5 Great Albums, Music, TotalNtertainment, New Releases, 4 Great Albums

4 Great Albums Out Today on NMF

4 Great albums that have been released today include one great Christmas album

4 Great albums that have been released today.

1. Tori Amos – ‘Ocean to Ocean’

Tori Amos was never going to enjoy a lockdown. She’s been playing live since she was thirteen years old. She splits her life between Cornwall, Florida, and the road.  Her songs are written with the act of traveling and observing. Her last studio record, 2017’s Native Invader, pulled together four impossibly disparate strands – a Tennessee road trip, stories inspired by her ancestors, the ascension of Donald Trump and the slow loss of her mother to a stroke – with an energy and cohesion that made your skin bristle. But without live music, travel, and much at all to observe, Amos had a difficult pandemic; holed up in Cornwall, she hit a place of personal crisis familiar to anyone who suffered during the third UK lockdown – the one in winter, that seemed to go on forever…

Against all odds, that crisis resulted in Ocean to Ocean, Amos’ most personal work in years – an album bursting with warmth and connection, with deep roots in her earliest song writing. She descended to an emotional state lower than she had been to for a long time – but the depths became creative, forcing a return to the kind of introspection she recognised from her debut album Little Earthquakes.

“This is a record about your losses, and how you cope with them,” she says. “Thankfully when you’ve lived long enough, you can recognise you’re not feeling like the mom you want to be, the wife you want to be, the artist you want to be. I realised that to shift this, you have to write from the place where you are. I was in my own private hell, so I told myself, then that’s where you write from – you’ve done it before…”

Out Now on Decca Records order Ocean to Ocean HERE

2. Model Man – ‘Model Man’

UK electronic talent Mark Brandon, better known as Model Man, has shared his hotly-anticipated eponymous debut album, out today via Mahogany Records.

Placing piano at the beating heart of Brandon’s intoxicating compositions, the record explores his traditional Mormon upbringing and classical piano teachings of his mother, as they collide with his awe-inspiring discovery of rave culture and electronic music. Having left the church, Brandon now stands in his truth, embracing the multiple facets of masculinity that he was denied in his youth, and redefining what it means to be a ‘model man’ beyond the confines of his upbringing.

A stunning, diverse collection of tracks, Model Man is a poignant LP steeped in emotion. The twelve-track release opens with ‘Emoclew’, a wistful piano-led creation, showcasing Brandon’s classical background which is where most of his track creations begin. Next up, ‘Don’t Cry’ is a similarly immersive track, punctuated by Hamzaa’s rich vocals with a message of hope at its heart, while the elegant breaks of July single ‘Sweet Surrender’ see Model Man find a majestic middle ground between rave-era hedonism and introverted ambient electronica. Both tracks have already been released as singles, drawing support from BBC Radio 1 tastemakers Pete Tong, Annie Mac, Sian Eleri and Jack Saunders amongst others.

3. Kudu Blue – ‘KBVOL.4’

Brighton collective Kudu Blue have unveiled their hotly-anticipated new EP ‘KBVOL.4’, out 29th October on Nettwerk.

A five-track release, ‘KBVOL.4’ opens with ‘Fire’, a lo-fi, bass-heavy gem inspired by Burial that was released as a single back in January. “‘Fire’ is about being independent and learning to recognise the strength within yourself,” Kudu Blue explain. “I feel like it’s important to acknowledge that you are responsible for your own feelings and actions.

The first of four singles on the record, ‘Fire’ is followed by ‘December’, an infectious dance cut characterised by a deep, brooding bassline and poignant horns. “It’s funny because this was written before we knew anything about Covid 19 but ‘I’ll see you in December’ couldn’t have been more relevant,” they discuss. “It’s about not wanting the night to end and that feeling that you just want to carry on partying.”

Next up, the glistening ‘Light On Me’ combines futuristic, synth-led production, fluttering vocals and emotion-tinged breakdowns. “One of the favourite tracks on the EP, ‘Light On Me’ is a real mixture of all of our influences. It’s about meeting someone that you connect with and instantly feel like you can be yourself around.

The only non-single on ‘KBVOL.4’, ‘Lavender Haze’ is also its most downbeat offering, a chilled-out cut with hints of trip-hop. “‘Lavender Haze’ was born out of a jam we were having in between a practice when we were all crammed into our old studio. It’s the chill one on the EP, the one you might put on when you get in from a late one and want something to help you wind down.”

4. Nat King Cole & Friends – ‘A Sentimental Christmas.

A unique holiday album that weaves Nat’s distinctive, beautifully restored vocals with new arrangements and contemporary artists, the collection features virtual duets of holiday classics with Kristin Chenoweth, Gloria Estefan, John Legend, Johnny Mathis, and Calum Scott; a full tracklist is below. Based on archival photos of Nat, watch/share hand-drawn visualizers for each of the album’s tracks here.

Co-produced by Jay Landers (Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Barry Gibb) and GRAMMY® Award winner and Oscar nominee Jorge Calandrelli (Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga), who also arranged and conducted, the album’s material was sourced from Cole’s timeless album, “The Christmas Song,” and other recordings from his esteemed catalog. The album was co-produced, mixed, and mastered by multi-GRAMMY-winning engineer and mixer Dave Reitzas (Natalie Cole, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion). Reitzas was responsible for mixing the historic Grammy®-winning virtual duet, “Unforgettable,” by Natalie and Nat King Cole.

The album is available on CD, vinyl, and all digital formats with an exclusive Rudolph Red vinyl available at Walmart; listen/buy here.