Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 2:53 pm
In this Vintage Cafe session from 2011, singer-songwriter Ryan Adams had just released the album Ashes & Fire. Adams had taken a couple years off between recording his last record with The Cardinals and this one. At the time, the delay was unusual for the prolific singer-songwriter, though he did put out a vinyl-only metal record called Orion. He also spent time relearning how to play guitar after a serious hand injury.
It's been four years since Leslie Feist released "1234," the career-making single that also became a testament to the power of a still-nascent YouTube. Feist, who performs under her last name, took some time off from performing after that surge in popularity. But she'll return next week with Metals, her first new album since 2007.
Mates of State's members are literally mates: Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel have been a duo since 1996, married since 2001, and parents on tour since 2004. Their basic concept is two strong voices, Gardner's slightly predominant, over her keyboards and Hammel's drums. Over the years, the band has expanded its instrumental range and brought in guests for sonic color. But nothing in the pair's catalog anticipated "Palomino," the opening track from the new Mountaintops.
Peter Gabriel's 12th studio album, New Blood, contains re-imaginings of some of his best-known songs — including "Solsbury Hill," "Red Rain" and "Don't Give Up" — using orchestral arrangements and ambient sound. The album continues a career reinvention he began on Scratch My Back, a covers album with the attached expectation that the covered artists would reciprocate.