DC March 27 New Release Recap

Eclectic alt-folk and Americana offerings dominate the DC picks for new releases today, from the dark and shimmering music of Lindsay Fuller to the Memphis soul-influenced new album Justin Townes Earle. Canada's Cowboy Junkies saved the best of their four-album Nomad series for last with the wondrous new project The Wilderness while Minnesota's fine songwriter Andra Suchy delivers some unpretentious acoustic music via the subtle beat of her Little Heart. Joan Osborne makes a stop off for some roadhouse blues on her new Bring It On Home, Ethiopian-born Finnish "gloom folk" singer Mirel Wagner comes Stateside with her self-titled debut, Brooklyn's Scout -- aka Ashen Keilyn -- delivers a blast of alt-pop goodness and Carolina's Sons of Bill return with some large scale country rock anthems on their new Sirens. Read, link to streams and check out the full list of releases below...

Lindsay Fuller - You, Anniversary (ATO) - Gothic southern literary imagery, tales of dying and despair, a haggard, mounful voice that hovers somewhere between Nick Cave and Gillian Welch -- yet the bleak, brutal music of Alabama-raised, Seattle-based songwriter manages to find its own special intoxicating beauty. Fuller follows up her 2010 sophomore album The Last Light I See with another collection of darkly wondrous, powerful songs that both float in the ether and hit like a ton of bricks...more DC

Justin Townes Earle - Nothing's Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now (Bloodshot) - Being the son of Steve Earle and given a name referencing iconic songwriter Townes Van Zandt might be daunting enough, but Justin Townes Earle has carved out his own distinctive niche in rootsy alt-country over the course of three excellent albums...New album follows 2010's critical favorite Harlem River Blues -- recipient of an Americana Music Award for Song of the Year -- and adapts Earle's songwriting from twangy roadhouse rockabilly to savory Memphis soul leanings... "If you listen to a lot of soul music," says Earle, "especially the Stax Records stuff, the chord progressions are just like country music"...more DC

Cowboy Junkies - The Wilderness (Latent) - Veteran Canadian band wrap their ambitious four-album Nomad series in just over eighteen months with a restrained, beautifully crafted and simmering affair that stands in dramatic contrast to the psychedelic-laced blues/rock excursion of last fall's Sing In My Meadow...while most bands eclipsing 25 years of their initial success are recycling the past, the Junkies remain creative, confident and prolific... "a return of the folk vibe the band made its first noise with in the early 90s and late 80s," says songwriter/guitarist Michael Timmons..more DC

Andra Suchy - Little Heart (Red House) - You don't have to grow up on a farm in some place like North Dakota to have an innate feel and love for authentic folk and Americana, but it certainly doesn't hurt. To wit: Minnesota- based singer/songwriter  who has named her new album after a creek near her family's spread in Mandan, ND. Elements of country, folk/blues and modern bluegrass permeate Suchy's music which, thanks to Suchy's lilting vocals, has been a consistent presence on the popular weekly radio show A Prairie Home Companion...more DC

Joan Osborne - Bring It On Home (Saguaro Road) - Acclaimed powerhouse singer goes straight back to her roots on this collection of blues and R+B covers...“I cut my teeth in New York blues clubs singing songs like this,” she remembers. “I’d do three or four one-hour sets per night. That’s where I really learned to sing.” // Release // Sounds like: a natural progression from her previous collections: the soul standards of Breakfast in Bed  and the more country-focused Pretty Little Stranger...Osborne speaks of waiting for when "the time was right and my voice was ready" -- and you can hear the raw, commanding forces at work in the sweaty versions of "I Don't Need No Doctor" and the relentless Slim Harpo boogie "Shake Your Hips"...more DC

Scout - All Those Relays - “I’m allowing thing to happen at their own pace," says Ashen Keilyn -- in supreme understatement -- of the first album in almost a decade from her evolving almost-one-woman indie alt/pop band Scout. Together with co-producer and guitarist Steve Schiltz (Longwave) -- and Spoon drummer Jim Eno on three songs -- Keilyn has sharpened both her songwriting skills and her sound in the process of creating Relays' brisk and melodic pop/rock hooks. When she sings "I get so close to calling it quits" in the album opener "So Close", her musings on a relationship could also ring true for her on-again-off-again creative quest since her 2003 longplayer...more DC

Mirel Wagner - S/T - Music doesn't get much more spare or unsparingly direct as the self-titled debut from this Ethiopian-born Finland-based neo-folk songwriter. Utilizing a near skeletal production with just acoustic guitar and a chilly voice as soft as a whisper, Wagner delivers her sad, dark and soul-bearing songs with minimal fuss and emotion yet the effect is undeniably powerful. The spectral "No Death" (video below) is a song that balances despair with unshakeable love, as Wagner sings "no death can tear us apart" while setting the words in gloomy imagery of suffering and loneliness...more DC

Sons of Bill - Sirens - The Bill in question is Bill Wilson, musician and professor, who taught his sons Sam, Abe and James "how play the guitar, write songs, drive a stick-shift, and back up a trailer." Since 2005, the brothers have focused less on driving and more on developing their own musical sound, hitching sweaty roadhouse country twang to fine-tuned and powerful rock engine. New album, produced by David Lowery (Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven), leaps out of the gate with a vengeance as "Santa Ana Winds" and the the bristling title track kick hard with muscular guitar riffs, rich organ fills and a steady four-four drum kick...more DC

More DC Releases for March 27:

Adam & The Amethysts - Flickering Flashlight
Amy Dailey - Coming Out of the Pain
Chuck Leavell - Back to the Woods
Clay Aiken - Steadfast
Delilah - From the Roots Up (UK)
Eric Bibb - Deeper In the Well
Flying Colors - S/T
Jay Brannan - Rob Me Blind
Kate Tucker - The Ghost of Something New
Katy Perry - Teenage Dream: Complete Confection (Deluxe)
La Sera - Sees the Light
Lionel Richie - Tuskegee
Macy Gray - Covered
Madonna - MDNA
Miike Snow - Happy to You
Oberhofer - Time Capsules II
Paul Weller - Sonik Kicks
Pete RG - New Eyes
Poor Moon (Fleet Foxes) - Illusion EP
Ray Wylie Hubbard - The Grifter's Hymnal
Sankofa - The Uptown Strut
Susan Justice - Eat Dirt
Susanne Sundfør - The Silicone Veil
The Chemical Brothers - Don't Think (Live CD/DVD)
The Pierces - You & I
The Trip - S/T
Young Prisms - In Between
Zeus - Busting Visions