New Music Monday: Bob Dylan, The Church, Blind Guardian, and More!

Happy Monday music maniacs! LIke new stuff? Great! You’ve come to the right place. Each week all sorts of audiolicious goodies are unleashed onto the masses and this is where they come to be judged. I’ll tell ya what’s good, what’s bad, and what’s a waste of your time. Thanks for stopping by!

The Big News!

Been hearing those rumors of new stuff from Bob Dylan? Me too! And here it is – Shadows in the Night, his thirty-sixth studio album! Except, it’s not really a new Bob Dylan record is it? Nope, it’s a quaint little collection of pop standards popularized by Mr Frank Sinatra. The Guardian says the record “asks you to stop snarkily tweeting while tracking your ex’s doings online, to unlearn the crass language of interpersonal relations over the last 50 years, and reenter an age when wistfulness was as close as pop to emotional catharsis.” I like that. I really do.

The Muse Returns

The New York Daily News did not enjoy the new Diana Krall record, which, incidentally, is also a record of cover songs. But unlike Dylan’s anachronistic exploration of a lost romantic age, Krall’s genre bending new record opts to honor artists like Paul McCartney, Jim Croce, and (ugh) The Eagles. The News calls the record “just another piece of boomer bait” with songs that are “doomed to haunt the next PBS fundraiser.” Yeesh.

Metal Mania

The new Blind Guardian record, Beyond the Red Mirror, the German power metal outfit’s tenth effort, is purportedly a goddamn beast. Blabbermouth scored it 9.5/10 and called it a “larger than life” and “encompassing and magical”. It even features choirs and orchestras and shit. It’s a “breath stealing” effort.

Indie Surge

Australian college rock darlings The Church return with a controversial retooled lineup and the stateside release of another masterpiece, Further/Deeper, the band’s 25th record. Pitchfork claims the record “deliver[s] the same kind of languid psychedelia and pillowy atmospherics that have been a hallmark of Church albums for the latter half of their career”.

New Murder By Death, Big Dark Love, their first in three years. And they’re on Bloodshot now too. That’s good news. Consequence of Sound calls it “brilliant“.

My personal idol, Robert Pollard of Guided by Voices, unveils another gem, I Sell the Circus, under the moniker Ricked Wickey. According to Snob’s Music it features some “hot Spanish flavoured guitar” and “guitar tones which are much deeper” than previous Pollard records. Okay.

Indie rock boogie man Phil Elvrum returns with another desperate attempt for attention, Sauna. NPR calls it, as only NPR can, “an arresting, frozen moment splay of images and emotions that feels less like a meditation and more like a slow motion mauling”.

My Recommendation

It’s all about Lost Themes, a record of movie music by John Carpenter, he of Halloween and Escape from New York fame. It’s not a soundtrack, just a record unattached to a movie. Dude told Gawker that it’s a “score for movies that are playing in your head”. And that he likes Taylor Swift.

Next Week

Tune in next week, same new music time, same new music channel, for new stuff from Father John Misty,

and Ricky Martin. Unfortunately, it’s not a collaboration.

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