This Week In Music: Bessie, Jane Birkin, The Darkness, And More!

This Week In Music: Bessie, Jane Birkin, The Darkness, And More!

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Finding it hard to keep up with what music is coming out when? We’ve got your back! Starting this week, we’ll be taking a look at the new music that’s coming out each week to let you know the most interesting releases!

Our Winner This Week: Bessie: Music From The HBO Film

HBO’s new biopic of bisexual blues legend Bessie Smith aired May 16th. If you saw it, and loved Queen Latifah’s appearance in the title role, this looks like the album for you. It features seven new Queen Latifah performances of Bessie Smith songs, alongside some original music of the era and a brand new remix combining Latifah’s and Smith’s vocals.

Runner-Up: Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg – Jane & Serge 1973

Jane & Serge 1973 is a deluxe compilation of the two albums recorded in 1973 by Jane Birkin and her lover/collaborator Serge Gainsbourg — a retro-sounding combination of Birkin’s orchestral sound and Gainsbourg guitar/bass/drum combo. In addition to Di Doo Dah (originally credited to Birkin) and Vu De L’Extérieur (originally credited to Gainsbourg), the set features a DVD with a 51-minute documentary.

Also Notable: The Darkness – Last Of Our Kind

The super-fun British neo-glam metal group The Darkness, most famous for the brilliant “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” is back with their first album in three years. While I’ve not heard the full album yet, it’s been getting strong reviews in Kerrang!Uncut and the All Music Guide.

Other New Music: Canadian alt-pop stalwarts Barenaked Ladies have a new album, Silverball in standard and deluxe editions, the latter with bonus tracks. 

Chris Stamey (formerly of the dBs) has a new solo album, Euphoria, that should be more of the power pop he does so well.

Gospel and R&B legend Mavis Staples has a new EP, Your Good Fortune, recorded with Son Little.

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin is releasing their first album with the original lineup in quite some time, The High Country.

Ben Lee has a new album, Love is the Great Rebellion which features Donovan on a track.

Actor and musician Bill Mumy’s Ten Days, so named as it was written and recorded from scratch over ten days.

Lastly, Mark Kozelek of Red House Painters has a new album from his Sun Kil Moon project, Universal Themes.

Other Re-issues: Clutch’s 2007 album From Beale Street To Oblivion is being reissued on vinyl. The last two Captain Beefheart albums, Ice Cream For Crow and Doc At The Radar Station, are being released in a limited edition SACD format. Fans of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah will want to check out the 10th anniversary vinyl edition of their self-titled debut, since it comes with a special download card of 10 bonus acoustic recordings. Finally, metal gods Melvins compile the EP The Bulls & The Bees and the album Electroretard as one release.

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