This Month's Picks

Invitation (CD)

Heather Woods Broderick
Heather Woods Broderick’s latest release, Invitation , is atmospheric, melancholy, and as familiar as a half-remembered dream. The singer-songwriter named the album as a nod to a quote from American author Thomas Moore about how “to be a person means to be faced every minute with the decision to live or die; to accept the invitations for yet more vitality or to decline them out of fear or lethargy.” It’s a pretty apt synopsis of the album’s lyrical concerns and pervasive mood — shadowy and strange yet ultimately uplifting. Fans of past tour mates Horse Feathers and Sharon Van Etten won’t want to sleep on the intriguing Ms. Woods Broderick’s Invitation . More
Genre: Rock

Bolden [OST] (CD)

Wynton Marsalis
Bolden , the new biopic about New Orleans jazz king Charles “Buddy” Bolden, was not only produced by current icon Wynton Marsalis, but he also performed the music that takes center stage in the film. The soundtrack is a feast of that pioneering Big Easy brass sound, reviving many ragtime numbers that Bolden made famous. Delivered here by Marsalis with a wellspring of talent that includes Catherine Russell, Brianna Thomas, Victor Goines, Wycliffe Gordon and more, the music vividly captures the sound of a turbulent era from which a brand new genre exploded – forever changing American popular music. More
Genre: Jazz, Soundtracks

Moonlight (CD)

The third studio album by husband & wife team Johnnyswim (Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano) ups the stakes with the help of Grammy-winning producer Malay. The duo's slick combination of soul, rock, and pop is centered around their complementary voices, weaving together effectively, for example, on the edgy, percussive single “Bridges.” “Flowers” is a smooth ballad helmed by Sudano with notes of twangy folk, but the tracks are frequently uplifted by energizing beats such as in “The Last Time,” which features Michael McDonald, and “Souvenir” which morphs into a dynamic stomping chorus. More
Genre: Rock

Glass ([2019] (BLU)

M. Night Shyamalan brings together two of his standout original films— Unbreakable and Split — in this explosive comic book thriller. Elijah Price, also known as Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson), finds David Dunn (Bruce Willis) pursuing Kevin Wendell Crumb's superhuman figure, The Beast (James McAvoy), in a series of escalating encounters. Price, armed with secrets critical to both men, emerges as a shadowy orchestrator. More

By Blood (CD)

Shovels & Rope
Shovels & Rope's new albumis (fittingly) a family affair. Written and recorded in the husband/wife indie folk duo’s backyard recording studio, By Blood is alternatively jubilant and introspective. Expect heart-tugging harmonies, sweetly nostalgic throwback vibes, and top-tier songwriting. Recommended for fans of rootsy Americana created through a punk rock lens. More
Genre: Rock, Folk

Ventura (CD)

Anderson .Paak
Anderson .Paak’s star continues to rise on his excellent new LP, Ventura . Joined by a whole galaxy of top tier talent, .Paak delivers a non-stop mix of soulful, funky future hits. Along for the ride are Andre 3000, Smokey Robinson, Lalah Hathaway, Jazmine Sullivan, Sonyae Elise, Brandy, and the late Nate Dogg. Executive produced by the legendary Dr. Dre, this is an album you already know is reaching future classic status. Essential listening for true soul and hip-hop heads. More
Genre: Soul

Only You Can See It (CD)

Emily Reo
Emily Reo makes an attention-grabbing entry into the field of smart, shimmering electropop with Only You Can See It . Lush and vibrant, the album is jam-packed with glorious washes of sound, candy sweet vocals, and glittering synths. Reo has been crafting dreamy indie music for a decade; with its addictive melodies and pop-leaning sensibilities, it seems likely Only You Can See It is the LP that will catapult her into the spotlight. Don’t sleep on this gorgeous, golden electro extravaganza. More
Genre: Rock

The Medicine Show (CD)

Melissa Etheridge
The indomitable Melissa Etheridge returns with her first album of originals since 2014. Her rich voice and guitar chops are as potent as ever, and emotions run strong on this new collection of songs – not the least in “Last Hello,” a poignant tribute to the survivors of the Parkland school shooting. “Wild And Lonely” is a powerful single, with strong dynamics and an anthemic chorus. “Faded by Design” is folkier but with a hint of outlaw country. The album's themes touch on healing, renewal, and reckoning with troubled times in the U.S., including the opioid crisis. More
Genre: Rock

The Hurting Kind (CD)

John Paul White
The second solo album from The Civil Wars' John Paul White features tracks co-written by Nashville greats Bobby Braddock and Whisperin' Bill Anderson, as well as guest turns from the Secret Sisters and Lee Ann Womack, among others. It's a set of country folk that rides along pleasantly on mid-tempo guitar. “The Long Way Home” is decidedly catchy despite a dark tone and White's sensitive but urgent vocals carry the chorus. “I Wish I Could Write You A Song” sways and soars gorgeously, and album closer “My Dreams Have All Come True” is a sweet waltz that swells into something grander, floating on strings and steel guitar. More
Genre: Folk

Life Metal [Record Store Day] (CD)

Sunn O)))
Enthusiasts of both guitar amplification and seminal drone-metal group Earth, Sunn O))) have come a long since their early experiments in testing the limits of feedback and distortion. Their most ambitious work might have culminated in 2009’s Monoliths & Dimensions , an album that incorporated a diverse array of instruments and textures into their nightmare drone, and since then they have collaborated with artists like avant-pop hero Scott Walker, proving vast possibility to what might seem like a limited formula: ostensibly two dudes with guitars making instrumental drone metal. However, Life Metal follows the precedent set by 2015’s Kannon in returning a bit to their roots, utilizing fewer instruments and focusing more on those hypnotic waves of guitar chords. The mission of Life Metal in particular was to attempt to emulate the sound and feel of Sunn O)))’s live show, which they do courtesy of Steve Albini’s all analogue production. Play this one loud, or you’re not really playing it at all. More
Genre: Rock