This week’s picks bring us an alt-rock guitarist showing his eclectic side, an Uruguayan hero and a new sound from a veteran English band.
Tunng - …And Then We Saw Land (Thrill Jockey)
The British band Tunng was founded by Sam Genders and Mike Lindsey, and it wasn’t long before their appealing blend of acoustic folk and weird electronica had critics using the term folktronica to describe their music. But Sam has since left the band, and the Tunng sound on their fourth album is quite different. …And Then We Saw Land introduces the new-look Tunng, and I’ve found that the way to approach the album is to pretend it’s a whole different band. Because it sort of is. This Tunng makes quirky, beautifully crafted pop. - Picked by John Schaefer [Amazon]
Jorge Drexler – Amar La Trama (Warner Music Latina)
Singer-songwriter Jorge Drexler became a national hero in 2004 when he got the first Oscar for Uruguay with the song "Al Otro Lado del Rio" from the movie "The Motorcycle Diaries." But a national outcry followed when he didn't get to perform on the show - the task was assigned to Antonio Banderas and Carlos Santana. On his new album, Drexler confesses his love for the plot more than the ending. The CD is Amar La Trama, and it finds the usual subtle sound of Drexler accompanied by some winds and brass. Watch for more from him on the soundtrack of the upcoming movie "The City of Your Final Destination," featuring Anthony Hopkins and Laura Linney. - Picked by Gisele Regatao [Amazon]
The Nels Cline Singers - Initiate (Cryptogramophone)
The guitarist Nels Cline is among the most versatile and creative players out there. He built his reputation in the world of improvisational jazz. Then, Cline thrashed with country punkers the Geraldine Fibbers in the 1990s. Now, with the alternative rock band Wilco, Cline is a deadly weapon capable of ear-bending experimentation as well as elegant, even conservative solos. On the latest release from his solo project, the Nels Cline Singers, he’s even more eclectic. Initiate is a double-album, which also includes a live concert recorded in San Francisco. - Picked by Joel Meyer [Amazon]