Tyondai Braxton‘s debut album, Central Market, came out six long years ago to widespread acclaim. The prodigious composer and musician may not have released any effort since then but he’s been busy composing solo and collaboratively. Other than performing Central Market with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Sinfonietta, BBC Symphony Orchestra, and New York’s Wordless Music Orchestra, Braxton has also composed commissioned pieces for ensembles like The Bang on a Can All Stars, Kronos Quartet, Alarm Will Sound, and Brooklyn Rider.
Following an invitation from New York’s Guggenheim Museum, and after leaving Battles in 2010, Braxton focused on HIVE, a live multimedia performance that was part architectural installation and part ensemble performance. Premiered in 2013, HIVE featured five musicians, each performing atop an space-age oval pods designed by Danish architect Uffe Surland Van Tams. HIVE has evolved into an album, HIVE1, featuring eight pieces composed originally for the live performance. HIVE1 will be out on May 12th via Nonesuch.
Braxton is giving us a tantalizing taste of it, with the quirky first single, ‘Scout1′.
Rejoice, for Godspeed You! Black Emperor are back. The Montreal post-rock collective released their widely acclaimed and Polaris Prize-winning album Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! in 2012, after a long 10-year hiatus. Luckily, we don’t have to wait that long as the band have just announced their sixth full-length album, Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress. Described as “arguably the most focused and best-sounding recording of the band’s career”, the new album was in the works for the last couple of years, which the help of sound engineer Greg Norman. According to the album’s blurb, “Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress finds Godspeed in top form; a sterling celebration of the band’s awesome dialectic, where composition, emotion and ‘note-choice’ is inextricable from an exacting focus on tone, timbre, resonance and the sheer materiality of sound.”
An excerpt of the monumental album’s opener, ‘Peasantry or ‘Light! Inside of Light!’ is now streaming. Listen to it below and grab the album when it drops on March 31st via Constellation.
In other related good news, Godspeed You! Black Emperor are heading back to Europe for a month long tour in April, kicking off in Hamburg on 7th, and also including a London show on 20th at the Shepherds Bush Empire. Check all their dates and other info here.
It’s only been a minute since the wondrous San Francisco based octet SFJAZZ Collective celebrated their tenth anniversary with the release of SFJAZZ Collective: 10. They are ready to follow it up, and as is usual with the collective, their new offering serves as a tribute to a modern jazz master. Drawing on a vast reservoir of musical influences, the collective’s new album celebrates the music of legendary saxophonist and composer Joe Henderson. Featuring both new arrangements of Henderson’s classic and lesser-known pieces, and original compositions written be each member of the collective, the upcoming Live: SFJAZZ Center 2014, The Music of Joe Henderson and New Compositions was recorded live last October at the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco.
“There’s a catchy quality to Joe’s melodies”, said the collective’s pianist Edward Simon, adding that “they’re sing -able, and yet his tunes have very interesting harmonic progressions and sonorities,”. Live: SFJAZZ Center 2014, The Music of Joe Henderson and New Compositions is due out on March 10th. Ahead of its release, we can get a taste of it with the funky and sterling first single ‘Fire, arranged by drummer Obed Calvaire. Lifted from Joe Henderson’s album Elements, the piece was originally recorded in 1973 featuring Alice Coltrane.
The Weather Station, the project of Toronto based singer/songwriter, lyricist and multi-instrumentalist Tamara Lindeman, has confirmed the release of her third album, Loyalty. Slated for a May 12th release via Paradise of Bachelors in the US and Europe and via Outside Music in Canada, the album was recorded at La Frette Studios near Paris, with Afie Jurvanen aka Bahamas and Robbie Lackritz (Feist).
On Loyalty, Lindeman played guitar, banjo, keys, and vibes, and as the press release reminds us, she “has always been a songwriter’s songwriter, recognized for her intricate, carefully worded verse, filled with double meanings, ambiguities, and complex metaphors”. It adds that “lyrically, Loyalty inverts and involutes the language of confession, of regret, of our most private and muddled mental feelings, by externalizing those anxieties through exquisite observation of the things and people we accumulate, the modest meanings accreted during even our most ostensibly mundane domestic moments.”
The delicate and intricate ‘Way It Is, Way It Could Be’ is the first single to be lifted from Loyalty and it serves as a magnificent taste.
Amaterasu, the second album from Swedish/Norwegian duo Lerin / Hystad arrives in just a week. The pair released their debut album, Mount Buzhou, last year and its follow up is due out on March 1st via their own imprint Extemporaneous Recordings.
With the upcoming album, the pair drew on a lot of different influences — ambient soundscapes, experimental rock, jazz and electronic music, combined with field-recordings from arcade halls and subway stations in Tokyo and Osaka.
Amaterasu takes its name from the Sun goddess in Japanese mythology. As the press release explains, after Amaterasu’s brother Susanoo destroyed her rice fields and killed her attendants, she hid inside a cave depriving the world of her crucial light. To get her out of the cave, the gods threw a party outside so that the music and noise could lure her out.
Lerin / Hystad are offering the beautiful first single ‘Ebisu’, a track that emphasizes their flair for ambient and drone oriented pieces and improvisation. Listen to it below and straight after check out the video for ‘Harajuku’, a dancier and punchier affair with excellent guitar work. Have a little dance.