Every Friday, Consequence of Sound rounds up some of the week’s noteworthy new album releases. Today, July 31st, brings fresh music from Fontaines D.C., Trey Anastasio, Madeline Kenney, Land of Talk, Makaya McCraven, !!!, and Jordana.
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Fontaines D.C. – A Hero’s Death
Spanning 11 tracks, the collection was produced by Dogrel collaborator Dan Carey (black midi, Bat for Lashes) in his London studio. Whereas the Dublin group’s debut LP bristled with rambunctious and undeterred post-punk, A Hero’s Death is described as a more restrained affair, one that puts an emphasis on patient “spectral balladry.” To tap into this kind of energy during the songwriting process, Fontaines D.C. found inspiration in Leonard Cohen and The Beach Boys, as well as contemporaries like Beach House.
Revisit Fontaines D.C.’s appearance on Kyle Meredith With… from 2019.
Trey Anastasio – Lonely Trip
Phish, photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for Bonnaroo Arts And Music Festival
As promised just hours ago, Trey Anastasio has dropped off a new solo album called Lonely Trip. The entire collection was written and recorded by the Phish frontman while in quarantine in New York City, with additional assistance coming from longtime studio collaborator Bryce Goggin.
In a lengthy statement, the veteran rocker explained the recording process,
“Knowing I wasn’t going to be leaving my apartment for a while, I started working. It felt therapeutic to write,” he explained. “I wanted to connect with our community in some way. The unplanned nature of the recording meant I didn’t have a lot of gear during this process. I had an electric and an acoustic guitar, a small amp, two microphones, some percussion, and two keyboards, including an old Kurzweil with very realistic drum sounds on it. Everything was recorded through a Spire 8-track. Lonely Trip is truly a raw, low-fi recording.
As the weeks went by, I worked on improving my recording techniques,” Anastasio added. “I called recording engineers including Ben Collette and Vance Powell to get tips on microphone placement, and I purchased a bass guitar online. I also started tapping into a Dropbox folder with about 30 four-minute drum sequences that I had recorded with [Phish’s] Jon Fishman over the last year.”
Lonely Trip follows Sigma Oasis, Phish’s surprise album released in April.
Madeline Kenney – Sucker’s Lunch
Madeline Kenney, photo courtesy of the artist
For her first two full-lengths, Kenney enlisted the help of two special musicians; Toro y Moi produced 2017’s Night Night at the First Landing, while Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak handled production on the 2018 follow-up, Perfect Shapes. Kenney has once again more brought in outside talent for the new album, this time turning to all of Wye Oak — both Wasner and Andy Stack.
In terms of subject matter, Kenney thought carefully about love songs and the different forms that they can take. “My experience writing these songs wasn’t easy, it was painful and difficult. I was terrified of falling in love, and as much as I’d like to write a sticky sweet song for someone, it doesn’t come naturally to me,” she commented in a statement. “Instead I wanted to explore the tiny moments; sitting alone in my room guessing what the other person was thinking, spiraling into a maze of logical reasons to bail and finding my way out again.
Land of Talk – Indistinct Conversations
Land of Talk, photo by Joseph Yarmush
Montreal indie rocker Land of Talk have returned with a new full-length, Indistinct Conversations. Due out through Saddle Creek, the album serves as the fourth for the Elizabeth Powell-led project following 2017’s Life After Youth.
The new LP was written entirely by Powell, though she had help on the production and arrangement side of things from her fellow Land of Talk members drummer/keyboardist Mark “Bucky” Wheaton and bassist Christopher McCarron. All the material was recorded in a studio McCarron constructed in the basement of Wheaton’s apartment.
Makaya McCraven – Universal Beings E&F Sides
Makaya McCraven, photo by David Marques
E&F Sides promises 14 “new pieces of organic beat music” that were cut from the original sessions for Universal Beings proper. The full-length comes alongside a corresponding documentary series that chronicles the making of both records, following McCraven in the studio and on the road as he traveled to California, New York, and Britain.
!!! – Certified Heavy Kats EP
!!! (Chk Chk Chk), photo by Alvaro Guzman
According to a press statement, the goal of the project was to leap between many different styles of dance music. Across seven tracks, the band shows a love for UK garage, house, disco, funk, and more abstract iterations of club music. In addition to vocals from venerable frontman Nic Offer, the project also features singing from co-vocalist Meah Pace, plus guest contributions from Liars frontman Angus Andrew and Maria Uzor of UK dance duo Sink Ya Teeth.
“We try a lot of different things with the hopes of coming up with something fresh by getting it wrong,” said Offer. “How wrong did we get it this time?”
Jordana – Something to Say EP
According to Jordana, who just recently celebrated her 20th birthday, the fresh collection of songs is a natural progression from the work found on Classical Notions. “I saw that I was growing; my sound was growing,” she remarked in a statement. “As soon as we finished [album bonus track] ‘Crunch’ in the studio, we were like, ‘This was the best thing that we’ve ever made, ever, and I want to do more of it.’”