May at New York Music Daily is going to be album heaven. The reason why is that starting about a year ago this blog came up with a plan B which, fortuitously, never became necessary. That massive, labor-intensive initiative first required cherry-picking the roughly 120 best albums that had arrived here over the past few years but hadn’t yet received coverage, and then lining all of them up on the runway.

That way, if the lockdowners had shut down access to the internet here – as they had threatened at Event 201, their fall 2019 rehearsal – New York Music Daily would have been able to survive on autopilot for about four months. About half of those writeups have already been published, sporadically, since the lockdown began. But the thirty best of the entire bunch have all been saved for this month.

As it no longer appears that Amazon is going to try to shut down the web in noncompliant parts of the world – since those places are booming, and cutting off their internet would cost the lockdowners untold millions – it no longer makes sense to sit on those albums any longer. It’s time last year’s desperate measures became this year’s rediscovered treasures. This sonic feast will continue all month long, in addition to ongoing coverage of new releases, plus hopefully more concert coverage and calendar listings as well.

Otherwise, here’s what’s on tap for the second week of May, barring the unforeseen:

  • Veteran Dutch satirists engage a cheery frontwoman to sing ersatz 60s psychedelic pop in fractured French. Is this a spoof? The real deal? As crazy as the original stuff?

  • A hellraising California outlaw country songstress takes an unexpected detour into harder rock territory
  • This classical singer has engaged a wide cast of new composers to come up with a searingly relevant collection of new songs focusing on refugee crises and the concept of home in that context
  • Everybody needs a good drummer, so the best ones make great bandleaders because everybody wants to work with them. How good is this perennially busy guy’s new chordless quartet record?
  • The creek rose and pretty much washed away this Colorado Americana tunesmith’s house. She’s got a new album about it.

  • A chillingly relevant, grim new art-rock song cycle drawing on the diaries of women who lost sons in World War I
  • A wild, surreal mashup of big band jazz, stately baroque choral music and a Christian mass from this psychedelic crew from the Czech Republic

  • A brilliantly conversational, colorful new improvisational album from a multi-generational New York collective

  • One of this era’s most sought-after multi-reedwomen releases a smartly bristling protest jazz album in response to the lockdown
  • This unpretentiously poetic Argentine-Floridian singer never met a good tune she didn’t want to write words for

  • Opera diva completely flips the script, assumes a male role and tackles an iconic art-song suite

  • The Best New York Concerts of 2020 and Best Albums of 2020 pages are live now. The Best Songs of 2020 page is next…but it’s going to have to wait til later. Stay tuned!