Here are our top 5 album picks that have been released today.
1. David Grey releases ‘Skellig’
David Gray’s critically acclaimed twelfth studio album, Skellig, is now available across physical CD & vinyl formats via Laugh a Minute Records /AWAL Recordings. The second LP to be produced by Ben de Vries, the thirteen-track album departs from the shimmering electronics of 2019’s Gold In A Brass Age and embarks on a sparser, communal soundscape with the atmospheric songs centring themselves around six-part vocals with Gray trading his signature gravel for a softer tone. Recorded prior to the pandemic and released digitally to critical praise earlier this year, the album recording session took place at Edwyn Collins’ Helmsdale studio on the Sutherland coast, with De Vries and Gray finessing the mix throughout lockdown. Watch album track ‘Accumulates’ live in session from here, and stream Skellig in full from here.
The multi-vocal layering that weaves throughout Skellig came to Gray through the unfolding of 2013’s Sounding Out Tour, where he recruited members of his live band – including Caroline Dale, David Kitt and Rob Malone – to experiment on his back-catalogue alongside him. The symbiosis between the singers conjured a “communal spirituality” akin to the essence of Skellig, planting seeds for what would later take shape. Gathering up Dale, Kitt and Malone, and with the addition of Niamh Farrell, Mossy Noalan and de Vries, Gray ventured up to the coastal retreat of Helmsdale in the Scottish Highlands to live out the creation of the record. Welcomed by the kindness and hospitality of Edwyn Collins, his wife and son, the small, intimate studio felt a fitting location for a record eager to celebrate its Celtic affinity.
2. Alaina Castillo releases debut album ‘Parallel Universe pt. 1’
Mexican-American bilingual singer-songwriter Alaina Castillo has released pt. 1 of her debut LP parallel universe via Chosen People / AWAL. The seven-track collection of dark R&B ballads and catchy pop-infused anthems sees Alaina finally in control of her own narrative and relationships, exuding confidence and self-reliance – things she struggled with growing up. On the release, Alaina says: “The process of making my album has taught me a lot about who I am as an artist, but it’s also showed me who I am as a person and allowed me to have the confidence to finally be that person in the real world. parallel universe is the soundtrack of me becoming who i was always too shy to be”.
parallel universe pt. 1, executively produced by RØMANS, arrives alongside new single “pocket locket”. The project also features lead singles “stfu (i got u),” the fast-rising hit that racked up 33 New Music Friday playlists on release day and is almost at 1 Million Youtube views, and “indica,” which got a High Times premiere due to the creative cosmic spin for the 4/20 holiday. Alaina recently made her debut award show performance of” Besame Mucho” at the 2021 Latin American Music Awards and will make her late night television debut on Late Night With Seth Meyers on May 17. She performed for Grammy.com’s Press Play series, the Global Citizen “Together At Home” streaming event, MTV’s “Alone Together” live stream, Genius’ live show with Monster Energy, Rolling Stone’s Twitch live stream, and Sundance Film Festival’s official 2021 music event, Sound & Vision.
3. Morcheeba ‘Blackest Blue’ album out now.
Morcheeba release their latest studio album Blackest Blue, independently via their own label Fly Agaric Records. Stream // Buy here
To celebrate the album release the band has announced a series of events: their first headline UK show at O2 Brixton Academy in London on Thursday 9th December 2021. Tickets will go on sale at 12pm on Friday 14th May and will be available from www.gigsandtours.com / www.morcheeba.uk.
The band will warm up their live set ahead of their Brixton headline show with a special live streamed performance filmed at RAK Studios in London on June 5th – tickets available here.
Morcheeba have also teamed up with Rough Trade for a live Q&A via Zoom on May 14th, joined by special guest host Colleen Cosmo Murphy, tickets to the exclusive event are available here
In March 2020, Skye Edwards and Ross Godfrey were nearing the end of another long tour – they can go two years without visiting the same country twice – and the diary suddenly emptied. Tourbus parked, they began writing what became their tenth album Blackest Blue. By December 2020, theyd finished 10 lustrous new songs touching on disintegrating familial and romantic relationships, love and kinship, the world around and the consolations of cannabis. On tour, Morcheeba is Skye (vocals), Ross (guitar), Dom Pipkin (keys), Skye’s husband Steve Gordon (bass) and Skye’s eldest son Jaega Mckenna-Gordon (drums). In the studio it’s mostly just Skye and Ross – he plays guitar, bass, organ, synths, drums and percussion. There weren’t so many pressures so we could really take our time getting the songs right, says Edwards. Morcheeba albums are only finished when I’ve gone completely insane, Ross humorously adds.
4. George Ragan The Dead Son debut album out now
George Ragan The Dead Son—a.k.a. Hollywood Undead co-founder Johnny 3 Tears—releases his debut solo album, The Abyss, via BMG: AVAILABLE HERE.
Alongside the release, today he also shares the video for “The Day I Die”: WATCH HERE. The new single is the final piece in a trilogy of visuals created for the album. The emotional series depicts the themes of the album, allowing George Ragan to dive deeper into the meaning of the lyrics.
After the release of the album’s first single “Heaven Can Wait,” Loudwire shared, “It’s a lighter sounding song with deeper and darker overall lyrical content for Ragan, as ‘Heaven Can Wait’ bounces along with a more acoustic guitar-driven vibe.” American Songwriter praised the second single “All Gone,” writing, “Ragan appears ready to ditch the mask and show the world who he’s been hiding.”
“The Abyss is a record I’ve been writing my whole life, maybe not musically, but in diaries and on shredded pieces of paper,” Ragan shares. “It’s my story…my search for meaning within myself and everything I found. Good and bad, for better or worse…a search beyond my reflection, and into the great unknown.”
Enter The Abyss with George Ragan The Dead Son.
5. Chloe Flower releases her self titled debut album.
Following the success of her singles ‘Get What U Get’ and ‘Flower Through Concrete,’ pianist, composer, and producer Chloe Flower — whose sensational appearance with Cardi B stole the show at the 2019 Grammy Awards — has announced the release of her self-titled debut album on Sony Music Masterworks, on July 16th .
In three acts — I. Innocence, II. Suffering and III. Hope — this sublime collection was composed, produced and recorded in the artist’s New York City apartment during the Covid-19 pandemic. It features spoken word from Deepak Chopra and an interpretation of Billie Eilish’s chart-topping hit ‘Bad Guy’.
Chloe dedicates the new single ‘Tamie’ (and video) to her dear friend Tamie and has imbued it with the beauty and resilience of their Asian identity; releasing it in observance of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.