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Man, it looks like someone just shook the snow globe extra hard and the City Weekly building is covered in the white stuff. Winter is just around the corner, and with it the promise of holiday albums including Bob Dylan's um, interesting take on Christmas standards. Until that date arrives, we'll focus on today's cool new releases including Devendra Banhart's major-label debut. Produced by Band of Bees' Paul Butler, it sounds like the big cats allotted him a nice hearty budget and plenty of creative freedom. While What Will We Be is solid and sleek, its content is eclectic and catchy as all get out. In fact, I dig it so much, I'm posting the whole album for you to stream before purchasing----:
Also out today, The Swell Season's Strict Joy which cranks up the volume and the rock. Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova recorded their debut as their young love grew. Strict Joy is the response to their relationship's eventual demise. It's brimming with loud-quiet-loud passion, beautiful harmonies and scene-stealing solos as each artist takes his/her respective turn at the mic. Catch them live performing at the Rose Wagner Center with opener Rachel Yamagata Nov. 28.