New Releases for January 21st (1/21/22)
“Over the past twenty years, Greensky Bluegrass has seen it all. Thanks to a rigorous nationwide touring schedule that has resulted in nearly two-thousand live performances to date and garnered widespread critical acclaim, along with a notoriously rabid fanbase, these progressive-bluegrass trailblazers have persevered, earning their spot amongst the preeminent live touring acts in the country today."
Following up their Billboard-charting 2019 release, All for Money, Stress Dreams started off as a series of electronically shared memos and voice notes during the beginning of 2020, eventually germinating into two separate recording sessions several months later, the first at Echo Mountain Studios in Ashville, NC followed up by a run at Guilford Sound in Guilford, VT. Enlisting the production help of Dominic John Davis (who moonlights as Jack White’s touring & studio bassist) and Grammy-winning producer Glenn Brown, the band took advantage of their relaxed schedule to focus on developing new material.
Armed with infectious melodies, insightful lyrics, and profound instrumentation, Stress Dreams perfectly exemplifies, once again, why Greensky Bluegrass is heralded as one of the most important & influential bands of the modern progressive-bluegrass era and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon."
Read the full write-up at Glide Magazine
"Much like the poet Walt Whitman, the blues contains multitudes. Seemingly a genre dedicated to searing guitar solos and feedback-drenched suffering, the blues also spans gentler acoustic moods. American bluesman Keb’ Mo’ (born Kevin Roosevelt Moore) has made this mellower branch of the blues family tree his home for more than a quarter of a century.
The five-time Grammy winner’s latest album, Good To Be, is both gentle and welcoming. You won’t find Jimi-Hendrix-inspired face-melting solos, but instead a batch of intimate acoustic songs that manage to feel both down-home and sophisticated.
While there’s some dark stuff on Good To Be, the album seems to be about feeling pretty good—or, at least, looking on the bright side."
Scope the full review over at Riff Magazine
"In an effort to sublimate the negative energy surrounding everyone in 2020, legendary Japanese post-rock band Boris focused all of their energy creatively and turned out the most extreme album of their long and widely celebrated career, NO.
In general, the styles on [W ] range from noise to new age, as is typical with one of our generation’s most dynamic and adventurous bands, but there is thread of melodic deliberation through each song that successfully accomplishes the band’s goal of eliciting deep sensation. Be it through epic sludgey riffs, angelic vocal reverberations or the seduction of their off-kilter percussion, Boris will have you fully under their spell.
NO and W weave together to form NOW, a duo of releases that respond to one another. In following their hardest album with this sensuous thundering masterpiece, they are creating a continuous circle of harshness and healing, one that seems more relevant now than ever and shows the band operating at an apex of their musical career."
Get more info and order your copy HERE
"Any pop musician who’s tried writing a stage musical will tell you the process tends to be prolonged. Turns out a global health crisis doesn’t make things go any faster. Aimee Mann had been writing songs over the past few years for a stage adaptation of Girl, Interrupted, a memoir by Susanna Kaysen about her stay in a psychiatric hospital in the late ’60s, when the pandemic put the project on hold. Rather than shelve what she had been working on, Mann compiled the songs into Queens of the Summer Hotel, her 10th studio album.
She’s well-suited to the subject matter. Mann has long been intrigued by trying to unravel the knots of impulses and seeming contradictions that make up our psyches. She has spent a big chunk of her solo career exploring themes of mental illness—the phrase was even the title of her Grammy-winning 2017 album—and she’s been frank about her own mental health struggles. 'It’s both sort of fascinating and gratifying to realize that people’s behavior has an internal logic, like classifying it as symptoms more than personality traits,' she once said in an interview.
There’s plenty to work with here: Mann examines mental health from different angles, on tracks by turns mordant, biting, distressing and deeply sad. Queens of the Summer Hotel is not an upbeat album, to say the least. Yet the songs are tightly constructed, full of smart wordplay, vivid imagery and characters who are largely sympathetic."
Check out Eric Danton's full review at Paste Magazine