The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys and The Infamous Stringdusters‘ Jeremy Garrett also have new releases out today.
Each week Release Day Picks profiles new LPs and EPs Team JamBase will be checking out on release day Friday. This week we highlight new albums by Destroyer, Maren Morris, The Bogie Band featuring Joe Russo, The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys, and The Infamous Stringdusters‘ Jeremy Garrett. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.
Destroyer – Labyrinthitis
Destroyer’s 13th album, Labyrinthitis, is out today on Merge Records. Destroyer is the creative outlet for Canadian musician Dan Bejar, who also performs with The New Pornographers among others. Bejar once again worked with frequent cohort, producer/multi-instrumentalist John Collins, on the follow-up to the last Destroyer LP, 2020’s Have We Met. While that album was recorded remotely by choice, the 2020 pandemic forced Labyrinthitis to be made separately as well, with Bejar in his native Vancouver and Collins on the nearby Galiano Island. After their initial work, the full Destroyer band was brought in to flesh out the 10 tracks that make up the record, as contributions were recorded remotely by keyboardist Ted Bois, guitarists Nicolas Bragg and David Carswell, trumpeter JP Carter and drummer Joshua Wells.
“Usually, Destroyer stuff is set in a crumbling world, and that decay is a backdrop to some kind of 20th century-style adventure,” Bejar told Pitchfork. “But I didn’t see that in anything I wrote. It was just brittle little blasts of writing—anti-songs, anti-poems, nothing cohesive. I steered into that. Labyrinthitis is supposed to be really disorienting. It’s fast. And it’s incoherent. [laughs] I don’t really get comfort from the record.”
Maren Morris – Humble Quest
Maren Morris released her album, Humble Quest, today via Sony Music Nashville’s Columbia Nashville imprint. Renowned producer Greg Kurstin (Adele, Paul McCartney, Foo Fighters) helmed the new album following Morris’s 2019 LP, Girl. Morris began writing material for Humble Quest at the outset of the pandemic which coincided with “a series of major life changes” for Morris, “new motherhood, an upended career, the death of beloved friend and collaborator Michael Busbee and more, further compounded by lockdown,” press materials for Humble Quest noted. Morris co-wrote — on a piano that belonged to Busbee — with a number of familiar collaborators including her husband Ryan Hurd, Julia Michaels, Jimmy Robbins, her The Highwomen bandmate Natalie Hemby and more. The collaborations saw Morris “reckoning with humility in ways she’d never imagined as she thought about how the goal of appearing humble puts artists, especially women, in a box with unrealistic demands to keep them small,” as per the press release.
“Am I humble enough now?” Maren stated. “Maybe. Or maybe I still haven’t found it yet. Or maybe, who cares as long as your friends and, most importantly, you know what your heart is all about? But here’s to taking the quest to find out.”
The Bogie Band featuring Joe Russo – The Prophets In The City
The Bogie Band featuring Joe Russo put out their debut album, The Prophets In The City, today through Royal Potato Family. Incorporating just wind and percussion instruments, the nine-track collection consists of compositions arranged by multi-instrumentalist Stuart Bogie (Antibalas, Arcade Fire, TV On The Radio) that feature the propulsive drumming of his longtime friend and collaborator Joe Russo. Bogie plays percussion, tenor sax, baritone sax and flute on an album that includes contributions from an impressive array of fellow New York City-based musicians such as Mauro Refosco (David Byrne), Jordan McLean (Antibalas), Cochemea Gastelum (The Dap-Kings) and Dave Guy (Budos Band).
“The music we’ve created here revels in the human mysteries that unfold in New York City, basking in its connections, ironies, and myths,” noted Bogie in a press release. “Through observing its humanity, we hope to invoke the underlying world of the spirits.”
“These are deep, thoughtful, beautiful and powerful compositions that could have only come from the mind and heart of Stuart Bogie,” added Joe Russo. “I’m so proud of this record and can’t wait to share it with the world.”
The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys – Never Slow Down
Bluegrass outfit The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys have released their latest full length, Never Slow Down, on the esteemed Smithsonian Folkways record label. The 11-song set is the follow-up to their Grammy-nominated 2017 release, Toil, Tears & Trouble. Produced by the band and Dave Maggard, Never Slow Down was recorded in Sevierville, Tennessee at Sound Biscuit Productions. The new record is a mix of original songs along with covers of tunes by The Stanley Brothers, Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard, George Jones and others. Never Slow Down is the band’s first album recorded with fiddler Laura Orshaw as an official member of the band.
“Laura has been filling in for us since 2017, and she’s been part of the band for the last two years now,” lead singer and mandolinist C.J. Lewandowski said. “So, it’s five of us now. She gels perfectly with what we want to do in the studio and onstage — when the creative juices get flowing, the music gets hot. Having the fiddle in there really completes that signature lineup of what bluegrass music is. And with Laura, we’re able to open up all kinds of harmony structures, which gives each of us more opportunities to expand our palette of what we want to ultimately create and perform live.”
Jeremy Garrett – River Wild
Fiddler/vocalist Jeremy Garrett of The Infamous Stringdusters gets back to his roots on River Wild, a studio album out today on Organic Records. Garrett made the most of modern technology on 2020’s Circles and 2021’s Wanderer’s Compass but thought the time was right for a record described as a “love letter to bluegrass.” River Wild features 11 originals penned by Jeremy and friends along with a cover of Bill Monroe’s “Kentucky Waltz.”
Garrett was backed on all 12 songs by guitarist Seth Taylor and mandolinist Alan Bibey. Other River Wild contributors include Mountain Heart’s Josh Shilling on harmony vocals, acclaimed bluegrass musician Lou Reid as well as Jeremy’s Infamous Stringdusters bandmates bassist Travis Book and dobroist Andy Hall. Banjoists Ryan Cavanaugh (Bill Evans Soulgrass), Gena Britt (Sister Sadie) and Russ Carson (Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder) also recorded parts for the album.
“I had it in my heart to do a bluegrass record this time around and to call upon some friends to help me record it,” Garrett explained. “I picked some of my favorite songs from my original catalog, and also wrote some specifically for this project. I went as bluegrass as I could, while trying to be true to being original. I poured my life’s blood into these songs and the performance of them, and I was so honored to have this lineup of players and singers to make the songs be all they could be — and then some.”
Compiled by Scott Bernstein, Nate Todd and Andy Kahn.