As music columnist for hellomagazine.ca, each week I’ll bring you my selections for the best and most notable new music, albums you’re going to want to add to your collection plus a five-song playlist to try out. Happy listening!
BEST NEW ALBUMS:
My Morning Jacket – The Waterfall
Jim James has long been the standard bearer for cosmic, feel-good country rock. His Kentucky group’s latest album finds them diving into a sun-kissed pool of spiritual numbers, best characterized by swirling guitars and James’ deeply soulful falsetto on “Like a River,” “Compound Fracture” and “Thin Line.”
Josh Groban – Stages
With his deep love of musical theatre, Groban tackles favourites from Les Miserables and Finian’s Rainbow and teams up with Audra McDonald on Carousel’s “I Loved You” and Kelly Clarkson on Phantom’s “All I Ask of You.” The operatic pop star is at his best on a soaring “What I Did for Love” from A Chorus Line.
OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES:
Best Coast – California Nights
Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno concoct all the best elements of the California sound, from garage and surf rock to shoegazer and punk rock on their third album, highlighted by Cosentino’s ode to her well-documented insomnia on “Sleep Won’t Ever Come.”
The Stellas – It Wouldn’t Be This
The parents of Lennon and Maisy, of TV’s Nashville fame, Brad and MaryLynne Stella show off their sweet country harmonies on a collection of originals and a stirring, fiddle-fueled cover of The Who’s “Baba O’Riley.”
Django Django – Born Under Saturn
This English four-piece sounds like a cross between Kraftwerk and Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd on its excellent sophomore album, blending inventive synths and swirling psych flourishes on bright, sparkling songs like “High Moon” and “Giant.”
Mumford & Sons – Wilder Mind
The banjos are gone, but Marcus Mumford and the band maintain their taste for the big uplift on pop-rock anthems like “Tompkins Square Park” and “Ditmas” – and get a little wilder on “The Wolf,” which sees the band at its most frenzied and de-folked.