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Saturday, December 3, 2022

Our latest picks: Alastair Greene, Dentist, The Scarlet Goodbye, The Lone Bellow, Local Natives

Alastair Greene: When You Don't Know What To Do

After this veteran rock and blues guitarist released his latest solo studio album, The New World Blues, in 2020, he played six nights at Chicago's City Winery in a power-trio configuration - opening for bluesman Tab Benoit, who had produced the LP. Greene was joined by Benoit on drums and Corey Duplechin on bass. Now, highlights from those gigs make up Alive in the New World, due next month from Benoit's Whiskey Bayou label. We're glad to have this first single in our New Music Bin.

Dentist: Understand It

This time of year, when most new releases are Christmas records or re-issues, is a good time to highlight music that came out some months back. Here we dip back into this New Jersey band's September release, Making a Scene, for another taste of its punk-inflected power pop. Glide magazine says this track has "a beat that would fit right in to a song by The Go-Go’s. ... The melody is both fuzzy and bubbly ... Then you hear the lyrics and you realize that ... the song carries some weight. It’s particularly evident when you hear [Emily Bornemann] sing 'Suffering in silence is so sad / so I wouldn’t recommend it.'"

The Scarlet Goodbye: Panic & Blame

The third single from the project of two Minneapolis musicians - Soul Asylum founding member Dan Murphy and singer-songwriter Jeff Arundel - precedes next month's release of their debut album, Hope's Eternal. Their website says a chance meeting between the two "led the duo, whose careers spanned the same time frame but had essentially no other resemblance, to start writing and recording." The result is a fresh version of the soft-rock style that emerged in the 70s.

The Lone Bellow: Cost of Living

Singles from Love Songs for Losers began emerging this summer, but the full album just came out last month and included this smooth, soulful track, with Kanene Donehey Pipkin taking the lead vocal. She also took on the role of vocal producer for the album. “Singing together night after night for a decade allows you to understand what your bandmates are capable of, in a way that no one else can,” Pipkin explained. “There are so many different qualities to our voices that had never been captured before, and producing this album ourselves was a nice opportunity to finally showcase that.” 

Local Natives: Just Before the Morning

Stereogum calls this a "gorgeous, shimmering one-off single." It's the third recent single from the Los Angeles band, which released its last LP, Violet Street, in 2019. There's no word yet on whether another album is on its way. The group says this track "came from a burst of creativity after we finally reconnected in the studio. The song explores the cyclical nature of life and the many ways in which we begin again.”

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