Sometime in the night over this past week, the seasons changed in the blink of an eye. Autumn has arrived in the mountains, bringing with it a change in the leaves and a fresh craving for folk music. And while I did find myself attracted to folk releases this week, I still have quite a few rock albums that need judgement passed upon them. So in another Roundup of all new releases, I give to you a mix of some highly anticipated albums, and a few interesting surprises. Hopefully there is something on here that will peak your interest. Enjoy.
The Rural Alberta Advantage - Mended With Gold: Due out at the end of the month, this is the third album from the Toronto based indie rock band. Their previous two records were ones I quite enjoyed, making this a band to watch over the last five years. Three years have passed between this and their last album, but not much seems to have changed in terms of their musical sense. An indie rock album with heavy Neil Young undertones and a rustic vibe that fits in extremely well with the rest of their catalog. This is a great Fall record which should get a lot of play in the coming season. "On the Rocks," "Runners in the Night," "Not Love or Death," Terrified" and "To Be Scared" are among my favorite tracks.
Tina Dico - Whispers: Released a few weeks back, this is the Danish singer songwriter's ninth album, and possibly her best yet. This is a more scaled back, spiritual folk album than her previous work. Though I appreciate the pop folk sensibility on her wonderful 2010 album, "Welcome Back Colour," there is something special about the raw power of this record. From start to finish, this is one of the most beautiful records I've heard this year. As always, her voice shines through, all the while accompanied with a perfect sense of minimal instrumentation that creates the sweet sadness that permeates through the album. "I Want You," "You Don't Step Into Love," and "The Woman Downstairs" are standout tracks.
King Tuff - Black Moon Spell: The Vermont garage rock artist is set to release his fourth album later this month. This is an artist I've been wanting to check out for quite some time, so I figured this was as good a place as any to dive in. This is guitar driven rock that could easily draw comparisons to Ty Segall but with a psychedelic darkness to it. There's also something sort of '90s and playful about it that feels fun, and strangely refreshing. It feels to me like the kind of album Bevis Frond might make after spending a summer at the Jersey shore. "Rainbow's Run," "Magic Mirror," "Eyes of the Muse," and the title track are my personal favorites.
The Vines - Wicked Nature: It's been three years since the Australian rock band's last record, which could be why they decided to make this month's release a double album. This album goes back to their roots, opting for a more direct garage rock feel on the almost universally short tracks. I've always enjoyed Craig Nicholl's vocals, a sort of post-grunge voice. It's no wonder the band started as a Nirvana cover band, the influence is still clear, but unlike other bands, they are inspired by Kurt's sound rather than attempting to ape it. Super catchy guitar hooks, rumbling drums, and Craig's howl make this album perhaps their most complete release. "Ladybug," "Green Utopia," "Rave It," and "Everything Else" are among the many great songs on this album, one that will most likely go down as the band's landmark release.
Ryan Adams - Ryan Adams: After an excessive output over the past decade, the former Whiskeytown songwriter, and alt country pioneer, recently took some time off. The result of his time off is this self-titled rebirth album which came out this past week. Easily his best effort in over ten years, this record sees him channeling '80s Don Henley and Bruce Springsteen in order to filter them through an indie lens. Though there are a few misses here, the highlights more then make up for it. And as it turns out, the EP I reviewed a few weeks ago hinted at nothing that appears on this album. "I Just Might," "Stay With Me," "Trouble" and "Gimme Something Good" are the best songs in my opinion.
Joy - Under the Spell of Joy: In August, this little known heavy psych band from San Diego released their third album in three years. Taking a '60s jam approach to the genre, the album wanders furiously from one groove into the next with blazing energy that is more Captain Beyond than Cream. There's no denying the spirit they play with, it's almost never ceasing as they plow through the songs. The only problem I have, one which I have with most jam-oriented bands, is the repetitive feel that sinks over the course of an album. Interestingly enough though, the second side of this album is far superior than the first, and by the end, I was very much enjoying it. "Evil," "Driving Me Insane," "Back to the Sun," and "Death Hymn Blues" are my personal favorites.