Playlist: 5 New Releases to Listen to This April

The High Llamas
Here Come the Rattling Trees
(Drag City)

England’s High Llamas are back with their first album in five years and it’s their most startling musical departure. Inspired by their hometown of Peckham, the music was originally an outgrowth of a play envisioned by Llamas’ de-facto leader Sean O’Hagan. The lyrics and music have a nostalgic longing and more acoustic feel and eschew ornate 60s pop touches. The record opens an entirely new chapter in the career of a long-running, under-appreciated group.

Tedeschi Trucks Band
Let Me Get By


Given that the group produced this, their third album, at their own home studio and that it’s their first recording since the break-up of the Allman Brothers Band (of which Trucks was a member), they have never sounded more focused and relaxed. Melding blues, rock and edgy southern soul into an instant classic, Let Me Get By sounds as if it could have been recorded in the 60s or 70s instead of 2015.

The James Hunter Six
Hold On!

In 2013, after several successful solo albums, James Hunter launched his eponymous Six. This new outing is the their first on Daptone Records and was produced by Gabriel Roth, better known as Bosco Mann, at his studio in Riverside, California. Although Hunter is from England, the Daptone label has Brooklyn roots and the album was recorded in California, it is imbued with the sweaty grit of Memphis and the joyful polish of Detroit. Hunter proves again that England’s love affair with American soul may never end.

Rich Robinson
Llama Blues EP

This EP was originally released in a limited run of only 1,000 CDs in 2011. The former lead guitarist of the Black Crowes, a group he conceived with his brother Chris, did this entire recording with one vintage microphone and it captures the deep blues of the music. This reissue is part of a series that also includes Robinson’s first two solo albums, Paper (2004) and Through a Crooked Sun (2011), as well as the live Woodstock Sessions (2014).

Allen Santoriello
Pros and Cons

The legendary Long Island group The Little Wilson Band might be where most readers recognize the name Allen Santoriello. But whether as part of a group, duo or a solo performer, his singular vocal style always takes center stage. This solo effort, featuring original material recorded in Huntington, spotlights a voice of power and subtlety. It’s easy to hear the influence of Ray Charles and other soul legends, but Santoriello has a style all his own and it’s never sounded better than on this timeless debut.