Priscilla Ahn – This Is Where We Are CD (SQE Music)
Like many artists before her, Priscilla Ahn went to the desert seeking transformation. After several albums with a team who’d paired her with co-writers not quite her style, Ahn was free. But after those years of pop contortion, she began to doubt her own ability to express her true self in song. Ahn went to the desert as a dare — to see what songs still lived in her, to prove just what kind of record she could make on her own. She took off from L.A. and holed up in a hotel room outside Palm Springs (a 1920’s getaway for Hollywood stars) to apply herself to her craft. The songs came immediately, sometimes fully formed. Within the week Ahn had an album.
Artgruppe – Objets D’artgruppe CD (Jigsaw)
It’s been nearly a decade since we last heard anything from Roy Thirlwal (who led the excellent Windmills and Melodie Group), but here we have this project, and it’s just as lovely as anything else in his musical oeuvre. If you know his other bands, then you’ll have a good idea of what to expect; if not, then imagine an updated version of East Village or The Orchids.
Greg Ashley – Another Generation Of Slaves CD/LP+MP3 (Trouble In Mind)
Greg Ashley (lysergic psych band The Mirrors and The Gris Gris) is no stranger to recording. If his group output wasn’t enough, Ashley has peppered multiple solo albums in between all of these releases tracing along a path that veers to and fro from heady psychedelic freakouts to sensitive, folky tune-smithing. This is a bold step off that acid-soaked artery, as the nine tunes herein are Ashley’s most directly poetic suite of songs both melodically and lyrically.
Barzin – To Live Alone In That Long Summer CD/LP (Monotreme)
To Live Alone In That Long Summer explores such themes as loneliness, intimacy, and connection between strangers. Modern life provides the backdrop to the narrative that run along these songs. Everywhere you look, the city, with its distractions, is present. Fast cars and cheap thrills make an appearance. Dylan sings on the radio while lovers dream of their great escape. Modern life hurries along taking everyone with it, and the singer/songwriter goes along for the ride, documenting everything along the way.
Beck – Morning Phase CD/LP (Capitol)
Morning Phase is true to its title: the beginning of yet another amazing chapter in Beck’s peerless career and catalogue. Featuring musicians who have backed him on many of his most acclaimed albums, as well as the current live shows widely hailed as the best of his career (Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Joey Waronker, Smokey Hormel, Roger Joseph Manning Jr., and Jason Falkner), Morning Phase harkens back to the stunning harmonies, song craft and staggering emotional impact of Beck’s most classic ballads, all the while surging forward with undeniable optimism. “A tenderly stunning song cycle of languid, prairie-dusted psychedelia that recalls reflective 2002 classic, Sea Change.” — Rolling Stone
Dierks Bentley – Riser CD (Capitol Nashville)
Seventh full-length album for Capitol from the Arizona-born country star follows his 2012 album Home. Features the singles “Bourbon in Kentucky” and “I Hold On.”
Blackstone Rngrs – Descendant CD (Sainte Marie)
Blackstone Rngrs clawed their way through North Texas’s urban mantle, finding the blood connections necessary to drink from their fermenting sonic emotions. The sacred marriage blends affection for modern electronic music with an urgent fetish for classic 4AD dreampop and noise. The orgy happens when swirls of orgasmic synthesizers embrace dripping guitars and tantric rhythms and pulses. Healthy doses of noise are always comforted by soft waterbeds of the ambient and dreamy.
Carmel Snow – You Walk On Air CD (Jigsaw)
Caramel Snow is the work of one fellow named Michael, and his music is reminiscent of Simple Carnival and (early) Orange Cake Mix. These five songs comprise 16 minutes of easy-going pop that sounds like it could be demos from early ’70s-era Harry Nilsson; mostly keyboard and drum machine-based, though you’ll find some effected-guitars here and there.
Casper & The Cookies – Dingbats CD/LP (Wild Kindness)
Melodic jerky weirdness reminiscent of the dB’s or Game Theory from this Athens, GA group fronted by Jason Nesmith (ex-Of Montreal).
Celtic Woman – Emerald Musical Gems: Live In Concert CD+DVD (Manhattan Records)
This show was recently recorded in South Bend, IN on the doorstep of the University Of Notre Dame, where it dazzled the family-friendly audience with a one-of-a-kind interactive concert experience that showcased the groups sparkling pure voices, bewitching choreography and fairytale charms along with the talents of a group of world-class musicians, an Aontas Choir, bagpipers and championship Irish dancers. Also available on stand-alone DVD and Blu-ray.
CEO – Wonderland CD (Modular)
Spanning just eight tracks but a kaleidoscope of emotions, Wonderland is CEO in perfect form — “a chipper jaunt through a fantastical sonic realm with tinges of darkness at its fringes” – Stereogum. “As demented and blissful as the best parts of once-popular ‘freak-folk’ movement, with Berglund leading a big top full of whining recorders, sweet-tooth synths and cackling samples.” — Billboard
Neneh Cherry – Blank Project CD/LP (Smalltown Supersound)
Neneh Cherry’s Blank Project is her first solo album in 16 years, produced by Kieran Hebden aka Four Tet, and featuring a guest appearance by Robyn.
D. Charles Speer And The Helix – Doubled Exposure CD/LP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
D. Charles Speer aka Dave Shuford (Rhyton, No Neck Blues Band) leads his band The Helix through an album of loose and free country rock boogie with blistering psych explorations. “Doubled Exposure follows the rollicking country-rock of Leaving The Commonwealth and ups the ante in every great way possible… Speer And The Helix, though always excellent, have never sounded this muscled, this in control, even as they work so hard to get (us and themselves) lost.” – PopMatters
Cloud Becomes Your Hand – Rocks Or Cakes CD (Northern Spy)
Cloud Becomes Your Hand can go from tribal to medieval to cacophonous in a single piece, as their new album, Rocks Or Cakes, features brilliant melodies, blippy video-game sounds, and Syd Barrett-esque lyrics.
Creative Adult – Psychic Mess CD/LP+MP3 (Run For Cover)
Creative Adult comes from the diverse musical breeding ground of California’s North Bay punk scene. The band’s sonic blast careens between the harsh, noisy punk of Scratch Acid and Gang Of Four while carrying the brooding emotion of Joy Division’s darkest moments. This debut full-length is a grimy, paranoid acid trip through ‘80s west coast punk. Engineered and produced by Efrim Menuck of Godspeed You! Black Emperor.
Brian Culbertson – Another Long Night CD (BCM Entertainment)
Culbertson’s recent chart-topping releases have primarily been excursions aboard R&B and funk grooves, thus Another Long Night Out marks a return to his roots in contemporary jazz. Among the preeminent musicians joining him in the recording studio to play on the 11-song album are the Rippington’s Russ Freeman, Eric Marienthal, Candy Dulfer, Toto’s Steve Lukather, Paul Jackson Jr., Fourplay’s Chuck Loeb and Nathan East, Jimmy Haslip and Will Kennedy of Yellowjackets fame, Ricky Lawson, Michael Thompson, Lenny Castro, Michael Bland, Patches Stewart and a 38-piece orchestra.
Davidge – Slo Light CD (The End)
Slo Light is the debut album by Davidge, aka award-winning producer/musician Neil Davidge, renowned previously for his production, co-writing and sonic-sculpting of music for Massive Attack, David Bowie, Snoop Dog, Damon Albarn, Primal Scream, Elizabeth Fraser and Mos Def, plus the Halo 4 game score and soundtrack. An album deeply-schooled in Bristol beats, electronica, soundtracks, orchestral music and more, Slo Light creates a fantasy world in which tension, darkness and beauty find the perfect equilibrium. Vinyl version due March 25.
Death Vessel – Island Intervals CD/LP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
Island Intervals is Joel Thibodeau’s third record as Death Vessel and his second for Sub Pop. An inveterate and intuitive wanderer, Joel traveled to Reykjavík on an invitation from Sigur Rós singer Jónsi and producer Alex Somers, where they spent three months together conjuring an album that’s both a song cycle and a window into a mysterious and singular landscape. Pete Donnelly (The Figgs, NRBQ), Samuli Kosminen (Múm), Thorvaldur “Doddi” Thorvaldsson and Jónsi contribute.
Dinosaur Pile-Up – Nature Nurture CD (So Recordings)
Nature Nurture revels in the rich history of British pop from the ’60s and ’70s with a distinct element of the ’90s. Dinosaur Pile-Up broke out of the fervent Leeds rock scene at the end of last decade, their debut album Growing Pains inviting favorable comparisons to the cream of ’90s college rock, and touring with likes of Pixies, Feeder, Cage The Elephant, and Twin Atlantic.
Dorydrive – Here’s To You CD (Rock Ridge)
Hailing from Milwaukee, Dorydrive is an alt rock act that has honed their chops while the road supporting Alice Cooper, Iron Maiden, Sevendust, Fuel, Candlebox, James Durbin, Adelita’s Way, Pop Evil, Hinder, Hollywood Undead, 10 Years, and many others.
DVA – Nipomo CD/LP (Clandestine)
Operating in their own microcosm, DVA have stood out with an idiosyncratic sonic lexicon “pop for non-existing radios” or “folklore of non-existing nations”, as they say. The duo — it takes two “dva” in Czech, to tango — Bára Kratochvílová and Jan Kratochvíl, have carved out a niche with their rich musical landscape. Available on CD and on clear vinyl.
The Family Crest – Beneath The Brine CD/2xLP+MP3 (Tender Loving Empire)
Following on the heels of The Headwinds EP, Beneath The Brine shows that singer Liam McCormick’s ambition was well placed. The breadth of arrangements — from dark, classical romanticism (“Beneath The Brine”) to horn-laden sounds akin to the Roaring ‘20s (“Howl”) — are complemented by the incredible range of McCormick’s voice.
Flaco & Max – Legends & Legacies CD (Smithsonian Folkways)
In the world of accordion-driven Tejano conjunto music, Grammy award winners Flaco Jiménez and Max Baca are at once pillars of the past and forgers of the future. Legends & Legacies spotlights these larger-than-life artists, each an inheritor of a musical legacy from his father and grandfather, and each a dynamic force of musical genius. This recording captures the essential sounds of conjunto tradition with Flaco’s three-row button accordion and Max’s deep-pitched bajo sexto. Electric bass and drum kit round out the ensemble.
Flagland – Love Hard CD/LP (Father/Daughter)
Flagland is a multi-dimensional band that is impossible to label or define, as there is a variance of musical styles on Love Hard. Equal amounts of ferocity are heard on the bipolar “Comfortable Life” and bleak, hard-hitting “Monster,” as on their musical antithesis, the jubilant power-pop “Sugaroube.”
Bob Frank – Bob Frank [Reissue/1972] CD/LP (Light In The Attic)
Originally released in 1972 on Vanguard Records, Bob Frank’s self-titled debut album took elements of Dylan, Johnny Cash, and Ian Tyson and filtered it through a pot-smoked haze infused with Frank’s long-time friend, Memphis guru Jim Dickinson. Dickinson and Frank shared a mutual admiration that ran so deep that on Dickinson’s own 1972 debut album Dixie Fried (released on Atlantic Records) he recorded one of Bob’s songs, Wild Bill Jones. Despite the Dickinson/Memphis connection, Bob Frank’s only LP for Vanguard has remained a forgotten, hard to find vinyl relic.
The Fray – Helios CD/LP (Epic)
The Fray’s fourth album was produced by Brendan O’Brien and features the upbeat single “Love Don’t Die.” Free lithograph with purchase – while supplies last!
Gnaw Their Tongues & Alkerdeel – Dyodyo Asema CD (ConSouling Sounds)
Dyodyo Asema, a 19-minute bastard, was composed by Alkerdeel and Gnaw Their Tongues with the intention of celebrating the fifth anniversary of the ConSouling Sounds label. It’s not a split release, but rather a collaboration, where both parties worked on one gloomy/drone/black/sludge/monolith of a song.
The Gloaming – The Gloaming CD (Brassland)
The Gloaming is a collaboration between five master musicians: Martin Hayes (violin, fiddle), Thomas Bartlett aka Doveman (piano), Iarla Ó Lionaird (vocals), Dennis Cahill (guitar) and Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh (hardanger fiddle). Their work is based on traditional Irish forms into which they introduce deep wells of personality and experience; lyrics drawn from the history of Irish literature; and playing that is executed with the authority of virtuosos.
Mike Gordon – Overstep CD/LP (ATO)
Phish bassist Mike Gordon’s fourth solo studio album is a diverse but tightly knit family of sturdy rock numbers that manages to sound grounded but sophisticated at the same time, and raw but carefully considered.
The Grouch & Eligh – The Tortoise & The Crow 3xCD (Empire Distribution Corp.)
The Grouch & Eligh’s new triple-disc album consists of one new solo album from The Grouch, one new solo album from Eligh, and one new collaborative G&E album. It features heavyweight guest appearances from Slightly Stoopid, Pretty Lights, Ant of Atmosphere, Zion I, Kreayshawn, Blu & Exile, and others.
David Grubbs/Andrea Belfi/Stefano Pilia – Dust & Mirrors CD/LP (Blue Chopsticks)
New release from the trio that brought you Onrushing Cloud. Four years of semi-regular shows have created an extroverted rock trio, exploding outwards from steely, contemplative beginnings.
Hamell On Trial – The Happiest Man In The World CD/LP (New West)
The anti-folk hero returns with a brand new album that finds an inspired partnership with Kimya Dawson (as heard on the track “Together”). The friendship, forged when Hamell supported Kimya and Aesop Rock’s Uncluded tour, adds a new dimension to Hamell’s biting humor and political comedy.
Heart – Fanatic Live From Caesar’s Colosseum CD+DVD (Frontiers)
Sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson celebrated the release of their 14th studio album Fanatic with a performance at the Caesars Coliseum in Windsor, Ontario. Also available on stand-alone DVD and Blu-ray.
House Of Lords – Precious Metal CD (Frontiers)
Precious Metal is House Of Lords ninth studio album, and was recorded and produced by the band’s singer and mastermind James Christian. It showcases a stellar sound, with solid and baroque songwriting mixed with unique melodic sensibilities and amazing musical skills.
John The Conqueror – The Good Life CD/LP (Alive)
Sophomore album from the blues trio. Three years ago, Michael Gardner sold his bass and bought a drum kit. Pierre Moore bought a cheap microphone and plugged it into a practice amp. Like their good old days growing up in Jackson, Mississippi, they were playing the blues
The Kindred – Life In Lucidity CD (Sumerian)
Debut album from the band formally known as Today I Caught The Plague.
Lime Cordiale – Falling Up The Stairs CDEP (Church Of Man)
Fronted by brothers Oli and Louis Leimbach, Falling Up The Stairs showcases the band’s uniquely Australian sound, featuring quirky lyrics, pop hooks and big brass licks.
Lo-Fang – Blue Film CD (4AD)
Matthew Hemerlein, the man behind Lo-Fang, is classically trained in violin, cello, bass, piano and guitar, performing all the instruments on his debut album, Blue Film. The album was written and recorded in a farmhouse in Maryland, hotels and studios in Cambodia, London, Nashville, before being completed in the legendary Capitol Studios in Los Angeles. Highly detailed, the album has roots in electronic, R&B, classical, and folk music, cast through a pop prism. Vinyl version due March 4.
Gene Ludwig/Pat Martino Trio – Young Guns CD (High Note)
From Pat Martino’s private collection, here is a mid-1960s live gig featuring the Hammond B3 artistry of Gene Ludwig and drummer Randy Gelispie. Rarely, if ever, have these artists played with more inner fire, more unbridled virtuosity and pure unadulterated joy as they did here, captured in the full bloom of their musical youth.
Matt Maddox – Righteous Fury CD (Gracie)
Highly anticipated 2014 debut from the underground hip-hop sensation. Righteous Fury features guest appearances from Reef The Lost Cauze, Tragedy, Khadafi, Adlib and others.
Brad Mehldau + Mark Guiliana – Mehliana: Taming The Dragon CD (Nonesuch)
Mehliana is the debut album from the new electric duo of Brad Mehldau and Mark Guiliana. The two have been performing for several years, including a brief US tour this fall, with Mehldau playing Fender Rhodes and synthesizers and Guiliana on drums and effects, as they are on the record. Vinyl version due March 18.
Milagres – Violent Light CD (Kill Rock Stars)
If the last album (Glowing Mouth) from Brooklyn brooders Milagres was an essay on human frailty, composed in a haze of Vicodin from a hospital bed after a climbing accident left lead vocalist Kyle Wilson incapacitated for months, the follow-up is about living life – a brave, bold f##k-you to mortality that seeps sex from its pores and dazzles in its gossamer alt-pop.
Morrissey – Your Arsenal [Reissue/1992] CD+DVD/LP (Rhino)
New remaster of Morrissey’s classic 1992 album, featuring the US mix of “Tomorrow.” The CD version includes a bonus DVD featuring a previously unreleased live concert recorded at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA on October 31, 1991 with the future Your Arsenal band, while the vinyl edition is HQ-180gm gatefold (with a rare Kevin Cummins photo of Morrissey and his band taken in Koln, 1991).
Bob Mould – Workbook 25 2xCD/2xLP (Omnivore)
Bob Mould’s debut solo album from 1991 gets the deluxe reissue treatment, featuring a bonus disc of B-sides and a complete 1989 performance at Chicago’s Cabaret Metro. “A plaintive, sepia-toned, glimmering, acid-scratched, coal-black masterpiece of disgust, dissolution and redemption.” — Scott Devendorf/The National
Mozes & The First Born – Mozes & The First Born CD/LP (Burger)
Recently released on vinyl, the Dutch band’s top-shelf debut of jangly teenage garage pop perfection is now available on CD.
Natural Child – Dancin’ With Wolves CD/LP (Burger)
New album from Nashville’s favorite trad-rock troupe. Teasing the record, Spin said of the lead single, “Saturday Night Blues,” “a sore-throated tune as a “piano-juiced sing-along for dive bar jukeboxes.”
New Electric Ride – Balloon Age CD/LP+MP3 (Beyond Beyond Is Beyond)
On this tightly wound collection of songs that don’t unfold so much as they blossom, New Electric Ride display congenital comfort with outlandishly catchy melodies, high-grade harmonies and hooks by the barrel. Also available on aqua vinyl with download code.
New Madrid – Sun Swimmer CD/LP+MP3 (New West)
Recorded during a cool, rainy July, under the direction of David Barbe (Deerhunter, Drive-By Truckers), the aural landscapes forged in Sunswimmer become almost palpable. Combining reverb-drenched vocal harmonies, soaring underwater noise and floating, meandering melodies, the sounds don’t exit the speakers as much as they condense and hang in the air like the humid Athens summer that birthed them.
Danni Nicholls – Little Redemption CD (Transmission)
New album from the British singer/songwriter. Being born in England did nothing to stop Danni from soaking up American folk, country, and rock & roll music from her grandmother’s record collection. When she inherited her Uncle Heathcliff’s guitar at 16, it all came pouring out in the form of her own original material and has been flowing ever since. The results speak for themselves.
Notwist – Close To The Glass CD/2xLP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
The Notwist’s eighth album is a catchy and unpredictable marriage of playing your heart out on an instrument and the magnetic pulse of precise programming.
patten – ESTOILE NAIANT CD/LP+MP3 (Warp)
London producer patten delivers his debut album for Warp, his second LP and first full-length since 2011’s strangely psychedelic trip GLAQJO XAACSSO. This new album seems set to turn avant-garde experimentalism and pop sheen on their heads in ever-stranger permutations. First track “Drift” is a piece of highly textured electronics, silken pop intertwined with crackling rhythms and hits of noisy abstraction.
Pillar Point – Pillar Point CD/LP+MP3 (Polyvinyl)
On Pillar Point’s self-titled debut album, the moody, melancholy electronica is the work of Throw Me The Statue founder Scott Reitherman. Far more intimate than anything he’s done previously, Reitherman’s personal struggles add lyrical depth to dance floor-ready beats and textures that “[splice] M83 and Washed Out with glorious results.” — The Line Of Best Fit
River Run North – River Run North CD/2xLP+MP3 (Nettwerk)
L.A.’s Run River North writes brilliant harmonies paired with layered instrumentations and puts on an awe-inspiring live show.
Runaway Dorothy – The Wait CD (Rock Ridge)
Americana quartet Runaway Dorothy (Brooklyn, NY) counts Roseanne Cash, Adam Duritz, Rob Thomas, and Ryan Adams as fans. The band’s 2014 album, The Wait, is both rustic and refined, mining folk, country, and alt-country with the group’s captivating storyteller lyrics and beautiful harmonies.
Schoolboy Q – Oxymoron CD (Interscope)
New album from the rapper featuring guest appearances by Kendrick Lamar, 2 Chainz, Jay Rock, Tyler, The Creator, Suga Free and Kurupt among others. Available in Regular and Deluxe editions. Deluxe adds three bonus tracks. Vinyl version due March 25.
She Sir – Go Guitars CD/LP (Shelflfe)
She Sir have been evolving to create their own unique brand of “shimmer-pop” — a term coined by the Austin Chronicle to describe the band’s sound.
Silversun Pickups – The Singles Collection CD/6×7” (Dangerbird)
A career-spanning collection featuring all the Silversun Pickups’ singles plus the new song “Cannibal.” Available on CD and as a 7” box set. The vinyl box set includes an exclusive track “Devil’s Cup,” which is a B-side from the 2009 Swoon sessions.
Skaters – Manhattan CD/LP+MP3 (WB)
“Skaters spew out windswept pop-punk that salutes (and skewers) the foursome’s adopted home of New York City. Vocalist Michael Ian Cummings and drummer Noah Rubin grew up together outside Boston, and guitarist Josh Hubbard hails from England, but, as Rubin tells it, the band (which includes bassist/New Yorker Dan Burke) was founded on a mutual love of late ’70s NYC punk.” – Spin
The Souljazz Orchestra – Inner Fire CD/LP (Strut)
Inner Fire continues The Souljazz Orchestra’s expansive musical journey as the group fuses intricate Eastern influences, Afro beats, Latin styles and spiritual jazz elements into a unique melting pot, creating a fiery soundscape, both far-reaching and highly rhythmic, for the body, the mind and the spirit.
Stromae – Racine Carrée CD (Republic)
Stromae is a Belgian vocalist, songwriter, and producer whose music combines hip-hop flavors with the cool, polished rhythms of house and other varieties of electronic dance music.
Amy Stroupe – Tunnel CD (Milkglass)
Amy Stroup lives in Nashville, but she’s part of the Other Nashville, a community that’s geographically close, but artistically far away from the country Music business. It’s a place where songwriters like Stroup are fearlessly demolishing the boundaries between genres, floating freely through the musical universe to create music that blends elements of folk, pop, country and rock into a unique style that encompasses them all, without fitting easily into any existing category.
St. Vincent – St. Vincent CD/LP (Loma Vista)
St. Vincent was recorded with Actor/Strange Mercy/Love This Giant producer John Congleton and features percussion from Homer Steinweiss (Dap-Kings) and McKenzie Smith (Midlake). “I knew the groove needed to be paramount,” Annie Clark says in the press release.” I wanted to make a party record you could play at a funeral.”
Sultan Bathery – Sultan Bathery CD/LP (Slovenly)
Italian freakbeat swamis bring you a swirling, exotic blend of smoky, reverb soaked psychedelic garage-pop handcrafted in a fur-lined diamond mine. Euphoric waves of stomping subterranean rock & roll throb through your being, with stinging fuzz lines cut through the pulsating fringe of your bubble fudge mind. A raging, hyper-electric trip previously only available in ten strips and microdots, finally and fully realized on a hallucinatory bud of dark wax.
Superchunk – Indoor Living [Reissue/1997] CD/LP+MP3 (Merge)
Remastered reissue includes new liner notes by John Plymale and Laura Balance and is expanded with We’d Like to Thank The Homecoming Committee – Live At Duke 1997 via download coupon.
Nicholas Szczepanik – Not Knowing CD (Desire Path)
A slow, steady throb lulls the listener into a soft molasses; a spark is ignited, becomes a glimmer, before turning into an all-encompassing radiant glow.
Tacocat – NVM CD/LP (Hardly Art)
NVM, pronounced “Nevermind” (get it?!), feature songs about frustration, alienation, psychedelic quinceañeras, and anthems (“Crimson Wave” and “Pocket Full Of Primrose”) for mother natures monthly gift, all set to boppy-poppy sunny and sugary bouts of bouncy rock. Tacocat are the musical version of a Trapper Keeper filled with old issues of Riot Grrrl fanzines and Cheap Trick CDs.
Temples – Sun Structures CD/LP (Fat Possum)
“Does everyone remember Wolfmother? The Zeppelin worshiping Aussies that released two pretty solid albums and found Guitar Hero fame? They were a band that rejected modern musical ideals (outside of production work) and dedicated themselves to making albums that seemed to have time warped its way from the ‘70s. If you want to get a proper idea of what UK outfit Temples is all about just replace “Zeppelin” with “The Zombies” and you’ll have a pretty good picture of their sound.” – PopMatters
Twin Forks – Twin Forks CD (Dine Alone)
Twin Forks are Chris Carrabba (Dashboard Confessional) Suzie Zeldin (The Narrative), Ben Homola (Bad Books), and Jonathan Clark. Vinyl version due March 18.
Vanden Plas – Chronicles Of The Immortals CD (Frontiers)
New album from the German progressive metal band.
Christina Vantzou – No. 2 CD/LP (Kranky)
Developed over a four-year period, No.2 was composed using synthesizers and a variety of unidentified samples that were manipulated beyond recognition. Christina Vantzou then collaborated with Minna Choi of the San Francisco based Magik Magik Orchestra. Vantzou and Choi worked on the notation and arrangements and recorded the compositions with a 15-piece ensemble at Tiny Telephone studios in San Francisco. The chamber layer on No.2 follows a similar pattern as her 1st record with the addition of bassoon, oboe, and an enhanced string section.
Various Artists [Brandt Brauer Frick] – DJ Kicks CD/2xLP (!K7)
The German Trio’s DJ Kicks mix is an across-the-board selection. The opening stages features the likes of Jan Jelinek, Theo Parrish and African musician William Onyeabor, before things take a more club-friendly turn via French Fries, Cosmin TRG, MMM and Jam City.
Various Artists – Studio One Rocksteady: Rocksteady, Soul And Early Reggae At Studio One CD/2xLP+MP3 (Soul Jazz)
With excellent sleeve notes by Lloyd Bradley (author of the classic book Bass Culture – When Reggae Was King) this compilation is dedicated to rocksteady at Studio One as well as covering reggae soul and the birth of reggae. Featuring an all-star selection of artists: Ken Boothe, Marcia Griffiths, Jackie Mittoo, The Heptones, John Holt, Alton Ellis, Dennis Brown and more.
Vertical Scratchers – Daughter Of Everything CD/LP+MP3 (Merge)
Vertical Scratchers is John Schmersal (ex-Brainiac/Enon, live Caribou, and Crooks On Tape) and Christian Beaulieu (ex-Triclops!/Anywhere). Persistent elements you will hear throughout Daughter Of Everything is the percussive nature in which the guitars were played and recorded. Guitar playing is vertical scratching, and in this band, the guitar strums are almost louder than the amps. John explains, “Part of the aesthetic we were establishing when writing Vertical Scratchers songs was to maintain a sense of urgency and raw energy without relying on volume and distortion.”
Joe Lewis Walker – Hornet’s Nest CD (Alligator)
Walker’s music is equal parts rock & roll fire and blistering, passionate blues.
We Were Promised Jetpacks – E Rey (Live In Philadelphia) CD (FatCat)
To kick off a year that will bring a long-awaited new studio album this autumn and multiple US tours including a stop at SXSW, FatCat present the next best thing to seeing WWPJ in concert; E Rey (Live In Philadelphia) is a live album with an accompanying downloadable film that properly captures the spirit, the community, the power, the pure heft of a WWPJ live show.
David Wilcox – Blaze CD (What Are Records?)
Cleveland-born David Wilcox was inspired to play guitar after hearing a fellow college student playing in a stairwell. His lyrical insight is matched by a smooth baritone voice, virtuosic guitar chops, and creative open tunings, giving him a range and tenderness rare in folk music.
Wild Beasts – Present Tense CD/LP (Domino)
“Wild Beasts revel in their idiosyncrasies; you can hear it in the dueling vocals and choral layers, the words that shouldn’t fit, the tunes that veer off in unexpected directions. What’s new here is that they have tempered and honed those flourishes. It’s modest in its experiments, never forgoing an accessible ear for the sake of being difficult.” – The Guardian
Johnny Winter – True To The Blues 4xCD (Sony Legacy)
This career-spanning box set captures Johnny’s most electrifying performances over four decades of rock & roll and celebrates his recent 70th birthday.
Yellow Ostrich – Cosmos CD/LP+MP3 (Barsuk)
“Fox doesn’t launch its updated version of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos until March 9, but space nerds can get amped up for Seth MacFarlane and Neil deGrasse Tyson’s passion project with—believe it or not—Yellow Ostrich’s new record. The band’s own Cosmos is inspired by Sagan’s original.” – A.V. Club
Thalia Zedek Band – Six CD/LP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
Brand new 29-minute mini-album from Thalia Zedek Band. “A fine example of where Thalia Zedek’s present and past meet, combining the broader, more open palette of 2013’s Via with the heft of the blues-tinged indie sound that Come pioneered.” — PopMatters
DVD & Blu-ray:
Celtic Woman – Emerald Musical Gems: Live In Concert DVD/Blu-ray (Manhattan Records)
This show was filmed last year in South Bend, IN on the doorstep of the University Of Notre Dame, where it dazzled the family-friendly audience with a one-of-a-kind interactive concert experience that showcased the groups sparkling pure voices, bewitching choreography and fairytale charms along with the talents of a group of world-class musicians, an Aontas Choir, bagpipers and championship Irish dancers. 90 minutes.
Chtonic – Ian-Bu DVD (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
Chthonic is a Taiwanese metal band originally formed in 1995, with the existing line-up having been together since 2005. Their music blends metal with traditional Chinese instruments and lyrically they are influenced by Taiwan’s mythology, Taoist folk beliefs and the country’s labyrinthine history. 105 minutes.
Heart – Fanatic Live From Caesar’s Colosseum DVD/Blu-ray (Frontiers)
Sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson celebrated the release of their 14th studio album Fanatic with a performance at the Caesars Coliseum in Windsor, Ontario. 77 minutes.
Muscle Shoals – DVD/Blu-ray (Magnolia Home Entertainment)
Located alongside the Tennessee River, Muscle Shoals, Alabama has helped create some of the most important and resonant songs of all time. Overcoming crushing poverty and staggering tragedies, Rick Hall brought black and white together to create music for the generations. He is responsible for creating the “Muscle Shoals sound” and The Swampers, the house band at FAME Studios that eventually left to start its own successful studio known as Muscle Shoals Sound. Gregg Allman and others bear witness to Muscle Shoals’ magnetism, mystery and why it remains influential today. 111 minutes.
Rock Candy Funk Party – Takes New York: Live At The Iridium DVD+2xCD/Blu-ray+2xCD (J&R Adventures)
With its reboot of classic ‘70s/’80s jazz-funk, Rock Candy Funk Party deliver a sound that is as celebratory as the name suggests. The group is powered by a lineup of world-renowned players who came together for the sheer fun of making music and a mutual love of genre-blurring grooves. 100 minutes.
Ryan Adams – Love Is Hell [Reissue/2004] 3xLP (Mobile Fidelity)
Ryan Adams’ Love Is Hell is repressed as a numbered limited edition triple-LP box set from Mobile Fidelity Silver Label with seven extra tracks from Japanese-only bonus disc.
Cremator – Clean Air Turbulence LP+MP3 (Bronzerat)
London one-man synth geek Matt Thompson (Zoltan, Guapo) takes you on a sci-fi tune fest ala John Carpenter meets Kraftwerk, sending you on a nine track journey from Earth into an analogue wormhole, onto a planetary ring of sound loops, and then into the next dimension of sonic discovery.
Dead Moon – Crack In The System [Reissue/2003] LP (Mississippi)
A true classic, Crack In The System is one of Dead Moon’s most beloved LPs, and features the mega-hit “It’s Okay” along with other classics like “Day After Day,” “Cast Will Change,” “Unknown Passage,” and the best version of “Times They Are Changin'” ever recorded. All hits, no misses on this timeless release.
Dispatch – Bang Bang [Reissue/2000] LP (Bomber)
Reissued on limited green vinyl. “…A sharp collection of ten songs that is pleasing on all ends of the musical spectrum, from instruments to vocals to songwriting. Rarely does the record fall into a pattern, and instead Dispatch rotate their sound, from Guster-esque mellowness to the quick style of Sublime.” — AllMusic
Robert Ellis – The Lights From The Chemical Plant 2xLP+MP3 (New West)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Robert Ellis’s second album continues his journey into folk music he began three years ago, with songs that range from the majestic string-adorned title track to noir pop rock and somber confessionals. Ellis recently told Rolling Stone The Lights From The Chemical Plant is “stylistically ambiguous,” as he is inspired by a wide variety of artists. “On this record I was trying to channel everything from Paul Simon.”
Peter Gabriel – Scratch My Back And I’ll Scratch Yours 2xLP (Real World)
And I’ll Scratch Yours is the concluding part of a series of song exchanges in which Gabriel and other leading artists reinterpret each other’s songs. Features covers by David Byrne, Bon Iver, Regina Spektor, Stephin Merritt, Joseph Arthur, Randy Newman, Arcade Fire, Elbow, Brian Eno, Feist, Lou Reed, and Paul Simon.
The Grateful Dead – Birth Of The Dead Volume Two (The Live Sides) 2xLP (Friday Music)
14 super rare Grateful Dead live tracks recorded in San Francisco from a July 1966 performance when they were signed to the Scorpio Records label — remastered at Friday Music and Capitol Studios. Previously unreleased on vinyl until now, this deluxe HQ-180gm double-LP set not only has the original 14 live performances unearthed by the Dead themselves, but also includes, for the very first time anywhere, several unearthed early photos from the lens of the legendary Herb Greene.
Keel Her – Keel Her LP+CD (Critical Heights)
Veering sonically from Beat Happening to Ariel Pink, Wavves to Bikini Kill, Real Estate to Guided By Voices and all the way back again, it wasn’t long before Keel Her’s bedroom pop reached the ears of home recording supremo R. Stevie Moore. “Keel Her is Rose Keeler-Schäffeler, an alien-obsessed bedroom musician with a prolific workrate to show up every studio-dithering band as heel-dragging slackers. The 18 tracks collected on this debut are a mere sample of the hundreds the Brighton artist has posted online in recent years, a patchwork of lo-fi hits, throwaway doodles and flashes of studio inspiration.” – NME
King Champion Sounds – Different Drummer LP (Sick Room)
What if The Fall had garnished their rockabilly grooves with swing era horns? What if Can played Ghanaian highlife? What if Morricone had scored spaghetti westerns in a Moroccan souk? King Champion Sounds is a Dutch band fronted by Ajay Saggar and G.W.Sok, recombine canonical influences in new contexts.
Klaus Johann Grobe – Traumhaft b/w Nicht Zu Stoppen 7” (Trouble In Mind)
Swiss duo Klaus Johann Grobe has been mysteriously doling out their hypnotic brand of floor-filling electro-krautrock for a couple of years now.
Leyland Kirby – EP 12” (Apollo)
This four-track EP from Kirby (The Caretaker, The Stranger, V/VM) flits between moods, from gorgeous, skin-prickling surges of ambience to cryptic rhythms and intricate, jazzy techno.
Krzysztof Komeda – Dance Of The Vampires OST LP+CD (Series Alphonos/Bronzerat)
The Polish jazz legend’s soundtrack for Roman Polanski’s 1967 camp horror cult classic is now available on deluxe vinyl.
Lynyrd Skynyrd – One More From The Road [Reissue/1976] 2xLP (Friday Music)
Skynyrd live at Atlanta’s Fox Theater two days after the American Bicentennial. HQ-180gm.
Oval – VOA LP (EVOA)
Vinyl-only album self-released by Oval and imported from Europe. 500 copies on HQ-180gm vinyl
The Presidents Of The United States Of America – Kudos To You! LP (PUSA Corp.)
Released last week on CD – now available on vinyl. Kudos To You! is the seventh full length studio album from Seattle’s The Presidents Of The United States Of America. Since 1994, PUSA has been spreading their skewed and joyous brand of pop to audiences the world over.
Chuck Ragan – Non Typical 7” (Side One Dummy)
The first single of Chuck Ragan’s forthcoming new album Till Midnight (due March 25). B-side is an alternate mix of the single.
Real Estate – Talking Backwards b/w Beneath The Dunes 7” (Domino)
The lead single from the new album Atlas (due March 4) is backed with an exclusive non-album track.
Simon Pyke – Universal Everything & You LP+MP3 (Warp)
Simon Pyke (aka Freeform) has constructed this epic 20-minute piece from the foundations of the soundtrack he composed for the exhibition Universal Everything & You – Drawing In Motion, currently showing at Media Space, Science Museum, London. HQ-180gm.
Supersuckers – Get The Hell LP (Acetate)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. The “Greatest Rock & Roll Band in the World” return with their ninth studio album — a blistering return to their punk rock roots. Featuring 12 new soon-to-be Supersuckers classics, Get The Hell is a sonic assault of big riffs, catchy hooks and raw, balls-to-the-wall rock & roll.
Tanger Trio & Ensemble Mondaine – Tanger Trio & Ensemble Mondaine LP (Bronzerat)
An original album of resplendent beauty by some of Berlin’s most prized and sought musicians, this piano-led album of cinema noir-esque moods mixed with modern classical and jazz is a rare treat.
Total Slacker – Slip Away LP (Black Bell)
Brooklyn’s lovers of all-things-’90s, Total Slacker tightens the reins a bit on their new album, which is definitely punchier than their jokey/fun debut.
John Vanderslice – Song For Clay Miller b/w Vitas At Wimbledon 7” Flexi (Native Sound)
Simple, profound pop songs wrapping echo-laden vocals around skeletal percussion with a bare minimum of extra instrumentation.
Wordyspeak – Let The Rhythm Hit LP (DD172 LLC)
Hailing from Xi’An, China, DJ Wordy is regarded as China’s first Internationally acclaimed DJ, with a style that masterfully blends genres across hip-hop, EDM, funk, soul, and more.