Arbouretum – Coming Out Of The Fog CD/LP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
Arbouretum continue to mine the same breadth of styles made familiar on The Gathering and Song Of The Pearl, notably the languid ballads, fuzzed-out burners, and heavier songs that have defined the group’s unique doom laden folk-rock sound.
Ash Borer – Ash Borer CD (Profound Lore)
Available on CD for the first time, Ash Borer’s 2011 album captures the vitriolic, ambient black metal fury for which they are renowned.
Bad Religion – True North CD/LP (Epitaph)
In a world still brimming with rampant anti-intellectualism, inequality and oppression, their signature brand of sonically charged humanist dissent seems as relevant as ever. Here they revisit and refine the powerful and melodic Southern California sound they helped define.
Patricia Barber – Smash CD (Concord Jazz)
The imaginative pianist, vocalist and composer continues her crusade to retrieve the ground that jazz musicians long ago ceded to pop and rock: the realm of the intelligent and committed singer/songwriter. With a new band and a dozen new compositions, she tackles even familiar subjects (like love and loss) with a nuance and depth beyond the limits of the Great American Songbook.
Bell Gardens – Full Sundown Assembly CD/LP (Southern)
Debut from duo of Brian McBride (Stars Of The Lid) and Kenneth Gibson (Apendics, Furry Things). Here, they embark upon an exploration of cinematic pop sound that often belies their respective backgrounds in the fields of experimental electronic, techno and minimalist music. For their first long-player, the duo expand on their strange yet beautiful soundscapes, favoring piano melodies, horns, pedal steel and lush vocal harmonies.
Big Harp – Chain Letters CD/LP+CD (Saddle Creek)
The follow up to their 2011 debut White Hat, Chain Letters is built on a foundation of crackling fuzz bass and angular electric guitars and keyboards, and plays like a series of character sketches centered around escape and surrender, and the blurred borders where the two become indistinguishable.
The Blue Nile – A Walk Across The Rooftops 2xCD [Reissue/1984] 2xCD (EMI)
The Blue Nile – Hats [Reissue/1989] 2xCD (EMI)
This Scottish folk-ambient band has enjoyed a mystique contrived by its inaccessibility and the infrequency of its recordings, but it has also made a series of critically acclaimed discs.
Brokeback – Brokeback And The Black Rock CD/LP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
New from the longstanding project of Douglas McCombs (Tortoise, Eleventh Dream Day, Pullman). Features an entirely new band assembled by McCombs that includes members of Tight Phantomz, Pinebender, and Head Of Skulls.
Tyler Bryant And The Shakedown – Wild Child CD/LP (Carved)
Tyler Bryant is a 21 year-old guitar prodigy who has been playing since he was 6.