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Next Week in Music | Sept. 18-24 • The Short List: 15 Titles You Want to Hear

National, Replacements, Buddy & Julie, Teenage Fanclub & the rest of the best.

The National have the last laugh, Arkells clean up, KEN mode fill the void, Lydia Loveless stands tall, The Replacements and Susan Tedeschi dredge up the past, Buddy and Julie return, Teenage Fanclub are on the edge of forever and more. These are your plays of the week:


Laundry Pile

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Anyone who keeps a journal will tell you that writing is one of the best ways to work through the chapters of your life. Our new album Laundry Pile is a chapter that documents some of the messy parts that end up teaching you a lot: love, regret, desire, shame, and the longing to get it right. The title track is out first, and it’s a memory honouring the little moments that represent a true partnership. At the top of the year, Arkells got together with a goal to work on acoustic renditions of recent material, jam and hang out, but very quickly started ruminating on other little ideas. I brought in some demos I had been working on — they were little conversations with myself. I had no expectations to do anything with the material, but then the band came to the rescue. It was very all-hands-on-deck. The more we meditated on the music, the more connected we became to the songs and to each other. After a few weeks, we looked at the white board with the growing number of songs scribbled on it and became excited to share these songs immediately. It was one of the most deeply creative experiences we’ve had as a band so far. It’s important to simply honour the moment you’re in, and that’s what we did.”

Devendra Banhart
Flying Wig

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Flying Wig is an album of recurrent dualities; a can of paradoxes, a box of worms. The redwood and pine-surrounded cabin studio where Devendrea Banhart was “constantly listening to The Grateful Dead” somehow birthed something slick, modernist, city pop-adjacent and Eno-esque. Banhart’s 11th record, it’s the actualisation of a “precious friendship” with the acclaimed solo artist, multi-instrumentalist, producer and Mexican Summer stable-mate Cate Le Bon — a coming together prophesied by the mirror-image titles of their early solo albums (Banhart’s 2002 Oh Me Oh My to Le Bon’s 2009 Me Oh My) and a tenderness built on crude haircuts (“we finally met, soon after she was cutting my hair with a fork and that was that”) and home-made tattoos — but never previously translated into the recording studio. “It’s about transmuting despair into gratitude, wounds into forgiveness, and grief into praise” — the product of a ritualistic creative practice that melts down and re-casts as it mulls, the stuff of sadness beautified as it changes shape — culminating in a record that “sounds like getting a very melancholic massage, or weeping, but in a really nice outfit… if I’m going to cry, I wanna do it in my best dress.”

Will Butler + Sister Squares
Will Butler + Sister Squares

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Sister Squares are Sara Dobbs, Miles Francis, Jenny Shore and Julie Shore. What made them a musical unit was working with Grammy winner and Oscar nominee Will Butler. This is their self-titled debut album. The band emerged as full collaborators from their origins as Butler’s touring band, first put together to support 2015’s Policy. While considering making a solo record, Butler found himself turning to the band for feedback on lyrics and song structures, eventually asking Miles if they’d produce the album. From there, the music flowed. Will Butler + Sister Squares project widescreen emotional landscapes with a warm, humane soul. Long Grass is like a Harry Styles song sung with 20 more years of life behind it, and the back half is a danceable choral record that showcases what Sister Squares bring to Butler’s sound. “It came out uniquely ours,” Miles explains, “a tiny bespoke musical bloom that can never be exactly reproduced. Those kinds of moments between us are embedded all over this album.”


THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The Japanese band Chai cast a spell on the world in 2017, when they released their debut album Pink, a collection of songs that introduced us to their singular brand of playful pop. The jubilant and enthusiastically feminist followup Punk raked in accolades from the music press and fellow artists alike. That led to Wink, which Chai made via remote Zoom sessions, a limitation that became a strength since it allowed Mana (lead vocals and keys), Kana (guitar), Yuna (drums), and Yuuki (bassist-lyricist) to collaborate with artists abroad. On Wink, Chai looked beyond their immediate surroundings, and the confines of home, to create a work that found catharsis in their international community. Unlike Wink, this self-titled collection finds Chai returning to their roots, drawing inspiration from their Japanese cultural heritage and the music that raised them. “Everything reflected in the lyrics expresses our experience as Japanese women,” Mana says, explaining why they chose to self-title this album. “We are human and were born as female, but we have both female and male aspects in each of our souls, each with our own sense of balance,” Chai say. “We can’t just label ourselves into clear-cut, simple categories anymore! I’m not anyone else but just ‘me,’ and you are no one else but just ‘you.’ This song celebrates that with a roar!”

Friends & Family

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “When a group reaches their fifth decade like Firefall has, they develop deep roots with their fellow musicians, whether it’s from sharing touring bills or the shuffling of band members. On Friends & Family, they celebrate these relationships by performing songs from bands whose histories are intertwined with theirs. These 13 tracks, representing multiple Rock And Roll Hall of Fame inductees, country rock pioneers, Southern rock superstars, and Top 40 hit-makers, create an album that stands – in the words of Firefall’s remaining founding member, guitarist Jock Bartley — “as a tribute to the great music of the ’70s.” Firefall certainly contributed their share to the 70s’ great music. They lit up both AM and FM airwaves with a string of hits, starting with their 1976 smash You Are the Woman and touring with such acts as Fleetwood Mac, The Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Doobie Brothers. While the band’s melodic, country-flavored rock is present throughout Friends & Family, Firefall also show their deep respect for these songs that they, and millions of others, love. Their intention wasn’t about perfectly recreating the originals, explains Bartley, who also produced the album. “We wanted to duplicate the energy in the songs and make them familiar but make the music a little bit different and put a new slant on the songs.”

Grrrl Gang

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Indonesian trio Grrrl Gang build on their considerable worldwide buzz with Spunky!, their full-length debut. It arrives following some major life changes for Angeeta Sentana (vocals, guitar), Akbar Rumandung (bass, vocals) and Edo Alventa (guitar, vocals), including a switch in locale from Yogyakarta, the city where they formed the band while still in college. “This is Grrrl Gang’s first release after we graduated and got day jobs that made us have to move to Jakarta, which is undeniably 180 degrees compared to Yogya,” says Rumandung. “But moving to Jakarta enabled us to work with Lafa on Spunky! from start to finish.” Overall, Spunky! is the sound of a band not content to rest on its laurels, despite gathering an impressive list of achievements since Grrrl Gang first got together in 2016 and proceeded to take the local, regional, and international indie scenes by storm, leading to a prestigious performance slot on the pandemic-induced online edition of SXSW 2021. Says Rumandung, “We want this album to show that we’ve changed, that Grrrl Gang is a band that isn’t stuck in one place and that we always have the urge to discover new things.”

KEN mode

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:KEN mode don’t mess around. Their forthcoming album Void, vocalist and guitarist Jesse Matthewson says, “is the companion piece to 2022’s Null album — both written and produced at the same time throughout the pandemic, and recorded by Andrew Schneider in the fall of 2021. It conveys the overwhelming sadness and disappointment of the rollout of 2021, after the initial crazed shock of 2020. The material demanded a slightly more melancholy feel, and we wanted to explore more melody on the exit from this project.” Having played the prestigious Roadburn Festival this year, announced a fall tour with Fange, and rolled out several singles towards the new album, KEN mode came out of the suffering of the pandemic with fire and fury, ready to unleash it on the world wherever they see fit. Lucky for fans, that’s mostly their eardrums. With two decades under their belts, the group have a list of impressive achievements including winning the inaugural Juno Award for Best Metal / Hard Rock Album of the Year for Venerable in 2012.”

Lydia Loveless
Nothing’s Gonna Stand in My Way Again

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Endings are messy. Falling in love is messy. Change is messy. Perhaps, change is the messiest of them all. Especially when eyes are on you; when you blast out of adolescence onto stages across the country, then into your 20s, onto more stages and, finally, into your 30s — all on those same stages. The stages that Lydia Loveless has sung her heart out on, has collapsed on, and laughed on, all mirror the stages of her life thus far for the world to see.  Nothing’s Gonna Stand in My Way Again continues the evolution of Loveless. The artist who once sang that she would rather stay home and drink gallons of wine is now on the other end of the bottle, where a bit of resignation resides. Though a melancholic weight rests on the record — as it was written after the breakup with her longtime boyfriend and following a period of isolation and depression during the pandemic — it also feels like a triumphant moment from an artist who’s continuing her stride. Loveless has always been a brutally honest songwriter, one whose articulation of love, heartbreak and bad habits is wrapped not only in catchy melodies but also her finesse with words.”

Jeshua Marshall
The Flood

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Most artists will tell you that they sing about what they feel. Jeshua Marshall lives the music that he sings. From the time he was nine, when he was first inspired by a visit from Jimi Hendrix in a dream and subsequently gifted his first guitar, through to the formation of his band Larry And His Flask and now, some 20 years later, music has been mainstay of his life, the thing that’s inspired him, driven him and now, brought him to the precipice of the recognition he so decidedly deserves. With the anticipation for his second individual album, The Flood — a followup to his highly praised solo debut Shoot The Moon, released in the fall of 2021 — Jeshua is poised to make an indelible mark on the musical landscape in ways his fans and followers have long predicted. In so doing, he cites what he says was an exhilarating and exuberant experience, which he and the other musicians managed to capture live in only one or two takes. Now, on the verge of making the next significant step in his career, Marshall remains more committed to his craft than ever. He says: “Music, for me, is medicine, therapy and connection.”

Buddy & Julie Miller
In The Throes

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:In The Throes was produced by Buddy Miller and features Emmylou Harris, Regina McCrary, Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams, Gurf Morlix, and Matt Slocum of Sixpence None the Richer. The 12-song album follows 2019’s Breakdown on 20th Ave. South, which was Buddy & Julie Miller’s first album in a decade. In the Throes is a deeply soulful collision of dusty country, mournful gospel, cosmic blues, and ecstatic R&B. It sounds lively and diverse, eccentric and slightly askew, thorny with desire and blame. The fearless collection came to life during an intensely creative period for Julie. She says, “I got deep into songwriting mode, and they just kept coming along.” Buddy watched with wonder and admiration as his wife filled up notebooks with lyrics and recorded voice memos with melodies. By his count, she ended up with more than one hundred songs—some of them fully written, others simply fragments. Julie wrote every song on the album with the exception of Don’t Make Her Cry, which is a rare co-write between Bob Dylan, Regina McCrary and Julie.”

The National
Laugh Track

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: There isn’t one. Mainly because nobody outside of the band and their inner circle even knew about this album before Friday night, when frontman Matt Berninger announced its impending arrival from the stage Friday night at the band’s Homecoming festival in Cincinnati. The National’s second album of the year — and the followup to The First Two Pages Of Frankenstein — will be out digitally at midnight Sunday.

The Replacements
Tim: Let It Bleed Edition

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Released in the fall of 1985, The Replacements’ major label debut Tim peaked at No. 192 on the Billboard charts, selling just 75,000 copies. Over time, however, the record would find a mass audience among successive generations thanks to the enduring appeal of anthems like Bastards Of Young and Left Of The Dial and ballads like Swingin Party and Here Comes A Regular. Even with Tim’s evolving status as an all-time classic, The Replacements remained unsatisfied with the sound of the record, largely centered on the mix done by the album’s producer, Rock And Roll Hall of Famer Tommy Erdelyi, aka Tommy Ramone. Now, after four decades, the LP has finally been given a long overdue sonic overhaul as part of Tim: Let It Bleed Edition, arriving Sept. 22. The Tim: Let It Bleed Edition deluxe box set is built around a stunning new mix of Tim by legendary producer/engineer Ed Stasium (Ramones, Talking Heads) and features a collection of previously unheard tracks (Sons of No One: Rare & Unreleased) and a classic concert from 1986 (Not Ready For Prime Time).”

Susan Tedeschi
Just Won’t Burn 25th Anniversary Edition

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Susan Tedeschi is one of the most celebrated blues and American roots musicians of her generation, and her unyielding commitment to her craft — both as a solo artist and in Tedeschi Trucks Band — has earned her multiple Grammy nominations and the adoration of audiences around the world. It all began humbly at blues jams in her native Boston back in the early ’90s and led to significant regional acclaim, but with the 1998 release of her solo debut Just Won’t Burn, Tedeschi put the wider music world on notice that she was a true force to be reckoned with. In celebration of the album’s 25th anniversary, Just Won’t Burn returns in a special, 16-track expanded edition featuring the original album plus five previously unreleased bonus tracks: An alternate take of Looking For Answers, two new album outtakes, and two live versions of Just Won’t Burn album tracks recorded with Tedeschi Trucks Band at N.Y.C.’s Beacon Theatre.”

Teenage Fanclub
Nothing Lasts Forever

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The first sound you hear is a sustained feedback note that hangs in the air with the grace of a dragonfly before an acoustic riff spirals out of it, soaring upwards. It’s blissful and sun-soaked, like a late summer haze blurring out all the details on the horizon. When voices join the music, they arrive perfectly locked together, honed in on a single melody. “It’s time to move along / and leave the past behind me…” The message is simple. Don’t look back, only forward. Foreign Land is the opening track on Teenage Fanclub’s 11th studio album Nothing Lasts Forever. That track — and the rest of this beautifully rich and melodic album — is the sound of a season’s end, of the last warm days of the year while nights begin to draw in and thoughts become reflective and more than a little melancholy. That reflection is everywhere on the record, whether on the autumnal folk rock of Tired Of Being Alone that repositions Laurel Canyon to somewhere deep in the heart of the Wye Valley, the William Blake-quoting Self-Sedation or on the song that preceded Nothing Lasts Forever’s completion, last year’s I Left A Light On, where a spark of hope is kept alight at the end of a relationship.”

Jenny Owen Youngs

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In the decade since Jenny Owen Youngs last released a full-length album, she’s toured the world, co-written a No. 1 hit single, launched a wildly popular podcast, landed a book deal, placed songs in a slew of films and television series, moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles to coastal Maine, and gotten married, divorced, and married again. She’s done everything, it seems, except release another album… until now. Avalanche offers up an achingly beautiful exploration of loss, resilience, and growth from an artist who’s experienced more than her fair share of each in recent years. Produced by Josh Kaufman (Bonny Light Horseman, Hold Steady) and written with a series of friends including S. Carey, Madi Diaz, The AntlersPeter Silberman and Christian Lee Hutson, the songs are deceptively serene here, layering Youngs’ infectious pop sensibilities atop lush, dreamy arrangements that often belie the swift emotional currents lurking underneath. Her performances, meanwhile, are riveting and nuanced to match, gentle yet insistent as they reckon with the pain of regret and the joy of redemption, sometimes in the very same breath. The result is the most raw and arresting release of Youngs’ remarkable career, a brutally honest, deeply vulnerable work of self-reflection that learns to make peace with the past as it transforms doubt and grief into hope and transcendence.”