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 produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” – Confucius
Let us begin NEXT week 768 with Typhoon. This is Typhoon’s 5th studio album Sympathetic Magic. Typhoon frontman Kyle Morton wrote and tracked a significant part of the record in his basement studio while quarantining with his wife and dog. “Empire Builder” stands out as a testament to Morton’s compelling songwriting as he captures a view of America that is full of paranoia and cynicism, but not without hope: “Tiny points of life I see haphazardly / scattered in the void like so much bird seed / and I hope it’s enough.” Typhoon’s large lineup, at times 11 members strong, came together through remote and individual socially distanced sessions to complete the LP. Morton of Typhoon says of the new album: I wrote all these songs while puttering around the house these past several months, because, what else was I going to do? The songs are about people- the space between them and the ordinary, miraculous things that happen there, as we come into contact, imitate each other, leave our marks, lose touch. Being self and other somehow amounting to the same thing.
Haunted Shed is next. “When we moved to Athens, I was struck by the lack of recovery culture and how many of my creative friends were ‘stuck’ in a cycle of cheap rent, lots of partying, and easy-come-easy-go jobs,” says Etienne. “It feels like some kind of bohemian fantasy world when you get here and everybody is doing it but it takes its toll. I had just finished reading Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom and watching Kelly Reichardt’s film Old Joy when this song spilled out.” Haunted Shed originally formed when Etienne needed a band to provide musical ambiance for an impromptu haunted house in his backyard shed on Halloween. Once they started playing, however, Etienne explains, “The songs sprang to life. The sleepy, folky soul I had been mining in the Bay Area was all but gone and replaced with edgy, pulsing gothic soundscapes. I was a musician again and finally an Athenean.” Etienne got his start in the Bay Area’s vibrant 1990’s music scene, before relocating to Athens in 2008
This Lucero song will be HUGE Live. Man I can’t wait. What a bloody brilliant build. Ben Nichols found himself in the same predicament as every other working musician: at home with an unusual amount of time on his hands. Fortunately, the singer and principal songwriter of the venerated Memphis band Lucero had just wrapped several weeks of touring in January and February, giving him and the group a financial cushion. “We would have been in a drastically worse spot if we would’ve taken the winter off and were planning on starting a tour in March,” Nichols says on a call with Rolling Stone. “That’s a spot a lot of bands got caught in.” Instead, Nichols retreated to his basement and began working on songs for the follow-up to Lucero’s 2018 album Among the Ghosts, a knotty effort that showcased the strengths of his leaner, now five-piece band. When they reconvened in July to record at Sam Phillips Recording Service with Memphis producer Matt Ross-Spang, Lucero had spent virtually no time collaborating on music in the same physical pace. Nichols had emailed bandmates Brian Venable, Rick Steff, Roy Berry, and John C. Stubblefield his demos and they had all dutifully learned their parts, but it was dramatically different than the group’s typically freewheeling process.
Cloudspotter off the Foo’s Saturday Night album. This is the Foo Fighters “party” album. Last year was supposed to be a big one for Foo Fighters – it was the band’s 25th anniversary, with a huge tour planned and a new album to play through. But when the pandemic shut everything down, the group decided to delay the album’s release and wait it out. For almost a year, the record just sat on a shelf. “Yeah, that’s not what music’s for,” says Dave Grohl, laughing. Originally started as Grohl’s solo project, after drumming with Nirvana for five years, the Foo Fighters have released their 10th album, Medicine at Midnight, today. He calls it the band’s “Saturday-night party album” — a sound that Grohl says they hadn’t explored until then. “When [producer Greg Kurstin and I] got together to make this record, the intention was pretty clear,” he says. “It was like, ‘Let’s make some rhythms and some grooves that people are going to bounce around to.’ “
John Fogerty’s two sons, Shane and Tyler, have both played in his band, and they have a band of their own—the rising psychrock outfit Hearty Har. The sons of John Fogerty have been working on this Hearty Har project since 2012, and the end result is the anticipated new debut album, Radio Astro. “We both really like to record and be in the studio,” Tyler said. “We’ve spent a lot of time experimenting and honing and learning how to use everything. Our whole thing is ‘Let’s just make good-sounding records and songs.” Shane adds that, “I feel like we’re constantly chasing something new and something exciting, trying to find sounds and trying to expand what we’ve done so far and always trying to elevate it. I think that’s the goal and what we’re trying to follow.”
Cheap Trick have announced their 20th studio album In Another World, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees’ first LP since 2017. Cheap Track dropped the first single “Light Up the Fire,” boasting the big riffs and stadium-ready hooks that have been the calling card for Cheap Trick throughout their career. “Light up the fire/The heat starts coming,” Robin Zander sings on the track. “It’s getting so hot/The sirens are calling/You’ve got what you’ve got/The flame’s burning brighter/So light up the fire/But don’t burn our love to the ground.” In Another World, Cheap Trick’s first album since 2017’s We’re All Right! and Christmas Christmas, features 13 tracks, including the band’s cover of John Lennon’s “Gimme Some Truth,” which they previously released as a Record Store Day exclusive in 2019. In Another World is out April 9th in a variety of formats, including a limited-edition blue and white splattered vinyl only available at independent record stores and a limited edition picture disc available exclusively through Target.
For the Cloud Nothing’s new record, Dylan Baldi and company reunited with legendary alt-rock producer Steve Albini for the first time since their 2012 breakout Attack On Memory, and that’s reflected in this new single’s sound. “Nothing Without You” would’ve fit in well on that album by virtue of its serrated guitars and breakneck percussion, as well as Baldi’s vocals, which are less throat-shredding than usual, though just as hooky. And speaking of vocals, Ohmme’s Macie Stewart is prominently featured on the song’s choruses, a standout element that feels fresh. “‘Nothing Without You’ explores both the negative and positive aspects of dependency, whether it be on a person, a place, an object, or nothing at all,” Baldi says of the band’s new song and game in a statement. “Jesse Jacobs and Vagabond Dog took that concept and filtered it through the ultimate needy creature, the Tamagotchi.” “Put your compassion to the test by providing care and protection to this new species of virtual pet,” says Jacobs, the animator behind the game. “This fussy animal demands a quality diet, clean living environment, and righteous tunes.”
Yester Daze bring us groovy riffs backed by dancing rhythms, the track is a tongue-in-cheek reference to car sex With falsettos and belted gang vocals, this is a rock and roll debut to remember. An ode to the past, present and future, Yester Daze have found a unique sound by combining feel-good-grooves and unforgettable melodies alongside high contrast dynamics.
Nick Murphy is bringing back his Chet Faker alias after four years with the brand new single, “Low.” Clocking in at over four minutes, the song is a catchy and bass-heavy cut that hears an uplifting delivery from the Australian singer-songwriter. He touches on the feeling of despondency — a highly relatable topic during this time of COVID-19 — and picking one’s self up, singing, “Just because I feel low right now/It doesn’t mean all that I’ve got has run out.”
Valerie June, Brooklyn-via-Memphis, and it shows on ‘The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions For Dreamers’. For Valerie June’s new album, The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions For Dreamers, the singer and songwriter collaborated with producer Jack Splash, and on first single “Call Me Fool,” June embraces her Memphis soul roots, including a horn section and background vocals from Stax legend Carla Thomas. “Have you ever been a fool for a dream? It might have been a little dream like a kiss from a lover or a big one like the dream of peace that Dr. King, John Lennon, and so many others have had for humanity,” June said of the song in a press release. “No matter how big or how small your dream may be, keep believing, and let the world call you a fool!”
Hiss Golden Messenger seek “shelter in the storm” on their new song “Sanctuary,” which the North Carolina band released Wednesday. “Feeling bad, feeling blue/Can’t get out of my own mind,” frontman M.C. Taylor sings on the track. “But I know how to sing about it.” “This song is, as far as I can tell right now, about grace — something we could all do with a little more of. Much love to you out there,” frontman MC Taylor tweeted of the band’s first new song in over a year. Taylor added in a statement: “Over the past year, I’ve been thinking a lot about how we care for ourselves and each other, and how hard it is to live truthfully in a world that is so tangled. ‘We sell the world to buy fire, our way lighted by burning men,’ says the poet Wendell Berry. The song ‘Sanctuary’ is one small piece of my own personal reckoning with what it feels like to search for some kind of shelter in the storm. Fare thee well, John Prine, a.k.a. Handsome Johnny, a speaker of truth if ever there was one.”
50 years? I’ll use any excuse to play The Kinks. By the time sessions for the album Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround, Part One began in April of 1970, The Kinks found themselves within what was becoming a characteristic period of turmoil. Original bassist Pete Quaife left the group for good in 1969, replaced by John Dalton, and John Gosling took over keyboards from Nicky Hopkins, debuting on “Lola.” Now available on CD and vinyl via BMG in a variety of formats, the 50th anniversary reissue features remastered audio (stereo), new liner notes by Andy Neil, a 60 page book, demos, live cuts, acoustic tracks and more. Themes like the struggle of good against evil emerge from the Lola Versus Powerman album, helping it remain remarkably relevant in 2020. “It’s funny. Because it seems like in some ways, nothing has changed and everything has changed. I think a lot of the ideas and notions are very relevant. The struggle of humanity hasn’t changed – or maybe it’s gotten more intense. The good and the bad thing seems to be more powerful now than it was. We were always fighting and always trying to survive, really. I mean, ‘Lola’ was a bit like a quest for survival in a way,” Davies explained. “Songs like ‘Strangers,’ and ‘Rats’ as well, were about having to sort of pull together in the rat race. It’s really the rat race – people climbing over each other to get on. But The Kinks have always taken on that character anyway. Ever since tracks like ‘I’m Not Like Everybody Else,’ we were always kind of on the outside and on the inside at the same time,” noted the guitarist. “I think it’s an exceptional album if I may say so in all modesty. Because it kind of says a lot about what was going on at that time in the business and in our environment,” said Dave. “I think it needs a few listens. You can’t get it all in one gulp. I like to think of it as a banquet. But I think it’s a very interesting album – even the era, all these years hence. I think there’s a lot of poignant feelings and issues that are very relevant to today.”
Liz Phair has sold over five million records worldwide, with three U.S. gold albums and two Grammy nominations. Her deeply clever and often brutally candid songs have been garnering critical praise since she began her career in the early 1990s. Exile In Guyville — a collection of bold, lyrically and sexually frank songs paired with equally as inventive and remarkable guitar playing by Phair — has been ranked by Rolling Stone as one of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. In 2019, her memoir made up of short stories — entitled Horror Stories — was released, unveiling layers of Phair’s beautiful internal world into public consciousness. And, almost 30 years later, Phair reunited with Exile In Guyville and Whip-Smart’s producer Brad Wood to work on new music. HEY LOU returns us to a voice we have long-missed, one that sings of modern love, missed connections, separation, creativity and global change, of the “uncomfortable, turbulent, emotional world that we’re in right now,” as Phair puts it. It reveals a songwriter more unflinching and more relevant than ever. If Phair’s career has had a governing philosophy, we might take it as this: hold to the center, swing around. This return shows her at her finest: playful, inquisitive, uncompromising, but anchored. The center can still hold.
Black Country New Road is a septet. This is Black Country, New Road’s debut album – although just six tracks long – is bursting with ideas. “It’s taking the weirdness that we have from this first album material, and making that more subtle”. experimental rock seven-piece.
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:
- Typhoon – Empire Builder
- Haunted Shed – Old Joy
- Lucero – Have You Lost Your Way?
- Foo Fighters – Cloudspotter
- Hearty Har – Don’t Go Looking For Me
- Cheap Trick – Light Up The Fire
- Cloud Nothings – Nothing Without You
- Yester Daze – Backseat Bingo
- Chet Faker – Low
- Valerie June – Call Me a Fool
- Hiss Golden Messenger – Sanctuary
- The Kinks – Lola (2020 Mix)
- Liz Phair – Hey Lou
- Black Country New Road – Science Fair
and remember if you love someone hug them right now