Our selection of the best new music across a range of genres from the week ending 8 July 2022.
Laura Veirs has released her new album Found Light via her own Raven Marching Band Records. While it’s technically the 12th studio LP from the esteemed indie artist, it also, in many ways, feels like her debut: Found Light is her very first record with co-production credits (alongside Shahzad Ismaily), and finds Veirs embracing a self-sovereignty and artistic independence she’d never known previously.
Mesmerism is a beautiful, swinging trio meeting led by drummer Tyshawn Sorey featuring two musicians whom he has considered his closest colleagues: pianist Aaron Diehl and bassist Matt Brewer. Sorey – a 2017 MacArthur Fellow, Professor of Music at the University of Pennsylvania, collaborator with Vijay Iyer, Kris Davis, Roscoe Mitchell, Hafez Modirzadeh, Myra Melford, Marilyn Crispell and other musical luminaries – puts forward his vision for Mesmerism as follows: “My intent was to record this project with only an hour or two of rehearsal, and with a group of musicians who never performed on stage together. To that end, Mesmerism is a departure from the recordings I produced that contained thoroughly rehearsed, rigorously notated music for piano trio. For a long time, I felt an intense desire to record some of my favorite songs from the Great American Songbook as well as those by composers whose work I feel should also exist in this canon. Recording Mesmerism with these two wonderful, inspiring musicians inevitably proved to become the finest occasion for me to document my lifelong connection to the ‘straight-ahead’ continuum of this music.”
The Deslondes are a five-piece band from New Orleans. The band splits up songwriting and lead vocal duties among its five members, continuing its democratic ethos and musical versatility. Multiple members have released solo recordings between their sophomore release, Hurry Home (2016) and their latest release Ways & Means but throughout the time between albums the Deslondes continued to build on their inventive take on New Orleans country and R&B. Ways & Means finds the band leaning on the country-folk of their debut along with the sometimes-psychedelic, electrified gospel-soul sound of Hurry Home. The sound will continue to draw comparisons to the country-funkiness of The Band, Link Wray and others but Ways & Means is the sound of a band that understands the history of American music, while embracing their own contemporary approach.
Cellist Alisa Weilerstein and pianist Inon Barnatan present a complete recording of Beethoven’s cello sonatas. Composed over a span of nearly twenty years, these works not only contain some of the most appealing and lyrical music Beethoven wrote, but also allow the listener to trace his exceptional artistic development. The third sonata, moreover, is a watershed in sonata writing, arguably presenting the cello and piano as fully equal partners for the first time in music history. The richness of these works fully comes to life in the interpretation of Weilerstein and Barnatan, who have – besides glorious solo careers – also proven to be one of the most congenial chamber music tandems of our times. Their wonderful musical partnership and profound friendship shines through in each of these sonatas.
Great Gable have released their highly-anticipated second studio album On The Wall In The Morning Light, via Rainbow Valley Records. The result is a record brimming with youthful exuberance balanced by a confidence that comes with experience, a new level of sophistication, yet not at the expense of fun. To mark the release, the Perth four-piece deliver the new single Sidewalk, alongside the song’s visual accompaniment. Recorded at Rainbow Valley Studios, and produced by Matt Corby and Alex Henriksson, On The Wall in The Morning Light is Great Gable’s propulsively rhythmic, evocative guitar-driven rock’n’roll realm enriched with experience.
Leeds art-rock group Mush (Dan Hyndman – vocals/guitar, Phil Porter – drums, Nick Grant – bass, Myles Kirk – guitar) return with the album Down Tools (out now via Memphis Industries). The new record marks the prolific band’s third album in as many years, following hype-building early singles “Alternative Facts” and “Gig Economy”, 2020’s debut LP 3D Routine and 2021’s acclaimed Lines Redacted, which pushed their sound further finding tips at BBC 6 Music, Pitchfork, DIY, Sunday Times, Quietus and more with Uncut declaring them “kindred spirits to Wand and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, two other bands prolifically honing their sound and approach, steadily developing their voice.”
Alice Cohen was living with solitude in new ways while writing and recording her seventh full-length record, Moonrising. The pandemic was beginning to set in and the lifelong synth-pop experimenter had recently said goodbye to her father, who passed away in late 2019. Moonrising is an album about grappling with loss, a kaleidoscope of dim-lit pop with dark guitars and gothic flourishes. Like her previous records, the homespun production is crafted from vintage synthesisers and drum machines, drawing from her backgrounds in new wave and grunge, and channeling a deeply-ingrained sense of groove. But on Moonrising, Cohen draws primarily from her days in the 90s rock scene, playing guitars and bass. In addition to working as a jazz pianist, Cohen’s father was also an engineer who helped develop equipment used in the Apollo 12 moon landing, so for Cohen, the moon strongly symbolises her childhood. Each night after supper, they would look out the window. “We would watch the sun set, and the moon rise,” she recalls.
Other reviews you might enjoy:
- New music round-up (for w/e 25 March 2022)
- New music round-up (for w/e 23 July 2021)
- New music round-up (for w/e 11 February 2022)
David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television