Friday Reviews | The 9 Best Albums Out March 6

Jonathan Wilson - Dixie Blur

Multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Wilson returns with Dixie Blur, a new studio album of lush folk-rock tracks that cement the artist as one of the most exciting songwriters in the scene today. Produced by Wilco’s Pat Sansone in Nashville, the record boasts a Southern sound, leaning on a vaguely country backing throughout. Delicate, gorgeous and warm, the music never distracts from Wilson’s exceptional songwriting but never sits still either. Perhaps Wilson’s most direct and realized effort to date, Dixie Blur is an absolute must-listen for almost any music fan. 

Cream - Goodbye Tour Live 1968

Pioneering rock trio Cream had a notoriously short, tumultuous run as a band, ending their esteemed live touring by the end of 1968. A new boxset release collects four complete concerts from the final tour - three from the US and one from the UK - as a massive testament to the band’s hard-hitting musical abilities. Any grittiness in the recording quality only adds to the nature of the band’s performances, which exist as a pillar of what a rock ’n roll power trio can accomplish. 

Green Leaf Rustlers - From Within Marin

Supergroup Green Leaf Rustlers released their debut album, recorded live during a California run in early 2019. The group, led by Chris Robinson, runs through a number of songs and jams, including covers of Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones and more. Featuring an outlaw country sound that incorporates a looser, improvised feel, the music leans on the musical capabilities of each member, all of whom have played important roles in the jam scene.

Garcia Peoples - 10-10-19 Nublu, NYC

Much-hyped jam band Garcia’s Peoples released their arguably-belated first live album today, revisiting a residency at New York City’s Nublu that took place in November. The set finds the band in top form, and includes the live debut of original “One Step Behind.” If still not tuned into this band’s music, 10-10-19 Nublu, NYC is an excellent start that leaves the level of their talent undeniable. 

Stephen Malkmus - Traditional Techniques

Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus has been especially prolific recently, releasing Sparkle Hard with his band The Jicks in 2018, a foray into electronic music with Groove Denied in 2019, and dropped Traditional Techniques today. Only his third LP without The Jicks, the new album finds Malkmus continuing to reinvent his musical identity, exploring acoustic songwriting and folk-rock, leaving behind the electric indie sound of the majority of his past work. Recorded by the Decemberists’ Chris Funk, the album almost acts as a counterpart to last year’s Groove Denied, but is still anchored by Malkmus’s distinctive vocals and songwriting.

Swamp Dogg - Sorry You Couldn’t Make It

Songwriter Jerry Williams Jr., better known by his stage name Swamp Dogg, is notorious amongst the soul underground, releasing a single hit album in 1970 and continuing to release more than 20 albums since, yet rarely reaching the public eye. His cult-like fanbase knows him for never repeating the same sound album to album, which remains true with Sorry You Couldn’t Make It. The album is based on Williams’ early love of country music growing up, but remains rooted in psychedelic soul.

U.S. Girls - Heavy Light
Toronto-based music project of songwriter Meghan Remy U.S. Girls has existed for over a decade, but the artist truly found her sound with 2018’s In A Poem Unlimited. The follow-up, Heavy Light, continues to lean on a sound from the late 70s and early 80s New Wave scene, almost reminiscent of early Blondie, cemented by skillful songwriting with a clear feminist view. It’s an undeniably great record that plays as a whole statement, and one you won’t want to miss.

William Tyler - Music From First Cow (Soundtrack)

Guitarist William Tyler debuts his first soundtrack for First Cow, a film directed by Kelly Reichardt. Recorded solely on guitar and dulcimer, the soundtrack is a sparse collection with an inevitably cinematic feel. The film follows an early nineteenth century fur trapper in the Northwest, and has received accolades for its detail and storytelling. 

Phantogram - Ceremony

Electronic indie duo Phantogram are back with their first album of new material in four years. Ceremony is amongst the band’s catchiest music to date, rooted in upbeat grooves, melodic hooks and an overall sense of fun. If anything, the record finds the band moving further into EDM and pop territory, which suits them well. An infectious set of songs with a seemingly endless amount of energy, Ceremony feels like the record that Phantogram have been working toward for the last decade. 

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