You know what they say, hindsight is 20/20. None of us are immune to it but rather than beat ourselves up over it, we’ve looked back and pulled together a selection of last month’s best music.
We also remember American troubadour Guy Clark and celebrate the 50th anniversary of Bob Dylan’s masterpiece Blonde on Blonde. Whether you dig the Grateful Dead, groove to the soulful strains of Corinne Bailey Rae, want to thrash around with the So So Glos or sing along to Clare Maguire, this month’s cheat sheet gives you a rundown of what matters most in music right now. And hey, if you had a birthday in May (happy belated bday, btw!), we’ve also got a musical astrological rundown for you Taurus and Geminis out there.
**Why You Should Get to Know Clare Maguire **Now
If you’re a sucker for the Dusty Springfield, Amy Winehouse, Duffy and Adele, then Clare Maguire is mandatory listening. The nimble vocalist embodies all the key traits of English soul: cool but tough, detached yet tender. Next big thing? Maybe. We lay out why you need to pay attention to Clare Maguire.### **Think you’re cool? You’re Pretty Much Not as Cool as Robert Glasper**
It’s been a busy year for Robert Glasper. The most famous contemporary jazz musician in the country has just released Everything’s Beautiful, an imaginative re-interpretation of Miles Davis’ musical legacy that blends outtakes from the late jazz master’s studio sessions with new performances from Glasper, Erykah Badu, Stevie Wonder and others. He also wrote the score for Don Cheadle’s critically acclaimed biographical fiction movie about Davis, Miles Ahead, and you can hear him playing alongside composer and bassist Stanley Clarke on the score for Ice Cube’s box office hit Barbershop: The Next Cut. Mosi Reeves sat down with Glasper and discussed Everything’s Beautiful, being yourself and why jazz isn’t dead.
The Wait Is Over: Radiohead Finally Released an Album
Five years in the making, Radiohead’s ninth album catches the band in a deeply reflective mood — about the state of the world, yes, but more so about the state of the self, likely coming after the implosion of singer Thom Yorke’s long-term relationship with Rachel Owen. The couple were together for 23 years, or as the 47-year-old frontman puts it in the backward masked fade out to the warped lullaby “Daydreaming”: “Half my life, half my life… ” Here’s our deep dive into Moon Shaped Pool.### [**Corinne Bailey Rae, *****The Heart Speaks in Whispers***](http://www.rhapsody.com/artist/corinne-bailey-rae/album/the-heart-speaks-in-whispers-virgin)
On her first album in six years, Corinne Bailey Rae rejects the notion she’s placid and calm. “Do You Ever Think of Me?” is a lush soul tune that resembles Curtis Mayfield’s ‘70s gems and she adds ornate musical elements to her songs, from the splashy piano-ridden arena pop of “Stop Where You Are” to the down-tempo pace of “Walk On” with its modest homage to Isaac Hayes’ “Walk on By.” Romantic melancholy has defined Rae since her classic 2006 self-titled debut and Whispers delivers on our expectations for this British singer/songwriter.### **RIP: Guy Clark, America’s Troubadour**
Guy Clark captivated audiences with songs rich in detail, unsentimental yet surprisingly tender. His recordings, much like the man himself, followed the slow, methodical, respectful gait of a man from Texas. Read our tribute to this phenomenal songwriter.### **White Lung, *****Paradise***
White Lung’s frontwoman Mish Barber not only is one of the most compelling women in rock these days, she’s also a journalist that digs into issues of sexuality. (It’s true, you can read about it here.) With Paradise White Lung detour from its previous punk-bred mayhem, and go, dare we say, pop. The tempos still blitz like crazy, Kenneth William’s sunburst-like guitar parts are stridently avant-garde and Barber shrieks about everything from serial killers to aging glamour queens and trailer park denizens that are all poured into a batch of wildly catchy and hook-filled tunes.### ***Get Gone***** With Seratones**
Though the Seratones hail from Shreveport, Louisiana, it would be foolish to make too much of that. Shades of Southern blues surface here and there, like on the hard-stomping title track, but that’s a single ingredient in a boldly expansive style that draws in elements of garage punk, old-school acid rock and even jazz. We talked to A.J. Haynes about punk rock, jazz, and how people misinterpret the South.
Wait — You’re How Old?
Even if you weren’t as young as Bob Dylan was when he released the seminal Blonde on Blonde, it’s a pretty sure bet your parents were, or you at least rallied around “Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35” at some point. Think you know Dylan? Well, here’s 12 things you might not know. And Dylan wasn’t the only one to drop a notable album on May 16, 1966 — that same day The Beach Boys released the psychedelic pop masterpiece, Pet Sounds.
Cole Swindell showed a softer side on the autobiographical No. 1 hit “You Should Be Here” and his sophomore effort You Should Be Here is chock full of the catchy, carefree party songs on which his career has been built. That’s not to say there aren’t some thoughtful songs here. But why wallow when there’s a party waiting to get started? The slyly winking “No Can Left Behind” will certainly be a de rigueur party anthem this summer, with honorable nods to “Remember Boys” and “Stay Downtown.”## ***“I will not commit, nor will I submit, to musical genocide,” Gregory Porter says.***
Read why this Grammy-winning jazz musician pledged his allegiance to blues, gospel and soul music, assuring fans he won’t sell them out — and how he doesn’t disappoint with his new album, Take Me to the Alley.
Keith Urban consistently pushes country music’s boundaries, modernizing his sound with electronic beats and banjo loops. On Ripcord, he takes the biggest leap yet. “Fighter,” his duet with Carrie Underwood, is a full-on ’80s dance song and its pop hook, boy-girl call-and-response chorus is irresistible. The legendary Nile Rodgers guests as well as Mr. Worldwide himself, Pitbull, who adds a party-inducing flash of reggaeton. Urban still offers plenty of songs that are more in line with what fans may expect of a country musician — there’s an anthemic ode to a car make-out session made sexy with a shuffling, bottom beat and a dose of searing blues guitar licks. With each release Keith Urban goes a little farther afield, and Ripcord is no exception. It is, however, rather exceptional.### **Want Some Drama? Brooklyn’s So So Glos Deliver**
There’s punk, then there’s punk. Far and away the most fundamental of these myriad tensions is between collective struggle and individual self-destruction.Justin Farrar talked to the band about surviving the modern day apocalypse and how to come out the other side, punk style.
Indie Rock Royalty Toast the Dead
You don’t have to love the Grateful Dead to dig Day of the Dead, an epic 59-song tribute compilation meticulously produced and curated over the past five years by brothers Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National. Everyone from Courtney Barnett to Jim James and Charles Bradley pays tribute. Don a tie dye t-shirt (or not), but dig into this incredibly eclectic collection of tunes.### **The British Are Coming (Again) :**
Brazen Brit Rock torchbearers have been proclaimed “biggest new band in the country,” by none other than tastemakers NME. We tend to agree.
**Here are some other notables to pay attention to: **
Band of Skulls ROCK — Here’s 10 Reasons Why
Transplant: Belgrade native Ana Popovic delivers
Indie Rock Nirvana: The Islands dual album releases
Brett Dennen has created the most realized album of his career
Classic Clapton: I Still Do
Toronto punks PUP deliver The Dream Is Over
Contributors: Aidin Vaziri, Chuck Eddy, Jaan Uhelszki, Justin Farrar, Linda Ryan, Mosi Reeves, Theon Weber.