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Saturday, July 17, 2021

New Music: Wild Feathers, Barenaked Ladies, Courtney Barnett, Vanishing Shores and Live TTB


The Wild Feathers: Ain't Lookin


This rollicking number is the first taste of the Nashville group's upcoming LP Alvarado. It would be the band's fourth studio album - except it wasn't exactly made in a studio. “We’ve always written and demoed new songs in a cabin outside of town and then gone into the studio to record the album. This time, we decided to take the studio to the cabin and produce it ourselves,” says singer-guitarist Ricky Young. “We’ve never been more proud of a collection of songs because it feels and sounds exactly how we wanted it to. No outside input or opinions, just the five of us in a room together.”

Barenaked Ladies: New Disaster


Photo: Matt Barnes
Lead songwriter and vocalist Ed Robertson says the character of Detour de Force, the band's 13th studio album, changed when the pandemic disrupted plans to make "a very live, off-the-floor record up at my cottage." Pausing the process gave the group time to consider "what songs could be reapproached and taken to really cool places in studio." AllMusic calls the result "a thoughtfully constructed album ... balancing intimate, often humorous personal sentiments with more anthemic feel-good moments." This track might be called an anthemic feel-bad moment, reflecting on how mass-media packages climate change and other disasters as entertainment: "Stay tuned for scary monsters / Watch out for rising tides / But first a word from sponsors."

Courtney Barnett: Rae Street


Photo by Mia Mala McDonald
Here's the latest episode of Courtney's Deep Thoughts About Mundane Things - otherwise known as the first single from a new LP, Things Take Time, Take Time. The opening lines "In the morning I'm slow / I drag a chair over to the window / And I watch what's going on" - pretty much sum up the song, delivered in a languid drawl that suggests calm more than boredom. “I guess it was an exercise in patience," Barnett says. "I wrote a lot of it looking out my window, watching the world go by. ... A lot of it just feels joyful to me.” As ever, she sees things a little differently than most: "The garbage truck tiptoes along the road..."

Vanishing Shores: Maps


This is the title track from the new album by Kevin Bianchi and his Cleveland-based indie-rock band. The Kickstarter-funded LP was one of the many musical projects delayed by the pandemic, although a few tracks were released as singles over the past year (and we previously featured "Fix Me" and "Road Less Traveled"). Some of the songs are slow and contemplative; this is one of the more upbeat numbers, featuring the intertwined vocals of Bianchi and Katie Egan. The lyrics suggest an enduring relationship: "Looking over maps we held in a past life / Following each line / Our fingerprints still captured in familiar dust." 

Tedeschi Trucks Band: I Looked Away


The newest recording from one of the best touring bands in the land is Layla Revisited: Live at LOCKIN' - capturing a 2019 concert at a Virginia festival. Joined by Trey Anastasio and Doyle Bramhall II, the band played through the entirety of the Derek and the Dominos album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. TTB's faithful-yet-fresh takes bring new life to the classic tunes. The set includes long jams like a terrific 12-minute version of Keep On Growing and 8 1/2 minutes of Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad. We'll find time for those in our mix, but for the New Music bin we've picked the opening number, clocking in at a mere 3:05.

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