Billy Corgan, as frontman for The Smashing Pumpkins, made twisted, abrasive rock. But within that project he always had a soft side, expressed in quieter, acoustic songs sprinkled throughout the Pumpkins’ catalog. Now the singer is back with a new solo album of beautiful ballads made entirely of piano, acoustic guitar and strings. He’s calling it Ogilala and releasing it under the name William Patrick Corgan later this fall. We’ve got the first single from the album on this week’s show, the gorgeously orchestrated “Aeronaut.”
Also on the show: Veteran gospel and R&B singer Mavis Staples has a powerful new record she made with her longtime friend, collaborator and Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy, called If All I Was Was Black; the London-based band Wolf Alice has a synth-heavy pop song the group wrote for long, windows-down road trips; Jackie Shane, a ‘60s soul singer who largely disappeared more than 40 years ago, is back with a new collection of her classics; plus two Swedish artists, Loney Dear and Flikka. We last featured Loney Dear’s richly layered pop music a decade ago on the show. He’s now back with his first album in six years — Flikka is an entirely new, great unknown artist with an arresting voice.