Every Friday, Consequence of Sound rounds up some of the week’s noteworthy new album releases. Today, October 2nd, brings fresh music from Dev Hynes, Dolly Parton, Kurt Vile, Dawes, Drive-By Truckers, Shamir, and Cartalk. Take a listen to each of their new albums below.
Dev Hynes – We Are Who We Are
Dev Hynes has released his score for Luca Guadagnino’s new coming-of-age miniseries We Are Who We Are, which debuted on HBO last week. Out now through Milan Records, it serves as the Blood Orange mastermind’s first-ever score for a TV show.
The collection features 12 tracks written, produced, and performed by Hynes, alongside four previously shared instrumental pieces from composers Julius Eastman and John Adams. In an interview with Variety, Hynes said he and Guadagnino initially bonded over “quite similar tastes in more contemporary classic music.”
“We just started talking about stuff like that, and it kind of led to talking about scenes in the show,” said Hynes, a self-described “very big fan” of the Call Me By Your Name director. “I would go and watch edits at night and I just tried out a couple piano pieces and that’s how it started.” Hynes called their collaborative process “really natural. There was no cue sheet or anything like that.”
Dolly Parton – A Holly Dolly Christmas
In addition to classics like “Holly Jolly Christmas” and “Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”, Parton wrote five new original tracks for the LP. What’s more, there are countless high-profile collaborations with Miley Cyrus, Parton’s goddaughter, Billy Ray Cyrus, Michael Bublé, and the one and only Willie Nelson, who appears on a new version of his 1963 single “Pretty Paper”.
“I figured since everybody probably wouldn’t get to celebrate Christmas as usual this year, I wanted to be creative instead of sitting around at the house this summer,” Parton said in a statement. “So I put on my mask, gloves and practiced social distancing, as well as all of the wonderful musicians and singers, and we proceeded to put together what I think is some of the best work that I’ve ever done.”
In his album review, Consequence of Sound Editorial Director Matt Melis praised the “kindhearted icon” for throwing “a Christmas party with a little something for everyone.”
Kurt Vile – Speed, Sound, Lonely KV
Indie rocker Kurt Vile has unveiled his new Speed, Sound, Lonely KV EP. Out courtesy of Matador Records, the effort was recorded and mixed at Nashville studio The Butcher Shoppe over the course of four years, with everyone from The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach to Chavez’s Matt Sweeney helming the board.
Among its five tracks is a tender duet of John Prine’s single “How Lucky” featuring none other than the late Singing Mailman himself. Vile, a longtime Prine fan, has described the recording as “the single most special musical moment in my life.” The EP also includes a cover of Prine’s hit “Speed of the Sound of Loneliness”.
“The truth is John was my hero for a long time when he came into The Butcher Shoppe to recut one of his deepest classics with me. And, man, I was floating and flying and I couldn’t hear anything he told me while he was there till after he was gone for the night,” said Vile in a statement. “A couple nights later we were playing ‘How Lucky’ together again; this time onstage at the Grand Ole Opry on New Year’s Eve at the turn of 2020. Nothing like seeing John and his band of musical brothers and family and friends playing into the new decade in front of an adoring audience on that stage in Nashville, TN… and, yup, that’s just how lucky we all got that night.”
Dawes – Good Luck with Whatever
For today’s release, Dawes linked up with Grammy-winning producer Dave Cobb (Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit) at Nashville’s landmark RCA Studio A. According to a press statement from frontman Taylor Goldsmith, the recording process saw him opening up more to his bandmates’ input:
“In the past, I’ve definitely been more precious about the way I wanted the songs to sound, but that’s never as fun. The music we make is everyone’s mode of expression, and the other guys all have chops that I don’t have and never will. The fact that we’re able to lean on each other and celebrate each other as individuals just makes us so much more excited about getting to play together in this band.”
Drive-By Truckers – The New OK
Originally envisioned as just an EP, The New OK expanded to include nine songs, all of which were influenced by “this endless summer of protests, riots, political shenanigans and pandemic horrors,” according to lead singer Patterson Hood. But despite our current sad state of affairs, the LP isn’t entirely void of optimism, as Hood describes it as “a full album that hopefully balances out the darkness of our current situation with a hope for better days and nights ahead.”
The LP boasts a cover of The Ramones classic “The KKK Took My Baby Away”. There’s also the lead single, also titled “The New OK”, which reflects on the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police.
Shamir – Shamir
According to a statement, Shamir finds the Philly-based musician swapping his R&B and pop palette for something with a little more grit. Shamir specifically looked “toward the post-hardcore ’90s for further inspiration — from Olympia, Washington cult heroes Unwound to bands of the Kill Rock Stars orbit.”
The shift in musical direction may be a bit surprising to fans. For Shamir, however, it’s a natural evolution and one that places him at his most centered. “I felt like it didn’t need a name [for the album], cuz it’s the record that’s most me,” Shamir says of the LP, which he also considers his most accessible since 2015’s Ratchet.
Cartalk – Pass Like Pollen
Cartalk, the indie rock project of Los Angeles artist Chuck Moore (they/them), has released their debut album, Pass Like Pollen.
Today’s effort was produced by Sarah Tudzin, a.k.a. Illuminati Hotties, and it features numerous contributions from musicians that have also worked with Lucy Dacus, Vagabon, and more. Collin Pastore (boygenius, Julien Baker) mixed the record, and it was mastered by Jett Galindo (Neil Young, Nile Rodgers) at the LA institution The Bakery.
In a press statement, Moore explained that Pass Like Pollen is a breakup album, which makes sense since given its defiant and determined tone. “Pass Like Pollen distills the aftermath of a relationship — both the beautiful fragments I want to hold on to and the dismal ones I hold a light to so I will never forget what loss of self-worth looks like.”