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New releases – 5 albums out this week

June 26, 2018
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It’s a big week in music. Here’s a roundup of five new albums coming your way from a diverse and varied collection of artists.

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Bullet For My Valentine“Gravity” (Search and Destroy/Spinefarm)

The Welsh metal band mark their 20th anniversary by adding new electronic textures to the layered guitars. Guitarist and vocalist Matt Tuck tells France’s Loud TV: “We tried to elevate the band’s sound to a completely different level.” On the introduction of electronics to the new songs: “I think we’ve used it in a way that won’t freak people out too much. It’s definitely there, and It was something that we were very careful that we didn’t overcook.” This is Bullet’s full-length debut with new drummer Jason Bowld.

Drake“Scorpion” (OVO Sound, Young Money, Cash Money, Republic)

Days before its alleged release, specifics on the Canadian rapper’s fifth album remain a closely guarded secret. Billboards for the record that have popped up in Toronto and NYC’s Times Square point to a feud with Kanye West while also indicating the work will have an A-side and B-side. That could refer to a double record or a single disc that splits his rap and R&B tunes between two sides. Then again, the album may not appear this week at all. Some reports hint that the star is still finalizing a track listing. In an era where we can usually find out all there is to know about a release months in advance, it’s kind of cool to see that a major act can still keep fans guessing.

Ray Davies “Our Country: Americana Act II” (Sony Legacy)

Last year, the former Kinks leader issued his first volume of songs dedicated to exploring the impact of America’s heritage and folklore (“Americana”) to raves from critics and fans alike. The follow-up, according to Davies, chronicles his journey across the country that first inspired him and shares similar themes with its predecessor and with the author’s 2013 book of the same title. Though The Kinks were banned from performing here in the 1960s and Davies himself survived a shooting in New Orleans in 2004, his love affair with America’s past and present has been a favorite topic since a cross-country tour in the wake of 9/11.

John Coltrane“Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album” (Impulse! Records)

Previously unheard music from a colossus like Coltrane is big news in any year. This music was recorded by the classic Coltrane quartet in a single afternoon in March 1963 and includes two never-before-heard compositions. Captured at the entry point of his free-jazz phase, we hear Coltrane with one foot in the past and the other pointing to the revolutionary sound experiments he would unleash over the next four years. The master tape was thought to have been lost or destroyed, but studio owner Rudy Van Gelder gave Coltrane a safety copy that went undiscovered until 2004. A single-disc version contains seven tracks while the deluxe edition adds seven outtakes.

Florence and the Machine“High as Hope” (Virgin EMI/Republic)

Currently at #1 on Billboard’s Adult Alternative chart with its first single “Hunger,” “High as Hope” is Florence and the Machine’s fourth studio record and the first since leader Florence Welch became sober. Welch told the New York Times that she spent six months recording demos for each song on the album, on which she takes her first co-producer credit. The new songs reference loneliness and isolation (“Big God”), a teenage eating disorder (“Hunger”) and one of her heroes (Patti Smith) on “Patricia.” Welch and her band will tour the U.S. and Canada from August to October.

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