Category Archives: New Music

Sia To Issue A New Album Of Holiday Originals, Everyday Is Christmas

Well, the holidays are running toward us…or we to them (which all depends on your personal viewpoints, I guess). But holidays are certainly not as much fun without holiday music to accompany them. For many of us, the traditional songs done up by contemporary artists are pretty cool. But when you look back at some artists who have created solidly entrenched songs (like Lennon’s “Happy Christmas (War Is Over)” , or Joni Mitchell’s “River”, you realize that originals can become traditional.

Every year, recording artists try hard to become one of the next to become immortalized. This year, we have a new attempt by Sia, who will release her holiday album with a collection of ten original songs. And although it’d have been nice to hear a singer like Sia make a traditional song her own, I’m still excited to get something from the singer.

Sia has released a single from Everyday Is Christmas. The single is “Santa’s Coming For Us” (watch and listen below).

Everyday Is Christmas arrives on November 17 via Atlantic Records.  If you visit Sia’s webstore (here), you have opportunity to purchase Everyday Is Chrismas with a variety of bonus-filled ways. There’s wrapping paper, Santa hats, ornaments, stockings, toppers, gloves, and scarves. Why, there’s even a Sia-inspired wig colored green and red. Or, of course, you can just get the CD.

If you want vinyl, Everyday Is Christmas will be released on December 15 in that format.


Midge Ure Reimagines Ultravox, Solo Songs In Orchestrated

The late ’70s and early ‘8os were a rich fertile ground for Rock and Roll when its greatest level of evolution occurred. Sounds were simplified, music was crafted in different ways than they were previously. And for fans, there were a wealth of great bands like Talking Heads, Buzzcocks, OMD, Joy Division, Tears For Fears, Simple Minds, Skafish, The Police, Elvis Costello, and hundreds more. One of the bands of the late ’70s was Ultravox!

Ultravox! released their first album for Island Records. For vocals, there was John Foxx. That incarnation was a post-punk styled sound that was exciting and quite listenable. This lineup lasted through the first three albums before Island dropped them for poor sales. (Yeah, it surprises me, too!). But after Foxx, along with Robin Simon, went on to other things, the remaining members refused to die. Instead, they brought in Midge Ure, the singer from Rich Kids, and Visage. Drawing interest from Chrysalis Records, Ultravox released Vienna, essentially remaking the band into something more powerful. And for five magnificent albums (Vienna – 1980, Rage In Eden – 1981, Quartet – 1982, Lament – 1984, U-Vox – 1986), the band thrived.

On December 1, Midge Ure will revisit some classic Ultravox songs – including “Vienna”, “Dancing With Tears In My Eyes”, “Hymn”, and “Lament”, and reimagine those songs in a uniquely orchestrated way. In addition, Midge Ure also revisits songs from his own solo works, songs that include “Breathe”, “If I Was”, “Fragile”, along with a brand new Midge Ure tune, “Ordinary Man”.

The new album is being called Orchestrated. It’s promised to be different than you might expect. Listen below to the provided track (“Breathe” for your personal assessment.

Thus far, this is a UK issue only.

OrchestratedMidge Ure

01. Hymn
02. Dancing with Tears in My Eyes
03. Breathe
04. Man of Two Worlds
05. If I Was
06. Vienna
07. The Voice
08. Ordinary Man
09. Death in the Afternoon
10. Lament
11. Reap the Wild Wind
12. Fragile


Glen Hansard To Release Third Album, Between Two Shores

Glen Hansard has a rich history of music that not everyone is aware of. A shame since his style is easy to listen to, catering to a wide body of listeners. With our introduction to Glen Hansard via The Frames for a satisfying run of original music, we became more enamored with Glen Hansard via his appearance in Once, a film that netted him an Oscar for the Best Original Song (“Falling Slowly”). Since that movie, we have enjoyed two classy solo efforts, Rhythm and Repose (2012), and Didn’t He Ramble (2015). Now, with an obvious itch to create more quickly, we get the announcement of his next set.

On January 19, Anti-Records (his consistent label) will release the singer/songwriter’s next set, Between Two Shores. The new album will offer ten new Hansard compositions, two of which can be currently heard on YouTube (embedded below, or streamed somewhere). And if the two songs have any indication of what the new album will bring, then fans are in for a gem from the folk singer.

Between Two Shores will be released on CD, DD, and vinyl LP (with download rights).


New Neil Young Album, The Visitor, For December

Neil Young has wasted little time in bringing his next album to the strong collection of fans he has amassed over the decades since his arrival in the ’60s. Earlier, Neil Young has released his previously unreleased acoustic set from the ’70s, Hitchhiker. But hat’s material from the past and thus a curiosity. What’s he doing now?

On December 1, his longtime record label, Reprise, will release his 42nd(!) studio set (counting the curiosities). The new album is being called The Visitor. This album’s collection of ten songs were recorded with Promise of the Real band, a band he worked with on The Monsanto Years in 2015. Peace Trail followed in December of 2016. there is a song off The visitor that has been in circulation for a while, “Children of Destiny”. That song was released on YouTube in June (listen below).

Neil Young does not sleep!

The Visitor will be released on CD, DD, and vinyl 2LP. The 2LP set is scheduled for 2018, on January 5.


New U2 Album, Songs Of Experience

For quite some time, the public has waited to see what U2 can come up with musically. After the release of Songs of Innocence, which hasn’t exactly become he band’s next Joshua Tree, the band has teased the upcoming Songs of Experience. While U2 has long passed the time of expiration for me, this isn’t the forum to express any subjective assessments of a band that many still love. Therefore:

On December 1, Island Records will release the next U2 album, Songs of Experience. The band has released two singles from the new album tha are easy track down and listen to.

Interestingly, it appears that Songs of Experience was financed through Pledge Music. It is there that there are several packages available that should prove exciting pick-ups for the fan. There will be a Box Set Deluxe, featuring a 12″ x 12″ rigid casing. Inside there are 2LP, pressed on 180g-weight vinyl in cyan blue color. The 2LPs will contain 16 tracks. Inside the gatefold jacket, a six-panel oversized book is included. A 17-track Deluxe Edition CD is inside along with a poster, a Songs of Experience newspaper, and a download card for the digital tracks.

The album will issue individually on CD, 2LP, a Deluxe Edition, and DD.

U2 has a 15-date tour ready to promote this new album.

Songs of ExperienceU2

01. Love Is All We Have Left
02. Lights of Home
03. You’re The Best Thing About Me
04. Get out of Your Own Way
05. American Soul
06. Summer of love
07. Red Flag Day
08. The Showman (Little More Better)
09. The Little Things That Give You Away
10. Landlady
11. Blackout
12. Love Is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way
13. 13 (There is a Light)
Bonus Tracks
14. Ordinary Love (Extraordinary Mix)
15. Book Of Your Heart
16. Lights of Home (St Peter’s String Version)
17. You’re The Best Thing About Me (U2 vs Kygo) [This song is NOT included on the 2LP set]




New Tom Chaplin (Keane) Album, Twelve Tale of Christmas

With Christmas in the air (it seems), the Holiday-themed music rapidly materializes faster than store displays do. One of the things I miss from my 30 years in California are the walks in malls, tree lighting ceremonies, and the overall, somewhat unnatural, atmosphere. Nevertheless, despite being less than a traditional Christmas with snow, etc, it managed to effectively fill the air with its own brand of magic. With music, the same can be said. Often, what seems like a strange pairing, the magic simply shows up.

On December 8 (November 17 in the UK), Universal will release a holiday-themed album by Tom Chaplin. Tom Chaplin is well known for his time with Keane. It’s been five years since a Keane album, however, Tom released a successful solo effort in 2016 with The Wave. That album produced four singles, and achieved a high position on the UK charts. But even worldwide, the album was well-received. The new album is called Twelve Tales of Christmas. The album will contain a whopping twelve tracks (coincidental?).

Chaplin, like the many of us, still finds a magic in Christmas that isn’t seen or felt by everyone. And not that there are those who hold a special insight; but there are those that never really let it go from their lives.Tom says it like this: “Christmas is my favourite time of year. The passing years have conspired to erode that magic but I still feel it’s presence when I gather together with my family.”

Twelve Tales of Christmas will be released on CD, DD, and vinyl LP. The album’s twelve tracks is a collection of eight originals, and four covers (“Walking In The Air”, “The River”, “2000 Miles”, “Stay Another Day”).

Fortunately for us, there is a single that we can hear and enjoy. With that unmistakable and familiar Keane voice, this should be fun for you to listen to!


New Franz Ferdinand Album, Always Ascending, In 2018

Franz Ferdinand, one of the new millennial bands, haven’t released a new album since 2013’s Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions.  From their first release until their last, the music they produce has been current and listenable. As a fan, it’s just the wait that has been nasty.

On February 9, 2018, Domino Recording Company will release the next album from the Glasgow-based Scottish band. It is being called Always Ascending. this new album already has a single out in rotation to herald its arrival (listen below). The new single is “Always Ascending” and carries with it a different feel. But if anything can be assessed to Franz Ferdinand, it’s that they never rely on the previous album’s music to expand on. The new song has a STRONG dance appeal for the clubbing people. If it reminds of he past, it’s in the way tha bands of the lae ’70s and early ’80s processed their music to fit the dance floor.

Alex Kapranos has called the new album “simultaneously futuristic and naturalistic”. And I’d say that fits the new single quite well. Bu judge for yourself.

The new album is being released on CD, DD, and vinyl LP. The LP release will add in an 8-page booklet, a 24″ double-sided poster, and a download card. The LP will be presented in a single jacket


New First Aid Kit Album, Ruins, In Early 2018

When we last had anything new from First Aid Kit, it was in 2014 with Stay Gold. They released a 4-song EP (2 new songs, 2 sessions tracks of songs from Stay Gold) called America just shortly afterward as a Record Store Day exclusive. But as a great band will do, they effectively stretched the material from Stay Gold for quite a while. But quietly, they have been recording new compositions to store and choose for their next album. And now, their next album is coming.

On January 19, Columbia Records will release Ruins, the fourth album from the two-sister team of First Aid Kit. The new album will feature ten new songs (see list below). Currently, First Aid Kit has two songs from the album as singles. The first was the surprise announcement for Ruins, “It’s A Shame”, released last month. The newest single from the album, “Postcard” is appended to the announcement of the album’s release date along with its name and track-list.

Ruins will be made available as CD, DD, and, I’m sure, vinyl LP!

RuinsFirst Aid Kit

01 – Rebel Heart
02 – It’s a Shame
03 – Fireworks
04 – Postcard
05 – To Live a Life
06 – My Wild Sweet Love
07 – Distant Star
08 – Ruins
09 – Hem of Her Dress
10 – Nothing Has to Be True


New Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Album, Wrong Creatures, Planned in 2018

I’m a BIG Black Rebel Motorcycle Club fan. Thus far, with seven grand albums out, they have yet to disappoint me. Do I have a favorite? Of course! That belongs to Howl (2005). Twelve years and four albums later, BRMC still knows how to do the right stuff! If you’re unfamiliar with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, then I’d suggest hopping on to YouTube and getting a healthy dose of good Rock and Roll reminiscent of the old days and yet as fresh as tomorrow’s morning air.

Their last album, Specter At The Beach, issued in 2013, is a powerhouse of music with twelve excellent tunes that recall post-punk in an alternative style for today. In fact, B.R.M.C. would have thrived in the late ’70s had they been around for it. And we’d be talking about them in reverential tones. Nevertheless (I doth praise too much!)…

On January 12, 2018, BMG’s Vagrant label will release the new Black Rebel Motorcycle Club album, Wrong Creatures. With twelve new songs, Wrong Creatures is already expected to be as classic as their previous albums. I’ll most certainly be there for it. Their second single off the album, “Echo”, won’t be released until 2018. However, their first and second singles, (“Little Thing Gone Wild”, “Haunt”) can be heard below!

If you’re intrigued, I suggest checking them out. You have plenty of time!

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club is currently engaged on a support tour for Wrong Creatures with over 50 worldwide dates! There’s a First Avenue show  in Minneapolis that I just might be at (February 11)! They play Chicago at the Vic Theatre the night before. Tour dates here!


New Scorpions Collection – Born To Touch Your Feelings -Best of Rock Ballads –

Surely you know who Scorpions are. The hard rock band hails from Germany, made their start back 1965(!), and continue to this day as a powerhouse of a band. Over time, this band (with several personnel incarnations including a wealth of drummers and guitarists (Michael Schenker once played for Scorpions)) have released eighteen studio albums, six live albums, and over ten compilation sets. The band can boast original member Rudolf Schenker, and long-time singer, Klaus Meine (since 1969), and long-time guitarist, Matthias Jab (since 1978). That’s impressive in any book, actually. Their last album was Return To Forever (2015), and their next to last, Sting In the Tail (2010) sold a million or more copies in an age where that is pretty impossible.

On November 24, SMG Records and Legacy Recordings will release a collection of ballads from Scorpions, 17 tracks in all. Selected from their extensive catalog, this set also includes various newer versions, some quite new (2017). Plus, there are two new songs(“Melrose Avenue”, “Always Be With You”). The new collection will offer a few edits, and a new acoustic version of “Send Me An Angel” (original track from 1990 Crazy World album). It will be called Born to Touch Your Feelings – Best Of Rock Ballads.

Born To Touch Your Feelings – Best of Rock Ballads – Scorpions

01. Born to Touch Your Feelings (Studio Edit)
02. Still Loving You (2011 Version)
03. Wind of Change (2011 Version)
04. Always Somewhere
05. Send Me an Angel (Acoustic Version 2017)
06. Holiday
07. Eye of the Storm (Radio Edit)
08. When the Smoke Is Going Down
09. Lonely Nights
10. Gypsy Life
11. House of Cards (Single Edit)
12. The Best Is Yet to Come
13. When You Came into My Life (Studio Edit)
14. Lady Starlight
15. Follow Your Heart (Version 2017)
16. Melrose Avenue (NEW)
17. Always Be with You (NEW)