Courtesy of the artist
Clockwise from upper left: Fred Thomas, Widowspeak, Dan Auerbach, Beauty Pill
Courtesy of the artist
On this week's episode of All Songs Considered, we've got an album announcement from a new band featuring Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys and song premieres from Widowspeak and Joan Shelley.
We've also got an incredible story, one that surrounds the latest release from D.C. band Beauty Pill. The album, Beauty Pill Describes Things As They Are, was made following bandleader Chad Clark's brush with death, but Clark doesn't just tell his own story on the album's songs. The song we play on the show, "Steven and Tiwonge," is a profound tale of two more real-life people that's every bit as urgent and meaningful as Clark's own struggle.
"Stay In My Corner"
From 'Yours, Dreamily'
The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach has always drawn from the diverse textures of American music, so it's no surprise that he now finds himself in soulful supergroup The Arcs. The band is comprised of Truth and Soul Records founder Leon Michels, producer Richard Swift, Menahan Street Band drummer Homer Steinweiss, Nick Movshon (who has collaborated with Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson), country guitarist Kenny Vaughan and the all-female ensemble Mariachi Flor de Toloache. The Arcs' warm and slinky debut single, "Stay In My Corner," is inspired by last month's championship fight between boxers Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. The accompanying album, titled Yours, Dreamily, will be out on Nonesuch Records on Sept. 4.
From 'All Yours'
"All Yours," the title track from Widowspeak's upcoming fourth album, reminds Bob Boilen of a dreamy summer day with its layers of acoustic guitars and relaxed vocals. Perhaps that newfound serenity is the result of the band's move from Brooklyn to a rustic barn in New York's Hudson River Valley during the recording of 2013's Almanac. Here, singer Molly Hamilton's lyrics are almost therapeutic, expressing her desire to distance herself from a toxic relationship. All Yours is out Sept. 4 via Captured Tracks.
"Stay On My Shore"
From 'Over And Even'
The Louisville, Kentucky-born singer-songwriter Joan Shelley specializes in rich Appalachian harmonies and guitar parts steeped in Celtic folk tradition, and her new song "Stay On My Shore" displays both gorgeously. Shelley's upcoming record, Over And Even, is out Sept. 4 on No Quarter.
"Steven & Tiwonge"
From 'Beauty Pill Describes Things as They Are'
Washington, DC rock band Beauty Pill haven't released an album in 11 years. That's because bandleader Chad Clark was diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy, a rare heart disease that has a 22% survival rate, in 2007. Clark underwent emergency surgery to save his life, but he's had to spend subsequent years recovering and preparing for a proper musical reintroduction. That reintroduction comes in the form of new album Beauty Pill Describes Things As They Are, and it's characteristically quirky; the band recorded the album in plain view of the public rather than in an enclosed studio. "Steven and Tiwonge" was written about Malawian couple Steven Monjeza and transgender woman Tiwonge Chimbalanga, who were arrested and jailed after becoming engaged in 2009. Beauty Pill Describes Things As They Are is available now.
From 'Wild Nights'
PINS come to the show courtesy of Robin Hilton, who saw the Manchester band fill an entire church with its buoyant sound during South by Southwest in 2014. Citing '90s groups like My Bloody Valentine and Jesus and Mary Chain as influences, the band takes a jangly, straight-ahead approach to alternative rock on "Young Girls." The song is full of youthful restlessness — "We want to get away from here / Anywhere just to disappear" — coupled with plenty of uncertainty ("What will we do when our dreams come true?"). The band's second album, Wild Nights, is out now.
From 'All Are Saved'
All Are Saved is Fred Thomas's eighth record — he's been penning experimental garage and electronic songs for years — but it's the first one Bob Boilen has encountered. Thankfully, "Bad Blood" is a perfect introduction to the Michigan native's stream-of-consciousness style. The song opens with atmospheric textures pierced by spiky synth jabs that open into an organ-heavy chorus. All Are Saved features guest appearances from Andrew W.K. and members of Radiator Hospital, and Bob says that he never knows where the album is going to leave him at the end of each listen. It's out now via Polyvinyl.
LANGUAGE ADVISORY: This song contains profanity.