Of course, everything is just a placeholder until the new Robert Plant Alison Krause record is released. In the meantime, The Darkness is ready to roll with their new single, yet another riff on Rick Springfield, Jessie’s Girl. “Jussy’s Girl.”
Rock is the new Roll favorites Impfstoff & Children have released an intoxicating new single, “Cest La Vie” (Ich nehm dich in ‘Arm.”) We have no idea what this means, but we can’t stop listening to the song or watching the video.
And Colin Hay, the lead singer for Men at Work, delivers an at-home acoustic version of “Wichita Lineman.”
On top of all of that, don’t put your ears away just yet. Give a listen to five new albums that have been delivered for your listening pleasure this week.
The Lathums – How Beautiful Life Can Be
With a sound that will bring to the ear the essence of the Smiths, the Kooks, or the Arctic Monkeys, the Lathums deliver a brand of Jangly indie-pop that is both current and two decades past nostalgic at the same time.
While not forging any new guitar ground here, the infectious “Fight On” has a bit of a Duran Duran undertone to it, while the title track, “How Beautiful Life Can Be,” carries on much like a Stone Roses single. “I’ll Never Forget The Time I Spent With You” is a lost-love tome of the highest order, and there is a whiff of The Dexy’s on “The Great Escape.”
This record won’t solve all of the world’s problems, but if you are looking for a melodic mood setter for a pleasant listen, this might be your jam.
Jesse Malin – Sad and Beautiful World
Taking over from Lou Reed as the king of New York, Jesse Malin has so much to say that he felt he needed a double album to fit it all in. Fifteen songs of all killer, no filler, the first two sides have a gentle American tilt while the last part of the record rocks things up a bit CBGB style. And, both sides of the musical coin are terrific.
“Dance With The System” is a political rocker that would have fit in nicely on a Neil Young and Crazy Horse record, “Before You Go” is an ode to looking after one another, and “Dance on My Grave” is about as good of a losing end of a love story song as you will find all year.
Given that the record was written and recorded in a somewhat fragmented fashion due to various Covid-19 protocols inherent in the recording process, it is surprising that there is a continuous feel flow to the album. “Todd Youth” for our ears is the best cut on the record, but a time investment of just under one hour on this one will make you a better person.
The Shivas Feels So Good//Feels So Bad
As a scorching live band, The Shivas turned their creative juices to the studio since they have not been able to tour since 2019.
With founding members Jared Molyneaux as singer and Guitarist, along with Kristin Leonard on drums as co-conspirator songwriters, the resulting vibe is contemporary psychedelic, vintage-cool, and go-go worthy hip, sometimes all in the same song.
“Rock Me Baby” has a girl group backed by the Troggs vibe, “Don’t Go” highlights Leonards immense vocal prowess, and “Tell Me That You Love Me” could have been the song played for the first dance at Austin Powers’ wedding. The gang vocals on “If I Could Choose” are worth the price of admission alone.
This textured listen will put your ears on notice that they are about to embark on a most enjoyable time travel journey from days gone by to the present and beyond.
Mickey Guyton – Remember Her Name
As one of the few women of color to make a name for herself in country music, Mickey Guyton is an overnight sensation ten years in the making. And, it should only take one quick listen of “Remember Her Name,” the opening track from her debut album, to realize that she is a powerhouse, genre be-damned.
The messaging inherent in recognizing differences and embracing who you are is delivered brilliantly in “Love My Hair,” “Black Like Me” is autobiographically stunning, and “Smoke” could have been a woman on fire Tanya Tucker anthem from the ’60s. There is even a drinking song thrown in for good measure with “Rose'” ‘my kind of drink, pretty in pink.’
This album is a vital record from an artist that will be around for a very long time.
Third Eye Blind – Our Bande Apart
Third Eye Blind, yes, the Third Eye Blind of “Semi-Charmed Life” fame has a new record out. And, it is pretty darn good. With this incarnation, their first new record since 2019’s “Screamer,” only singer Stephan Jenkins and drummer Brad Hargreaves remain from the original line-up.
While their latest record doesn’t carry the ear-worm gravitas of their 1997 monster of a debut album, there is no shame in their updated game. Case in point, the wordsmithing wonderment of “Silverlake Neophyte” and the breezy lilt of the opening salvo, Goodbye To The Days of Ladies and Gentlemen.”
Long time fans of the band will not be surprised that this record is a keeper, they have put out eight solid records since 1997, but the joy of reuniting with an old friend to revisit past times and reckless days is where this one goes from nostalgia to sublime reflection in the blink of an ear.