This is an absolutely monumental week for new music. I could almost swear all these artists got together to release at the same time.
Amos Lee - Mission Bell
I've always enjoyed this performer's golden voice and introspective lyrics and am interested to see what he does with this record. His last release, Last Days at the Lodge, saw a little bit of mainstream success. Hopefully, the success hasn't changed his aesthetic. Something that is exciting me about this release is the caliber of guests, including Willie Nelson, Calexico, Iron & Wine and Lucinda Williams.
Cold War Kids - Mine is Yours
Dutch site 3VOOR12 is currently streaming this album online for free. I had some trepidations about the record upon hearing that the band was aiming for a more mainstream sound. The record is a little more mainstream, but manages to maintain some of what made the band unique. While it's not as good as their first record, Robbers & Cowards, (or even their second) it's still a good release.
"Louder than Ever"
Destroyer - Kaputt
This band, which I most shamefully admit I just heard of, is headed by The New Pornographers' Dan Bejar. While this is not technically a side project (Destroyer existed before The New Pornographers), I'm often wary of what members of my favorite bands do outside those bands, but I've really liked what I've heard so far. This album is also streaming online here.
Gang of Four - Content
These classic post-punkers are back with their first album of original songs in 16 years. Granted, I didn't actually know who these guys were (or what post-punk was) 16 years ago, but have since learned. It's a pretty solid record, also streaming online at NPR.
"It Was Never Gonna Turn Out Too Good"
Iron & Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean
So excited about this one!!! I've had several opportunities to hear this one in its entirety, both performed live, and, of course, streaming. It's quite a bit more upbeat than a lot of his past work, though I'm not completely sure how I feel about the abundant sax.
"Tree By the River"
Sonic Youth - SYR9: Simon Werner a disparu
I know nothing about this release. I like the Sonic Youth, but have heard little about this soundtrack or the corresponding film. So, straight from Wikipedia itself Simon Werner a disparu is "a French thriller film directed by Fabrice Gobert." Yeah, that's all I have.
"Alice et Simon"
Talib Kweli - Gutter Rainbows
While I'll completely admit to not liking Talib Kweli as much as his Black Star partner, Mos Def, his music is still great. While, as of yet, I've only heard the lead track, "Cold Rain," it promises to be a great album.
Wanda Jackson - The Party Ain't Over
The "Queen of Rockabilly" is 73 years old and still rockin'. Jack White really seems to have a thing for older female country singers, producing this album and Loretta Lynn's Van Lear Rose 7 years ago, but that certainly is not a bad thing. You can definitely hear his touch.
"Thunder on the Mountain"