Words: Drake Lelane
Daylight savings is a bitch, man [I call it the worst day of the year. -ed.]. I still miss that hour I lost, and have been trying to get it back all week. New releases this week seemed to ‘spring forward’ as well, leaving us with scant to digest. Of the releases, Delta Spirit’s third (and eponymous) represents the cream of this crop, but there’s also new releases from Lucero, The Megaphonic Thrift, Spoek Mathambo, Shooter Jennings, The Ting Tings and a slew of live albums — from The Decemberists, Le Tigre, Dropkick Murphys and especially the special Carnegie Hall performance of Caetano Veloso & David Byrne.
Playlist: New Releases 03.13.12: Spotify
Beginning with their excellent debut, Ode to Sunshine (2008), lead singer and principle lyricist Matt Vasquez has always seemed to shy away from getting cast in the alt country category, despite that album’s roots-rocking energy. They followed that up in 2010 with the slightly less rootsy History From Below, introducing some atmospheric elements (like in album highlight “Devil Knows Your Dead”). After that, guitarist Sean Walker left the group, allowing Will McLaren to step in, bringing with him a crate of guitar pedals and effects to the mix for Delta Spirit — self-titled to announce that this is how they sound. The result is not unlike the transformation that Kings of Leon and Cold War Kids made, with much of the soul being lost in the trade, only Delta Spirit manage to at least remember to keep it about the songs and not the effects. While “Home” picks up where “Devil Knows Your Dead” left off, the casually cool break up song “California” should be the blueprint for the band going forward, layering guitar atmospherics over upbeat drums juxtaposed by Vasquez’s matter of fact lyrics and delivery. This song is begging to be a soundtrack to just about every drama on TV, and I’m betting I’ll be sick of it by summer, but if there’s any justice, the song should propel the band into the mainstream. I’ll go on record and say that I prefer the sound of Ode to Sunshine, but I’m rooting for them to get that damn brass ring, and Delta Spirit might just achieve it.
More on the radar (and in the mp3 player) this week:
Lucero – Women & Work / Free AOL Album Stream
The Megaphonic Thrift – The Megaphonic Thrift
Spoek Mathambo – Father Creeper / Free AOL Album Stream / “Put Some Red on It” [mp3]
Caetano Veloso & David Byrne – Live At Carnegie Hall
The Decemberists – We All Raise Our Voices To The Air (Live Songs 04.11 – 08.11) / Free AOL Album Stream
Le Tigre – Le Tigre Live!
Dropkick Murphys – Going Out In Style – Live At Fenway Edition
Shooter Jennings – Family Man / Free AOL Album Stream
The Ting Tings – One Second of Love / Free AOL Album Stream
Tribes – Baby / Free AOL Album Stream
Feedtime – the Aberrant years (Limited Edition) / Free AOL Album Stream
Freshkills – Raise Up the Sheets
Drowner – Drowner / Free AOL Album Stream / “Never Go Away” [mp3]
Once: A New Musical (Original Cast Recording) / Free AOL Album Stream