DC March 6 New Release Recap

Bruce Springsteen's long-awaited, oft-debated and generally well-received Wrecking Ball drops today, an album that reinforces Springsteen's reputation as one of music's most compelling and intelligent social critics and voices of the working "99 per cent". From the backwoods of the Carolinas we also have the fine new rural art/pop of Beth Tacular and Phil Moore -- aka Bowerbirds -- and we head over to London for 20-year-old songwriter and bluesy folk/pop singer Jodie Marie and her promising debut "Mountain Echo." Andrew Bird continues his off-center tunes with his mostly live-off-the-floor collection of songs on Break It Yourself and we note that there are also worthy new albums from Magnetic Fields, Good Old War, singer Idina Menzel (from Glee and Wicked fame), Todd Snyder, Kaiser Chiefs, Rocco Deluca and spunky folk/rocker Wallis Bird (more on her soon). So dive in -- and read, listen and watch via links and features below...

Bowerbirds  - The Clearing (Dead Oceans) - Beth Tacular and Phil Moore are the creative epicenter of this North Carolina band melding ambitious art/pop edge with audacious strains of modern folk...Beth's mysterious debilitating illness and the pair's on-off-on relationship stress behind them, they retreated newly inspired to their hand-built cabin in the woods for reflection and writing songs for their third album...the stakes are raised but the expanded production scope and more intricately twisting melodic lines never sound overworked or pretentious -- the odd time signatures and harmonies that zig and zag are half elegant artful display and half disarming, charming freak-folk fest...ahh, if only Prada made bib overalls...more DC

Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball (Columbia) - There's always been a fist-pumping ebullience to Springsteen's raucous arena anthems, a sing-a-long spirit of a revival preacher laying out the gospel in defiant, exhilarating and mesmerizing terms. But the giddy blast of rush-inducing roots rock that has primarily defined his music of the last three decades -- from Born In The U.S.A. on -- is tempered in grim economics and political helplessness in Wrecking Ball, his highly anticipated new album. Working without the E Street Band and primarily with producer/instrumentalist Ron Aniello, Springsteen has chosen to shift not only his lyrical focus but, in many ways, the tone of his trademark sound....more DC

Andrew Bird - Break It Yourself (March 6, Mom & Pop) - Fiddler, occasional whistler, classically-trained composer and eclectic indie alt-pop darling returns with his sixth (sort of) "solo" release - and first since 2009's fine 150k-selling Noble Beast.... self-produced and recorded at his barn in Western Illinois, the diverse collection of new songs reflects Bird's desire to capture the sound of four musicians playing live: “Too many records sound like a series of decisions, not a performance," he says...more atmospheric and less overtly song-centered, the mood of BIY is reflective and, on occasion, decidedly serene: tracks that play out like miniature sound pieces that just may or may not have words to go along with the intricately arranged music...more DC

Jodie Marie - Mountain Echo (Verve UK) - After a few years of recording demos and sharpening her skills as a writer and performer, twenty-year-old Welsh singer/songwriter  is readying , her debut set for a January 11 release via Verve U.K.  Fortunately, she's had the opportunity to work with some of the best collaborators available to an aspiring singer (particularly of the female variety) including fine writer/producers Ed Harcourt, Jimmy Hogarth (Corinne Bailey Rae, Sia) and Bernard Butler (Duffy). What we've heard so far is exceptionally promising stuff, a soulful, bluesy folk/pop blend of Bonnie Raitt (one of her biggest childhood influences), Bailey Rae and the acoustic jazz side of Melody Gardot, all delivered in naturally gorgeous voice...more DC

More March 6 New Releases:

Demolition String Band - Gracious Days
Elika - Always the Light
Good Old War - Come Back as Rain  
Idina Menzel (Wicked, Glee) - Live: Barefoot @ The Symphony
Jack Wilson - S/T
Jenny Scheinman - Mischief & Mayhem
Julie Lee & The Baby-Daddies - S/T
Julia Holter - Ekstasis
Kaiser Chiefs - Start the Revolution Without Me
Katie Melua - Secret Symphony (UK)
Magnetic Fields - Love at the Bottom of the Sea
New Riders of the Purple Sage - 17 Pine Ave.
Nite Jewel - One Second of Love
Now, Now - Threads
Rocco DeLuca - Drugs N' Hymns
Sound of Guns - Angels and Enemies (UK)
Team Me - To the Treetops
The Honeydogs - What Comes After
The Owsley Brothers - Cobalt
Tim Fite - Ain't Ain't Ain't
Todd Snider - Acoustic Hymns & Stoner Fables
Tyrone Wells - Where We Meet
Wallis Bird - S/T
White Rabbits - Milk Famous
Yellow Ostrich - Strange Land