This Fall is shaping up to be one of the best seasons for music with a number of great releases that should be on everyone’s now playing list. We’re only halfway through November, but already, we have seen plenty of great work being released by artists from every genre. Listed below are my personal recommendations so far this month for anyone looking to add new music to their catalog. This will likely become a routine thing for us to do here every month, so look for more of our editorial lists such as this one in the future.
Grizzly Bear – Shields: B-Sides
First up on the list is Brooklyn-based group Grizzly Bear who have produced a decent “special release” from their fourth studio album titled Shields. The album is an expanded edition of the LP that features several B-sides, remixes and demos not previously released with Shields. The new content is available in two mediums, an expanded edition containing the original album with all the bonus material, and a 12” vinyl of Shields: B-Sides without the album for those who already own it. The album features the same style of baroque-rock, or chamber-rock, that was featured on the 2012 LP with tracks such as “Will Calls,” a song that is swathed in a soft lyrics and a simple background that evolves into an amazing peppy track.
Swearin’ – Surfing Strange
Ok. So I have only recently found out about this group who produces some awesome grungy, garage band rock, but this might be my favorite one on the list. Swearin’ is a Philadelphia-based band that is made up of singer Allison Crutchfield (Whose twin sister created Waxahatchee and one of the best indie-rock albums of last year), guitarist Kyle Gilbride, bassist Keith Spencer and drummer Jeff Bolt. Surfing Strange is the follow up to their self-titled debut album and shows a lot progression for the band. Where there were two singers, now there are three. The album features a similar Velvet Underground-inspired sound, complete with heavy guitar feedback and rumbling kick drums with a heavy dose of buildups and breakdowns.
Phish – Niagara Falls
Jam band legends Phish have just released a three-CD set that features Phish’s 1995 performance in what Rolling Stone calls one of the best concerts of the 90s. Included in the set is the complete concert and added bonus material including “Poor Heart”, an original track from that night’s soundcheck. Bonus material also includes a video of the band’s performance at the Niagara Falls Convention Center. The music on the album reflects the band’s signature experimental sound that ranges from psychedelic rock, slow ballads, swing and progressive rock to bluegrass, and of course some hair-metal guitar shredding.
Passafire – Vines
Passafire has remained one of my favorite reggae bands for a long time because they always push the boundaries of the genre rather than simply spitting out the same old reggae music that a lot of bands often do. Vines, the band’s fifth studio album, shows a continued growing emphasis on adding in more alternative rock and progressive rock elements that set apart their unique brand of reggae. Another change comes in the form of Passafire’s record label, which is now Easy Star Records. Several fans would claim that this might be the band’s best album to date, but I would put it at a close second to Start From Scratch.