Connect with us


Record Roundup

Published on

Ambrose Akinmusire

A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard

Blue Note

Trumpet wonder Akinmusire brought longtime colleagues Sam Harris (piano), Harish Raghavan (bass) and Justin Brown (drums) with him to execute this lengthy live recording at one of jazz’s legendary venues. Akinmusire’s music has always been a bit like that of Dave Douglas for me—a slowly acquired taste that isn’t always palatable. His two previous albums didn’t exactly thrill me, but this one connects. It might be that it’s more gut level, less overthought and more spontaneous than previous works. Or I just might prefer small combos when it comes to trumpeters. It worked for Miles Davis.

– Bruce Collier

Arcade Fire

Everything Now


Arcade Fire’s fifth LP shows a new, more cynical and satirical side of a band that has always largely made music about unbridled emotions and finding joy in joyless places. There is an omnipresent paranoia about technology, capitalism, fame, and the idea of being infinitely stuck. While the concerns are relatable in these strange times, Arcade Fire is no longer a source of catharsis. The album is dynamic in its glitchy disco sound and has some truly beautiful moments in standout songs including the title track, “Electric Blue,” and “We Don’t Deserve Love.” Ultimately, Everything Now is a complicated album about a complicated time.

– Jane Morgan




Loud guitars, anthemic choruses, and that big sound that made ‘80s rock irresistible help Buzzcutt firmly leave their mark on Pensacola’s rock scene. For those who miss that time when everyone’s hair was big, MTV was king, and rock music was fun and loud, Buzzcutt proves to be a cut above the rest.

– Nikki Hedrick

Matt Cappy

Church and State

Ropeadope Records

This is my first Cappy album, and apparently his too, as a leader. The trumpeter has sat in as sideman with an impressive range of artists of all genres. Church and State is likely to earn him some new fans on his own. The 10 tracks see him gliding and dipping into a variety of styles—Latin, gospel, hip-hop, opera (Puccini, no less)—with a clean, bold and powerfully sustained tone that fairly proclaims every note. I hope he follows Wynton Marsalis’ example and records an all-classical album—Haydn, Hummel, all those dead white Europeans.

– Bruce Collier

Lana Del Rey

Lust for Life


Del Rey’s fifth album is her most expansive and vulnerable work to date. There is a refreshing sincerity and openness present in these songs that felt overpowered by Del Rey’s persona in her previous work. Lust For Life is tinged with her signature nostalgic, spacious sound that feels like the slowest summer day. Through its American imagery—a constant in Del Rey’s work—and gloomy darkness, she is making music for her fans in an uncertain era. And yet there is a subtle hopefulness in her moments of tranquility and quiet optimism that makes a specific type of sadness and worry feel heard and comforted.

– Jane Morgan

Cynthia McDermott

Notes from the Underground


With a silky smooth voice and a mandolin, McDermott exudes a certain glow with her music. A glorious combination of early female jazz vocals and modern soul, Notes From The Underground is a powerful example of how much variety and heart can be expressed through minimal acoustic instrumentation and a voice as unique as spotting a unicorn sunbathing on the beach.

– Nikki Hedrick

Nine Inch Nails

Add Violence

The Null Corporation

When you’re a longtime fan of a band, loyalty sometimes gets in the way of objectivity, especially when said band has been steadily performing for decades. Even if the music is, in reality, mediocre, they’ll at least get a loyalty-induced listen-to and a polite clap. But NIN’s latest EP is worth real applause, maybe even a few whoops and some foot stomping. At least a few tracks—particularly “Not Anymore”—have a sound reminiscent of Reznor’s early days sans Atticus Ross. Others stay true to his post-millennium work—Hesitation Marks, Ghosts, and those unforgettable movie soundtracks. The second in a trilogy, Add Violence incites anticipation of the third, which promises to be soon-to-come.

– Joni Williams

Jeroen van Veen

Nietzsche: Piano Music

Brilliant Classics

I had no idea Friedrich Nietzsche was a composer. He was, and apparently kept his hand in even after philosophy and writing became his main occupations. Dutch composer and pianist Jeroen van Veen is well known for his extensive interpretations of, among others, Satie, which made him a natural for a collection of Nietzsche’s works. The 19 tracks here, technically classified as “miniatures,” nevertheless don’t venture into the realm of Modern music that Satie pioneered. The works bear titles like “fragments” and “hymnus” (not sure if the latter were composed before Nietzsche pronounced God dead), and sound romantic, even melodramatic.

– Bruce Collier

Jesh Yancey

Look at Us Now


Alabama folkie Yancey follows the path of political and social commentary through songs. Not shy about his stance on the world, Look at Us Now lets the listener tap into Yancey’s perspective and ask some profound questions. If you prefer folk songs that lean heavily on substance, this seven-song EP deserves a spin.

– Nikki Hedrick
Spread the love
Click to comment
Please Login to comment
Notify of