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Saturday, February 19, 2022

New from Spoon, Beach House, Trombone Shorty, Emeli Sandé, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

Spoon: Feels Alright

Britt Daniel brought his band back to his hometown of Austin, Texas, to record their 10th album, Lucifer on the Sofa. The result is getting great reviews that hail Spoon as one of the premier rock bands currently active. Following the singles "Hardest Cut" and "Wild," we're now adding a deeper track to our New Music bin. Paste writes that this song "opens with an abrading descending guitar riff and a boom-bap beat, then pivots into a vamp right on the edge of funk, with a lot of movement in the bassline." Pitchfork calls the lyric (Feels alright to me / Standing here by myself) "a declaration of aloneness" amid a culture that "regards couplehood as an emblem of maturity."

Beach House: Hurts To Love

Photo by Shawn Brackbill
The fourth "chapter" of Once Twice Melody is out now, completing the rolling release of the Baltimore dream-pop duo's eighth album. "Beach House's style is so distinctive that it's a small miracle Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally continue to find ways to keep their music fresh," writes AllMusic. The self-produced collection shows the band in top form. We'll be stirring many of its 18 tracks into our big mix. Our pick for the New Music bin has Scally taking the lead vocal to gently preach: "If it hurts to love / You better do it anyway."

Trombone Shorty: Come Back

New Orleans-based trombonist, singer and bandleader Troy Andrews' first album in five years is due in April. It's titled Lifted, and dedicated to his mother: “She passed recently, but she continued to inspire me right up until she transitioned, and that’s why I put a picture of her holding me up at a second line on the cover of this album. She lifted me up my whole life." He said the album "is the closest we’ve ever gotten to bottling up the live show and putting it on a record. ... I told [the band] to really cut loose, to perform like they were onstage at a festival.” This first single is a soulful plea for a lover to return.

Emeli Sandé: Brighter Days

Resilience in the face of the world's troubles is a common theme in new music these days. The latest example comes from this U.K. singer-songwriter, whose fourth studio album, Let's Say For Instance, is coming in May. Sandé says the song "is inspired by the truth that even in the darkest moments, there is always hope. We might have to dig deeper to feel it, but hope is always there. ... ‘Brighter Days’ is an affirmation — it’s a reminder of our collective power to make a choice and create our reality."

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever: The Way It Shatters

The first single from Endless Rooms, the upcoming third LP by this group from Melbourne, Australia, is also our introduction to the band’s energetic pop-rock sound. Of this track, the band says: “It’s about how ending up in your particular situation in life is the result of absolute randomness. ... So it’s when this good luck is mistaken for a sense of pride in one’s self or their country, they become confused and deluded about what’s important. It’s when those on the other side of the luck scale are completely othered and considered not worthy.”

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