Our selection of the best new music across a range of genres from the week ending 3 November 2023.
Jaime Wyatt has released her new album Feel Good via New West. A genre-defying work of healing and self-love, the album was produced by Black Pumas’ Adrian Quesada, Hailed by Pitchfork as one of the “most exciting and skillful storytellers” working today, Wyatt is the kind of generational talent whose raw, honest lyricism is matched only by the power of her huge, unmistakable voice. Today, her third and most ambitious album yet – Feel Good, cements this notion, pushing her sound to new sonic and emotional heights, while blurring the lines between classic roots, southern soul, and vintage R&B.
They say long live the king and all, but nothing’s ever set in stone. A quarter of a century since his self-inflicted coronation, and self-released debut solo album, Kenny Anderson – DIY pop voyager, ancestral seaside home restorer, squeezebox lothario, Fife for lifer, diamond miner, hijacker of hearts, and the man also known as King Creosote – has released over 100 records (at a relatively conservative guess), collaborated with the likes of Jon Hopkins, KT Tunstall, Beta Band’s Lone Pigeon, and had his songs covered and performed by artists including Patti Smith and Simple Minds.
Yet he’s still standing:fallible, doubtful, patched together, bloody-minded and unbowed. He’s got a new LP, despite or
perhaps because of it all. It’s called I DES.
Pianist/composer Joey Alexander’s seventh album, Continuance, is the story of a critically acclaimed artist at the peak of his creativity, not only as a bandleader but as a celebrated composer. At 20 years old, Alexander has gathered his touring band, consisting of Kris Funn (bass) and John Davis (drums), to translate their unique improvisation on the stage to the studio with the help of trumpeter Theo Croker. Featuring five newly written original compositions and breathtaking renditions of “I Can’t Make You Love Me” (made famous by Bonnie Raitt) and the popular hymn “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” Alexander is bound to make new waves on a global level.
bar italia are the London based three-piece of Nina Cristante, Jezmi Tarik Fehmi and Sam Fenton. Their second full length release of 2023, The Twits, comes less than six months after their acclaimed Matador debut, Tracey Denim. The Twits was recorded by the trio over eight weeks from February 2023 in a makeshift home studio in Mallorca, and was mixed by Marta Salogni. It finds bar italia’s economical yet evocative songcraft taking raucous, mystic, unkempt, occasionally sinister, and wholly committed turns.
Inspired by the Romantic storyteller E. T. A. Hoffmann’s eccentric alter ego, Robert Schumann’s Kreisleriana is a work Hélène Grimaud has known since she was a teenager and has recorded once before – yet, as she says, “you can spend a lifetime with a piece like this and always find something new”. In revisiting it here, she’s paired it with two pieces by Schumann’s protégé, Johannes Brahms, including a set of songs in which Brahms distilled his unrequited love for Schumann’s widow Clara, and for which Grimaud is partnered by sensational young baritone Konstantin Krimmel.
The bright, wistful album Are You There, Boy? meets Beharie where he is today and invites listeners into a brand new, carefully curated sonic world. Through vibrant melodies and delicate, smooth vocals, the artist explores nuanced themes of love, self-doubt, desire, longing and pain with his heart on his sleeve. Over 12 soulful, heartfelt tracks, the project follows a multi-faceted character who seeks meaningful connections, follows his curiosity where it takes him, and ultimately discovers more of himself. Exploring the ever-changing, versatile aspects of his own humanity and identity, the album showcases his growth, insecurities, passions and complexities.
Painting By Numbers, In The Pines’ new release, was recorded at Futureappletree Studio Too by engineer Patrick Stolley. The group features Michael Shular (guitar/vocals), Charlie Horn (guitar/vocals), Alex Dungan (drums/vocals). Recorded in two sessions throughout July 2021 and March 2022, this album is the first to feature the group’s most recent member Peter Foley on synthesizers, and guest vocalist Eva Patterson on opening track “Threshold.” Mixed by Dalton Allison (Post Animal) and Patrick Stolley (Futureappletree Studio Too), PBN twists the group’s signature psychedelic sound into an atmosphere of fuzzy, distorted shoegaze. The album meticulously layers saccharine, philosophical vocals with heady guitar tones, steadfast yet varied bass lines, and powerful drums that frequently build into a shimmering wash of synthesizers.
Other reviews you might enjoy:
- New music round-up (for w/e 20 October 2023)
- New music round-up (for w/e 4 August 2023)
- New music round-up (for w/e 1 September 2023)
David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television