Two of today's best singer-songwriters have just released phenomenal new albums while several important collections featuring never-before-released recordings are also available.
Tuesday, October 05, 2021
New music: Brandi Carlile, Dar Williams, The Lunar Laugh, Laura Nyro
Title: In These Silent Days (Low Country Sound/Elektra Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Indigo Girls, Margo Price, Brandi Carlile
Tell me more: Six-time Grammy Award winning artist Brandi Carlile has returned with her astounding In These Silent Days, a 10-track album that fully showcases the American singer-songwriter's amazing alto lead vocals and ability to mine emotion with each note. Although primarily categorized as part of the alternative country and Americana genres, Carlile's new Dave Cobb- and Shooter Jennings-produced effort features selections spanning a myriad of styles. Indeed, In These Silent Days should introduce even more discerning listeners to her music. The gorgeous ballad "This Time Tomorrow" and equally tender "Letter To The Past," acoustic "Mama Werewolf" and "When You're Wrong," genre-defying rocker "Sinners, Saints and Fools" and poignant disc closer "Throwing Good After Bad" all resonate with immediate and palpable power. Listen to Carlile's searing and soaring vocals on the country rocker "Broken Horses" where her performance has her scaling sonic and emotional heights with artistic power and otherworldly ease. Carlile is scheduled to perform a highly-anticipated set at the Stagecoach Music Festival in Indio on April 29, 2022. Information: BrandiCarlile.com.
Title: I'll Meet You Here (Renew Records/BMG)
You might like if you enjoy: Shawn Colvin, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Aimee Mann
Tell me more: Dar Williams has released the wonderful I'll Meet You Here, the singer-songwriter's first new album in six years. The great news is the 10-song disc is marvelous from start to finish, with consistently-melodic tracks bolstered by literate songwriting and lush musical arrangements on full display. The album's informal theme — one of "acceptance" — is ideally in tune with the times where a global pandemic stopped the world in its tracks in 2020 and forced many to reexamine their life. These are songs that challenge and reward with lavish musical soundscapes with Williams' rich soprano bolstering each selection. The engaging opener "Time, Be My Friend," magnetic "You Give It All Away," magical string section-enhanced "Berkeley," buoyant Americana-styled "Today And Every Day" and ascending baroque pop-tinged "Sullivan Lane" are among the bewitching originals on this outstanding return. Information: DarWilliams.com.
Title: Nighthawks! (Big Stir Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Jason Falkner, Marshall Crenshaw
Tell me more: The Lunar Laugh's new collection Nighthawks! is the perfect introduction to the Oklahoma-spawned trio; the Big Stir Records release includes more than a dozen live recordings spanning the indie pop troupe's full career as well as several terrific new exclusive studio tracks (the captivating "I Wanna Know" and tuneful "It's Okay"). Fans of melodic rock and powerpop will find much to admire in the work of the threesome — Connor Anderson, Jared Lekites and Campbell Young. Lush harmonies, nuanced musicianship, bona fide hooks and an infectious spirit are obvious in the parade of songs recorded live. The sing-along "Alive," indie rocker "Waiting For A Sign," tuneful folk rocker "Tell Me A Story," countrified chamber pop nugget "The Bedroom Door" and Americana "Nighthawks And Mona Lisa" showcase the diversity of their approach. The Lunar Laugh's cover of Neil Diamond's "Solitary Man" is spectacular — it is as wistful as the original 1966 recording, but fortified by shimmering vocal harmonies. The collection also features their cover of Death Cab For Cutie's "Soul Meets Body," an affecting version with guest vocals from Chase Kerby. Information: BigStirRecords.com.
Title: Go Find the Moon: The Audition Tape (Omnivore Recordings)
You might like if you enjoy: Laura Nyro, Carole King
Tell me more: Fifty-five years after an 18-year-old Laura Nyro auditioned for famed music producer Milt Okun and A&R man Artie Mogull, the historic 1966 recording has been released commercially. Go Find the Moon: The Audition Tape (released by Omnivore Recordings on Sept. 10) is fascinating and showcases a young artist already in command of her skills as a pianist and singer. There is a spontaneity to the session, with a mix of original songs and fragments of reworked covers along with studio chatter capturing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame artist at the dawn of her extraordinary career. Incredible moments include her spirited opener "And When I Die" (an original that would soon be recorded on a hit album by Peter, Paul and Mary, and a become a hit for Blood, Sweat & Tears), the tender "Enough of You," jazzy delight "Go Find the Moon" and affecting "Lazy Susan." Information: OmnivoreRecordings.com.