New Music for June 2019

Fresh albums from sons of Southern royalty, an eclectic Texas band's debut, and more of this month’s noteworthy releases
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Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real | Turn Off the News (Build a Garden)

Over the last few years, Lukas Nelson, the son of Willie Nelson, has been proving that his lineage is the least interesting part of his musical résumé, coaching Bradley Cooper and writing eight songs for the blockbuster A Star is Born in addition to touring ceaselessly with his group Promise of the Real, both as Neil Young’s backing band and as headliners on stages around the country. His latest album, Turn Off the News, might be his strongest entry yet. ”Lotta Fun,” which features vocals from Margo Price, is a laid-back ode to good times on the road, and the fiery “Something Real” makes for further proof that Nelson and his band are bona fide rock star material.

Essential Tracks: “Lotta Fun,” “Bad Case”

Los Coast | Samsara

From the groovy lead single, “Monsters,” to the stripped-down closer, “Chesapeake,” the hotly anticipated debut from Austin, Texas, five-piece Los Coast showcases the energy and versatility that have earned the band a strong hometown following. Music was a big part of Georgia-born lead singer Trey Privott’s upbringing (he’s the nephew of jazz guitarist Hiram Bullock, who worked with Miles Davis, Harry Belafonte, and others), and the band incorporates an eclectic range of jazz, soul, rock ’n’ roll, and punk influences in easy-to-love, hard-to-categorize tunes that will get you moving.

Essential Tracks: “Monsters,” “Chesapeake”

Bad Books | III

Singer-songwriter Kevin Devine and Manchester Orchestra’s Andy Hull are both experts at pulling on heartstrings. Each of their previous two collaborative releases as Bad Books has connected deeply with audiences, making the seven-year gap since 2012’s II all the more excruciating for fans. On III, the almost sing-songy harmonies on up-tempo numbers belie existential musings on love, heartbreak, and parenthood, while quieter tracks such as “UFO” and “Lakehouse” let the impact of each lyric hang in the air. It all comes together in an album that takes on new depth with each listen.

Essential Tracks: “I Love You, I’m Sorry, Please Help Me, Thank You,” “UFO”

The Allman Betts Band | Down to the River

Devon Allman and Duane Betts are sons of Southern music royalty—their fathers, Gregg Allman and Dickie Betts, were founding members of the Allman Brothers Band. Long working musicians in their own right, the two are now joining forces as the Allman Betts Band, with a debut album and riff-laden, hard-charging numbers that are sure to resonate with fans of classic rock. As keyboardist Chuck Leavell, who guests on the album, says in our June/July issue, “Setting aside their heritage, they have their own chemistry.”

Essential Tracks: “Shinin’,” “Autumn Breeze”

Katie Toupin | Magnetic Moves

Katie Toupin may be best known as a co-founder of the Louisville-based Americana band Houndmouth, but her debut solo release, Magnetic Moves, is strong proof that she’s just getting started. While Toupin’s pop sensibilities take the spotlight, from the pulsing beat on the title track to the floaty hum of “In Your Dreams,” there’s an earnestness, too, as in the lilting chorus of “I Need You,” which tackles a deep question with a lighthearted touch: “Do you really love me still / like you did when it was easy?”

Essential Tracks: “Magnetic Moves,” “In Your Dreams”

Dylan LeBlanc | Renegade

Produced by Nashville’s Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton), Renegade reveals singer-songwriter Dylan LeBlanc at the top of his craft, tackling subjects ranging from solitude to religion to social injustice with poetic flair. LeBlanc grew up in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and called on backup band the Pollies, who toured with him behind his breakout 2016 release, Cautionary Tale, to accompany him in the studio.The new album builds on the hazy seventies sound that brought LeBlanc success while showcasing a growing maturity.

Essential Tracks: “Renegade,” “Damned”

Buddy & Julie Miller | Breakdown on 20th Ave. South

Buddy Miller is one of Nashville’s most sought-after sidemen, a prolific record producer, and a highly respected solo artist in his own right. His wife, Julie, matches him in the talent department, having released her debut album in 1990 and gone on to write songs for Levon Helm, Emmylou Harris, and Miranda Lambert, among others. But the influential couple hasn’t released new music together in a decade, a fact that became something of a sore spot between them—and one they work through on Breakdown on 20th Ave. South (the name is a reference to the pair’s home studio). Their raw harmonies make a perfect medium for lyrics that recount the deeply personal highs and lows of romantic—and creative—partnership.

Essential Tracks: “War Child,” “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me”

Get a taste of these June releases—along with more new music from 2019, including the latest songs from Tyler Childers, John Prine, and Rhiannon Giddens—by following our New Music playlist on Spotify.