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Next Week in Music | May 29 – June 4 • The (Not Very) Short List: 22 Titles You Want to Hear

There are a shit-ton of heavy hitters stepping up to the plate. See for yourself.

Sometimes you can’t win for losing. Next week is definitely not one of those times. There are — to use a technical term — a shit-ton of heavy hitters stepping up to the plate. Here are the top 22 titles on my to-do list, in alphabetical order:


Avenged Sevenfold
Life Is But A Dream

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Avenged Sevenfold’s new album Life Is But A Dream is best served as a whole and consumed en masse to truly appreciate its musical breadth and sonic depth. Written and recorded over the span of four years, it was produced by Joe Barresi and Avenged Sevenfold in Los Angeles and mixed by Andy Wallace in the Poconos, PA. The album is a journey through an existential crisis; a very personal exploration into the meaning, purpose and value of human existence with the anxiety of death always looming. Life Is But a Dream… was inspired by the writing and philosophy of Albert Camus. Accordingly, the lyrics are rooted in existentialism and absurdism.”

Beach Fossils

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Bedroom-pop trailblazers Beach Fossils’ new album Bunny is a triumphant return for one of 2010s most influential NYC bands. Bunny delivers 11 new classics — a precise blend of the dream-pop they notoriously pioneered, familiar post-punk vigor and the sophisticated songwriting of seasoned musicians. From poignant words about a family member’s cancer battle to small, but meaningful moments with friends, Bunny is the band’s most vivid, grounded and personal work to date. The songs reflect on depression, love, adventure, loss, mistakes, New York City, friendships coming and going — a mélange of granular pieces in the process of continuing to find yourself.”

Vol. 10

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The 11-song album features 10 new Buckcherry originals and, as a bonus track, a cover of the Bryan Adams classic Summer Of ’69. The album was produced by Marti Frederiksen (Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne, Mötley Crüe) and recorded at Sienna Studios in Nashville. Vol. 10 sees Josh Todd’s distinctive rock roar as the centrepiece to a tracklisting that’s a tantalising sour mash of the album’s Music City homeland. From the enticing, bluesy one-two punch of opener This And That, the free-spirit energy of Good Time, right down to the scar-bearing vulnerability of Pain, Vol. 10 is a hefty hunk of heart and soul wrapped up in Buckcherry’s celebrated mastery of raucous riffs, lighter-toting choruses and intoxicating rock’n’roll energy.”

Lucky For You

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Lucky For You is Bully’s most close-to-the-bone album yet. It’s an album that’s searing and unmistakably marked by its creator’s experiences, while still retaining the massive sound that Alicia Bognanno has become known for over the last decade. Her fourth album draws from personal pain and the universal struggle that is existing, learning, and moving on — and it’s all soundtracked by Bognanno’s rock-solid melodic sensibilities and a widescreen sound that’s impossible to pin down when it comes to the textures explored. These ten songs are simply the most irresistible Bognanno’s put to tape yet, making Lucky For You her greatest triumph to date in a career already packed with them.”

Cowboy Junkies
Such Ferocious Beauty

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Such Ferocious Beauty is vintage Cowboy Junkies and another dimension from the lo-fi Canadian band comprised of, well, family. A tangle of sonic textures, Beauty is a rumination on aging, losing parents, facing mortality and creating space for one’s life in the midst of the ruin that comes from merely living. “Mike has never shied away from the darker, harder and sometimes uglier realities of our human condition,” Margo Timmins explains of the band’s singular focus, “nor has he shied from its beauty. Thankfully, with one comes the other.” Written in the early days of 2021 with Covid still raging, democracy burning, and the Timmins family dealing with their dad’s increasing dementia, Michael Timmins says, “It was a time of great existential dread when many of the pillars that many of us had been leaning on, for our entire lives, seemed to be crumbling. I was struck by how easy and quickly things can fall apart, if not properly respected.”

Baxter Dury
I Thought I Was Better Than You

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Baxter Dury’s latest album, I Thought I Was Better Than You, is a new era for him, and with this new era comes a new character. “Faux-confrontational,” Baxter calls him. Here, not only is he recounting his childhood, but he’s also reckoning with it. Instead of just swinging at his past blindfolded with a baseball bat, he talks openly about the toxic cocktail of being born into unfortunately fortunate circumstances, with a persuasive surname but no structure or sense of responsibility with which reap the rewards of it. “Really, it’s about being trapped in an awkward place between something you’re actually quite good at, and somebody else’s success.” That ‘somebody else’ being his dad, Ian Dury. As one of the album centrepieces — Shadow — agonisingly puts it: “But no one will get over that you’re someone’s son / Even though you want to be like Frank Ocean / But you don’t sound like him, you sound just like Ian.”

DZ Deathrays

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:R.I.F.F. is the highly anticipated sixth album from ARIA-winning Brisbane rock band DZ Deathrays. The group have come a long way since the first house party gigs they formed for, cultivating a global following for their addictive punk energy and sheer volume. Amongst DZ’s enduring fan base, they remain festival favourites, with performance tallies across multiple years at festivals around the globe, and multiple entries in the Australian charts. Coupled with their more recent LPs Bloody Lovely and their critically acclaimed twin concept albums Positive Rising: Part 1 and Part 2, the project of Shane Parsons, Simon Ridley and Lachlan Ewbank has long cemented DZ Deathrays’ staple status. It’s not every day that a band gets stronger and more popular with time.”

Bob Dylan
Shadow Kingdom

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Shadow Kingdom presents Bob Dylan performing revelatory 21st century versions of songs from his storied back catalog — including fan favorites like Forever Young and It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue, along with deep catalog gems like Queen Jane Approximately and The Wicked Messenger. Originally reinterpreted for an exclusive streaming film event, which aired in July 2021, Shadow Kingdom will now be available on vinyl, CD, and streaming platforms for the first time. The album’s setlist includes 13 original songs handpicked by Dylan for his Shadow Kingdom performance plus the closing instrumental, Sierra’s Theme.”


Ben Folds
What Matters Most

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Ben Folds’ new album What Matters Most is his first studio album since his chart-topping So There in 2015. What Matters Most is a bold, timely, cinematic work that examines the tragic and the absurd in equal measures as it reckons with hope and despair, gratitude and loss, identity and perspective. The songs are bittersweet, hilarious at times, yet often laced with a quiet sense of longing and dread. Taken as a whole, the result is an undeniably joyful album that refuses to succumb to the weight of the world around it. Folds says, “There’s a lifetime of craft and experience all focused into this one record. Sonically, lyrically, emotionally, I don’t think it’s an album I could have made at any other point in my career.”

Foo Fighters
But Here We Are

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Following a year of staggering losses, personal introspection and bittersweet remembrances, Foo Fighters return with But Here We Are. A brutally honest and emotionally raw response to everything Foo Fighters endured over the last year, But Here We Are is a testament to the healing powers of music, friendship and family. Courageous, damaged and unflinchingly authentic, But Here We Are runs the emotional gamut from rage and sorrow to serenity and acceptance, and myriad points in between. Produced by Greg Kurstin and Foo Fighters, it is in nearly equal measure the 11th Foo Fighters album and the first chapter of the band’s new life. Sonically channeling the naiveté of Foo Fighters’ 1995 debut, informed by decades of maturity and depth, But Here We Are is the sound of brothers finding refuge in the music that brought them together in the first place 28 years ago, a process that was as therapeutic as it was about a continuation of life.”

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
Council Skies

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “From the evocative album title to the cover art, to the lyrics themselves, Council Skies sees Noel Gallagher reclaiming his past and paying homage to his Mancunian roots. His most varied and accomplished solo record to date, Noel’s fourth solo studio album is a record framed by confidence, risk-taking, surefooted creative freedom, and great emotional depth. Council Skies was recorded at Noel’s own Lone Star Sound Recording Studios in London, with the album’s lusciously orchestrated strings recorded at the legendary Abbey Road Studios. Produced by Noel with long-time collaborator Paul ‘Strangeboy’ Stacey, the album also features performances from Johnny Marr on three tracks.

Ripper ’23

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “On the back of the crazy success of their last album — 2021’s I’m Sorry Sir, That Riff’s Been Taken — comes The Hard-Ons’ new album Ripper ’23. While I’m Sorry Sir, That Riff’s Been Taken was the first record made by the band’s current lineup, Ripper ’23 — their 14th studio album — is the first one made from start to finish by the current lineup. New kid/old fan Tim Rogers came on board when most of the songs were already written last time; this time he’s been involved from the start. Ripper ’23 is 100% Hard-Ons, which means that, like the cheap and nasty TV-advertised ’70s hits compilation the album takes its title and cover art inspiration from, it is all over the shop (in a good way), highlighting the group’s stylistic versatility.”

Ben Harper
Wide Open Light

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Singer-songwriter, musician and producer Ben Harper has announced his new studio album Wide Open Light, the followup to his Grammy-nominated record Bloodline Maintenance. Wide Open Light is a family of songs he’s written where each track is a close relative to the next. It’s deliberately minimalist and the songs themselves do as much of the heavy lifting as the production. “There was once a time when albums didn’t need an adjacent story or fable. When the songs were enough,” Ben says. “I’m excited to return to this.”

John Mellencamp
Orpheus Descending

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:John Mellencamp’s Orpheus Descending is his 25th album. It was produced by Mellencamp and recorded as his own Belmont Mall Studio. One of his most personal records to date, standout tracks Hey God and The Eyes of Portland focus on social issues Mellencamp continues to passionately advocate for. Preceded by a story about his encounter with a 20-something homeless woman, the solo acoustic The Eyes of Portland took aim at the empty “thoughts and prayers” condolences offered as a solution to major tragedies and dilemmas.”

Louise Post

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Louise Post knows a thing or two about what it takes to stay relevant in the music industry: For the past three decades she’s been the co-frontwoman of the celebrated act Veruca Salt. During the pandemic she started writing songs that felt more personal and less like the followup to Veruca Salt’s 2015 return-to-form, Ghost Notes. “Out of nowhere, these songs started flowing out of me and almost appeared to be writing themselves” Post explains, adding that many of these melodies came to her during the transitive state between sleep and consciousness known as hypnagogia. “What was making itself so clear to me and just seemed so obvious was that this was my purpose: writing music, writing songs and releasing them.” During these inspired solitary sessions, Post eventually wrote three albums worth of material and was able to edit it down to this collection of 11 songs with help from producer, engineer and multi-instrumentalist Matt Drenik (Lions, Battleme).”

Formal Growth In The Desert

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Composed of vocalist Joe Casey, guitarist Greg Ahee, drummer Alex Leonard and bassist Scott Davidson, Protomartyr have become synonymous with caustic, impressionistic assemblages of politics and poetry, the literal and oblique. Casey describes the underlying theme of Formal Growth In The Desert as a 12-song testament to “getting on with life,” even when it feels impossibly hard. On Formal Growth In The Desert, the desert brings an existential awareness that is ultimately internal. The “growth” came from a period of colossal transition for Casey, including the death of his mother, who struggled with Alzheimer’s for a decade and a half. Now 45, Casey had lived in the family home in northwest Detroit all his life. The neighborhood informed many of Protomartyr’s acclaimed albums, serving as a base through the band’s growth from scrappy punks to ones capable of touring the globe or bringing in The BreedersKelley Deal as a touring member in 2020.”

Tomorrow Never Comes

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Rancid — the legendary Bay Area punk rockers — are back with their 10th studio album, Tomorrow Never Comes. Carrying the same raw energy that the band has displayed since their 1991 inception, Tomorrow Never Comes was produced by longtime collaborator, Bad Religion guitarist and Epitaph founder Brett Gurewitz. Emerging from the blue-collar swamps of Berkeley, Rancid have now been a living, breathing punk rock band for over a quarter century. Through it all, tbey has remained fiercely independent, never losing their loyalty to community or each other. Their music confronts political and social issues, while balancing personal tales of love, loss, and heartbreak with attitude. Rancid give their listeners a community where everyone can belong.”

The Revivalists
Pour It Out Into The Night

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Revivalists make the kind of rock ‘n’ roll that grabs you and doesn’t let go. On their fifth full-length release, the New Orleans outfit was inspired to create a life-affirming album that in many ways connects to the original seed of inspiration for the band’s name. Pour It Out Into The Night is a celebration of resilience, living for who you are and what you’re about. The album is a life-affirming album that offers an unburdening and an appreciation for living in the moment. The band’s songwriting was fueled by lessons in gratitude that came during newfound fatherhood and marriage and the pandemic lockdown as the world came to a standstill, shifting their perspectives on what really matters in life. Pour It Out Into The Night is their most self-guided album yet and was produced by Grammy-winning producer Rich Costey (Muse, Foster the People, Death Cab for Cutie) with co-production from the band.”

Rival Sons

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Produced by longtime collaborator and Grammy winner Dave Cobb, Darkfighter — in the words of vocalist Jay Buchanan — “represents the cultural mitosis of isolation, the Pandemic, and the national fabric of the U.S. getting looser and looser. When I say cultural mitosis, there are lines being drawn constantly. We’re so divided, and you can’t step over the lines without offending someone. It certainly informed my writing. We recognized a responsibility to put a good word on people’s ears so there’s a good word coming back on their tongues too. We missed the joy of the live show and that magical interaction. When it was taken from us, that made me want to sing about topics that were important. There are strong themes on this record of loss of identity, preservation of joy, and beholding light and shape again.”

Tommy Stinson’s Cowboys In The Campfire

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In plain words, Tommy Stinson is a great American musician. You can needle-drop at any juncture of the Minneapolis native’s four-decade-plus career and find a moment of great significance. Hew was a founding and lifetime member of The Replacements. He was a key second-generation ingredient in Guns N’ Roses and served a seven-year tenure with Soul Asylum. His latest venture is Cowboys In The Campfire — a duo with good pal Chip Roberts — and their debut album Wronger is perhaps the most American album the singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer has ever made. Its 10 tracks ride a giddy trail of twang and grit, melody and (mostly lyrical) mayhem. “I’m not one to be pigeonholed — but I’m not putting a lot of thought into it that I DON’T want to be pigeonholed,” says Stinson. “For me it’s always been that the songs pretty much tell you what they’re going to do. I can sit there and work a song into the ground, forcing my will on it, or you can listen to the song and go, ‘What does this want?’ and do that. I’ve always done it that way. Ultimately it’s more about, ‘Let’s try and get the best 10 and take what we’ve got and make them the best they can be.’ “

Rufus Wainwright

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Folkocracy sees Rufus Wainwright joined by a spectacular lineup of friends, family members, and other special guest artists including Brandi Carlile, John Legend, David Byrne, Sheryl Crow, Nicole Scherzinger, Chaka Khan, Andrew Bird, ANOHNI, Susanna Hoffs, Van Dyke Parks, Madison Cunningham and many more. Produced by longtime collaborator Mitchell Froom (Paul McCartney, Crowded House), the album sees the critically acclaimed artist celebrating his upcoming 50th birthday by revisiting his roots, of childhood summers spent at folk festivals and watching his famous family on stage. The 15 songs featured on Folkocracy include folk standards from around the world along with a unique reframing of Franz Schubert as well as a spellbinding rerecording of his own Going To A Town.


THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:WITCH were the first band in Zambia to release a commercial album — 1973’s Introduction. Blending the rock ’n’ roll sounds of The Rolling Stones together with more traditional, African rhythms, WITCH pioneered a new genre dubbed Zamrock, and during their brief, yet prolific existence, WITCH (an acronym for We Intend To Cause Havoc) released seven albums and were the most revered band in the country. In 2023, WITCH will release their 8th studio album, Zango. Recorded in the same studio in Zambia as their sensational 1975 album Lazy Bones, Zango tells the story of the band’s phoenix-like rebirth into its current supergroup-like state. The album is full of international and inter-generational collaborations that chart musical histories from Zambia and beyond.”