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Next Week in Music | April 1-7 • The Short List: 13 Titles You Want to Hear

Black Keys, Vampire Weekend, Wine Lips, Libertines, Old 97’s & the rest of the best.

The Black Keys come to play, Vampire Weekend go above and beyond, Marcus King takes a swing, The Libertines keep it down, Bartees Strange makes magic, Old 97’s get primitive — and those are just a few of the artists dropping interesting albums next week. No foolin’:


The Black Keys
Ohio Players

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The story of Ohio PlayersThe Black Keys’ 12th studio album and a record unlike any other in their long ride through deep blues and soul power — begins on a Saturday in February 2003. Singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney were touring their debut album, 2002’s The Big Come Up, opening for Sleater-Kinney at New York’s Roseland Ballroom, when the headliners invited them to a party after the gig: A Saturday Night Live afterparty. “Of course, we want to go,” Carney recalls. “We said ‘How are you getting in?’ ‘Our friend Beck played tonight.’ ” At the party, Carney handed Beck a copy of The Black Keys’ next album, Thickfreakness. Three weeks later, they were offered the opening slot on Beck’s 2003 Sea Change tour. “The Beck influence on The Black Keys was massive,” Carney states gratefully. “He was one of our most vocal, early supporters.” Beck is now all over Ohio Players, collaborating as a writer, singer, and instrumentalist on seven of the album’s 14 tracks. Also contributing are ex-Oasis guitarist and songwriter Noel Gallagher (three songs); the pioneering hip-hop producer Dan The Automator (two tracks); Memphis-rap cult legends Juicy J and Lil Noid; Leon Michels, who plays with Auerbach in The Arcs; and superstar producer Greg Kurstin, who first met them when he was in Beck’s band on that 2003 tour.”

Bob Vylan
Humble As The Sun

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Humble As The Sun, the latest album from Bob Vylan, continues with much of the rage and urgency that they have come to be known and loved for, but this latest project shows that they are now stronger and wiser, bolstered by the wins and learnings that they have fought hard for along the way. The resulting tracklist aims to leave the listener feeling power alongside their anger, and brings a fresh and compelling blend of punk, rock, grime and rap together in an experimental way. Following on from the last album, Bob Vylan Presents The Price Of Life, the message woven throughout Humble As The Sun remains dark in places but is high-energy, defiant and unapologetic in its critique of a broken social and political system that so many have fallen victim to, but feel powerless against. This album is for the underdogs, the ones who come out swinging and those who refuse to be defeated in the face of injustice, and aims to remind listeners that anger is a fire that can be harnessed and put to use. The album creation started from a conversation with the sun, which is, after all, a big ball of fire that sustains life.”

Cedric Burnside
Hill Country Love

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Cedric Burnside is about to release the deeply personal and artistically bold new album Hill Country Love. The record vibrantly explores the subset genre of Hill Country blues, infused with Burnside’s singular experiences and musical heritage from the rolling hills of Northern Mississippi. Hill Country Love was recorded in an unconventional location – an old building in the small town of Ripley, MS. This space, initially earmarked to be Burnside’s juke joint, created an authentic and resonant sound environment, capturing the essence of the album’s soulful and gritty aesthetic. Produced alongside fellow Mississippian Luther Dickinson, the album’s 14 tracks were completed in an extraordinary two-day session, highlighting the spontaneous and raw energy of Burnside’s music.”

Einstürzende Neubauten
Ramps (APM: Alien Pop Music)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “They search for new forms — pursuing undiscovered sounds and unspoken words. Since the band was founded on April 1, 1980, Einstürzende Neubauten have been shifting the parameters of mainstream and subculture to make the inaudible audible — perhaps the unheard as well. This experimental field research, spanning more than four decades, is now entering the next stage. In its 44th year of existence, the band is going back to its roots while redefining itself. It’s a change in self- image, for which the Berlin quintet plus one has created its own genre in 2024: Alien pop music. Constant evolution — that’s how Einstürzende Neubauten’s body of work can best be summarized. A musical evolution, which began with the debut album Kollaps in 1981 and is now being manifested with the release of the album Ramps (APM: Alien Pop Music), on which Blixa Bargeld, N.U. Unruh, Alexander Hacke, Jochen Arbeit, Rudolph Moser and Felix Gebhard present themselves from their most unpredictable and unconventional sides. On their new album, the Neubauten now put an — albeit belated — end to all sound speculations.”

A La Sala

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The title makes it clear. A La Sala (“To the room” in Spanish), the fourth studio album by Khruangbin, is an exercise in returning in order to go further, and do so on your own terms. It extends the air of mystery and sanctity that’s key to how bassist Laura Lee Ochoa, drummer Donald “DJ” Johnson, Jr. and guitarist Mark “Marko” Speer approach music. Yet if 2020’s Mordechai, the last studio album Khruangbin made without collaborators, was a party record whose ensuing post-lockdown tour enhanced the band’s musical reputation far and wide, A La Sala is the measured morning after. It’s a gorgeously airy album made only in the company of the group’s longtime engineer Steve Christensen, with minimal overdubs. It is a porthole onto the bounties powering Khruangbin’s vision, a reimagining and refueling for the long haul ahead. A La Sala scales Khruangbin down to scale up, a creative strategy with the future in mind.”

Marcus King
Mood Swings

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Produced by Rick Rubin, Mood Swings is Marcus King’s magnum opus, an eclectic symphony of soul that is uniquely timeless and current. Drawing on King’s darkest moments, it became a beacon of hope for King as he created it, and will be a refuge for anyone going through similar challenges in their lives. “In the early summer of 2020 I arrived at Shangri-La for my first meeting with my hero, the legend, Mr. Rick Rubin. As soon as Rick and I met it was like a spark in the room! I immediately felt welcomed, appreciated and mutually admired. Rick and I had a wonderful first introduction and he left me in the capable hands of his ace engineer Jason Lader, an incredible engineer who would become a dear dear friend. Jason and I toured the space and just for fun decided to track something, what we tracked was the title track Mood Swings. I laid down guitar and vocals, we added Rhythm Ace R77 drum machine with tape delay to achieve the swing we desired, added bass and piano and after half an hour the track was finished. The track and album title Mood Swings is a play on the swinging nature of the material while also referencing my up and down shifts in mood while I was either abusing the wrong substances, in between mood stabilizing meds and anti-psychotics, self-medication on top of that, along with a foot locker FULL of repressed childhood trauma all being taken out on my relationship at the time.”

The Libertines
All Quiet On The Eastern Esplanade

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Libertines’ fourth studio album All Quiet On The Eastern Esplanade marks the band’s first new release in nine years. On these songs, the quartet of unlikely lads have gathered from their newfound homes in France, Denmark, Margate and London to solder a strongest-ever internal bond, and scale new creative heights resulting in the best music of their extraordinary career so far. Featuring 11 new sparkling Libertines songs with songwriting credits shared among the four band members, the album was produced by Grammy-nominated producer Dimitri Tikovoï (HorrorsCharli XCX) and recorded at The Albion Rooms in Margate. The story of the album goes like this — in September ’22 glimmer twins Pete Doherty and Carl Barât decamped to Jamaica. Away from any distraction, the chemistry between the infamous songwriting partnership began to bubble in earnest. Fast forward to ’23 and Peter and Carl regrouped with rock solid knaves to the rhythm, John Hassall and Gary Powell, and, says Doherty, “we really came together as a band. It was a moment of rare peace and unity, with all the members contributing.”

Mount Kimbie
The Sunset Violent

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Sunset Violent picks up where Mount Kimbie’s last studio album, 2017’s Love What Survives left off, marrying modern indie, shoegaze and electronica seamlessly into another highly unique and forward-thinking LP from one of London’s most seminal contemporary bands. The album was written in California’s Yucca Valley, a scant Western town with a history of alleged UFO sightings before being finished in London. The desert’s surrealistic, auburn-tinged tones and sparse Americana landscape can be heard across each of the album’s nine tracks, marrying perfectly with the album’s abstract storytelling and cutting-edge songwriting to create another classic Mount Kimbie record. Fronted by Dominic Maker and Kai Campos, joined by long-term collaborators Andrea Balency-Béarn and Marc Pell, Mount Kimbie have spent the past 15 years crafting a vast catalogue of the most seminal, enduring and influential music to emerge from London’s vibrant music scene.”

Old 97’s
American Primitive

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The 13th studio album from Old 97’s, American Primitive arose from what vocalist/guitarist Rhett Miller refers to as a “de-evolution” of the legendary Dallas band. “As much as I want us to calm down and grow up, the songs that felt right for this record were mostly big and loud and brutal and dirty,” says Miller, whose bandmates include bassist Murry Hammond, guitarist Ken Bethea and drummer Philip Peeples. Arriving just months before the 30th anniversary of Hitchhike to Rhome — a powerhouse debut that played a vital part in pioneering the alt-country genre. —the result is a gloriously rowdy body of work, revealing a veteran band more attuned than ever to the raw and reckless energy of truly timeless rock ’n’ roll. American Primitive merges its unvarnished sound with the punchy yet poignant storytelling signature of Old 97’s, radiating a rambunctious joy even as Miller’s lyrics contend with complex questions of love and mental illness and the routinely daunting state of the world. “This was the first record we’ve ever done with zero pre-production,” Miller points out. “It’s us working completely on instinct, leaning on 30 years of playing together to come up with something on the fly rather than overthinking any of our choices.”

The Pernice Brothers
Who Will You Believe

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Pernice BrothersWho Will You Believe is their first in five years and was produced by Joe Pernice. The album includes contributions from longtime bandmates Bob Pernice, Patrick Berkery, Laura Stein, Liam Jaeger, Michael McKenzie and Joshua Karp, lush string and horn arrangements, the Toronto choral group Choir! Choir! Choir!, as well as Neko Case on the duet I Don’t Need That Anymore. Who Will You Believe is the band’s first new album since marking their 25th anniversary by reissuing their 1998 debut Overcome by Happiness as a deluxe edition last year. Singer-songwriter Pernice has crafted a remarkable catalog that boldly reinterprets and recasts classic American pop. Balancing moments of solemnity with warm humor and camaraderie, Who Will You Believe may be his most moving and nuanced album yet.”

Bartees Strange
Magic Boy

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Bartees Strange has been one of the most significant indie artists to break out in the post-pandemic era. He debuted with Say Goodbye To Ptretty Boy, a set of The National songs released in March 2020, on the cusp of the pandemic. Later that year came his album Mustang which was named to multiple year-end best lists. He quickly signed to 4AD and his debut for the label Farm To Table turned him into a club headliner and an arena-sized opening act with genre-defining artists such as The National, Boygenius, Phoebe Bridgers and Courtney Barnett. Magic Boy represents the Bartees story before this story began — 33 minutes of recordings created before he entered the public eye, with eight out of 10 never previously released.

Vampire Weekend
Only God Was Above Us

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Only God Was Above Us is the fifth studio album — and first in five years — from Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig, Chris Baio and Chris Tomson. Inspired and haunted by 20th-century New York City, the album was recorded all over the world, from Manhattan to L.A. to London and Tokyo. Only God Was Above Us was primarily produced by Koenig and longtime collaborator Ariel Rechtshaid, mixed by Dave Fridmann and mastered by Emily Lazar. The beginnings of Only God Was Above Us stretch back to 2019-2020, when Koenig wrote the bulk of the lyrics. The 10-track magnum opus is the product of five years spent refining, reworking and gradually shaping those lyrical and melodic structures to take Vampire Weekend to a new creative peak. The album is direct yet complex, showing the band at once at its grittiest, and also at its most beautiful and melodic. Only God Was Above Us is nothing short of a definitive statement — one that begins on a playfully profane and confrontational note, and runs a gauntlet of emotions, experiences, characters and stories, before ending on an unambiguous note of acceptance.”

Wine Lips
Super Mega Ultra

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The new record Super Mega Ultra is an absolute beast. Recorded by Simon Larochette at The Sugar Shack in Ontario, the album is jam-packed with 12 ramped-up supersonic ear-scorching auditory delicacies. SMU is probably Wine Lips’ most ambitious undertaking to date, exploring new thematic territory while firmly maintaining their signature psych/ garage / punk rock panache. You truly need to hear the album to believe it… The wild ride continues! “It’s tough writing a new record when you’re always on tour,” says frontman Cameron Hilborn. “The previous album seemed to be doing really well and at times I felt like I was hitting a wall creatively. Long story short, I think this album turned out great.”