos is about complex systems failure, when technology overloads and A.I. misreads the enemies intentions.” Killing Joke is very much music as ritual — raw, uncompromising and precisely-targeted lyrically; and Jaz Coleman, Geordie, Youth, and Big Paul, founding fathers of the group and an ongoing influence on both alternative music and (counter) culture in general, show absolutely no signs of mellowing. With collective nostrils flared and righteous anger carried torch-high, The Four continue to take their music of resistance to fresh levels. Consider yourself warned.”


Placebo
Never Let Me Go

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “As great masters in cataloguing the human condition, Placebo’s unique way of examining both its flaws and beauty finds fertile ground in 2021. Crawling out of the pandemic into a landscape of intolerance, division, tech-saturation and imminent eco-catastrophe, theirs is a voice that has rarely felt more significant to contemporary discourse, and more appropriate to sing these stories to the world. Within the magnetic slow-burn of new track Surrounded By Spies no punches are pulled in confronting the erosion of civil liberties, as Brian Molko’s deft lyrical delivery is married to a creeping sense of claustrophobia that fittingly makes the walls feel as though they are closing in from all around. Molko comments: “I began writing the lyrics when I discovered my neighbors were spying on me on behalf of parties with a nefarious agenda. I then began to ponder the countless ways in which our privacy has been eroded and stolen since the introduction of worldwide CCTV cameras that now employ racist facial recognition technologies; the rise of the internet and the cellphone, which has turned practically every user into a paparazzo and spectators in their own lives, and how we have mostly all offered up personal information to enormous multinationals whose sole intent is to exploit us.”