DC Weekly New Release Recap

Outside of Scrabble, we don't like the word plethora but what can you say about the plethora (!) of great new albums arriving this week? There's Patty Griffin's American Kid and Natalie Maines' Mother (which features a Griffin song) -- both making exceptional albums after an exceptionally long wait. DC faves Noah and the Whale aren't getting much of a roll-out here in the states but the band's new Heart of Nowhere is available digitally and we think you should also check out Toronto singer/songer Jim Guthrie's Takes Time. Also for your DC checklist Ann Pragg's Bitter Fruit (Ann's a HE, by the way), Nashville songstress Courtney Jaye's Love and Forgiveness, Ruth Moody (of The Wailin' Jennys) solo LP These Wilder Things, The Jay-Z produced soundtrack of The Great Gatsby (no hype there), Matt Hires' This World Won't Last Forever and Joshua Radin's "Wax Wings." And let's not forget She & Him, Pistol Annies, Deerhunter and James Cotton. Whew. Check out our fully listing along with links to a few DC features (and streams) below...

To say that Patty Griffin is exploring her roots on the exquisite new album American Kid (May 7, New West) is to tell only half the story. Recorded in Memphis with North Mississippi Allstars guitarist Luther Dickinson and drummer Cody Dickinson and co-produced by Griffin and Craig Ross, her dozen new songs -- her first album of original recordings since 2007 -- reflect the award-winning songwriter's most roots-driven project. Clearly she's been immersed in the acoustic traditions of Americana recently on her work with husband Robert Plant (who joins her on three songs here) and her new material could easily segue from Plant's Raising Sand (with Alison Krauss) or Band of Joy...more DC

Natalie Maines, best known as the vocal centerpiece of the Dixie Chicks, makes her long-awaited musical return with Mother (May 7, Columbia), her decidedly non-country solo debut produced by Ben Harper. The rootsy, no-twang album is Maines' first full-length studio recording project since the last Chicks album in '06 and is a daring, dramatic change from her country and new-acoustic past. But this is, after all, the woman who once remarked, "Growing up, when people asked, 'What kind of music do you listen to?,' I'd say, 'Anything but country'. A collection of mostly covers (Eddie Vedder, Jayhawks, Patty Griffin, Jeff Buckley), Mother's goose-bump enducing title track is not only a Pink Floyd classic it also speaks to Maines' decision to forego her music career to raise her two sons...more DC

The twee bow ties and art-school smarty-pants folk/pop seem so, oh, five years ago for Charlie Fink and his Brit band Noah and the Whale. The subtle drift toward a new, more dynamic and band-based sound has been in the works over the course of the band's last couple of albums, bringing a more vibrant, beat-laden mix to much of 2011's Last Night on Earth. The new Heart of Nowhere, due May 6 in the U.K., ratchets up what they call a "tighter, sparser and more muscular sound" thanks to the honing of a more powerful live show (not surprisingly, Heart was recorded live in the studio with minimal overdubs) and some fat bass and drum dynamics via an ear-grabbing mix by Craig Silvey (Arcade Fire)...more DC

"We wanted to maintain a level of rawness and warmth with these songs," says Matt Radick -- aka Ann Pragg -- a singer and songwriter who also just happens to be a member of the Florida indie band Holopaw. Over the past few years Radick has recorded his own songs pretty much on the sly, laying down tracks on a four-track cassette recorder and, he says, "never too concerned about their destination, just happy to share them with friends." Those songs, described by his label Wonderland Archives as "lo fi, homemade recordings of carefully crafted, quietly crushing songs", finally see light of day as Bitter Fruit (May 7). Straddling meditative folk melodies and the reverbed chiming guitar chords, songs such as "Januarium" pull back the curtain on Radick's low-keyed bedroom songcraft...more DC

It's been ten years since the release of his Juno-nominated album Now, More Than Ever, but Toronto based singer and songwriter -- and composer, it turns out -- Jim Guthrie has been busy. Creating film soundtracks and music for video games. Working his old Islands bandmate Nick Thorburn in the folk/pop duo Human Highway in 2008. But the aptly titled Takes Time (May 7), in the works on and off since 2007, brings Guthrie's own solo songwriting back into the spotlight with ten tracks of folk, pop and rock (including a cover of John Loudermilk's "Turn Me On") that sound both understated and ambitious -- shall we call it grandly unpretentious?

More May 6 New Releases:

Abbe May - Kiss My Apocalypse
AM & Shawn Lee - La Musique Numerique
Ann Pragg - Bitter Fruit
Bonnie Tyler - Rocks & Honey
Bracher Brown - Broken Glass & Railroad Tracks
Casey Driessen - 3D
Cassie Taylor - Out of My Mind
Chely Wright - Lifted Off the Ground
Cherri Fosphate - Burning Youth (5/11)
Cody Beebe & The Crooks - Out Here
Courtney Jaye - Love and Forgiveness
Deerhunter - Monomania
Fall Out Boy - Save Rock and Roll
Fitz & The Tantrums - More Than Just A Dream
Grandchildren - Golden Age
James Cotton - Cotton Mouth Man
Jim Guthrie - Takes Time
Joe Satriani - Unstoppable Momentum
Joshua Radin - Wax Wings
Lady Antebellum - Golden
Little Boots - Nocturnes
Mal Blum - Tempest in a Teacup
Matt Hires - This World Won't Last Forever...
Mikal Cronin - MCII
Mother Falcon - You Knew
Natalie Maines (Dixie Chicks) - Mother
Noah & the Whale - Heart of Nowhere
Patty Griffin - American Kid
Pete Roe - Our Beloved Bubble (UK)
Primal Scream - More Light (UK)
Pistol Annies - Annie Up
Public Service Broadcasting - Inform - Educate - Entertain (UK)
Rod Stewart - Time
Ruth Moody - These Wilder Things
Shannon Wright - In Film Sound
She & Him - Volume 3
Still Corners - Strange Pleasures
Tess Henley - High Heels & Sneakers
Thea Gilmore - Regardless (UK)
The Great Gatsby - Soundtrack
The Melvins - Everybody Loves Sausages
Three Blind Wolves - Sing Halelujah for the Old Machine (UK)
Van Dyke Parks - Songs Cycled
Valerie June - Pushin' Against A Stone
Various - The Music of Nashville: Season 1, #2
We Are The Wilderness - Descending From Paramount Yuna - Sixth Street EP