Central Square Records’ Ed Jack shares his top picks for September. More at centralsquarerecords.com.
Folk singer-songwriter Olsen returns with her most diverse offering yet, conjuring the extensive dream-pop she’s known for (“Sister”) while maintaining her indie-rock identity with songs like “Shut Up Kiss Me.” My Woman is a well-rounded album that will satisfy the seasoned fan while attracting a few new listeners as well. Available now on purple vinyl.
The original soundtrack to one of the most popular TV series ever finally gets the vinyl treatment. The music itself seems as fresh as the day it was first aired back in 1990, and the extended soundtrack covers more themes and moods, expounding on the more recognizable intro theme. In addition to the content, the packaging and artwork are superb, and the records are pressed on coffee-colored vinyl, which would certainly impress caffeine-addict Agent Cooper.
On their tenth studio album in a little over two decades, Wilco deliver a more somber yet powerful set of new songs. Jeff Tweedy, having recorded two solo albums in the past few years, seems to have found a more pronounced voice, while the rest of the band brings some musical innovation to the game. Guitarist Nels Cline adds some eerie touches to tracks like “Common Sense,” and “Happiness” asserts itself as one of the most poignant–and, ironically, saddest–tracks Wilco has produced. Now available on limited colored vinyl while they last.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The success of the vinyl version of the newest Star Wars soundtrack has as much to do with the packaging and artwork as it does with the actual music. Pressed on double “holographic” LPs, one side projects a small Millenium Falcon hologram, the other a Tie Fighter, as they hover above the record as it plays. This special vinyl release definitely boasts one of the coolest features in the galaxy.
St. Paul & the Broken Bones
Sea of Noise
Birmingham, Alabama-based Paul Janeway and his explosive soul ensemble return with their sophomore release, digging deeper into the creative well and coming up with a more mature and evocative set of material. From the get-go, notably on “Flow With It,” it’s evident that the time spent in the studio and playing on the road has served the group well. The songs on Sea of Noise have a deeper soul that the debut seemed to lack, and they feel more at home with the band. Case in point–the stellar souljerker “I’ll Be Your Woman,” which even caused Mick Jagger to stop and take notice.