Album of the Week

Album of the Week – 30/04/21

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Album of the Week – 30/04/21

There is far too much good music released this week! On any other week, the quite lovely new album by Adrian Crowley (The Watchful Eye of the Stars) would be waltzing away with the top prize. Or even the unusual combination of Marianne Faithfull with Warren Ellis (She Walks In Beauty). There’s also new work from Teenage Fanclub (Endless Arcade), their first in 5 long years. How about a new band with members of Slowdive, The Flaming Lips, and Casket Girls (Beachy Head)? There’s even an album by Guided By Voices which is being described as their best in decades (Earth Man Blues).

Honestly, it hardly seems fair to pick one album from that lot, but there was another album released this week that I’m quite surprised even exists. The Superwolf album was a 2005 collaboration between Matt and Will which is an album I’ve returned to many times over the years. Now, we have a follow up, in the form of Superwolves. It’s quite lovely.!

Album of the Week – Matt Sweeney & Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – Superwolves

Where once was Superwolf, now roam Superwolves, the new album and demon spawn of Matt Sweeney and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, out digitally April 30th on Domino and available physically on June 18th.

The songs that make up Superwolves, the duo’s second album and first since 2005’s Superwolf, go boldly into undreamed-of places, and go deep, as Matt and Bonny take all the musics they know to make songs that penetrate. In classic Garcia-Hunter style, Sweeney and the ‘Prince’ first work separately, finding a path to each other in their solitary imaginings. Bonnie lyric sets delivered to Matt spark Sweeney’s guitar brain; chords and a melody are shaped, recorded fast and loose and sent back to the Prince, then the two parties meet up to sing, stitch, strengthen and finally perform them together in front of a small unsuspecting audience. Then new sets of lyrics are sent, animated and played in a high wire style until the shared songs and experiences are ready to commit to record. This is just the beginning of their fusion process, as words imply vocalizations to counter and support, and guitar lines suggest harmonic fields to subtly push into. In this process, a new creature grows out of the old one. In this name of this partnership, the guitar shares an open and fluid space with the vocals, the voices sing with the guitars—every moment in the life of Superwolves is an extravaganza, guided only by its need.

“The chemistry comes from lives, lived separately, in which music is crucial sustenance. We listen with gratitude and awe, knowing that we belong in there. We construct our dream selves with the faith that these selves will have their chance at life. We know what we are capable of doing and just need each other’s support to bring the imagined languages to life.” — Will Oldham

“I love the challenge to write melodies for Will to sing. Struggle with that challenge too. Knowing that Will’s voice will elevate the melody makes me reach higher and dig deeper for the tune. Makes me want to match it with a guitar part that holds his voice like a chalice holds wine (or blood, or whatever is needed to live the best life). I also love singing harmonies and responses to this voice of his.” — Matt Sweeney

As far as this record, as in when and how it came together, the two man crew started working on it five years ago. The first actual session, however, went down about a year ago at Brooklyn’s Strange Weather and the next took place at the Butcher Shoppe in Nashville. Sweeney oversaw the mixing of the Brooklyn sessions with Oldham overseeing the Nashville mixes. On the album, Sweeney sings harmonies along, with, and around his favorite singer, and plays all electric, acoustic, and bass guitars, joined in places by David Ferguson on stand-up bass, Mike Coltun on electric bass, Mdou Moctar on electric lead, Ahmoudou Madassane on rhythm guitar, Souleyman Ibrahim, Ryan Sawyer and Peter Townsend on drums and Mike Rojas on keys. The Bonnie ‘Prince’ sings. Does he ever. And Superwolves rules over all.

Albums of Note:

— Adrian Crowley – The Watchful Eye of the Stars

— The Alchemist – This Thing of Ours

— Beachy Head (feat. members of Slowdive, The Flaming Lips, and Casket Girls) – Beachy Head

— Bowerbirds – becalmyounglovers

— Cadence Weapon – Parallel World

— Far Lands (feat. members of The Rosebuds and GANYGS) – There Be Monsters

— Guided By Voices – Earth Man Blues

— Marianne Faithfull with Warren Ellis – She Walks In Beauty

— Matt Sweeney & Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – Superwolves

— Royal Blood – Typhoons

— Teenage Fanclub – Endless Arcade

Album released April 30th:

— Action/Adventure – Pulling Focus EP

— Adrian Crowley – The Watchful Eye of the Stars

— Alchemia – Inception

— The Alchemist – This Thing of Ours

— Ali Barter – Chocolate Cake EP

— Amy Shark – Cry Forever

— Amy Speace with the Orphan Brigade – There Used To Be Horses Here

— Andrea Viscardi – Phono EP

— Angel Bat Dawid, Hanne De Backer, and Signe Emmeluth – Angel Bat Dawid, Hanne De Backer, and Signe Emmeluth

— Annie Oakley – Second Day of Spring

— Another Dead Hero – Controlled Feedback EP

— Arched Fire – Remote Control

— Arts Fishing Club – The Show EP

— As We Suffer – The Fallen Pillars

— Ashley Monroe – Rosegold

— Aster Rhys – MÆTA EP

— Beachy Head – Beachy Head

— Bedroom – Stray

— Before We Fall – Before We Fall EP

— Ben Seretan – Cicada Waves

— Bhi Bhiman – Substitute Preacher 2

— Big Mother Gig – Gusto

— Birdy – Young Heart

— Bloody Hell – The Bloodening

— Bowerbirds – becalmyounglovers

— Broken Links – Cinflict::States

— Cake Pop – Cake Pop 2

— Carsie Blanton – Love & Rage

— Charlie Houston – I Hate Spring EP

— Chester Thompson – Powerhouse (Vinyl Reissue)

— Clyde – Rally Finish EP

— The Coral – Coral Island

— Croatian Amor & Varg²™ – Body Of Content

— Crumb – Ice Melt

— Daniel Aged – You Are Protected By Silent Love

— Dark Tea – Dark Tea

— Dawn Richard – Second Line: An Electro Revival

— Del Amitri – Fatal Mistakes

— Demons – Privation

— DJ Khaled – Khaled Khaled

— DOMKRAFT – Seeds

— Dream Prescription – Wavelength EP

— Dree Leer – Throw Hands

— Dropkick Murphys – Turn Up That Dial

— Dye Crap – Dye Crap

— Eades – Abstract Education EP

— Ed Maverick – eduardo

— Electromancy – Robot Black Metal

— Elsa Hewitt – Lupa

— Emma Stevens – Light Year

— Enumclaw – Jimbo Demos EP

— Ewig Frost – Ain’t No Saint

— EVVAN – Home EP

— Evile – Hell Unleashed

— Far Lands (feat. members of The Rosebuds and GANYGS) – There Be Monsters

— Fences – Wide Eyed Elk Ensemble EP

— FRESH – The Summer I Got Good at Guitar EP

— From The Abyss – Chaos Supremacy

— Fuel – Something Like Human (Vinyl Reissue)

— girl in red – if i could make it go quiet

— Glaare – Your Hellbound Heart

— Glades – Planetarium

— Glüme – The Internet

— Gojira – Fortitude

— GOREGÄNG – Long Live the Grime EP

— Graduation Speech – Private Anxieties

— Grave Flowers Bongo Band – Strength of Spring

— Growing – Diptych

— Guided By Voices – Earth Man Blues

— Guilty Garden – Met You Again

— Hadda Be – Another Life

— Hammerhedd – Grand Currents

— Indolore – After the Rain

— Inki – Quite The Situation

— Innov Gnawa – LILA

— ishi vu – La Luz

— Ivress – Vertige EP

— J. Period – Story to Tell

— The Jacksons – 2300 Jackson Street (Expanded Digital Edition)

— The Jacksons – Triumph (Expanded Digital Edition)

— The Jacksons – Victory (Expanded Digital Edition)

— Jesse Walton – Pages

— Joe Kaplow – Sending Money and Stems

— John Patitucci – Letter For Paul

— Jon Anderson (of Yes) – Animation (Expanded Edition)

— Joseph Shabason – The Fellowship

— Juan Wauters – Real Life Situations

— Julia Michaels – Not in Chronological Order

— Kenny Rogers – 21 Number Ones (Vinyl Reissue)

— Knomad Spock – Winter of Discontent

— Kohsuke Mine – First

— Kristian North – Passion Play

— KUČKA– Wrestling

— KULICK – Sitting in a Quiet Coffeehouse EP

— Laufey – Typical of Me EP

— Leon Vynehall – Rare, Forever

— Los Retros – Looking Back

— Lost At Sea – Motion Sickness

— Luwten – Draft

— Maeta – Habits EP

— Manchester Orchestra – The Million Masks of God

— Mammoth Storm – Rites of Ascension EP (Vinyl Reissue)

— Marianne Faithfull with Warren Ellis – She Walks In Beauty

— Matt Sweeney & Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – Superwolves (Digital Release)

— Metronomy – The English Riviera (10th Anniversary Edition)

— Moderate Rebels – If You See Something That Doesn’t Look Right

— MOODOÏD – Primadonna Vol. 1 EP

— MoshiMoshi – MoshiMoshi I EP

— Myd – Born a Loser

— Nathan Micay – Industry (Original Television Soundtrack)

— New Madrid – New Madrid

— Newspoke – Knocking on the Door of Daylight

— Ninkharsag – The Dread March of Solemn Gods

— Off The Cross – Enjoy It While It Lasts

— oogie – somehow it makes sense

— Order of the Wolf and Pessimista – Split

— Pain of Salvation – 12:5 (Vinyl Reissue)

— Pain of Salvation – BE (Vinyl Reissue)

— Paper Beat Scissors – La Mitad

— Paul Jacobs (of Pottery) – Pink Dogs on the Green Grass

— Pet Shop Boys – Discovery: Live in Rio 1994

— Pierce Freelon – Black to the Future

— Pink Floyd – Pink Floyd Live at Knebworth 1990 (Reissue)

— Red Mecca – Away

— Rochelle Jordan – Play With the Changes

— Róisín Murphy – Crooked Machine (Digital Release)

— Rosie Tucker – Sucker Supreme

— Royal Blood – Typhoons

–– Ruby Bones – Laser Tooth Tiger

— Rural Tapes – Rural Tapes

— Sarah Louise – Earth Bow

— SDI – Mistreated (Reissue)

— Shrimpnose & Joe Nora – Between Dunes EP

— The Shootouts – Bullseye

— Silent Verdict – Condemned

— Slice of Sorrow – Egothrone

— SNAIL – Fractal Altar

— Stalled – Blank Conduct EP

— Steve Von Till (of Neurosis) – A Deep Voiceless Wilderness

— Steve Von Till (of Neurosis) – Harvestman: 23 Untitled Poems

— Teenage Fanclub – Endless Arcade

— Telex – This Is Telex

— Temtris – Ritual Warfare

— TETRARCH – Unstable

— Thomas Rhett – Country Again: Side A

— Tigers of Youth – So Bright for So Long

— Tobias Meinhart – The Painter

— Tony Allen – There Is No End

— Tōth (Rubblebucket’s Alex Toth) – You and Me and Everything

— The Toxic Avenger – Shifted EP

— Trauma – Acrimony

— Tristan Welch – Temporary Preservation

— TYSON – Pisces Problems EP

— The Undertaking! – Funeral Psalm

— Unknowndivide – Existence

— Vacation Manor – Vacation Manor

— Vincent Herring – Preaching to the Choir

— Voïvod – The Outer Limits (Vinyl Reissue)

— Vreid – Wild North West

— Wake Island – Born To Leave

— Warish (feat. Riley Hawk) – Next To Pay

— Will Graefe – Marine Life

— WRD (Robert Walter, Eddie Roberts, and Adam Deitch) – The Hit

— Yellowtooth – The Burning Illusion

— Zane Carney Quartet – Alter Ego

— Zhu – Dreamland 2021

Categories: Album of the Week, Header, Music

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