New music round-up (for w/e 1 April 2022)

Our selection of the best new music across a range of genres from the week ending 1 April 2022.

Seabear return with a new album. After a hiatus of 12 years – the band’s most “recent” LP dates back to 2010 – the much loved Icelandic collective presents In Another Life, a mesmerizing collection of songs, oscillating between indie pop and classic singer-songwriter material.


In the near-decade since releasing his debut album It Goes Like This, Thomas Rhett has had a massive influence on country music. His pop-leaning, often soulful brand of radio country not only spawned hits like “Die a Happy Man” and “Crash and Burn,” but inspired a younger generation of singer-songwriters who aren’t afraid to play with genres outside the confines of country. Where We Started, his sixth studio album, is something of a capstone on the first decade of his career, bringing together the mix of heartfelt love songs and laidback party anthems for which he’s come to be loved.


Night Palace is a shocking alchemy: aching nostalgia meets frothy anticipation of what’s beyond the garden wall. You find yourself picturing it: a moonlit-gilded diorama of Avery Draut’s dreams and memories. Growing up, Draut would wake to her dad blasting Court and Spark or Nilsson Schmilsson as he danced around the living room, riling the dogs. At school in Athens, Georgia she studied visual art and theatre before focusing on classical voice. Burned out after five years of fruitful but intensive opera performance, she found a Magic Genie™ organ at the thrift store and sat down, for the first time, to write songs of her own. Night Palace’s new album Diving Rings is out now.


The Unfolding is an extraordinary eight-part collaboration between composer Hannah Peel (Mercury Prize and Emmy nominee) and Paraorchestra. It was made over three years in precious morsels of time around a global pandemic. These circumstances – unexpected when the collaboration began – add weight to its explorations in sound about who we are, where we came from, and who we could all be. The Unfolding also explores Paraorchestra’s progressive idea of what an orchestra should be, mixing analogue, digital and assistive instruments with a unique ensemble of disabled and non-disabled musicians to make magic happen, and accessible to all.


Musician, composer, bandleader, educator and activist Roxy Coss has become one of the most unique and innovative saxophonists on the scene. A recipient of an ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award, Downbeat Magazine listed her as a “Rising Star” on soprano saxophone the past five years, called her “An exceptional young talent”, and Jazziz Magazine listed her an “Artist to Watch in 2019”. Originally from Seattle, and a fixture on the New York scene for over ten years, she has headlined extensively around the world, including major festivals and venues like the Newport Jazz Festival, NYC Winter JazzFest, Melbourne Big Band Festival, Earshot Jazz Festival, San Jose Jazz Summerfest, Ballard Jazz Festival, Jazz Standard, and Jazz Showcase. Roxy is an endorsing Artist for P. Mauriat, Vandoren, and Key Leaves. As a composer, Roxy has collaborated with visual artists and dancers, creating scores on commission. Her jazz compositions also appear on five different full length albums, including her latest as leader, Disparate Parts.


The Unraveling of Puptheband is not a departure from what got PUP here, really; for all the new breadth, this is still very much the fourth album by the band that has spun songs about The Bad Decisions Lifestyle into scrappy art. The hooks are as bright and barbed as always; the poison threaded through every song is no less potent. But a fourth album should be different from the first, or even the third, and The Unraveling is. The Unraveling of Puptheband is that next step—not towards perfection, or even towards some more perfect version of writing songs about messing up, but just in the direction of its choice. It’s a product of this endless awful broader moment, but also very much a step forward into that uncertainty.


Crooked Tree is the Nonesuch Records debut album from singer, songwriter, and musician Molly Tuttle and her band Golden Highway. The album was recorded live at Nashville’s Oceanway Studios. It was produced by Tuttle and Jerry Douglas and features collaborations with Sierra Hull, Old Crow Medicine Show, Margo Price, Billy Strings, Dan Tyminski, and Gillian Welch. These thirteen tracks, all written or co-written by Tuttle, explore her lifelong love of bluegrass. “Molly Tuttle’s fingers move so quickly, she could pick your pocket without breaking stride,” says the New York Times. NPR calls it “a set of dashingly virtuosic songs.”


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