August kicks off strong with some intriguing jams in its first week. Info and links for the ones you want to know about most below, plus some other ones you may not have heard of (but should know), with audio & video for your listening and viewing pleasure. Click here to check out releases that dropped over the past few months.
Paul Allen and the Underthinkers, Everywhere At Once (Sony Legacy)
Yes, it's that Paul Allen. The 60-year-old philanthropist, Microsoft co-founder, business magnate, investor and overall multi-billionaire plays music, guitar specifically. (In his 2011 memoir, “Idea Man, he wrote, "I’ve rarely gone a week without picking up a guitar ... It’s more than a hobby; it gives me balance and keeps me in the moment, which can be a challenge with all the projects I’m pursuing at any one time… I take music with me wherever I go." His 13-song debut of bluesy guitar rock includes contributions from guests Ann and Nancy Wilson, Chrissie Hynde, Doyle Bramhall II, Joe Walsh, Derek Trucks, David Hidalgo (Los Lobos) and Ivan Neville among others, though Allen wrote or co-wrote every track and plays axe on most. All proceeds from sales of the album support educational programs at the nonprofit pop culture-driven EMP Museum.
Asking Alexandria, From Death To Destiny (Sumerian)
Barbarossa, Bloodlines (Memphis Industries)
Jake Bellows, New Ocean (Saddle Creek)
Bloc Party, The Nextwave Sessions EP (Frenchkiss/Co-op)
Blondes, Swisher (RVNG)
...the physical release...
The Civil Wars, The Civil Wars (Sensibility Music/Columbia)
After a jet-powered launch to stardom following a few Grammy wins for their 2011 debut full-length Barton Hollow, then another for their 2012 collab with Taylor Swift, "Safe & Sound," from The Hunger Games soundtrack, the roots-folk duo (Joy Williams and John Paul White) started recording a second LP, and finished it before going on hiatus indefinitely, citing "internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition." They apparently aren't even speaking at this point, awkward considering today's release date. According to the LA Times review, the turmoil shows...
Eric Copeland, Joke In The Hole (DFA)
Chick Corea, The Vigil (Concord Jazz)
A new outing from the Clearwater-based Grammy-winning jazz fusion artist, with guest appearances by Stanley Clarke and Ravi Coltrane.
The Delta Mirror, Better Unsung (Lightwave)
Produced by Alias (Anticon), and featuring a few guest spots by Blue Sky Black Death, the second album from Chris Acosta-helmed project. Listen to "Undeveloped Unreturn" after the jump along with finding out about the rest of this week's new releases...