Home Read News Next Week in Music | April 15-21 • The Short List: 12...

Next Week in Music | April 15-21 • The Short List: 12 Albums That Aren’t By Taylor Swift

Welcome to the Overlooked Musicians Department.

I have nothing but respect for our current musical overlord Taylor Swift. But her music is not for me. Nor, I would argue, is it meant to be. More to the point, she does not need my help to get the word out about her new album. Perhaps some of the other acts and labels releasing music next week could use the boost instead. Think of them as the Overlooked Musicians Department:


A Certain Ratio
It All Comes Down To This

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:It All Comes Down to This, for now at least, is the sound of the current incarnation of A Certain Ratio. Indeed, in many senses, it is the purest distillation of their essential sound ever committed to tape. Their 13th studio album, it is the first time ever they have recorded strictly as the core trio of principle band members — multi-instrumentalists Jez Kerr, Martin Moscrop and Donald Johnson. The essential difference between It All Comes Down to This and its immediate predecessors is that for this recording process, the band turned to the doyen of contemporary underground rock producers, Dan Carey (Black Midi, Kae Tempest, Black Country New Road). After meeting in 2021 in London, they found that Carey was even more eager to realise a full-length collaboration than they were, and the dates were quickly set. Known for his rejection of sonic clutter and his uncompromising focus on the central tenets of the bands and artists he produces, Carey’s instincts closely aligned with ACR’s desire to return to the basics. What the band might not have been ready for, however, was quite the speed that Carey intended to work at. If there is a residual darkness in the album’s sonic aesthetic, then it pervades the subject matter, too.”

T Bone Burnett
The Other Side

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “His first solo album in nearly 20 years, The Other Side is a long-awaited return to Grammy and Oscar-winner T Bone Burnett’s roots as a singer and songwriter, delving deeply into the myriad genres of American music. The 12-song collection is centered on a love story, following the journey of a couple that may no longer be of this plane. Co-produced by Colin Linden, Mike Piersante and Burnett, the album features longtime friends Rosanne Cash and early bandmate Steven Soles, newer artists Lucius and Weyes Blood, and trusted musical companions including Dennis Crouch, Stuart Duncan, Jay Bellerose and Rory Hoffman. A deeply personal work, The Other Side features some of the richest vocals and most direct songs of the artist’s long career. Following his dystopic The Invisible Light series, The Other Side reflects a new outlook and approach Burnett didn’t even know he was seeking. While the album includes some songs Burnett had tinkered with before, the bulk of the record materialized in a sudden burst of writing after he finally allowed himself to buy some new guitars. “Every time I picked one up, a song would pour out of it,” he recalls of this near-magical spark of creativity. “There were all these songs in these guitars. And they just came out over a three-week period.”

Glen Campbell
Duets: Ghost On The Canvas Sessions

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Glen Campbell Duets: Ghost On The Canvas Sessions reimagines Campbell’s critically acclaimed, history-making 2011 farewell album with some of the biggest icons in music. The project is the first of its kind, an album recreated completely as duets posthumously, blending the late Campbell’s original vocals with the talents of artists like Brian Wilson, Carole King, Eric Church, Eric Clapton, Dolly Parton, Elton John, Hope Sandoval, Linda Perry, Sting, Daryl Hall, X, Brian Setzer and more to create an artful and unique body of work that celebrates the Rhinestone Cowboy’s final ride. To pay tribute to an artist who was beloved by so many, a myriad of artists and musicians from all genres tendered their talents to this project including: Dave Stewart (Eurythmics), Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins), Chris Issak, Wendy Melvoin (Prince and the Revolution), Rick Neilsen (Cheap Trick), Steve Hunter (Lou Reed), The Dandy Warhols, Chris Chaney, Jason Faulkner Jr., Kim Bullard, Josh Freese (Foo Fighters), Vinny Caliuta, Marti Rifkin, Dick Dale and Tim Pierce.”

Cloud Nothings
Final Summer

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Cloud Nothings are back! Cleveland’s loudest export return with their new album Final Summer. Over the past 15 years, Cloud Nothings have become part of the fabric of modern indie rock with a steady run of reliably fantastic records, and this streak continues unabated with Final Summer — an album that’s so assured, so instantly satisfying, that it forces you to pause and realize you’re listening to one of the great American rock bands in their prime. Recorded with Jeff Zeigler (Kurt Vile, The War On Drugs, Torres, Purling Hiss), mixed by Sarah Tudzin (Porches, Tim Heidecker, Pom Pom Squad), and mastered by Jack Callahan (Ryley Walker, Merchandise, Wolf Eyes), Final Summer is the perfect reminder of what Cloud Nothings do best.”

High On Fire
Cometh The Storm

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Grammy-winning power trio High On Fire are celebrating their 25th anniversary with their new album Cometh The Storm, recorded at GodCity Studio in Salem, Mass., with producer Kurt Ballou. The 11-song effort — the band’s ninth studio album — marks the release of the first new music since 2018’s Electric Messiah and the first to feature drummer Coady Willis (Big Business, Murder City Devils), alongside bassist Jeff Matz , and guitarist/vocalist Matt Pike.  “I think this band’s always had a really good drive,” states Pike. “It’s a different entity. It’s its own thing. Which, I think, makes all of us very proud to be a part of it. It’s not an average band.” Adds Willis: “Being a fan of each other’s bands for a long time, it feels like all bets are off and anything goes which is a liberating feeling. That feeling of making something out of all of these imperfect parts and it becomes this magical, weird, new idea that none of us ever anticipated. Against all odds. That’s the joy of it.” Offers producer Kurt Ballou: “It’s interesting, whenever there’s a lineup change in a band. It can take a little while to rebuild. But it’s also an opportunity to reinvigorate the band and I think that’s what’s happened here.”

Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds
That Delicious Vice

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “It’s a new lineup,” landlord of the avant-garage Kid Congo Powers exclaims of The Pink Monkey Birds edition responsible for the fifth studio full-length of their 19-year recording career, That Delicious Vice. “We’ve gone from a four piece to a three piece.” Powers’ unique guitar style has been at the center of some of the most forward-thinking bands in punk and garage: The Gun Club, The Cramps and Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, to name a trio. “Because Mark Cisneros (ex-The Make Up) is playing guitar, sometimes we have songs with two guitars. And then sometimes, he plays bass on a bass six (the electric bass version of the mariachi instrument, the bajo sexto). So, that is a new development. We lost a member and decided to try to do it as a three piece — more space, you know? I’m not sure if living in the desert is making me want more space in music or not,” laughs Kid, a Tucson resident for a few years now. “Maybe I’m turning into a desert stoner rocker. But I’m not a stoner, so that’s not happening.”

Tarantula Heart

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The new Melvins album Tarantula Heart is like nothing the band has ever done before. Probably the best record they’ve ever recorded. Certainly one of their weirdest. The five song album centers around the mammoth 19-minute opening track Pain Equals Funny and the noise-laden heavy hitter Working the Ditch. “The way we approached Tarantula Heart was different than any other Melvins album,” explains Buzz Osborne. “I had Dale (Crover) and Roy Mayorga (of Ministry) come in and play along with Steven (McDonald) and I to some riffs, then I took those sessions and figured out what parts would work and wrote new music to fit. This isn’t a studio approach we’ve ever taken. Usually we have the songs written BEFORE we start recording!” This weird musical process created an album that sounds like musical magic in fact Redd Kross bassist McDonald describes Tarantula Heart as “an album so magical, I helped create it without knowing it was happening. It’s definitely the weirdest album I’ve ever been a part of.”

Pearl Jam
Dark Matter

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Produced by Grammy-winning producer Andrew Watt (The Rolling Stones, Iggy Pop, Ozzy Osbourne), Dark Matter is Pearl Jam’s 12 studio album and the band’s first release since the critically acclaimed Gigaton (2020). In 2023, the members of Pearl JamEddie Vedder (vocals), Jeff Ament (bass), Stone Gossard (rhythm guitar), Mike McCready (lead guitar) and Matt Cameron (drums) — retreated to Shangri-La Studios in Malibu where they simply plugged in and played with producer Watt at the helm. The musicians faced one another in the same space and communicated sonically at the highest level. Writing and recording in a burst of inspiration, Dark Matter was born in just three weeks. As a result, Dark Matter channels the shared spirit of a group of lifelong creative confidants and brothers in one room playing as if their very lives depended on it. All of the blood, sweat, tears, and energy of a storied career felt renewed and poured into this one body of work. Vedder said: “I’m getting chills, because I have good memories. We’re still looking for ways to communicate. We’re at this time in our lives when you could do it or you could not do it, but we still care about putting something out there that is meaningful and we hopefully think is our best work. No hyperbole, I think this is our best work.”

Lucy Rose
This Ain’t The Way You Go Out

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “British musician Lucy Rose released her third album, No Words Left, back in 2019. It was a record that ruminated in a sort of hushed reverence, emotionally charged and deftly delivered. Lucy had planned to spend some well-earned time at home in the record’s aftermath, having toured relentlessly since her late teens. She welcomed her first child, Otis, in the summer of 2021. All was well until she was diagnosed with a rare form of pregnancy induced osteoporosis. With a life being lived upside down, and only now without the indignity of excruciating pain, making music wasn’t seeded top of Lucy’s priority list. Any fleeting thought of writing a new record, or even sitting down with a guitar or at a piano, took a back seat to building up the strength to walk and care for Otis. As her confidence started to rebuild, so did her usual inhibitions in the making of music. Inspired by a trip to America with friend and rapper Logic, she later worked with renowned producer Kwes to finish the record.”

Various Artists
Brown Acid: The Eighteenth Trip

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “If you survived trips 1-17 with one tiny speck of psychedelic sunshine intact, Brown Acid: The 18th Trip will be your coming of age nightmare. Vintage underground ’70s hard rock, coming at you from bizarre angles, local scene wasteland America when everybody was out for themselves and the drugs went bleak. The guitars kill, the attitude is twisted, even the sex is headed down the wrong road. Real people, no compromise, pure and potent. Get stoked, take the 18th Trip and know that the artists will get paid for pulverizing your soul!”

Various Artists
The Power Of The Heart: A Tribute To Lou Reed

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The star-studded album The Power Of The Heart: A Tribute To Lou Reed celebrates the pioneering singer-songwriter’s enduring influence — as well as the timeless appeal of his songs — through performances by Reed’s closest friends and biggest fans, including Keith Richards, Rosanne Cash, Lucinda Williams, Joan Jett And The Blackhearts, Afghan Whigs, Bobby Rush, Maxim Ludwig and Angel Olsen, Mary Gauthier and Automatic. Blending generation-defining hits (I’m Waiting For The Man, Walk OnThe Wild Side, Perfect Day) with lesser-known gems, the collection spans the artist’s five-decade-long career: from his earliest days with The Velvet Underground to his groundbreaking solo work. “To me, Lou stood out,” Richards says. “The real deal! Something important to American music and to ALL MUSIC! I miss him and his dog.”

Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Fu##in’ Up

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Why do these old songs live so vividly now?” asks Neil Young. “They do to me.” Fu##in’ Up captures Young with Crazy Horse in all their Ragged Glory.
Neil and The Horse have played together for over 50 years and the performances of these songs is a true highlight of that long relationship. Fu##in’ Up has nine songs on two LPs, with the original song titles replaced with selected lyrics. (Farmer John, being a cover, retains its original title.) Says  Neil: “In the spirit it’s offered…made this for the horse lovers. I can’t stop it. The horse is runnin’. What a ride we have. I don’t want to mess with the vibe. I am so happy to have this to share.”