Back to school for the kids, and back to the record store for you, where you’ll find a huge number of worthwhile new releases vying for attention. Some of these have made regular rotation on KEXP’s airwaves already while others are just waiting to be discovered. Break out what’s left of your petty cash, grab a crib sheet from Largehearted Boy, and head out to your favorite vinyl vendor.
This week are there are a lot of returning artists, some who have been at it for a long time, like Joe Henry, songwriter and producer, who has worked with some best talents in the music business (Elvis Costello, Allen Toussaint, Solomon Burke, Bettye Lavette, Mavis Staples, and too many others to list) and who has turned in his tenth full-length, Civilians. Comparisons to Tom Waits and Bob Dylan may seem hyperbolic, until you actually hear the album. Here’s the title track:
One of the many artists produced by Joe Henry is the somewhat younger but much more prolific Ani DiFranco. This week, she releases Canon, a retrospective of her seventeen albums recorded in seventeen years. Here’s a song that originally appeared on 2005’s Knuckle Down:
Late 70’s electronic post-punks Young Marble Giants see a re-release of their seminal album Colossal Youth, remastered and including a bonus disc, thanks to Domino Records.
Another recording veteran Vic Chesnutt returns with his eleventh album, North Star Deserter. From it, here’s a song with a name that barely trips off the tongue:
And those are just the “old folks.” Quite a few more returning artists, still in their single-digit discography, are releasing their second, third, or fourth albums this week. Here’s a sampling:
Two songstresses break from their former bands with their own releases: Victoria Bergsman of The Concretes records as Taken By Trees, and The Delgados’ founding member Emma Pollock records under her own name. Both have new albums out this week:
And finally, another similar pair facing off this week, but a bit more contentious, are rappers Kanye West and 50 Cent. Here’s a mashup of the two battling it out: