Every Friday, Consequence of Sound rounds up some of the week’s noteworthy new album releases. Today, September 25th, brings fresh music from Will Butler, Bob Mould, Tim Heidecker, Spillage Village, IDLES, and Thurston Moore. Take a listen to each of their new albums below.
Also check out new releases from Sufjan Stevens, Deftones, Action Bronson, Sylvan Esso, and a super deluxe edition of Prince’s Sign O’ the Times.
Will Butler – Generations
Arcade Fire member Will Butler has released his sophomore solo album, Generations, through Merge Records. His first full-length in five years finds the indie rocker exploring both his heritage and role in society.
“My first record, Policy, was a book of short stories. Generations is more of a novel — despairing, funny, a little bit epic,” Butler explained in a statement. “A big chunk of this record is asking: What’s my place in American history? What’s my place in America’s present? Both in general — as a participant, as we all are, in the shit that’s going down — but, also extremely particularly: me as Will Butler, rich person, white person, Mormon, Yankee, parent, musician of some sort, I guess.”
The multi-instrumentalist recorded and produced the LP in the basement of his own Brooklyn home, and tracking was completed in March just as the coronavirus took hold of the city. Mixing was handled by local producer Shiftee and Mark Lawson, who worked on numerous Arcade Fire albums like Funeral, The Suburbs, and their most recent Everything Now.
Bob Mould – Blue Hearts
Bob Mould is back with his 14th (!) solo album, Blue Hearts. Following last year’s Sunshine Rock, it boasts the raging lead single “American Crisis”, which compares our current outbreak with another grossly neglected health crisis from a few decades ago.
“’American Crisis” is a tale of two times: Past Time and Present Time,” the Hüsker Dü frontman noted in a statement. “The parallels between 1984 and 2020 are a bit scary for me: telegenic, charismatic leaders, praised and propped up by extreme Evangelicals, either ignoring an epidemic (HIV/AIDS) or being outright deceitful about a pandemic (COVID-19).”
Tim Heidecker – Fear of Death
The follow-up to 2019’s What the Brokenhearted Do…, Fear of Death was recorded with an all-star band comprised of Weyes Blood, The Lemon Twigs, Jonathan Rado, Drew Erickson, and Trey Pollard. As Heidecker said in a statement, “I got to work with some of the best, and nicest, musicians in town who helped me take some shabby, simple tunes and turn them into something I’m really proud of.”
Fans of the Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! may be shocked by the seriousness of Heidecker’s music here. Fear of Death is exactly what it sounds like: a sincere exploration of aging and what waits at the end of the road. But as Heidecker explained, the content took him somewhat by surprise.
“I didn’t know that this record was going to be so focused on death when I was writing it,” he explained. “It took a minute for me to stand back and look at what I was talking about to realize that, yes, I am now a middle-aged man and my subconscious is screaming at me: ‘You are getting old, dude! You are not going to live forever! Put down that cheeseburger!’”
Spillage Village – Spilligion
Their fourth overall follows up on the ursine trilogy Bears Like This (2014), Bears Like This Too (2015), and Bears Like This Too Much (2016). Mostly recorded while in quarantine, the project boasts guest appearances from Chance the Rapper, Buddy, Ari Lennox, and more.
IDLES – Ultra Mono
Post-punk outfit IDLES have unleashed Ultra Mono, one of the most anticipated albums of the year. Released through Partisan Records, it serves as their third LP following 2018’s Joy As An Act of Resistance.
According to a statement, the 12-track effort was “sonically structured to capture the feeling of a hip-hop record.” To help achieve that, the Bristol natives brought in acclaimed rap producer Kenny Beats (FKA twigs, Denzel Curry, DaBaby) to work alongside Nick Launay (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arcade Fire) and Adam “Atom” Greenspan (Anna Calvi, Cut Copy).
In the studio, IDLES were also joined by a number of vocalists and musicians in Savages leader Jehnny Beth, Warren Ellis of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, David Yow of The Jesus Lizard, and jazz songwriter Jamie Cullum. IDLES frontman Joe Talbot recently featured on Beth’s debut solo album, To Live is to Love.
Read our review of Ultra Mono here.
Thurston Moore – By the Fire
Thurston Moore has unveiled a new solo album titled By the Fire. Out through the Sonic Youth rocker’s own Daydream Library Series, it features members of Thurston Moore Group: Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley, My Bloody Valentine’s Deb Googe on bass and backing vocals, and Nøught guitarist James Sedwards. Other contributions come from Negativeland’s Leidecker (electronics) and Jem Doulton on additional drums.
In a press statement, Moore describes the nine-track effort as “love songs in a time where creativity is our dignity, our demonstration against the forces of oppression. BY THE FIRE is a gathering, a party of peace — songs in the heat of the moment.”