|Dawn FM||The Weeknd||XO Records||CD||2022-01-28|
|Extreme Witchcraft [Limited Edition Pink 2LP+CD]||Eels||E Works / [PIAS]||Vinyl||2022-01-28|
|Apocalypse Whenever [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition Clear Pink LP]||Bad Suns||EPITAPH||Vinyl||2022-01-28|
|Strictly A One-Eyed Jack||John Mellencamp||Republic||CD||2022-01-21|
|Stress Dreams [LP]||Greensky Bluegrass||Big Blue Zoo Records||Vinyl||2022-01-21|
|Hell on Church Street [LP]||Punch Brothers||Nonesuch||Vinyl||2022-01-14|
Eels have had one of the most consistently acclaimed careers in music. The ever-changing project of principal singer/songwriter E (Mark Oliver Everett), Eels have released thirteen studio albums since their 1996 debut, Beautiful Freak. During the height of the pandemic lockdown in early 2021, E got an out of the blue message from Mark Romanek, director of the first Eels video, "Novocaine For the Soul". It triggered him to reach out to John Parish, who was in between numerous projects and immediately got to work in his HonorSound studio in Bristol and began sending ideas to E. "I'd sneak out of bed at 4 in the morning to hear the latest thing John had sent, and try to add my part to it and get it back to him quickly before my 4 year old son woke up," E says. The resulting album is Extreme Witchcraft.
Bad Suns sound - dreamy '80s pastiche flanked by Stratocasters through cranked Vox amps, pulsing synths, and palpable rhythmic energy - that endeared listeners to the band in the first place, and their fourth LP, APOCALYPSE WHENEVER, uses that musical foundation as the jumping-off point for their next evolution. Conceived as "the soundtrack to a movie that doesn't yet exist," the 13-track album, helmed by longtime producer Eric Palmquist (MUTEMATH, Thrice) at his Palmquist Studios and the band's North Hollywood rehearsal spot, is more conceptually rigorous than anything they've ever attempted - but no less compelling or accessible. "We also knew we wanted the album to have a through-line, a story from beginning to end," frontman Christo Bowman explains, so the band did what any good directors would: They assembled a mood board, filtering their neo-noir version of Los Angeles through the dreamlike haziness of author Haruki Murakami, the futuristic flair of Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Blade Runner, and the lifted cinematography of Spike Jonze's HER. These disparate influences don't just offer APOCALYPSE WHENEVER an expanded palette of sonic choices to color Bad Sun's airtight hooks - they help give the songs an emotional complexity that works on a multitude of levels depending on how listeners choose to receive them.
John Mellencamp’s 25th studio album, Strictly A One-Eyed Jack, is set for release 1/21/22 on Republic Records. The album was written and produced by Mellencamp, recorded at his Belmont Mall Studios in Indiana, and recorded/mixed by GRAMMY-award winner David Leonard. It features a number of longtime band members including Andy York, Dane Clark, Mike Wanchic, Troye Kinnett, and more. It also features three collaborations with Bruce Springsteen including the landmark duet “Wasted Days.”
For two decades now, Greensky Bluegrass has been building an empire, brick by brick. Their eighth studio release, Stress Dreams was produced by Dominic Davis (Jack White) and Grammy winning engineer/producer Glenn Brown amidst the 2020 pandemic. It follows their 2019 release, All for Money, which landed on the Top 100 at the Billboard Albums Chart, Top 20 at Independent Albums and Current Country Albums, Top 10 at Americana/Folk Albums Top 5 at Heatseekers, and #1 at Bluegrass Albums. Greensky is widely known for their dazzling live performances and relentless touring schedule. As with traditional bluegrass, the band writes about their own contemporary day-to-day happenings, emotions, and experiences in the modern world. Their die-hard fans pack out venues across the country. They travel in droves and sell out multiple-night show runs at iconic venues like Red Rocks and The Ryman.
Hell on Church Street, Punch Brothers’ newest album, due January 14, 2022 on Nonesuch Records, is the band’s reimagining of, and homage to, the late bluegrass great Tony Rice’s landmark solo album Church Street Blues. The record features a collection of songs by Bob Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot, Bill Monroe, and others. Recorded at Nashville’s Blackbird Studio in November 2020, during a time of great uncertainty, Hell on Church Street was intended as both its own work of art and a gift to Rice, who died that Christmas. Punch Brothers said of Tony Rice and Church Street Blues: “No record (or musician) has had a greater impact on us, and we felt compelled to cover it in its entirety, with the objective of interacting with it in the same spirit of respect-fueled adventure that Tony brought to each of its pre-existing songs.”