k.d. lang is back with a bang…a Siss Boom Bang to be precise. Earlier this month the peerless singer-songwriter returned with “Sing It Loud,” her first studio album in three years and first recorded entirely with a band of her own since the pair of albums she released with the Reclines that launched her groundbreaking career over 20 years ago.

The songs on “Sing It Loud” reflect the organic, collaborative nature of the sessions, which took place at co-producer Joe Pisapia’s Middletree Studios in Nashville. Many of the songs were recorded live in the studio and that energy is palpable. Lead single “I Confess” is one of three songs lang penned with keyboardist Daniel Clarke and Joshua Grange, who plays baritone guitar and dobro. In addition to the original material, “Sing It Loud” includes a striking version of Talking Heads’ “Heaven.”

Pisapia, who plays numerous instruments and serves as the band’s musical director, contributed the title track and co-wrote five songs with lang. Bassist Lex Price (Mindy Smith, Peter Bradley Adams) and drummer/percussionist Fred Eltringham (The Wallflowers) complete the lineup.

k.d. lang and the Siss Boom Bang made a string of TV appearances this month, including “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Good Morning America” and “The View,” performing “I Confess.” In addition, lang and the band played “Sing It Loud” in its entirety at the Troubadour in L.A. and at (le) poisson rouge in New York City to promote the release.

They will embark on a summer tour that will bring them to the Appalachian Summer Festival in Boone on July 15. “Sing It Loud” (Nonesuch Records) is available now at all digital music retailers and brick-n-mortar records shops.

Gleek Out: Triple threat entertainer Matthew Morrison (who plays hunky teacher Mr. Shue on gay-fave “Glee”) is set to release his self-titled debut album May 10. The set contains a duet with music legend (and new adoptive dad) Elton John on a mash-up of the icon’s own “Rocket Man” and “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters.” Morrison will be touring behind the record in the coming months and on July 7, he’ll be in Greensboro for a performance at the War Memorial Auditorium.

Ethereal Girl: Rock’s mystic queen Stevie Nicks (Fleetwood Mac) will issue her newest solo CD “In Your Dreams” May 3. This will be Nicks’ first collection of new material since the release of her Grammy-nominated “Trouble in Shangri-La” 10 years ago. The new album was written and recorded at Nicks’ L.A. home with co-producers Dave Stewart (Eurythmics) and Glen Ballard. Nicks and Stewart co-wrote seven of the album’s 13 songs. Lead single “Secret Love” (available now on iTunes) was written in 1976 while Fleetwood Mac was on tour opening for Peter Frampton.

Pro-gay Poptarts: Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful” was the most empowering pop song of the last decade for LGB people, according to an internet poll conducted by U.K. gay rights group Stonewall. The multiple-choice, light-hearted poll asked Stonewall’s online supporters which pop song/video had the most empowering message for or best depiction of LGB people over the last 10 years.

There were 1,007 respondents with the results as follows:
1. Christina Aguilera – “Beautiful” (33 percent)
2. Boyzone – “Better” (25 percent)
3. Lady Gaga – “Born This Way” (17 percent)
4. Gossip – “Standing in the Way of Control” (16 percent)
5. Katy Perry – “Firework” (9 percent) : :

info: audiophile@goqnotes.com

David Stout

David Stout is the associate editor of QNotes. He can be reached at editor2@goqnotes.com.