It’s Saturday, and I’d like to welcome everybody to another installment of my weekly new music revue. According to my count, this is the 150th Best of What’s New post. All four highlighted tunes are on albums that were released yesterday (March 10).
The Nude Party/Word Gets Around
Kicking things off is a great tune from the third and latest studio album Rides On by The Nude Party. I first featured this North Carolina group in January 2022 when covering their eponymous debut from July 2018. As I wrote at the time: The Nude Party were formed in 2012 when freshman students at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. decided to start a band. Their members are Patton Magee (lead vocals, guitar, harmonica), Shaun Couture (guitar, vocals), Don Merrill (piano, vocals), Alexander Castillo (bass, vocals), Austin Brose (percussion, vocals) and Connor Mikita (drums). At the end of their freshman year, they all moved together to a house outside of town and learned how to play their instruments. It still almost sounds a bit like a fairytale! What’s very real is Word Gets Around, a cool-sounding rocker with a ’60s vibe, credited to the entire band!
The War and Treaty/Lover’s Game
And we’re on to The War and Treaty, a hot-sounding husband and wife duo of Michael Trotter, Jr. and Tanya Blount – and I’m happy to say another act I featured before, in October 2020. Borrowing from that post: Apple Music describes their style as impassioned soul music that draws on traditional folk, country, R&B, and spirituals, often combining them all. Initially known as Trotter & Blount, they released their debut album Love Affair under that name in 2016. This was followed by the EP Down to the River in July 2017, their first music appearing as The War and Treaty. Healing Tide, the first full-fledged studio album under the current moniker, came out in August 2018. The record, which featured a guest appearance of Emmylou Harris, was well received and reached no. 11 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers Albums and no. 26 on the Independent Albums charts. Blount first became prominent in 1993, when she performed a duet with Lauryn Hill in the comedy picture Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit. The following year, she released her solo debut album Natural Thing. This brings me to Lover’s Game, the smoking title track and opener of The War and Treaty’s third and new album. It’s credited to the duo and producer Dave Cobb who has also worked with the likes of Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlile, John Prine, Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell, The Highwomen and Rival Sons.
Meet Me @ The Altar/Same Language
Meet Me @ The Altar is a pop punk trio who has been around since 2015. Initially, Téa Campbell (guitar, bass) and Ada Juarez (drums) met on YouTube and developed a bond that led to their decision to form a band. Following an online audition, Edith Victoria (vocals) joined them in 2017. Three years later after they had publically been endorsed by pop punk veterans Alex Gaskarth and Dan Campbell, of the bands All Time Low and The Wonder Years, respectively, Meet Me @ The Altar went viral and were signed by label Fueled by Ramen in October of the same year. Their debut EP Model Citizen appeared in August 2021. Now Meet Me @ The Altar are out with their first full-length album Past // Present // Future. Here’s Same Language, a catchy tune.
The Luka State/Bring Us Down
Wrapping up this week’s Best of What’s New are English indie rock group The Luka State. From their AllMusic bio: A British indie rock band with a solid guitar attack and urgent melodies that are both catchy and powerful, the Luka State burst out of the mining town of Winsford, Cheshire in 2013, scoring an early success with the song “30 Minute Break.” A change in drummers coincided with a shift in the Luka State’s creative approach, as synthesizer lines began winding their way into their guitar-based arrangements on their 2015 EP The Price of Education. A steady stream of tracks followed before the band scored another success with 2018 single “Feel It.” Fast forward to March 10, 2023, and the band’s sophomore album More Than This. Here’s the opener Bring Us Down, credited to all four members of the band: Conrad Ellis (lead vocals), Lewis Pusey (guitar), Sam Bell (bass, vocals) and Jake Barnabas (drums).
This post wouldn’t be complete without a Spotify playlist of the above tracks, as well as a few additional tunes by each of the featured artists.
Sources: Wikipedia; Apple Music; AllMusic; The Luka State website; YouTube; Spotify