New music round-up (for w/e 15 March 2024)

Our selection of the best new music across a range of genres from the week ending 15 March 2024.

True to the motto “Stay curious”, Audax Records offers a second excursion through the catalogue of Greek-born composer Hélène Covatti and her husband Robert Dussaut. After an album devoted to the songs of the couple (ADX13722 with Adriana González and Iñaki Encina Oyón), here the Brüggen-Plank Duo presents their works for violin and piano, some of them in premiere recordings. With extensive experience in the twentieth-century repertoire, Marie Radauer-Plank and Henrike Brüggen approach this music with flair and an impressive palette of colours and complete the album with works by composers close to the couple in Paris during the inter-war period.


For a while there at the end of the 2010s, Golden Fang were on a run of releasing an album a year, culminating in their fifth album, 2021’s Man With Telltale Scars. Then a pandemic descended and the band undertook a period of gestation, songwriting and contemplation about the direction their next record would take. The band decided they needed to take a bit of a risk and shake up their process to try and push what they do as artists, if only just to see what happened. This new approach to the recording of their new album Small Worlds involved working with producer Anth Dymke (Jo Meares, Pony Face) who took the band out of their normal routine by steering them away from the usual environment of a recording studio.


2024 marks 40 years of Pete Astor making records, a suitable anniversary point at which to take stock and double back on songs that first appeared on records by Astor-fronted combos such as Creation Records trailblazers The Loft and The Weather Prophets and Matador recording artists The Wisdom of Harry, as well as selections from solo albums that appeared on labels such as Danceteria and Static Caravan. Astor’s motivation for Tall Stories & New Religions is manifold. Some songs are effectively reexamined in the way one might linger over a resonant picture from a box of old photographs – connecting with the essence of a younger self. Other songs are newly recast in wiser and more reflective hues, while others simply demanded exhumation from willfully opaque, lo-fi non-production.


Called “New York’s premier hard-bop supergroup” by JAZZTIMES, One for All has evolved over the course of its quarter-century history from a sextet of young torchbearers to an assemblage of the music’s most revered traditionalists. Just how in-demand these six artists have become can be traced by the span of time that elapses between albums. 2016’s The Third Decade followed its predecessor by five years; seven years of that decade have now passed before the band’s long-awaited follow-up, Big George. It once again features the unparalleled line-up of tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, trumpeter Jim Rotondi, trombonist Steve Davis, pianist David Hazeltine, bassist John Webber, and drummer Joe Farnsworth. This time around the group has invited a very special guest for the proceedings – tenor sax legend George Coleman.


Grammy Award-winning recording artist Ledisi has unleashed her highly anticipated 11th studio album, Good Life, released by Listen Back Entertainment/BMG. In a burst of creative brilliance, Ledisi’s musical odyssey represents her evolution, delivering a soulful fusion of sounds and profound lyrics. Good Life stands as a testament to Ledisi’s artistic journey, encapsulating diverse emotions and human experiences. With her signature blend of soul, R&B, and jazz, Ledisi continues to push the boundaries of contemporary music.


Daniel Boeckner understands the grit and gravel that accumulates in the heart and that it takes an unwavering courage to crack through that clutter and burrow to the other side. And in Boeckner’s hands, that quest comes via postapocalyptic synth and guitar heroism, a rallying cry for those always coming home through the scorched clouds. Throughout his work with Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs, Divine Fits, Operators, Atlas Strategic, and more, the iconic Canadian indie rocker recognizes that few feelings are more gratifying—more memorable, more generative, more abundant—than hope. But it takes getting the hell out of your own way. A culmination of that deep library of musical reference, Boeckner has now released his first album under his own name: Boeckner!


Robert Ouyang Rusli has released Problemista (Original Score) via A24 Music. The rising New York film composer and acclaimed solo recording artist has created an eclectic score to match the strange, fairytale-like world of writer-director Julio Torres’ heartfelt and hilarious feature film debut. A24’s Problemista is a surrealist-comedy about an aspiring toy designer from El Salvador, struggling to bring his unusual ideas to life in New York City. As time on his work visa runs out, a job assisting an erratic art-world outcast becomes his only hope to stay in the country and realize his dream. The film features an excellent cast, including Julio Torres, Tilda Swinton, RZA (Wu-Tang Clan), Greta Lee, Catalina Saavedra, James Scully, and narration by Isabella Rossellini.

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