DC March 19 New Release Recap

A few newbie debuts mix with a handful of veterans in fine form to make up our picks for the week's best releases. In the first category, we suggest the lovely Brit folk from the sibling trio The Staves (produced by the father/son team of Glyn and Ethan Johns) as well as the debut from Carolina singer/songwriter Kail Baxley. We also want to direct you to Coyotes from the young chamber folk trio Birds and Arrows and an album we described as a "real and remarkable find": Until We Drown by Kait Lawson. In the latter, we have a pair of albums that both tie long-running artists with well-known (and well-respected) producers: Billy Bragg's Tooth and Nail, an album of personal musings on love produced by Joe Henry, and the excellent new album from Twin Cities trio Low produced by Wilco mainman Jeff Tweedy. For those looking for something a little darker and harder rocking, we also recommend Specter at the Feast from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Also worthy of your time: Alpha Rev's Bloom, Anais Mitchell & Jefferson Harner's Child Ballads (more on that soon), Josh Rouse's The Happiness Waltz, K.S. Rhoads' The Wilderness and Walk Off the Earth's R.E.V.O. And, lastly, don't forget the tribute to the late, great Levon Helm: Love For Levon. Dive in with capsule overviews, links to listen and the full DC list below...

London-based acoustic trio The Staves -- early 20-something sisters Emily, Jessica and Camilla Staveley-Taylor -- have been creating something of a serious buzz on both sides of the big pond lately, touring with The Civil Wars, Ben Howard, Mumford & Sons and Michael Kiwanuka along with releasing a pair of exquisitely delicate nu-folk EP's. Produced by the father and son studio dream team of Glyn and Ethan Johns, the siblings' full length Dead & Born & Grown, finally arriving stateside March 19, collects selected songs from those EPs as well as a batch of fine new tracks for an album brimming with what we've described as a "masterful bit of sublime harmony that spans the chilly confines of England and balmier surroundings of 70's L.A. folk/pop"...more DC

Low - The Invisible Way (March 19, Sub Pop) - Celebrating their 20th anniversary this year, the low-keyed Minnesota trio taps Wilco's Jeff Tweedy to produce their tenth album..."We’ve made many records," says guitarist/singer Alan Sparlock, "and you know our M.O.: slow, quiet, sometimes melancholy, and, we hope, sometimes pretty"...Co-founder and drummer Mimi Parker steps up to the mic to take lead on five of the album's eleven tracks including the beautiful and haunting "If I Could Just Make It Stop" (stream after the jump)...Drawing comparisons to another long-running band -- Cowboy Junkies -- Low keeps the musical heat on simmer, producing hushed late night/early morning music made for listening in silent darkness ...more DC

Over his thirty year career, Billy Bragg has been a reliable and compelling singer and writer of songs that tend to beat directly from his Woody Guthrie-styled political activist heart. But for his new album Tooth and Nail (March 19, Cooking Vinyl), Bragg explores more personal topics -- he does refer to himself as "the sherpa of love", after all -- with exemplary support from producer Joe Henry and a stellar group of studio musicians who wrapped the dozen songs in less than five days in Henry's basement studio. "Technically I'm not a great singer, I'm not much of a player," Bragg tells Rolling Stone, "but they were really engaged with what I was trying to do and what I was trying to say"...more DC

Black Rebel Motorcyle - Specter at the Feast (March 19, Abstract Dragon/Vagrant) - “We all wanted to cover a Call song for this record" BRMC co-founder and co-frontman Robert Levon Been says of “Let The Day Begin,” the newly revived 1989 rock radio hit from the band once led by Been's late father (and BRMC tour engineer) Michael Been. "It means a lot to us to be able to pay respect...for all he’s done for us”...New project is the band's first since Michael's passing and 2010's Beat The Devil's Tattoo, an album Rolling Stone described as "unremittingly grim, and undeniably fun"...Specter may have it's own ghosts considering Been's description of the recording process as "excruciating", but despite the band's reputation for darkly gothic leanings, this is hardly a dirge...more DC

You can practically catch a whiff of magnolias and feel the warm humid breeze of the Carolinas on your skin when taking in the impressive debut of modern troubadour KaiL Baxley. With a gentle soul-inflected drawl and musical style that deftly pulls from folk, blues, New Orleans strut and whatever might be construed as languid, southern-styled songcraft, Baxley worked with producer/engineer Eric Come and some stellar L.A. sidemen to craft a pair of EP's: the more sharply outlined, citified and bluesy Heatstroke and the folksy acoustic shamble and more subtle rural flair of The Wind and the War -- both combined for one two-sided long player arriving March 19 on CD (digitally now)...more DC

Birds and Arrows - Coyotes (March 19) - North Carolina chamber folk outfit was founded in 2007 by the husband and wife team of Andrea and Pete Connolly, expanding from a duo to a trio in 2009 with the addition of cellist Josh Starmer in 2009...New album, produced and mixed by the dB's Chris Stamey, follows up 2011's well-received longplayer We're Gonna Run..."An amazing record, overflowing with invention, dedication and exuberance," says Stamey of Coyotes...Robert Sledge of Ben Folds Five, Dirk Shumaker of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and James Wallace of Mount Moriah make guest appearances...more DC

Kait Lawson has kicked around New York and Nashville the past few years but when it came time to record her debut album, the young singer/songwriter returned back to her hometown of Memphis. There she headed into the studio with collection of original songs and some of the city's best musicians including guitarists Steve Selvidge (The Hold Steady) and Dave Cousar (Al Green, Amy Lavere) and Al Gamble on keys (Mark Broussard). Out of those sessions emerged the recently released Til We Drown, an album of songs steeped in her city's enduring tradition of blending blues, country and soul into one rich, potent elixir...more DC

The DC list of New Releases for March 19:

Alice Smith - She
Alpha Rev - Bloom
Anais Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer - Child Ballads
Billy Bragg - Tooth and Nail
Birds and Arrows - Coyotes
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Specter at the Feast
Boy + Kite - We Can Go Anywhere We Want EP
Colleen Green - Sock It To Me
Conquering Animal Sound - On Floating Bodies
Josh Rouse - The Happiness Waltz
Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience
Kail Baxley - Heatstroke/The Wind & The War
Kait Lawson - Until We Drown
K.S. Rhoads - The Wilderness (Dig: 3/5)
Low - The Invisible Way
Marc Carroll - Stone Beads & Silver (U.S.)
Medeski Martin & Wood - Free Magic (Live)
Marnie Stern - The Chronicles of Marnia
O.A.R - Live on Red Rocks (DVD)
Palma Violets - 180
Phosphorescent - Muchacho
Rachael Yamagata - Heavyweight (EP CD)
Stornoway - Tales From Terra Firma
Suede - Bloodsports
The Black Lillies - Runaway Freeway Blues
The Fabulous Thunderbirds - On the Verge
The Ocean Blue - Ultramarine
The Staves - Dead & Born & Grown (U.S.)
Vance Joy - God Loves You When You're Dancing (3/22 AUS)
Various - Love for Levon/Tribute to Levon Helm (DVD/CD)
Walk Off The Earth - R.E.V.O.
William Tyler (Lambchop) - Impossible Truth