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Next Week in Music | May 1-7 • The Short List: 11 Titles You Want to Hear

Downie & Rock, Crowell & Tweedy, Olivia Jean, Lemon Twigs & the rest of the best.

A certain ginger superstar and a well-known trio of grown-up pop bros have new albums out next week. We shall not speak of them further here. But we shall discuss these lesser-known, more-deserving options:

 


The Bohannons
Night Construction

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Headed by brothers Marty and Matt Bohannon, The Bohannons are one of America’a undiscovered musical treasures — a massively underappreciated band that have been doing it their way for 20-plus years. Now, the brothers Bohannon, along with drummer Mike Gault and bassist Justin Colburn, are set to release their latest studio album Night Construction. Split between Tennessee and Alabama — Chattanooga and Birmingham, to be precise — the band emerge from post-Covid paranoia and doubt to claim what is rightfully theirs. Recorded and mixed at Dial Back Sound in Mississippi and Chase Park Transduction in Athens, Georgia by Henry Barbe, The Bohannons’ fifth album is a down-to-earth, objectively heavy snapshot of two red-headed brothers scratching a headspace that can’t come to terms with a cultural friction that only the Southeastern United States can whip up. Time and distance are simply tools of creativity for the band. Their orbit has had its revolutions, but given that the story of The Bohannons is based on reflection and the fact that a tumultuous past is omnipresent. Difficult times and difficult places have always been at the center of the writing and Night Construction is proof that dreams are escape, good and evil are real and that there is hope for justice out there somewhere.”


Buck 65
Super Dope

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Alright, y’all. Things are happening. Let’s get right to it. My next album is called Super Dope. Having found my place and loving how it feels, I’m now making music with 100% confidence and clarity. My new album is the next step. Time will decide how it stacks up against my last album King Of Drums. It’s certainly a logical continuation. As I was making King Of Drums, I recognized a few things to improve upon and refine and I feel as though I did that with Super Dope. King Of Drums was made with no budget. Same deal with Super Dope. I used the exact same recording setup, which is crappy. A few months ago, I showed my old homie Sixtoo the setup and he laughed in my face. It’s ramshackle. All of my gear is cheap. The only thing I added since King Of Drums is a little portable tape deck from the ’80s that I used to record a few things. One thing I love about King Of Drums is that it just keeps coming at you relentlessly. I tried to take that energy up a notch with Super Dope. There’s constant movement. There are a million ideas per minute. I reckon you’ll need to listen at least a few times to process everything. The beats are 100% sample-based. There are no live instruments. No midi instruments either. I took my turntable work up a notch too. I practice a lot these days and when you practice, you get better. Same deal with the rapping. I’ve done a lot of rapping over the last few years and I’ve learned some things. I’m a better technical rapper now than I was when I was 25 years old — by a long shot. And I think I know how to get an idea across more effectively and more efficiently.”


Combustible Edison
Forbidden Isle Of Demos

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “This is the apéritif that started the album that helped start the cocktail and exotica rebirth of the ’90s! It’s hard to call recordings as lush and beautiful as these demos, but that’s what they are. These reels preceded the band’s Subpop debut I, Swinger, and contains early versions of most of that album along with songs you’ve never heard them do on record before! The devil’s in the demos! A singing, dancing tour of the seven wonders of the cocktail world hosted by Satan — it’s as awesome an origin story as any band could want. Especially the ensemble that kicked off the ’90s neo-lounge scene. In hindsight, the 1992 recordings seem as shockingly prescient as they were anachronistic, having foreshadowed everything from neo-swing to post-rock. And the ripples are still spreading. “I do feel like there is yet another resurgence of cocktail culture and tiki bars and things,” reports drummer / vibraphonist Aaron Oppenheimer. “Maybe it’ll find a new audience. And maybe those folks who were fans 30 years ago will think, ‘Oh, yeah, that stuff is pretty good!’ It’s exciting.”


Rodney Crowell
The Chicago Sessions

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Rodney Crowell’s new album The Chicago Sessions was produced by Jeff Tweedy and recorded by Tom Schick at Wilco’s Loft in Chicago. The masterful, cross-generational collaboration follows Crowell’s acclaimed 2021 album Triage. Crowell delivers an incisive, engaging collection that balances careful craftsmanship with joyful liberation at every turn. Sounding both fresh and familiar, it’s among Crowell’s very best work. As Tweedy puts it, “The way that Rodney writes is deeply connected to a classic era of country songwriters that I’ve always loved. In my estimation, it’s as close as I can get to working with Townes Van Zandt or Felice and Boudleaux Bryant — people who crafted songs with a very specific sensibility. And I like being near that.” It would be difficult to overstate Crowell’s impact on country and roots music over the past 50 years. He may be a seasoned veteran, but the transcendent The Chicago Sessions feels like the first time all over again.”


Gord Downie & Bob Rock
Lustre Parfait

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Gord Downie, the iconic frontman of The Tragically Hip, and Bob Rock, the legendary producer perhaps best known for Metallica’s Black Album, are finally releasing their long-mythologized collaboration.  Downie and Rock’s collaboration began when they first worked together on The Tragically Hip’s World Container (2006) and We Are The Same (2009). It was after the second outing that Downie asked if Rock had music he could write lyrics for. The sonic spaces that Rock would provide led Downie into the depths of his notebooks, armed with the musical clues to find the brilliance mapped therein. Compared to the raw intimacy of Downie’s posthumous solo releases — 2017’s letter to loved ones Introduce Yerself, and 2020’s ghostly goodbye Away Is MineLustre Parfait offers a gift of unbridled energy from one of Canada’s most eternally cherished voices. Rock says: “First and foremost Gord was my friend, and having the opportunity to work with him on these songs was one of the biggest highlights of my professional life. I am grateful that I got to witness his genius in such close proximity.”


Intercourse
Halo Castration Institute

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In a nod to the iconic line from the film Stand By Me, Intercourse’s Halo Castratio Institute kicks off with frontman Tarek Ahmed bellowing: “Hey man, want to see a dead body?” What follows is an eerie Jesus Lizardy dirge that slips into a Neanderthal breakdown, serving as a perfect introduction to Intercourse’s world. Choosing brutish simplicity as their weapon of choice, the band prowls the shadowy fringes of noise rock and hardcore, a zone also occupied by the likes of Chat Pile and Couch Slut. “We’re too weird for a lot of the hardcore scene and too aggro for the weird scene,” states Ahmed. The band’s sole founding member, Ahmed wields a singular vocal style that smashes the line between the sublime and the ridiculous. With a strangulated roar, almost cartoonish in its unhinged glory, Ahmed spouts painfully direct, often poetic, lyrics about the pain of existence. His songs reference a litany of characters from his own past, growing up in the backwoods of Connecticut as an Egyptian kid in the post-9/11 years, and from the annals of true crime — hitman Richard “The Iceman” Kulkinski, bulldozer enthusiast Marvin Heemeyer, and Björk stalker Ricardo Lopez, to name a few. Halo Castration Institute is Intercourse’s ninth release in less than a decade.”


Olivia Jean
Raving Ghost

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Raving Ghost is an album populated by mysterious characters in various states of danger — cursed lovers, doomed souls, women deliriously haunted by unseen forces. Over the course of its 11 spellbinding tracks, Olivia Jean amplifies that drama with her wildly melodic take on garage-rock, handling each riff with the power and precision she’s previously shown as a member of The Black Belles and as an in-demand session/touring musician. Featuring backing from such top musicians as My Morning Jacket keyboardist Bo Koster, Jellyfish co-founder Roger Joseph Manning Jr, and drummers Carla Azar (T-Bone Burnett, Nikki Lane) and Patrick Keeler (Raconteurs, Afghan Whigs), these songs stand tall as a feverish collision of goth-punk, power-pop, and classic garage, charged with an energy so intense that the speakers to several of Valentine Recording Studios’ vintage amps ended up blowing out during the sessions. A stunning evolution of the retro-surf sound featured on Olivia Jean’s critically acclaimed past solo work, Raving Ghost ultimately proves the most magnificently heavy and mesmerizing output yet from an endlessly fascinating artist.”


Durand Jones
Wait Til I Get Over

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Hometowns have a way of keeping a part of you,” says Durand Jones, regarding his forthcoming solo debut album. Wait Til I Get Over is a veneration project — an abstracted and contemporary oral tradition that passes story down from (and heaps homage upon) his hometown of Hillaryville, Louisiana. Jones lays us several courses and flavors of sound that are all distinctly Southern and Black — rhythms heavy with raw, Delta grit; bright exhalations of church spirituals; even tender, cadent spoken word. But most importantly, each track is an arc quite literally grounded in the story, the feeling, and the sound of what it means to go home. Taken as a whole, Wait Til I Get Over joins albums like Sound & Color, A Seat At The Table, and We Are as a mesmerizing new addition to Southern Black music, affirming Jones as a uniquely gifted artist and vanguard of the form. With Wait Til I Get Over, Jones forges something undeniably novel out of enduring, existential themes like faith, love, and self-worth.”


The Lemon Twigs
Everything Harmony

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In Everything Harmony, the fourth full-length studio release from New York’s The Lemon Twigs, the prodigiously talented brothers Brian and Michael D’Addario offer 13 original servings of beauty that showcase an emotional depth and musical sophistication far beyond their years as a band, let alone as young men. While they eagerly devour musical influences from everything and everywhere, they have somehow arrived at a cohesive and dynamic sound that speaks to our troubled times. On Everything Harmony, the brothers have fully realized their vision, with a unified signature sound that successfully blends their distinct personalities while giving voice to their diverse and eclectic influences. Everything Harmony is a unified song cycle born of shared blood and common purpose. With two musical heads being better than one, there’s no shortage of ideas to draw on. Their only impediments are time and the challenge of keeping up with their own prolific musical inspiration.”


Shit Present
What Still Gets Me

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “For almost three years, Shit Present frontperson Iona Cairns struggled to write a song. It was the result of a hospitalisation, and coming to terms with her mental health issues, and while Cairns was in a much healthier place, she felt as if she couldn’t return to the person she was before. Then, without any epiphany or grand catalyst, Cairns picked up the guitar again and began writing what would become their first full-length album What Still Gets Me. The album deals with weighty emotions, but it’s not about helplessness or intimidation. Through Cairns’ exorcising vocal delivery and the band’s relentless sonic arrangements, there’s a kind of rebirth that announces she is not a victim of herself nor anyone else. It’s a surrender to the feelings that make us uncomfortable, pushing them to the forefront instead of hiding them behind a curtain. By owning the messy, ever-changing landscape of our interior worlds, Shit Present offer up a collection where we can find solace in even our darkest, scariest moments.”


The Smashing Pumpkins
ATUM Act 3

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Smashing Pumpkins’ 12th studio album is a three-act rock opera album titled Atum (pronounced Autumn). Atum will feature 33 tracks and is the sequel to 1995’s Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness and 2000’s Machina/Machine Of God. Atum was written and produced by Billy Corgan over the past four years. The album tells an epic interplanetary story set in the not-too-distant future, though the songs themselves respectively stand on their own in the Pumpkins pantheon. The album features three original members of the band — Corgan, James Iha and Jimmy Chamberlin — as well as longtime guitarist Jeff Schroeder. Corgan had been developing the idea for the rock opera for years, and the pandemic gave him the time off the road to meticulously complete it in the grandiose way he had intended.”

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