Happy Saturday, and welcome to what to me feels like one of the busiest weeks in new music so far this year. All featured tunes in this post appear on albums or EPs released yesterday (June 2).
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats/Buy My Round
Kicking off this week’s picks is Denver, Colo.-based Americana-influenced singer-songwriter Nathaniel Rateliff who is best known as the frontman of Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, a band he formed in 2013. To date, they have released three full-length studio albums and two EPs including the latest, What If I. Rateliff has also issued three solo albums. Off the new EP, here’s Buy My Round, co-written by Rateliff and Mark Shusterman, a keyboarder and vocalist who is a touring musician with Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats.
Lanterns On The Lake/Real Life
English indie rock band Lanterns On The Lake have been around since 2007. Their AllMusic bio notes the group’s music draws on Neil Young folk influences and post-rock instrumental sounds of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Low. Apart from their debut Gracious Tide, Take Me Home (September 2011), they have come out with four additional studio albums, including their latest, Versions of Us. Their current line-up features original members Hazel Wilde (vocals, guitar, piano, lyricist) and Paul Gregory (guitar) who also is the band’s producer, along with Bob Allan (bass) and Angela Chan (violin, cello, viola). Here’s Real Life credited to Wilde (lyrics) and Lanterns On The Lake (music).
Craig Stickland/Firing Line
Craig Stickland is a Canadian pop singer-songwriter who grew up in Toronto. His full-length debut studio album Starlight Afternoon, which came out in February 2020, impressively was nominated for the 2021 Juno Award for Adult Contemporary Album of the Year. From his new release, an EP titled Lost in the Rewind, here’s Firing Line. Stickland wrote this tune 15 years ago.
The Aces/I’ve Loved You For So Long
The Aces are an alternative pop band from Provo, Utah. Their origins date back to when sisters Cristal Ramirez (lead vocals, guitar) and Alisa Ramirez (drums, vocals) were eight years old. After adding McKenna Petty (bass, vocals) and Katie Henderson (guitar, vocals) in 2008, they formed The Blue Aces and released two EPs before becoming The Aces. Their first full-length album When My Heart Felt Volcanic (April 2018) followed after they had signed with Red Bull Records. Here’s the title cut from their third and latest studio album I’ve Loved You For So Long. The tune is credited to all four members of the band, as well as songwriter and producer Keith Varon.
Cowboy Junkies/Shadows 2
Canadian alternative rock and Americana quartet Cowboy Junkies were formed in Toronto in 1985. They are best known for their 1988 sophomore release The Trinity Session, which remains their best-selling album in Canada and the U.S. and their highest charting in the U.S. Except for co-founding member John Timmins who left the group before they recorded their 1986 debut album Whites Off Earth Now!!, Cowboy Junkies remain in their original formation to this day: Alan Anton (bassist), as well as siblings Michael Timmins (guitar), Peter Timmins (drums) and Margo Timmins (vocals). From their latest album Such Ferocious Beauty, here’s Shadows 2, penned by Michael Timmins.
Foo Fighters/The Teacher
Wrapping up this weekly music revue are Foo Fighters who are now out with their previously announced album, But Here We Are, their first since the untimely death of drummer Taylor Hawkins in Bogotá, Columbia in March 2022 at the age of 50 during the band’s tour in South America. A brutally honest and emotionally raw response to everything Foo Fighters endured over the last year, But Here We Are is a testament to the healing powers of music, friendship and family, the band said at the time, adding the 10 tracks run the emotional gamut from rage and sorrow to serenity and acceptance, and myriad points in between. Here’s The Teacher, a dark-sounding 10-minute track credited to the entire band.
Following is a Spotify playlist of the above and a few additional tunes.
Sources: Wikipedia; AllMusic; Foo Fighters website; YouTube; Spotify