I took a little break last month, so I’ve got a lot of new arrivals to recommend. Place your holds now and start exploring!
Joseph Bertolozzi – Tower Music (Innova) – Lively but minimalist (if that’s at all possible). This almost comes off as born-digital electronic music, even though the sounds were all produced using one very large analog instrument: the Eiffel Tower. I would love to hear the remixes that could be made from these pieces.
Boulevards – Groove (Captured Tracks) – Funk with a side of hip hop. Fans of Prince and Rick James will be into this.
Musiq Soulchild – Life on Earth (My Block; Entertainment One U.S.) – Dance floor friendly soul, RnB, and smooth slow jams.
uKanDanz –Awo (Buda Musique) – Hailing from Addis Ababa and Lyon, uKanDanz classifies themselves as “Ethiopian Crunch Music.” What that means is that listeners are treated to a thoroughly satisfying mashup of metal and hard rock guitar riffs and power chords; a blues and jazz horn section; and amazing vocals that expressively wail, croon, and keen.
Debo Band – Ere Gobez (FPE Records) – Bluesy, jazzy, sultry, a little funky – almost torch songs, but with Ethiopian pop overtones.
Case/Lang/Veirs (ANTI-) – Dreamy, beautiful, and engaging vocals, with a bit of twang. Melancholy, moving, powerful, harmonious.
Miles Davis and Robert Glasper – Everything’s Beautiful (Columbia: Legacy) – A re-imagining of Davis’s catalog with the help of a star-studded lineup of jazz, hip-hop, and RnB collaborators.
Garbage – Strange Little Birds (Stunvolume) – In their 10th studio album, Shirley Manson and the band return to their roots by drawing on their musical influences, as well as the sounds that made them a hit in their 1995 self-titled debut. Strange Little Birds has a decidedly nostalgic feel, but is by no means stale.
William Bell – This is Where I Live (Fantasy) -Classic southern soul and RnB with a little bit of rock and roll mixed in.
Imarhan – Imarhan (City Slang) – Traditional Tuareg and pan-African ballads blended with rock and funk rhythms and a healthy love of bass.
Maxwell – Black Summers’ Night (Columbia) – In a long-awaited return 7 years in the making, this album is full of funky, smooth, even jazzy elements with some stand-out drum work.
A-Wa – Habib Galbi (S-Curve Records) – Three sisters with a love for electronic music, reggae, and Yemenite women’s chants. Sound like an odd mix? Only if you’re not into dancing, fun, and on-point harmonizing.
Whitney – Light Upon the Lake (Secretly Canadian) – Upbeat, bright, rock album with distinctive vocals. This debut is chock-full of short but polished tracks that show the well-honed skills of duo Max Kakacek (Smith Westerns) and Julien Ehrlich (Unknown Mortal Orchestra).
Ólafur Arnalds – LateNightTales (Night Time Stories Ltd.) – Down-tempo, ambient, beautiful dreamscapes. Some trip hop beats interspersed. Fans of Bjork, Prefuse 73, and Sigur Rós would probably be into it. ‘Icelandic’ would be the best adjective to describe this one.