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Next Week in Music | Jan. 22-28 • The Short List: 14 Titles You Want to Hear

The good things are all coming in threes. See (and hear) for yourself:

Dogs and apes and rattlesnakes. Rodeos and rainbows and rumble strips. Blood and smiles and eyes. Sales and spiels and sadness. People and polaroids and philaphobes. The good things are definitely coming in threes next week. See (and hear) for yourself:


Alkaline Trio
Blood, Hair, And Eyeballs

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Alkaline Trio walk among us once again. Everyone’s favorite tortured triumvirate return in Grand Guignol style with Blood, Hair, And Eyeballs, their 10th album and first full length of new material to be released in (66)6 years. Recorded with Grammy-winning producer Cameron Webb at Studio 606 in Northridge, Blood, Hair, And Eyeballs finds Alkaline Trio stripping their sound down to the skin and bones of its unmistakable sonic spirit, while taking that dark essence to parts previously unknown. “My mom worked for years as an emergency room nurse,” says founding singer-guitarist Matt Skiba. “She and her co-workers referred to exceptionally busy nights as ‘blood, hair, and eyeballs’. Well, we’ve been busy making an exceptional record we refer to as Blood, Hair, And Eyeballs, too. We approached this new record in completely new ways. We built the songs together, from the ground up, in the same room which hasn’t happened since the band started. Usually we start with an idea somebody’s already written. This time, we had the unique opportunity to build the songs onto drums recorded at Studio 606 on to two-inch tape using one of the most beautiful-sounding and legendary consoles in rock. It has almost everything to do with how our new record sounds.”

Brent Amaker & The Rodeo

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Since forming his Seattle-based outfit Brent Amaker and the Rodeo in 2005, Amaker has reveled in an idiosyncratic style that doesn’t fit into preordained categories. He’s a country singer whose band is known for dressing in matching black cowboy outfits, yet Amaker is more inspired by art-rock icons like Devo and David Bowie than the usual country mainstays. A Seattleite since 1997, he’s a Southerner by birth, yet Southern crowds are frequently puzzled by his ambitious stage show. “When we tour Texas, they’re like, ‘What are you?’” Amaker says. “We’re cowboys, living the spirit of the West. We’re not really playing country music, but we’re playing cowboy music. ‘Western performance art’ is what I like to say.” Amaker’s Western performance art achieves its fullest form on Philaphobia, a sly, heartsick collection that serves as the band’s first proper album in 10 years. Throughout it, Amaker wrestles his demons and subverts frontier masculinity in his trademark baritone drawl on tracks that span from rollicking motivational romps, to criminal confessions.”

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes
Dark Rainbow

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “We are entering into a whole new era for Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes. Self-evaluation and reflection are very much on the agenda throughout Dark Rainbow, and they pave the way for a sound that puts southern gothic balladry and crooning alt-rock to the front. A sonic evolution and emotional complexity powers this soul-searching expedition that reaches into the very heart of identity and pulls from it the wisdom that can only come from lived experience. In contrast to their previous records — which were snapshots of the time and mindset in which they were made — Dark Rainbow was born from self-reflection, memory and gratitude. “I’m just witnessing the world change so quickly and I’m still trying to come to terms with who I am and what the authentic version of me is,” Carter says. “By giving people what I thought they wanted I think I got further and further away from who I actually am, you know? So now, first and foremost, I’m prioritising what I need. Sobriety has been really, really helpful for me.”

Future Islands
People Who Aren’t There Anymore

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Future Islands were never meant to last. After 18 years and 1,400 live shows, Future Islands show they’re not only still here, they’re making the most powerful music of their fascinating, but unexpectedly long and storied career. For Future Islands, albums aren’t a static reflection of a moment in time, they are a fluid chapter in their lives that can change and mutate. People change and pull away. The band is no different, coming up against their future while staring at their past. They’re not the same people they were when Future Islands began nearly two decades ago. They are now spread about, some settled down and some still moving. People Who Aren’t There Anymore reflects the transience of a band’s existence; the rare privilege of travelling all over the world contrasting with the sadness of fleeting moments in and out people’s lives. Being everywhere but also nowhere. Remembering the lives lost and the living they’ll never see again, cherishing the present and being grateful for the past.”

Island Apes
Island Apes

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “So the Germans call English football fans Island Apes? I guess they don’t know about the punk band of the same name. Island Apes are a British band, formed in the East Midlands around 2018. The current lineup features a lineup of U.K. underground punk legends. Antronhy, the drummer, was Nirvana’s infamous dancer at their Live at Reading performance. David Riley was the bass player in the legendary U.K. noise-rock band Fudge Tunnel and current bass player in doom masters Conan. MKJ was in Forcefed and Meatfly, two early ’90s influential U.K. hardcore bands. They have paid their dues and have produced a wild, lo-fi trip into an alternate punk universe where they tame audio chaos and explore the psychedelic side of consciousness. It’s grungy and grimy, guttural and grating, and even dubby, all in the most beautiful way. Their roots lie in anxiety, ritual and underlying melody. Call it what you like. Answers on a postcard to God Unknown.”

Sarah Jarosz
Polaroid Lovers

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The seventh full-length from four-time Grammy-winner Sarah Jarosz, Polaroid Lovers is an album-long meditation on those strangely ephemeral moments that indelibly shape our lives. “What I love about a Polaroid is that it’s capturing something so fleeting, but at the same time it makes that moment last forever,” says the Texas-born singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. “It made sense as a title for a record where all the songs are snapshots of different love stories, and there’s a feeling of time being expansive despite that impermanence.” Thanks to the rarefied alchemy that infuses all of Jarosz’s output — her finely wrought lyricism, ravishing vocal work, virtuosic yet unfettered musicality — Polaroid Lovers performs the much-needed magic of leading us toward a heightened sense of presence, all while casting a lovely spell with her timelessly powerful songs.”

John Leventhal
Rumble Strip

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Of the many hats John Leventhal has worn during his 45-year journey as musician — producer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger and recording engineer — ”solo artist” has never been among them. That all changes with Rumble Strip, the six-time Grammy winner’s debut album that showcases some of the most adventurous work of his career. “I’ve always had a catalog of ideas that have never found a home,” Leventhal says. “In the back of my mind, I thought that one of these days I should try to harvest some of those ideas and confront the personal gauntlet of making a solo record.” The great pandemic made it inevitable. That willingness to confront pays off handsomely on Rumble Strip, which combines Leventhal’s distinctive, lyrical guitar work, full-band productions with and without vocals, solo guitar pieces that draw on Leventhal’s love for classical music and Anglican hymns, and humid blasts of Southern soul, country twang, and improvisation.”

Mac Saturn
Hard To Sell

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Detroit pop-rockers Mac Saturn’s debut album Hard To Sell was produced by The Rust Brothers at Rust Belt Studios — the famed Detroit studio where beloved rock records by Greta Van Fleet and Mark Foster (Foster The People) were born. Hard To Sell is infused with the spirit of the Motor City. As drummer-turned-frontman Carson Macc, who sings with the assurance and swagger that’s as much Harry Styles as Mick Jagger, puts it: “The songs are rock, but they’ve got that other thing going on — that funky, dancey, Motown groove — that makes them our own thing.” The band covered a lot of ground on its last year’s debut EP Until The Money Runs Out. Since then, they’ve racked up millions of streams and become known for their electrifying live shows that harken back to the glitz and glam of 70s rock stars. Their sold-out headlining shows across North America are packed with fans singing along to every word, and their tours with The Struts and Dirty Honey have inspired even more people to enter Mac Saturn’s orbit. It’s only a matter of time before we’re all drawn in by their gravitational pull.”

Office Dog

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Introducing Office Dog, hailing from Dunedin and residing in Auckland. The trio, led by Kane Strang on guitar/vocals, alongside Rassani Tolovaa on bass and Mitchell Innes on drums, present their debut album Spiel. Assembling intricate musical collages, Office Dog fearlessly explore the depths of complex emotions through layers of tension, release, and celestial lyricism. Office Dog formed in 2021. Amidst a busy solo career, frontperson Strang sought a more collaborative musical outlet. He teamed up with fellow musicians and previous collaborators Innes and Tolovaa, and the trio began writing together across various locations in Auckland. Over the next year, fragments began assembling into songs, ultimately culminating in the creation of Office Dog’s debut album, Spiel, recorded in collaboration with producer De Stevens at Roundhead Studios and mastered by Jonathan Pearce (The Beths).”

Gruff Rhys
Sadness Sets Me Free

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Sadness Sets Me Free, incredibly, will be the 25th album Gruff Rhys has released in his 35-year career — individually, collaboratively and as a member of various bands. Sadness Sets Me Free is also the followup to 2021’s Seeking New Gods, his first solo top 10 record. Gruff and his band — Osian Gwynedd (piano), Huw V Williams (double bass) and former Flaming Lips drummer-turned-Super Furry Animals archivist Kliph Scurlock (drums) piled into a van driven by the late, legendary tour manager  Kiko Loiacono and raced from Dunkirk, where they had just played the final show of a tour of Spain and France, to the outskirts of Paris in the early hours of a March morning in 2022. There, in La Frette Studios, a recording facility installed in a 19th-century house, Gruff and his road-hardened group tracked Sadness Sets Me Free in just three days. Backing vocals were added along the way by Kate Stables from This Is The Kit, along with additional strings and orchestration and it was mixed between Marseille and Cardiff. What finally emerged from these intense bouts of cross-continental activity was Gruff’s most accomplished and beautiful record to date.”

Ty Segall
Three Bells

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “A 15-song cycle that takes a journey to the center of the self. Ty Segall’s been on this kind of trip before, so he’s souped up a vehicle that’s all his own — a sophisticated machine — to take us there this time. The conception of Three Bells arcs, rainbow-like, into a land nearly beyond songs — but inside of them, Ty relentlessly pushes the walls further and further in his writing and playing to cast light into the most opaque depths. All formats available as Four Bells Bundle. All three bundles include a cassette featuring four more mutations from the control tower of the Harmonizer. Herein lie a couple alternate versions and a couple demo things that didn’t make the final sequence, suggesting the extended dimensional space in which Segall forged Three Bells.”


THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Bob Balch from Fu Manchu here. The idea for the Slower project started around four years ago. I was teaching a student how to play South Of Heaven by Slayer, but she was a beginner so we slowed it down. I thought that sounded cool so I tuned down to B standard and tried it. I added some drums and thought ‘someone in the doom community should do this and name it Slower.’ This project has been a long time coming and I’m beyond stoked on how it turned out. Without all of the players involved… and my baritone Reverend guitar, it wouldn’t have happened. Thanks to everyone involved and I hope you dig it! I’m a giant Slayer fan so it’s been a treat to dig into these classic songs. Hopefully we can do another record in the near future.”

The Smile
Wall Of Eyes

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: The Smile’s new album Wall Of Eyes is the followup to the band’s 2022 debut LP A Light For Attracting Attention. The new album, which was recorded between Oxford and Abbey Road Studios, is produced and mixed by previous collaborator Sam Petts-Davies and features string arrangements by the London Contemporary Orchestra. The Smile are an English rock band comprising the Radiohead members Thom Yorke (vocals, guitar, bass, keys) and Jonny Greenwood (guitar, bass, keys) with Tom Skinner (drums).”

What An Enormous Room

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: Torres is the recording project of New York artist Mackenzie Scott. Torres’ career spans a decade, six studio albums, countless one-offs, tours, articles, and conversations, each marked by a dedication to creation that treats the ongoing act itself with as much preciousness as what is left in the record. What An Enormous Room was produced by Scott and Sarah Jaffe, with engineering by Ryan Pickett, mixing done overseas in Bristol by TJ Allen, and mastering by indie stalwart Heba Kadry. Each of the album’s 10 songs was written by Scott, who plays guitar, bass, synths, organ, piano, and programmed drums, with Jaffe and Allen also contributing to various instrumentation. To quote Julien Baker, who penned the album’s bio, directly: “What I can say about Torres is I think the music comes from a convicted place… And I think it’s just incredibly good music to listen to.”