American Authors – Oh What A Life CD (Island)
American Authors bring their own influences and experiences to the table, creating pop-flavored alt rock sprinkled with four-part harmonies, spirited lyrics, and contagious optimism.
Bill Anderson – Life CD (Red River Entertainment)
New album from the country music legend, featuring guest appearances by Willie Nelson, John Anderson, Vince Gill, Joey + Rory, and Dailey & Vincent.
Arthur Beatrice – Working Out CD/LP (Harvest)
New album from the London band ironically named after the star of The Golden Girls. Their debut single, “Midland,” drew comparisons to the xx, Warpaint, and the Sundays and the band went on to feature in the The Guardian’s ‘Bands To Watch’ column.
Ashanti – Braveheart CD (E1)
Fifth studio album from the Grammy- winning R&B star.
Ava Luna – Electric Balloon CD/LP (Western Vinyl)
After years of writing and performing, Ava Luna has refined their doo-wop soul meets punk-as-f##k aesthetic into something bold and glaringly defiant in today’s indie music landscape.
Axxa/Abraxas – Axxa/Abraxas CD/LP (Captured Tracks)
Axxa/Abraxas is the music and art project of Ben Asbury, a 23 year old from outside Atlanta, GA. His experiences as a record collector and music obsessive from a very young age are easily evident in his debut release. Going full circle from being introduced to ‘60s pop as a kid, through his foray into punk rock at an early age, into post-rock and Elephant Six indie, right back into ‘60s psychedelia, Ben has honed his influences (Neil Young, Television Personalities), into a cohesive blend to adapt his own take on psych-influenced art-pop.
John Baizley/Nate Hall/Mike Scheidt – Songs Of Townes Van Zandt Vol. 2 CD (Neurot)
Neurot Recordings presents the second installment of praise to the great artist and his brokenhearted love songs and gloom-ridden tales, which now emerge through John Baizley (Baroness), Nate Hall (U.S. Christmas) and Mike Scheidt (YOB, VHÖL), in this beautifully dark tribute.
Bear’s Den – Without/Within CD/LP (Communion)
Of the new music Andrew Davie (vocals, guitar) notes: ‘‘the songs were in many ways our most personal yet and also our most ambitious sonically. Joey’s playing is particularly beautiful to me and his guitar and banjo melodies carry the songs so perfectly at times. Kev was experimenting more with synth bass and piano on top of drums before anyone else even picked anything up. I was experimenting for the first time in my life really on electric guitar and with delayed and reversed guitar loops. We all had our own responsibilities within this record and we all had complete belief and trust in each other. We wanted to push ourselves so that we could grow into the songs on the road and hopefully push ourselves to become a better live band because of it.”
Blutengle – Black Symphonies CD/CD+DVD (Out Of Line Music)
An exquisite selection of Blutengel hits and classics, reinterpreted in symphonic form. Available in Regular and Deluxe editions. Deluxe adds a bonus live DVD containing the best moments from the Gothic-Meets-Klassik-show in Leipzig and as a strictly limited fan box.
Kris Bowers – Heroes And Misfits CD (Concord Jazz)
24-year-old Kris Bowers, winner of the 2011 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition, releases his debut Concord jazz recording.
Carla Bozulich – Boy CD/LP+MP3 (Constellation)
Carla Bozulich, an art-punk heroine with almost three decades of exceptional, iconoclastic musical activity under her belt, presents the third record of her storied career to be issued in her own name. Boy is Carla’s self-proclaimed pop record and is a refreshing and much-needed reminder of what pop can mean in the hands of a ferociously commanding singer/lyricist who has cut her teeth on genre-bending, genre blending, and DIY production for 25 years. It is unmistakably a pop-influenced album by way of punk, avant rock and lo/mid-fi.
Stanley Brinks – Gin CD/LP+MP3 (Fika Recordings)
New release from the singer/songwriter formerly known as Andre Herman Dune. On Gin, Brinks is joined by UK trio The Wave Pictures for their third album together.
Gary Burton – Seven Songs For Quartet & Chamber Orchestra [Reissue/1973] CD/LP (ECM)
Sounding as fresh today as it did in 1973, Seven Songs places the Gary Burton Quartet in an orchestral context, with compositions of Michael Gibbs inspired by Messiaen and Charles Ives as well as Miles and Gil Evans and exceptional soloing by Mick Goodrick, Steve Swallow and Burton himself. The production is exemplary: Seven Songs set a new standard for recordings of orchestral jazz.
Carnifax – Die Without Hope CD (Nuclear Blast America)
Fifth album from the San Diego-based death core band.
Regina Carter – Southern Comfort CD (Sony Masterworks)
On Southern Comfort, Detroit native Regina Carter continues the investigation of her family history, which stems from West Africa, Finland, Eastern Europe and the US Carter began this journey on her 2012 album Reverse Thread, which was a re-imagined celebration of traditional African music. Through a blend of folk songs and spirituals, she interprets her roots through a modern lens on Southern Comfort.
Comeback Kid – Die Knowing CD (Victory)
Fifth studio album from the Canadian hardcore/punk band.
Creepoid – Creepoid CD/LP (No Idea)
“Sophomore long player has more in common with ‘90s slowcore bands like Red House Painters or Low than it does most of their labelmates. They can still get intense, but in a different way. Clean guitars and dreamy vocals make up most of the album, pulling you in via entrancement rather than full-throttle attack.” — Brooklyn Vegan
Current 93 – I Am The Last Of All The Field That Fell: A Channel CD (Spheres)
David Tibet’s collaborators this time around include Nick Cabe, John Zorn, Andrew Liles, James Blackshaw, and members of The Groundhogs and Comus. Vinyl version due March 18.
Damaged Bug – Hubba Bubba CD/LP (Castle Face)
Recorded at home in the fall of 2013 with a variety of synthesizers, drum machines and assorted handmade electronics, Damaged Bug is Oh Sees mastermind John Dwyer’s latest bit of cracked pop alchemy.
Bart Davenport – Physical World CD/LP (Lovemonk)
With shirts from the ’60s, guitars from the ’80s and the timeless voice of a real crooner, it’s a one-of-a-kind hybrid of paisley pop and sweet soul. One foot in reality, the other firmly planted in the fantasy world within the three minute pop song, Bart tells of life and love in the modern world with sincerity and a subtle sense of humor.
Dr. John The Night Tripper – Gris Gris [Reissue/1968] CD (Real Gone)
Gris Gris is the New Orleans term for voodoo, and one could be forgiven for thinking this album was recorded in the dead of night in one of the city’s famed graveyards. Well, it was recorded in the dead of night at Los Angeles famed Gold Star Studios, where Phil Spector recorded many of his classics. Long-time New Orleans session man Mac Rebennack wangled some free, after-hours studio time originally intended for Sonny & Cher, gathered the Los Angeles diaspora of New Orleans musicians including Jessie Hill (known for Ooh Poo Pah Doo), Shirley Goodman (of Shirley and Lee), saxman Plas Johnson and percussionist Richard Didimus Washington and adopted a new persona of Dr. John The Night Tripper, he of the feathered headdresses and name taken from an 1840s New Orleans root doctor.
Drive-By Truckers – English Oceans CD/LP (ATO)
Drive-By Truckers’ twelfth release is an elegantly balanced and deeply engaged new effort that finds the group refreshed and firing on all cylinders. “It can go from this chainsaw rock ‘n’ roll to this very delicate, pretty-sounding stuff,” says Mike Cooley. (Vinyl edition also available as an ultra-limited “blue bootleg” pressing, if you’re feeling lucky.)
Bob Dylan – 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration 2xCD (Sony Legacy)
Performed for a sold-out audience of more than 18,000 fans and live-cast around the world, this 1993 concert brought together an unprecedented roster of artists and icons including Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, Lou Reed, The Clancy Brothers, Ritchie Havens, Johnny Winter, Roger McGuinn, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Stevie Wonder, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Ron Wood, Chrissie Hynde, The O’Jays, Eddie Vedder, Sinéad O’Connor, Tracy Chapman, George Harrison (then making his first US concert appearance in 18 years) and more. This reissue features remastered audio and two previously unreleased recordings from the concert’s sound check: Sinéad O’Connor singing “I Believe In You” and Eric Clapton’s interpretation of “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright.” Also available on stand-alone DVD and Blu-ray editions.
Each Other – Being Elastic CD/LP (Fat Possum)
Being Elastic has a solid foundation in avant-rock-pop traditions but is thwarted from sounding like any kind of reverent tribute to what’s come before by being adventurous and exploratory.
Eagulls – Eagulls CD/LP (Partisan)
Since forming in 2009, Leeds UK-based Eagulls have become synonymous with a discontented, disillusioned kind of anger, molded into bullets of post punk that’s rife with urgency and aggression. Though they admit to ‘lighter moments’ on the record, compared to their live show, on the whole it’s a gloomy affair.
epic45 – Monument CDEP (Kitchen)
This collection sees epic45 stripping away the layers of processed sound and instrumentation that characterized their last album Weathering, and reveals the bare bones of their sound. Sparse, resonant drum loops frame a bed of warm synths, chiming electric guitar and clear vocals, making these four tracks the most direct the duo have sounded yet.
Eternal Summers – The Drop Beneath CD/LP (Kanine)
Third album from the Roanoke, VA-based power-pop, dream-punk trio, produced by Doug Gillard (Guided By Voices, Nada Surf).
Robben Ford – A Day In Nashville CD/LP (Mascot)
A Day In Nashville was recorded live in a single session. Robben chose to record the album in a controlled environment but treat it like a live performance. The album features news songs by Ford along with “Cut You Loose” by harmonica great James Cotton and “Poor Kelly Blues” by Maceo Merriweather.
Fuel – Puppet Strings CD (Megaforce)
“Rock and roll is very much alive and well on this album,” says original lead singer Brett Scallions, who co-wrote the album with guitarist Andy Andersson and bassist Brad Stewart, formerly of Shinedown. “The four of us were simply trying to write the best songs we possibly could.”
Ghostbeach – Blonde CD (Nettwerk)
Ghost Beach, the New York-based duo of Josh Ocean & Eric “Doc” Mendelsohn, brings together the two worlds of electronic and live performance whose sound is self-described as “tropical grit pop.” On their debut full-length album Blonde, Ghost Beach once again perfects a blend of retro and futuristic soaring synth-pop, none more so evident than in the searing single “Miracle.”
Holly Golightly And The Brokeoffs – All Her Fault CD/LP (Transdreamer)
Don’t expect All Her Fault to sound radically different from their earlier releases. It’s still a raw, rough-hewn stew of twisted roots music forged by the duo’s distinct musical interests — Golightly listens to late ’50s/early ’60s R&B and her partner Lawyer Dave loves rock & roll. “I’m not looking to achieve something that hasn’t been achieved before,” she confesses. “We just do what we do. The songs are really all that changes.”
John Gorka – Bright Side Of Down CD (Red House)
Bright Side Of Down is a rich listening experience with that classic “Gorka-esque” sound that’s witty, insightful, and universal. Featuring 11 new originals and one cover, it also includes guest vocals by Eliza Gilkyson, Claudia Schmidt, Lucy Kaplansky, and Michael Johnson.
The Grass Roots – Complete Original Dunhill/ABC Hit Singles CD (Real Gone Music)
After a worldwide search for the best sources available, Real Gone Music has compiled all two-dozen Dunhill/ABC hit singles (including the censored and uncensored versions of “Lets Live For Today” and their biggest smash, “Midnight Confessions”). This collection offers the truest essence of the band those hook-filled singles in that glorious, original mono sound mixed and mastered to punch through ’60s and ’70s AM radio.
Grizfolk – From The Spark CD (Virgin)
Grizfolk hail from America and Sweden, and their set exhibited a blend of the musical sensibilities
from both nations, crossing country-tinged folk harmonies with catchy electro-pop” — Consequence Of Sound. Vinyl version due April 4.
Billy Hart Quartet – One Is The Other CD (ECM)
The second ECM album by the Billy Hart Quartet is a major musical statement, and one of the outstanding jazz albums of the season. The group’s reach already broad on 2011’s widely acclaimed All Our Reasons — is yet more expansive here. Strong compositions upon a wide swathe of the music’s history, and are distinguished by vivid and imaginative solos and wonderful interplay.
Highasakite – Silent Treatment CD (Propeller Recordings)
Highasakite inhabits their own rare musical landscape, a place of long dark shadows, sudden flashes of glittering light, brooding silences and unexpected explosions of fierce percussion. Imagine Phil Spector producing Cluster, with a dash of Radiohead on the side, and you’ll have the general idea, but Highasakite brings their own singular vision to the party.
Abdullah Ibrahim – African Piano [Reissue/1969] CD/LP (ECM)
Sometimes a musical message is so urgent that questions of recording quality are almost beside the point. Informally recorded in 1969 in a noisy club Copenhagen’s famous Jazzhus Montmartre the flavor of this album is documentary rather than luxuriantly hi-fidelity, yet the essence of Abdullah Ibrahim’s communication comes through loud and clear. The listener is drawn into the robust rhythms of his solo piano style, as he re-examines the history of jazz from a South African perspective, with echoes of songs of the townships, and vamps that hint of Monk and Duke and much more.
Vijay Iyer – Mutations CD (ECM)
Mutations is Vijay Iyers first album as a leader for ECM, and a recording that will widen perceptions of the pianist-composers work. At its center is Mutations I-X, a composition scored for string quartet, piano, and electronics. A major piece built out of cells and fragments, it veers through many atmospheres, from moment to moment propulsive, enveloping, lyrical, luminescent, and strangely beautiful.
Keith Jarrett – Arbour Zena [Reissue/1975] CD/LP (ECM)
“I consider this one of my most richly lyrical and consistently inspired works,” wrote Keith Jarrett of “Mirrors,” the almost half-hour long concluding piece on Arbour Zena. Jan Garbarek’s contribution is irreplaceable and ecstatic. It is easy to agree that Arbour Zena as a whole is one of Jarrett’s most exceptional albums. Evocative writing for strings, beautiful playing by Keith and Jan and by Charlie Haden at his most soulful, and a glowing panoramic production make this 1975 recording one of the finest of the early ECMs.
Keith Jarrett/ Dennis Russell Davies – Ritual CD (ECM)
Keith Jarrett and conductor-pianist Dennis Russell Davies have been friends and musical comrades for forty years. In the mid-‘70s the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, under Davies direction presented Jarrett’s chamber music. In the ‘90s Jarrett recorded the Mozart piano concertos with Davies and the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra. Near the beginning of their association, Jarrett invited Davies to play a composition he had written for solo piano. To listen to Ritual is akin to experiencing the core of a Jarrett solo concert.
Stone Jack Jones – Ancestor CD/LP (Western Vinyl)
Based in Nashville, but raised in a coal miner’s company house on the banks of Buffalo Creek, WV, Stone Jack Jones is the descendant of four generations of coal miners. After being rejected from military service in Vietnam due to epilepsy, and discouraged from pursuing the coal mining business, Jack decided to start wandering. By the time he landed in Nashville, where he met Roger Moutenot, Patty Griffin, and Kurt Wagner, Jack had worked as a carny, an escape artist, a ballet dancer, a professional lute player, and even owned a strip club.
The King Blues – The Future Is Not What It Used To Be CD (Liason)
It is easy to hear the influences of Public Enemy, The Clash, The Specials, Black Flag and The Pogues. Although the band is no longer together with Jonathan Itch Fox going solo with projects on Red Bull records, and Jamie Jazz getting ready to release his band Bleach Bloods’ first full length project of Transmission Recordings in the spring, The King Blues created many timeless classics.
Lack Of Afro – Music For Adverts CD/LP (Freestyle)
Wide ranging, eclectic and progressive musical outlook has always been the Lack Of Afro approach. Music For Adverts follows suit as he harnesses disparate musical styles ranging from funk, soul and hip-hop to create a contemporary yet vintage musical escapade of superb songs.
Laibach – Spectre CD/LP (Mute)
New release from the Slovenian noisemakers. Spectre is Laibach’s first studio album since 2006’s Volk, and the follow up to the original soundtrack for Iron Sky.
Lorelle Meets The Obsolete – Chambers CD/LP (Captcha)
Serious psyched-haze, shuffle and boogie by this dynamic duo from Ensenada, Mexico. A surprisingly direct record, which, despite locking into pulsating krautrock grooves or getting lost in fogs of white noise, always retrains a human heart and soul.
Lushes – What Am I Doing CD/LP (Felte)
Lushes are a band born of tensions between art and math, order and chaos, planning and chance. You can hear it in their songs taut, twitching art-punk that balances anxiety and elation, often within the space of a few bars.
Marilyn McCoo – Solid Gold [Reissue/1983] CD (Real Gone)
Digitally remastered and expanded edition of this 1983 album from the vocalist, TV host and former 5th Dimension member.
Steve Martin Featuring Steep Canyon Rangers With Edie Brickell – Live CD/CD+DVD (Rounder)
This live set captures an extraordinary performance at the historic Fox Performing Arts Center in Riverside California last fall. The live performance was recorded for PBS Great Performances and features material from Martin and Brickell’s Grammy-nominated album Love Has Come For You, as well as music from Martins Grammy-nominated collaboration with The Steep Canyon Rangers, Rare Bird Alert, and his Grammy Award winning album The Crow: New Songs For the Five-String Banjo.
Loreena McKennitt – Journey So Far: The Best Of Loreena McKennitt CD/2xCD/2xLP (UMe)
Best-of collection from the Canadian new age/pop songstress. Available in Regular and Deluxe editions. Deluxe edition includes a bonus CD containing 55 minutes of live highlights from 2012’s A Midsummer Nights Tour of Europe.
Elise Mélinand – Gray Hoodie CD (n5MD)
Debut album from the French singer/songwriter/musician. The album, written in Berlin then sequentially recorded throughout various locations in France, was initially inspired by the techniques she was exposed to after being recruited as part of Christina Vantzou’s Little Prism Ensemble. Her newly adapted recording and composition tool, the laptop, is undeniably the norm today. However, it allowed Mélinand to better visualize her compositions while experimenting with techniques that Gray Hoodie so skillfully showcased.
Melt Yourself Down – Melt Yourself Down 2xCD/LP+CD (Leaf)
Melt Yourself Down is the sound of Cairo ’57, Cologne ’72, New York ’78, London today. North and south, east and west. Horns blowing, drums vibrating, a suffocating fever dream. Primal. Vital. The house band from hell. Making music you can see, sounds you can smell, vibrations you can taste. Fierce funk and punk and detonated jazz. Rhythms to rearrange your DNA. Includes an exclusive bonus disc containing a previously unreleased live album recorded December 2013 at the prestigious Trans Musicales festival in France.
The Men – Tomorrow’s Hits CD/LP (Sacred Bones)
Tomorrow’s Hits is The Men’s first album recorded in a high-end studio and, appropriately, the result is their most high fidelity album to date. That being said, it is still an incredibly straightforward record. It is a concise collection of songs that nonetheless expands the band’s ever-evolving musical palette. It’s full of genre-bending risks, but it reinforces the overarching theme that has come to define its makers: The Men are a great rock band.
Lea Michele – Louder CD (Columbia)
Louder is the debut solo album from Leah Michele, who is best known for the character Rachel Berry on Glee, for which she has earned two Golden Globe nominations and an Emmy nomination.
Nothing – Guilty Of Everything CD/LP (Relapse)
A triumphant and massively loud shoegaze record that is both darkly introspective and completely beautiful. For fans of My Bloody Valentine, Jesu, Slowdive, Hum.
Omnizide – Death Metal Holocaust CD (Carnal Records)
Swedish black/death metal.
Linda Perhacs – The Soul Of All Natural Things CD/LP (Asthmatic Kitty)
Linda Perhacs’ 1970 debut Parallelograms was created in the heart of hippy country, L.A.’s Topanga Canyon, by a dental hygienist who was inspired by nature and by the cultural revolution going on around her. When the album was finished, it sounded like a masterpiece, but the label had pressed it so poorly, sales were non-existent. Obscurity beckoned. But in the internet age obscurity can be discreetly transformed into a kind of niche immortality. By 2003, Parallelograms had become a cult album. And slowly, Perhacs began making music again. In 2010, she connected with a new generation of L.A. musicians attuned to her vision, and began recording new material. Includes collaborations with Ramona Gonzalez (Nite Jewel) and Julia Holter.
Pink Martini & The von Trapps – Dream A Little Dream CD (Heinz Records)
Sofia, Melanie, Amanda, and August von Trapp are the actual great grandchildren of Baron & Maria von Trapp, made famous by the 1965 film The Sound Of Music. These siblings (ages 18 25) have been singing together for 12 years, and have toured all over the world in concert. Drawn into the magical orbit of Thomas Lauderdale, they now live together in a house in Portland, Oregon and have been frequent guest performers with Pink Martini for the past two years. This delightful new collaboration features Pink Martini’s beloved little orchestra fronted by the beautiful crystalline four-part harmonies of the singing siblings, traveling through a wonderland of Lauderdale’s brilliant arrangements.
PINS – Girls Like Us CD/LP (Bella Union)
“Although the majority of Manchester’s recent breakout bands have been cloaked in a futuristic swathe of electronica, heavy bass and samples, the arrival of PINS on the live scene back in 2011 was a definitive and standout shot in the arm for the city’s live scene. Sneering, immediately identifiable and possessing an incredible, fizzing chemistry within their sound, they immediately became a whispered name – one to find and one to follow.” – Drowned In Sound
Professor Long Hair – The Last Mardi Gras [Reissue/1982] CD (Real Gone)
Professor Longhair was a seminal influence on several generations of Crescent City stars but was wasting away in comparative obscurity while the record companies either refused to cut him or sat upon the records he had already made. So Atlantic Records stepped forward with a 16-track mobile recording unit to get the job done. Thus armed, producer Albert Goldman set out to make the definitive Professor Longhair recording by capturing two nights of performances during (when else?) Mardi Gras in 1978 at (where else?) the Tipitina Club, and having the shows mixed by (whom else?) Cosimo Matassa, who engineered the original records of Fats Domino, Little Richard, Ray Charles et al. The result: the one indispensable audio document of the great man’s career (and the last Mardi Gras he ever played).
Psalm Zero – The Drain CD (Profound Lore)
Psalm Zero is a new band comprised of respected avant-garde rock musician Charlie Looker (ex-Extra Life/Zs/Dirty Projectors) and Andrew Hock of Castevet. Considering the artists’ differing outputs, one might imagine a collaboration would result in an unresolvable musical clash; however, the duo crafts intriguing experimental metal with Looker’s distinct vocal style providing the perfect counterpoint to Hock’s harsh delivery. Pounding rhythms complement melodic arrangements, while programmed synth and electronic beats also find their way into the mix.
Real Estate – Atlas CD/LP (Domino)
Real Estate’s third long-player, Atlas, starts 2014 off on the right note. Recorded at Wilco’s studio, in Chicago, IL, Atlas expands upon the pastoral lushness of 2011’s breakout album Days. Atlas continues hitting with the same catchy confidence that made Days such an enduring listen.
The Revivalists – City Of Sound CD (Wind-Up)
Since forming in 2007, The Revivalists have rightfully earned their reputation as the next breakout band from the music capital of New Orleans. The group’s blend of soulful, syncopated rock and earnest songwriting comes to life through meticulously crafted and ever-evolving live performances. Vinyl version due April 15.
Ribspreader – Meathymns CD (Vic)
Sixth album by the Swedish old school death metal act.
Sam Rivers – Contrasts CD/LP (ECM)
Dave Holland always described Sam Rivers groups as his finishing school. It was Sam who instructed him to play all the music inside, outside, atonal, swing, blues, and all the hues of the jazz and chamber music traditions. By the time of Contrasts, Rivers and Holland had been working together consistently for seven years (with Dave’s Conference Of The Birds at the start of the story), a powerhouse combination of multi-reeds and double bass. Of the drummers who passed through the line-up, Thurman Barker was one of the most creative, rippling across drum kit and marimba. Young trombone innovator George Lewis had already worked with Holland and Barker in Anthony Braxton groups. For Contrasts everyone was fired up and ready to play.
Roman Remains – Zeal CD (Hot Records)
Roman Remains is The Duke Spirit’s Liela Moss and Toby Butler. Feverishly crossing the line between electro, industrial and dance, Liela Moss’s inimitable vocal style give North London’s Roman Remains’ an alluring feel that draws its audience into another world.
Rick Ross – Mastermind CD/CD+DVD (Def-Jam)
Available in Regular and Deluxe editions. Deluxe CD edition includes three additional tracks plus a bonus DVD. “Right now, the whole major-label system is such a mess that even A-list rappers have a hell of a time putting out albums. But after months of non-starter first-single attempts and release-date pushbacks, Rick Ross is finally ready to release Mastermind, his proper sixth album. The album features contributions from people like Kanye West, the Weekend, Lil Wayne, Meek Mill, Scarface, Sizzla, Z-Ro, and Mavado. Halfway through my first listen, it’s exactly the sort of cinematic escapist mogul-rap that Ross has always done so well.” — Stereogum
Sally Seltmann – Hey Daydreamer CD/LP (Arts & Crafts)
Australian songwriter’s fourth full-length album and second to bear her name, after 2010’s Heart That’s Pounding, and two under the name New Buffalo. Hey Daydreamer was recorded and produced in Seltmann’s home attic studio with her husband Darren Seltmann (The Avalanches), and features a number of guest musicians including Bree van Reyk on percussion, Michel Rose on pedal steel, and many more. Sally recorded piano parts on her lounge room piano and contributed synth, organ, guitar, bass and percussion to the recordings.
Silver Snakes – Year Of The Snake CD/LP (Bridge Nine)
New album from the L.A. post-hardcore band.
Jesse Sparhawk & Eric Carbonara – Tributes & Diatribes CD (VHF)
Tributes & Diatribes is the lovely second set of tracks from the entirely unusual duo of Jesse Sparhawk (38-string lever harp) and Eric Carbonara (22-string upright Chaturangui guitar, banjo, nylon string guitar).
These New Puritans – Field Of Reeds CD/2xLP (Infectious Music)
With their risky third album, These New Puritans abandoned the angular dance-punk of Beat Pyramid and the gloomy electronic beats of Hidden to reinvent themselves once again for Field Of Reeds, a record as indebted to classical scores and avant-garde jazz as rock.
Ralph Towner/John Abercrombie – Five Years Later [Reissue/1981] CD (ECM)
Something special happens when they play together observed Robert Palmer in the New York Times, and the participants concurred. Playing with John is one of my favorite things to do, said Ralph Towner. I can play as much as when playing solo, and still get to ply my skills as accompanist. John is such an amazing person to play with that, even when hes playing intensely or aggressively, we somehow fit together and theres really no way that we could collide. On Five Years Later, follow-up to their debut duo disc Sargasso Sea, their improvisations draw on a wider sonic palette, to telling effect.
Trin Tran – Far Reaches CDEP/12” (Castle Face)
An injection of strange-pop—less garage than his recent full-length on Ty Segall’s imprint God? Records and more the bastard child of Duran Duran and Bruce Haack. Riskier vocal delivery, heavier synths. Stronger, swifter, silver-er. Mute Records would have licked their glossy lips over this meal in the early ’80s.
Trust – Joyland CD/2xLP (Arts & Crafts)
Trust is a synthpop group from Canada. After years of extensive touring, and garnering glowing praise from top international critics at Pitchfork, VICE, and The Guardian UK for the 2012 Juno-nominated debut album TRST, the group release their follow-up album Joyland.
Ume – Monuments CD/LP (Dangerbird)
Recorded with Grammy-winning producer Adam Kasper (Queens of the Stone Age, Cat Power, Foo Fighters, Nirvana) at Robert Lang Studios and Studio X in Seattle, WA, Monuments is Ume’s most colossal sounding recording yet. The guitars are heavier, the rhythms more powerful, the vocals and songwriting bolder and more intimate.
The Unsemble – The Unsemble CD/LP (Ipecac)
Debut project from Duane Denison (The Jesus Lizard, Tomahawk) along with Alexander Hacke (Crime) and Brian Kotzur (Silver Jews).
Various Artists – Warfaring Strangers: Darkscorch Canticles CD/LP (Numero)
On this collection, medieval Bonham thunk and febrile Iommi guitar leads crowd out the bluesy Americana that foregrounded those bands, replacing hippie pastoralism with mythology, armored conflict, sorcery, and doom. From legions of occult-obsessive 1970s bonehead teens, Numero summoned a horde of 16 bands, cloaked in eons of tortured obscurity, whose sole release amounts to a blistering chapter ripped free of rock’s lumbering mythos.
Rufus Wainwright – Live From The Artist’s Den CD/2xCD (UME)
New live collection from the acclaimed singer/songwriter, Recorded on May 17, 2012 at the magnificent Church Of The Ascension, on Manhattan’s lower Fifth Avenue for PBS’s Artist’s Den. Available in Regular and Deluxe editions. Deluxe includes a bonus CD that contains 16 rare live and studio tracks including live versions of some of Wainwrights best-known songs, recorded at Kenwood House in 2010, plus “The Maker Makes” from Brokeback Mountain, “La Complainte de la Butte” from Moulin Rouge, the new song “Chic And Pointless,” and “WW111,” which has never before been available on a physical release. Also available on stand-alone Blu-ray.
Wake Owl – Private World Of Paradise CD/LP (Vagrant)
Recorded with notable producer Richard Swift in his National Freedom studios in Oregon, The Private World Of Paradise finds Wake Owl expanding beyond the evocative folk found on their debut EP Wild Country. “Candy” exhibits Wake Owl primary member and singer Colyn Cameron’s growth as a songwriter and pursuit of experimentation with different instrumentation. Working together with multi-instrumentalist Aiden Briscall and Swift, the result is the upbeat atmospheric vibe found throughout the album.
Chris Wallace – Push Rewind CD (Think Say)
Singer/songwriter Chris Wallace makes contemporary pop music with a dance and soul vibe. Raised in Hebron, Indiana, Wallace started out playing guitar and singing in local bands before a song he posted on MySpace caught the attention of a talent scout. Subsequently, Wallace signed to Epic Records and formed the band the White Tie Affair. Push Rewind is his solo debut.
Warm Soda – Young Reckless Heart CD (Castle Face)
Matthew Melton has done it again! Just when it seemed as though he’d reached the pinnacle of power pop confection with last year’s excellent Someone For You, he surpasses all expectations with his latest masterpiece Young Reckless Hearts. With the unlikely addition of cello serving only to bitter-sweeten their teenage pop fantasias, Warm Soda delivers deviously barbed hooks that instantly lodge themselves in your memory. Vinyl version due April 1.
Nick Waterhouse – Holly CD/LP (Innovative Leisure)
Nick Waterhouse was born in 1986 and grew up in Huntington Beach, known predominantly for surf culture and tanning salons. He established his musical sensibilities in the middle of the burgeoning southern California psych-garage scene (Burger records, Ty Segall, McHugh’s Distillery studio) while retaining his unique perspective on the spirit of American rhythm & blues and rock & roll. His latest work, Holly, is a more mature take on the style of his early foray.
We Are Scientists – TV en Francais CD/LP (Dine Alone)
In late 2012, We Are Scientists entered the studio in New York with producer Chris Coady (Beach House, Gang Gang Dance, Blonde Redhead) to record sessions for their fourth record. Burrows relocated to the city from England while he worked with Murray and Cain to write and record tracks for the new album.
Pharrell Williams – G I R L CD (Columbia)
G I R L is Pharrell’s highly anticipated new album, and features the hit single, “Happy.”
Young Fathers – Dead CD (Anticon)
Young Fathers craft pop songs disguised as psychedelic hip-hop disguised as an improvised explosive device. Three musicians comprise the bomb squad: Alloysious Massaquoi, Kayus Bankole, and G Hastings.
DVD + Blu-ray:
D.O.A. – To Hell And Back DVD+CD (Sudden Death)
90 minutes of amazing punk rock action from one of the Godfathers of hardcore. D.O.A.’s expert crew documented the band at home and on tour in western Canada between June 2011 and January 2013 with four cameras a night and top-notch recording gear and picked the best footage to present here. Includes a CD of D.O.A.’s 2012 studio album We Come In Peace.
Bob Dylan – 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration 2xDVD/2xBlu-ray (Sony Legacy)
Performed for a sold-out audience of more than 18,000 fans and live-cast around the world, this 1993 concert brought together an unprecedented roster of artists and icons including Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, Lou Reed, The Clancy Brothers, Ritchie Havens, Johnny Winter, Roger McGuinn, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Stevie Wonder, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Ron Wood, Chrissie Hynde, The O’Jays, Eddie Vedder, Sinéad O’Connor, Tracy Chapman, George Harrison (then making his first US concert appearance in 18 years) and more. This reissue features remastered audio and two previously unreleased recordings from the concert’s sound check: Sinéad O’Connor singing “I Believe In You” and Eric Clapton’s interpretation of “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright.” Also includes 40 minutes of previously unreleased material including behind-the-scenes rehearsal footage, interviews and more. 220 minutes.
Moby – Almost Home: Live At The Fonda, L.A. 2xDVD+2xCD (Mute)
Set recorded live at L.A.’s Fonda Theater in October 2013. Capturing the only live performances of Innocents, this DVD/CD features Mark Lanegan, Damien Jurado, Cold Specks, Inyang Bassey, and Skylar Grey alongside Moby. 25 live tracks total. The package includes Moby’s Greatest Hits set with “Go,” “Porcelain,” “Natural Blues,” “Southside” and more. 175 minutes.
Rufus Wainwright – Live From The Artist’s Den CD/2xCD (UMe)
The 16-song, 69-minute concert includes five songs that were not included in the broadcast, plus an additional 50 minutes of behind-the-scenes bonus material, including an exclusive, extended interview with Wainwright, an additional interview with the Church Of Ascension’s rector, Father Andrew, Inside The Den, a behind-the-scenes look at the concert shoot and location, and a slideshow.127 minutes.
Adrenaline Mob – Men Of Honor LP (Century Media)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Adrenaline Mob — featuring Symphony X frontman Russell Allen, guitar virtuoso Mike Orlando (Sonic Stomp), Disturbed bassist John Moyer and new drummer A.J Pero (Twisted Sister) — release their second full length album.
Bombay Bicycle Club – So Long, See You Tomorrow LP (Vagrant)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. “So Long, See You Tomorrow is all about the beats, you see. It’s probably a smart move, what with guitar music being declared dead every three weeks by those music-typing folk. Lead single ‘Carry Me’ makes you all nostalgic for a summer yet to be experienced, one filed with exotic fruits, awkward romance and questionable Hawaiian shirts. It’s the type of music you’d hear at Ibiza Rocks, not that I really know what type of music you’d hear at Ibiza Rocks.” – Drowned In Sound
Bronze – World Arena LP (Not Not Fun)
The West Coast’s weirdest hidden-treasure trio, Bronze, has plied their molten composite of serpentine metro-gnomic drumming, oscillator raga, hash-oil free verse, and pendulum bass patterns for seven shaded years, but sonic documentation remains sparse. World Arena unfolds a new octagon’s worth of their signature spellbound, smoke-ringed, psych-fusion explorations.
The John Butler Trio – Flesh + Blood LP (Vanguard)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Aussie roots virtuoso John Butler is known for his masterful lap-steel talent, as well as his unusual preference for playing acoustic guitars through a variety of pedals and distorted Marshall amps. But when it comes to the playing of stringed instruments, he virtually does it all, and extremely well at that, with a rare air of originality.
Alex Cobb – Marigold & Cable LP (Shelter Press)
New album from the creator of the Students Of Decay label, and who has previously recorded as Taiga Remains for labels like Blackest Rainbow, Root Strata and Digitalis. Intuitive drones amd clouded atmospherics for fans of Kevin Drumm and Stars Of The Lid.
The Damned – Punk Oddities &Rare Tracks 1977-1982 LP (Cleopatra)
HQ-180gm vinyl featuring rare versions and oddities from the oddball punk legends, including “Love Song,” “Thanks For The Night,” “Nasty,” and more.
Die Schacht – Halber Selbstbetrug 7” (Siltbreeze)
This contemporary Berlin outfit’s musikalische klänge is so perfectly informed by the bare-knuckled scrappers of the Neue Deutsche Welle fringe that one might half-expect to find a matrix for Pure Freude, Rondo or Moderne Musik Tontrager scratched into the runoff. But, no, it’s here, it’s now, and it’s the first German release ever on Siltbreeze.
Eidetic Seeing – Against Nature LP (Beyond Beyond Is Beyond)
The five songs on Against Nature morph seamlessly into one another, with strokes of psychedelia, stoner rock, metal, noise, and even free improvisation all sown together by the band’s calamitous chemistry.
Evening Meetings – Evening Meetings LP (Sweet Rot)
A mature, confident record of off-kilter, noisy, fuzzed-out rock songs reminscent of Gun Club or Scientists. Each track is grounded upon a solid foundation of rhythm while the two guitars are free to poke and lurch wherever they please. Features members of A Frames, Factums, Intelligence, Yves/Son/Ace, and others.
The Field – Cupid’s Head Remixe II (Kompakt)
Second volume of remixes featuring John Tejada, Tim Hecker, and TM404.
Forms – Dance Macabre b/w Apocrypon Of Jupiter 7” (Web Of Mimicry)
Mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ combined with Secret Chiefs 3 rhythm section doing renditions of Saint Saens’ “Danse Macabre” and Spruance’s “Apocryphon Of Jupiter.”
Gardland – Improvisations LP (RVNG, Intl)
Following the great unspooling of 2013’s Syndrome Syndrome, Gardland and RVNG Intl. stepped back into the duo’s not-so-distant past with Improvisations, three live performances ripped from local Austrailan radio in early 2012. The aural impetus behind the artists and label joining forces, this triptych of tone lashed tracks captures the duo in exhilarating, uninhibited form.
Gäy – Blue Blue Heart 7” (Zoo Music)
In their own words: “We are a band from Grenaa, not Copenhagen—a lot of people get that wrong. The horrible sadness of the town inspired a lot of songs, along with its beautiful woods and beach. ‘Blue Blue Heart’ was just a love song to my girlfriend written and recorded very fast, with not to much hope for it to ever reach anyone.”
Gnod – Somnambulist’s Tale LP (Aguirre)
Influenced by early Krautrock bands like Can, Hawkwind, and Ash Ra Tempel, Gnod brings us back to those days, adding twisted sounds and strange lyrics to the whole, delivering a truly mesmerizing psychedelic drone record.
Linus Jackson – Said & Done (Eel Egg Ent.)
This is a modern, but ’60s smelling retro pock/pop album. Vintage keys, guitars, drums and bass work together with the amazing string arrangement by Vindla String Quartet. You can also hear sitar, vibraphonette, glockenspiel, cello and other lovely guest performances by Linnea Olsson, Conny Bloom, Hey Mary, Ola Hultgren, Fredrik Hermansson, Filippa Ndssil and Elin Lowen.
Dawn Landes – Bluebird LP (Western Vinyl)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Singer/songwriter Dawn Landes has been writing songs for most of her life, and already has more than a decade of experience as a professional producer and engineer. After leaving NYU where she studied psychology and literature, Landes began honing her production and engineering skills, working at Stratosphere Sound (owned by James Iha, Adam Schlesinger, and Andy Chase), and at Philip Glass’ personal recording studio, before launching Saltlands Studio in Brooklyn with partners Steve Salett and Gary Maurer. Her new album, Bluebird, features contributions from Tony Scherr, Rob Moose, and Norah Jones.
Lo-Fang – Blue Film LP (4AD)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. 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.
Merchandise – Begging For Your Life/In The City Of Light 12” (4AD)
Ultra-limited one-sided 12″ on clear vinyl with an etched B-side housed in a clear sleeve. Originally appearing on their side of a split tour-only cassette with Chealsea Light Moving, “Begging For Your Life/In The City Light” is a 14-minute jammer.
Nerve City – Asleep On The Tracks LP (Sweet Rot)
Nerve City’s second LP — following a string of releases on Sacred Bones, Hozac, and Kill Shamen — channels the classics like The Velvet Underground, The Jesus & Mary Chain, and The Troggs, coupling those influences with distinctively haunting, blown-out home recording techniques.
Omma Cobba – Omma Cobba LP (Sweet Rot)
Hypnotic psych-garage ragers share space with mellow Sunday morning back porch ‘60s jams. Eight tracks, primarily recorded across half a dozen countries during a hazy trip to Europe in an old VW RV, which gives everything a solid reverbed out thump. For fans of Nerve City, Sic Alps, Fresh & Onlys.
Pelt – Effigy 2xLP (MIE)
Vinyl repress of 2012 album by the improvising drone legends — their first since Jack Rose’s death in 2009.
Jonas Reinhardt – Ganymede LP+DVD (Constellation Tatsu)
Reinhardt presents Ganymede, a film and seven-song soundtrack, wherein he utilizes a battery of synthesizers and repeating patterns, delving into the chaotic unknown seeking transcendence and achieving a spiritual “other” defined by ecstatic reverie.
Ruined Fortune – Ruined Fortune LP (HoZac)
Heavy-glitter/garbage punk moves from members of Southern Comfort, Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys, Cicle Pit, Model Citizen, and countless more. Ruined Fortune is an album that has an agenda similar to Live, Singles, Unreleased-era Royal Trux or the first couple of Alternative TV records in its love of rock & roll while simultaneously aiming for something beyond.
Sir Stephen – Sanctuary 12” (House Of Silk)
Seemingly inspired by that short-lived (and culturally off-limits) stylistic intersection of 90’s club music and devotional New Age – think early Enigma, deep house PM Dawn white labels, wind chime samples, etc – Sanctuary glides between moods of self-reflection and celebration, often in the same track. Vocals rise through synth-swells of incense and candlelight, tag teaming with sub-currents of tribal percussion, trumpet, sax, software warble, piano stabs, and acid-jazz flute.
Social Distortion – Prison Bound [Reissue/1988] LP (Time Bomb)
Limited HQ-180gm vinyl LP repressing of the classic 1988 sophomore album from the Southern California punks led by Mike Ness. Moving away from their early raw punk sound, Prison Bound was the first step towards a more commercial musical approach that continues to this day.
Teledrome – Teledrome LP (FDH)
Synth pop punk from Canada, playing a perfect mix of Spits, Gary Numan, and New Order-influenced tracks that would fit right in among any of the essential early Factory/Mute Records releases.
Paul Westerberg – Eventually  LP (Plain)
Eventually is Paul Westerberg’s second solo album originally released in 1996, which has never been issued on vinyl until now. Coming three years after his solo debut 14 Songs put his legendary band The Replacements to rest, Eventually is the most ‘mature’ and introspective album he made up to that point in his career. HQ-180gm.
UR/Forms – Split 7” (Web Of Mimicry)
The UR piece, “Medium Aevum” is the original of a song Ishraqiyun has been covering for many years, familiar from Secret Chiefs 3 live gigs (but never recorded). Here it is heard in its radically different, original, fuzzed-out format. The flipside is Forms’ energetic and comprehensive piano-roll band organ rendition of the Sousa masterpiece, “Stars And Stripes Forever.”
Various Artists – Bush Taxi Mali: Field Recordings From Mali LP (Sublime Frequencies)
Limited edition vinyl LP reissue of the original 2005 CD of Tucker Martine’s brilliantly recorded audio snapshots of Mali from 1998. A blend of Dogon chants, ngoni blues, Fulani flutes, vocal wizardry, passing radios, and West African rural and urban ambience.
Various Artists – Suicide Squeeze Presents: Forever Singles 7” (Suicide Squeeze)
Forever Singles captures the rowdy garage rock of The Coathangers and Davilla 666, the scraggly dirt-ridden guitars of JEFF the Brotherhood and Heavy Cream, the nostalgic ’60s girl-group melodies of Bleached and La Luz, the exuberant power pop of Audacity, King Tuff, Nobunny, and Meat Market, the hazy noir soundtrack of Dirty Beaches, the vitriolic basement-show noise-punk of Nu Sensae, the sinister post-punk of Wax Idols, and the West Texas-bred Twin Reverb rock of The Numerators. Light green vinyl.
Suzanne Vega – Tales From The Realm Of The Queen Of Pentacles LP (Amanuensis Productions)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. The first release of original material in seven years for the New York singer/songwriter. “Vega steps gingerly out of her comfort zone on ‘I Never Wear White,’ its harsh guitars veering towards garage rock, and the banjo-led angry man blues of ‘Song Of The Stoic.’ If any of this proves too much for less adventurous fans, the literate whimsy of ‘Crack In The Wall’ and ‘Silver Bridge’ trek across more familiar terrain.” – Record Collector
Peter Walker – “Second Poem To Karmela” Or Gypsies Are Important [Reissue/1968] CD/LP (Light In The Attic)
Originally released in 1968 on Vanguard Records, Peter Walker’s album ”Second Poem To Karmela” Or Gypsies Are Important was a ground breaking blend of folk, raga, psychedelia, Eastern and Modal sounds that has remained unsung for decades. While his debut album for Vanguard, Rainy Day Raga, has been reissued several times on LP and CD, this album (his sophomore effort), remained an obscure and hard to find vinyl relic. This is true ‘acid folk’ as interesting, progressive, and memorable as fellow 1960’s world travelers Robbie Basho, Davy Graham, and the Incredible String Band.
When Nalda Became Punk – Indiepop Or Whatever! LP (Shelflife)
The title of this four-track vinyl-only EP is an attempt to acknowledge all the musical influences in the band. Although it’s obvious that indiepop is one of their main ones, they also take inspiration from ‘90s Britpop, shoegaze, punk-pop, synthpop, and even grunge.
Within Temptation – Hydra 2xLP (Nuclear Blast)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. “This album is about the big things in life and in the world today. It’s dark, and powerful! We still have our symphonic elements, but it’s much faster and heavier than The Unforgiving. It goes in completely different directions – hence the title Hydra, because it represents the different sides of us.” – Guitarist/Songwriter Robert Westerholt
Richard Youngs – Regions Of The Old School 2xLP (MIE)
Double-LP live set features five extended tracks scored for a diverse array of instruments with guest vocals by Madeleine Hynes and additional synthesizer by Neil Campbell.
The Jesus Lizard – Book (Akashic Books)
Legendary indie rockers The Jesus Lizard present an idiosyncratic, impassioned document of their rock & roll conquests. There is biographical material of each member that covers childhood to the demise of the group. Other contributors include, Mike Watt, Steve Albini, Corey Rusk, Alexander Hacke, Steve Gullick, Rebecca Gates, Jeff Lane, Sasha Frere-Jones, KRK, Bernie Bahrmasel, and many more. 176 pages/hardcover.