With the year drawing to a close musically speaking, Drake runs down two of the most anticipated follow-up releases of 2009. -ed.
We’re quickly approaching the point of no return as far as significant releases go, before the tide turns to that of gift-oriented, so we have to savor what morsels are thrown our way. This week that means the latest from The Swell Season, Devendra Banhart, Tegan & Sara, Wolfmother, Gemma Ray, Broadcast And The Focus Group, Boat, a live release from R.E.M., a compilation from The Breakaways and deluxe reissues of U2‘s The Unforgettable Fire and James Brown’s Live at the Garden: The Expanded Edition.
Playlist: New Releases 10.27.09
The Swell Season – Strict Joy
Stream / Purchase [mp3]
As wrong as it is, it’s hard not to think of this album as a sequel to Once, where Glenn Hansard and Marketa Irglova have broken up and are putting it to song. Of course The Swell Season existed before Once, with many of the songs from their debut ending up in the film, so this technically is a follow up to that release, but for the vast majority of the record buying public, Once is the starting point. I’m not sure what Hansard & Irglova are thinking putting their Van Morrison impersonations front and center (opening songs “Low Rising” and “Feeling The Pull”). The rest of the album has worked wonders as a sincerity tonic, cleansing my palate of all the irony and sarcasm in indie rock that are part of my usual diet, and for that I am grateful.
Tegan and Sara – Sainthood
Stream / Purchase [mp3]
The transition from folk to minimalist new wave pop is almost complete for Tegan and Sara, with this their sixth album, Sainthood. Their past two releases both signaled the change, but the subject matter was a little dark on So Jealous and The Con. Here, there’s a lighter feel to go with the witty banter the sisters showcase during their live set, and it just feels a bit more relaxed, confident… and yes, fun. And when your opening single is titled “Hell,” that’s saying something.
More on the radar (and in the mp3 player) this week:
Devendra Banhart – What Will Be
Wolfmother – Cosmic Egg
Gemma Ray – Lights Out Zoltar
R.E.M. – Live at the Olympia
Broadcast And The Focus Group – Broadcast And The Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults Of The Radio Age
Yo Gabba Gabba: Music Is Awesome
Boat – Setting the Paces / “Lately (I’ve Been On My Back)” [mp3]
The Breakaways – Walking Out on Love: The Lost Sessions
Junk Culture – West Coast / “West Coast” [mp3]
Los Lobos – Los Lobos Goes Disney
Deleted Waveform Gatherings – Ghost, She Said
The Mother Hips – Pacific Dust
Chet – Chelsea Silver, Please Come Home
Chuck Prophet – Â¡Let Freedom Ring!
Del McCoury – Family Circle
Gov’t Mule – By a Thread
Awesome New Republic – Hearts
I Love You – Bell Ord Forrest / “The Colloquialism Is Simply ‘Gas'” [mp3]