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Next Week in Music | June 12-18 • The Short List: 14 Titles You Want to Hear

King Gizzard, QOTSA, Gov't Mule, Mellencamp, Killer MIke & the rest of the best.

Queens Of The Stone Age and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. Gov’t Mule and Deer Tick. Drive-by Truckers and Motorpsycho. Killer Mike and Kool Keith. Son Volt and The Alarm. If you didn’t know better, you might suspect next week’s big album releases were being co-ordinated. Here are all the titles to put on your list (in alphabetical order):


The Alarm

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Forwards is the dramatic new album by The Alarm. Back to life after a year dominated by pneumonia and a serious leukemia relapse, lead singer and songwriter Mike Peters is once again ready to lead The Alarm as they present their new music to the world. Forwards is alive with melody and invention and destined to contend for a top place amongst The Alarm’s extensive discography, one that boasts over 17 Top 50 U.K. singles and over six million album sales worldwide. “I literally took my guitar into hospital with me,” says Peters. “I was on the ward for such a long time, I started writing the songs for Forwards in between IV sessions and the first people to hear the music were, literally, the very people who were trying to keep me alive.”

Deer Tick
Emotional Contracts

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Emotional Contracts, the latest full-length album from Deer Tick, catalogs the existential casualties accompanying the passing of time, instilling each song with the reckless spirit defining the band for nearly two decades. The Providence-bred four-piece spent months working on demos in a warehouse space in their hometown before heading into the studio with producer Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Spoon, Sleater-Kinney). Emotional Contracts fully echoes the unruly energy of its creation, ultimately making for a heavy-hearted yet wildly life-affirming portrait of growing older without losing heart. Deer Tick embraced a decidedly free-and-easy approach to the recording process at Fridmann’s Tarbox Road Studios in Western New York. “We’ve had a habit of trying to maintain strict control over everything in the studio, but this time we wanted to see what it would feel like to let go a bit,” says singer/guitarist John McCauley.”

Drive-By Truckers
The Complete Dirty South

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In 2004, Drive-By Truckers released what would become the best-selling album in their illustrious catalog — The Dirty South, a concept album that examines the state of the South, and unveils the hypocrisy, irony, and tragedy that continues to exist. The album features live show staples like Tornadoes, Where The Devil Don’t Stay and Puttin People On The Moon. The Complete Dirty South is a band-led rework of the original album. Principal member Patterson Hood took the reins and reimagined this record as it was originally intended. The complete version features resequenced audio, three additional tracks, four remixes along with updated vocals. The packaging comes with a perfect bound book featuring liner notes from Hood, track-by-track descriptions from Mike Cooley and Jason Isbell, plus never-before-seen photos along with updated artwork from the late Wes Freed. Says Hood: “This ‘Director’s Cut’ is the way it was always intended to be heard.”

Gov’t Mule
Peace…Like A River

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Peace…Like A River, Gov’t Mule’s 12th studio album and followup to their chart-topping, Grammy-nominated Heavy Load Blues, features a 12-song rock collection with guest appearances from Billy Bob Thornton, Billy F Gibbons, Ivan Neville, Ruthie Foster and more. The tracks on Peace…Like A River explore the many sides of Gov’t Mule and bring together all of the qualities that have earned the four-piece — Warren Haynes (guitar, vocals), Matt Abts (drums), Danny Louis (keyboards, guitar, and backing vocals) and Jorgen Carlsson (bass) — the beloved stature they enjoy today. Concise songcraft coexists seamlessly with the band’s trademark instrumental journeys. Songs longer than pop convention are somehow still compact: they’re explorative but never meandering; the tunes are at once both wide-ranging and tightly focused. Thematically, the new album explores the positive changes the world has gone through over the past couple of years. Influenced both in his songwriting and playing by what Haynes calls “the golden era of rock, soul, jazz and blues,” Gov’t Mule combines the best and most enduring qualities from all those musical strains to create a timeless piece of art on that could have come out in the 1970s.”

Killer Mike

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Michael marks celebrated Run The Jewels MC Killer Mike’s first solo project since 2012’s critically lauded R.A.P. Music and serves as an introduction to the totality of Michael Render, a lifelong rap fiend whose consciousness is seeped in the sounds of community that raised him — multiple eras of southern rap flows, Sunday church service, and barbershop discourse. Speaking on his most autobiographical and independent album to date, Mike states “RTJ is The X-Men, this is my Logan.” Beyond his work with Run The Jewels, Killer Mike has been an active solo artist for over 20 years, releasing studio albums and mixtapes, while also collaborating on projects by some of the biggest names in hip-hop including Outkast, Jay-Z, Big Boi, T.I., Black Thought and more. Killer Mike secured a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance Duo or Group for his collaboration with Outkast, The Whole World, and also featured on Poppin’ Tags off Jay-Z’s triple-platinum album The Blueprint 2: The Gift and the Curse.”

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard
Petrodragonic Apocalypse; Or, Dawn Of Eternal Night: An Annihilation Of Planet Earth And The Beginning Of Merciless Damnation

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard’s 24th album, PetroDragonic Apocalypse; or, Dawn of Eternal Night: An Annihilation of Planet Earth and the Beginning of Merciless Damnation is the group’s second full-length album excursion into thrash, following 2019’s Infest The Rats’ Nest — though, as you might expect, PetroDragonic Apocalypse is no mere retread of Rats’ Nest’s gory glories, but rather a full evolutionary step all of its own. This one is for all the people out there who wanna watch the world burn.”

Kool Keith
Black Elvis 2

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Get ready for a mind-bending trip through the hip-hop cosmos with the one and only Kool Keith. Black Elvis is back with his long-awaited sequel. Keith takes his information-age rhymes to a whole new level, with a sound that’s equal parts streets and space. Featuring collaborations with Marc Live, Raaddrr Van, Dynamite, Agallah, and the legendary Ice-T, this album will leave you reeling. Plug in your ethernet and dial up to travel through Kool Keith’s multiverse.”

Bettye LaVette

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “I ain’t got no f*cking other plan,” says the legendary Bettye LaVette. She’s talking about her 61-year storied career, beginning in 1960’s Detroit, with a resurgence in the mid-2000’s. For her latest LP, simply titled LaVette!, she teamed once again with producer Steve Jordan. An interpreter without peer, Bettye chose to record an album of songs written by Randall Bramblett. “I think he’s the best songwriter I’ve heard in the past 30 years,” says LaVette, “and I just discovered him eight years ago.” Adds Jordan: “Bettye LaVette is like a combination of Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday and Miles Davis. When I prepare a band for her, I make sure we have it together. When she joins us, we’re only gonna get one or two takes, because she puts her heart and soul into each performance.”

John Mellencamp
Orpheus Descending

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:John Mellencamp’s 25th album Orpheus Descending 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.”

The Minus 5
Calling Cortez: Neil Vol. 3

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Calling Cortez by The Minus 5 is a third Scott McCaughey collection of Neil Young songs, and a batch of McCaughey originals inspired lyrically and musically by Neil’s life and career. Unlike Neil (Vol. 1), released in 2020, Cortez is a more collaborative band-like effort, with M5 stalwarts Peter Buck, Joe Adragna, Jenny Conlee, Debbi Peterson, Linda Pitmon, Kurt Bloch, Casey Neill, Mike McCready, Jimmy Talstra, Paulie Pulvirenti and John Perrin. Rushed out in time for The No Ones / Minus 5 World Tour this summer, it will be available as a Bandcamp exclusive.”


THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “After a series of epic, sprawling and headphones-friendly albums, Motorpsycho are back with a short, reasonably pop-formatted and intimate album of mainly acoustically based songs. For once playing the game instead of trying to reinvent it, this 10-song album of tunes is clearly a reaction in some way to too much architecture and too many grand visions, and dials the music down to more comprehensive and digestible sizes than have been the band’s métier lately. Motorpsycho have always been about the balance between hard and soft, electric and acoustic, big and small, light and shade … and now the time was right for a lighter touch to balance the scales. Yang to the Yin of earlier, more epic works (N.O.X., The Crucible and Chariot Of The Sun), this is also an album that is relatively easy on the ears, and that actually works really well with a cup of tea at noon.”

Queens of the Stone Age
In Times New Roman…

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:In Times New Roman… is raw, at times brutal and not recommended for the faint of heart. And yet, it’s perhaps the most beautiful and definitely the most rewarding album in their epic discography. Queens Of The Stone Age founder Joshua Homme’s most acerbic lyrics to date are buoyed by the instantly identifiable QOTSA sonic signature, expanded and embellished with new and unprecedented twists in virtually every song. With In Times New Roman… we see that sometimes one needs to look beneath scars and scabs to see beauty, and sometimes the scabs and scars are the beauty.[

Super Snōōper

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Snõõper — the Nashville-based DIY punk outfit — are a band who, in a 33 ⅓ RPM world, make 45 RPM music they play at 78 RPM. They maintain super-precise instrumentals and skillfully melodic vocals, even though they’re flooring it almost the entire time. Snõõper don’t play fast; they play at the speed of Snõõper. Formed in 2020 by vocalist/visual artist Blair Tramel and guitarist Connor Cummins, Snõõper’s initial 8-track recordings were released on DIY labels. Although not originally intended as a performance project, the duo brought these recordings to life with the additions of Cam Sarrett (drums), Happy Haugen (bass) and Ian Teeple (guitar).”

Son Volt
Day Of The Doug

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Revered band Son Volt pay homage to the legendary Doug Sahm on the new album Day Of The Doug. Son Volt founder Jay Farrar’s goal with this 12-song collection was not only to pay tribute to Sahm’s music and influence, but to also highlight some of the deeper tracks in his heralded canon, specifically from a prolific period during the late 1960s through the 1970s. It’s a celebration of a songwriter and performer whose work forged country, Tex-Mex, rock, rhythm and blues, folk, and psychedelia into an utterly unique American sound. Says Farrar: “My mode of picking the songs was primarily to celebrate the ones that I thought were overlooked.”