Every Friday our NoiseTrade New Music Tip Sheet highlights three recommended picks from that week’s batch of new releases that we think are worth checking out at your local record shop or via your preferred online music distributor of choice.
Springsteen on Broadway
Since early October 2017, Bruce Springsteen has been holding court at New York City’s Walter Kerr Theatre for an unbelievable 236-performance run of his wildly acclaimed Springsteen on Broadway show. The day before his final performance, he is releasing the Springsteen on Broadway soundtrack on double CD and digital formats. This feverishly-anticipated album features Springsteen, his guitar and piano, and his very personal stories – labelled as “introductions” to each song they precede on the album. Comprising 30 tracks of songs and stories, Springsteen weaves an intoxicating personal narrative that invites listeners in with “Growin’ Up” and smartly closes with his signature smash “Born to Run.” Between those two pillars, Springsteen continues the soul-baring autobiographical arc he started with his 2016 memoir Born to Run and reworks a variety of his hits and catalog classics into intimate solo renditions that bring new depths and nuances to his unparalleled songwriting. As an additional bonus for Netflix subscribers, the Springsteen on Broadway film will be available for streaming on December 15.
Traveling On [EP]
Indie-folk rockers The Decemberists shocked a few fans with the synth-pop interjections of their recent album I’ll Be Your Girl this past March. So when it was announced that they would be releasing an EP of outtakes from the same studio sessions, some fans felt it would be more of the same adventurousness or contain even further sonic experimentations. However, the first inclination of what’s contained within the new 5-track EP came via the release of the title track and its relaxed-strummed acoustic guitar, signature band harmonies, and accordion-wrapped melody lines – proving the band still knows how to operate at the peak of their trademark roots-and-rumble bravado. Plus, with a lyric like “street-side smokers, holy rollers, find me a toilet to die on,” it appears that Colin Meloy is still thankfully at his most Colin Meloy-est. In short, this new EP rules.
After last year’s double-dose of celebrated releases (debut album The Autobiography and The Manuscript EP), Chicago-bred Roc Nation rapper Vic Mensa returns with the eight-track Hooligans EP. Featuring collaborations with Ty Dolla $ign, Lil Herb, Charlie Wilson, G-Eazy, and the Neighbourhood’s Jesse Rutherford, Hooligans explores Mensa’s persona from a variety of different angles – some light and some dark – and closes with the inspired “Deserve It,” which Mensa describes as “an anthem for self-worth.” While Hooligans marks the fourth “official” release in Mensa’s hip-hop centric catalog, the multi-genre artist has mentioned in recent interviews that he’s got a new punk rock inspired album featuring H.R. from Bad Brains that he’ll be releasing pretty soon as well.