Our selection of the best new music across a range of genres from the week ending 26 June 2020.
Victorian outfit Beans are a quintet who seamlessly blur the lines between majestic, OTT rock ‘n’ roll and rhythmic, bass-driven groove. After sharing singles ‘Stride’, ‘Avalon’ and most recently ‘Melt’, (all of which garnered support from community radio & ABC networks across the country), the band have delivered the full LP, All Together Now. A collaborative venture, All Together Now is an ode to the simpler times – from the album opener ‘Montgomery’ (dedicated to keyboardist Mitch Rice’s dog) to lead single ‘Stride’ (a celebration of re-discovering your once buried sense of self) – this is a record that is heavy in its lightness – drenched in toe-tapping grooves and melodic harmonies.
Mordechai is the third album from American band Khruangbin. The three-piece from Texas consists of Laura Lee on bass, Mark Speer on guitar, and Donald Johnson on drums. Taking influence from 1960’s Thai funk – their name literally translates to “Engine Fly” in Thai. Khruangbin is steeped in the bass heavy, psychedelic sound of their inspiration, Tarantino soundtracks and surf-rock cool.
The Black Art Jazz Collective have dropped their third studio album, Ascension. Founded in 2012 by Wayne Escoffery and Jeremy Pelt, the Collective aims to honour and preserve the art of some of the progenitors of jazz who inspired them, hired them and mentored them first hand. And while the band does pay homage to the greats of the past they also continue the evolving tradition of jazz with a body of work that remains firmly entrenched in the modernism of today. From the angular melody of Escoffery’s “Involuntary Servitude,” to the ingratiating groove of Pelt’s “For the Kids,” the ensemble extends the range and potential established by their illustrious predecessors with innovative original compositions, solos that run the gamut from thoughtful to virtuosic and a shared sense of purpose that is unique on today’s jazz landscape.
Becca Mancari has just released her new album, The Greatest Part. The deeply personal album navigates the tender crevices of Nashville-based Mancari’s origins, greeting past traumas head on with vivid, unflinching melodies and Becca’s crystalline voice. The album has already earned high praise from Rolling Stone, NPR and GRAMMY.com, who call Mancari one of Nashville’s “most audacious pop stars” alongside Hayley Williams and Brittany Howard. The album includes recently released singles ‘Hunter’, ‘First Time’ and ‘Lonely Boy’.
Fox & Castle is the second album in two years for Spanish band ISIUS, after Songs from Everywhere (2019). Unlike their debut, this second album presents not so much as the alter ego of leader José Viqueira, but rather a a cohesive group. Fox & Castle was recorded, produced and mixed by Carlos Gil (one of the guitarists in the band) and later mastered by John Davis (who worked for bands like Blur, Led Zeppelin and Pixies) at the legendary London Metropolis Studios. On the record, ISIUS reveal themselves as a band with a clear heritage in melodic alternative rock (think Nada Surf, Death Cab for Cutie or Built to Spill), but that also winks to Beatles-style folk-pop and the most universal pop melodies.
The Takács Quartet, now entering its forty-sixth season, is renowned for the vitality of its interpretations. The quartet have teamed with renowned American pianist Garrick Ohlsson on their new release, Elgar & Beach: Piano Quintets. The record also serves as a fitting way to celebrate Geri Walther’s fifteen years as the Takács’ violist before her impending retirement from the group. Amy Beach’s piano quintet proved a deservedly popular success in its early years (it debuted in 1908). It makes a compelling — and surprising — match for Elgar’s own piano quintet: a late work contemporary with the cello concerto, and which inhabits the same emotional landscape.
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David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television