We are now officially in the dog days of record releases. But fear not, we aren’t just going to sit on our ears waiting for the new Who album to come out. Here are five really cool records released this week.
Micky and the Motorcars – Long Time Comin’
One of the best Texas Honky Tonk bands in the game today, on this, their 6th record to date, the band is is in dark night of the soul Tearjerker ballad mode with “Alone Again Tonight,” and “Run Into You,” wallowing in my baby left me tears on “All Looks the Same,” and generally down in the dumps lamenting a lost love on “Break My Heart.” This is, sit in the corner, next to the jukebox, wallowing in your own misery my baby left me Honky Tonk splendor.
The Mavericks – Play The Hits
News flash! Raul Malo can sing. And he does it here in exquisite fashion. In places when he keeps the arrangements close to the bone like he does on “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain,” he shines, and things get even better when The Mavericks get jiggy with the arrangements like they do on “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way” to spectacular results.
Michael Kiwanuka – Kiwanuka
This guy keeps keeps getting better and better with each subsequent release. Here, on his latest album following up the highly excellent 2016 release Love & Hate, Michael Kiwanuka lays down a palate of Afro-Rhythms, Soul, and Funk along with an Indie Pop sensibility. This Danger Mouse co-produced gem should land towards the front of many year end best-of lists, including ours.
Miranda Lambert – Wildcard
With her latest album, Wildcard, Miranda Lambert seems to be walking on the wild side after a much publicized public divorce. Ditching her old producer in favor of Jay Joyce who twirled the knobs for Brothers Osbourne, Brandy Clark, and Ashley McBryde, there seems to be a bounce in her step that wasn’t there before. There is a bit of Swamp Funk on “Holy Water,” and 80’s Rock on “Mess With My Head.” This is a diverse and textured record that will reward with multiple listens.
Grace Cummings – Refuge Cove
The big whiskey soaked voice emanating from Australian Grace Cummings comes across like some sort of devil spawn from the loins of Patti Smith and Melissa Etheridge. Part pastoral folk, part beat poet, this one is an eclectically pleasing Scott Walker sort of listen. Let it grow on you.