Late summer into fall is looking like high season for new releases. Here are four upcoming albums we can’t wait to hear.
Langhorne Slim & the Law
The Spirit Moves
Release Date: August 7
Since his last release, 2012’s The Way We Move, folk-rock showman Langhorne Slim (real name Sean Scolnick) has undergone some pretty major life transformations. He moved from the West Coast to East Nashville, became completely sober, and ended some rocky relationships. Call it plenty of fodder for an open-hearted tunesmith, as lead single, the mellow highway cruiser “Changes” leaves little mystery about Slim’s headspace as he sings: “Things could be stranger, but I don’t know how. I’m going through changes now.”
Steep Canyon Rangers
Release Date: August 28
The Steep Canyon Rangers continue to step outside the boundaries of the traditional bluegrass persona they created as one of North Carolina’s favorite bands over the past decade and a half. The new Radio, produced by dobro legend Jerry Douglas, finds the group further branching into different areas of roots music. Banjo player Graham Sharp told the Wall Street Journal: “Radio travels the dial from top to bottom. The album tunes into the rock channel for a little while, then the blues, then country, pop and, of course, bluegrass.”
Release Date: September 11
Phil Cook is best known as a member of the inventive indie folk trio Megafaun, a lauded band from the North Carolina Triangle with an uncertain future. He’s recently been on tour with Hiss Golden Messenger and not long ago teamed with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon in the bluesy garage-rock side project The Shouting Matches. Now Cook is stepping out on his own with a new solo album, Southland Mission. Leading single “Great Tide” has a gospel-rock vibe with melodic slide guitar, a hopping Second Line beat, and the soothing harmonies that made Megafaun so enjoyable.
Release Date: September 25
Earlier this year Panic hunkered down at Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville, N.C., to make its first studio album in five years. During the sessions the Southern jam stalwarts were without founding drummer Todd Nance, who’s been on hiatus since last fall due to undisclosed personal reasons. Filling in ever since has been Duane Trucks—nephew of the Allman Brothers’ Butch Trucks and brother of guitar ace Derek—who’s proven to be a nimble, energetic replacement in the live setting. This should translate on the new record, which includes some road-tested new tunes like “Street Dogs for Breakfast” and the New Orleans-inspired rocker “Cease Fire.” The album’s 12 tracks also feature some interesting covers—lending Panic’s patented Dixie groove bent to Alan Price’s “Sell Sell,” Murray McLauchlan’s “Honky Red,” and Willie Dixon’s “Taildragger.”