The best new music of the week: Ryan Adams, Melissa Etheridge, Of Monsters and Men

By Nicholas Jennings

As music columnist for, 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!

Scroll down for playlist…


Ryan Adams10 Songs from Live at Carnegie Hall
His most devoted fans have put up with a roller-coaster career that has seen the prolific rocker release maddeningly inconsistent records. This sampler from his six-album set recorded last year rewards the diehards with pitch-perfect renditions of his best songs, including the hit “New York, New York,” all performed with just an acoustic guitar.

Of Monsters and MenBeneath the Skin
The folky Icelandic indie-rockers have become festival favourites on the strength of warm, heart-tugging melodies and sweeping, sing-along choruses. On its second album, the quintet embraces images of magical forests, rivers, mountains and wildlife on songs like “Empire,” “Black Water,” “Wolves Without Teeth” and the stirring hit single “Crystals.”

Melissa EtheridgeA Little Bit of Me: Live in L.A.
This CD-DVD set captures many of the rocker-activist’s best songs, which have won her Grammys and one Oscar. Included in her set, recorded last year at L.A.’s historic Orpheum Theater, are her hits “I Want to Come Over,” “Come to My Window” and “Like the Way I Do” and newer songs like “Monster.”

Various artistsNick Drake’s Jukebox
Drake’s legend has grown with every passing year since he tragically took his own life, at 26 in 1974, from an overdose of antidepressants. This 24-song collection displays the diverse range of artists who influenced his singular style, from Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong to Bob Dylan and Bert Jansch, whose haunting “Blackwaterside” is a standout.

Sharon Van EttenI Don’t Want to Let You Down
The Brooklyn singer-songwriter achieved critical breakthrough with last year’s Are We There, an album rich in emotions and harmonies. This five-song EP builds on that momentum, with string-laden confessionals like “I Always Fall Apart” and the stark “Pay My Debts,” which features members of Antibalas and The War on Drugs.


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