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Next Week in Music | May 9-15 • The Short List: 8 Titles You Want to Hear

The Black Keys, Florence, Kendrick, Lyle, The Stones and everyone else on the move.

The Black Keys are ready to boogie. Florence + The Machine have dance fever. Kendrick Lamar takes a big step with Mr. Morale. The Rolling Stones return to the El Mocambo. Lyle Lovett makes a date. Kevin Morby takes a snapshot. The Smile shine a light. And Yves Jarvis does The Zug. Looks like everybody’s on the move next week. Try to keep up:


The Black Keys
Dropout Boogie

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “After 10 albums, the last five of which have gone top 10 or better, six Grammy awards, and sold-out tours around the world, The Black Keys are back with their 11th studio album, Dropout Boogie. As they have done their entire career, singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney wrote all of the material in the studio, and the new album captures a number of first takes that hark back to the stripped-down blues rock of their early days making music together in Akron, Ohio, basements. “That’s always been the beauty of the thing Pat and I do. It’s instant,” Auerbach says. “We’ve never really had to work at it. Whenever we’d get together, we’d just make music, you know? We didn’t know what we were going to do, but we’d just do it and it would sound cool. It’s the natural chemistry Pat and I have. Being in a band this long is a testament to that. It was a real gift that we were given. I mean, the odds of being plopped down a block-and-a-half from each other in Akron, Ohio — it just seems crazy.”

Florence + the Machine
Dance Fever

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Dance Fever was recorded predominately in London over the course of the pandemic in anticipation of the world’s reopening. It conjures up what Florence missed most in the midst of lockdown — clubs, dancing at festivals, being in the whirl of movement and togetherness — and the hope of reunions to come. It’s the album that brings back the very best of Florence — the festival-headlining Boudicca, wielding anthems like a flaming sword. Just before the pandemic Florence had become fascinated by choreomania, a Renaissance phenomenon in which groups of people — sometimes thousands — danced wildly to the point of exhaustion, collapse and death. The imagery resonated with Florence, who had been touring nonstop for more than a decade, and in lockdown felt oddly prescient. The image and concept of dance, and choreomania, remained central as Florence wove her own experiences of dance — a discipline she turned to in the early days of sobriety — with the folkloric elements of a moral panic from the Middle Ages. In recent times of torpor and confinement, dance offered propulsion, energy and a way of looking at music more choreographically Dance Fever is an album that sees Florence at the peak of her powers, coming into a fully realised self-knowledge, poking sly fun at her own self-created persona, playing with ideas of identity, masculine and feminine, redemptive, celebratory, stepping fully into her place in the iconic pantheon.”

Yves Jarvis
The Zug

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Zug, shorthand for Zugzwang, is a situation in which the obligation to make a move in one’s turn is a serious, often decisive, disadvantage. Zug is a town in Switzerland. The Zug is exercise and so action is paramount. A thousand plateaus extend out of reach and beyond scope … but by the might of hope our arms remain outstretched — sky scraping. Like much of Jarvis’ catalog, preconception plays little to no role in the recording process; however, Boundaries are established and honored. These geometrical frameworks hurl him into action without requiring forethought, much like Eno’s Oblique Strategies. We all know exactly how to proceed … And despite our necessary Surrender, we are granted immeasurable freedom. Like the many works under Jarvis’ belt, this is an entirely self-produced venture. From instrumentation to engineering to artwork, the autodidact has forged a bastion for vanguard exploration within which no holds are barred. These creative mediums coalesce into a higher order of consciousness, depicting the cosmic dance we both represent inwardly and engage with outwardly. With his youthful exuberance and swagger, the 25-year-old evokes a mid-1970s Bowie as he bellows operatically with palpable conviction and purpose. The Zug is at times a stadium spectacle, sometimes a whisper. From Birth to Death we celebrate and mourn, here this gamut of Feeling is condensed into a single motif. The strata of being are straddled to highlight the relational networks in which we find ourselves. Jarvis expertly appeals to our senses without patronizing us.”

Kendrick Lamar
Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “I spend most of my days with fleeting thoughts. Writing. Listening. And collecting old Beach cruisers. The morning rides keep me on a hill of silence. I go months without a phone. Love, loss, and grief have disturbed my comfort zone, but the glimmers of God speak through my music and family. While the world around me evolves, I reflect on what matters the most. The life in which my words will land next. As I produce my final TDE album, I feel joy to have been a part of such a cultural imprint after 17 years. The Struggles. The Success. And most importantly, the Brotherhood. May the Most High continue to use Top Dawg as a vessel for candid creators. As I continue to pursue my life’s calling. There’s beauty in completion. And always faith in the unknown. Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts. I’ve prayed for you all. See you soon enough.”

Lyle Lovett
12th of June

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Four-time Grammy-winning singer, composer and actor Lyle Lovett is set to release his first new album in 10 years. Produced by Chuck Ainlay and Lovett, 12th of June features a mix of new originals, standards by Nat King Cole and Dave Frishberg, and a Horace Silver instrumental, representing Lovett’s dynamic live performances with his Large Band. Coupled with his gift for storytelling, the new album continues to highlight Lovett’s ability to fuse elements of jazz, country, western swing, folk, gospel and blues in a convention-defying manner that breaks down barriers. Lovett has broadened the definition of American music in a career that spans 14 albums. Whether touring with his Acoustic Group or his Large Band, Lovett’s live performances show not only the breadth of this Texas legend’s deep talents, but also the diversity of his influences, making him one of the most compelling and captivating musicians in popular music. Since his self-titled debut in 1986, Lovett has evolved into one of music’s most vibrant and iconic performers. Among his many accolades, he was given the Americana Music Association’s inaugural Trailblazer Award, was named Texas State Musician and is a member of both the Texas Heritage Songwriters’ Association Hall of Fame and the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame.”

Kevin Morby
This Is A Photograph

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The story begins with Kevin Morby absentmindedly flipping through a box of old family photos in the basement of his childhood home in Kansas City. Just hours before, at a family dinner, his father had collapsed in front of him and had to be rushed to the hospital. That night Morby still felt the shock and fear lodged in his bones. So he gazed at the images until one of the pictures jumped out at him: his father as a young man, proud and strong and filled with confidence, posing on a lawn with his shirt off. This was in January of 2020. As the months went on and the world dramatically changed around him, Morby felt an eerie similarity between his feelings of that night and the atmosphere of those spring days. Fear, anxiety, hope and resilience all churning together. The themes began twisting in his mind. History, trauma and the grand fight against time. Having the courage to dream, even while knowing the tragedy that often awaits those who dare to dream. While his father regained his strength, Morby meditated on these ideas. And then, he headed to Memphis. He moved into the Peabody Hotel and spent his days paying tribute and genuflecting to the dreamers he admired. In the evening, he would return to his room and document his ideas on a makeshift recording set-up, with just his guitar and a microphone. The songs, elegiac in nature, befitting all he had seen, poured out of him.”

The Rolling Stones
Live At The El Mocambo

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “A legendary event in the incredible 60-year history of The Rolling Stones is being released in full for the first time. Live At The El Mocambo marks the first official appearance of the group’s two famous secret concerts at the 300-capacity Toronto club in March 1977. Only four of the performances found their way onto the Love You Live album in September 1977, which was dominated by tracks captured on the band’s 1975 and ’76 tours, with the full set having never been heard before. As the Stones took to the stage of the “El Mo,” a fixture of the Toronto music scene since the 1940s, punk and disco were both rearing into full view, supposedly ready to see off a band who had already been at the top of their game for 15 years. Over two nights, in an intimate space in one of their favourite cities, they were about to make that prognosis look foolish indeed. The gigs became reality after The El Mocambo was identified as the potential home for a secret booking. A radio contest was organised in which the prize was tickets to see Canadian rock heroes April Wine, supported by an unknown band called The Cockroaches. Guess who they turned out to be… On the nights, April Wine were themselves the opening act, and so it was that the Stones rolled back the years to the exhilarating club incarnation of their early years. Against all the odds, the band produced two nights of exhilarating music that they still talk about in Toronto, and in Rolling Stones legend, to this day.”

The Smile
A Light For Attracting Attention

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The Smile’s highly anticipated debut album A Light For Attracting Attention was produced and mixed by Nigel Godrich and mastered by Bob Ludwig. Tracks feature strings by the London Contemporary Orchestra and a full brass section of contempoarary U.K. jazz players including Byron Wallen, Theon and Nathaniel Cross, Chelsea Carmichael, Robert Stillman and Jason Yarde. The band features Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood and Sons of Kemet’s Tom Skinner. Says Greenwood: “I feel grateful that we managed, with Nigel’s help, to record these songs in a way they deserve. And the singles released so far have been liked — as far as I can tell — which makes me feel dangerously confident in the rest of the record. As the all-knowing algorithm has it, if you liked that, you’ll love this, right? Hope so. Aside from anything, the brass and strings players who helped out — I really can’t wait for you to hear all their work too.”