Friday Reviews | The Nine Best Albums Out January 17

Marcus King - El Dorado

Southern-rock revivalist Marcus King releases his first solo record, El Dorado, produced by the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach. Dialing back on the guitar soloing that Marcus King Band has become known for, the record focuses on King’s songwriting and blue-eyed-soul vocal delivery.  Rooted heavily in 70s rock, it’s a hard record not to enjoy.

Fruition - Broken At The Break Of Day

By combining folk-rock and bluegrass with a jam aesthetic, Fruition have become a household name for most following the jam-band scene. Broken At The Break Of Day, the band’s newest studio full-length, serves as a counterpoint to Wild As The Night, released in November of last year. Recorded during a short break from touring at the band’s home studio, the seven song release finds the band continuing to grow and push the limitations of their sound and influences. 

Futurebirds - Teamwork

Athens, GA alternative-country mainstays Futurebirds are back with a new full-length. Teamwork finds the four-piece band melding country, folk, psychedelic and hard rock into a surprisingly cohesive sound, all anchored by terrific songwriting. With so much to offer, it’s no wonder these guys continue to get bigger and bigger.

Pinegrove - Marigold

Straddling the line between indie-folk and alt-country, Pinegrove have remained one of the most compelling young bands to pop up in recent years. Driven by singer Evan Hall’s heartfelt songwriting and vocal delivery, the band lives up to the task of matching him musically, creating a stunning whole that few bands in the alt-country movement can match.

G. Love - The Juice

Blues songwriter and harmonica whiz G. Love returns with a new solo album, The Juice. Though still steeped in the blues tradition, The Juice uses modern pop and hip-hop to offer a twist, often leaning on electronic beats that only increase the joyful aspect that always marked his songs. With guests including Robert Randolph, Marcus King and Roosevelt Collier, the album is a unique release that should absolutely be on your radar. 

John McLaughlin, Shankar Mahadevan, and Zakir Hussain - Is That So?

Legendary fusion guitarist John McLaughlin, Indian composer Shankar Mahadevan and professional tabla player Zakir Hussain had be working on a collaboration for six years, culminating in Is That So, released today. No strangers to blending Western and Eastern musical traditions, Hussain and McLaughlin have actually been collaborating on and off since the 70s. The record leans on masterful improvisational skills from its members, creating a on-of-a-kind musical experience that you’ll simply have to hear to believe. 

of Montreal - UR FUN

The ever prolific of Montreal frontman Kevin Barnes is back with new music, continuing to blur the lines between indie, pop and glam rock. UR FUN was written and recorded entirely by Barnes in his home studio, and chronicles the relationship between himself and his partner, Christina Schneider. While this certainly lends a more personal and introspective aspect to Barnes’s songwriting, the record is still packed with all the whacky fun that fans have come to expect. 

Holy Fuck - Deleter

An uncompromising band built around creating electronic music with live instrumentation, Holy Fuck are back with their sixth album and as intense as ever. Deleter sits somewhere between danceable electronica and krautrock, with plenty of experimentation throughout. The nine-song album, which also contains a guest spot from Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor, continues to push the limits of electronic compositions, which is exactly what the band has always done best. 

Bill Fay - Countless Branches

50 years after his debut release, cult-favorite singer-songwriter Bill Fay returns with Countless Branches. Marked by incredible songwriting and a somewhat sparse, delicate folk-based backing, the album’s as stunning as any of Fay’s recent works.

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