Our selection of the best new music across a range of genres from the week ending 19 March 2021.
Mozart’s Violin Concertos need little introduction from No. 3 in G major featuring the 19-year-old Mozart at his elegant, witty and beguilingly changeable best, to the Sinfonia Concertante the string concerto masterpiece with its masterly mixture of noble strength and tender lyricism, these are some of Mozart’s most well-known and best-loved works. Handel and Haydn Society with their inspirational Concertmaster, Aisslinn Nosky, bring Mozart’s musical magic to life in Mozart: Violin Concertos Vol. 1, a series of live recordings from Boston’s glorious Symphony Hall.
Posi-Tone Records have rolled out a second volume of New Faces with a musical message that stays focused on New Sounds. This group of “New Faces” (trumpeter Brandon Lee, alto saxophonist Markus Howell, tenor saxophonist Nicole Glover, pianist Caili O’Doherty, bassist Adi Meyerson and drummer Cory Cox) was assembled and sent off under the supervision of producer Marc Free to explore a wonderland of melodic mysteries and harmonic possibilities. The performances of these emerging artists are specifically intended to provide you with an insight into the musical aesthetics and operational ethos of Posi-Tone Records with an engaging program of fresh cuts and a few dusky gems from the label’s previous releases. Please take a moment to relax and experience the “New Sounds” of these talented artists as they work to provide you with the opportunity to enjoy a more delightful today and a brighter tomorrow.
With a sound oscillating between psychedelic pop and space rock, Triptides’ album Alter Echoes channels both The Byrds at their most hallucinogenic and Floyd at their most cosmically composed while creating something immediate and new. The band has established itself as a preeminent part of the Los Angeles new wave psych music. With Alter Echoes, they pull away from the pack, thanks to the quality of their songwriting, performance and production. Triptides is led by multi-instrumentalist Glenn Brigman, and with drummer Brendan Peleo-Lazar and bassist/guitarist Stephen Burns.
Great Spans of Muddy Time is the fourth album from Mercury Music Prize nominated artist William Doyle, and the second under his own name (having dropped his earlier East India Youth moniker). Born from accident but driven forward by instinct, the album was built from the remains of a catastrophic hard-drive failure. With his work saved only to cassette tape, Doyle was forced to accept the recordings as they were – a sharp departure from his process on the previous record, 2019’s Your Wilderness Revisited, which he spent four long years honing toward perfection.
Middle Kids have released their sophomore album Today We’re The Greatest (out now via EMI). The album is the Sydney trio’s most personal and courageous effort to date. The bulk of the album was recorded in Los Angeles in October 2019 with producer Lars Stalfors (St. Vincent, Soccer Mommy, Cold War Kids) and the finishing touches were made in the early months of 2020. Middle Kids (Hannah Joy, Tim Fitz and Harry Day) relished in exploring the space between smoldering intensity and an explosive vivacity that never burns out of control; from the brassy climax of ‘Questions’ to the starkly confessional quality of ‘Some People Stay in Our Hearts Forever’ and the insistent gallop of ‘R U 4 Me?’. They heard potential in unlikely places, as Fitz used a pair of scissors as a percussion instrument on ‘Summer Hill’ and repurposed a recording of birds chirping in a rain shower that he captured at their old home in Sydney for ‘Golden Star’.
Meanjin/Brisbane indie-folk/alt-country five-piece Full Power Happy Hour, have released their self-titled debut album (including full global distribution though Redeye Worldwide). With a live show already renowned for its gripping four-part vocal harmonies and goodtime ragtag gang vibe, Full Power Happy Hour have translated this laidback appeal into the recorded realms with a collection of songs shining the spotlight fairly and squarely on the indubitable songwriting and vocal talents of frontwoman Alex Campbell. Lead single ‘Old Mine Of Mine’ has already garnered plenty of airplay on community radio in Australia – coming in at #47 on 4ZZZ’s Hot 100 poll for 2020.
While the name Andrew Farriss resonates in industry circles alongside his band INXS and the many hits he penned while they topped the charts, he is rightfully considered one of the country’s most prolific songwriters, having written, produced and performed music for acts such as Yothu Yindi, Tom Jones, Tania Kernaghan and Jenny Morris. In recent years, he has been co-writing with some of the biggest names in Nashville, including the likes of Grammy-award winning songwriters Gordon Kennedy and Paul Overstreet, as well as veritable country music songsmiths Frank J Myers, James Dean Hicks and Bruce Wallace to name a few. His new self-titled country album is out now via BMG.
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David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television