Five Albums Out Today Worth Hearing: Fleet Foxes, Ride, The Drums, Kevin Morby, and Lorde | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Five Albums Out Today Worth Hearing: Fleet Foxes, Ride, The Drums, Kevin Morby, and Lorde

Don't Crack-Up Reading the Melodramatic Weather Diaries

Jun 16, 2017 Fleet Foxes Bookmark and Share

Here we highlight five albums due out today that we feel are most worth hearing. We have also included Amazon links for each album. If you click through those links and buy the album (or anything else on Amazon once you’ve clicked through) then Amazon rewards us with a sales percentage. So buy that album you were likely going to purchase anyway, but also help support one of America’s last truly independent print music magazines.

The Drums: “Abysmal Thoughts” (ANTI-)

The Drums are releasing a new album, “Abysmal Thoughts” (the quote marks are part of the title), today via ANTI-. Previously they shared its first single, “Blood Under My Belt,” as well as a video for the song, and the tracks “Heart Basel,” “Head of the Horse,” and “Mirror” (which features guest vocals from Ioanna Gika of Los Angeles electronic rockers IO Echo).

“Abysmal Thoughts” is the follow-up to 2014’s Encyclopedia. Since that album guitarist Jacob Graham has left the band, leaving only frontman Jonny Pierce. Pierce home-recorded the album for a year and three months in Los Angeles and at his cabin in upstate New York, with assistance from engineer Jonathan Schenke (Parquet Courts, Mannequin Pussy). Pierce wrote all the songs and played every instrument on the album. A previous press release describes the album as such: “It is a vivid self-portrait, alive with the hyperdramatic emotional potency of The Smiths, the arch literary pop moves of New Zealanders like The Verlaines and The Clean, and the riotous clatter-punk power of the U.K. DIY bands of 1979.”

The album is borne out of heartbreak, as Pierce explained in the press release: “I said I wanted to let life happen? Well, the universe listened and life began to fuck me real good! But honestly, I make the worst art when I’m comfortable. The stuff that resonates with me the longest - and that resonates with others - is always the stuff that comes out of my misery…. Happiness can be confusing to me. It shows up out of nowhere, and before you can even get used to it, it’s vanished. But “Abysmal Thoughts”? I can rely on them - and with the political chaos that is raining down, who knows when these dark feelings will subside?”

Read our review of “Abysmal Thoughts.”

Read our Protest interview with The Drums’ Jonny Pierce.

Buy the album here.

Fleet Foxes: Crack-Up (Nonesuch)

Fleet Foxes released their new album, Crack-Up, today via Nonesuch. Previously they had shared the album’s first single, the near nine-minute long “Third of May / Ōdaigahara,” a trailer that featured snippets of various songs from the album, another Crack-Up song, “Fool’s Errand,” as well as a video for “Fool’s Errand,” and the relatively short but sweet “If You Need To, Keep Time on Me.”

Crack-Up is the band’s third album, the long-awaited follow-up to 2011’s Helplessness Blues. Frontman Robin Pecknold wrote all of the album’s 11 songs and co-produced it with his bandmate (and childhood friend) Skyler Skjelset. The album was recorded from July 2016 to January 2017 at various studios around America: Electric Lady Studios, Sear Sound, The Void, Rare Book Room, Avast, and The Unknown. Phil Ek mixed the album at Sear Sound and Greg Calbi mastered it at Sterling Sound. Josh Tillman was in the band in the Helplessness Blues era but had long since left to focus on his Father John Misty project. The current Fleet Foxes lineup is Robin Pecknold (vocals, multi-instrumentalist), Skyler Skjelset (multi-instrumentalist, vocals), Casey Wescott (multi-instrumentalist, vocals), Christian Wargo (multi-instrumentalist, vocals), and Morgan Henderson (multi-instrumentalist).

Read our review of Crack-Up.

Read our Album of the Week post on Crack-Up.

Buy the album here.

Lorde: Melodrama (LAVA/Republic)

Twenty-year-old New Zealand singer/songwriter Lorde is releasing her sophomore album, Melodrama, today via LAVA/Republic. Previously she shared a video for the album’s first single, the energetic pop hit “Green Light,” as well as another song from the album, the slower ballad “Liability.” And she performed both songs on Saturday Night Live. Then she shared “Perfect Places” and “Sober.”

Last night she stopped by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to perform Melodrama‘s closing track “Perfect Places.” She was also interviewed by Fallon and revealed that, as rumored, she is indeed behind an Instagram account where she reviews onion rings. Today Lorde also announced some North American tour dates for 2018

Buy the album here.

Kevin Morby: City Music (Dead Oceans)

Kevin Morby released an excellent album, Singing Saw, just last year via Dead Oceans, but he’s already releasing a new one, City Music, today, also via Dead Oceans. Previously he shared a lyric video for City Music‘s first single, “Come to Me Now,” announced a world tour in support of City Music, shared another song from the album, “1234,” and shared a video for the album’s title track, “City Music.” He also shared a new song not found on either album, “Bag of Rats,” as part of the “Our First 100 Days” anti-Donald Trump project.

City Music is Morby’s fourth album. A previous press release described it as “full of listless wanderlust, it’s a collection inspired by and devoted to the metropolitan experience across America and beyond by a songwriter cast from his own mold.”

In the previous press release Morby said the album “is a mixtape, a fever dream, a love letter dedicated to those cities that I cannot get rid of, to those cities that are all inside of me.”

Morby added: “Here, Lou Reed and Patti Smith stare out at the listener. Stretched out on a living room floor they are somewhere in mid-‘70s Manhattan, also smoking cigarettes.”

Read our review of Singing Saw and check out our 2016 interview with Morby about Singing Saw.

Read our review of City Music.

Read today’s Track-by-Track interview with Kevin Morby on City Music.

Buy the album here.

Ride: Weather Diaries (Wichita)

British shoegazing icons Ride reformed in 2014 and have been touring, and are finally releasing their first new album in 21 years, Weather Diaries, today via Wichita. Previously Ride shared Weather Diaries’ first two singles, the straight up rocker “Charm Assault” and the dreamier “Home Is a Feeling.” They also shared a video for “Charm Assault” that was co-directed by Brian Jonestown Massacre frontman Anton Newcombe, along with Jean de Oliveira, and another song from the album, “All I Want,” as well as a 10-minute remix of “All I Want” by GLOK, which is actually Ride’s own Andy Bell, plus the album’s near-six-minute long opening track, “Lannoy Point,” and a video for “All I Want.”

Erol Alkan (Klaxons, Mystery Jets, Beyond the Wizards Sleeve) produced the new album, which was mixed by Alan Moulder (who also mixed Ride’s classic debut album, Nowhere, and produced their Going Blank Again). Ride haven’t released a new studio album since 1996’s Tarantula, which was put out after the band split up and was poorly received. The quartet’s original run lasted from 1988 to 1996 and included four studio albums (Nowhere, Going Blank Again, Carnival of Light, and Tarantula). In 2015 they also released Nowhere25, a 25th anniversary reissue of their 1990-released debut album Nowhere. A few years ago we interviewed Ride’s Mark Gardener and Andy Bell about Nowhere and you can read that article here. And then in 2015 in another interview we did with Gardener he went through Nowhere track-by-track and you can read that here.

Buy the album here.

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