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Saturday, September 16, 2023

New from Semisonic, Graham Parker, Gass Violet, Joan Osborne, The Empty Pockets

Semisonic: The Rope

This band from late-90s Minneapolis returns with its first full album in over 20 years, Little Bit of Sun. The trio (Dan Wilson, John Munson, Jacob Slichter) says this song is "an ode to Los Angeles disguised as a break-up song." Rolling Stone writes that it has"a bright alt-rock crunch bolstered by brisk horns and piano, as well as a rich halo of backing vocals."

Graham Parker & The Goldtops: The Music of the Devil

This track leads off Last Chance to Learn the Twist, the new album from this rocker who emerged from England's pub-rock scene in the 1970s heading a band called The Rumor. AllMusic writes that on this second LP with his current band, he sounds relaxed and introspective and that "his anger is mostly a thing of the past." Here, he "fondly recalls the good old days when rock & roll was supposed to be sending us to hell - a quaint notion now."

Glass Violet: Too Late to Come By

Almost two years ago we featured a single called "Indigo" by this band from Bristol, UK. This new track will lead off an upcoming EP. Key members Alex John (producer, guitar) and Tom Hurdiss (lead vocal, guitar) cite Arcade Fire, The Killers and The Strokes as major influences.

Joan Osborne: I Should've Danced More

One might say this song is about ROMO (regret of missing out). It leads off the veteran singer-songwriter's eleventh album, Nobody Owns You. Other highlights of the LP include the title track, an empowering song written for her daughter, and "Great American Cities," an upbeat counter-argument to right-wing attacks on U.S. urban centers. Overall, the album is quieter and more introspective than 2020's Trouble and Strife. Says Osborne: "These songs come from my feelings about people in my family, about people who I care about, and just what to do with this time that we have on the earth.”

The Empty Pockets: Gotta Find the Moon

Here's the title track from the new album by this Chicago roots-rock band. After the success of 2022's Outside Spectrum, they traveled to London's Abbey Road Studios to record the collection of 12 originals and two cover songs. We featured the single "Make It Through" this spring, and with the release of the LP we're dropping this number into the New Music bin. 

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