Best of What’s New

A selection of newly released music that caught my attention

Man, it’s been a hot week in my neck of the woods, with daytime highs close to 100 °F. Of course, I realize it’s pretty much been the same across the U.S. and much of Europe. So what’s happening on the new music front this week? I’m happy to report I found plenty that sufficiently grabbed my attention. All of my picks are on albums that appeared yesterday (July 22).

Ty Segall/Looking at You

Kicking things off is versatile American multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and record producer Ty Segall. From his AllMusic bio: One of the leaders of the new psych-influenced garage rock scene that erupted in California in the late 2000s, Ty Segall has produced a catalog as prolific as it is diverse. Working as a solo act and in a number of side projects, he has released literally dozens of albums since he left the Epsilons [California garage rock revivalist band where he served as lead vocalist and gained initial acclaim – CMM] and cut his first project on his own in 2008. Depending on the album, Segall can sound raw (2016’s Emotional Mugger) or refined (2013’s Sleeper), and he’s capable of focused one-man-band efforts (2009’s Lemons) as well as sprawling and eclectic releases with a range of collaborators (2018’s Freedom’s Goblin). He proves just as compelling when stripping back the noise and adding synths, as on 2021’s Harmonizer, or composing film music (2022’s Whirlybird). This brings me to Looking at You, a tune from Segall’s latest, 14th studio album Hello, Hi. I like what I’m hearing here!

John Moreland/Ugly Faces

John Moreland is a Tusla, Okla.-based Americana-oriented singer-songwriter. Originally hailing from Longview, Texas, Moreland started playing guitar as a child with the help of his father and already had his first gig when he was 13 or 14. While still in high school, he played in local punk and hardcore bands. His recording debut, Endless Oklahoma Sky, occurred in 2008 with the Black Gold Band, a group he had formed in 2005. Moreland has since released eight additional studio albums, a mix of solo and group efforts. Ugly Faces is the opener of his new solo album Birds in the Ceiling. While I’m not a fan of drum machines and other electronic percussions that Moreland uses in some of the tunes I’ve heard, I still find his music pretty compelling.

Beach Bunny/Gone

I first featured Chicago indie pop rock group Beach Bunny in a January 2021 Best of What’s New installment. Founded in 2015, Beach Bunny started as a solo project by vocalist and guitarist Lili Trifilio who released her debut EP  Animalism in 2015. Following the third EP Crybaby in 2017, Beach Bunny became a full-fledged four-piece group. In addition to Trifilio (vocals, guitar), their current lineup features Matt Henkels (guitar), Anthony Vaccaro (bass) and Jon Alvarado (drums). Beach Bunny’s first full-length studio album Honeymoon appeared in February 2020. Now they are back with their sophomore release Emotional Creature. Here’s Gone, which like most other tunes on the album is credited to all members of the group. The bouncy catchy music stands in contrast to the lyrics.

Jack White/A Tip From You to Me

Jack White is best known as the former lead vocalist and guitarist of The White Stripes, the rock duo he formed in 1997 with his then-wife Meg White (drums, vocals). In 2005, he also became a co-founder of rock group The Raconteurs. In addition, four years later, White co-founded The Dead Weather, a rock supergroup. The White Stripes came to an end in February 2011 after six albums. The Raconteurs went on hiatus in 2014 and became active again in 2018. White remains a member. The Dead Weather have been, well, I guess you could say dead since the release of their third album Dodge and Burn in September 2015. In addition to his band activity, White also found the time to launch a solo career. Since his debut Blunderbuss (April 2012), White has released four additional albums including his latest, Entering Heaven Alive. The more acoustic album comes only three months after his previous release, the rock-oriented Fear of the Dawn. Evidently, White is not only quite prolific but also pretty versatile. While I’m still entirely new to his solo work, I sure as heck know I like what I’ve heard thus far from his latest endeavor!

Dawes/Ghost in the Machine

Dawes are a folk rock band from Los Angeles. They emerged from Simon Dawes in 2009 after that rock group’s co-songwriter Blake Mills had left. His departure did not only result in a new name but also in a change of music style from post-punk to folk rock. The group consists of brothers Taylor Goldsmith (guitars, vocals) and Griffin Goldsmith (drums), as well as Wylie Gelber (bass) and Lee Pardini (keyboards). AllMusic characterizes their music as “influenced by the gentle acoustic style and rich vocal harmonies of the Laurel Canyon sound (Crosby, Stills & Nash, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell) as well as the shambling, romanticized Americana of the Band.” To date, Dawes have released eight studio albums, including their latest project Misadventure of Doomscroller. Based on what I’ve heard thus far, it sounds very promising. Here’s a great sample, Ghost in the Machine, penned by Taylor Goldsmith.

Jenny Mitchell/If You Were a Bird

Let’s wrap up this Best of What’s New installment with Jenny Mitchell, a singer-songwriter from New Zealand. From her website: Multi award winning, alt-country Aotearoa artist, Jenny Mitchell is a storyteller with songs wrapped in wisdom and wit. Her music defies easy categorisation but if you admire music by genre-defying artists from Emmylou Harris to Kasey Chambers and Jason Isbell, you are going to love Jenny Mitchell...Her 2018 record Wildfires, produced by Sydney’s Matt Fell, was awarded the 2019 Tui for Recorded Music NZ Best Country Music Artist and became the first NZ album to receive a nomination for Alt-Country Album of the Year at the 2020 Australian Golden Guitar Awards. This brings me to Tug of War, Mitchell’s third and latest album and the pretty If You Were a Bird.

This post wouldn’t be complete without a Spotify playlist of all the above and a few additional tunes.

Sources: Wikipedia; AllMusic; Jenny Mitchell website; YouTube; Spotify

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7 thoughts on “Best of What’s New”

  1. Running between 104 -111F here almost the entire month. But that’s only a bit unusual for Texas… for it to be so hot there, and in Europe, that’s crazy!
    Some interesting picks. I don’t know a whole lot of Jack White’s solo stuff but he seems pretty good (I liked the White stripes and Raconteurs) and is a rival to Dave Grohl for ‘busiest man in rock’, I think.

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    1. The weather is nuts!

      While I deliberately try to be a bit more open-minded when it comes to new music, I can’t deny that I’m still looking at it through a specific lens, which includes my general love of ’60s and ’70s. This means that for some weeks it can be tricky to find new stuff that sufficiently speaks to me. This week was different, which is why I featured six instead of the usual four tunes.

      Essentially, I don’t know Jack White either as a solo artist. I’ve only heard some of his White Stripes music, which I generally like.

      Are you aware of Dawes? Based on what I’ve heard from their new album, they look pretty promising to me!

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  2. Christian… the Ty Segall song got my attention right away…I liked it a lot. The acoustic especially….really good cut.
    Jack White…of course I like that
    I also liked Jenny Mitchell…her voice is really good

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  3. The amount of new music being released each week is staggering! I like all the songs you shared, but I think my favorite is the one by Dawes. Though I’m not familiar with a lot of their music, I really like what I’ve heard. I loved their 2018 song “Living in the Future” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQceCvamDDw. They’re a very prolific band, and have put out a tremendous amount of music over the past 13 years or so.

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  4. It’s a strong week this week.

    I get Steely Dan vibes off of that Dawes track.

    I covered John Moreland’s last album and liked it.

    I’ve been interested in Beach Bunny for a while, but haven’t really got to them yet, but sounds like something I’d enjoy I think.

    I have never heard of Jenny Mitchell, even though we’re from the same country! I like her voice, but not sold on that song.

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  5. I liked everything but especially the Taylor Goldsmith tune. He was part of an album I bought (and wrote about) a few years back. A bunch of musicians (including Elvis Costello) went to a house and came up with music to a bunch of Dylan lyrics. It was als a documentary with a weird vibe between those who found it easy to come up with new music and those who couldn’t.

    And for my money, Jack White can do not much wrong. He’s a great blues lover and has his own spin on it. And of course, good rock and pop. He’s one of the guys whose albums I would buy and who I would follow if I still did thar stuff.

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