Naomi McPherson, Katie Gavin and Josette Maskin (top to bottom) of Muna.
(Isaac Schneider/Grandstand Media)
Naomi McPherson, Katie Gavin and Josette Maskin (top to bottom) of Muna.
(Isaac Schneider/Grandstand Media)
New Music Friday, Rethinking Platforms, Drum and Bass Revival, Meta Charli XCX, Jimmie Allen...
Matty Karas (@troubledoll), curator June 24, 2022
quote of the day
The world is still so mind-bogglingly oppressive for so many in [the queer] community that it remains radical to be joyful.
rant n' rave

It’s Friday

And GIVE OR TAKE is the slightly belated first studio album from GIVEON, who already has a gold record and major collaborations with Justin Bieber (the 2021 pop blockbuster “Peaches”) and Drake to his name. He’s hardly the first would-be pop star to wait a minute or two to drop his debut full-length, but “Give or Take” is a genuine 2022 rarity in another way: a showcase for a baritone R&B crooner inspired by Frank Sinatra. Giveon (that’s his real given name) told Rolling Stone he felt awkward when his voice dropped in middle school, but hearing Ol' Blue Eyes' "Fly Me to the Moon" during a summer music history program at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles opened his eyes: Until then, he said, "I hadn't heard anyone that sounded like me"... Speaking of baritones with old-school inspirations, JIMMIE ALLEN was in a car with his father when he first announced he wanted to be a country singer. “But I can’t,” he told his dad. “They’re all white dudes.” At which point dad played him Charley Pride’s “Does My Ring Hurt Your Ringer,” and that, Allen told Billboard, “is when it all made sense.” Allen’s third album, TULIP DRIVE, features the single “Down Home,” in which he tells his father, who died in 2019, how hard he’s working and how far he’s gone.

Make two “indie-pop” albums for a major label, get dropped, become an actual indie band, and start sounding like major label pop stars. That’s the strange yet organic trajectory of the SoCal trio MUNA, which is basically reintroducing itself with its self-titled third album, its first for Phoebe Bridgers’ label, Saddest Factory. The calling card this time around is the TikTok hit “Silk Chiffon,” a celebration of the joy of queer love, featuring the label boss as a guest vocalist. Writing unabashedly upbeat songs—some variation of the word giddy seems to show up in every article about Muna these days—is “the most punk rock thing” a onetime major label indie pop band can do, guitarist Josette Maskin told Pitchfork (whose 7.7 score of the band’s last album is literally tattooed on all three bandmembers; click on that link for the story)... “I’m probably at a place and an age where I want to get closer to the source,” says 84-year-old tenor saxophonist CHARLES LLOYD, who recorded CHAPEL in a gothic chapel with guitarist BILL FRISELL and bassist THOMAS MORGAN. It’s the first of three albums Lloyd plans to release in 2022 with three different trios. Each one, he told NPR, is “another chance to tell the truth”... The soundtrack to Baz Luhrmann’s ELVIS—the movie opens today—features YOLA (covering Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who she plays in the film), JAZMINE SULLIVAN, DOJA CAT, KACEY MUSGRAVES, TAME IMPALA, fake Elvis AUSTIN BUTLER and actual ELVIS.

Also today: New albums from Luke Combs, Soccer Mommy (produced by Daniel Lopatin aka Oneohtrix Point Never), Zola Jesus, Nayeon (solo EP from member of Twice), Trixie Mattel, Don Q, French Montana & Harry Fraud, Lupe Fiasco, Juicy J & Pi’erre Bourne, Conan Gray, Sessa, Ibrahim Maalouf & Angélique Kidjo, Chris Brown, Petrol Girls, Automatic, Hollie Cook, Joan Shelley, Empress Of, Regina Spektor, Ron Trent, Braxe + Falcon, Akusmi, Félicia Atkinson, Porcupine Tree, Coheed and Cambria, Candy, Alexisonfire (first album in 13 years), Art d’Ecco, Mikey Erg, Young Guv, Jack Johnson, Damien Jurado, Elizabeth King, JB Dunckel (of Air), Martin Courtney (of Real Estate), Tim Heidecker, Ohyda, Katie Alice Greer (formerly of Priests), Hatis Noit, Glenn Jones, Goose, Noah Reid, James Vincent McMorrow, Katie Bejsiuk, Caamp, G. Love, Peter Rowan.

Plus the second volume of the five-volume, 242-song "Birdsong Project"—birdsong-inspired songs to benefit the National Audubon Society. Vol. 2’s birdsingers include Beck, Beach House, Terry Riley, Tyondai Braxton, Karen O and Jim James... And the first legal release of "Not About to Die," an oft-bootlegged collection of Wire demos.

Etc Etc Etc

BILLBOARD's country power players... PINK FLOYD for sale... WARNER MUSIC CEO STEVEN COOPER stepping down.

Rest in Peace

MASSIMO MORANTE, guitarist and co-founder of Italian prog-rock band Goblin, celebrated for its horror-film scores including Dario Argento’s “Suspiria” and George A. Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead”... ARTIE KANE, a Hollywood piano legend who scored “Looking for Mr. Goodbar” and “Eyes of Laura Mars” and conducted and played piano on countless other films... OVE BOSCH, German bassist and bass teacher best known as the host of Germany's Warwick Bass Camp.

Matty Karas (@troubledoll), curator

June 24, 2022