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.
Over the Rhine
Love & Revelation
Karin Bergquist and Linford Detweiler have been making deeply poetic music as Over the Rhine for the last three decades and their newest album, Love & Revelation, marks the celebration with masterstroke style and a defiant spirit driving some of the best songs of their career. Being their 15th studio album, audiences might forgive some relaxation or even phoning in a song or two, but nothing could be farther from Bergquist’s and Detweiler’s creative ethos. Songs like the Bukowski-inspired “Betting on the Muse,” and album opener “Los Lunas” are steeped in austere humanity and shine a light on the shadowed corners of loss, grief, heartache, doubt, and more. The bewitching interplay of Bergquist’s honeyed alto and Detweiler’s composer’s touch to any instrument he picks up creates a sonic meeting space that invites all comers to receive and be refreshed.
Karen O and Danger Mouse
Exemplifying the tried and true cliché of “the sum is better than the parts,” Lux Prima is the smashing debut offering from the otherworldly collaborative duo of Karen O (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and celebrated uber-producer Danger Mouse. One of the best outcomes of an adventurous collaboration like this is when two artists can bring their unique styles and polished craftsmanship together in a way that pulls each other into new creative territories and this is precisely what Lux Prima embodies. The duo explore a variety of genre-blending atmospherics nail both the intensity (“Woman,” “Lux Prima”) and the restraint (“Leopard’s Tongue,” “Reveries”) of their inclusion. From stem to stern, Lux Prima is a truly transportive listening experience, taking audiences to new sonic realms that have been handcrafted by this immensely talented duo.
Although Pavement ringleader Stephen Malkmus was long ago canonized into Gen X sainthood, his artistic road hasn’t always been paved in gold. For example, even after years of cultural and critical praise, the frontman turned solo artist ran into a few roadblocks before the release of his new album, Groove Denied. In fact, Groove Denied was actually ready for release before his last album (2018’s Sparkle Hard), but his label wanted the more guitar-friendly album released first and shelved the more experimental offering until now. Make no mistake, there are guitars all throughout Groove Denied – this is a Stephen Malkmus record, after all – but there are also a lot of synthesizers and drum beats as Malkmus adds some new options to his indie-rock palette. Fans of his unconventional-yet-enticing lyricism will still find quintessential Malkmus in every line and thankfully the refashioned instrumental wallpaper functions more as a help than a hindrance to showcase that fact.