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Saturday, January 14, 2023

Peter Gabriel returns, new New Pornographers, plus Ferna, Ripe, Vanishing Shores

Peter Gabriel: Panopticon

Photo by Nadav Kander
The first album of new material from this prog-rock veteran, titled i/o, is coming this year. On this initial single, he's accompanied by bassist Tony Levin, drummer Manu Katché, guitarist David Rhodes, Brian Eno on "electronics" and Ríoghnach Connolly on backing vocals. Gabriel says this song refers to an idea for "the creation of an infinitely expandable accessible data globe. ... to allow the world to see itself better and understand more of what’s really going on.” (Um, like, the internet?) He hasn't announced an album release date, but says a new song will be revealed each full moon.

The New Pornographers: Really Really Light

Continue as a Guest will be the ninth album from this indie-rock conglomerate that formed some 25 years ago in British Columbia. The lineup of A.C. Newman, Neko Case, Kathryn Calder, John Collins, Todd Fancey and Joe Seiders is joined this time by saxophonist Zach Djanikian, and former member 
Dan Bejar gets co-writing credit on this first single. FYI Music News writes: "The mid-tempo cut features a clever interplay of male and female vocals, a group signature, plus ringing guitar and a gradually insinuating melody."

ferna: New City

New to our ears is the music of Hannah McPhillimy, aka ferna (feer'-nah). This track comes to us ahead of her debut album Understudy, due this spring. The song was inspired by her experience of relocating to the U.S. for two years to complete a masters degree in composition at the University of Michigan. “Trying to hold onto a sense of who you are, while also shedding an old skin. It’s the tension between those things,” she says.

Ripe: Noise in the Forest

This Boston-based funk-pop band's sophomore LP, Bright Blues, is due to arrive in March. The group formed at Berklee College of Music and became known for boisterous live shows. The past few years have seen lineup changes and pandemic shutdown - but also saw them sign with Glassnote Records. Wulfson says of the album: "It's joyful music, which is very exciting given that it was made in the middle of getting hit in the stomach." 

Vanishing Shores: Edge of the World (Far Enough)

We've featured the project of Cleveland's Kevin Bianchi several times in the past five years, and now pick up this new single. The track was recorded a couple of years ago and a demo circulated, but since then it's been mastered at Abbey Road Studios in London and was just officially released. Bianchi plays guitar, bass and drums, with synths and harmonies by Robbie Hamilton. They create a wistful atmosphere as the lyric suggests growing distance between two people.

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