New Music Monday Picks For May 22

Your New Music Monday picks for May 22 include new Foster The People, a Sharon Van Etten fave and songs of freedom:

He’s an activist, author, filmmaker and theologian whose lengthy resume also includes singer-songwriter. Rev. Sekou speaks truth to power, and together with Luther and Cody Dickinson from the North Mississippi Allstars, he’s recorded a collection of new songs for freedom fighters both young and old. In Times Like These celebrates grit, audacity and authenticity. It’s the ultimate soundtrack for those wanting to make a difference, and opening track “Resist” helps set the tone. And coming up on June 7, the Kessler Theater in Oak Cliff will play host to both the North Mississippi Allstars and Rev. Sekou.

Brooklyn quartet Big Thief delivers an instant classic with “Shark Smile,” driven by the soothing pipes of Adrianne Lenker and the standout guitar wizardry of her longtime collaborator and compatriot Buck Meek. One can never go wrong with a band who counts Sharon Van Etten as one of their biggest champions, and Saddle Creek as their backing label. Catch Big Thief live as they wrap up their tour with Conor Oberst, and dive into Capacity when it comes out June 9.

If you’re starting to lose track of the cogs in the Vampire Weekend wheel, don’t feel like the Lone Ranger. Rostam has his project with Hamilton Leithauser, drummer Chris Tomson has kept himself busy with Dams of the West, and now Chris Baio – who keeps it simple by moonlighting under his surname – returns with his second solo album on June 30. “Philosophy!” marries ebullient synth and guitar hooks with the politics of mind and body, and leads the pack of tracks leaked from Man Of The World, arriving via Glassnote.

Upon the release of their debut Torches, “Pumped Up Kicks” cemented Foster The People’s place in the indie pantheon. Sophomore effort Supermodel didn’t get as many glowing reviews as its predecessor, but the band’s loyal fanbase kept the flame alive and primed for III, the new three-song EP landing later this summer, in the lead-up to the full-length. No doubt they’ll be previewing some of those new tracks next Tuesday, May 30, when Foster The People returns to the House of Blues.

Happy listening!