Our selection of the best new music across a range of genres from the week ending 10 April 2020.
April was supposed to be when The Dandy Warhols went on the road to play a US tour. Instead, like so many of us, they find themselves bunkered down in isolation, beginning the journey of adjustment to the new living restrictions imposed because of ‘the virus’. But that hasn’t stopped them from releasing their sixth studio album Tafelmuzik Means More When You’re Alone. The epic 4-hour (!) LP, was released through Bandcamp on 1 April. It opens up a new appreciation of play, experimentation and innovation. The record pays homage to the light-hearted baroque collection of ‘Tafelmusik’ that used to be played during banquets of yesteryear.
Purity Ring’s third album, Womb, is out now on 4AD / Remote Control Records. The album features previously released songs: “peacefall”,”stardew”, and the propulsive ‘i like the devil’. Womb is Purity Ring’s first album in more than five years. The ten songs are entirely written, recorded, produced and mixed by the duo, and the album chronicles a quest for comfort and the search for a resting place in a world where so much is beyond our control.
In 2019, Christoph Croisé scored a break-through with his critically acclaimed recording of Haydn’s Cello Concertos. Now he’s back with The Russian Album, accompanied on the LP by Alexander Panfilov (piano). Croisé turns his attention to two towering 20th-century masterpieces, Sergei Rachmaninov’s early, eloquent and emotional Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 19, and Dmitri Shostakovich’s D minor Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 40. The latter work’s finale featured what would become the composer’s signature style of caricature and irony that proved too provocative to the Stalinist regime. The cellist also offers two “encores” – his own transcriptions of the March from Sergei Prokofiev’s propulsive opera The Love for Three Oranges, and Rodion Shchedrin’s flambouyant In the Style of Albéniz – and a bonus track by his compatriot, the Swiss cellist and composer Thomas Demenga, New York Honk, a humourous homage to the Big Apple’s cacophonous traffic noises.
Pokey La Farge has released his new album Rock Bottom Rhapsody via New West Records.The 13-song set was produced by Chris Seefried (Fitz and the Tantrums). The album was recorded in already-frost Chicago during the “polar vortex” event of 2019 and features the guitarist Joel Paterson, keyboardist Scott Ligon, upright/electric bassist Jimmy Sutton, and drummer Alex Hall. Rock Bottom Rhapsody is LaFarge’s first album in over three years and follows 2017’s acclaimed Manic Revelations.
Recorded in 1982, not long after she moved to Paris, Fodder On My Wings was one of Nina Simone’s favorite albums; yet has remained one of her most obscure. Originally recorded for a small French label and only sporadically available since its initial release, Fodder On My Wings has now been reissued by Verve Records. The album is now available in a variety of formats including CD and LP, as well as widely available digitally for the first time, in both standard and hi-res audio. The original album has been expanded with three bonus tracks from the recording sessions from a rare French reissue released in 1988.
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David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television