Open Door Policy is The Hold Steady's 8th full length studio album and the follow up to 2019's Thrashing Thru The Passion. Produced by Josh Kaufman (The National, Hiss Golden Messenger, Josh Ritter), this new release once again finds the 6-piece line up in peak form in what Craig Finn describes as "the best band we've ever been".
Despite the fact that it emerges in an era of struggle and strife, The Dog Star a remarkably uplifting effort sharing a decidedly modern sound, one rooted in a freewheeling pop approach. From the effusive opener, ďSleeve,Ē and the upbeat entry that follows, the half-spoken ďDonít Get in the Bed Dirty,Ē to the albumís riveting conclusion, ďMy Power,Ē the songs soar on the strength of their effusive arrangements and sparkling, shimmering melodies.
The American Negro is an unapologetic critique, detailing the systemic and malevolent psychology that afflicts people of color. This project dissects the chemistry behind blind racism, using music as the medium to restore dignity and self-worth to my people. Itís an insightful, provocative and inspiring experience and should land at the center of our ongoing reckoning with race, racism and the writing of the next chapter of American history.
Honoring the enduring inspiration of Frank Sinatra, Thatís Life is Willie Nelsonís second album of classics made famous by The Chairman Of The Board. Nelson (who has penned a few standards himself) inhabits 11 more of the most treasured songs in the Great American Songbook including the title track, "Luck Be A Lady,Ē "Nice Work If You Can Get It," "I've Got You Under My Skin," and "I Won't Dance" (a duet featuring Diana Krall).
Norwegian duo Smerz release Believer, their much anticipated debut album that pushes the band far beyond their previous EP releases, 2017ís Okey and 2018ís Have Fun. The duo meld sonic touchstones from their youth, like musicals and classical music, with swirling, trance-indebted synth lines and hip-hop plus R&B vocals that is distinctly Smerz.
Little Oblivions, her third, weaves together unflinching autobiography with assimilated experience and hard-won observations from the past few years, taking Bakerís capacity for storytelling to new heights. It also marks a sonic shift, with the songwriterís intimate piano and guitar arrangements newly enriched by bass, drums, keyboards, banjo, and mandolin with nearly all of the instruments performed by Baker.
This collection features 21 brand new studio recordings captured up-state in the house where the band lived and recorded for 4 years. From acoustic versions to unique arrangements featuring piano, pedal steel and organ, Amperland, NY touches on notes of folk and progressive rock previously unheard on their studio albums. This will be an essential addition to the Pinegrove catalog and encompasses all of the earnest and ecstatic live energy the band is known for.
The full-length debut from Bones Owens is both gloriously gritty and undeniably euphoric -- a bold departure from the moody Americana of his previous EPs. The Missouri-bred musician delivers a powerful sound deeply inspired by í60s garage-rock, Hill Country blues, and the swampy roots-rock of bands like Creedence Clearwater Revival. A potent showcase for his formidable guitar work, Owens arrives as a full-tilt expression of his wildest impulses, all swinging rhythms, and swaggering riffs.
If youíve followed Lucyís journey from her days as a cheeky Brit singing about tea and toast on X-Factor, her ever-rising popularity should come as no surprise. However, while her career has gone from strength to strength, her personal life has not always been as rosy, and her sixth album reflects back on a troubled twelve months. From sobriety, heartbreak, mental health, to just being yourself, Choices lays it all out in this raw and deeply honest collection.