Hello new music lovers. Welcome to NEXT. We have a simple goal: Find you a NEXT, new favorite song. #NextFavoriteSong. It’s that simple. We listen to a lot songs and pick the ones we like. All in the hope that you agree. Will you love them all? Probably not. It would be quite brilliant if you found a handful though. Enjoy it all. And may your ears find something to smile about on NEXT.
“Music . . . can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable.” ― Leonard Bernstein
Let us begin NEXT week 768 with The Bamboos. Melbourne’s The Bamboos started making waves in the 2000s, they were trailblazers. Australia’s funk and soul scene didn’t have a lot of bands like them; super-polished but oozing with soul, giving us a local take on the deep funk sound that was taking off in the UK, Europe and US. The Aussies lapped it up. The band became festival favorites and one of the most revered party bands in the country. They have made tons of records and played hundreds of shows in their time together, all in the interest of making us feel good. Yes because #LiveMusicIsGoodForYourSoul
Yes, that’s right–Doves were originally Sub Sub, a band who made dancehall tunes and a perfect fit for the British club scene. In 1993, they released the hit song “Ain’t No Love (Ain’t No Use),” which reached number three on the UK charts. Sub Sub’s music career was thriving until tragedy struck in 1996, when their studio caught on fire. With everything destroyed, it was clear that they had a second chance to begin again. Leaving Sub Sub and its dance music in the flames, a new band was born. What rose from the ashes was Doves and their new and improved alternative rock style. Throughout their career, Doves released a total of four albums and had been on multiple tours before deciding to take a break in 2009. Now, Doves are back from their nearly 11-year hiatus with a crescendo. The Universal Want was released on September 11th, 2020, and in many ways, it sounds like a time capsule. Complete with a 2000s rock sound and nods to their dance music days, it’s clear that the world was due for another Doves album. It’s sad at times and triumphant at others, with intense lyrics that audience members won’t want to stop listening to.
We haven’t heard from Guided By Voices’ Robert Pollard since December 2020, so it’s only right to start off 2021 with a record from the prolific musician’s “mysterious” new band Cub Scout Bowling Pins. The group will drop a seven-inch called Heaven Beats Iowa on January 22nd via Guided By Voices Inc., so you can likely guess who’s behind this project. The title track is out now. GBV had a bang-up 2020, dropping three albums: Surrender Your Poppy Field, Mirrored Aztec, and December’s Styles We Paid For. The band also put on a massive, audience-less show from Ohio to raise money for indie venues during the pandemic. “It’s still selling/streaming-on-demand, but it was the biggest-selling concert on Noonchorus.com to date,” Pollard told Rolling Stone at the time. “We’re grateful for such overwhelming support and to have shared the experience with so many fans.” “It was a little weird because you really do feed off the energy of the crowd,” he added. “It’s symbiotic and the interaction and vibe is important. That being said, it was great to be able to get together with the guys and play. To see them, hear them, and feel the energy — even without an audience.”
Dylan Cartlidge is schooling us on how to walk the walk. His new single ‘Molasses (Walk The Walk)’ is the latest offering from the Redcar artist and it’s a positivity explosion. Reprising his role as Outkast reincarnate, Cartlidge incorporates other elements in his songwriting – joining funk, RnB and pop to make a truly heady cocktail to soundtrack the moments of joy we hope you’re managing to find in your day-to-day life. Cartlidge explained the origins of the song: “I wrote this song after a particularly tough time when I was experiencing burnout following touring. The song reflects the feeling of hitting a slump and losing control of achieving your goals and dreams,” he said. Ever positive, Cartlidge turned the feeling into something to galvanise yourself with: “it’s about finding yourself scrambling to find that part of yourself again or being prepared to ‘fake it til you make it’ whilst trying to find your old self.”
Lucero with “Back in Ohio” a raucous foot stomper, written about the incredulous true story of William Morgan from Ohio, who fought alongside Cuban rebels to help them win the Cuban Revolution.For over two decades, Lucero has made their mark as a hard-working band, mixing heartfelt lyrics with the sounds of early rock and roll, classic punk, country-folk and deep-friend Southern soul. They have delivered their powerhouse sound night after night to legions of fans across the country, providing adrenaline-charged shows in a communal atmosphere. With When You Found Me it is clear that Lucero has earned their rightful place in the annals of Southern Rock musical heroes.
The Stars Bright Shining Lights is a new, NJ based homegrown project from bandmates Art Gusmano and Rob Maru (formerly of Wellcurbs). Bright Shining Lights is an exploration into the cinematic and unconventional. This Is Where We Start is a thematic release. With an ambitious seventeen-song arsenal, the debut record tells a story of sorts often weaving in and out of a surreal-state. It plays out as a dream sequence with a common narrative thread. The band invites the listener to imagine their own visuals as the songs explore themes of love and loss and struggle and hope. Hope is a good thing. This is Where We Start.
To celebrate what would have been David Bowie’s 74th birthday (Jan. 8), Rhino Records has packaged two previously unheard studio covers as a limited edition 7-inch single.The newly unearthed recordings can also be streamed online, and they showcase Bowie versions of Bob Dylan’s “Tryin’ To Get To Heaven” and John Lennon’s “Mother” (the latter was a part of an entire tribute LP to the Beatle, which was later scrapped). Both recordings date back to 1998 but never seemed to reach the light of day, until now.
Sara Kays’ latest single is sweet and nostalgic, stripped down to mostly an acoustic guitar as Kays reminisces about memories with a past lover. The song grows only through small additions, with cascading drums and soft harmonies.
Pete Yorn revealed that he’d uploaded a full album’s worth of covers to his Bandcamp page as an exclusive purchase on the site. Ten covers—ranging from a Roxy Music single to Audrey Hepburn’s “Moon River”—comprise Pete Yorn Sings the Classics, a project seemingly instigated by Yorn’s love for the songs and the joy of recording with his friend Marc “Doc” Dauer (apparently Liz Phair also contributed vocals on a track). “As you know, I’ve never been shy about celebrating my musical influences,” Yorn wrote on the record’s Bandcamp page. “I honor them and appreciate the fact that they have helped to inspire the style of music I create as my own. I have chosen to interpret and record this particular collection of songs for various reasons. Whether it was The Pixies “Here Comes Your Man” or The Stone Roses “Ten Storey Love Song,” these songs all have one thing in common…they all stopped me in my tracks upon first discovery, simply because I loved the way they made me feel. They compelled me to listen repetitively…almost compulsively over and over again.”
Elizabeth And The Catapult bring us “‘pop the placebo’. And PTP is about the myriad of things we do to feel good and how our impatience leads us towards easy fixes, not necessarily solutions,” she explains of the tune, which blends acoustic guitar with backing orchestral notes. “I noticed when the pandemic hit that there were more wellness gurus advertising online. At first, in my isolation, I was an eager wellness consumer. I was trying everything possible to stay healthy, as if controlling all the minutiae of my life would ward off any possibility of getting sick or feeling unhappy. “I became a science experiment: ‘If I just do this or if I think positively I’ll be fine!’ The practices were all seemingly healthy, but my preoccupation with them was not. I realized that there’s no quick fix when the world is spinning out of control, and ultimately it adds unneeded pressure when I think I can control it myself. Like trying to discipline yourself into thinking things are OK when they’re really not! If anything, we all just need to be easier on ourselves and reach out to others.”
Weezer announced that a very special album, called OK Human. This is an album in which for the first time they use the orchestra and the piano as the central axis of composition; They were also inspired by the 60s and 70s, where there were no digital loops or sounds made by a computer to create a record, they were only people playing their instruments and showing emotions through them. Weezer talked about the recording process of this record material: “During the COVID-19 summer we grabbed our masks, went into the studio and started working on what is now known as ‘OK Human.’ An album made by a handful of human beings using analog technology (including an orchestra of 38 musicians) for all human beings to hear ”.
The Head And The Heart are a decade removed from their whirlwind rise from Ballard open mic-ers to Sub Pop indie-folk sensations, things still seem to move quickly for The Head and the Heart. In the summer of 2019, a half-joked suggestion led to the hometown stars performing on Pike Place Market’s rooftop for 30,000 spectators (according to a band estimate). The massive concert came together in just a few fast-and-furious weeks. The harmony-happy sextet, who once busked at the Market, weren’t the first local music heroes to turn its iconic clock sign and Elliott Bay into Seattle’s coolest concert backdrop. But the free show teeming with civic pride was certainly a homecoming for Seattle music’s history books. You’re like, ‘What the hell am I supposed to do, I’m on a roof?!’ We’re not U2. This isn’t old hat for us.” Good news is anyone else who had an out-of-body experience (or was simply out of town) will have the chance to relive the epic show. The Head and the Heart announced on Jan. 15 that the performance, which Amazon Music initially livestreamed, has been made into a full-fledged concert film and matching live album, out Jan. 22. The movie and album will be available on Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Music, respectively, with the album also getting the vinyl treatment.
The London post-punk Shame released their second album. It is bigger, louder, and more textured as frontman Charlie Steen anxiously details the strange gap between youth and adulthood. Far more complex than their 2018 debut Songs of Praise, Drunk Tank Pink is the sound of a band stretching into new shapes.
Music is Life. And new music keeps you young at heart. And keeps your mind nimble. It’s science. Do the google if you don’t believe me.
It was tough before Covid 19. Now more than ever we need to support these bands. Even something as simple as buying an album, or a ticket to a show (when live music comes back or if they are hosting online events), or a tee shirt. And if you can buy directly from them. Even better. Thank you.
Spotify playlist updates on Thursday(ish). Link to Chris Bro on Spotify.
WARNING may contain bad words. Or may not. Depends.
You can listen to NEXT on the radio. Listen to NEXT on Ocean 98 in Maryland Sunday nights at 10. Or Saturday afternoon on VOBB in Canada
Artist and Song Title:
- The Bamboos – Hard Up
- Doves – Prisoners
- Cub Scout Bowling Pins – Heaven Over Iowa
- Dylan Cartlidge – Molasses (Walk The Walk)
- Lucero – Back In Ohio
- Bright Shining Lights – In Between The Stars
- David Bowie – Mother (Cover)
- Sara Kays – Remember That Night
- Pete Yorn – They Don’t Know (Cover)
- Elizabeth And The Catapult – Pop The Placebo
- Weezer – All My Favorite Songs
- The Head And The Heart – Down In The Valley (Live)
- Shame – Station Wagon
and remember if you love someone hug them right now