Juliana Hatfield "Juliana Hatfield Sings The Police (American Laundromat)"
Sometimes albums are steeped in mystery, with a heady concept that’s beyond difficult to describe. Other times, Juliana Hatfield records and releases an album called Juliana Hatfield Sings The Police (American Laundromat), making life for music describers and listeners very, very easy. Juliana adds her singular talents to the Gordon Sumner songbook. Check out the rocking, rollicking take on “Murder By Numbers.”
Blood Warrior "Animal Hides (Ernest Jenning Record Co.)"
From Ernest Jenning Record Co.:
Animal Hides is the third album by Blood Warrior. It’s a collection of songs affected by the anxieties and securities of these times, documented by two friends in their late thirties, Joey Weiss and Greg Jamie (O’Death). Recorded onto tape at Joey Weiss’ studio in the Hudson Valley, Animal Hides was mixed and mastered by Kevin McMahon (Swans, The Walkman, Real Estate) and is being released by Ernest Jenning Record Co. (who also released the band’s 2010 debut) on November 15th, 2019.
The band always describes Blood Warrior as a project that “exists so two old friends can continue to make music and check in on each other”. Weiss and Jamie first met at summer camp in 1994 and have remained friends and music collaborators ever since. They have been continuously recording and releasing as Blood Warrior for over a decade, their albums existing as snapshots of different points in their lives. If Letter Ghost—the band’s second album, released in 2015— was an introspective affair, dealing with the dissolution of Greg’s marriage, Animal Hides instead chooses to focus on the cultivation of community and family. The importance of finding a home, no matter how small, inside this strange, evolving world.
Check out the haunting “Animal Shades.”
Ryley Walker & Charles Rumback "Little Common Twist (Thrill Jockey)"
From Thrill Jockey:
Charles Rumback and Ryley Walker are both known for their creativity and curious spirits. Rumback is a drummer in high demand in Chicago’s free-jazz circles, and a pillar of the second wave of improvisers in a scene first shaped by the legendary players like Sun Ra and the AACM. Walker draws deeply on other distinctly American styles, bringing a strong sense of folk tradition to his playing that is as arresting as his freewheeling performance style. Walker’s musical explorations are not limited to his own songwriting: the guitarist regularly collaborates in Chicago and now New York with innovators of every genre. Together, Rumback and Walker find common ground in their kinetic, intuitive playing and yearning creative outlook. Little Common Twist, their sophomore release as a duo, finds both players at their most adventurous. It compiles instrumental pieces that convey a striking range of emotions, at once introspective and expansive, with a delicate interplay that delights as they move with ease across a spectrum of styles. The recording has a pastoral quality that recalls Van Morrison’s classic album Veedon Fleece, and captures a remarkably dexterous performance by both Charles and Ryley that make this album so expansive and fresh.
Check out the jazzy, acoustic wonder of instrumental gem “Half Joking.”
Je Suis France "Back To The Basics Of Love (Ernest Jenning Record Co.)"
Je Suis France doesn’t have an off switch. Back to the Basics of Love, which comes out this November from the Ernest Jenning Record Co., will be their seventh official full-length album, but they’ve also released dozens of digital releases and CD-Rs stretching back to the early ‘00s. The band, which first came together in Athens, Georgia, in the ‘90s, has prepared a new release for almost every show they’ve played since 2004. Despite that long history of experimentation, Back to the Basics of Love has all the energy and urgency of a debut from a band that’s 20 years younger. It’s a record that sounds like it could’ve come out in the 1990s, the 2000s, or the 2010s, but that couldn’t have existed at any point other than now.
Check out the ramshackle wonder of “Shapeshifter.”