Out This Week 9/25

Our guest earlier today live on the Morning Show, Sera Cahoone tops this week’s list of new releases with her third solo effort. The Seattle singer-songwriter -- formerly, and sometimes still, drummer -- improves upon her last two excellent albums with what our Music Director, Don Yates, calls, “an often-gorgeous set of haunting country-folk with a rootsy, atmospheric sound fleshed out with acoustic guitars and pedal steel along with occasional banjo, violin, keyboards and more on a consistently strong set of poignant, emotionally bare songs pairing her increasingly assured vocals with accompaniment by her ace regular backing band along with special guests including guitarist Neal Casal, cellist Emily Ann Peterson and Grand Hallway’s Tomo Nakayama on keyboards.” Deer Creek Canyon is equally rich and spare, personal and her most engaging album yet. Mercury Prize nominees Django Django debut with another of this week’s must-buys. The Scottish band’s debut is “an impressive set of arty, rhythm-driven electro-pop inflected with bits of surf, spaghetti western, folk, Middle Eastern and more on clever, propulsive songs combining buzzing synths, acoustic and electric guitars, choppy rhythms with lots of percussion, bleached harmonies and catchy choral chants.” If you haven’t heard their insanely infectious single “Default,” then take a moment before reading on.

Other highly recommended new releases include a new EP from LA’s Dum Dum Girls, who follow up their successful 2011 LP with five more songs featuring “a melancholy fuzz-pop sound and dark lyrics that eventually give way to brighter sounds and hopeful lyrics,” ultimately making for some of band leader Dee Dee’s finest work to date. Veteran soul singer Bettye LaVette is also at the top of her game as she “continues her latter-day career renaissance with another strong album that finds her masterfully interpreting a wide variety of material ranging from Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and Neil Young to Sly & the Family Stone, the Black Keys and Gnarls Barkley, with spare production putting the focus squarely on LaVette’s achingly soulful vocals.”

You’ll also want to check out the latest by Seattle band Unnatural Helpers, whose second album “is another first-rate set of raw, hook-filled garage-punk with mostly concise songs combining buzzing guitars, energetic rhythms, snarling vocals and catchy pop melodies”; the new EP of “anthemic folk-pop with a full, polished sound featuring ringing guitars, driving rhythms, soaring melodies and sing-a-long choruses” by Scottish band Frightened Rabbit; the second release from LA’s Lavender Diamond, whose band leader Becky Stark has composed “a transportive set of celestial indie-pop that’s heavy on soaring, piano-based ballads tailor-made for her angelic vocals, but there’s also a sparkling electro-pop dance song and some bouncy ‘60s pop”; and the latest album from Broken Social Scene’s Jason Collett, who on his own creates “a fairly eclectic, sometimes gripping set ranging from propulsive funk pop to roots-tinged ballads, with dark lyrics of lost love and economic devastation.”

If you thought you were going to get off easy with just that short stack, think again. Your shopping isn’t complete until you check out the new releases from Bloomington, IN, country goth-rockers Murder by Death, Danish chill post-rockers Efterklang, San Diego punk-pop-garage-rockers The Soft Pack, and Austin new shoegazers Ringo Deathstarr.

There’s a lot more besides, including a compendium by Bad Seeds contemporaries and cohorts Crime & The City Solution, who set the stage for a forthcoming album of new material (their first in two decades!) with a collection of past work, and a box set marking the 50 year anniversary of New Orleans’ Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Pick up all of these at your favorite record store now, but first, be sure to sample the tunes we’ve gathered here:

Sera Cahoone - Deer Creek Canyon (MP3)
from Deer Creek Canyon on Sub Pop

Jason Collett - Where Things Go Wrong (MP3)
from Reckon on Arts & Crafts

Crime and The City Solution - I Have The Gun (MP3)
from An Introduction To....Crime & The City Solution A History Of Crime - Berlin 1987-1991 on Mute

Django Django - Default
from Django Django on Ribbon Music

Dragonette - Rocket Ship (MP3)
from Bodyparts (self-released)

Dum Dum Girls - Lord Knows (MP3)
from End of Daze EP on Sub Pop

Efterklang - Apples (MP3)
from Piramida on 4AD

Eight Belles - Nolchi (MP3)
from Girls Underground (self-released)

Frightened Rabbit - State Hospital
from State Hospital EP on Canvasback / Atlantic

Lavender Diamond - Oh My Beautiful
from Incorruptible Heart on Paracadute

Bettye LaVette - I’m Not The One
from Thankful N’ Thoughtful on ANTI- Records

Machine Birds - If I (MP3)
from Save Yourself EP on Nabovarsel

Mumford & Sons - I Will Wait
from Babel on Glassnote

Murder By Death - Lost River (MP3)
from Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon on Bloodshot Records

Preservation Hall Jazz Band - C.C. Rider
from The Preservation Hall 50th Anniversary Collection Box Set on Lecacy Recordings

Ringo Deathstarr - Rip
from Mauve on Club AC30

The Soft Pack - Tallboy
from Strapped on Mexican Summer

Ungdomskulen - Facemask (MP3)
from Secrecy on YAP Records

Unnatural Helpers - Toil (MP3)
from Land Grab on Hardly Art

Windsor Drive - I Don’t Feel It (MP3)
from Wanderlust EP (self-released)

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