The 1975 – The 1975 CD (Vagrant)
The 1975 are an English, Manchester-based alternative rock band from Wilmslow in Cheshire. This album is their self-titled debut. Vinyl version due September 24. “Their sound is hard to pin down; while it’s primarily built around guitars, bass and drums, there are synths underpinning nearly every song, and the rhythms have a bounce lifted from urban pop. Their major-key melodies and ’80s guitar sounds avoid the moody post-punk dress-up games played by too many current bands, recalling instead new wave-era outfits like General Public, Fun Boy Three and Wang Chung.” – Alternative Press
2Chainz – B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time CD (Def Jam)
B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time (stylized B.O.A.T.S. II #METIME) is the second studio album by the rapper, and is the sequel to his gold certified debut album Based On A T.R.U. Story, released in 2012. Guests include Pharrell, Drake, Lil Wayne, Fergie, Lloyd, Ma$e, T-Pain, Chrisette Michele, and others. Available in Regular and Deluxe editions. Deluxe edition adds three bonus tracks.
Abouretum – Gourd Of Gold CD/LP (Latitudes)
Arbouretum offer up four cover versions of songs by Gordon Lightfoot, the oft-overlooked Canadian singer/songwriter who helped define the folk-rock sound of the ’60s and ’70s. These are exactly what cover songs should sound like — immediately familiar, reverent yet fresh and worthy. Available on CD and limited edition gold vinyl packaged in a die-cut custom jacket with foil blocked inner sleeve and color insert.
The Albertans – Dangerous Anything CD (Ernest Jenning)
The Albertans have emerged from the studio for a third time more confident in themselves, more cohesive as a group, and with a new album that explores deeper territory than the off-kilter pop hooks they’re known for. Dangerous Anything offers a sound that’s dark and often challenging while still making previous comparisons to MGMT, Can, and Sparks as appropriate as ever.
Arctic Monkeys – AM CD/LP (Domino)
Eleven new songs and the Record Store Day single “R U Mine?” with guest appearances from Josh Homme, Pete Thomas and Bill Ryder-Jones.
Balance And Composure – The Things We Think We’re Missing CD (No Sleep)
According to Balance And Composure, they can be loud, quiet and everything in between. A pretty apt description in a nutshell. They return once again to push the boundaries of their music with driving riffs and intensely passionate vocals on the band’s long-awaited second studio album.
Willis Earl Beal – Nobody Knows CD/LP (Hot Charity/XL)
Nobody Knows is either Willis’ debut or the natural follow up to Acousmatic Sorcery. His previous release was recorded on a karaoke machine, using found instruments. It worked as raw, no-fi introduction to Beal’s life as a songwriter and outsider artist. Nobody Knows aims to deliver on the promise of his evolved live show, combining soul-baring vocals with arrangements rooted in everything from orchestral blues to ambient R&B, gentle lullabies to pure cacophony.
Carla Bley/Andy Sheppard/Steve Swallow – Trios CD (ECM)
Carla Bley, Andy Sheppard and Steve Swallow revisit classic Bley compositions on an exceptional album recorded in Lugano last year by Manfred Eicher. Included here are spirited new versions of “Utviklingssang” and “Vashkar,” and the suites “Les Trois Lagons,” “Wildlife” and “The Girl Who Cried Champagne.”
Body/Head – Coming Apart CD/2xLP+MP3 (Matador)
Body/Head are an electric guitar duo comprised of Kim Gordon (CKM, Sonic Youth, Free Kitten, etc.) and Bill Nace (X.O.4, Vampire Belt, Ceylon Mange, etc.) The pair began working together in various loose formats years ago, but the Body/Head concept evolved more specifically in early 2012. Their songs create a dream narrative of undeniable power and visionary reach featuring lots of built-in improvisational space.
Bowling For Soup – Lunch. Drunk. Love. CD (MRI)
With heartfelt breakup songs like “Since We Broke Up” and “Envy,” upbeat pop-culture/name dropping songs that only BFS can pull off such as “Normal Chicks,” and a surprising cover of Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians song “Circle,” this could actually prove to be Bowling For Soups most well rounded album to date. Vinyl version due October 1.
bvdub – Born In Tokyo CD (n5MD)
The longing in the piano work that highlights the album sets the stage for Van Wey’s various songstress’ to weave through the near deep house rhythmic passages that come and go throughout the album’s 70+ minute runtime.
The Clash – Sound System 11xCD+DVD (Sony Legacy)
Contained within classic boombox packaging designed by Paul Simonon, this box set contains the band’s five seminal studio albums, newly remastered by The Clash, a further three discs featuring demos, non-album singles, rarities and B-sides, a DVD with previously unseen footage by both Don Letts and Julien Temple, original promo videos and live footage, an owner’s manual booklet, reprints of the band’s original Armagideon Times fanzine as well as a brand new edition curated and designed by Paul Simonon and merchandise including dog tags, badges, stickers and an exclusive Clash poster.
The Clash – Five Album Studio Box Set 8xCD (Sony Legacy)
Collects all five remastered Clash studio albums, packaged in vinyl-replica sleeves and housed in a slipcase.
The Clash – Hits Back 2xCD (Sony Legacy)
Released simultaneously, Hits Back features 32 of the band’s iconic tracks across a two-CD set. The track-list is sequenced from the band’s legendary Brixton Fairdeal show in 1982.
Ry Cooder And Corridos Famosos – Live In San Francisco CD (Nonesuch)
Ry Cooder’s first live record in more than 35 years was recorded in 2011 during a special two-night engagement at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall, and includes 12 songs produced by Cooder. The Corridos Famosos band includes Joachim Cooder on drums; Robert Francis on bass; vocalists Terry Evans, Arnold McCuller, and Juliette Commagere; Flaco Jimenez on accordion; and the ten-piece Mexican brass band La Banda Juvenil.
Sheryl Crow – Feels Like Home CD (WB)
Feels Like Home is the first country record of Crow’s career and features the single, “Easy.” Each track on the album was co-written with another songwriter, which is a first for Crow, including Grammy award-winner Brad Paisley.
Drive-By Truckers – Alabama Ass Whuppin’  CD/2xLP (ATO)
An official reissue of DBTs long out-of-print live album from 2000, restored from the original half-inch analogue mixes and featuring new artwork. Recorded in various Georgia clubs during the Pizza Deliverance tour of 1999, it is probably the most punk rock thing they have ever done.
Earth Wind & Fire – Now, Then, & Forever CD/LP (Sony Legacy)
After an eight-year absence from the studio, Now, Then, & Forever sees EWF take center stage with ten all-new, vibrant, energetic songs.
Gloria Estefan – The Standards CD (Sony Masterworks)
Celebrating great tunes from the American Songbook, The Standards features song classics sung in English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and French, some with new lyrics written by Estefan herself. The album also features collaborations with world-class award-winning artists like singer/songwriter Laura Pausini, violinist Joshua Bell and saxophonist Dave Koz.
Piers Faccini –Between Dogs And Wolves CD (Six Degrees)
Melodies and words are in Faccini’s bones and his finely crafted songs resonate with traces of his ancestry. If his songs were maps they would stretch from the English moors to the Saharan dunes via the parched plains of the Mediterranean before spanning the Atlantic Ocean all the way to the Mississippi Delta.
Samantha Fish – Black Wind Howlin’ CD (Ruf Records)
BMA Winner for ‘Best New Blues Artist 2012.’
Fit For An Autopsy – Hellbound CD (Good Fight/eOne)
Fit For An Autopsy’s Hellbound is the perfect score with which to watch the flames rise. Punishing, unrelenting and alternately both heavy and dissonant, the New Jersey metal band’s new album conjures visions of Nero vigorously attacking his fiddle, even as Rome was engulfed in fire all around him.
Glasvegas – Later… When The TV Turns To Static CD+DVD (Go Wow)
Deluxe CD+DVD edition in hardbook packaging includes bonus DVD containing exclusive and intimate full album acoustic performance recorded live at 19th Century Baptist Church, Glasgow.
Gemini Syndrome – Lux CD (WB)
Los Angeles hard rock band Gemini Syndrome release their debut album. Lux encapsulate both ends of their musical spectrum – brutal and beautiful.
Goldfrapp – Tales Of Us CD/LP (Mute)
A sumptuous body of work, Tales Of Us has been two years in the crafting and is their most narrative, cinematic and intimate recording to date. All the songs except for one are named in the first person with a cast list of evocative character sketches, the contrary love affairs, the suspense, hallucinations, fairy tales and modern folklores documented and the traces of redemption they find in song take the poetry of Goldfrapp’s delicately considered music somewhere brand new.
Gypsy Kings – Savor Flamenco CD (Knitting Factory)
Gypsy Kings release their ninth studio album and first in six years. It has been twenty-five years since the Gipsy Kings captured the world’s imagination with their self-titled debut album—a record that became a genuine phenomenon, certified gold and platinum around the globe, introducing millions of listeners to a unique, irresistible blend of traditional flamenco styles with Western pop and Latin rhythms. Since then, the band has toured virtually non-stop, to the farthest-flung corners of the planet, and sold almost twenty million albums, all the while retaining the same line-up of virtuoso musicians.
Juliana Hatfield – Wild Animals CD (Ye Olde Records)
Critically acclaimed indie pop-rock singer/songwriter Juliana Hatfield’s new home-recorded album of trashy acoustic music is both beautiful and gnarly, continuing her quixotic emotional/musical mining explorations.
Jessie J – Second Chances CD (Shanachie)
Saxophonist, vocalist, songwriter Jessy J is one of the fastest rising stars on the smooth jazz scene.
Jacuzzi Boys – Jacuzzi Boys CD/LP (Hardly Art)
On their third LP the boys go grand, writing cool, hypnotic earworms. A hooky melding of good-time pop, garage, and punk.
Joanna Gruesome – Weird Sister CD/LP+MP3 (Slumberland)
Debut album by Cardiff-based noisepop five-piece. Brimming with irresistible pop melodies and spiked with dissonant fuzzy jangle, their songs are shot through with loud discordant feedback and super-fast, hardcore punk drumbeats.
George Jones – Amazing Grace CD (Welk)
A comprehensive gospel collection featuring the unreleased recording “Great Judgment Morning” featuring Waylon Jennings, Jesse Colter, Travis Tritt, Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart and Connie Smith.
Kaskade – Atmosphere CD (Ultra)
The New York Times may have called him the “new face of electronic dance music” in a recent profile, but Ryan Raddon, known as Kaskade, has been in the trenches of the EDM scene as an original recording artist and in-demand DJ for more than a decade.
Katatonia – Dethroned & Uncrowned 2xCD/2xLP (K-scope)
In August 2012 Katatonia released Dead End Kings. The album was the band’s most successful to date and cemented the Swede’s position as masters of darkened metal. Many of the ecstatic reviews Dead End Kings received commented on the fact that the album marked another step in the band’s journey towards a more progressive sound. Dethroned & Uncrowned allows them to explore these elements of the record further as they have re-recorded and reworked the album, creating new moods and textures while still staying truthful to the core of the songs.
Natalia Kills – Trouble CD (Interscope)
Written and recorded in collaboration with renowned producers Jeff Bhasker (Kanye West, Jay-Z, fun.) and Emile Haynie (Lana Del Rey, Kid Cudi, Eminem), Trouble combines Natalia’s razor sharp lyrics with her unique and robust vocal delivery.
Kitaro – Final Call CD (Domo)
Kitaro is universally acknowledged as the founding architect of new age music. His various sound collaborations and resonant, multi-textured compositions truly defy the constraints of any genre.
Mark Knopfler – Privateering 2xCD/3xCD/2xLP (Mercury)
Privateering is Knopfler’s first double album, each song an original. They cover a wide range of locations and characters from both sides of the Atlantic and move through a number of genres, which include several new blues originals. The album is a soulful and heartfelt collection masterfully performed by a group of world-class players. Available in Regular and Deluxe editions. Deluxe adds a third disc of album rehearsals.
Lake –The World Is Real CD/LP (K Records)
Lake is storied in collaboration, sonic adventure and an allegiance to exploring the limits of crafting pop songs. They have toured, recorded and allied with some of the most pioneering figures in contemporary independent music: R. Stevie Moore, Karl Blau, and Phil Elverum’s Mt. Eerie, to name a few. The World Is Real is a collection of songs adorned with meticulous coloring and both analog and digital orchestration.
Man Man – On Oni Pond CD/LP (Anti)
On Oni Pond features an arresting reconstruction of the band’s visionary sound stripped to its core and rebuilt as something new and compelling yet still very much Man Man. An intensive collaboration between the band’s frontman, Honus Honus, and drummer Pow Pow, who has assumed a newfound prominence in the songwriting process, On Oni Pond brings an exhilarating array of new rhythmic ideas to the mix.
Ministry – From Beer To Eternity CD/LP (AFM)
From Beer To Eternity was written last December (2012), prior to the death of Ministry’s guitarist, Mike Scaccia. “This was one of the most creative Ministry tracking sessions ever. The band was on fire! We were having fun, we were coming up with great ideas and experimenting with everything we’ve ever wanted to do, from Stones-y blues to dub and, of course, heavy guitar-based rock. It was too easy. No fighting, no problems. Nothing goes that well without the floor eventually falling out,” mainman Al Jourgensen says. Also available on limited edition clear vinyl.
Janelle Monae – The Electric Lady CD (Bad Boy)
The Electric Lady is an urgent and dangerous form of dance music, rebel music that forces one to fight, jam, and fall in love. Like on The ArchAndroid, the sonic textures of the album are varied, and the past and present come together to explode and create a mind-blowing future for pop and soul music. For example, wondrous strings reminiscent of Curtis Mayfield and Bernard Herrmann orchestrations abound, Hendrixian guitar solos soar, Outkast-like raps float over punk rock riffs; defiant socially-conscious lyrics extol the virtues of soul-searching and fighting for change, while the funk simply melts your speakers: 808s boom and Prince-like synthesizers squiggle in your earhole, making it veritably impossible to just sit still.
Moon Taxi – Mountains Beaches Cities CD/LP (BMG)
“Nashville’s best kept secret is out. Since the release of Cabaret in early 2012, Moon Taxi has been on a steady climb away from the jam rock sound they built their reputation on, veering toward more radio-friendly, song-oriented material. Even if it is pop music, Moon Taxi isn’t afraid to get trippy, and all the production in the world can’t mask the band’s earnest work ethic and hefty ambition.” – American Songwriter
Obits – Bed & Bugs CD/LP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
Hot Snakes, Edsel, Drive Like Jehu, Girls Against Boys… the members of Obits have quite the pedigree and if you weren’t already on board with their straight-ahead rockin’ amalgamation of garage, punk, and surf, now’s the time.
Redlight Kings – Irons In The Fire CD (Disney)
Redlight Kings’ sophomore album is gritty — the guitars crunchier and the songs razor-sharp, full of angst and rebellion but always with a hint of redemption.
Rise Against – Long Forgotten Songs: B-Sides & Covers 2000-2013 CD/2xLP (Interscope)
A collection of 26 rare tracks from Chicago punks spanning 2000-2013, including alternate versions, B-sides and covers of tunes by Minor Threat, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.
Royal Bangs – Brass CD (Modern Art)
Brass is the Knoxville-based band’s fourth full-length release and follows 2011’s Flux Outside. It was produced by The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney. Vinyl version due October 22. “There are flavors as far ranging as Ben Folds Five with all the deliciously fuzzy bass to Radiohead and the Replacements. The guitar work in the opening of ‘Hope We Don’t Crash’ recalled Joy Division for a moment before the song morphed into more of an indie-rock anthem.” – Premier Guitar
The Rubens – The Rubens CD (WB)
The undeniable combination of a young band equipped with natural song writing and vocal abilities under the guidance of an experienced producer can only be a powerful force. And when fueled by their tireless desire to put themselves on the line The Rubens have made one of the most ambitious and exciting debut records you’re likely to hear for some time.
Steep Canyon Rangers – Tell The Ones I Love CD (Rounder)
Since 2009 the Steep Canyon Rangers have received widespread acclaim as Steve Martin’s backing band. Tell The Ones I Love is a high-energy collection of 12 original bluegrass songs. Vinyl version due September 24.
The Stepkids – Troubadour CD/LP (Stones Throw)
Carefully crafting their own brand of modern music by blending classic jazz, R&B, funk, ’70s pop/rock and more with soaring harmonies, The Stepkids have made a name for themselves as an artistically diverse band. Praise for their 2011 self-titled debut album and for their multi-sensory live show featuring interactive light art projections, led to tours with an eclectic mix of artists including Kimbra, Mayer Hawthorne & The County, Mates Of State, and others.
Tal National – Kaani CD/LP (Fat Cat)
Tal National is from Niamey, the capital city of Niger. They’ve had several #1 songs in their home country, are constantly featured on national TV (folks in Niger leave their TV’s on and use them as boomboxes) and yet they sell their discs on the street, at roundabouts, since there is no distribution system in the country. In this joyously hypnotic, highly unique contribution to West African guitar music, with its lightning fast rhythms and rotating cast of vocalists, can be heard the history of Niger as a cultural crossroads along ancient trade routes.
Terry Malts – Nobody Realizes This Is Nowhere CD/LP+MP3 (Slumberland)
Reminiscent of forebears such as The Undertones, Buzzcocks and Descendents, Nobody Realizes This Is Nowhere is packed with upbeat tunes, but don’t let that fool you; the lyrics are smart but very, very dark, allowing bassist/vocalist/lyricist Phil Benson to fully explore the madness of his life and these times.
Emiliana Torrini – Tookah CD/LP (Rough Trade)
Tookah is a hugely ambitious pop record — exemplified not least by first single “Speed of Dark.” The word “Tookah” is a word that Emiliana made up, and is what she considers to be the only way to live in love, the essence of being that you are born with, the inner good and bad balanced, positive and negative, actuality, the union of self and a state of bliss.
Trombone Shorty – Say That To Say This CD (Verve)
Recorded in Los Angeles and his native New Orleans, Say That To Say This features nine new original tracks and collaboration with the original line-up of The Meters, recording together for the first time since they broke up in 1977 on a new version of their song, “Be My Lady.” The track also features New Orleans legend and Neville Brother, Cyril Neville. Other tracks are performed by Shorty’s long time band, Orleans Avenue, as well as some tracks featuring album producer Raphael Saadiq.
Keith Urban – Fuse CD (Capitol Nashville)
Thirteen brand new tracks including his newest Top 10 single “Little Bit Of Everything,” as well as duets with Miranda Lambert (“We Were Us”) and Eric Church (“Raise ‘Em Up”). Available in Regular and Deluxe editions. Deluxe adds three bonus tracks.
J. Roddy Walston And The Business – Essential Tremors CD/LP+7” (ATO)
The band’s third release is the most far-ranging and eclectic album in the band’s history. Their blend of classic rock & roll emphasized by rapturous hooks, riffs and rhythms, coupled with Motown flavor and funky charm brings out a pure Bacchanalian splendor. J. Roddy’s arresting voice and thumping piano playing travels directly from your eardrums to your bone marrow as he keens, croons and intones words and music that are at turns lunatic and mystic.
Jimmy Webb – Still Within The Sound Of My Own Voice CD (E1)
In celebration of Jimmy Webb’s Career as a singer, songwriter and performer, Still Within The Sound Of My Own Voice is a collection of duets covering the Webb songbook. Special guests include Lyle Lovett, David Crosby & Graham Nash, Marc Cohn, Amy Grant, Joe Cocker, Kris Kristofferson, Art Garfunkel, Brian Wilson, Keith Urban, and Carly Simon.
The Weeknd – Kiss Land CD (Universal)
Kiss Land follows up his unanimously celebrated platinum-selling 2012 debut, Trilogy. Tapping into that same signature mystique, the album is an elegant pastiche of love, longing, and lust set to a futuristic soundtrack of shimmering keys, disruptive synths, and airy atmospherics. It’s dark. It’s dangerous. It’s decidedly sexy. Vinyl version due October 22.
The White Buffalo – Shadows, Greys, And Evil Ways CD (Unison Music)
This is the story of Joe and Jolene, a pair of young outsiders thrust together by chance, forging a deep, emotionally charged relationship that would at once haunt and sustain them throughout their lives. The musical and literary narrative of this album follows our broken hero, Joseph White, through his many trials and tribulations from young adulthood to death. His ballad is a tale of love, war, murder, the search for redemption, and a lifelong experiment of good and evil, asking many of the questions of human existence along the way. It is ultimately a story of hope and the power of love. Vinyl version due September 24.
Why? – Golden Tickets CD/LP (Joyful Noise)
The Wolf brothers’ pop-inflected psychedelic folk-hop was nominally referred to as hip-hop at the beginning of their career. At this point certainly on Golden Tickets the project has outgrown any easy genre-categorization. With the musical eclecticism, pop-twist, and experimental bent of artists like the Flaming Lips or Beck. Why? shimmers on this album in vibraphone stippled, sweetly riffed songs with characteristically gut-wrenching subtext.
DVD + Blu-ray:
Madonna – MDNA World Tour DVD/Blu-Ray (Interscope)
Madonna’s MDNA World Tour, the most successful tour of 2012, played to sold out crowds in 29 countries who experienced a spectacular two-hour joy ride. The Material Girl spent six months personally editing footage from 80 shows and 30 cameras. The result is a front row seat to a visually stunning extravaganza performed with a breathtaking battalion of 25 dancers, hundreds of costumes, hits including “Like A Prayer,” “Vogue,” and “Express Yourself.”
A$AP Ferg – Trap Lord 2xLP (RCA)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. A$AP Ferg may hail from a block in Harlem notoriously known as ”Hungry Ham” (Hamilton Heights), but that never completely defined him. Whether it be launching clothing and jewelry lines or attending art school, he constantly bobbed and weaved past expectations. As a rapper, unpredictability remains his only calling card. The next member of the A$AP Mob collective to have a solo project, he can slip from gruff, gritty rhymes to soaring singing, and he does so seamlessly.
The Blackbyrds – Walking In Rhythm: Essential Selection 1973-1980 3xLP (Decision/Fantasy)
Drawn from the Blackbyrds’ eight albums released by Fantasy Records, this limited edition deluxe multi-LP set presents a complete retrospective of The Blackbyrds’ career. Included are the classic hits “Do It Fluid,” “Walking In Rhythm,” “Flying High,” “Happy Music,” “Rock Creek Park,” “Time Is Movin,” “Soft and Easy,” “Supernatural Feeling,” as well as key album cuts, rarities and extended dance floor mixes. CD version due next week.
Nicki Bluhm And The Gamblers – Nicki Bluhm And The Gamblers LP (Little Sur)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. New release from singer/songwriter Nicki Bluhm and her band The Gramblers. The self-titled album is the follow up to her hit critically successful album Driftwood and includes the single and live favorite “Little Too Late.”
Dog Bite – LA EP 12” (Carpark)
In early 2013, Atlanta’s Dog Bite found themselves with downtime in Los Angeles between a successful tour with labelmates Toro Y Moi and shows at SXSW in Austin. The four-piece that makes up the touring group started messing around with different sounds and came up with their first full-band release, the LA EP. This document of the road-tested crew is a stunning sequel to Velvet Changes, the band’s debut LP.
Forest Fire – Screens LP (Fat Cat)
On Screens, Forest Fire cloaks raw human roughness in blankets of synth and drone, and speaks to the same retro-futuristic dystopianism that haunted the musicians they looked to.
Robbie Fulks – Gone Away Backward LP (Bloodshot)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. The Chicago based alternative-country artist leaves behind the amplifier-and-drumkit-driven songwriting of his recent albums and returns to his folk roots. “There may be flashier songwriters than Robbie Fulks, but there are none better than him. His album, Gone Away Backward, is a sneaky triumph. Hobos and miscreants rub shoulders with nostalgic old-timers and lonely lovers. The musicianship on the album kicks ass, but the real star is the brilliant pile of songs Robbie has amassed for his return to the great Bloodshot Records.” — Rhett Miller/Old 97’s
The Juan Maclean/Sh!t Robot – Feel Like Movin’ b/w We Got A Love 12” (DFA)
The split single highlights the warped and wonky piano house both acts have become famous for. Both Sh!t Robot and The Juan Maclean have full length albums due in 2014 on DFA Records.
The Orwells – Who Needs You 10” (Atlantic)
Who Needs You is the second of two EP’s the Orwells released in 2013. The title track, “Who Needs You” was produced by Dave Sitek of TV On The Radio. The rest of the EP consists of two basement recordings and a live version of “Halloween All Year.” One might simply try to sum up their sound as garage-punk but it isn’t that simple.