Each week, Release Day Selections feature new LPs and EPs for the JamBase team to check out on release day Friday. This week we’re highlighting new albums from Amy Helm, Rebelution, HER, Frank Zappa, Lo Faber, Luke the Knife, and Tenth Mountain Division. Read on for more information on the records we’ve all queued up to spin.
Amy Helm – What the flood leaves behind
The scoop: Singer-songwriter Amy helm third studio album, What the flood leaves behind, released today on Renew Records / BMG. Josh Kaufman produced the follow-up in 10 tracks of 2018 That too will light up. Helm and his multi-instrumentalist colleague Kaufman were accompanied during the recording sessions by a group of Phil Cook (keys, harmonica), Michel libramento (bass, organ, percussions), Tony mason (drums), Daniel Littleton (guitar), Stuart bogie (saxophone), Jordan mclean (trumpet), and the son of Helm Lee collins (congas). The album title comes from the lyrics of the song “Verse 23”, which appears on What the flood leaves behind and was written for Helm by MC Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger. The new album was recorded at Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, New York – a recording studio and performance space formerly run by Helm’s father, the late Levon Helm, co-founder of The Band.
“Getting back to where I learned so much about how to express music, how to stand in music, how to listen to music,” Amy Helm said. “It was humiliating in a funny way. I could clearly see where I was from and where I am now in my life. I was singing from a different place now and for a different reason.
Rebelution – In the moment
The scoop: In the moment is rebelution seventh studio album and now thanks to a joint venture between their imprint 87 Music and Easy Star Records. The 15-song suite of 2018 free rein was recorded remotely by reggae rockers in their respective Southern California homes. The tracks were guided by co-producer and touring guitarist Kyle Ahern, who worked with the singer. Eric Rachmany, drummer Wes finley, keyboardist Rory carey and bassist Marley williams to build the album. Recognizing the roots of reggae music, the group invited Jamaican artists Kabaka pyramid, Keznamdi and Busy signal to the guest on In the moment. Soul singer Durand jones also provided vocals on a song.
“We all worked with Kyle to bring our individual visions to life,” Rachmany said. “We wanted to make it as diverse as possible. Every time I started to write, this notion of time kept coming back into the lyrics. It might seem a little scary how fast everything moves, but you just have to remember to be present and make the most of every moment.
HER – In the back of my mind
The scoop: The long wait for the guitarist’s first feature film HER ends today with the release of In the back of my mind. Although it is HER (Gabriella Wilson) first official LP, the new album follows a pair of compilations made up of previously released EPs associated with a few new songs, 2017 HER and 2019 i knew her, both of which won Grammy nominations for Album of the Year. Earlier this year, HER won the Oscar for Best Original Song for “Fight For You,” written for the feature film, Judas and the Black Messiah. Several guests appear on In the back of my mind, including Thundercat, YG, Ty Dolla $ ign, Hit-Boy, Cordae, Lil Baby, Kaytranada, Yung Bleu, DJ Khaled and Bryson Tiller.
“I didn’t want to take out all of my tricks at once,” she said. Variety. “My first [releases] were just a small piece of who I am musically, and it was only a matter of time before I could reveal more. I’ve always been a big fan of Coldplay, Led Zeppelin, Radiohead, Alternative, Rock and Blues, but it wasn’t until this album that I started to dig into those other elements and bring them to R&B.
Frank Zappa – Zappa ’88: the last American show
The scoop: A landmark addition to that of Frank Zappa live catalog, Zappa ’88: the last American show, arrives today via Zappa Records / UMe. As the title suggests, the vast collection marks the legendary guitarist, songwriter and conductor’s last performance in America which took place at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York on March 25, 1988. tour before a planned return to the States United – features longtime Zappa collaborators as well as new additions and proceeds as follows: Mike Keneally (guitar, synth, vocals), Scott Thunes (electric bass, Minimoog), Ike Willis (rhythm guitar, synth, vocals), Chad Wackerman (drums, electronic percussions), Ed mann (vibes, marimba, electronic percussions), Robert martin (keyboards, vocals) and the brass section of Walt fowler (trumpet, bugle, synth), Bruce fowler (trombone), Paul Carman (alto sax, soprano and baritone), Albert Wing (tenor sax) and Kurt McGettrick (baritone and bass sax, double bass clarinet). Zappa leads the group on lead guitar, vocals and plays a new addition to his rip-off, the Synclavier.
The 31-song set – which begins with a voter registration campaign – features Zappa classics like the “I Ain’t Got No Heart” preview track from The Mothers Of Invention Freak Out! era, “Peaches En Regalia”, “The Black Page”, “Inca Roads”, “Sofa # 1” and more. Zappa ’88: the last American show Also features the debut release of the much sought-after “The Beatles Medley” which features reimagined versions of “Norwegian Wood”, “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” and “Strawberry Fields Forever”. The group also delivered “I Am The Walrus” later in the set with covers of “Stairway To Heaven” by Led Zeppelin and “Whipping Post” by The Allman Brothers Band. Additionally, the concert sees The Maestro and his company tackle orchestral arrangements like “Theme From The Bartok Piano Concerto # 3”, “Royal March” by Stravinsky from The Soldier’s Story and the closing rail adapted to Zappa ’88: the last American show, “America the Beautiful.”
Doctor Lo Faber – Claiborne Avenue
The scoop: God Street Wine Guitarist Lo Faber the album released today Claiborne Avenue under his Doctor Lo Faber nickname. Faber recorded the follow-up in 10 tracks of 2019 Low background during the pandemic and that experience helped inform songs just like her current hometown. “Some of the songs are united in being my experience of living here in New Orleans for about nine years now,” noted Dr. Lo and although he added that the music “is not New Orleans” , the album gives listeners an impression of the Great Easy.
Dr Lo Faber called on several of his musician friends to contribute to Claiborne Avenue. Ominious Seapods drummer Ted marotta and bassist Tom pirozzi serve as Faber’s rhythm section. In addition, friends of Faber’s God Street Wine group Jon Bevo and Aaron Lieberman are respectively keyboards and lead guitar. Dave eggar plays the cello and writes string arrangements with Jason Crosby, Marc Stone and Blake collins among other guests on the LP.
Luke the knife – Disco nap
The scoop: Luke Miller from Lotus released their first solo album, Disco nap, today under his Luke the knife nickname. The nine-song ensemble takes the listener on a sonic journey through Miller’s eclectic electronic, disco and funk influences. Suddenly finding free time with the onset of the pandemic, Miller wrote and recorded the album largely in his forties, using that time to carefully build his debut with Luke The Knife. He spoke of the process in a statement:
When the lockdown hit, I had my first long term break from touring in many years. I took the opportunity to start writing the original Luke the Knife songs. At first I planned to do mostly disco and funk influenced tracks. I recorded a full album of it and thought I was done with the first one. I kept listening to them over and over and felt like it didn’t represent the full vision I wanted for Luke the Knife. So I wrote 9 more songs that push towards more facets of my sound – tech house, future funk, bass house, melodic techno. Then I chose the best of the two groups to do Disco nap. It’s a special pleasure to release my first solo album and bring these original Luke the Knife tracks to people’s ears.
Disco nap also offers collaborations with Cherub on “She’s So Damn Fine” as well as “Better Mind” with Jane crow.
Tenth Mountain Division – Butte La Rose
The scoop: Colorado Quintet Tenth Mountain Division were set to continue their ascent in 2020 with headlining concerts and festival appearances after a year in which the group traveled from coast to coast. When the pandemic struck, the five members hatched a plan to return safely to Silo Sound Studio in Denver to complete an album they started in early 2020. The result, Butte La Rose, arrives today. Railway land Tim Carbon both produced and contributed to Tenth Mountain Division’s third album and the first since 2018 In good company. Other guests include the percussionist Will stalk, singer Elliott Peck (Midnight North, Terrapin Family Band) and a brass section with Scott flynn (ODESZA) on the trombone, Gabriel Mervine (Lettuce, Karl Denson, The Colorado Symphony) on trumpet and Peoples of Nathan (Coral Creek) on saxophone.
Drummer Tyler gwynn shared the following about the effect of the pandemic on Butte La Rose with the Colorado Strait:
The pandemic has been a shock to the system for the group and for us as individuals. We went from a show at the headlining Bluebird Theater and a six-week tour of the United States, seeing a different city every night, to not being able to leave home. It put a lot of things on hold for us. That being said, it was not all bad. It allowed us to catch our breath and look at our creative endeavor purely from a musical point of view. Without shows at the start. we could really dive into the new songs that we’ve been working on for about a year. When we got to record them at Silo Studios a few months ago, it was clear that we had evolved and grown as a band in a short period of time.
Compiled by Scott Bernstein, Nate Todd and Andy Kahn.