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Next Week in Music | April 25 – May 1 • The Short List: 13 Titles You Want to Hear

Bloc Party, Rammstein, Action Bronson, Ann Wilson & the rest of next week's best.

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A lot of people believe 13 is an unlucky number. I would disagree — at least when it comes to next week’s big album releases. Here are a baker’s dozen titles to put on your playlist:

 


Action Bronson
Cocodrillo Turbo

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Like all great competitive warriors, Action Bronson uses every perceived slight as fuel to be even better. The rare rapper to marry critical acclaim with a devoted, rabid following, Action Bronson isn’t anyone’s idea of an underdog. And yet, on his brilliant new album, Cocodrillo Turbo, he sets out to prove that his lingual versatility is stronger than it’s ever been, that age has only made him a better rapper, and that anyone still sleeping on him as one of the best MCs on the planet better wake the hell up. With his boundless creativity and hustler’s work ethic, Bronson relies almost entirely on his intuitive grasp for rap music on Cocodrillo. The result is an album that is equal parts freewheeling and tight as a snare drum. Cocodrillo is, in a sense, a series of sketched vignettes. Bronson is a storyteller but his songs don’t move linearly. It’s what makes him such a special narrator. With beats from Daringer, Alchemist, and more, Cocodrillo finds Bronson diving further into the psychedelic underbelly of American culture than ever before. He’s a sociologist on two tabs of acid, Slavoj Žižek after a massive blunt. “You’re not going to hear shit on my records that you’ll hear anywhere else,” he explains. “So everything I touch is hand fucking picked and chosen because it pushed me to places I didn’t know existed.”


Bloc Party
Alpha Games

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Bloc Party return with their forthcoming sixth studio album Alpha Games. It’s the band’s first studio album since 2016’s Hymns, and the first Bloc Party album written and recorded with Justin Harris on bass and the unbridled energy and power of Louise Bartle on the drums. The album’s 12 tracks veer from the intense and confrontational (Traps, Day Drinker) to melodic and introspective (If We Get Caught, By Any Means Necessary), and marks a new and important chapter in one of music’s most important voices in Kele Okereke and important bands in Bloc Party. “Alpha Games was conceived on the road, playing in front of amazing crowds on our last tour and then brought to life with the fire and the frustrations of 2020,” says Okereke. “We wanted to can what was happening at those massive gigs in 2019, to showcase what Louise can do, what Russell is capable of and most importantly the electricity coming off the audience. The result feels like fire in a bottle.”


Robert Fripp
Washington Square Church

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “After completing the first round of concerts with a revived King Crimson starting in May 1981, Fripp headed over to the USA for a week-long residency at Washington Square United Methodist Church on 135 W Fourth Street in New York. The series of Frippertronics concerts were held in aid of a Soho-based theatre group and they find the guitarist using his technique of slowly building the music from the ground up, step by step. It’s an approach which demonstrates how the addition or subtraction of a single note can change the entire mood of a piece as we move in the space of a few bars from an atmosphere of pensive anticipation to one of yearning hope. In an interview just weeks before these concerts, Fripp was asked why he continued to perform Frippertronics concerts. “It gives me a way of working with intimate contact with members of an audience … It’s almost an excuse to put me in a situation where one has the audience, performer and music, and in a certain kind of way something remarkable can happen. And that has happened to me, and it’s not possible in a group … Frippertronics is the most enjoyable means of playing I’ve ever found.”


Frog Eyes
The Bees

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Beloved Vancouver band Frog Eyes are back. It’s fitting that Frog EyesCarey Mercer (vocals, guitar), Melanie Campbell (drums), and Shyla Seller (synthesizer, electric piano) — has chosen 2022 to release their latest album The Bees. From the very first guitar riffs on opening track Rainbow Stew, one can sense this latest album is an exploration of the past, a synthesis of what came before, a celebration of having developed a singular sound within the confines of rock music. “At some point, I started thinking a lot (too much?) about a very specific kind of pressure put on record producers, music makers, to constantly innovate or reinvent ourselves,” says Mercer. And so, after thinking through the idea that “novelists and painters are allowed to have eras, periods, bodies of work that find a small bit of psychic space and then, over years and decades, testify to the ecology of that space,” Mercer began to write. “So I wrote songs that take in the view of my past, or explore the little stake I have made over the past 20 years of work: I thought of my past as my future, and it felt a bit radical.”


The Head And The Heart
Every Shade Of Blue

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Every Shade Of Blue conveys a spectrum of emotions and how we live with them,” The Head And The Heart say. “The closer we get the more shades we see. The more shades we see the more responsibility we hold. We all want to feel loved and protected. The question is will we be supported and seen by the ones we love in Every Shade Of Blue.”


Julie & Dany
Julie & Dany

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Julie & Dany welcomed us into their daily lives, at their creative hub, for a drink in their kitchen while they play us a tune. Produced entirely in their home in Memramcook, N.B., this first album was written, composed, and recorded during the mandatory isolation between Quebec and its neighbouring province. These songs are born from the complicity that enlightens the couple’s everyday lives: They treasure the magic of tiny details, a pure existence stripped of pomp and extravagance. Doiron began her career in the early ‘90s as part of the rock group Eric’s Trip. The Moncton band quickly garnered interest in the indie rock scene and signed with the prestigious label Sub Pop. At the same time, she launched several solo EPs and a first full-length album Broken Girl, in 1996. In 2007, Woke Myself Up was shortlisted for the Polaris Prize. Dany Placard has an impressive oeuvre of his own. After the breakup of Plywood 3/4 in the mid-2000s, Dany decided to pursue a solo career. Julie & Dany is the union of two exceptional artists. Their collaboration embodies humility and authenticity.”


Miranda Lambert
Palomino

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “With the progressive 15-song album, Palomino, Miranda Lambert has crafted a record that explores the world and the people in it, seeking beauty and adventure all around. Her inner stranger travels lyrically from Fort Worth to the Mojave Desert; Battambang, Cambodia to Maine; the Crystal Palace in Bakersfield to the Rocky Mountains and beyond. In each destination and with every character met along the way, Lambert’s freewheeling trek is a work of unbridled freedom and self-discovery without painful introspection. “The making of this record has been one of the most fun and creative experiences of my career,” reflects the woman who holds the title of most-awarded artist in ACM history. “Luke Dick, Natalie Hemby, and I went out to my farm in Tennessee in 2020 and started writing songs. We figured while we have time let’s get out to the country and see what happens. The first one we wrote was Tourist and that set us on a path to create something with a bit of a theme. Since we couldn’t travel at the time, we decided to go on a journey through songs. I hope y’all are ready to travel with us wandering spirits and meet some cool characters with great stories.”


Corb Lund
Songs My Friends Wrote

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “On Songs My Friends Wrote, Corb Lund puts his spin on 10 songs that were written by some of his closest pals and world-class songwriters such as Ian Tyson, Hayes Carll, Todd Snider and more. “Songs My Friends Wrote is an album I’ve been threatening to make for years,” says Lund. “In most cases I’ve picked relatively obscure songs that have always spoken to me, even though many of them won’t be so familiar to people. The best part about recording all these tunes was that they reminded me of all the people who I haven’t been able to hang out with for the past two years because of the plague we’ve all been dealing with. All of these tunes bring a smile to my face and I hope they do the same for you.”


Charles Mingus
The Lost Album from Ronnie Scott’s

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Lost Album from Ronnie Scott’s contains a volcanic, never-before-heard 1972 club performance by bassist-composer Charles Mingus’s powerful sextet. The live set, comprising nearly two-and-a-half hours of music, was professionally recorded on eight-track tapes via a mobile recording truck on Aug. 14-15, 1972. However, the performance went unreleased, for Mingus — along with every other top jazz musician on the Columbia roster except for Miles Davis — was dropped by the label in the spring of 1973. The Lost Album features nine performances captured during the two-night engagement; some of them — the then-new compositions Orange Was the Color of Her Dress, Then Silk Blues and Mind-readers’ Convention in Milano and the war horse Fables of Faubus — are epics that stretch close to or past the half-hour mark. In its entirety, the set bears comparison to Mingus’ storied concerts at Monterey, Carnegie Hall, and Antibes.”


Willie Nelson
A Beautiful Time

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Among its many musical delights, A Beautiful Time introduces a variety of newly written future pop-country classics, including five new Willie Nelson / Buddy Cannon compositions and contributions from some of Nashville’s finest contemporary songwriters. The collection also premieres Willie’s heartfelt and insightful covers of Leonard Cohen’s Tower of Song and The BeatlesWith A Little Help From My Friends. Produced by Willie’s longtime musical collaborator Cannon, A Beautiful Time is a fully realized new studio album showcasing Willie and Trigger (his signature guitar) playing with musicians including Jim “Moose” Brown (organ and piano), Fred Elringham (drums), Barry Bales (upright bass), Bob Terry (electric guitar, acoustic guitar, steel guitar), James Mitchell (electric guitar) and the patented harmonic stylings of Mickey Raphael. Melonie Cannon sings backup on five of the album’s tracks.”


Rammstein
Zeit

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Rumours have been buzzing around, now it’s official: Rammstein’s new album Zeit is here. The eighth release from the Berlin musicians follows the untitled number one opus that shot the band straight to the top of 14 international charts in 2019, after the longest break between albums of their career to date. Till Lindemann (vocals), Paul Landers (guitar), Richard Z. Kruspe (guitar), Flake (keyboards), Oliver Riedel (bass) and Christoph Schneider (drums) spent two years working on the 11 songs on the new album. They were once again assisted by Berlin producer Olsen Involtini. Zeit was recorded at La Fabrique Studios in St. Rémy de Provence, France.”


Trombone Shorty
Lifted

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Take a listen to Lifted, Trombone Shorty’s second release for Blue Note Records, and you’ll hear ecstatic energy coursing through the entire collection. Recorded at Shorty’s own Buckjump Studio with producer Chris Seefried (Fitz and the Tantrums, Andra Day), the album finds the Grammy-nominated NOLA icon and his bandmates tapping into the raw power and exhilarating grooves of their legendary live show, channeling it all into a series of tight, explosive performances that blur the lines between funk, soul, R&B, and psychedelic rock. The writing is bold and self-assured, standing up to hard times and loss with grit and determination, and the playing is muscular to match, mixing pop gleam with hip-hop swagger and second line abandon. Wild as all that may sound, Lifted is still the work of a master craftsman, and the album’s nimble arrangements and judicious use of special guests — from Gary Clark Jr. and Lauren Daigle to the rhythm section from Shorty’s high school marching band — ultimately yields a collection that’s as refined as it is rapturous, one that balances technical virtuosity and emotional release in equal measure as it celebrates music’s primal power to bring us all together. “I think this is the closest we’ve ever gotten to bottling up the live show and putting it on a record,” says Shorty, whose audiences have grown exponentially in recent years. “Normally when I’m in the studio, I’m trying to make the cleanest thing I can, but this time around, I told everybody to really cut loose, to perform like they were onstage at a festival.”


Ann Wilson
Fierce Bliss

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “There is a calm, serene spirituality about Ann Wilson in 2022 which instantly draws you to her. She feels like a warm, wise someone who has seen enough bullshit to know how to avoid it calmly, and someone who is at peace with whatever she needs to be at peace with. Perhaps that is why the soul (and, indeed title) of her latest album Fierce Bliss offers such universally entertaining, engaging, honest and safe harbor from these unpredictable times. A meeting with legendary veteran “artist’s lawyer” Brian Rohan provided the catalyst for the album’s creation. Ann says: “Brian recommended people to me that knew people in Nashville, so I met these guys like [famed Nashville session guitarist] Tom Bukovac and Tony Lucido at those Muscle Shoals Sound Studio sessions. I’d never met them before, and they really inspired me. It was like a big door opening.” With the musical chemistry organically established, Fierce Bliss came together quickly. “I had originally intended to go in, record a few songs and see what I had, but it just took on this life.”