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Next Week in Music | July 11-17 • The Short List: 6 Titles You Want to Hear

Trail of Dead, Black Midi, Elf Power, Interpol, Tami Neilson & the rest of the best.

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Hey, I like Lizzo as much as the next person. But really, you don’t need me to tell you she’s dropping a new album next week. I’d rather spend the time cluing you in to these other deserving releases:

 


…And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
XI: Bleed Here Now

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Submitted for listener’s approval, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead present their 11th album Bleed Here Now in historic quadraphonic surround sound, giving listeners an immersive listening experience that will take them through a listening journey from one track to the next. Forced into a pandemic-necessitated cancellation of their 2020/2021 tours, the band retreated. After a lengthy period of doing nothing, the band decided to make an album in a way that hasn’t really been done since the ’70s: quadrophonic sound. From the opening bombast of Our Epic Attempts to the alternative drive of Penny Candle to the thunderous 11-minute opus Taken By The Hand, this album is unlike anything the band has produced before, equal parts experimental and ambitious, yet still sounding honest and true to what the band is. XI: Bleed Here Now was produced by engineer Charles Godfrey alongside Trail Of Dead’s own Conrad Keely, who also created, directed, edited and produced all of the album’s artwork again.”

 


Black Midi
Hellfire

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Black Midi — the U.K. trio of Geordie Greep (guitar, vocals), Cameron Picton (bass, vocals) and Morgan Simpson (drums) — wrote their third album Hellfire in isolation in London after the release of last yearʼs Cavalcade. Fittingly, Hellfire builds on the melodic and harmonic elements of its predecessor, while expanding the brutality and intensity of their debut Schlagenheim. As Greep describes it: “if Cavalcade was a drama, Hellfire is like an epic action film” that delves into overlapping themes of pain, loss and anguish. It is their most thematically cohesive and intentional album yet. Whereas the stories of Cavalcade were told in third person, Hellfire is presented in first-person and tells the tales of morally suspect characters. There are direct dramatic monologues, flamboyantly appealing to our degraded sense of right and wrong. Youʼre never quite sure whether to laugh at or be horrified.”


Elf Power
Artificial Countrysides

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Artificial Countrysides is the first album in more than five years from the Athens, GA. psychedelic folk band Elf Power. The band’s 14th album in nearly 30 years, it centers around the gray zones where the natural world collides with the creeping encroachment of the digital realm, where the balance between real and simulated can shift from one minute to the next. “That title also describes the songwriting process, of world-building or creating an artificial landscape within a song,” explains singer and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Rieger. He and his bandmates — drummer Peter Alvanos and guitarist Dave Wrathgabar, with contributions from keyboard player Laura Carter — have created some of the band’s most expansive musical terrain yet. Along with a blend of fuzz-tone electric and layered acoustic guitars, Moog keyboards and lively drums, the group experimented with the sounds of marimba, Mellotron, harpsichord, synth bass and distorted drum machine loops, taking a try-it-and-see approach to recording in the studio.”


Interpol
The Other Side Of Make​-​Believe

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “If fate didn’t quite ordain the circumstances for Interpol’s seventh album, it was at least fortunate that the band had happily concluded their Marauder cycle on stage in front of 30,000-odd Peruvian fans. Rather than be sent scrambling like so many other musicians on tour or promoting new music, when lockdown clamped in March 2020, Interpol quickly got into a productive mood. Coming from a group whose early work was characterised by Polish knife-wielders and incarcerated serial killers, you might expect Interpol’s pandemic record to be an emotional tar pit — doubly so, given the presence of towering producer-engineer duo Flood and Alan Moulder on the boards. But singer-guitarist Paul Banks felt the call to push in a “counterbalancing” direction, with paeans to mental resilience and the quiet power of going easy. “The nobility of the human spirit is to recover and rebound,” he says. “Yeah, I could focus on how fucked everything is, but I feel now is the time when being hopeful is necessary, and a still-believable emotion within what makes Interpol Interpol.”


Tami Neilson
Kingmaker

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Recorded at Neil Finn’s Roundhead Studios in Tami Neilson’s adopted hometown of Auckland, New Zealand, Kingmaker marks the Canadian-born singer-songwriter’s most provocative and powerful collection to date. Fueled by the world-changing events of the past two years, the album’s songs expose and explode the patriarchal structures that pervade the music industry, family life, and society as a whole. While Neilson has previously explored these themes on such acclaimed LPs as 2018’s Sassafrass!, the new album draws these challenging ideas out even further, shining a dramatic musical light on what the late bell hooks referred to as “the politics of domination” that render women nameless and voiceless. Songs like Baby, You’re A Gun and the cinematic title track see Neilson giving her own resonant voice to women everywhere — to their strength, power, fierceness, and resilience in the face of structural and cultural barriers to their full participation in society.”


Various Artists
Earl’s Closet: The Lost Archive Of Earl McGrath 1970-1980

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Earl McGrath was the ultimate ’70s jet setter, an art collector and comic bon vivant who stumbled into the record business between legendary parties in New York and L.A. and discovered Daryl Hall and John Oates and then Jim Carroll. Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun gave Earl his own label, Clean Records, in 1970; Mick Jagger hired him to run Rolling Stones Records in 1977. After Earl died in 2016, journalist Joe Hagan discovered a trove of rare and unheard tapes in Earl’s apartment in New York — literally inside his closet. “I asked for a stepladder and the first box I pulled off the shelf was a master tape of Some Girls, the Stones album,” says Hagan. Now Light in the Attic Records proudly presents Earl’s Closet, a double album of the treasures discovered inside, including unheard music by Hall and Oates, David Johansen, Terry Allen, Delbert McClinton, Carroll and an eclectic cast of undiscovered artists who once vied for fame and glory — folk, rock, country, funk and R&B gems that virtually no one has heard in decades.”