New Release Round-Up 04-02-21
Sturgill Simpson - Cuttin' Grass - Vol. 2 (The Cowboy Arms Sessions) - High Top Mountain
After the surprise release of the Cuttin' Grass (Vol. 1): Butcher Shoppe Sessions album—which Uproxx called “the most sublime and delightful music he’s yet made on record”— Sturgill Simpson returns with the next installment of his bluegrass series, Cuttin' Grass - Vol. 2 (The Cowboy Arms Sessions). The genre-defying singer/songwriter reconvened an A-Team of acoustic players (now dubbed "The Hillbilly Avengers") for another round of reinterpretations of his catalogue, this time largely focusing on 2016's A Sailor's Guide to Earth, which won the Grammy for Country Album of the Year and was nominated for Album of the Year. This volume also includes "Jesus Boogie," originally performed by Simpson's first band, Sunday Valley, and two previously unreleased songs, "Tennessee" and "Hobo Cartoon," the latter of which was co-written with the incomparable Merle Haggard—who once said that Simpson was "about the only thing I've heard that was worth listening to in a long time."
ALSO OUT THIS WEEK
Arab Strap - As Days Get Dark [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition Clear & Black LP]
Demi Lovato - Dancing With The Devil...The Art Of Starting Over
Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & the London Symphony Orchestra - Promises
The Fratellis - Half Drunk Under A Full Moon
Flux Pavilion - .Wav
Haunted Shed - Faltering Light
Hey, King! - Hey, King!
Flock Of Dimes - Head Of Roses
Shakey Graves - Roll The Bones X
Charlotte Lawrence - Charlotte EP
Brasstracks - Golden Ticket [Deluxe 2LP]
Daniel Lanois - Heavy Sun
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Teenage Gizzard [Limited Edition Pink Splatter on Transparent Yellow LP]
& More .....
Silver Synthetic - Silver Synthetic - Third Man Records
In the midst of the thick New Orleans summer of 2017, Chris Lyons of garage punks Bottomfeeders found himself sitting on a small batch of songs that didn’t quite fit the fuzzed-out pileups of that band. The new songs were more chiming, driving but relaxed, full of little corners begging to be filled with classic pop harmonies and wayward country licks. He called in his trusted confidants: Bottomfeeders drummer and longtime musical partner Lucas Bogner—the two started playing music together at the tender age of 15—plus bassist Pete Campanelli, and Kunal Prakash (Jeff the Brotherhood) dug the songs and signed on, and the quartet started playing in earnest, hunkering down in the practice space. By the time the band played its first gig in late 2018 at the opening of Nola’s ManRay Records, the songs had multiplied and the members of the newly christened Silver Synthetic had become genuine rock & roll craftsmen. In a world that doesn’t seem capable of swaying, Silver Synthetic’s self-titled debut shakes and boogies. It makes sense that the band’s first gig was in a record shop ‘cause folks, this is record nerd-core in a major way, evocative of the LP's first golden era, as the late sixties oozed into the strange 1970s, with the requisite T-Rex stomps, Britfolk twists and turns, and dueling Verlaine/Lloyd guitars. It’s about warmth, and you can practically smell the gently glowing amp tubes on “In the Beginning,” which wafts along on a gust borrowed from Lou Reed’s beatific Coney Island Baby breeziness. With “Chasm Killer,” the boys lean into jammy heartland rock, almost approaching Silver Bullet Band territory at one point! Even when the band kicks into charging lean rock-n-roller, like on the Kinksy “Around the Bend,” there’s a laid-backness that allows more room for the spirit. You could call Silver Synthetic rock & roll formalists, but the truth is they're more like minimalists, stripping away tired clutter and unnecessary bloat and just zooming in on the essential.