An abundance of riches... but take note that some of these albums aren’t out yet.
Matthew E. White: Big Inner (Spacebomb) The debut album from this Richmond resident mixes Dusty in Memphis atmospherics, 1970s-era Nashville strings, some well placed jazz squawks, head-nodding rhythms, and soaring gospel choruses that would make Al Green blush.
Dan Deacon: America (Domino) The four-part “USA Suite” gives Deacon’s electronic compositions the orchestral grandeur they’ve been hinting at for years.
Meshell Ndegeocello: pour une ame souveraine—a dedication to nina simone (Naïve) This tribute to Simone is the best (and most focused) album Ndegeocello has done since 1999’s Bitter. With excellent guest spots by Valerie June (“Be My Husband”) and Cody ChesnuTT (“To Be Young, Gifted and Black”).
James Luther Dickinson & North Mississippi Allstars: I’m Just Dead I’m Not Gone (Memphis Int’l) Recorded three years before this Memphis legend passed away, this live set captures what made Dickinson so special—inspired tunes, ragged but right delivery, and an evangelical belief in the power of southern blues/soul.
Dirty Projectors: Swing Lo Magellan (Domino) Manhattan Transfer + Classic Yes x Brooklyn = Dirty Projectors
Eraserhead soundtrack (Sacred Bones) If you thought the film was creepy, check out this vinyl reissue of David Lynch’s soundtrack, a masterpiece of sound design.
Henry Threadgill: Tomorrow Sunny/The Revelry, Spp (Pi) The jazz maverick continues to amaze.
Matmos: "The Ganzfeld EP" (Thrill Jockey) This teaser for a full-length album in early 2013 suggests the electronic duo is hitting new conceptual/musical peaks.
Cat Power: Sun (Matador) I loved The Greatest. This might be even better.