New Music Releases: Week of September 25, 2015

David Cook Digital Vein

Singer-songwriter David Cook delivers his best album yet with “Digital Vein.” (Album cover property of Analog Heart Music)

By: Jacob Elyachar,

Welcome to another exciting edition of New Music Releases!

This week, I dove into new releases from Idol alums, music legends and up-and-coming superstars.

Let’s get this party started!

Digital Vein by David Cook

The American Idol: Season Eight alum and KC native released his fourth studio album. This is a brand-new direction for Cook as Digital Vein is the very first studio album since he left RCA Records. With RCA out of the picture, Mr. Cook’s artistry has exponentially increased and he is finally putting out music that lets him explore the cookie cutter format known as alternative pop rock. Thanks to co-writers and producers Blair Daly, Andy Wadeck and Zac Maloy, Digital Vein’s golden tracks will keep listeners’ interest in tact and make them stick around for the entire album. I hope David takes this record out on tour because this is his best piece of work since winning Idol! Bravo, David! Digital Vein is my Album of the Week! A

Tracks to Download: “From Here to Zero,” “Criminals,” “Carry On,” “Heartbeat” & “Wicked Game

Cass County by Don Henley

Don Henley is probably one of the greatest singer-songwriters of all-time. Since 1970, he has earned numerous awards for his work as a member of the Eagles and a solo artist. Cass County marks Don Henley’s first solo studio album since 2000’s Inside Job. Gone are the heavy drums and pianos and in their place are powerful acoustic guitar licks. In addition, the iconic Grammy-winning songwriter recruited several superb musical powerhouses such as Dolly Parton, Martina McBride, Mick Jagger, Miranda Lambert and Merle Haggard to provide their vocals on several tracks that are sprinkled throughout the album. This is a sturdy record for the music legend and Cass County will satisfy music aficionados and Don Henley fans alike. B

Tracks to Download: “Take A Picture of This,” “That Old Flame,” “When I Stop Dreaming” & “Praying for Rain

Caracal by Disclosure

Brothers Guy & Howard Lawrence are taking the EDM world by storm. Their first studio album, Settle, not only received support from Sam Smith, Jessie Ware and London Grammar, but also peaked at the top spot on both the UK Albums Chart and US Dance/Electronic Albums. For their sophomore follow-up, the Lawrence Brothers reunited with Sam Smith and partnered with rising artists Lorde, Miguel and the Weeknd to create a superb album that combines two important subgenres in the EDM world: Eurohouse and Trance. Caracal is an album that EDM rising artists and wannabes need to listen to because the Lawrence Brothers are clearly outlining the next chapter in the EDM movement. B+

Tracks to Download: “Omen,” “Magnets,” “Hourglass” & “Nocturnal”

Lana Del Rey Honeymoon

Lana Del Rey’s haunting “Honeymoon” album will enchant listeners and leave them with the desire to go to the West Coast. (Album cover property of Interscope & Polydor Records)

Honeymoon by Lana Del Rey

If there was an award that Lana Del Rey might take away from Lady Gaga, it might be the Dark Millennial Chanteuse. Since she dropped her major label debut back in 2012, Ms. Rey has been enchanting fans with her hypnotic melodies and catchy lyrics that were first shown in singles: “Video Games” and the extremely popular “Summertime Sadness.” For her fourth studio album (third with Interscope and Polydor Records), Ms. Del Rey’s haunting orchestrations and vocals entrap listeners and transport them into the never-ending summer paradise that Ms. Del Rey always sings about. In addition to including new high quality material such as the title track, “Music To Watch Boys To” and “High By The Beach,” Lana and longtime producing partners Rick Nowels and Kieron Menzies dove into the Great American Songbook and breathed new life into Nina Simone’s “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.” I think fans would be intrigued if Ms. Del Rey did a cover album in the future. Otherwise, I think Honeymoon might be a record that a lot of people will be talking about during the music awards’ circuit. A-

Tracks to Download: “Honeymoon,” “Music To Watch Boys To,” “High By the Beach,” “Terrence Loves You” & “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”

Ellie Goulding On My Mind

Ellie Goulding’s “On My Mind” is a spectacular piece of ear candy. (Album cover property of Polydor Records)

On My Mind” by Ellie Goulding

Since 2008, the UK millennial songbirds have been carving out pieces of the music industry. While Amy Winehouse will forever be connected to neo-Blue Eyed Soul and both Adele and Jessie J alternating the Princess of Pop crown, “Anything Could Happen” singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding has solidified her hold on the EDM corner of the music market. “On My Mind” is not only a brilliant single that perfectly is a great follow-up single to “Burn,” but also one of Goulding’s best collaborations with EDM Pop heavyweights Max Martin, Savan Kotecha and Ilya Salmanzadeh. A

Smoke Break” by Carrie Underwood

“Smoke Break” is the first single off of Carrie Underwood’s highly anticipated fourth studio album and reunited Ms. Underwood with her frequent collaborators: Hillary Lindsey and Chris DeStefano. “Smoke Break” perfectly captures Ms. Underwood’s interpretation of the country music world and her struggle to balance both her professional and personal worlds. I have a feeling that this firecracker is going to dominate the radio charts soon. B+

The Beach” by the Neighbourhood

LA-based band The Neighbourhood dropped their new single, “The Beach,” off of their upcoming sophomore album, WIPED OUT, which is scheduled to drop on October 30. What I admire about the Neighborhood’s artistry is that they are able to make their listeners visualize the lyrics, which is going set themselves apart from other bands in the industry. I hope that music lovers embrace this band because I have a feeling that The Neighbourhood has a bright future ahead of them. B+

Sam Smith Writing's On the Wall

Sam Smith’s stunning anthem for the upcoming James Bond film, “Spectre,” is my Song of the Week. (Artwork property of Capitol & Columbia Records)

“Writing’s On the Wall” by Sam Smith

Sam Smith just joined singers Adele, Chris Cornell, Madonna, Tina Turner and Dame Shirley Bassey in the James Bond club. This outstanding track is a brilliant tune that foreshadows the overall theme of Mr. Bond’s upcoming adventure: Spectre. Listeners will instantly get goose bumps from Mr. Smith’s voice, co-writer Jimmy Napes’ lyrics and Disclosure’s spectacular production. Congratulations, Mr. Smith! “Writing’s On the Wall” is my Song of the Week! A+

I do not own any of the clips that are featured in this edition of “New Music Releases.” They belong to the artists and their respective record labels.


  1. […] Lana Del Rey is one of the most memorable artists that premiered during this decade. Thanks to her haunting and hypnotic vocals, “Summertime Sadness” and “High on the Beach,” are some of the decade’s significant songs. For her final studio album of the 2010s, Lana Del Rey released Norman F—— Rockwell.  Ms. Del Rey co-wrote and co-produced a majority of the record with frequent collaborator Jack Antonoff.  Several of the duo’s tunes will definitely enchant listeners including the lengthy “Venice Bitch” and “Hope is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me to Have-But I Have It.” Also, for the second time in her career, there is a cover included in the album. The four-time Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter covered Sublime’s “Doin’ Time,” which introduces a new generation to the Reggae and Trip Hop classic.  Fantastic work, Lana Del Rey. B+/A- […]

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