New Music Friday: 13th Floor New Album Picks: April 5, 2024

Its another New Music Friday and another bumper crop of new releases to sort through. Once more, the 13th Floor is here to help, choosing five new albums that we think deserve your attention over the weekend.

There’s plenty to choose from…from Australia to Ohio…The 13th Floor’s Marty Duda picks these five new releases for your consideration:

  1. Black KeysThe Black KeysOhio Players (Nonesuch) Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney tip their hats to famed 70’s funksters on this, their 12th studio album. Featuring collaborations with Beck and Noel Gallagher, Carney shares, “We had this epiphany: ‘We can call our friends to help us make music.’ It’s funny because we both write songs with other people – Dan all the time [as a solo artist and producer], me when I’m producing a record. That’s what we do.” Auerbach adds, “No matter who we work with, it never feels like we’re sacrificing who we are. It only feels like it adds some special flavor. We just expanded that palette with people we wanted to work with. We were there to support them and their ideas, to do whatever we could to see that moment flourish. But when it came time to finish the album, it was just Pat and me.”


2Grace Cummings. Grace CummingsRamona (ATO/Sugar Mountain) This is the Australian singer/songwriter’s third album and, yes, the title was inspired by Bob Dylan’s 1964 song, To Ramona.I didn’t want to be myself so I decided to be Ramona instead,” explains Grace, “full of intensity and melodrama. For me there’s a lot of safety in putting on a costume or a mask; sometimes it feels like the only way to express any true honesty or vulnerability.” Cummings hopes that Ramona might provide her audience with a similar sense of relief and release. “A lot of the time the only way for me to process what’s happening in my life is to write about it,” she says. “So it’s a deeply personal record. But I hope that people come away from this album feeling like the songs were written just for them. Because they were, in a way. Watching the deeply personal evolve into something that’s shared by so many different people makes me feel less lonely in this world.


3. KhruangbinKhruangbinA La Sala (Dead Oceans) A La Sala is Spanish and translates to English as To The Room. This is the band’s fourth studio album, and first in four years…not that they’ve been resting on their laurels. They’ve  been selling out shows at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall, Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre and London’s Alexandra Palace. They’ve released five live LPs showcasing their stage prowess – featuring storied guests such as Toro y Moi, Men I Trust and Nubya Garcia – collaborated with Malian guitarist Vieux Farka Touré honoring Vieux’s late father, Ali Farka Touré,  with the album Ali highlighted everywhere from The New York Times and NPR (“labyrinthine fusion of dub, blues and Malian grooves,”), to GQ who says “there’s a placelessness to the band Khruangbin that, counterintuitively, gives them their gravity.” That same year the band released their second collaborative EP with Leon Bridges, the sultry, chart-topping Texas Moon, which arrived to widespread acclaim from The New York TimesNPRUproxxVultureFADER while pushing the boundaries of psychedelic R&B.


4.Larry Williams Larry Campbell & Teresa WilliamsAll This Time (Royal Potato) Together since 1986, All This Time is the couple’s fourth album. All This Time , says Larry, “feels more intuitive to me than the earlier records, less experimental, evidence that we’ve grown more aware of who we are and what we have to offer.” What they offer, evidently, is an intensely romantic album. Songs like “Desert Island Dreams,” “Ride With Me,” “The Way You Make Me Feel,” and “I Love You” fairly burst with the joy of love, while others recognize love’s humbling power. “All I want, all I need, is right in front of me,” testifies one song. “I still tremble at your name,” says another.


5Jane Weaver. Jane WeaverLove In Constant Spectacle (Fire) Weaver made this, album in collaboration with her first ever producer, John Parish (PJ Harvey, Aldous Harding), in Rockfield Studios and Geoff Barrow’s Invada studio. “A lot of the album’s themes stem from interpretation and translation, observations and emotional cues. I love the nuances in translation on foreign film subtitles, sometimes it’s exaggerated or more beautiful, stand-alone statements that don’t make sense but when accompanied by a visual image, we can see the scene play out,” Weaver explains.