It’s called Silver/Lead and it arrives March 31: that would be the mighty Wire’s followup to 2016’s acclaimed Nocturnal Koreans. Below listen to the melodically buzzsawing “Short Elevated Period” from the album. And incidentally, March 31 was not a date the band chose randomly; it will be the 40th anniversary of their first UK gig.
April 21 will bring an eagerly-anticipated new Ray Davies project, Americana, featuring the Kinks mainman backed up by Americana godfathers the Jayhawks, fittingly enough. It’s the long-awaited followup to 2008’s Working Man’s Cafe. Listen to first single “Poetry” at NPR, below.
Not long ago the news arrived that Peter Holsapple from the dB’s (and Stamey/Holsapple, and Continental Drifters, and R.E.M., and Hootie & the Blowfish, and – what the hell – Rittenhouse Square) was dropping a new 45 on Feb. 3. “Don’t Mention the War” b/w “Cinderella Style” will arrive on his ownHawthorne Curve Records, and you can previews both tracks at YouTube and SoundCloud, respectively. Check ’em out, below – the A-side in particular is additionally illuminated with this accompanying video.
On what would have been David Bowie’s 70th birthday, his estate and label surprise-released the 4-song “No Plan” EP, which features the hit “Lazarus” plus the final three songs the artist recorded. Below is the Spotify link, as well as the video for “No Plan.” Meanwhile, check out our one-year-anniversary-of-Bowie’s-death tribute, “Through the (Stained) Looking Glass,” about his Berlin period.
As Tommy Stinson has put his post-‘mats combo Bash & Pop back together and is prepping the Jan. 20 release of new album Anything Could Happen on the Fat Possum label, he’s unveiled a new track from the record. Titled “Never Wanted to Know,” you can check it out now:
The band: guitarist Steve “The Sleeve” Selvidge (The Hold Steady), drummer Joe “The Kid” Sirois (Mighty Mighty BossTones), bassist Justin “Carl” Perkins (Screeching Weasel). Watch for a small Feb-March tour (dates at Stinson’s website). And you can still pre-order the album directly via a Pledge Music campaign, where numerous incentives will sorely tempt you. A percentage of the proceeds from the campaign will benefit Timkatec trade schools in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Live version of a key track from the artist’s remarkable new solo album, The Starless Room.
By Fred Mills
Sharp-eyed readers know the name James Johnston: He’s the frontman for Britain’s eternally brilliant Gallon Drunk [official website is HERE] as well as an in-demand sideman for the likes of—you may have heard of some of these—Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, PJ Harvey (whose Hope Six Demolition Project, which features Johnston, was recently nominated for a Grammy), and Marianne Faithfull.
He’s now got a solo album, The Starless Room, and he recently sat down with BLURT’s resident Gallon Drunk expert, Jonathan Levitt, to discuss the new record. “I needed to do something different, I wanted to try something fresh, something I wasn’t familiar with,” explained Johnston. “Something that reflected more what I like to listen to myself. It just developed from there, encouraged and helped along by Johann Scheerer, the producer.”
Stay tuned for the entire interview next week, and meanwhile, Johnston graciously provided us with an exclusive track to get the readers’ appetites whetted. It’s from a live studio event recorded earlier this year by Linda Gerdes at the Clouds Hill festival. Check out “Heart and Soul” – you can stream it or download for your personal playlist.
Incidentally, Johnston has also created a series of videos in which he discusses the writing of each track on the album. Go HERE to view the clip for “Heart and Soul” and HERE for the “Track by Track” section of his YouTube channel. Meanwhile, you can read Levitt’s previous interview with Johnston, in which he discusses Gallon Drunk’s classic album From the Heart of Town, as part of our “The Story Behind The Album” series.
Tune comes from the songstress’ new album, due in early 2017.
By Blurt Staff
Singer-songwriter Laura Saggers may have originally envisioned a career path as a writer, but while studying for an English degree felt the tug of the performer’s muse. She already had the musical background, having been classically trained on piano in the UK, and following a series of internships within the British music industry as well as a timely endorsement deal with Roland for their keytar, decided to relocate to the U.S. and chase the proverbial dream. The result is, indeed, Chasing Dreams due out early next year, and we are honored to be able to give the readers an exclusive advance peek. Check out “When the Sun Met the Moon”:
Sagger discussed the song, calling it “a story about how the sun falls in love with the moon and they get separated, and for the rest of his life the sun continues to love the moon even though he can no longer see her. I work with a ton of kids on a daily basis and was inspired to write this song as a message to anyone who has had to lose someone special. The ‘darkness’ can be either death, or divorce, separation, or a situation that is out of our control but hard to explain to children without a story behind it.
“The message is simple: people come and go, that is life, but the love between two people, regardless of circumstances will never be forgotten. My mum passed away when I was 13, and to this day I believe her love for me still exists because she lives in my memories and that gives me peace and strength every day.”
The album, of course, didn’t happen overnight, as Saggers had to pay her dues in Los Angeles, working as a sideman (notably with singer Jimmy Hopper) and constantly practicing her piano and keytar skills and honing her songwriting chops. As the saying goes, persistence and passion paid off, culminating in Chasing Dreams.
Out today is Peace Trail by Neil Young, who’s having a prolific year, from speaking out against Trump and the Dakota Pipeline (the song “Indian Givers,” on the new record, continues his long and vocal support of Native American issues), to touring with Promise of the Real and releasing the live album EARTH. You can stream Peace Trail – which, the BLURT staff hastens to note, is one of the strongest studio efforts he’s made in ages – at Apple Music or on Spotify, below.
Also view some video footage from this year’s visit to China.
By Blurt Staff
With fourth LP Occult Architecture Vol. 1 (Sacred Bones) due soon from the Moon Duo, the group has shared a second track from the album, “Creepin'” comes on the heels of “Cold Fear.” You can hear both of them below.
Denton band preps its second LP—a deluxe colored vinyl one, at that—for a mid-January release on Tofu Carnage.
By Blurt Staff
Denton, Texas, has a long-standing legacy of birthing unique bands with mind-bending sounds, and The Angelus is no exception. With their sophomore platter There Will Be No Peace arriving January 13—that would be a lucky Friday the 13th, natch—via the estimable Tofu Carnage label, the world outside the Denton/Dallas/Fort Worth area should be on full alert for what the label calls “carefully interwoven compositions of dark, hymnal slowcore…. Embroidered by emotional intensity and hopeful fortitude, the North Texas trio takes the listener on a soaring journey that is visceral and melancholic in its uncompromising beauty.”
And BLURT is honored to unveil the track “An Interceding” for our readership:
The band’s Emil Rapstine explains that what was “initially a languid drum and bass groove set over an oscillating drone, the song morphed organically into a pleading incantation as we explored to create a lush passageway that would bridge the larger section of later songs on the album to the preceding overture. ‘An Interceding’ is the resting point after the opening triptych of songs come storming out at the offset of the record. It serves as an interlude, a moment of meditation that transitions into the rest of the album. It is the moment when you’ve survived the storm but now you have to reassess, take inventory and cut your losses before moving forward into the unknown.”
“Cutting losses” won’t be an issue for The Angelus, however, we suspect. There Will Be No Peace is a remarkable album, sonically fluid and lyrically awash in emotional certitude and resilience. As 6 Days from Tomorrow noted, “There is a deep-seated spirituality at work throughout and each song is presented to the listener as a sermon, and not one of the nice New Testament ones either.”