It's been a while since I've done a music update, so here's what I'm excited about these days:
First and foremost, there's a new Dr. John album called Locked Down being released on April 3rd. Long-term Phantasmaphiles know that Gris-Gris is one of my all-time favorite artworks, musical or otherwise, so I'm psyched to hear this album will harken back to that early, voodoo-soaked era. It's produced by the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, and the first single, "Revolution" is a raucous, brassy anthem that sets me shaking. NYCers should grab tickets to his residency next month at BAM, which sounds incredible. (And thanks to John Coulthart, for the heads up).
Larkin Grimm came out with her latest album, Soul Retrieval, last month. New music by her is always cause for celebration, and this album is a bit more upbeat than some of her previous. But it still has her signature mountain-shaman vibe, with eclectic, psyche-folk instrumentation and ecstatic lyrics. I save for Larkin Grimm my highest compliment: her work makes me happy to be alive.
Anna Calvi has been kicking around the UK for a while, but she's a brand new revelation to me. Her music is lush, noir-rock - a bit like early PJ Harvey with Chrissie Hynde vocals, but even more cavernous and cinematic. I'm a sucker for her androgenous, glamorous flamenco-greaser style, and confess I've been pretty obsessed with finding clips and videos of her on YouTube. She's astonishing.
I love new spins on classic myths (and you may recall my glee about Anais Mitchell's Hadestown, a folk opera version of the Orpheus and Eurydice story.) I recently stumbled upon Sarah Kirkland Snider's orchestral, contemporary take on The Odyssey, called Penelope. Like a musical version of Atwood's Penelopiad, the story is retold from Penelope's perspective, with the added bonus of being performed by Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond. Lovely stuff.