CDs + Vinyl:
The Aggrovators – Dubbing At King Tubby’s 2xCD (VP)
Freshly sequenced and remastered, Dubbing At King Tubby’s showcases the mixing skills of King Tubby, Prince Jammy, Scientist, Phillip Smart and Pat Kelly on a drum and bass heavy selection of groundbreaking Bunny Lee dubs. [Vinyl edition due July 15.]
Alma Afrobeat Ensemble – It’s Time CD/LP (Slow Walk Music)
The third album from Barcelona-based Alma Afrobeat Ensemble, their first with Nigerian singer Joe “Olawale” Psalmist singing in English, Yoruba, and Broken English. It’s Time featuressongs that hearken back to the origins of Afrobeat: extended, elegant arrangements, socially and politically charged lyrics, and danceable grooves. Add in a dose of trance, some unique improvisational solos and a modern feel, and you have It’s Time.
Anderson/Stolt – Invitation Of Knowledge CD (Inside Out U.S.)
New duo comprised of Yes vocalist Jon Anderson and prog rock veteran Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings, Transatlantic).
Augustines – This Is Your Life CD (PIAS America)
“Despite our constant collective quest for The New, we’ll always return to those musicians who imbue their work with only themselves, vulnerability and popularity be damned. On This Is Your Life, Augustines continue to mine adversity for glimmers of hope. There’s more of an electronic presence and more influence drawn from outside the indie-rock sphere, but it remains resolutely an Augustines record. If you’ve been on the fence about the band thus far, this isn’t going to change your mind, but they continue to grow in sound and scope, with each LP bringing bigger ambitions and production that could comfortably be labelled bombastic. With each record the band releases, they inch further from the tragedy and pain that initially threatened to define them. It’s still there, but sits comfortably alongside thankful depictions of events which led them to this point. No longer having to scream to be heard, they’re able to imbue their music with the elegance necessary to create the truest representation of its message: it’ll be okay” – Drowned In Sound. [Vinyl edition due July 8.]
The Avett Brothers – True Sadness CD (Republic)
Seth Avett says that True Sadness is a patchwork quilt, both thematically and stylistically. Wherein a myriad of contrasting fabrics make perfect sense on the same plane, the album draws upon countless resources from its writers and performers. He cites pervasive and cornerstone influences such as Queen, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Jimmie Rodgers, Tom Petty, Nine Inch Nails, Gillian Welch, Aretha Franklin, Walt Disney, Pink Floyd, Kings Of Convenience, calypso of the 1950s and country of the 1930s. Most importantly, he assures, “Throughout the album, we stitched together the boldest red and the calmest green, polka dots and stripes, the roughest denim and the smoothest velveteen. They came together because they are the best patterns we have and because each of us brought our own fabric to the quilting frame.”