Traditionally, September means the end of Summer, and that doesn’t make me happy. Especially when it seems like most New Yorkers seem to have forgotten how relentless this past Winter was, and are so eager to start wearing scarves and coats and drink PSLs (Pumpkin Spice Lattes). There will be plenty of time for that, really.
What does make me happy about this new month is the slew of new music we have to look forward to. Thanks to NPR, the end of August/start of September has begun on a note that makes me a little more willing to enter into the new season. The site is streaming new albums from Tricky, Ryan Adams and Interpol, among others. Three different bursts of masculinity, but three similar approaches to naming the albums created.
Tricky’s album, called Adrian Thaws, his real name, is due out next week on his own label, False Idols, which he started last year. The album features 13 tracks and, as in the past, female vocalists who slide in alongside him on many of the songs, sometimes singing entirely without Tricky himself. But whether his voice is there or not, his usual understated vibe and sultry tones always are. Tirzah, Mykki Blanco, Oh Land and Nneka are some of the singers he’s worked with on this record. It’s thrilling to hear him collaborating with Nneka again, following last year’s Nothing Matters, on the track Keep Me in Your Shake, this time singing along with her. They just fit so well together, and I hope we get more of this in the future.
A day after Tricky’s record release on the 8th of September, comes Ryan Adams’ latest, an album with his name as the title too (minus first name David). On the same day, Interpol’s El Pintor, an anagram of the band’s name, also releases. This is Adams’ fourteenth album, after the prolific artist started slowing down a bit over the past few years, and it’s Interpol’s fifth, which is a lot for a band that many thought would fizzle out soon after emerging onto the New York scene in the late ’90s.
Adams is still on top form – he knows how to write those tracks that cut through to heart of the matter, from the plea of Gimme Something Good, to the quietly questioning Am I Safe? As NPR notes, there’s a track in the mix that sounds very Bruce Springsteen-like in I Just Might, and another little tribute to the New Jersey icon, in My Wrecking Ball. Both stellar tracks. I know it sounds incredibly simple, but hearing Adams sing ‘I’m tired of giving up so easy; tired of giving up at all’ can be very comforting when that’s exactly how you feel. He is the master of seemingly simple lyrics that just get it.
Interpol are a little more urgent with their lyrics and melodies on El Pintor, albeit without bassist Carlos D. Paul Banks’ distinctive voice drives this effort – together with those swirling guitars. The band will perform for a select few at the Met on Tuesday night. Glad I can say I at least saw them perform a few of the new tracks Governor’s Ball a few months ago, before they head off on tour to show off their latest wares.
Funny though, amongst all the testosterone the first of the month brought with it, came the news that two unheard Adele tracks have been leaked online. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before we hear something official on a new release soon – but you can bet the title of that album won’t be her name. Rather, in keeping with her previous ones (and a cheeky tweet about seeing the number ’25’ again soon in her future), no doubt it’ll be another number significant to the Grammy-winning singer.