Looking for new music? Look no further than your local Queens Library!
Every month, our expert staff will bring you the best of what's new in our physical and digital collections.
Check out our music recommendations for October 2016!
Jake Owen, American Love
Jake Owen is a country music singer and songwriter from Florida. He learned to play guitar after a wakeboarding accident left him unable to compete in sports. Since then, he has worked his way up from bars and coffeehouses in Florida to clubs in Nashville. He got a break when a bank teller gave his demo to a music rep at Warner/Chappell Music. Sometimes life CAN be like the movies! You can stream Jake’s fifth studio album, American Love, on Freegal.
YG, Still Brazy
Still Brazy is the second studio album by Compton rapper YG, which The New York Times hails as containing "the first great protest song" of the 2016 election. That would be the very explicit “FDT,” in which he comes out swinging against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Last year, YG was shot at a Los Angeles studio, which only served to provide more material for the album on tracks like "Who Shot Me?" and "Twist My Fingaz." But more often than not, to again quote the Times, "this is gangster rap as agit-pop, and a reminder that it was never anything but." In case you were wondering what "FDT" means, read this article where YG talks about changing the lyrics to that song after complaints from the Secret Service.
Justin Moore, Kinda Don’t Care
Justin Moore may have been born in Arkansas, but Nashville is his real home. He began performing his junior year of high school and joined his uncle’s southern rock band instead of going to college. Once he got some experience on the road, Justin went solo to pursue his songwriting muse. The move paid off and he has three number-one albums and five number-one singles to prove it. His style is a mix of rock and old school country and his appeal is cross-generational. Watch the video for the title track to his fourth album, Kinda Don’t Care.
Tamela Mann, One Way
Grammy Award winner Tamela Mann, known for her strong and powerful soprano singing voice, has released her fourth studio album One Way. It’s no surprise it bursts with vocal variety and a wide swath of musical arrangements. This is evident on the title track as well as the tender ballad “God Provides” (penned by none other than Kirk Franklin) and the simmering groove of “Through It All.” Growing up in Fort Worth, Texas as the youngest of 14 children, Mann's family was very religiously oriented. By the time she was 12 she was singing in the church's adult choir. Her professional singing career began in the '90s, with Kirk Franklin & the Family's gospel organization. Since then, she has developed a unique style, blending hard R&B with gospel. You can hear the whole album on Freegal.
Radiohead, A Moon Shaped Pool
A Moon Shaped Pool is the ninth studio album by the English rock band Radiohead. It delivers little joy but a whole lot of beauty. “The Numbers,” a song about the impending apocalypse brought on by climate change, meanders along, and its groove is as wide as an ocean. The first single, "Burn the Witch," is a statement on Internet shaming, among other things, while the video is an obvious homage to the 1973 cult film The Wicker Man. Singer Thom Yorke and his mates cover a range of styles, from folk to scat. This is a very intimate album, which sounds as if the world’s most cerebral band is letting us in. Watch the video for “Burn the Witch."
Bastille, Wild World
Since 2013's international hit "Pompeii," Bastille's sights have clearly been set beyond the U.K. Their second proper LP marries 20th-century rock songs and EDM-pop style with an eye on stadium rocking and dance-floor remixes. There are literary and pop culture references throughout, so keep Wikipedia handy. For example, "Good Grief," one of the album's catchiest songs, features soundbites from '80s teen comedies like Weird Science. Later in the album, songs like "Two Evils" showcase singer Dan Smith and bandmate Will Farquarson stripped down to just voice and plucked guitar, with arresting results. As such, Wild World is a triumphant pop record. Check out the video for “Good Grief."
Formed in Memphis, Tennessee, Skillet is an American Christian heavy rock band that has released nine albums. Since breaking out, this platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated, and Dove Award-winning band has been averaging a new album every three years since 2003's Collide. Although the band has been through numerous lineup changes, no one is going to argue that they aren't on fire with the current lineup. Some of the new songs bring dance grooves to the mix; however, for fans, "Saviors of the World" and "Feel Invincible" will take the band to a next-gen level. No doubt Skillet are on a hot streak. Watch the video for the song “Stars.”
Heart, Beautiful Broken
On their 16th studio album, Seattle-based Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Heart "picked songs that we always wanted to re-do" and also gave us three new tracks. On both new and old, the band is playing together the way they used to. Co-produced by Nancy Wilson with Heart bassist Dan Rothchild, the goal of Beautiful Broken was to recapture a more live feel. The re-recorded songs suffered from "eighties-era over-editing-production-curse." The result is a more '70's sounding record, despite the more modern guest vocals from Metallica’s James Hetfield. However you look at it, this is a unique and rewarding addition to the Heart catalog. Watch the lyric video for the title track.
Fantasia, The Definition Of...
Fantasia Barrino took the crown on American Idol season 3. Since then, she has built a solid career as an R&B artist, including a Grammy win for 2010’s "Bittersweet." But it’s her work on Broadway starring in the musicals The Color Purple and After Midnight that informs her fifth album. Producer Ron Fair goes big with the arrangements on tracks like the ballad “Ugly” that sound like show tunes designed to bring down the house. You can also hear it on the set’s show-stopper, “Sleeping with the One I Love”—while it sounds like a standard that has been dusted off from the Cotton Club era, it’s actually a new song by R. Kelly. Fantasia's voice, winsome and wonderful throughout, radiates through the album and her sultry, raspy delivery recalls a living legend, Tina Turner. You can stream the entire album on Freegal.
Needtobreathe, Hard Love
Now six albums deep into a career spanning nearly twenty years, the South Carolina-based Needtobreathe’s latest release, Hard Love, is an experiment in pushing the boundaries of American rock and roll. The driving title track rightly states that all relationships require a "hard love" if they are to last. The song fits in nicely with the band's storyline. “Money & Fame,” “Happiness,” and “Be Here Long” serve as anchor points for the record while “Testify” hearkens back to the more religion-heavy material of the group’s early records, but not in a way that will make secular fans feel like outsiders. Watch the video for the song “Happiness."