Our selection of the best new music across a range of genres from the week ending 23 June 2022.
Multi-instrumentalist Sally Anne Morgan tills the soil of old timey music, folk practices old and new, and psychedelia to sow music that reaches out beyond its roots. Cups dives headfirst into the waters of the Morgan’s unconscious mind and plumbs those depths for swells of fertile brilliance and awe. In stark contrast to the traditional and pop-informed structures of her previous album Thread, Cups adopts a free-flowing approach intuitive and receptive, brimming and shifting and changing across a fragile equilibrium of pieces both improvised and composed. The fluid pieces twirl from pensive, looped fiddle to tiptoed banjo to patient, sunny parlor guitar arpeggios to droning dulcimer and a litany of percussive ripples with gentle ease. By distilling her most immediate inspirations into layers of sparkling timbre and buoyant rambles, Sally Anne Morgan’s Cups builds a sense of community from within, like a back porch jam with her own subconscious.
Soccer Mommy have released their new full-length album Sometimes, Forever, out now via Loma Vista Recordings. Produced by Daniel Lopatin of Oneohtrix Point Never, Sometimes, Forever cements Sophie Allison’s status as one of the most gifted songwriters making rock music right now. Including singles ‘Shotgun’, ‘Bones’ and ‘newdemo’, Sometimes, Forever is a fresh peek into the mind of an artist who synthesizes everything — retro sounds, personal tumult, the relatable disorder of modern life — into original music that feels built to last a long time. Maybe even forever.
Linda Sikhakhane is a musician, improviser and composer born in Umlazi, a township in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. His musical journey started when he joined the Siyakhula Music Centre, where he picked up the tenor saxophone and continued on his path under the gentle guidance of the late Dr. Brian Thusi. He undertook a relentless work schedule that saw him play a string of gigs, feature on notable recordings – like Nduduzo Makhathini’s Mother Tongue (2014); and also found the H3 horn ensemble with two childhood friends. After moving to New York, he was mentored by greats such as Billy Harper, Reggie Workman, David Schnitter and Charles Tolliver. His new record, Isambulo, is available now.
Reggae Film Star is Damien Jurado’s 18th full length studio album and the second on Maraqopa Records. Twenty-five years since his debut album Waters Ave S. came out, Jurado is more prolific, driven and creative than ever. The twelve mystical songs on Reggae Film Star are gorgeously cinematic and feature a rich production and diverse sonic textures.
Today, with the flowering of recordings aimed at rediscovering the buried treasures of past centuries, it is difficult to ignore the work of the twentieth-century composer Rebecca Clarke. If you have not yet had the pleasure of coming across it, one thing is sure: you will not easily forget it! The viola player Vinciane Béranger, along with Dana Ciocarlie, Hélène Collerette and David Louwerse, have devoted a disc to the works for viola of Clarke, who was both a composer and a performer – one of the foremost professional women in England. Her music, at the crossroads of various currents, navigates at different moments through French music, modality, British folklore, harmonic boldness and exoticism. There is, however, no pastiche: Clarke creates her own honey from these trends in order to construct a quite atypical language that is resolutely modern. From her masterly Viola Sonata to the poetic Morpheus, and not forgetting the trio Dumka or the duet Chinese Puzzle, the performers are keen to paint the musical portrait of this iconoclastic composer. The recording is enhanced with the world premiere of Irish Melody, a long lost score that was recently rediscovered.
For over six decades, GRAMMY-award winning artist Peter Rowan has been at the forefront of acoustic American music, inspiring generations of new musicians and working creatively with the roots of bluegrass, newgrass, Americana, country rock, jazz, even reggae, Hawaiian, and Tejano music. A relentlessly curious, brilliant songwriter, Rowan’s had the kind of career that would give him ample opportunity to kick back and rest on his laurels now, but his new album, Calling You From My Mountain (out now on Rebel Records), shows that Rowan’s voice is as vital as ever, fueled by the history of our great traditions and excited for their future. Guest spots on the album from friends like Billy Strings, Shawn Camp, Molly Tuttle, Lindsay Lou, and Mark Howard, not to mention Rowan’s multi-generational band, show that Rowan’s inspiration transcends age.
The internationally lauded Fremantle four-piece Spacey Jane have released their highly anticipated second studio album, Here Comes Everybody via AWAL. Taken from the working title of Wilco’s seminal album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (one of the bands’ favourite albums) Here Comes Everybody sounds and feels like an album that has truly been lived in. Every note is imbued with hard-earned wisdom now being passed down to a new generation. “I want it to be a guide to the experiences that are coming for those entering the period of life I’m leaving,” Caleb says of the new album’s aims. “Our first record discussed personal experiences of mine and it was a blessing to see how many people related to those stories,” he adds, but wants album two to be “for youth persevering and thriving emotionally under the weight of our generational burden.”
Other reviews you might enjoy:
- New music round-up (for w/e 21 January 2022)
- New music round-up (for w/e 18 March 2022)
- New music round-up (for w/e 14 May 2021)
David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television