Aa – VoyAager CD (Northern Spy)
“Big A little a” — one of the quintessential house bands of Brooklyn’s mid-aughts loft party/DIY scene — have returned with their first U.S. release since 2007. VoyAager expands dramatically on the band’s primordial polyrhythms and noise palette to embrace lush electronic psychedelia, enveloping vocal textures, and even unexpected, glittering explosions of pop melodicism. Vinyl version due February 11.
Above & Beyond – Acoustic CD (Ultra)
New live release from the pioneering EDM trio. In 2013 the group performed some of their best-loved songs acoustically with a 12-piece band across three sold out shows at London’s legendary Porchester Hall.
Actress – Ghettoville CD/3xLP+MP3 (Werkdiscs/Ninja Tune)
The fourth album from techno artist Darren Cunningham – otherwise known as Actress – draws its inspiration from society’s outcasts, and adds soulful samples to a mass of different musical genres.
Arild Andersen/Paolo Vinaccia/Tommy Smith – Mira CD (ECM)
In Oslo’s Rainbow, bassist Andersen, tenorist Tommy Smith, and drummer Paolo Vinaccia re-channeled their creative energies into a program of soulful ballads and mid-tempo free-floating sound explorations. The pairing of Anderson’s muscular bass and Smith’s vaulting tenor is exceptionally compelling (as the recent Celebration album also confirmed). Most of the tunes on Mira are from Arild’s pen, though his cohorts also contribute material, and there is an unexpected interpretation of Burt Bacharach’s “Alfie,” beautifully played by Tommy Smith here.
The Autumn Defense – Fifth CD/2xLP+CD+MP3 (Yep Roc)
Everyone has a different way to relax after a hard day of work, and for Pat Sansone and John Stirratt, the best way to clear their heads after playing to thousands of people for weeks on end was to find time to craft Fifth, the latest immaculately rendered pop opus from their long-running duo The Autumn Defense. Confident grooves underlie the duo’s masses of harmonies and carefully layered guitar chimes for what the pair considers one of their most varied efforts to date.
Algebra Blessett – Recovery CD (E1)
Born Algebra Felicia Blessett and hailing from the R&B hotbed of Atlanta, Algebra has already earned a reputation as one of her hometown’s most exciting new talents. Having already won widespread acclaim with her solo debut Purpose, and for her work as collaborator with the likes of Monica, Bilal, India.Arie, Esperanza Spalding and Anthony David, Algebra offers a fresh, expansive creative vision on Recovery, on which she worked with three of today’s hottest urban producers: Bryan-Michael Cox, Kwamé Holland and Shannon Sanders.
Bohren & Der Club Of Gore – Piano Nights CD (Ipecac)
All new material from the German collective, spanning the styles of their entire spastic catalog.
Laura Cantrell – No Way There From Here CD (Thrift Shop)
Vintage-style country music, straight from New York City. “Cantrell and co-producer Mark Nevers provide everything a fan of the countrypolitan songbook could desire: weeping-willow guitar lines and witty rejoinders from fiddle or banjo, delicate harmonies, the soft affect of a brush on a cymbal,” writes NPR’s Ann Powers.
David Crosby – Croz CD (Blue Castle)
Croz is David Crosby’s first studio album in over 20 years, a collection of 11 new tracks from one of America’s most notable singer/songwriters. The album features guest appearances from Wynton Marsalis, Mark Knopfler, Leland Sklar and Steve Tavaglione. Vinyl version due February 11.