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Saturday, March 9, 2019

Our latest picks: Josh Ritter, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Jerry Popiel, Sara Bareilles, N0V3L

Photo by David McClister
Josh Ritter's upcoming album is a collaboration with Jason Isbell's band, The 400 Unit. Judging by the first single, "Old Black Magic," it's an excellent combination of talents. The track is a hard-driving rocker that Rolling Stone says lands in "the sweet spot between the introspective lyricism of Ritter’s previous efforts and the swaggering Southern rock of the 400 Unit." Produced by Isbell and recorded in Nashville's RCA Studio A, the album is called Fever Breaks and is due next month.

Speaking of combined talents, the dozen members of Tedeschi Trucks Band have put together another excellent album, Signs. We previously featured a couple of singles that preceded the full release. Now we're adding "I'm Gonna Be There" to the New Music bin. NPR describes it as a love song "that simmers slowly and finds its tension in [Susan] Tedeschi's incredible vocal performance, the rich vocal harmonies, a smoldering string arrangement and [Derek] Trucks' ripping guitar solo." We'll be dropping other tracks from the album into our big mix as well.

Jerry Popiel is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from the Cleveland area who performs both as an acoustic guitarist/singer and as a member of several indie-rock bands - including two that we've featured, Vanishing Shores and The Chestertons. His new single "Michigan Street" evokes classic folk-rock along the lines of Gordon Lightfoot and Tom Paxton. We debuted it on last Sunday's episode of The Birch Street Bistro and now we're featuring it in the New Music bin.

The pop music of Sara Bareilles hasn't previously broken into our playlist, but her latest single, "Fire," caught our ear recently and has now worked its way into our New Music bin. It's from her forthcoming album Amidst the Chaos, produced by T Bone Burnett. The song is a farewell to a relationship that failed to generate much heat: "Someday I won't have to feel the cold / But I do now, so I'll know / What it feels like when I feel fire."
Genre-jumping as we always do, we turn now to N0V3L, whose sound draws on 70s New Wave, punk and post-punk. It's the work of a creative collective based in a house in Vancouver, where its members produce their own music, videos and clothing. We're picking up a track called "Natural," which puts us in the mood to pull out old Devo and Talking Heads albums. (In fact, we did just that when we gave this song a spin last Sunday on The Detour.)

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