DC November 27 New Release Recap

This is the time of year when we're scrambling to stay out of the way of the heavy hitting big name releases while the more obscure, DC-friendly artists know it's best to just duck and cover and wait til the new year before trying to get anyone's attention. Still, a few hardy souls this week as we discover the alt-pop goodness of Louisville's A Lion Named Roar, re-discover the power and passion of Canadian songstress (and DC fave) Serena Ryder and get swept up in the cool folk-tronica vibe of the U.K. band Colour The Atlas. We're going to give you details on Swedish import Elin Ruth soon -- her Bang EP is out digitally this week -- and let you try to find any upside to Bryan Ferry's reworking his own and Roxy Music songs as 30's jazz instrumentals on his new Jazz Age album. Also out of note this week: the latest from Alicia Keys, The Winter Sounds, Theme Park's Two Hours EP and Challenger. Read our previews, link to streams and check out the full DC list below...

Harmony may be the "order of the universe" as well as the title of her new album, says Canadian singer and songwriter Serena Ryder, but it's also, she adds, "the merging of symbiotic notes that join together to make the music louder, bigger." If you can wade past the cosmic hyperbole, it's wise just to focus on the "louder, bigger" concept when it comes to Ryder's densely packed and diverse new album. The hip-shaking alt/pop and goose-bump inducing vocals are still very much on display on Harmony (November 27, EMI Canada) but the folky strumming core of Ryder's music has been supplanted by a more daring production edge...more DC

Louisville's A Lion Named Roar walks the fine line between ultra-melodic alterno-pop and jangle-rich indie rock on their new Foreign Land EP (November 27): for every edgy echo of The National or The Killers we get an equally potent hook shot of The Fray or The Script. The sing-along choruses that dominate tracks like "All I Know Is Changing" and "This Won't Last For Long" have both an artisan's skill and a journeyman's sweat built into their core, songs that sound like they would be at home on both discerning radio playlists and the noisy din of local club stages.

Actual surnames once again get the bum's rush with Colour The Atlas, a foursome of British childhood friends who just last year went by The Jess Hall Band (how quaintly retro-sounding). Hall, the group's 18-year-old songwriter and frontwoman and Alex Stone (guitar/vocals) lead the band in creating some of the more interesting fusions of folk and electronica we've heard in a while. The tracks that make up their new EP retain most of the ultra-melodic appeal of their earlier works (the mellow, soulful "Let It Be Known" is a standout) but the new production moves headlong into a more Imogen Heap-styled synth-beat-driven territory...more DC

More November 27 Releases:

Alicia Keys - Girl On Fire
Bobby Bare - Darker Than Light
Bryan Ferry Orchestra - The Jazz Age
Challenger - The World Is Too Much For Me
Elin Ruth - Bang EP (11/26)
The Tea Party - Live From Australia (Can)
The Winter Sounds - Runner
Theme Park - Two Hours EP (11/26), TBA LP (Feb)

And from last week (while we were out:

After five studio albums, more than a decade's worth of live performances and the challenges of maintaining critical relevancy in an era of flavor-of-the-moment fleeting fandom (and increasingly short attention spans), Coldplay continues to soldier on. Worldwide tour on the heels of 2011's Mylo Xyloto found the stadiums and arenas packed and the disciples hanging on every word and note though we have to wonder if the gadgetry and bombast (the Xyloband wrist bands, laser light show, confetti) are more about the spectacle than the music. But, hey -- it's 2012, not 1972. The bigger question is can a band that staked it's reputation on melodic, un-ironic grand-pop music deemed heartfelt and sincere connect amidst the mayhem, the endless crowd sing-a-longs and the accepted stage posing ("You're incredible, thank YOU!"). Well, one answer would be yes, absolutely.

More November 20 Releases:

AC/DC - Live at River Plate (2-CD)
Benjamin Francis Leftwich - In the Open EP
Chris Isaak - Beyond The Sun (DVD)
Elbow - Dead In the Boot (B-sides) (US)
Elvis Costello - In Motion Pictures
Graham Parker & The Rumour - Three Chords Good
Holly Cole - Night (CAN)
Kate Earl - Stronger
Kelly Clarkson - Greatest Hits (w/ 3 new songs)
Keyshia Cole - Woman to Woman
Kid Rock - Rebel Soul
Led Zeppelin - Celebration Day (Live@O2 in '07)
Midway In Wake - We Will Remain Sedate
O.A.R. - Live On Red Rocks (DVD)
Paper Aeroplanes - Time To Be (EP) (11/24 UK)
Phillip Phillips - The World from the Side of the Moon
Porcupine Tree - Octane Twisted/Live
Rachael Yamagata - Heavyweight EP
The Blue Nile - Walk Across The Rooftops/Hats (Expanded Reissues)(UK)
The Jam - The Gift (30th Anniv. Edition)
Uncle Cracker - Midnight Special