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Mark Picks: New Summer Releases

Flickr: Seth Anderson

Spring will be sticking around for good any day now, and then summer will be right around the proverbial corner.  That puts one in mind of (among other things) new music! 

Any current list of anticipated recordings must begin with The Black Keys.  The eighth studio album by the Akron, Ohio duo is Turn Blue, scheduled for a May 13 release.  After years as college radio favorites, the band broke through commercially with Brothers in 2010, and advanced further with the masses in late 2011 (mid-winter, interestingly) when El Camino came out.  The Black Keys have always done quality work, and the advance tracks we have heard portend great things for Turn Blue.

Moving from duos to trios, we arrive at Little Barrie from Nottingham, England.  I’m a fan of their last record from a couple years ago, King Of The Waves.  Soulful and energetic, with guitar hooks aplenty, Little Barrie look to build on that success  with the new one, Shadow (May 27).

Peter Murphy was the front-man for Goth rock pioneers Bauhaus. He began his solo career in the 1980’s.  Murphy’s songs are atmospheric, yet accessible, with quirky, sometimes metaphysical themes.  Lion, his tenth studio album, has a June 3 release date.

The White Stripes had an excellent run as one of America’s finest bands during their heyday, beginning in the late 1990’s and especially in the early 2000’s.  Guitarist, songwriter, vocalist and conceptual mastermind  Jack White remains an intriguing figure in music.  He has been a member The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather , produced other artists, formed his own label Third Man Records and released his debut solo record, Blunderbuss in 2012.  Now comes the follow-up,  Lazaretto, due on June 10.

Lastly, we come to the Swedish sisters Johanna and Klara Soderberg, better known as First Aid Kit.  Their indie folk sound places them in the same musical tent as Joanna Newsom and Fleet Foxes.  First Aid Kit is very popular in their native Sweden, and  have developed a following in the United States.  Conor Oberst brought them in to sing harmonies on his forthcoming album.  The new First Aid Kit record, Stay Gold, will be out June 10.

Of course, this is just a tiny sampling of the great new music slated for release in 2014.  Rumor has it we may hear a new Radiohead record this year!

Mark Simmet is a Senior Producer and Studio One Host