By The Fire (The Daydream Library Series) is Thurston Moore’s seventh solo album and third since Sonic Youth stumbled to its sonic death nine years ago. Featuring Moore’s recent live band—Deb Googe (My Bloody Valentine), Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth) and James Sedwards—plus Jon Leidecker (Negativland) and Jem Doulton, By The Fire was completed only months ago. Moore was adamant about getting the nine-song LP—an ecstatic-peace offering during a year the world has literally and figuratively been in flames—out in 2020. On November 5, the London-based Moore and band will embark on an eight-date socially distanced tour of France, Belgium and the Netherlands in support of By The Fire. Here’s hoping they play SY’s “Youth Against Fascism,” which is even more timely now than it was in 1992.
Blitzen Trapper is back with 10th album Holy Smokes Future Jokes (Yep Roc). And while its title might elicit a grin, the LP is no laughing matter. It focuses on Tibetan Buddhism’s belief in the “bardo,” a state of existence between death and rebirth. While many of us might be a little leery of getting too existential these days while living through a stressful, uncertain and seemingly endless global pandemic, Holy Smokes Future Jokes is far from a downer. Quite the opposite, in fact. Eric Earley and Co.’s experimental Americana brings with it plenty of good, melodic vibes, man, and the album will take you to a better place if you let it.Logic sometimes gets cosmic, you know.
While a number of East Coast states are dealing with an infestation of lanternflies, the entire U.K. is trying to manage the out-of-control return of a larger flying species: Doves. The Manchester trio just issued The Universal Want, its first LP in 11 years, and not only did it immediately go to number one on the British album charts, it outsold the other four records in the top five combined. The Universal Want is also garnering universal acclaim from critics across the globe, and, as longtime Doves fans, we heartily concur that the album was worth the long wait. If you’re wanting some peace right now during these universally tough times, The Universal Want should be just what you need. Doves might not also bring you new beginnings, fidelity, love, luck and prosperity, but they will help you right now, when it’s so hard to get by.
Delta Spirit took an extended break following 2014’s Into The Wide and all the touring and promotion that comes after releasing an album. Sometimes, it ain’t easy being in a rock ‘n’ roll band and you need time away from each other to hit the reset button. For the five members of Delta Spirit (who are now spread out across North America), that meant pursuing musical projects away from their main gig. But the quintet—vocalist/guitarist Matthew Logan Vasquez, multi-instrumentalist Kelly Winrich, guitarist Will McLaren, bassist Jonathan Jameson and drummer Brandon Young—came back refreshed and ready to make fifth album What Is There (New West). Produced by the band, mixed by studio guru Tchad Blake (check your record collection) and dedicated to the late, great Richard Swift, What Is There is Delta Spirit’s most ambitious LP yet.