Welcome to NEXT. We are a new music show on the radio with a very simple goal – find you a NEXT, new favorite song.
May NEXT find a song that makes your ears smile. Enjoy it all.
“Music can lift us out of depression or move us to tears – it is a remedy, a tonic, orange juice for the ear. But for many of my neurological patients, music is even more – it can provide access, even when no medication can, to movement, to speech, to life. For them, music is not a luxury, but a necessity.” – Oliver Sacks
Let us begin NEXT week 782 with James. Frontman Tim Booth wrote the lyrics of “Beautiful Beaches” in response to climate change migration and the increasingly regular Californian fires that eventually forced him to move his family from Topanga Canyon to Costa Rica. “We love how this song is so uplifting, focusing on new beginnings,” says Booth. “I like the idea that many might not know the backstory and hear it as a post-Covid holiday song! Praying that the lyrics don’t turn out prophetic.” A resident of Topanga Canyon for many years, Tim Booth wrote the lyrics of “Beautiful Beaches” in response to climate change migrations and the subsequent increasingly regular Californian fires bringing devastation to his community. It was inspired by a friend who lost his ‘fire proof’ home and had to flee for his life to the beaches and a recurring vision Tim had last year of earthquakes and fires in California – a vision which resulted in his family packing up and leaving the Canyon. ‘That life we left behind, we’re racing down to those beautiful beaches’.
Brett Dennen’s tune is an ode to get out and explore. Dennen provides a casual, sunny single with a much deeper meaning. “See the World” serves as a reminder to break out of comfort zones, let go of trivial things, and open our eyes and minds to the world around us, something everyone can relate to following this past year. Brett Dennen shared “Everyone should have their open authentic experiences. The more you explore and the further you journey, the more empathy you can have for anyone on the planet. This song has taken on a more powerful meaning after this past year. Now that the world is opening up, I have both relief and anxiety. Van (Dennen’s son) is the reason I wrote this song. To tell him that it is more important to learn from himself than it is to learn from me.” Brett Dennen will release his first full length studio album in 5 years. West Coast singer/songwriter Brett Dennen has a successful string of albums and has cemented himself as a fixture in American folk music complete with comparisons to Tom Petty, Ben Howard, and more. Outside of music, Dennen is a painter, avid outdoorsman, and works with local organizations to spearhead beach clean-ups and educate young people to become climate stewards, driving awareness through Brett Dennen’s music and marrying just a few of his many sides in one effort to help drive positive change. Brett Dennen’s upcoming album is a blend of experiences and sometimes seeming contradictions, much like Dennen himself. Peppered in equal parts with shrewd quips and vulnerable admissions, the album is ultimately an exploration of life’s deepest meaning. The TP is strong on this one.
Briston Maroney is next. His debut album is called Sunflower. Briston thought would be his first—and last. “A big anxiety I had the whole time was that I was never going to write another song after this record,” Maroney says. “Briston Maroney was completely paralyzed by that fear.” In the end, none of this came to fruition for the Knoxville, Tennessee artist. “Briston Maroney is approaching things moving forward with the mindset that the only way he wouldn’t write another song is if he stopped trying. Briston Maroney is more down to write 100 bad songs and one song that I feel tells the right story than he was before.” Sunflower is a collection of 10 tracks that Maroney got right, a result of a nearly decade-long journey for the 23-year-old artist. Briston Maroney excavated real-life stories and transmitting them into lyrics. Sunflower is an oratory of youth-filled anxieties, growing older, and the awakening of what’s blossoming all around. Moving through Maroney’s silky indie-rock motions, Sunflower unearths all the complex motions and moments in its refrain of Some things are out of your hands
Welsh indie/rock/experimental band The Joy Formidable return with “Into the Blue” – a new song. the first bit of new music from The Joy Formidable since 2018’s album AAARTH. Over the years, The Joy Formidable has maintained a steadfastly unique musical style, led by guitarist/vocalist Ritzy Bryan, and this new song is no exception. Thoughtful lyrics (from both Bryan and bassist/vocalist Rhydian Dafydd), a reflective tone, and cascading guitars are on full display. Bryan of The Joy Formidable: Into The Blue is about surrendering to love and magic. Having the courage to enjoy a new journey and the mystery and excitement of something unexpected. It’s about opening your eyes to beauty and love again. Making it to the other side. Whilst not conceived as a metaphor for the times we all live in now, it certainly turned out that way.”
Keleo is back. Julius Son’s voice is mesmerizing—a strange combination of Eddie Vedder and Jeff Buckley with hints of Darryl Hall. The drumming is sparse but piercing, and Julius Son’s voice can cut through granite. The song doesn’t have many parts because it simply doesn’t need them. One thing I love is that Iceland is a long way from Mississippi… or maybe not – when you listen to this Kaleo song. Kaleo was still in its native land when it started turning heads half a decade ago, as the band least likely not only to try playing American roots music—but also to excel at it. It’s almost like they’ve been doing it their whole lives—maybe a lifetime or two before that. Kaleo is now fittingly based in Austin. Kaleo has released their third LP, Surface Sounds. And as Iceland’s coolest—sorry, had to—export, the record is another testament to a band bordering on being remarkable for its grasp of American soul and roots music
Def Leppard give us a Bowie Cover. The cover is included on B-Sides, Yeah! Studio Covers and Yeah! Live. These albums have specially been compiled by Joe Elliott for this limited-edition release. B-Sides contains a rare compilation of B-sides that have never appeared on vinyl before. Yeah! Studio Covers includes some never before released on vinyl covers, Yeah! bonus disc exclusive release tracks and a compilation of the various covers recorded by Def Leppard over their career. Yeah! Live is a compilation of live recordings of covers by Def Leppard which include both tracks from 2006’s Yeah!, as well as previously unreleased live tracks from the past 30 years. 2006’s Yeah!, Def Leppard’s first covers album featuring a collection of the groups favorite tracks re-recorded with the iconic Leppard sound, this is the first time this album will be available on vinyl. This set marks the third of four volumes of Def Leppard’s complete recorded output in both 180gm vinyl and limited-edition CD box sets.
The raucous indie rockers Sports Team have released a new video for their single ‘Happy (God’s Own Country)’ that plays off the camp horror classic The Wicker Man. Regarding the song’s genesis, the band explain: “We recorded this at the end of last year at a time when it was hard not to feel exhausted by the scale of insincerity everywhere. It’s a sort of Cold War Steve collage, a cut and paste diorama of cronyism, cottagecore and window-dressed Toryism, with the frustrated energy of live performance without a stage.” Now – if that doesn’t get you going what will?
Dinosaur Jr enter NEXT and featured co-production from Kurt Vile. The classic trio’s latest reunion album is their breeziest and most melodically generous yet. Otherwise, Sweep It Into Space is classic Dinosaur Jr., straight down to the division of labor: As on each of Dinosaur Jr’s post-1997 albums, Barlow is allotted exactly two songs, a tradition so consistent you wonder if it’s baked into a contract. As usual, they’re wordier and more cerebral than Mascis’ contributions: a slightly mawkish song of devotion called “You Wonder,” a compelling English-folk pastiche called “Garden.” Partially recorded in fall 2019 with co-producer Kurt Vile, then completed by Mascis during last year’s quarantine, Sweep It Into Space bears little evidence of its protracted creation. It’s the breeziest and most melodically generous of the trio’s reunion efforts, even flirting with power-pop.
Ariel Posen is known for his searing slide licks and Ariel Posen prioritises his songcraft above all on his sophomore album, Headway. Composed in between tour dates in support of Ariel Posen’s debut album, How Long, each of the 12 songs were then tested and moulded into shape on the road at shows across Britain, Europe, America, and his native Canada. Heart By Heart. “The main guitar part throughout this song is what kick started it all. Ariel Posen was messing around with a bluesy rhythm, but Ariel Posen wanted to give it a different flavour that hadn’t really been used yet. What ended up delivering that was my Mule with the H9 and my Broadcast AP. When the slide was used in the choruses it seems to react differently than with fingers. The sweep of the filter is incredibly dynamic and was very satisfying to play. Ariel Posen knew from the beginning that this would be the first song on the record as it’s been the first song in Ariel Posen’s live shows as well. Ariel Posen wanted to come out of the gate with something left-field and a little unexpected sonically, yet still familiar musically.”
The Dallas collective – The Polyphonic Spree – recorded ‘Afflatus’ just as the world was shutting down. The Polyphonic Spree had the idea for Afflatus as the COVID-19 pandemic was beginning. The Polyphonic Spree was set to perform a pair of cover-heavy shows at the Kessler Theater in Oak Cliff in March 2020, only to have the events canceled after The Polyphonic Spree had spent a great deal of time rehearsing the chosen songs. “We decided to get The Polyphonic Spree together at our home studio,” DeLaughter said “And record the entire show in one take, just to capture it. We knew it was probably going to be the last time we saw each other for a long time, and the next day, everything started to close.”
L.A. trio Cannons have been characterized as “nu-disco” and “future boogie” for their electro-tinged and thoroughly embraceable funk lite. On their new single “Talk Talk” —> Cannons turn down the disco and turn up the dreamy. It’s the second single of 2019 from the trio of Ryan Clapham, Paul Davis and Michelle Joy — a cooed conversation that seems to emerge from the lingering haze of the smoke machine after a fast dance. Over its languid groove and echoing guitars, Joy wonders if it’s time to stop talking the talk and start walking the walk. And if that’s the question the answer is almost always – YES!
Bob Schneider is a regular in the Austin music scene — and Texas more broadly — Bob Schneider made his way to the city after dropping out of the University of Texas at El Paso. His presence in the scene has been honored with more than 50 Austin Music Awards, starting in 1992, when Bob Schneider was playing with bands like Joe Rock Head and Ugly Americans. The Beginning? It appears inevitable that Bob Schneider would become an artist. Bob Schneider was born in Michigan and raised in Germany, where his father pursued a career as a professional opera singer. As a boy, Schneider studied piano and guitar, often performing at family parties and backing his father on drums at nightclubs throughout his youth in Germany and Texas. Bob Schneider went on to study art – his other primary passion and avocation – at the University of Texas El Paso, before moving to Austin and establishing himself as a musician. Bob Schneider performs relentlessly, creates new music compulsively, writes poetry, and regularly shows his visual art in galleries around Austin.
Now, nearly 20 albums in, for Todd Snider songs arrive differently each time, and in various pieces. “As I get older I’ll catch any song I can get, and in any way I can get it,” Todd Snider says. “For awhile, Todd Snider made up songs in a way Todd Snider never had before. Todd Snider had a deck of index cards with a lot of phrase that meant a lot to him and would throw them in there randomly.” “The older Todd Snider gets, the less I think words work,” jokes Snider. “Grooves speak volumes. All people dance for different reason. Young people dance to show they’re ready for it. Old people dance to show they’re over it. This year, I felt like dancing.” Snider’s work entered a wild new dimension. On the new album, Todd Snider ended up creating his own brand of funk (“with busking up front”), inspired by Parliament and James Brown. Todd Snider decided he’d play bass, and keep guitar chords to minimum. “Todd Snider been thinking about it since, because it’s like, younger people dance for more of a sexual reason and (for) older people, it’s more of a spiritual reason. Younger people dance because they’re excited about how pretty they feel. Older people are just over giving a (expletive) about what they look like.
Music is Life. Thanks again for listening.
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.
Bad words? It’s possible. Consider this a warning.
Songs: Artist and Title
- James – Beautiful Beaches
- Brett Dennen – See The World
- Briston Maroney – Bottle Rocket
- The Joy Formidable – Into The Blue
- Keleo – Free The Slave
- Def Leppard – Rebel Rebel (Cover)
- Sports Team – Happy (God’s Own Country)
- Dinosaur Jr – Garden
- Ariel Posen – Heart By Heart
- The Polyphonic Spree – Let Em In (Cover)
- Cannons – Talk Talk
- Bob Schneider – The Sun’s Coming
- Todd Snider – The Resignation vs The Comeback Special
and remember if you love someone hug them right now