NEW MUSIC FRIDAY coming at you with freshly baked new releases to ease the winter's chill

Straight to you. No detours. No red lights. No interruptions.

THE BESNARD LAKES - The Besnard Lakes Are The Last of The Great Thunderstorm Warnings [LP/CD](Fat Cat/PIAS)

Montreal’s Besnard Lakes have found their voice on their latest album. That voice is one that speaks to you from a dream state. Haunting, mysterious, psychedelic songs that written to ebb and flow like symphonic music. While there will be a lot of comparing them other Quebecois bands, “Great Thunderstorm Warnings” travels in from a variety of different fronts. The Seventies Manfred Mann vibe on the verse of “Our Heads, Our Hearts on Fire Again” erupts into a majestic Power Pop chorus where the vocals dance and harmonize like the Northern Lights. The falsetto voices and Pink Floydian sweep of “Feuds With Guns” make the epic feel strangely intimate. That emotional connection seems to be precisely what the band has found in themselves and wishes to share with all of us.

THE NOTWIST - Vertigo Days [LP/CD](Morr Music GER)

The German outfit led by the Acher brothers (Micha and Markus) has never settled for a “sound” over the 20-plus years they have been making music. On their first album in six years, they seem to discover that the world is sort of their instrument for playing. On their best albums (2002’s “Neon Golden” and the masterful 2014 album “Close To The Glass,”) they used their Electronics as a counterpart to composing “human” music. “Vertigo Days” is their transition to using Electronics to brighten their songs like scientists birthing an artificial sun. The synth chords shine like rays of light against near-square wave synths on “Into Love/Stars.” And while they have always had a little of that minimal Stereolab-ish draw to their sound, when they bring in guest Juana Molina on “Al Sur,” they turn the rhythms backward and show that even the most complex polyrhythms played consistently can find that same trance-like state as Krautrock. While the heartening and subdued “Where You Find Me” is the brothers taking on Pop their way.

NOPES - Djörk [LP/CD](Magnetic Eye/Believe)

Oakland’s fierce and bracing Nopes are here to put the “aggro” back into Rock. Like predecessors The Jesus Lizard, Nopes are all massive bass and the vocal YAWP. Pugilistic and pungent, the songs of “Djörk ” wreak of Nineties Rock where every song was a raging slab of attitude. “Under The Leather” is the closest to the mighty Lizard, but kudos to the quartet for socking you in the face until you do not notice. “Djörk“ is filled with riffs that slam into you like a car crash and then find a screaming/atonal break to scramble your brain further (“Pocket Square”) or take a Southern Rock-ready blast of riffage and slide guitar skronk (the 1:40 “Smile Room”) and turn it into a stadium anthem for slam dancers who arrive in the pit just as it finishes. One to definitely watch.

LON MOSHE & THE SOUTHERN FREEDOM ARKESTRA - Love Is Where The Spirit Lies [LP/CD](Black Fire/Strut/Redeye)

Various Artists - MORIS ZEKLER: Fuzz & Soul Sega From 70’s Mauritius (Born Bad FR)

WITCH EGG [LP/CD](Castleface/The Orchard)

In this roundup of Jazz-meets-Funk in the arena of Rock, we examine the past to appreciate the present. Black Fire Records’ Spiritual Jazz reissues have been some of the most eye-opening finds in recent years. Like their pure Jazz predecessors, it is hypnotic to hear a band go at the same figure like they are trying to reduce it (and you) to rubble. On the 1977 album “Love Is Where The Spirit Lies,” Moshe and his Arkestra are out to create their own Sun Ra-ish worship music. However, their formula is completely different. The pianos are often telegraphing messages. When they tear into “Survival Raga #9,” the horns bleat like vocalists speaking in tongues. Underneath it all drummer Michael Carvin (the “Thabo” of “Doin’ The Carvin For Thabo”) holds it all down with an impressive series of fills and cymbal work that makes it sound like he has the arms of an octopus.

The interplanetary Funk of Moshe leads us to the East African island of Mauritius where native music apparently met any songs were brought on to the island with welcome arms. The songs of the Born Bad compilation are all lit up by a steady stream of native drums and staccato vocals. But the lysergic guitar that is added to a blues jam like “Pop Soul Sega” makes the band sound like Captain Beefheart. Listen to the group charge through the salacious “Machin Sex” and you hear the strangled electric guitar (think Phil Upchurch on Muddy Waters’ “Electric Mud”) continuously hit notes that none of the singers can sing. In the end, this island slice of Funk sounds more Garage than some Garage rockers.

Outside of the Osees (and inside really,) John Dwyer continues to experiment with a lot of hints of Funk and Jazz. So my guess is when Dwyer put this true “Fusion” band together, “Witch Egg” wants to sound like Miles Davis circa “Bitches Brew.” The spidery saxophone of Brad Caulkins does a great job of circling his bandmates incantation-style. Drummer Nick Murray' is a solid Jaki Liebezeit-esque player who can lay down a Krautrock groove (“City Maggot.”) When the band slows down for a sinister exploration of chords on the title cut, you even get to hear how spooky they can be (think the soundtrack to the 1974 Blaxploitation zombie flick “Sugar Hill.”) However, as jazzy as they want to sound, “Witch Egg” has the most fun when it finds the fusion between Jazz and Rock once explored by Gong.

LOU HAYTER - My Baby Just Cares For Me [12” single](Skint/Warner)

CONFIDENCE MAN - First Class Bitch Remixes [12” single](Heavenly/PIAS)

2021’s first songs in search of a dancefloor are a neat pair of Pop confections. Lou Hayter should have already had a massive smash with the Bubblegum single “Cherry On Top,” but as we finally ramp up to her solo debut this candy colored-Eighties wonder is enough to leave you salivating for more. Synths burble, electronic drums pound slowly at a walking pace and Hayter sounds delightfully detached and yet alluring. A must.

On its surface, the duo Confidence Man’s song is blisteringly simple. With its Yello-ish background vocals and updated modern EDM-Pop sheen, it is just begging to be the perfect mix of sugar and sass for dancefloor mavens. However, the three remixes chosen for this 12” quickly prove that it is ripe for interpretation. Groove Armada’s mixture of Disco highlights and House facets makes it (especially those Yello-ish deepening “First Class proclamations) really ring out. Raf Rundell takes House a little further with Acid looping and pumped bass. However, the main event comes from 2020’s wonderful discovery Working Men’s Club who centers the hip-hop beat and then pan the high-hats to hard left and right. From here, they throw in the sickest synth tone and make it a burner that we hope raises their profile further.

ANNA B SAVAGE - A Common Turn [LP/CD](City Slang/Redeye)

Anna B Savage’s spartan textures only draw you closer to her wonderful voice. Sounding like Tim Buckley performing with Scott Walker’s group, “A Common Turn” is full of dramatic turns and an intimacy some artists do not capture until five or six albums into a career. When Savage sings about insecurity, she makes it sound like freedom. On the revelatory “Baby Grand,” she tries to isolate love only to let it get away. As her voice flutters butterfly-like around the beautiful confession “I think it’s just platonic affection/But I didn’t drink much because I can’t be certain,” Savage is perceptive enough to make you feel like while you have never heard this before - we have all felt it.

Well, there you have it. Safe and sound in your carport, garage or driveway - where quite often music tends to feel the best. Be ready to crank it up next week, when we take you for another new music spin once again.

Twice a week, T-BONES places two playlists of New Releases on Spotify.

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