Welcome to the calm before the storm. Next week, the onslaught of new fall music begins in earnest. But for now, you’ll have to make do with these few (but worthwhile) offerings:
THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “At 43, Tom Chaplin of Keane now finds himself at an equilibrium. Or, in fact, a midpoint. On the title track to his new Ethan Johns-produced solo album Midpoint, Tom’s voice soars, painting a picture of a man who is both bemused and confused with thoughts of his midlife. Tom began writing these new songs two years ago when Keane’s Cause and Effect tour was interrupted by the pandemic. The songs, all founded on reflection and imagination, were recorded in six weeks at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in Bath and Paul Epworth’s The Church in North London. While the songs share an emotional warmth first exhibited on Tom’s 2016 solo debut The Wave, sonically this new music is a revelation. “I was like, wow, these are bare compared to what I’m used to,” Tom admits. “And it did find it frightening because with Keane records there’s so much layering to thicken things up and fill up the spaces. But this is a sparse record.” And all the better for it, letting the language and vocals reach gorgeous new heights. It’s wistful and reflective and totally engaging.”
THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Parker Gispert is the frontman of the acclaimed rock ’n’ roll band The Whigs. His new solo album Golden Years was co-produced by Roger Moutenot (Lou Reed, Yo La Tengo) and mastered by John Baldwin at RCA Studio A in Nashville. Golden Years follows his 2018 solo debut Sunlight Tonight. While that was an atmospheric, largely acoustic affair, Golden Years finds Gispert returning to his roots and delivering a collection of introspective, yet gruff rock ’n’ roll anthems with the amps cranked up. “It felt really great to bust out the electric guitars, plug into the amps, and hit the pedals,” he says. Throughout the first wave of the pandemic, Gispert experienced a revelation. “I decided what I really wanted to do was to make a rock record. It was a response to being quarantined and not being able to go to shows or hang out at rock clubs. I was trying to visualize what I would want to see if I was able to get out. For me, that was electric guitars and solos. Lyrically, it was vague, but still inspired by what was happening in the world. Musically, I got back to what initially inspired me as a child of the ’90s.” Under the influence of Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots and Built to Spill, he entered the studio with drummer John Kent (Ben Kweller), Rob Crowell (Deer Tick, Midland) on bass, longtime guitarist Evan Penza and Thayer Sarrano on keys and backing vocals. Matt Stoessel (Faye Webster) is also featured on pedal steel. “In The Whigs, we never had lead guitar or really any keyboards,” Gispert adds. “This is the fully realized rock dream for me.”
The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!
THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Thrash metal pioneers and metal icons Megadeth will cap a summer of successful global touring with the release of their highly anticipated 16th studio album The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead! Featuring twelve new tracks, The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead! consolidates a furious return to form that began with the Grammy-winning Dystopia, while pushing forward musically and marking sonic architecht Dave Mustaine’s recent triumph over throat cancer. Reuniting the visionary leader with Dystopia co-producer Chris Rakestraw (Danzig, Parkway Drive), the album was recorded at Mustaine’s home studio in Nashville, with guitarist Kiko Loureiro and drummer Dirk Verbeuren. Bassist Steve DiGiorgio temporarily stepped in to record the album, before James LoMenzo rejoined the family as permanent bass player. “For the first time in a long time, everything that we needed on this record is right in its place,” Mustaine enthused. “I can’t wait for the public to get hold of this!” Featuring some of Mustaine’s strongest songwriting while also incorporating writing from the rest of the band, The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead! brings together everything that’s exhilarating and distinctive about Megadeth. From the blistering throwback fury of Night Stalkers (featuring icon Ice-T) and first single We’ll Be Back, to the more mid-tempo and melodic Soldier On!, and the very personal title track, with its enthralling twists and turns.”