Our selection of the best new music across a range of genres from the week ending 7 February 2020.
Jazz musician and producer Makaya McCraven has just released We’re New Again, a unique reimagining of Gil Scott-Heron’s final album I’m New Here. The release marks the tenth anniversary of Scott-Heron’s original. I’m New Here was Gil Scott-Heron’s first album in thirteen years and found him sounding as vital and insightful as ever before, as producer Richard Russell wrapped a minimal electronic sound around Scott-Heron’s raw vocals.
Makaya McCraven is widely regarded as one of the most exciting and original voices in modern jazz. Equally renowned as a musician, drummer, beat-maker and producer, McCraven has released a run of records that are at once genre-defying and redefining such as Universal Beings, Highly Rare and Where We Come From (Chicago x London mixtape) for the highly influential Chicago label International Anthem. As the New York Times states: “Makaya McCraven has quietly become one of the best arguments for jazz’s vitality.”
Oscar- and Grammy-nominated multi-instrumentalist Sufjan Stevens and his longtime collaborator – and stepfather – Lowell Brams will release a new album, Aporia, on 27 March 2020. They’ve just shared the first track from the album, “The Unlimited”.
Aporia signals a pivotal moment in Stevens and Brams’ relationship, which began in the early 1980s when Brams married Stevens’ late mother Carrie. Stevens and Brams recorded Aporia over the course of the last several years. As opposed to the dissonant and niche approach of Music For Insomnia, Aporia finds the pair intently shaping a more palatable, New Age-inspired album.
The album also features several frequent Asthmatic Kitty collaborators, including Thomas Bartlett (Doveman), D.M. Stith, Nick Berry (Dots Will Echo) and John Ringhofer (Half-handed Cloud). Drummer James McAlister, keyboardist and trombonist Steve Moore (Sunn O)))), guitarist Yuuki Matthews (The Shins) and vocalist Cat Martino, add the finishing touches.
Holy Holy have announced a regional tour of Australia this April. It’s been a landmark six months for the band since the August release of their thirdalbum My Own Pool of Light via Wonderlick Recordings. The album was voted #5 in the best albums of 2019 by triple j listeners and received nominations for triple j album of the year and ‘Best Rock Album’ at the 2019 ARIA Awards.
The tour comprises a run of regional dates before the band return to the studio to start work on their fourth album. They will also appear at Horizon at ANUSA in Canberra on 21 February alongside Cub Sport; Right Now Music Festival in Hobart on 4 April alongside Hilltop Hoods, and Bad Friday in Sydney alongside Pond on 10 April.
HOLY HOLY TOUR DATES (Tickets on sale now)
Friday 21 February – Horizon, ANUSA, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 2 April – Pier Hotel, Frankston, VIC*
Friday 3 April – Torquay Hotel, Torquay, VIC*
Saturday 4 April – Right Now Music Festival, Hobart, TAS
Thursday 9 April – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, NSW*
Friday 10 April – Bad Friday, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 11 April – The Beery, Terrigal, NSW*
Sunday 12 April – Waves, Wollongong, NSW*
Thursday 16 April – C.ex Coffs, Coffs Harbour, NSW*
Friday 17 April – Kingscliff Beach Hotel, Kingscliff, NSW*
Saturday 18 April – Nightquarter Live, Birtinya, QLD*
* Headline show
Singer-songwriter Basia Bulat has unveiled “Already Forgiven”, from her forthcoming album. That record – Are You in Love? – is out on 27 March via Secret City Records / Remote Control. Bulat has once again joined forces with Jim James of My Morning Jacket for the new album. He also produced her 2016 release Good Advice.
Bulat is a three-time Polaris Music Prize finalist and has been nominated for three Juno Awards.
Chicago five-piece Twin Peaks bring their most recent LP, Lookout Low, to Australia for the first time on a national tour this April. Since Lookout Low’s release in September 2019, Twin Peaks have gone on to release two new songs, “Cawfee” and “St. Vulgar St”; and the band have committed to donating profits from the 7″ of these songs to WIRES Australian Wildlife Rescue Organisation.
Twin Peaks (presented by Love Police Touring) tour dates are:
Wednesday April 8 – LION ARTS FACTORY, ADELAIDE
Friday April 10 – BAD FRIDAY, SYDNEY
Saturday April 11 – BOOGIE FESTIVAL, TALLAROOK
Wednesday April 15 – THE CORNER, MELBOURNE
Thursday April 16 – THE FOUNDRY, BRISBANE
Friday April 17 – LA LA LA’S, WOLLONGONG
General tix are on-sale from 10am AEDT Tuesday February 11
David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television