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Welcome to NEXT: where new music lives.

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.

“The only truth is music.” — Jack Kerouac

Let us begin NEXT week 802 with Early Internet. As Early Internet, Dean Stafford writes quiet pop gems in line with musical influences such as Death Cab for Cutie mixed with contemporaries like Hatchie; songs tinged with nostalgia and heartbreaking lyrics – Early Internet crafts introspective melodies through a lens of guitar pedals and nuanced catchiness

Eddie Vedder has released a solo single called “Long Way,” the first song from his upcoming album Earthling. With shades of country rock and Tom Petty-like phrasing, “Long Way” finds Vedder stretching his musical boundaries. Lyrically, the singer describes characters facing haunting regrets, looking back at parts of their life which can never be changed. Vedder’s guitar work shines brightly roughly halfway through the track, as the rocker opens things up for a solo that begins subdued before erupting in strength. Vedder also recently contributed eight new compositions for the soundtrack to the Sean Penn film Flag Day.

When Sleigh Bells burst forth around the turn of the last decade, their curious mix of over-the-top thrashy riffs and playground-chant style vocals was a tornado of fresh air. â€˜Treats’, Sleigh Bells’s 2010 debut is, and remains a stellar collection of pop-tinged noise, and Sleigh Bells never quite since repeated that level of glorious din. 2013’s ‘Bitter Rivals’ was almost its opposite, even, Alexis Krauss of Sleigh Bells pushing her vocal melodies to almost saccharine levels while guitar-wielding bandmate and producer Derek Miller fully embraced hip hop-style beats. An experiment that paid off – it does possess their most immediate pop moments – but if there was ever a time for the gnarliest of six-strings to return, it’s the frustration of now. And it takes just seconds of opener ‘SWEET75’ to provide the goods. At its heaviest, ‘TEXIS’ is blistering, ‘Justine Go Genesis’ as mind-bendingly intense as it gets, with closer ‘Hummingbird Bomb’ and single ‘Locust Laced’ not far behind. And when synths do take centre stage, no impact is lost: ‘True Seekers’ and ‘I’m Not Down’ are akin to a more in-your-face Chvrches, Alexis’ vocal sitting juxtaposed with expansive electronics. It’s the best of both worlds.

Minnesota quartet Hippo Campus has become a staple of indie rock, constantly adapting to the shifting scene since its 2013 debut EP Tarzan Reject. Hippo Campus’s versatility and ability to meticulously craft joyous sonic experiences have proven to be things fans can always count on. Hippo Campus’ fifth EP Good Dog, Bad Dream fulfills expectations of being slightly different from what Hippo Campus has previously put out and also goes above and beyond simply departing from the old. It’s more sophisticated and atmospheric, showcasing Hippo Campus in a more comfortable dynamic. Usually peppered with sprightly synths and rapturous breakdowns, Hippo Campus’ music now enters a new era full of punchy songs with a slight edge. However fleetingly short this period may be for the ever-changing band, it’s sure to leave its mark like the rest of the group’s discography. Good Dog, Bad Dream also explores the incorporation of more outwardly humorous songs, rather than just a handful of joking lyrics scattered about every few songs.

Since his folksy, homespun debut “Sever and Lift” in 2010, Matt Lorenz has created an archetype that many dream of becoming: the vagrant cowboy. Under his moniker The Suitcase Junket, he adheres to the antithesis of traditional; he’s a one-man band, a puppeteer orchestrating a rig of suitcases, various knickknacks and a vintage clunker of a guitar, reworked to blast distortion like a noisy cannon. Now, a tumultuous decade later, the hefty heartland rock of his sixth album, “The End Is New” (out Nov. 20), finds Lorenz (or The Suitcase Junket) in a state of catharsis and at odds with the world, a space that has yielded the most thoughtfully composed and polished release of his career. For someone who dwells so effortlessly in rickety, clattering music, Lorenz (The Suitcase Junket) uses “The End Is New” to fortify new structures, ones built sturdily with passion and patience. After a prelude, the blistering “Black Holes And Overdoses” opens the album — a defiant, foot-stomping parlor blues led by a searing guitar riff and Lorenz’s soulful howl. At first glance, it feels like a recognizable staple in the The Suitcase Junket repertoire, but within the lyrics lies a frustrated take on a relentless news cycle, a perspective that feels contemporary and relatable. It’s uncharacteristically plugged-in for the Western Massachusetts-based musician, who rusticly spends the bulk of his time living in a van and constructing instruments from junkyard salvage. Lorenz (The Suitcase Junket) has taken to describing his music as “doom folk,” a characterization gleaned from the solemn wayfaring as presented by his character. Perhaps it’s an apt description in certain selections, but to fully blanket his music in such a dark shade is a disservice to the bright moments in which he shines.

Travis are a Scottish rock band formed in Glasgow in 1990. Travis are Fran Healy (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Dougie Payne (bass guitar, backing vocals), Andy Dunlop (lead guitar, banjo, backing vocals) and Neil Primrose (drums, percussion). The band’s name comes from the character Travis Henderson (played by Harry Dean Stanton) from the film Paris, Texas (1984). Travis released their debut album, Good Feeling (1997). Travis have twice been awarded best band at the BRIT Awards and were awarded the NME Artist of the Year award at their 2000 ceremony. And in 2016 Travis were honoured at the Scottish Music Awards for their outstanding contribution to music. Travis helped pave the way for other bands such as Keane and Coldplay to go on to achieve worldwide success particularly with the success of The Man Who. This year celebrating the 20th anniversary of Travis’ breakthrough year with two simultaneous releases: Live at Glastonbury ’99, plus expanded editions of The Man Who.

Oasis have shared the live performance of “Live Forever” — complete with guitarist Noel Gallagher’s audio commentary — from the band’s upcoming concert film Oasis Knebworth 1996. “The day after I wrote ’Live Forever,’ we were gonna be the biggest band in the world. I knew it,” Noel Gallagher says in upcoming concert film. “We were a pretty decent band the night before I wrote ‘Live Forever’ but it was indie music,” Noel Gallagher explains of the track. “The day after I wrote ‘Live Forever,’ we were gonna be the biggest band in the world. I knew it.” The forthcoming documentary marks the 25th anniversary of a pair of gigs at Knebworth in August of 1996. The Oasis film is set to chronicle those shows, which took place exactly 25 years ago today. The live Oasis performances were witnessed by more than a quarter of a million music fans across the globe. The new Oasis film is told through the eyes of the fans who were there, with additional interviews with the band and concert organizers. Directed by Jake Scott from extensive concert and exclusive never before seen footage, this is a joyful and at times poignant cinematic celebration of one of the most important concert events of the last 25 years.

Ike Reilly isn’t running for mayor of Libertyville, even though Tom Morello says he should. Both of these rock musicians grew up in the Lake County town in Illinois. Morello moved away, gaining stardom as the guitarist for Rage Against the Machine. Reilly stayed. And while he hasn’t become quite as famous as his friend, he has earned quite a following with his own music. “You have to run for mayor,” Reilly recalls Morello saying. “I’ll finance your campaign. We can have chicks in camouflage bikinis and fake AK-47s on your float. It’ll really shake this town up.” Reilly points out that he can’t run for mayor because he lives in an old hunting lodge just outside the village limits. Reilly got back to making music with his band, the Ike Reilly Assassination, including some tracks that reveal his love for the blues. The new “Born on Fire” album is a joint release by Reilly’s longtime label, Rock Ridge, and Morello’s new company, Firebrand Records. “Ike is not just a great, authentic songwriter of the highest caliber but he’s always ready to throw down at a union rally… or a bar fight,” Morello says. “Ike’s songs are a poetic cracked window into the lives of the heartland heroes trying to get by, find and keep love, and carve a place for themselves with humor and dignity.” Morello drove around Chicago with Reilly last week, as they sold copies of the album from the trunk of Reilly’s car. When someone asked on Facebook how to get a copy on vinyl, Reilly replied: “…if ya see me in a Green Galaxie, wave a 20 dollar bill and I will pull over.” Within a few hours, Reilly had sold three copies of his record to people who spotted him sitting outside his home near Libertyville. Reilly begins his tour Monday with a rare hometown gig. Other than a private benefit concert he once played, it’ll be the first time he’s ever done a show at Mickey Finn’s in Libertyville. “The guy that owns Mickey Finn’s said he built the stage hoping I would come and play there,” Reilly says. “We sold 500 tickets in two days, which is great for a Monday night. I said, ‘I think people must be coming there to see me f— up.’ 

Singer-songwriter and poet Arlo Parks won the 2021 Mercury Prize on Thursday, scooping the British music award for her critically acclaimed debut album “Collapsed in Sunbeams”. The 21-year-old, whose songs address mental health and sexual identity, beat off 11 other contenders across a range of music genres for the prize. Parks’ Collapsed in Sunbeams was one of the musical joys of the second lockdown, a debut album that seemed to unite critical and popular taste: empathetic, diaristic lyrics over a gorgeous soul-infused backing, sung in a lovely, airy voice. The accompanying live tour – delayed for obvious reasons – should be a treat.

Joy Oladokun’s songwriting is brutally honest, yet inviting, as she fearlessly tackles tough topics. While the theme is heavy, the delivery of Joy Oladokun is uplifting, once again demonstrating how Oladokun’s penetrating gaze into the human psyche yields beautiful storytelling in spite of the pain that surely inspired it. Oladokun continues to forge her own path, sharing the unique perspective she’s gained from living in today’s world as a Black, queer woman and first-generation child of Nigerian immigrants. Born in Arizona and now living in Nashville, her musical exploration began at age ten when Joy Oladokun was inspired to learn guitar after seeing a video of Tracy Chapman—the first time she’d ever seen a Black woman play the instrument.

Gordon Gano isn’t big on anniversaries, but the Violent Femmes frontman is willing to make an exception for the band’s 40th birthday. It’s hard to believe their self-titled debut was released in 1983, since songs such as “Add It Up” and “Gone Daddy Gone” are still indie staples that combine elements of folk and punk rock into a unique amalgam that still hasn’t been replicated. Then there’s the album opener “Blister in the Sun,” a song that was never intended to be a single yet has taken on a life of its own over the past four decades. . from diary The Violent Femmes bass player and co-founder Brian Ritchie: One of the trademarks of the band is that we do not use a set list. I call the songs out one after the other, in response to our mood and to tweak the audience. For reasons even we don’t understand we have developed a new model for delivering the information of what is the next song to the band. I will explain that in a future blog. Predictably the system immediately fails and we are left on the precipice of utter chaos, but that’s OK because chaos is our comfort zone. We proceed to tear through 40 years of songs from most of our recordings, including a visit by The Horns of Dilemma, in this case members of our crew. We have a deluxe new backdrop which is our first and best logo from 1981 designed by Geoff (Stinky) Worman for one of our first gigs. The band kicks ass from the moment we drag ourselves out of this psychedelic haze and we acquit our unrehearsed selves as usual. We played some songs we had not touched in 20 or 30 years, such as Life Is A Scream. It feels great to be playing together again and post-show vibe is giddy.

Cage The Elephant were among the 53 artists to participate in the just-released covers compilation The Metallica Blacklist. Each act covered a track from “The Black Album,” with all proceeds from the release benefitting a charity of the artist’s choice and Metallica’s All Within My Hands Foundation. For their contribution to The Metallica Blacklist, Cage the Elephant took on the epic ballad “The Unforgiven.” Proof of the song’s universally captivating arrangement, Cage make it sound like their own song while preserving the grandeur and dynamics of the original. I remember “Enter Sandman” and “Sad But True” being some of the earliest riffs I learned on guitar. I probably played the “Enter Sandman” riff a zillion times in my bedroom. I also grew up by a university and I remember seeing kids wear Metallica shirts, and even before consciously digging into the music, just the artwork was so cool and intriguing to me. We were all unanimously leaning towards it as a band — it felt like one we could pull off and also have fun and kinda make it our own. It’s such a musically dynamic song with explosive peaks and valleys so I think that really spoke to us. The almighty Cliff Burnstein [Metallica’s longtime co-manager] thought it was a good choice for us, too! Kirk [Hammett]’s playing on that record is so melodic and absolutely iconic, so I was personally very reverent to playing those lines but also in a way that sounds like us. For example, I play the main riff on pedal steel guitar in the chorus; there’s great Matt [Shultz]/Matthan [Minster] vocal harmonies; real tubular bells; cool keyboards … it was really fun getting to experiment with the instrumentation and I think speaks to how good the original written parts are! I love how that song has really standout acoustic and electric guitar parts. I think in a way this song must have made them even more internationally received. Every culture in the world has some sort of acoustic folk music… and not saying this is a folk song by any means, but in a way, the familiar sound and feeling of an acoustic guitar is almost a worldwide, even playing field that speaks to everyone. It just added a whole new dimension to their sound and catalog, and people obviously loved it! It’s almost like their “Stairway to Heaven” with the beautiful first half and then it just explodes into electric guitar-solo heaven.

Listen to Samantha Fish’s Faster, and you will recognise that voice immediately. You’ll recognise the guitar, too. It’s blues-rock electric guitar played with a devil-may-care feel. But Faster sees Fish put the heady top-spin of pop on her sound. This one brings Samantha Fish’s vocals to the fore, instructing the guitar when to retreat and when to advance. The synth and electronic elements that were hinted at before are used in a way that in theory might sound like an act of trespass on the typically settled aesthetic of Americana rock, but they make perfect sense on the record. “I am a fan of albums being centered around the voice. That’s how you tell a story. My goal with making albums, regardless of what style I want to work into it, I think the focus always has to be my voice and my guitar, because are the connecting threads throughout the songs themselves. It’s kind of thematically how I keep it all glued together, and realistically, how I bring the roots and blues to something. 

Music is Life. Thanks again for listening.

NEXT on the radio.

WERB 107.5 Global Radio Monday/Wednesday/Sunday mornings.
River Radio in the UK â€“ Thursday night.
Ocean 98 in Maryland â€“ Sunday nights at 10.
Saturday afternoon on VOBB in Canada

Spotify playlist updates on Thursday(ish). Link to Chris Bro on Spotify.

WARNING may contain bad words. Or may not. Depends.

Artist and Song Title:

  • Early Internet – Blankets
  • Eddie Vedder – Long Way
  • Sleigh Bells – True Seekers
  • Hippo Campus – Where To Now
  • The Suitcase Junket – Rock Bottom
  • Travis – A Ghost (Live)
  • Oasis – Live Forever (Live)
  • Ike Reilly – Racquel Blue
  • Arlo Parks – Hope
  • Joy Oladokun – Look Up
  • Violent Femme – Me And You
  • Cage The Elephant – Unforgiven (Cover)
  • Samantha Fish – Twisted Ambition

and remember if you love someone hug them right now

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