Last week, I previewed St. Joe Live’s most anticipated movies. This week, we’re heading to streaming services and the limited locations that still sell CDs and records for what’s coming up this fall.
Scruffy & The Janitors “Volume 1: What Are You Running From?” (Single, out Sept. 13) — In 2018, Scruffy & The Janitors broke a long silence with its album “Modeling is Hard.” During that album cycle, it realized something — its younger fanbase that’s growing up on Spotify playlists and streaming media is not particularly interested in albums or physical media. To address that, it’s releasing songs with a horror-like theme, called “Keepers of the Underdark.” The first song, the blistering “What Are You Running From?” will hit streaming services on Friday the 13th (Get it?). These guys are always up to something new and exciting. I can’t wait to see what they have in store.
Sturgill Simpson “Sound & Fury” (Album, out Sept. 27) — Inspired by country and alt-rock, Sturgill Simpson blew me away with 2016’s gorgeous, rocking “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth.” He comes back with the ’70s, classic rock-inspired “Sound & Fury,” which, judging by its lead single “Sing Along,” moves farther away from country and more toward a Black Keys-type sound. I always appreciate a big swing from an artist and Simpson is always going for the fences. With his track record, he has the potential to send this out of the park.
Tegan and Sara “Hey, I’m Just Like You” (Album, out Sept. 27) — The indie sibling duo of Tegan and Sara made its name with catchy, guitar-led rock songs. But its past two albums almost completely ditched that vibe for a bigger, more poppy-sounding ’80s aesthetic. With a memoir on the way, titled “High School,” the group appears to be returning to its roots with a more traditional sound for its ninth album. Do they still have it? Its singles “I’ll Be Back Someday” and the title track seem to suggest the answer is yes.
Hootie & The Blowfish “Imperfect Circle” (Album, out Nov. 1) — My hot take is Hootie & The Blowfish’s debut, “Cracked Rear View,” was one of the best albums of the ’90s. Since then, it’s been dicey, but there’s good Hootie material off every album. After a long solo journey by lead singer Darius Rucker, the band is back for its first album in 14 years. The lead single “Rollin’” is way closer to Rucker’s solo material than I enjoy, but I’m happy to hear Hootie back at it. The songwriter guest list, which includes Chris Stapleton, Ed Sheeran, Eric Paslay and Sheryl Crow, isn’t bad either.
SZA “TBA” (Album, TBA) — The problem with doing a fall music preview is the fact that a new music release can happen at any time without notice. R&B singer SZA has said her new album is coming out soon but hasn’t released any info beyond that. She made a name for herself with her vulnerable debut “Ctrl” and appearances on hits with Maroon 5 (“What Lovers Do”), Kendrick Lamar (“All The Stars”) and The Weeknd (“Power is Power). Word is she’ll be collaborating with 2019’s biggest breakouts, rapper Megan Thee Stallion and pop singer Lizzo. So there’s a lot of power behind an already-solid artist.
— Andrew Gaug | St. Joe Live