So the summer is coming to its inevitable, bitter end. What better way to cope with the waning days of outdoor frivolity than to hole up with a batch of new releases?
The unlikely duo of RZA (Wu-Tang Clan) and Paul Banks (Interpol) have teamed up for the dynamic and aggressive Banks & Steelz. They promise to “drop the hammer” in Anything But Words single “Giant,” and that’s exactly what they proceed to do.
Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that veteran rocker Butch Walker channels some driving Springsteen desperation vibes on a track titled “East Coast Girl.” It’s also heartfelt and well-produced. The Boss would approve.
Cass McCombs is back. His Anti- Records release Mangy Love includes the conversational and dreamy “Medusa’s Outhouse,” which begs the listener to not leave him hangin’. So don’t!
It’s wild to think that De La Soul is coming up on their 30th anniversary. Perhaps even wilder to think these old dogs employed a Kickstarter campaign to help fund a new album that includes appearances by big shots David Byrne, Damon Albarn, and Usher.
For a taste of How To Be A Human Being, check out the impeccably produced and Atari-infused “Season 2 Episode 3.”
Ingrid Michaelson started out in coffee shops singing about the knitting of winter hats. A handful of albums later, she returns with It Doesn’t Have To Make Sense. She’s as earnest and playful as ever, particularly on “Celebrate,” a track that bounces along like a few from Regina Spektor’s What We Saw From The Cheap Seats.
Recorded at The Ship here in LA, Midnight Faces’ new album taps into that ’80s vibe that is quickly being reborn as a ’10s thing. Think The War On Drugs and some of that beloved Stranger Things soundtrack magic. Oh yeah, ’80s sax strains, too.
Delt’s sound is psychedelic minus the white knuckling, call your mom, freak out part. But there’s a little The Doors or Pet Sounds fun house spook in there. Check out the excellent “I Don’t Wanna See What’s Happening Outside.”
The Album Leaf sounds fully modernized with semi-glitched out blips and other electronic je ne sais quois on the forthcoming Between Waves. There’s also a moody attitude that feels a long way from 2001’s excellent One Day I’ll Be On Time. Bring it on, Jimmy LaValle.
There is a tripped-out near-surf sound in Skiptracing that at times feels timeless, but ultimately contributes to an album that has SO MUCH going on. That’s a compliment. Prepare yourself, then dive in.