We are less than two weeks away from Christmas and my Release Radar is full of new music. Decembers are typically rife with Christmas compilations, greatest hits packages, and box sets. As a matter of fact, there are so many great songs on my playlist this week that we won’t be able to get to them all, so here are a few of the best.
With the passing of Guru in 2010, I wouldn’t expect to hear new music from Gangstarr. Yet, some ten years after his early exit due to Myeloma, DJ Premier releases “Glowing Mic” from his deluxe, instrumental album One of the Best Yet. It’s so good to hear this man’s voice and witness again his knowledgeable approach to rap music.
Ryan Adams releases another one of those surprise albums which seem to be the theme of 2020. He hadn’t released any singles before “I’m Sorry And I Love You” showed up in my #RADAR, so this felt so left field. My favorite from Wednesdays is “Birmingham,” a classic Ryan Adams tune that harkens back to his glory days. A very strong album after one listen.
What do you get when you cross Johnny Marr and MGMT with The Avalanches? Exactly what you expected. A well-executed track, equipped with shimmering guitars and uplifting harmonies. Don’t forget about that backbeat that The Avalanches are always putting down.
Perry Farrel is pumping out a lot of new music lately, but this one feels different. “Love Feedback” is really soulful, a new style befitting to his vocals. He’s been recording with his wife over the last few years, and this track is actually listed under her moniker, Etty Lau Farrell, though she just sings backup.
‘Ol Blue Eyes returns this week with Frank Sinatra: Reprise Rarities Volume 1, released in honor of his birthday and the celebration of Reprise Records 60th anniversary. Frank’s crooning holds up well, all these years later.
Bartees Strange (whom I wrote about earlier in the year) releases his own stellar version of Samia’s “Pool,” showcasing a spacier side we haven’t heard yet. Last week Samia was on our radar with a remixed version of her song “Stellate.” This time, backed by The Districts, she really shined and I couldn’t stop listening.
Your “Jazz Cut Of The Week” is from the Vadim Bessarab Trio, and it’s called “Apprehension.” It’s a moody piece that will take you on a journey through some brilliant piano runs and reflective walk downs. Happy Friday!
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