DC December 4 New Release Recap

The big brassy retro-pop of Paloma Faith (Fall To Grace), the delicate Brit-folk with a jazzy-gypsy edge from Brooke Sharkey (One Dress) and Dinah Thorpe's eccentric and brilliant art-pop (12) couldn't sound more unlike each other. But each woman's work offers up its own special appeal. We suggest taking a sample of each and see which one might strike your fancy. Also on this week's rather slender collection of interesting new releases: Ed Tullett's excellent Never Joy, El Perro del Mar's Pale Fire, Gavin Degraw's Sweeter Live, Scott Walker's Bish Bosch and for those of you in the U.K., Willy Mason's new Carry On (we'll get that one stateside sometime in early 2013). Check out our more complete list of new titles as well as read up on our featured titles (with links to stream songs) below...

Released in the U.K. last August, Paloma Faith's Fall to Grace (Epic) is about as far from understated as you can get, a big wet lipsticked smooch of an album that's overloaded with overwrought drama, oversized melodies and a gleefully over-the-top production from the legendary Nellee Hooper (Bjork, Soul II Soul). You could draw dotted line connections to many in the crop of classic/modern British female vocalists -- from the larynx-busting sweep of Adele to the retro-pop 60's pop-soul stylings of Duffy and the late Amy Winehouse -- but Faith is her own odd but oddly lovable creation...more DC

To understand the diverse and eclectic influences at play on Brooke Sharkey's debut album One Dress (U.K.) it's helpful to know a couple of background tidbits. Like the fact that while being a native Londoner, Sharkey spent her teen years in France: hence the French chanson twist and Edith Piaf cabaret theatrics woven into her bi-lingual songcraft. Or that she busks her way around the flower markets in London while not gracing the stage of the small folk clubs, a skill that incorporates her affinity for acoustic gypsy-folk strains and imbues her songs with a fun, free-wheeling feel...more DC

Nineteen-year-old Ed Tullett's assured and disarmingly original debut album Never Joy (Equal Vision) is one more stunning example of the remarkably innovative music coming out of the current British acoustic neo-folk scene. Drawing on the glistening guitar work from the likes of Alexi Murdoch and U.K. folk pioneer John Martyn, Tullett adds an ethereal atmosphere with snaking, unpredictable melodies, odd time signatures and a distinct vocal style that often combines an eerie and airy falsetto in harmony with a lower register.

To say that Toronto indie chanteuse Dinah Thorpe defies easy categorization is to misunderstand the word "easy". Listening to 12, Thorpe's provocative and supremely artful new album, everything -- and we mean everything -- seems to come rather easy, actually, to this chameleon-like songwriter and instrumentalist. It's just that any concept of genre barrier means nothing. Country? Pop? Moody cabaret? Folk? Jazz? It's all up for grabs in this remarkable production. Thorpe has drawn comparisons to Laurie Anderson -- for her smart, theatrical spoken-word tracks set to an electro-beat pulse (see: "Weird", a "song" unlike any you'll hear this or any year)...more DC

More December 4 New Releases

Blur - Parklive (Live CD/DVD Box Set)
El Perro del Mar - Pale Fire
Florida Georgia Line - Here's To the Good Times
Gavin Degraw - Sweeter Live
Jacob Morris - Moths
Jools Holland & His R+B Orchestra - The Golden Age of Song
James Levy & The Blood Red Rose - Pray to Be Free (CD)
Kei$ha - Warrior
Memory Tapes - Grace/Confusion
Scott Walker - Bish Bosch
Smashing Pumpkins - Melon Collie & The Infinite Sadness (Deluxe)
Split Screens - S/T EP
Willy Mason - Carry On (12/3 UK; US TBA)