A whole lot of music going on this week, good fellows - from indie to country to roads less traveled, any discerning listener can find something to tickle their eardrums at their friendly local recording store. Let's dive right in to the new albums hitting stores on May 25th.
First Aid Kit - Big Black And The Blue - This Swedish duo (sisters, to boot) have been charming the indie-rock scene over the last year. Their debut EP dropped in 2009 with a Fleet Foxes cover, and Big Black And The Blue is their first full-length. Gorgeous harmony vocals over deceptively simple tunes make this a fine choice for the independently-minded fans of stuff like Keren Ann. Watch the video for "Hard Believer."
Leela James - My Soul - R&B throwback with an amazing voice releasing her third album on the legendary Stax label. This is some seriously old-school action, and it gets my stamp of approval. Production by Kanye West, Gerrard Baker and more.
Marina And The Diamonds - The Family Jewels - This has been out in Europe for a couple months, but it's finally hitting American shores this week. Greek-Welsh singer-songwriter Marina Diamandis is growing a fanbase around her clever, new-wave inflected pop. Watch the video for "I Am Not A Robot."
Smashing Pumpkins - Teargarden By Kaleidyscope Vol 1: Songs For A Sailor - So Billy Corgan is taking some time off from canoodling Jessica Simpson to get the band back together, and if the record is anything like the title we're in for some seriously obnoxiously pretentious music. Basically, last year Jimmy Chamberlin left the band and now it's just Billy Corgan and whoever he wants to jam with. They're releasing songs for free on their website and then when they feel they have enough of them, an EP is born. Here's the first.
Hank Williams III - Rebel Within - And, in case you needed an antidote, here's another platter of no-BS country-rock from Hank 3. This is Williams' last release on Curb Records, finally closing the door on the restrictive contract he signed with the label in the early 1990s. Although it doesn't surpass Williams' epic Straight To Hell, it promises a dozen tracks of the same ol' good stuff.