Over the past 12 years, My Morning Jacket have proven that they can polish every side of rock ‘n’ roll’s many facets. Forging ahead from the 2008 release Evil Urges’ foray into funk and rhythm & blues, Jim James and company return to rootsy psych-Southern rock—what had many fans falling in love with them a decade ago. They can celebrate a victory dance, with these 11 golden tracks, including “Victory Dance” and “Holdin on to Black Metal” (see video below).
Death Cab for Cutie almost matches MMJ in both groups’ years of making music and output—seven full-length albums—yet the Bellingham, Wash., foursome, rather than bounce all over the genre map, have aged like a nice wine, or for that matter, like a late adolescent to a grown adult. If you have aged from such to such in this just-over-a-decade (like me), then the best thing to complement Codes and Keys is your matured ears. It doesn’t hurt that the listen is rich and rewarding, either.
In Eddie Vedder’s second solo effort, he picks up where he left off on the soundtrack to Into the Wild. As he Alexander Supertramps into Ukulele Songs, it is like he’s breaking free of old ties and setting forth with unrestrained minimalism. Soft, quiet and melodious, the album is a compilation of songs he’s written on the plucky four-string over the past decade.
Ocote Soul Sounds, an Austin-based instrumental group, leans on the soul and funk side of things with their fourth release Taurus, which is sure to put a little slide in your glide this week.
Along that same soul-filling sonic foray, the Boston-based afro-funk band The Macrotones release The First Signs of Danger today. With organ grooves layered in with snazzy horn (and maybe a floating flute) lines, this has proved to be excellent background music at work.
The Black Lips’ publicist assures me that their new Arabia Mountain sees them maturing. However, I’m still skeptical after witnessing them hurl loogies into the air and catch them in their mouth at Musicfest NW last fall. That’s not “punk as fuck,” that’s plain gross. Maybe I’ll give it a listen, eventually.
Other notable releases today include The Vaccines’ What Did you Expect and the self-titled full-length debut by Cults.