DC April 10 New Release Recap

Admit it...you need some new music. Not just some random computer streams -- though we happen to think that's a great way to discover new songs -- but a full serving of album goodness. So what's being dished up this week? Bonnie Raitt makes her long awaited return to the studio with the well-received Slipstream, Simone Felice heads out on his own with his fine new debut solo album, the heavily buzzed Alabama Shakes cover the bases with their Boys & Girls and Chi-town singer/songwriter Jenny Gillespie gives us a tasty appetizer with the new 5-track EP Belita. Also on tap: alt-pop Brits Scars on 45 finally see the U.S. release of their eponymous debut, modern, genre-busting Brit folkie Jim Moray is back with his fifth album Skulk, Canada's adventurous new art-pop trio Eight and A Half release their promising debut, Brooklynite Monica Lionheart oozes smooth, chilled out pop songs on her Indian Summer and Brendan Benson discovery Young Hines mines the retro/pop classic sound for his Give Me My Change. And don't forget the new MTV Unplugged from Florence and the Machine and worthy new releases from M. Ward, Nancy Griffith, Kat Edmondson, Amadou & Mariam, Counting Crows and Neal Casal. Click below to read more, link to DC features, streams and sites...

Simone Felice - S/T - Simone Felice has been many things -- songwriter, drummer and vocalist of The Felice Brothers, founder of The Duke and the King for starters -- but with his new debut album, he can now officially add "solo artist" to his bio. Mumford and Sons' Ben Lovett helped out with the largely self-produced album, a collection of tracks with a "ghostly and gospel-like feel", according to the press release -- and you can sense that atmosphere on the austere and rustic lead single "New York Times". Members of Mumford and Sons and The Felice Brothers guest on the project....more DC

Alabama Shakes - Boys and Girls (ATO) - Highly touted down-and-dirty blues n' soul band   turns the sweat and heat quotient up to eleven on their raucous, highly-anticipated debut album. At the ripe old age of 23, powerhouse frontwoman Brittany Howard displays remarkably gritty old soul cred as she alternately storms and caresses her way through the album's dozen roadhouse-ready tracks, from the slow grinding lead track "Hold On" to the Memphis-styled R+B of "Ain't the Same" and "I Found You." More DC

Jenny Gillespie - Belita - Looking to expand and enhance her chamber folk style, Chicago-based singer/ songwriter  traveled to New York City's Lower East Side last year to record some new tracks with multi-instrumentalist/producer Shahzad Ismaily (Jolie Holland, Bonnie Prince Billy), an invitation that came about after Ismaily discovered a Gillespie's cover of a Sam Amidon track on youtube. The starkly-rendered result is  a remarkable five-track EP that combines the atmospheric open-tuning guitar style (and eclectic melodic structures) of Joni Mitchell coupled with a rhythmic picking style Gillespie picked up studying African folk guitar...more DC

Bonnie Raitt - Slipstream - "I'm in the slipstream of all these styles of music," says , referencing the title of her first recordings in seven years. "I'm so inspired and so proud to continue these traditions, whether it's reggae or soul or blues." Forty years after her remarkable, groundbreaking debut album, the Grammy winning singer, guitarist and songwriter continues to skillfully mix things up, blurring genre boundaries and creating her own distinctive, loosely jamming sound. What she describes as the "jumpstart" of her return to the studio was her collaboration with renowned producer and solo artist Joe Henry, a session with Henry's band that yielded eight songs, four of which -- including two Bob Dylan covers from Time Out of Mind -- are included here. More DC

Scars on 45 - S/T (Chop Shop/Atlantic) - Much buzzed British indie popsters  dish up a big, decadent slice of Fleetwood Mac-ish SoCal folk/rock jangle on their U.S. debut, a rose-tinted, bell-bottomed retro celebration of gargantuan melodies, precision harmonies and plush sonic production. Trading off the male/female vocals of Danny Bemrose and Aimee Driver, lead track "Heart on Fire" even has one of those great nebulous late 70's song titles and the kind of sensitive, catchy acousticism tailor-made for entry into Grey's Anatomy soundtrack territory...more DC

Jim Moray - Skulk - Moray wants you to jettison whatever preconceptions you may have about British folk music. While much of the current nu-folk movement in the U.K. tends to be modern songwriting dressed up (or, rather, stripped down) to an intimate and acoustic nexus, Moray reverses that strategy by reimagining primarily traditional folk songs into works of elaborate and dramatic art/pop. Any strict genre borders -- pop, rock, soul and folk -- are meaningless inhibitions in Moray's world. Taking its name from the word for a collection of foxes, the self-produced fifth album offers up potpourri of eclectic tracks, moving seamlessly from reworked traditional songs to new interpretations of Fleetwood Mac's "Big Love" and Anais Mitchell's "If It's True". More DC

Eight and a Half - S/T - Broken Social Scene drummer Justin Peroff joins forces with Dave Hamelin and Liam O'Neil of The Stills for this intriguing new Canadian art-pop trio that fuses layers of eerie, beat-driven synths, washes of chiming guitar chords, looped drums and Hamelin's atmospheric tenor vocal croon. In unexpected ways, each member stretched and pushed himself out of his prior comfort zone and into wonderfully strange new directions. What was old was simply old -- and this was something fresh and different. Debut album is filled with dense, dreamy alt-pop, cacophonous blips and bleeps joining in a musical conversation that manages to be both droningly ambient -- a positive, actually -- and slyly melodic. More DC

Monica Lionheart - Indian Summer - Brooklynite Lionheart applies a luminescent trip-hop sheen to her alt-pop solo debut album, a laid-back, 2am soundtrack of chilled electro-acoustic songs streeting April 10. A producer, DJ, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Lionheart also uses her airy vocals to sublimely angelic effect on songs such as the dreamy, string-enhanced "Let Go" -- with cellist Yoed Nir (Regina Spektor, Rufus Wainwright) -- and beat-driven "Rocks to Ankles", a track that takes a while to hit its subtle melodic groove but eventually delivers a perfectly crafted chorus hook on top of some stately piano chords...more DC

Young Hines - Give Me My Change - After Brendan Benson overheard some demos being played by a painter working at his house, Georgia songwriter now finds himself with a debut album arriving via Benson's new imprint Readymade Records. Lead track "Rainy Day" has an eerie Beatle-ish ring to it, a vintage acoustic strum-fest feted with some of the most gorgeous harmonies you've heard in a while. The Lennon comparisons help define Hines' particular influences, but we're guessing there's a lot more than Brit Invasion nostalgia to be found on the forthcoming longplayer...more DC

More April 10 Releases:

Alex Winston - King Con
Amadou & Mariam - Folila
Choir of Young Believers - Rhine Gold
Clock Opera - Ways to Forget
Counting Crows - Underwater Sunshine
Curtis Salgado - Soul Shot
Dayna Kurtz - Secret Canon I/American Standard
Ed Vallance - Volcano
Emily Wells - Mama
Florence & The Machine - MTV Unplugged
Grand Duchy (Frank Black) - Let The People Speak
Hands - Massive Context EP
John Singer Sergeant (John Dufilho) - S/T
Jon Allen - Sweet Defeat
Kat Edmondson - Way Down Low
Kate McGarry - Girl Talk
Lissy Trullie - S/T
Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real - Wasted
M. Ward - A Wasteland Companion
Nanci Griffith - Intersection
Neal Casal (The Cardinals) - Sweeten the Distance
Scars on 45 - S/T
Sleepy Sun - Spine Hits
The Creepy Crawlies - Get Buried
The Mastersons - Birds Fly South
The Right Now - Gets Over You
The Strange Familiar - Chasing Shadows
Trampled By Turtles - Stars and Satellites
Various - Mercyland: Hymns for the Rest of Us
World Party - Arkeology (Box Set)