New music round-up (for w/e 22 March 2024)

Our selection of the best new music across a range of genres from the week ending 22 March 2024.

Here comes something. It’s a record; it’s called Celebrate and it lives up to its name. It’s the second album by Halo Maud. Halo Maud writes songs that touch, that grab hold, that astonish, that excite. And in two languages, introspective French and projectile English, which call and respond, which augment each other, endowing each song with two complementary hearts: one centripetal for soliloquy and solitary reverie, the other centrifugal for skill, friendship and fighting. Two languages as clear as can be, with counted words, with tiny steps, two languages that can tell the tale of a stream, a sisterly celebration, worldly patience, the intoxication of dancing.


SFJAZZ Collective 20th Anniversary Retrospective presents brand new recordings tracing the 20-year legacy of the SFJAZZ Collective. The album presents fresh approaches to the Collective’s extensive repertoire of original material and tributes to the giants of modern music. This is the final volume of the 3-part series, and features a brand new studio recording, which includes a 7-part suite inspired by the band’s history and the group’s previous compositions.


Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade and Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain are two of the most popular works in the Russian repertoire. Programming them together as Music Director of the Orchestra and Chorus dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Sir Antonio Pappano reminds us of the links between the two composers. At the same time he gives us a rare opportunity to hear both of Mussorgsky’s versions of the devilish Night on Bald Mountain – one for orchestra and one for orchestra and vocal forces (as conceived for the opera The Fair at Sorochyntsi).


While her sound has evolved from lo-fi folk to lush alt-tinged country, Waxahatchee’s (a.k.a Katie Crutchfield) voice has always remained the same. Honest and close, poetic with Southern lilting. Much like Carson McCullers’s Mick Kelly, determined in her desires and convictions, ready to tell whoever will listen. And after years of being sober and stable in Kansas City–after years of sacrificing herself to her work and the road–Crutchfield has arrived at her most potent songwriting yet. On her new album, Tigers Blood, Crutchfield emerges as a powerhouse–an ethnologist of the self–forever dedicated to revisiting her wins and losses. But now she’s arriving at revelations and she ain’t holding them back.


The Messthetics and jazz saxophonist James Brandon Lewis have joined forces for a new album. Former Fugazi members Joe Lally and Brendan Canty formed the Messthetics with guitarist Anthony Pirog in 2016. A self-titled debut followed two years later, and the group’s second album, Anthropocosmic Nest, came out in 2019. The Messthetics and James Brandon Lewis connected in 2022 for “Fear Not.” Upon the track’s release, Lewis exclaimed in a press statement, “The Messthetics are friends at this point and collaborating with them over the years has now brought us to another high point of musical bonding and purely unapologetic energy!”


Good Morning have shared their seventh album, Good Morning Seven out via Good Morning Music Company Worldwide. While Good Morning Seven is a testament to the investment (and pay-off) in taking time, narratively the album considers the very real fear of it being wasted against the means we seek to enrich it. Contentment and how it is reached or secured as an achievement, overlaps 17 tracks with Good Morning’s enduring canine talisman – their metaphor for the human condition – alongside their stories on how we impact the hourglass passing. Here digging holes, routine, the dog year formula, even the effect of moonlight symbolise Liam Parsons and Stefan Blair’s own reckoning of self.


Raveled Veiled Known, an album of monumental synthesizer focused extravagances, finds LFZ at an apex of fluidity and prowess. The album deals with concepts of growth, change, the depth of the unknown, and how we organize our understanding and interpretation of these. The cover, hand embroidered artwork by Smith, depicts mixed esoteric imagery derived from Astrology, Tarot, Numerology, Sigil Magick, and the pioneer plaque. The album is released by Big Sur’s Gnome Life Records and is LFZ’s fourth full length album -the first in five years. However, it is inaccurate to say that it is his only new music in that time. LFZ has released several EP’s in the past years, but this is a grand gesture.

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