Recorded in a mere 11 days, Costello teams up with uber-producer T-Bone Burnett for his latest, which consists of a new tracks and plenty of guest appearances, including Vince Gill, Leon Russell, and Marc Ribot. Its standard Costello as far as the compositions themselves, but there are hints of interesting new inflections here and there, like the Nawlins-influenced Jimmie Standing in the Rain, the countryfied I Lost You, and the folky, backcountry-meets-jazz sound of A Slow Drag with Josephine, as enhanced by mandolins and Costellos distinctive voice.
The Acorn - No Ghost - Bella Union
Recorded in an isolated cottage in northern Canada, where the band focused by leaving cell phones and TVs behind, The Acorns latest allows a little of their countryside surroundings into the mix, in which insects sounds and wild creaks can be heard in the backgrounds of many of the songs. Opener Cobbled from Dust sets the tone with its warm rural feel added to The Acorns instrumentally experimental tunes. The title track is one of the standouts, as are the lighter Misplaced and, by constrast, the heavier Crossed the Wire. Its a solid accomplishment from a band with a lot of skill.
Nellie McKay - Home Sweet Mobile Home - Verve
McKays first album of original tunes since 2007 finds the quirky singer-songwriter in a mischievous, eclectic, and droll mood. Recorded in a variety of locales, including NY, LA, and Jamaica, the set, per McKays usual, mixes a diverse palette of sounds and influences, all brought together by McKays unusual, idiosyncratic vocals. Included here are tracks like the reggae-spun Caribbean Time and the appropriately-dubbed Unknown Reggae the jazzy, quizzical Dispossessed, the danceable, neo-soul No Equality, and the balladry of Coosada Blues.
High Dials - Anthems for a Doomed Youth - RQ
After building a studio in an old building previously inhabited by the Canadian Navy, High Dials got to work on their latest set, utilizing the buildings ballroom for the echoey sounds found on many of these 60s-influenced tunes. The album has a very live feel to it - no doubt due in part to the recording locale - which serves the songs well, from the buoyant ...Love Made Me Insane and Im Over You (I Know Its True) to the R.E.M.-esque Chinese Boxes. Its definitely poppier than earlier sets, but that might help broaden this talented bands fanbase.