New Music Friday: 13th Floor New Album Picks: Feb 24, 2023

New Music Friday is here again. The 13th Floor’s Marty Duda presents this week’s 5 new albums for your consideration plus a massive classic soul live box set.

From Gorillaz to The Church we’ve got plenty of cool new music to check out today, starting with:

  1. Iris DementWorkin’ On A World (Songs Of Iris) It’s the 62 year old singer-songwriter’s 7th album, her first in almost a decade and it comes 30 years after her debut. But don’t get caught up in the numbers, this is an album to play from beginning to end. Quoting Iris: “I’m workin’ on a world I may never see  / Joinin’ forces with the warriors of love / Who came before and will follow you and me / I get up in the mornin’ knowing I’m privileged to be / Workin’ on a world I may never see.

2. The ChurchThe Hypnogogue (Communicating Vessels) Its the 26th album by these Australian veterans. ‘What’s a Hypnogogue?’ I hear you ask. Here’s Steve Killby’s explanation: “Invented by Sun Kim Jong, a Korean scientist and occult dabbler, The Hypnogogue is a machine and a process that pulls music straight of dreams. The title track is about Eros Zeta, the biggest rock star of 2054, who has traveled from his home in Antarctica (against his manager’s advice) to use the Hypnogogue to help him revive his flagging fortunes. In the midst of the toxic process, he also falls in love with Sun Kim and it all ends tragically. C’est La Vie” continues the narrative which serves as a cautionary tale from Zeta’s agent not to mess with the Hypnogogue. His manager has heard some bad rumors about it and he doesn’t want his boy all strung out on this unknown.”

3. The ShootoutsStampede (Soundly) Country/Honky Tonk music from Akron, Ohio. An energetic fusion of Americana, honky tonk and Western swing that Shootouts fans often refer to as “country music for people who don’t like country.” Album features guest shots by Ray Benson, Marty Stuart, Jim Lauderdale and Buddy Miller. Click here to watch The 13th Floor MusicTalks interview with bandleader Ryan Humbert.

4. U.S. Girls Bless This Mess (4AD) U.S. Girls is the brainchild of Meg Remy (from Toronto by way of Illinois). Bless This Mess was crafted in tandem with the conception and birth of Remy’s twin boys. It expands the sonic and thematic palette of U.S. Girls, fusing the muses of funk, mythology, and the radical disorientation of joy into an electric tapestry of anthems, aches, and awakenings.

5. GorillazCracker Island (Parlophone) The eighth studio album from Gorillaz, an energetic, upbeat,  genre-expansive collection of 10 tracks featuring yet another stellar lineup of artist collaborators: Stevie Nicks, Adeleye Omotayo, Thundercat, Tame Impala, Bad Bunny and Bootie Brown and Beck. Recorded in London and LA earlier this year, it is produced by eight-time Grammy Award-winning producer/multi-instrumentalist/songwriter extraordinaire Greg Kurstin, Gorillaz and Remi Kabaka Jr.

And, if you’ve got some spare time this weekend, I highly recommend spending that time with this:

Soul’d Out: The Complete Wattstax Collection (Stax) 12 CD set celebrating the 50th anniversary of the iconic WATTSTAX concert that took place at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 1972, Stax Records presents the most comprehensive collection of audio recordings from the event ever. This 12-CD set, features 31 previously unreleased tracks, with material from the Summit Club and other additional recordings. The 76-page, full-color book in the set also features, an introduction by Wattstax creator Al Bell, plus new essays by Rob Bowman and A. Scott Galloway.

Artists featured include Isaac Hayes, The Staple Singers, Rufus Thomas, Albert King, William Bell and many more.