Friday Album Reviews | Eight New Records You Need To Know

As every Friday brings new music, Tomorrow's Verse brings you our top picks. Here are our favorite new records from September 22. 

By: Alex Wood

Josh Ritter – Gathering [9/22]

After releasing the outstanding Sermon On The Rocks in 2015 and helping Bob Weir record Blue Mountain in 2016, all eyes are on folk-rock songwriter Josh Ritter for this next record. Fortunately for fans, Ritter doesn’t disappoint, despite continuing to chase an evolving sound. Gathering features a more soulful sound than his past work, moving ever further from his earlier acoustic days. Utilizing horns, organs and auxiliary percussion throughout, Ritter creates a dense soundscape that remains throughout the record, with comparisons to Paul Simon remaining. It’s mature, well-executed music, with Ritter remaining one of the best songwriters of our time.

Hiss Golden Messenger – Hallelujah Anyhow [9/22]

Hiss Golden Messenger may be one of the most underrated bands in today’s music scene, a bold statement only solidified by the band’s newest album, Hallelujah Anyhow. Blending folk-rock and Americana songwriting with more subtle soul grooves and occasional jazz influences, the songs simply seem to fall into place, and were, in fact, recorded in a matter of days to capture this organic energy. It’s a joyful affair, as a whole, that should have any folk fans excited.

Van Morrison – Roll With The Punches [9/22]

Even 37 studio albums in, Van Morrison has still got it. His voice has all of the nuance and melody that listeners have come to expect, with the music deeply rooted in the blues tradition. It’s soulful, moving music, with fantastic technical ability and songwriting. It’s Morrison doing what he does best, and showing no signs of letting up.

Leon Russell – On A Distant Shore [9/22]

10 months after Leon Russell’s passing, the songwriter’s final studio album is released to the world, and may go down as one of the artist’s most powerful records to date. Filled to the brim with gorgeous, lush arrangements and vast instrumentations, the lyrics remain the focus and highlight here, with Russell seeming to acknowledge his impending death throughout. Yet, in a way, he sounds more alive than he has in years, seeming to deliver even the most solemn lyrics with a smile. It’s a gorgeous record, and a must-hear for music fans.

Linda Perhacs – I’m A Harmony [9/22]

At this point, Linda Perhacs is a pure, musical legend. The psychedelic folk singer released Parallelograms in 1970, which came to influence generations of songwriters after. Perhacs, unfortunately, disappeared after the record failed to find immediate popularity, returning to her job as a dental hygienist. Yet she returned in 2014 for the excellent The Soul Of All Natural Things, and is back again in 2017 with I’m A Harmony. The new record features production from Wilco’s Pat Sansone, and guests include four members of Wilco, Devendra Banhart and Julia Holter. The music is arranged beautifully, recalling her debut record but with a larger, more conscious production. Don’t let this excellent record slip under your radar!

METZ – Strange Peace [9/22]

Toronto noise-rock group METZ have practically perfected their brand of brash punk and garage rock, developing a dedicated following over the last half-decade. The band’s newest record, Strange Peace, was recorded live to tape in Chicago with famed producer Steve Albini, which, as you could imagine, helps take their music to the next level. While some songs are the straightforward blasts of punk energy fans expect, others stretch into less predictable territories, where the band explores alternative and post-punk territories. It’s loud, gritty, bombastic rock ‘n roll, and nobody will deny that this one rocks.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Luciferian Towers [9/22]

Canadian post-rock collective Godspeed You! Black Emperor return with their third album since reuniting in 2011, and it may stand amongst the band’s most heavy and dark to date. Massive instrumentals seem to stretch on endlessly, shifting tones throughout epic suites. From ambient sections to crashing, metal influenced noise jams to carefully considered progressive compositions, Luciferian Towers has it all, delivered in decidedly epic manner.

Matt Cameron – Cavedweller [9/22]

Pearl Jam and Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron is breaking out with a solo debut, a nine-song record that sticks to what the musician does best. Using two members of David Bowie’s Blackstar band for a rhythm section, the album walks the line between psychedelic and alternative rock, packed with grungy riffs and dark undertones. Cavedweller shows the musical maturity that Cameron has naturally gained throughout his career, and will appease fans of both of his primary bands.

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