New Music Friday: 13th Floor New Album Picks: May 31, 2024

New Music Friday is here again…the last one for New Zealand Music Month so the new Crowded House album was a no-brainer, but what else has been released today that deserves your attention? We are here to help!

The 13th Floor’s Marty Duda picks these five new releases for your consideration:

  1. Crowded HouseCrowded HouseGravity Stairs (BMG) Neil Finn and Co release their 8th studio album today. Neil says it’s the act of climbing those figurative “gravity stairs,” inspired by a heavy stone staircase near where Finn vacations, that he likens to his own mindset as a creator. “The Gravity Stairs are symbolic of the struggle to ascend, acknowledging the opposing forces of weight on the mechanics of living. It’s an act of will every day.” Click here to read the 13th Floor album review.

2.Willie Nelson Willie NelsonThe Border (Sony/Legacy) At age 90, Willie’s still making beautiful music and only Willie can. The Border is Willie’s 75th studio album, but who’s counting? Somebody is, as it allegedly his 152nd overall! Nelson recorded The Border with producer and longtime collaborator Buddy Cannon, and it includes four new songs that Nelson and Cannon wrote together, as well as some newly written songs by some songwriters that Nelson admires, including Rodney Crowell, Shawn Camp, Mike Reid and Bobby Tomberlin. Its new music from Willie Nelson…you can count on it!

3Richard Thompson. Richard ThompsonShip To Shore (New West) Pitchfork said Thompson’s previous album, 13 Riversmay be his best album this century”, so no pressure following that up. . This 12-song set was produced by Richard Thompson and recorded in Woodstock, NY. Ship To Shore pulls from various styles, genres and eras, but remains unmistakably Richard Thompson. “I liked the idea of having a strong base to work from and reaching out from there,” he says. “And I think of my base as being British traditional music, but there’s also Scottish music, there’s Irish music. There’s jazz and country and classical. As far as I’m concerned, once you establish your base, you can reach out anywhere. It’ll still be you ringing through, wherever you decide to go musically.”

4. Buffalo TomBuffalo Tom- Jump Rope (Scrawny) It’s the 10th album from Boston’s Buffalo Tom. As they have throughout their career, Buffalo Tom have chosen to partner with a photographer for album and single art that best represents the music. For their most current releases, the group was inspired by images from street photographer Mark Cohen’s book “True Color.” Based in rural Pennsylvania, Cohen’s photographs reflect a rural American melancholy. The absence of any fonts or titles brings more attention to the colors and details of the photo. “We are very excited to release Jump Rope and look forward to adding these songs alongside BT classics when we take on whatever limited touring we are able to do,” adds guitarist Bill Janovitz.“We’ve been blown away by the audience response at our most recent sold-out shows.”

Jesse Dayton5. Jesse DaytonThe Hard Way Blues (Blue Élan) A self-styled outlaw country/punk badass, songwriter and guitar virtuoso, Dayton says The Hard Way Blues is a significant milestone in his esteemed career. Recorded in the heart of Hollywood, Dayton and producer Shooter Jennings meticulously sculpted this rootsy gem, drawing from timeless Americana influences. Inspired by the raw authenticity of 70s Dylan, the soulful melodies of old Texas blues, and legendary guitar sounds ranging from Freddie King to Jimmy Page, the album showcases Dayton’s versatility and artistry. With storytelling prowess akin to Ray Wylie Hubbard or Townes Van Zandt, The Hard Way Blues seamlessly refines Dayton’s signature rowdy sound into an irresistibly melodic collection of American music.