Tuesday is the day that new CDs are usually released to stores and online services. Here are two spanking-new ones worth a listen...
KATE NASH – Girl Talk (10p Records)
Two weeks before launching a North American tour, British indie-pop singer Kate Nash releases her third album, a wild ride that addresses a busted romance and other challenges of being a modern girl with passion, playfulness and righteous anger.
Nash endeared herself to spunky female teens and twenty-somethings everywhere with her 2007 debut, “Made of Bricks.” While this one has the same take-no-guff-from-guys attitude, it’s bolder and has more musical bite, echoing the influence of Joan Jett, Hole and Bikini Kill, but sometimes leavened with some B-52’s-style humor, too (check out “Cherry Pickin’”).
Already a piano and guitar player, Nash took up the bass for recording with an all-girl band in Los Angeles, working with producer Tom Biller (Evan Dando, Karen O and the Kids, Fiona Apple). Whoever’s playing across these 15 tracks, the guitar makes its presence felt in a variety of flavors, from grunge to surf-rock. There’s a deadpan noir rocker, "Death Proof" with a killer hook ("I don't have time to die"), even a “Rap for Rejection," although Nicki Minaj has nothing to fear.
Able to shift from sweet to screaming, not afraid of using the f-word – "feminist" (or the other one either) – Kate Nash offers the soundtrack for your next BFF slumber party. “Girl Talk” is big fun but also a call to arms for sassy girls everywhere to stand up, speak out and rock the world into shape.
THE LAST BISON – Inheritance (Republic Records)
Pick up a banjo or a mandolin these days and just wait for the comparisons to Mumford & Sons to roll in. But The Last Bison, a seven-member ensemble from southeastern Virginia, has been at this too long to be considered mere bandwagon-jumpers.
Led by singer/songwriter Ben Hardesty, this true family band includes dad Dan (guitar, mandolin and banjo), sister Annah (keyboards) along with close friends Andrew and Jay Benfante (percussion), Teresa Totheroh (violin), and Amos Housworth (cello). When Mumford and company were still recording “Sigh No More,” The Last Bison was already playing as a tight musical community.
After releasing an EP by the same name last year, the group’s debut, “Inheritance,” arrives today. While it fits comfortably in the popular new folk-rock niche - two songs (“Woodcutter’s Son” and “24 Hours”) even rely on a Lumineers-style “hey” to propel their choruses – the group offers its own variations on the theme.
The sheer number of players, of course, gives The Last Bison an option for big-screen drama and intricate, somewhat classical-leaning instrumentation in a style they call “mountaintop chamber music.” Elegiac fiddle lines, a pump organ and bells add pleasing new accents, and the often unapologetically spiritual themes of the lyrics show a musical independence that sets The Last Bison apart in the newly crowded alt-folk scene.
Here are some other new releases, out today, that sound good:
JIMI HENDRIX -People, Hell & Angels
ROBYN HITCHCOCK -Love From London
NEW AMSTERDAMS - Outroduction
MADELEINE PEYROUX -Blue Room
JOSH RITTER - The Beast In Its Tracks
THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS-Nanobots
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