DC February 5 New Release Recap

A great week for great music. My Morning Jacket's Jim James delivers his long-awaited and wonderfully cosmic debut album, Night Beds -- aka Winston Yellen -- makes sure that his debut lives up to all the blog buzz, Canadian indie chanteuse Jenn Grant explores The Beautiful Wild and DC fave Matt Pond drops the PA at the end of his name as well as one of the best new albums of 2013. Also up this week: a new EP from Pittsburgh singer/songwriter Brooke Annibale, the latest from EELS, something new from dB's founder Chris Stamey, the Live From Red Rocks DVD from Mumford and Sons, the third album of fine alt-country from Holly Williams and the excellent debut from L.A.'s Jenny O. There are also new albums from Ron Sexsmith, guitar GOD Richard Thompson, Bettie Serveert, Josh Groban, Thao & The Get Down Stay Downs and Icelandic duo -- and DC fave -- Pascal Pinon. Check out the DC features, links to listen to music and the full DC listing below...

When Matt Pond sings "let's hang on to abandon and hope we lose control, to be out in the open baby and let go of the ropes", the lyrics mirror the rather dramatic step up (and out) for the long running DIY singer/songwriter. Losing the "PA" that has followed his moniker for nearly a decade, Pond sees the process of his new album The Lives Inside The Lines In Your Hand (February 5, RCA) as something of a statement of letting go: to his past recordings (sales: 100,000+) and bandmembers, to his various homes (Philly, Brookly, a cabin in Bearsville) and to any preconceptions to what a Matt Pond song might sound like...more DC

Winston Yellen is the creative mastermind behind -- or is that under -- Night Beds, a loose  Nashville-based collective that specializes in impressionistic and folk-centric alt-pop that, as the name would suggest, has a dreamily surreal quality. Night Beds conjures up songs blessed with the magical and mystical, Yellen's voice a wonder of tender tenor-to-falsetto choir boy out amongst the wide open stretches of spacious Americana, a chameleon-like performer who taps into the ethereal netherworlds of Jeff Buckley and Gram Parsons while forging his own distinctive sound...more DC

Canadian songwriter Jenn Grant returns from the giddy retro-pop high of her Juno-nominated 2011 album Honeymoon Punch with The Beautiful Wild, a sharply focused but diverse new collection of intelligent, finely-crafted indie pop songs. With a theme of "finding the courage to lose oneself in the wilderness, in all of its savage and sublime experiences", The Beautiful Wild gets a belated but welcome U.S. release February 5 after dropping last September up north. Since her 2005 debut, the Halifax, Nova Scotia native has found a significant following within and beyond the indie music community, deftly walking the line between sharp-hooked folk/pop melodies and a grab bag of arty, occasionally nostalgic influences...more DC

My Morning Jacket's Jim James speaks of his decidedly cosmic Regions of Light and Sound of God (February 5, ATO) as a "hazy dream", an apt take on what has turned out to be a great example of the quintessential "solo album." Self-produced and engineered and with James handling all the instruments himself, the collection of nine songs could be described as well as self-absorbed in the best sense of the word, a truly personal and unpredictable musical statement that seems to flow from the deep recesses of the imaginative mind of a gifted musician and musicologist...more DC

Icelandic sisters Jófrídur and Ásthildur -- who go by the moniker Pascal Pinon -- are not to be confused with Pasqual Pinon, the early 1900's circus performer known as The Two Headed Mexican. That being said, there's is something of a eerie sororal wavelength being tapped throughout the duo's new, smartly-titled album Twosomeness (DIG: January 18, CD: February 5, Morr Music). Fittingly, they even sing "it's easy to become attached" on "The Clarinet Song". Produced by Sigur Rós & Jónsi studio wizard Alex Somers and exquisitely sung in English and Icelandic, Twosomeness delivers lovely folk hymns that have a near celestial quality, drifting dreamy songs of twinkling art/pop...more DC

Having a famous surname can be either a blessing or a curse. Just ask Jakob Dylan. So it's a touch ironic that Dylan is one of a number of famous names lending vocal backing to The Highway (February 5), the fine third album from Nashville singer/songwriter Holly Williams, daughter of Hank Williams Jr. and granddaughter of, well, you get the picture. Produced by Charlie Peacock (The Civil Wars), The Highway proves that Williams has been blessed with a good long dip in the musical gene pool. Bridging traditional country and the more contemporary Music City mix of alt-country, Americana and folk/rock, these eleven songs, co-written with the likes of Lori McKenna, hubby/drummer Chris Coleman and Sarah Buxton, make up what Williams calls her "coming of age" album...more DC

Mumford and Sons fans will have a couple of reasons to rejoice on February 5 as the U.K. folk/rockers' expanded sophomore album Babel is included with the release of a new live DVD Road to Red Rocks, a rather awesome concert recording (and film) of the band's performance this past summer at the famed Morrison, Colorado outdoor amphitheater (yes the rocks are really red and they're spectacular). True Mumford die-hards will want to opt for the special Gentlemen of the Road Edition CD/DVD box set that give you the deluxe CD along with the DVD, a vinyl Babel disc AND (wait for it) a 96-page book -- but a more economical package is also available...more DC

More DC February 5 New Releases:

Bettie Serveert - Oh, Mayhem!
Brad Mackesson - 1945
Brooke Annibale - Words In Your Eyes EP
Chris Stamey - Lovesick Blues
Courteeners - ANNA (UK)
Dog Bite - Velvet Changes
Duologue - Song and Dance (UK)
East Cameron Folklore - For Sale
Eels - Wonderful, Glorious
Elephant Stone - S/T
Erin Boheme - What A Life
Ethan Johns - If Not Now Then When?
Everything Everything - Cough Cough
Fonda - Sell Your Memories
Frightened Rabbit - Pedestrian Verse
Grouper - The Man Who Died In His Boat
Guards - In Guards We Trust
Hayden - Us Alone
Holly Wiliams - The Highway
Ingrid Gatin - 1000 Lives
Jenn Grant - The Beautiful Wild (U.S.)
Jenny O. - Automechanic
Jim James - Regions of Light & Sound of God
John Wheeler - Un-American Gothic
Josh Groban - All That Echoes
Ladyfinger - Errant Forms
Mary Gauthier - Live at Blue Rock (2/7)
Matt Pond - The Lives Inside the Lines In Your Hand
Mice Parade - Candela
Night Beds - Country Sleep
Nils Bech - Look Inside
Pascal Pinon - Twosomeness
Reed Turner - Ghosts In the Attic
Richard Thompson - Electric
Ron Sexsmith - Forever Endeavor
Roxy Music - Complete Studio Recordings Box
Summer Hours - Closer Still
Suzanne Vega - Solitude Standing Live (25th Anniv.) (UK)
Thao & The Get Down Stay Downs - We The Common
The Courteeners - ANNA (U.K.)
The Shilohs - So Wild
The Spinto Band - Cool Cocoon
Thomas D'Arcy - What We Want
Tim McGraw - Two Lanes of Freedom
Tosca - Odeon
Unknown Mortal Orchestra - II
Vinnie Caruana - City By The Sea