New music round-up (for w/e 27 October 2023)

Our selection of the best new music across a range of genres from the week ending 27 October 2023.

Because Hold, Jack Tatum’s fifth album under the moniker Wild Nothing, was written in the aftermath of new parenthood during the pandemic, it was probably inevitable that it would be searching and existential music. But during the recording process, the artist known for synth-pop tastefulness took it as an opportunity to reach for a new sonic maximalism and wider set of influences. With contributions from longtime collaborator Jorge Elbrecht, Tommy Davidson of Beach Fossils and Hatchie’s Harriette Pilbeam, first single “Headlights On” features an acid house-worthy bass groove and breakbeat that prove Tatum is playing for the rafters.


Sydney-based singer, instrumentalist, songwriter, arranger, composer, musical director, and studio producer Sarah Belkner has released her much-anticipated album, The Apple. The album is a poetic journey that reflects on the essence of creativity, life’s challenges, and the simplicity of being alive.


Boston doesn’t get enough credit as a jazz town. From the days of the Storyville club and Cambridge-based Transition label to the star factory that is Berklee College of Music, the city stands tall against more celebrated places like Chicago and Detroit. One big part of that high level of creative output is Jerry Bergonzi who, for his new album Extra Extra, leads his most Bostonian band in recent memory, reuniting with trumpeter pal Phil Grenadier and drummer Luther Gray. Bassist Harvie S came up from New York for the gig and it was he who suggested guitarist Sheryl Bailey for the album. She completes the Boston connection with her position as the Assistant Chair of Berklee’s legendary Guitar Department. “To work with Jerry and study and perform his music is the definition of a dream come true,” says Bailey who has played with artists ranging from Ken Peplowski to Shingo Okudaira. Here, Bergonzi has convened a fine band for a compelling album, another feather in Boston’s tricorn hat.


Singer, songwriter, subversive performance artist, video director, and purveyor of surrealist chaos Poppy has released a new album, Zig, via Sumerian Records. A reflection of an artist who has been in the public eye since her late teens coming into her own in her late 20’s as a woman who knows what she wants and who she is. Pairing immersive, roiling electronics with candy-coated vocals, songs on Zig bubble just under the skin. At times, the music’s cool lacquer gives way to Poppy’s own lacerating screamed lyrics, the perfect complement to dislodging the songs’ pointed pop edges.


Leon Rosselson has been at the forefront of songwriting in England for over sixty years. For Chronicling the Times – out now on PM Press and Free Dirt Records – Rosselson delved into his storied political satirist’s song catalog to assemble seventeen of his favorite recordings. Featuring English folk luminaries such as Martin Carthy and Billy Bragg, this collection proves that Rosselson, now well into his 80s, has created an oeuvre comparable to other social critics such as Phil Ochs.


On her new album 1923, Yaara Tal dedicates herself to the music of the roaring twenties, specifically the year 1923. On her album, she interprets works by Arnold Schönberg, Hanns Eisler, Joseph Achron, Ernest Bloch, Frederick Delius, Leoš Janáček and Alexandre Tansman, among others.


If Southern Galactic, the new record from Caleb Lee Hutchinson sounds different, that’s because it is. Hutchinson isn’t interested in doing what other people are already doing. “A lot of it is country as dog’s breath,” Hutchinson says, “but my influences are all over the place, and all those influences are in the record.” Much of the album’s sound Hutchinson attributes to its producer, Titanic Sinclair. Sinclair, an artist and songwriter himself, brought his deep and eclectic musical toolbox to the making of the record. A toolbox that, according to Hutchinson, provided the necessary cohesion for the pair’s collaboration.

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