Entertainment Music

MUSIC CHEAT SHEET: New Alt-J album

By Jane Stevenson, Postmedia Network

Indie rockers Alt-J are back with a new album. POSTMEDIA

Indie rockers Alt-J are back with a new album. POSTMEDIA

 Alt-J return: Leeds indie-rockers Alt-J have a new album, Relaxer, due June 9 with the very mellow and gentle first single, 3WW, out now. The record follows up their Grammynominated, This Is All Yours, and finds the band working with producer Charlie Andrew for the third time. So far, there are no Canadian dates as they play U.S. festivals and cities this summer.

Jack back at it: Jack White tells The New Yorker in an extended interview that he's working on new music in an empty two-bedroom Nashville apartment on "a reel-to-reel tape recorder. Something about a room and a cot and a little space. You have Jack White nothing to do," he described the process to TNY. "I'm going to try to write songs where I can't be heard by the next door neighbour. And I want to write like Michael Jackson would write - instead of writing parts on the instruments or humming melodies, you think of them. To do everything in my head and to do it in silence and use only one room." White's last solo studio album of original material was 2014's Lazaretto.

Lennon-Fisher song released: Unlikely songwriting duo Sean Lennon and the late Carrie Fisher's collaboration, Bird Song, featuring him and Willow Smith singing over piano, was released by Lennon on his Soundcloud page Monday. "Carrie and I wrote this song years ago," Lennon wrote in his post. "When she died I just felt I had to record it. This is only a demo unmixed, we only had a few hours to record it. But the lyrics she wrote with me I think are marvelous. Carrie and I used to stay up til dawn chatting and pontificating about life. They were my best moments."

Festival news: Field Trip, at Fort York and Garrison Common, will feature Broken Social Scene, Phoenix, and Feist as co-headliners when the fifth edition unfurls June 3-4 in Toronto. Meanwhile, North By Northeast has announced its first wave of performers at the Port Lands in Toronto from June 23-25 with Passion Pit, Tyler, the Creator, and Post Malone as headliners. NXNE, now in its 23rd year, runs in its entirety June 16-25 in downtown Toronto. And the all new Bud Light Dreams Music Festival touches down at Toronto's Echo Beach on July 7-8.

Reed memorial forges new BNL disc: Toronto's Barenaked Ladies are going harmony-heavy on their new disc, Ladies And Gentlemen: Barenaked Ladies And The Persuasions, due April 14. The album reimagines 14 BNL classics like The Old Apartment and One Week, with The Persuasians, known as "the Kings of A Cappella." The idea was forged when Keyboardist Kevin Hearn met The Persuasians at Lou Reed's memorial at the Apollo in 2013, which led to an invite to perform with BNL in Central Park Summerstage during their 2016 tour. Otherwise BNL's new studio album, Fake Nudes, is expected to be released this fall.

New Music: Among those with new music out Friday are: Bush, Black And White Rainbows; Laura Marling, Semper Femina; Tennis, Yours Conditionally; The Shins, Heartworms.

On Tour:

Glee fans will be excited to hear Lea Michele plays Massey Hall on May 6 for her only Canadian date.

Country music star Jason Aldean pulls into Toronto's Budweiser Stage on June 2.

Fleet Foxes play Toronto's Massey Hall on August 4.

Veteran ska act The Specials take over Toronto's Danforth Music Hall on June 6-7.

The '70s are alive and well as Boston, with opening act Joan Jett, play Budweiser Stage on July 11.

Korn touch down at Budweiser Stage on July 25.

Veteran Aussie rockers Midnight Oil pull into The Danforth Music Hall on May 20 and Vancouver's Malkin Bowl (moved from the Commodore) on June 2.

Rancid and Dropkick Murphys team up for a tour that stops at Toronto's Echo Beach on July 29 and Vancouver's UBC Thunderbird Arena on Aug. 15.

Manchester band Elbow plays The Danforth Music Hall on Nov. 6.