With the release of their 4th studio album, I Learned The Hard Way, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings have further solidified their place at the head of the table when it comes to modern soul music.
Philly's own Dr. Dog may have a new home for their six studio album, but their unmistakable brand of psychedelic, retro-rock remains familiar. Shame, Shame is the name of the new release and a record of many firsts for Dr. Dog. It's the group's first release for Anti- Records, and first album recorded with producer Rob Schnapf, yet all the while Shame, Shame remains a confident leap forward that leaves Dr. Dog poised for bigger things.
In many ways the new album from Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward, known collectively as She & Him, picks up right where their first album left off. Volume Two, appropriately titled, is another dreamy collection of breezy, retro-fitted pop gems. And what She & Him may lack in adventure, they make up for with charm - which is easier said than done.
Damon Albarn's musical foresight may be well-documented, but it's arguably never been more fully realized as it is on Plastic Beach, the new album from Gorillaz. The sun has risen again on the virtual world that Albarn and Gorillaz co-creator Jamie Hewlett first brought to life nearly a decade ago.
What do you get when you cross the precious indie-pop melodies of The Shins with the futuristic beats of DJ/producer Danger Mouse? Well, the one-of-a-kind collaboration between James Mercer, frontman and songwriter from The Shins, and Brian Burton, aka Danger Mouse and co-founder of another ground-breaking partnership Gnarls Barkley, is known as Broken Bells. And the duo’s self-titled debut offering is witness to the best of what both have to offer.
Under normal circumstances an artist releasing an album at an average of once per decade would hardly seem like a formula for success. In the case of Sade however, the norm tends not to apply, and the success of her enchanting new album Soldier of Love is a story few could foresee.
As veteran artists continue to make music, some often have the benefit of resting on their laurels. Some however, don't need to. For Peter Gabriel, the latter is true and his new album of cover songs is proof. Scratch My Back is a collection of songs that spans not just decades or genres, but musical sensibilities.
Pioneers of the trip-hop genre, the British duo Massive Attack emerge with their first studio album in nearly seven years, Heligoland. Their return is welcomed with an arsenal of guest vocalists, and an understated tension-filled musical landscape.
After bonding over a profound affinity for country, bluegrass and folk music, four friends Marcus Mumford, Country Winston, Ben Lovett and Ted Dwane began putting their passionate song-writing to the works in 2007. Their enthusiastic passion for music was infectiously joyous and launched them to the forefront of the underground folk scene in London. That same infectious passion is the reason XPN has chosen Mumford and Sons as the XPN Artist To Watch for the month of June.
A few years removed from his last studio recording and just a couple years since walking away from a major label Citizen Cope finds himself in what seems to be an awfully comfortable place making music. Cope will release The Rainwater LP a new recording of looser, expressive songs and the debut album to be released on his own label Rainwater Recordings.