This Week’s New Releases: Suede, Rina Sawayama And The Mars Volta

This is the busiest week for new records we’ve had in a while. Suede have finally followed up 2018’s ‘The Blue Hour’, Rina Sawayama has dropped her sophomore LP, and The Mars Volta have returned with their first new album in a decade. Ringo Starr has also put out a four-track EP.

In the mood for something else? Head below.

Behemoth – ‘Opvs Contra Natvram’ (Nuclear Blast)

Bent Arcana – ‘Live Zebulon’ (Castle Face)

The Beths – ‘Expert In A Dying Field’ (Carpark)

Clutch – ‘Sunrise On Slaughter Beach’ (Weathermaker)

Creedence Clearwater Revival – ‘At The Royal Albert Hall (April 14, 1970)’ (Concord)

Death Cab For Cutie – ‘Asphalt Meadows’ (Atlantic)

The Devil Wears Prada – ‘Color Decay’ (Solid State)

Djo – ‘Decide’ (Djo/AWAL)

ELIZA – ‘A Sky Without Stars’ (LOG OFF/ Different Recordings)

Fletcher – ‘Girl Of My Dreams’ (Capitol/EMI)

Hauser – ‘The Player’ (Hauser/Masterworks/Sony Music)

Jesca Hoop – ‘Order Of Romance’ (Memphis Industries)

Jessie Reyez – ‘Yessie’ (Polydor)

Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros – ‘Joe Strummer 002: The Mescaleros Years’ (Casbah/Dark Horse/BMG)

Kings Elliot – ‘Bored Of The Circus’ EP (Verve)

Lang Lang – ‘The Disney Book’ (Deutsche Grammophon)

LeAnn Rimes – ‘God’s Work’ (EverLe Records/Thirty Tigers)

Lissie – ‘Carving Canyons’ (Lionboy)

Little Big Town – ‘Mr. Sun’ (Capitol Records Nashville/UMG)

Little Dragon – ‘Opening The Door’ EP (Ninja Tune)

Maggie Lindemann – ‘SUCKERPUNCH’ (Swixxzaudio)

Marcus Mumford – ‘(self-titled)’ (Capitol/UMG)

Marina Allen – ‘Centrifics’ (Fire Records)

The Mars Volta – ‘The Mars Volta’ (Clouds Hill)

Marxist Love Disco Ensemble – ‘MLDE’ (Mr. Bongo)

Michelle Branch – ‘The Trouble With Fever’ (Audio Eagle/Nonesuch)

Mura Masa – ‘Demon Time’ (Polydor)

NCT 127 – ‘2 Baddies’ (SM Entertainment)

No Age – ‘People Helping People’ (Drag City)

No Devotion – ‘No Oblivion’ (Equal Vision)

Noah Cyrus – ‘The Hardest Part’ (Records/Columbia)

Ondara – ‘Spanish Villager No. 3’ (Verve Forecast)

Rina Sawayama – ‘Hold The Girl’ (Dirty Hit)

Ringo Starr – ‘EP3’ (UMG)

Smith/Kotzen – ‘Better Days…And Nights (Live)’ (BMG)

Status Quo – ‘Quo’ing In – The Best Of The Noughties’ (earMUSIC)

Steve Aoki – ‘HiROQUEST: Genesis’ (DJ Kid Millionaire Ltd)

Suede – ‘Autofiction’ (BMG)

Turin Brakes – ‘Wide-Eyed Nowhere’ (Cooking Vinyl)

What So Not – ‘Anomaly’ (Counter)

Whitney – ‘Spark’ (Secretly Canadian)

Wunderhorse – ‘Cub’ (Communion)

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Things We Love This Week Live Special: The Beths and Oscar Jerome

This week, we’re talking all things live. Not a-live, all things great and small and whatnot, but live music. The feeling of speakers burning out your eardrums. The feeling of being entwined with music. The feeling of experiencing a song like you never have before. Oh, and we’re taking it from pop-punk to free-form jazz. Hold on to your hats.

THE BETHS – The Fleece, Bristol

Didn’t think New Zealand pop-punk was your thing? Think again. Falling onto the more poppy, indie side of punk, the Beths have impeccably likeable melodies that instantly hook you in, as well as some growling guitars to fuel the fire.

At their sold out show at Fleece in Bristol, the band got off to a rocky start thanks to the sound levels, but after some encouraging shows of “LOUDER!” from the crowd, Liz Stokes and band really got going, capturing the audience’s Friday night vibes and running away with them. 

Treated to a one-two-punch of an opener with Future Me Hates Me followed by Not Running, a personal favourite, the night carried on with their energetic, effervescent songs filling the venue with downright joy. The final blow came from Happy Unhappy, their biggest and best track. A perfect closer, a Beths fan couldn’t have asked for anything more. Sold out, the venue was packed, which made it all the more special. Would 100% see again.

OSCAR JEROME – O2 Academy Bristol (supporting Kamasi Washington)

THE PEOPLE NEED MORE BASS SOLOS.

That was the general impression from the evening — the world is lacking in bass solos, and they should definitely happen more often. Oscar Jerome’s band were casual in their performance in a way that seemed effortless, yet was completely spot on. The main man, however, is in a league of his own.

The band came across far more jazzy live than on Jerome’s records. Going in with the expectation of loosely jazz-flecked R&B, from his best known single Do You Really (which had a lot of support from BBC 6 Music, but didn’t make it into this particular set), the performance was far more jazz and improv-focused, perfect for a crowd who’d paid upwards of £30 to see Washington, a hero in these circles.

As well as his guitar playing — made even more delightful with a sunny chorus effect on snippets of melodies, Jerome’s voice was a surprisingly engaging element. Part rapping and part improvised, as he let the fun of performing take over him he was a joy to listen to.

And, while we’re here, his shirt had cartoon fire on it, and now I need to go and buy one. Where’d you get it from, Oscar?

All photos taken by Helen Payne, on a terrible, terrible camera.

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Things We Love: International Women’s Day Special

Oh, hi there. On this week’s edition of Thing We Love This Week, we’re giving it a twist. Get your eyes and ears ready for a bumper edition of your favourite blog celebrating women in all their amazing, musical forms. And it’s not just about what’s happened this week, for a change either, oh no. These are Women We Love This Year (And All The Time).

Little Simz

If you haven’t listened to ‘Grey Area’ yet, you need to. Right away. Little Simz is a name on everyone’s lips, and her excellent third record concerns that grey area of your mid-20s, trying to find your place in the world. But when you’re Little Simz, your world consists of a friend getting murdered, the monotony of touring and even working with Michael Kiwanuka. It’s emotional, cutting and heartfelt. It slays.

She’s just announced some new tour dates this week. Check ’em out here.

Queen Zee

Queen Zee are kiiiilllliiiing iiiiiit at the moment. They released their debut self-titled album last month, which saw an accompanying *almost* sold out headline tour of the UK. With frequent mentioning in 2018 end of year lists and some serious attention from BBC Radio 6 Music, RTE2, Amazing Radio and even BBC Radio 1, they’ve got a hell of a summer lined up: slots at BBC 6 Music Festival, French Escapade, and even Download. Woaah.

Judging by the abundance of joy and pure energy on their super fun punk-come-rock tracks, their live sets will be something special to behold.

Sharon Van Etten

The ever-prolific musician, singer and songwriter Sharon Van Etten seems like the busiest woman on the planet. While recording her latest album, ‘Remind Me Tomorrow’, she became a mother, appeared in the Netflix series the OA, earned a psychology qualification at college, and wrote an entire film score for Katherine Dieckmann’s Strange Weather. With all that going on she still managed to craft an album about pursuing your passions, that is a brilliant piece of rich, intelligent, thought-provoking pop.

Van Etten’s UK tour kicks off next week, and heads around Europe too. You should head to a show. Check out our review of the album here before you go.

The Beths

WE LOVE THIS BAND. Ever since the release of their debut full length ‘Future Me Hates Me’ last year, we can’t stop listening to their impressive, punk-inflected guitar and harmony-laden pop tracks.

They too, tour the UK in May, and we will definitely be in attendance. (Although, disappointingly, none of the members are named Beth. Wouldn’t it be great if they were all named Beth? Alas.)

Em from Nervus/Milk Teeth

As well as their own band Nervus, Em Foster is now a fully fledged member of the punk band Milk Teeth too. What a busy time. Come the summer, they are going to be just the second trans woman EVER to play on the main stage at Reading and Leeds, following Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace in 2015. The world needs to catch up.

Catch Milk Teeth support PUP on their upcoming UK and European tour or at a shedload of festivals this summer.

Billie Eilish

The biggest (and let’s face it, most interesting) name in mainstream pop at the moment, Eilish is the American-Irish pop star you need to know about. If you like creepy, dark lyrics and catchy pop songs, this is the woman for you. Oh, and did I mention she’s only 17? By 20 she’ll have taken over the entire world. Eilish for President!

Check out our analysis on how she got everyone under her spell here.

Lizzo

If you’re a regular reader of Things We Love This Week, you’ll already know why Lizzo. Is. The. Best. She needs no more words. Watch any interview with her and you will see why her bubbly personality is one of the best in the business. Oh, and her voice is INCREDIBLE. 

Lizzo is set to release her new album ‘Cuz I Love You’ on April 19 and will follow it up with a North American tour this spring and two UK dates in May — Manchester’s O2 Ritz and the O2 Forum Kentish Town in London.

So happy International Women’s one and all, regardless of where you stand on the ever-irrelevant spectrum. Peace and love.

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This Week’s New Releases: Jake Shears, Miles Kane And Tomberlin

This week there are some gems for ya! Scissor Sisters’ frontman Jake Shears has released his debut solo album, Miles Kane has put out the follow up to 2013’s ‘Don’t Forget Who You Are’ and you’ve been treated to a new Tomberlin LP.

Still want more? What’s your name? Oliver!? Head below to fill your boots.

As It Is – ‘The Great Depression’ (Fearless Records)

Ben Khan – ‘Ben Khan’ (Dirty Hit)

The Beths – ‘Future Me Hates Me’ (Carpark)

Enuff Z’nuff – ‘Diamond Boy’ (Frontiers Records)

Foxing – ‘Nearer My God’ (Triple Crown Records)

Gorgon City – ‘Escape’ (Virgin EMI)

Hilang Child – ‘Years’ (Bella Union)

Il Divo – ‘Timeless’ (Decca)

Jake Shears – ‘Jake Shears’ (Freida Jean Records)

Jason Mraz – ‘Know’ (Atlantic)

The Magpie Salute – ‘High Water I’ (Provogue/Mascot)

Man With A Mission – ‘Chasing The Horizon’ (Century Media)

Miles Kane – ‘Coup De Grace’ (Virgin EMI)

Moses Sumney – ‘Black In Deep Red, 2014’ (Jagjaguwar)

The Proclaimers – ‘Angry Cyclist’ (Cooking Vinyl)

Robbie Fulks and Linda Gail Lewis – ‘Wild! Wild! Wild!’ (Bloodshot Records)

Shooter Jennings – ‘Shooter’ (Low Country Sound/Elektra)

Tomberlin – ‘At Weddings’ (Saddle Creek)

The War And Treaty – ‘Healing Tide’ (Strong World Entertainment/Thirty Tigers)

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