New Music Monday Picks For August 1

Your New Music Monday picks for the very first day of August 2016 feature the best new local tracks, SoCal psych rock and the unstoppable Sharon Jones:

It’s been a bumpy ride for the unstoppable Sharon Jones. Back in the summer of 2013, she was diagnosed with stage two pancreatic cancer, followed it up with surgery and chemo and went into remission — only to discover that the cancer had returned this past fall. Not that the much-loved 60-year-old pint-sized bundle of TNT allowed it to get the best of her. She and the Dap-Kings did two full-on tours with Hall & Oates, made two albums and allowed filmmaker Barbara Kopple to capture her day-to-day highs and lows. The resulting documentary, Miss Sharon Jones!, is an unflinching testament to her courage and tenacity, and “I’m Still Here” is her way of shouting from the mountaintop that she’s a survivor and warrior.

Four long years have passed since the release of What We Saw From The Cheap Seats, but during that stretch, Regina Spektor wasn’t resting on her laurels. She toured her native Russia, welcomed a baby boy into the world, and recorded “You’ve Got Time,” the haunting theme song for Jenji Kohan’s award-winning Netflix series, Orange is The New Black. Oh, and she also found out that President Obama is a big fan who’s seen her perform not only once, but twice. Remember Us To Life arrives September 30 via Sire, and Spektor’s signature and inimitable style are on full display in the lead single, “Bleeding Heart.”

Get Well Soon,” the surf-infused debut single from Dallas five-piece Daisy, has an air of sophistication about it that pulls you right in. With its perfect endless summer vibe (imagine Los Straitjackets making an album with Kevin Parker from Tame Impala), it’s almost enough to make you forget that you could cook an entire breakfast on the sidewalk outside. Keep an eye out for a series of digital and vinyl singles landing this fall, and see them supporting Rookie of the Year at the Prophet Bar on August 11.

Their music has been featured in TBS’ Cougar Town, they’ve made the early morning TV rounds, and now they’re back with a new sound and a new EP. Helmed by Michael Kanne and Michael Rossi, Dallas’ Northern National teamed up with Daniel Stringer (Ms. Lauryn Hill, X Ambassadors) to produce their second EP, Love Is Fire, due out in September, and “The New Age” has radio hit written all over it. We think you’ll agree.

Any song clearly taking its cues from the 1969-era Velvets is fine by us. It’s not a stretch, considering that the three of the founding members of L.A.’s Allah-Las came up with the idea to start a band while working at Amoeba Records. Their forthcoming third release, Calico Review, also just happened to be recorded in the same studio as Pet Sounds. If that’s not good juju, then we don’t know what is. Enjoy the lead single, “Could Be You,” and mark your calendar for September 9, when the album arrives via Mexican Summer.

Thanks, as always, for your ear.