CDs + Vinyl:
2Cellos – Score CD (Sony Masterworks)
Bringing 2Cellos’ game-changing sound and style to the most popular melodies ever written for classic and contemporary movies and television, Score finds Croatian cellists Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser exploring a more traditional sound world. Joining them here to provide the ideal aural backdrop to their virtuosity is the London Symphony Orchestra, with conductor/arranger Robin Smith at the helm.
6LACK – FREE 6LACK  CD/LP (LoveRenaissance/Interscope)
FREE 6LACK is the dark and moody debut studio album from rising Atlanta, GA R&B/hip-hop recording artist Ricardo Valentine aka 6LACK. Largely produced by go-to-guy Singawd and Nova, his candid lyrics and hypnotizing melodies are undeniably present in the emotional singles “Ex Calling” and “PRBLMS.”
Adna – Closure CD/LP (Despotz)
The Swedish singer’s third album finds her discovering her inner dark side and going back to her roots. “I believe we all have a dark place inside of us, some more aware than others and we all have our way of dealing with it. I tried embracing mine, which led to finding a home within it but, also, to the making of Closure.” Comprised of nine songs, Closure was written, recorded and produced entirely by Adna herself in her Berlin apartment. “Something that started with sorrow and unwarranted melancholy finally gave me comfort. We all have our different ways of dealing with our dark place, and I just had the urge to make this record in order to see light and beauty in mine, honor my Bosnian roots and to hopefully and finally find a home within all of this.”
Adult. – Detroit House Guests CD/LP (Mute)
Adult. is the Detroit duo Nicola Kuperus and Adam Lee Miller. Their seventh album (and first on Mute) Detroit House Guests became a reality after receiving a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation grant, and is based on the “visual” artist residency model but for musicians. Each musician would come for up to a three-week period with the parameter that we live, work, and collaborate together. The results — a total anthropological sound experiment and a full-length album.
Amber Run – For A Moment, I Was Lost CD/LP (Dine Alone Music)
“Amber Run’s new album sees the band go in a new direction. It differentiates from 5AM with its stripped backed, bare nature of the songs. Whilst 5AM was a collection of mainly upbeat, youthful songs For A Moment, I Was Lost tells a more honest story. There’s no painting over the truth with this album, it’s all set out for the listener to hear. If there’s one song that captures this perfectly it’s ‘Haze’; an atmospheric, acapella like song which digs deep into the personal depths of the band’s writing. There’s something spellbinding about this song. In just two minutes you’ve been through everything from heart break to loneliness to the vacancy of being lost in the moment.” – LS Radio
Anohni – Paradise CDEP/10”+MP3 (Secretly Canadian)
Anohni’s Paradise EP is the extension, into 2017, of a language of protest and distress. The songs presented here — already featured in her arresting live performances — were made during the same sessions as Hopelessness, but rather than trimmings or bonus material, they are, instead, unique touch points for old problems and newly minted geo-political crises writ macabre.
Apathy – Dive Medicine: Chapter One CD/LP (Dirty Version)
From the murky depths of unexplored seas, Apathy takes you on a nautical journey with his first all-instrumental project. After years of producing beats for himself, Demigodz, Army of the Pharaohs, R.A. The Rugged Man, Ras Kass, Styles Of Beyond and many others, Apathy has assembled a collection of 15 original instrumentals. Painstakingly sequenced, mixed and engineered to keep your speakers thumping, this sub-aquatic album showcases Ap’s sharp skills behind the boards as he delivers his best sonic works without words. Whether you just like to vibe out to hip-hop beats or practice your own MC skills over chunky production, this project is a welcomed refreshment in the instrumental hip-hop genre.
Ascended Dead – Abhorrent Manifestation CD (Dark Descent)
Dark, chaotic death metal from San Diego.
Richard Barbieri – Planets + Persona CD/2xLP (Kscope)
The former Japan and Porcupine Tree keyboardist releases third solo studio album. Planets + Persona is his first to feature a wide pallet of instrumentation. Vintage analogue synthesisers combine with acoustic performances and jazz elements, including some stark and memorable improvisations from a personally handpicked group of musicians. Twisted voices are always present, though not in a language we can recognize.
Big Country Bluegrass – Let Them Know I’m From Virginia CD (Rebel)
Big Country Bluegrass has been making music for 30 years, and Let Them Know I’m From Virginia is a celebration of the bands’ commitment to-and love of-traditional bluegrass music.
Blackfield – V CD/2xLP (Kscope)
“Blackfield is the most accessible band that Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree fame has been involved in, despite maintaining the melancholic tone present in his main projects. The group has been an outlet for him to shift away from progressive rock and metal in favor of a straightforward brand of art rock, while still retaining the emotional weight present in his music. V marks a return of equal songwriting credits between Wilson and collaborator Aviv Geffen, the latter being more accustomed to this style in his solo material. The previous two albums were more comprised of his vision while Wilson focused on his own solo albums. This latest from Blackfield returns to the strengths and compositional focus seen on their first two records, despite the expected somberness being largely absent this time. Hallmarks of the more upbeat Porcupine Tree era are notable, with many tracks recalling the more mainstream nature of Stupid Dream and Lightbulb Sun. Those wishing for more of that sound from Wilson will likely not get anything closer to it than this. Blackfield sound more optimistic and focused than they have in years, with Wilson and Geffen allowing a surprisingly optimistic vision shine through their soaring, blissful concept album.” – Sputnik Music
Blasphemy – Fallen Angel Of Doom [Reissue/1990] CD/LP (Nuclear War Now)
Canada’s Blasphemy is one of the original black metal bands of the second wave of black metal and innovators of war metal. This is a reissue of their debut album. [Limited pink and yellow color vinyl pressings also available.]
Charm The Fury – The Sick, Dumb & Happy CD/LP (Nuclear Blast America)
“Built around the versatile vocal talents of Caroline Westendorp, Charm The Fury dip in and out of Lamb Of God-aping grooves (‘The Hell In Me’), Bring Me The Horizon’s slam and swing (‘No End In Sight’), Machine Head’s crushing harmonics (‘The Future Feed Us Not’) and straight-up Avenged Sevenfold balladry (‘Silent War’).” – Rock Sound
Gary Clark Jr. – Live/ North America 2016 CD/2xLP (WB)
Live North America 2016 was recorded absolutely live, with no overdubs. What you hear is how it went down. The album includes all new and unreleased live recordings from Gary Clark Jr’s 2016 tour in support of his internationally acclaimed The Story Of Sonny Boy Slim. It features several songs from that album, including “The Healing,” “Grinder,” “Our Love,” “Cold-Blooded,” and “Shake,” featuring Leon Bridges and his saxophonist Jeff Dazey. The set is characterized by raw soul and funk, classic solo and blues performances, and several lengthy, tour de force guitar jams. It includes two previously unreleased covers, Jimmy Reed’s “Honest I Do” and Elmore James’ “My Baby’s Gone” as well as “You Saved Me” and “When My Train Pulls In” — fan favorites from Clark’s debut Blak And Blu. Much like the great blues, jazz, and soul legends of past, these recordings are lightening in a bottle – historical moments in time for an artist who is ever morphing and one of the truly great improvisers of his generation.
Jarvis Cocker/Chilly Gonzales – Room 29 CD (Deutsche Grammophon)
Jarvis Cocker, former frontman of the famous Brit pop band Pulp and Canadian pianist/rapper/producer/composer Chilly Gonzales have teamed up for this exciting new project. Room 29 was initially conceived as a theatre piece about the legendary room 29 of Hollywood hotel Chateau Marmont. Cocker wrote the piece during his own stay there, inspired by one of the room’s more unusual features – a baby-grand piano – as a witness of all the countless dramas that must have taken place within. The tales from the Chateau have become so legendary that anyone with even a passing interest in rock ‘n’ roll – or any facet of the entertainment industry for that matter – will have heard a Hollywood story related to the Chateau. [Vinyl edition due March 31.]
Gabriella Cohen – Full Closure & No Details CD/LP+MP3 (Captured Tracks)
Melbourne artist Gabriella Cohen’s first solo full-length is the product of ten days and two microphones. Co-produced alongside close friend, bandmate, and engineer Kate ‘Babyshakes’ Dillon, the record is the result of what Cohen describes as the “ceremony” of reflecting on a relationship. The album’s raw, personal side could be traced back to its place of birth at Dillon’s parents’ place in the country, or to the Brisbane streets the songs were composed in. The songs are soaked in the kind of aching nostalgia that is tinged with equal measures of sadness and triumph. On “I Don’t Feel So Alive,” Cohen warns: “This could be the last time we get together,” and on one hand it’s melancholy, but it’s in the spirit of endings that are also beginnings. There are two sides to Cohen’s coin though — for every moment of raw, cutting emotion, there’s one of otherworldly ethereality. It’s what makes the record feel timeless, which doesn’t mean old-fashioned — it means that the vocoder on “Feelin’ Fine” and the fuzzy, frenzied drums of “Alien Anthem” don’t feel at odds with the dreamy, ambling melodies and old-school ethos at the heart of Cohen’s songwriting.
The Creation – Action Painting 2xCD/2xLP (Numero)
Presented here for the first time are the complete Creation studio recordings. All 42 tracks (CD version, 24 tracks on the vinyl) have been remastered from the original tapes by Shel Talmy, and given fresh stereo mixes where previously unavailable. New essays by Dean Rudland and Alec Palao tell the band’s story and dive into their complete studio sessions. Scores of previously unpublished photographs adorn the accompanying 80-page hard bound book. We’ve rounded the whole package out with four tracks by pre-Creation freakbeat quartet the Mark Four, making Action Painting the definitive collection of this legendary UK band.”
Delta Moon – Cabbagetown CD (Jumping Jack)
Delta Moon return with their eighth studio album. Cabbagetown features nine original compositions and a lively cover of Son House’s timeless classic, “Death Letter.” Award-winning songwriter and lead vocalist Tom Gray once again penned most of the new tracks, showcasing great grooves, thought provoking lyrics, infectious hooks, sweet slide guitar work and mountains of superb tone created at the legendary Bakos Amp Works.
Depeche Mode – Spirit CD/2xCD/2xLP (Columbia)
Spirit is the new album from Depeche Mode, and the band’s 14th studio release. It marks the band’s first collaboration with producer James Ford of Simian Mobile Disco (Foals, Florence & The Machine, Arctic Monkeys). “‘We’re living in a time of real change,’ says Depeche Mode singer Dave Gahan, a vision of intensity dressed head-to-toe in black. ‘As I get older, the things going on in the world affect me more. I think about my kids and what they’re growing up into. My daughter, Rosie, was deeply affected by the election last year. … She just sobbed, and I was like, ‘Wow.’ That sense of worry informed Gahan and his Depeche Mode bandmates while writing Spirit, as many of the LP’s 12 songs deal directly with the general Weltschmerz circulating the planet lately. The record’s first single, the Gore-penned ‘Where’s The Revolution?’ is a slow-building number which features fuzzy synths, and serves as a call-to-arms as Gahan sings, ‘The train is coming/Get on board,’ along with the title question. It’s a mood that continues in another Spirit song ‘Backwards.’ It opens with Gahan singing, ‘We are the bigots/We have not allowed/We have no respect/We have lost control.’ It goes on to lambaste some people’s ‘caveman mentality’ and how others ‘feel nothing inside,’ amid jabbing keyboards and pounding rhythms and complete with Gore’s backing vocals. ‘If we want things to change, a revolution, we need to talk about it and about caring about what goes on in the world,’ Gahan says” – Rolling Stone. [CD is available in Regular and Deluxe editions. Deluxe adds a bonus disc of remixes. Double-vinyl LP edition features an etching on Side D.]
Dodecahedron – Kwintessens CD/LP (Season Of Mist)
“Wonderfully experimental black metal, tortured and crude but also surprisingly refined and cerebral.” – Screaming Guitars
Everlast – Whitey Ford Sings The Blues [Reissue/1998] CD (Rhino)
CD reissue of the second solo album by singer/songwriter/emcee Everlast –his first following his departure from House Of Pain.
Samantha Fish – Chills & Fever CD (Ruf)
On Chills & Fever Samantha enlisted members of the punk blues band The Detroit Cobras along with producer Bobby Harlow (The GO/ Jack White) to record a futuristic set of songs and a chilling walk through memory lane. Samantha’s soulful sultry voice and hot rod guitar slinging is layered against a poly rhythmic horn entrenched background all mixed and mastered by Jim Kissling (The Crystal Method, Fat Boy Slim). [Vinyl edition due May 5.]
Fit For An Autopsy – Great Collapse CD (Metal/E1)
The crushing music of Fit For An Autopsy is for any fan of extreme metal, as it’s devoid of preachy politics or grandstanding soapboxing, but its sound and fury is absolutely unflinching in purpose. The band expertly blends excessive-force fueled death metal with atmospheric groove and impassioned personal diatribes, reflecting back the dark state of current events. Their fourth album, The Great Collapse, doesn’t waste time with fantasy bullsh!t or cliché gore horror. [Vinyl edition due April 28.]
Frances – Things I’ve Never Said CD (Capitol)
From humble beginnings uploading the tender, bedroom-recorded original mix of “Grow,” Frances never dreamt that the single would go on to become one of the most cherished love songs of 2015. Fast forward to today and the 23-year-old Berkshire native can count Greg Kurstin (Adele), Jimmy Napes (Sam Smith, Alicia Keys) and Howard Lawrence (Disclosure) among the star-studded collaborators on her debut album.
Grails – Black Tar Prophecies Vol’s 1, 2, & 3 [Reissue/2006] CD/LP+MP3 (Temporary Residence)
Grails – Take Refuge In Clean Living [Reissue/2008] CD/LP+MP3 (Temporary Residence)
Remastered for vinyl and reissued for the first time in over a decade (CD reissues also available), Black Tar Prophecies Vols. 1, 2, & 3 is a massive evolutionary step in the established Grails sound and is shrouded in change and pain. The somewhat clinical studio sound and recording style with which they had established a tremendous following has been replaced with a much more free and conceptual recording style. This method liberated the group in the studio and these recordings feel much more open, heavy, and psychedelic. Take Refuge In Clean Living sees Grails pulling back their already wide lens on multiple sonic horizons. Opening with a nod to Syd Barret’s Pink Floyd (Piper At The Gates Of Dawn) Take Refuge In Clean Living begins with Morse code and drops into one of the heaviest slowburn grooves in the Grails canon. Sounding something like Hawkwind and Ravi Shankar scoring Blade Runner, it’s lysergic and earthy for Grails in a new way.
House Of Pain – House Of Pain [Reissue/1992] CD (Rhino)
2017 marks the 25th anniversary of House Of Pain’s eponymous debut album, best remembered for the gargantuan and lasting success of the single “Jump Around.”
Jacaszek – KWIATY CD/LP+MP3 (Ghostly Int’l)
Michał Jacaszek is an absolute master of melancholy: the Polish composer who’s spun dramatic shades of darkness and light into gold for more than a decade now, from the trickle-down electronics of Treny and artful gloom of Glimmer to the vapor-trailed verses of their looming spiritual cousin KWIATY. KWIATY — which was inspired by An English anthology of metaphysical poetry from the 17th century — is the most vocal-driven material Jacaszek’s ever written, melding his stormy melodies with a breakout performance by Hania Malarowska (of the Warsaw-based rock band Hanimal) and the robust supporting roles of Joasia Sobowiec-Jamioł and Natalia Grzebała, with lyrics adapted from poems from Virgil and Robert Herrick.
The Jazz Passengers – Still Life With Trouble CD (Thirsty Ear)
The Jazz Passengers is a fantastical fusion of post-bop and musical comedy, once called a perverse mainstream hard-bop group as imagined by Frank Zappa. Still Life With Trouble is their 13th album.
Katatonia – The Fall Of Hearts [Reissue/2016] CD (Peaceville)
Expanded Tour Edition of the Swedish dark prog/rock/metal band’s tenth album. Features four live bonus tracks.
Greg Kihn Band – Rekihndled CD (Riot)
Rekihndled is the Greg Kihn Band’s first studio album in over 20 years.
Momo Kodama – Point & Line CD (ECM)
Born in Osaka, educated at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris, Momo Kodama is well-placed to approach music from both Eastern and Western vantage points, as she does in this album which interweaves etudes of Claude Debussy (1862-1918) and Toshio Hosokawa (born 1955). Both composers have similarly been border-crossers. Debussy, pointing to music of the future, looked to the Orient for inspiration. Hosokawa has combined aspects of Japanese and European tradition in his contemporary compositions. Momo Kodama: In the music of Toshio Hosokawa I find elements close to Debussy: the freedom of form and tone colour, the sense of poetic design, with a wide range of lyricism and dynamics, between meditation and virtuoso development, between light and shade, between large gestures and minimalist refinement.
KXM – Scatterbrain CD (Rat Pak)
Sophomore release from the super-group featuring drummer Ray Luzier (KoRn), guitarist George Lynch (Lynch Mob) and King’s X frontman dUg Pinnick.
Lancer – Mastery CD (Nuclear Blast)
Sweden Rock Magazine named Lancer “a new hope for European power metal.”
Lantern – II: Morphosis CD (Dark Descent)
“I’ve been eagerly anticipating a new Lantern record since I heard and reviewed their undeniably powerful debut full-length Below. That thrash/death/black combo, which personified a synthesis of early Napalm Death, Celtic Frost, and Emperor, still holds absolutely true and finds itself achieving new progressive ambition on the band’s sophomore opus II: Morphosis” – No Clean Singing. [Vinyl edition due April 15.]
Zara Larsson – So Good CD (Epic)
“Swedish singer Zara Larsson is a postmodern popstar. She’s like a Rihanna-doting teen gatecrashing a tropical house party, gun fingers blazing” – The Guardian. [Vinyl edition due April 7.]
Mayday Parade – Lesson In Romantics [Reissue/1997] CD (Fearless)
Digitally remastered and expanded anniversary edition of the debut studio album from the pop/punk band. [Limited color vinyl pressing also available.]
Midnight – Shox Of Violence CD/LP (Hell’s Headbangers)
Since 2003, Cleveland’s Midnight has been slaying the metal/punk underground with a highly addictive brand of lust, filth, and sleaze, building up a sizable (and collectible) catalog along the way. Shox Of Violence collects tracks from their numerous EPs and split releases, along with four new tracks and more.
Milky Chance – Blossom CD (Republic)
Time describes Blossom’s first single “Cocoon” as “somewhere between the folksy rock of Vampire Weekend and the haunting electropop of Beach House.” Indie Shuffle writes, “they have wonderfully upbeat songs and can also put on a pretty solid live performance,” while Indie Obsessive claims, “the band s sound combines deep, organic warmth instrumental arrangements and it also brings forth a palpable sense of returning to a place of serenity.” [Vinyl edition due April 14.]
Steve Moakler – Steel Town CD (Soundly Music)
Fourth studio album from the prolific Nashville country music singer/songwriter. Through the years he has helped craft such impressive work as Dierks Bentley’s “Riser,” Ashley Monroe’s “If Love Was Fair,” Kellie Pickler’s “Buzzin’,” Ben Rector’s “Without You” and countless others.
Morta Skuld – Wounds Deeper In Time CD/LP (Peaceville)
The Milwaukee death metallers are back with their first full-length album in 20 years. “A celebration of the spirit of old school death metal.” – Metal Wani
Niyaz – The Best Of Niyaz CD (Six Degrees)
Niyaz was founded in 2004 by vocalist/composer and two-time JUNO Award nominee Azam Ali and multi-instrumentalist/composer and JUNO Award nominee Loga Ramin Torkian.
Conor Oberst – Salutations CD/LP (Nonesuch)
Salutations is a companion piece to 2016’s lauded Ruminations. When Oberst wrote and recorded the songs on Ruminations, entirely solo—with just voice, piano, guitar and harmonica—he intended to ultimately record them with a full band. In the midst of putting together that band—upstate New York’s The Felice Brothers plus the legendary drummer Jim Keltner (Neil Young, Jackson Browne, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, and many more)—the passionate responses Oberst was getting to those first solo recordings encouraged him to release the songs as-is, in their original sparse form. The Sunday Times of London called it “the rawest album yet from the forever troubled one-time voice of a generation” and “political and very, very personal,” saying Oberst is “one of the best songwriters around.” Salutations includes full-band versions of the ten songs from Ruminations, plus seven additional songs. Guest contributions come courtesy of Jim James, Blake Mills, Maria Taylor, M Ward, Gillian Welch, Gus Seyffert, Pearl Charles, Nathaniel Walcott, and Jonathan Wilson.
Obituary – Obituary CD/LP (Relapse)
Legendary death metal band Obituary return with their self-titled, tenth studio album, further cementing their legacy as one of the most important metal bands of all time. Picking up where 2014’s critically acclaimed Inked In Blood left off, Obituary show no signs of slowing down as they continue to reign as kings of their genre. Recorded at their home studio in Tampa, FL, Obituary is a 10-track tour-de-force of bone-pulverizing death metal that is as heavy, uncompromising and infectious as anything they’ve released in their historic, nearly 30-year career. [Limited silver color vinyl pressing also available.]
The Obsessives – The Obsessives CD/LP (Lame-O)
Continuing even further along their indie rock inspirations, The Obsessives has found an acclivity for pop hooks and vibrant instrumentation that give a nod to their heroes (even naming a song referencing listening to a Pixies record), while also fitting alongside the top artists of the modern indie/emo scene.
Oceanwake – Earthen CD (Vicisolom Production)
“A couple of years back I reviewed the sophomore album from Finland’s Oceanwake. I commended their compelling fusion of sheer power with delicate atmospherics and it made my year-end list. They’ve now returned with Earthen and the scope is huger than ever. Comprising just two tracks of over 20 minutes apiece, I feared drone and repetition had taken hold. The succeeding album to the one with which I discover a good band is always a dicey affair as I have expectations as to quality and style. And so it was with trepidation that I clicked play, but I am delighted to report that my fears were unfounded.” – Angry Metal Guy
Otis Junior & Dr.Dundiff – Hemispheres CD/LP (Jakarta)
Otis Junior & Dr. Dundiff have a special bond. They originally met at a local R&B contest in Louisville, KY. Dundiff was the DJ of the night and Otis happened to be the only contestant he had never heard of. He took the stage just playing piano and singing and Dundiff was so blown away that they ended up in the studio together shortly after. Despite the fact they hadn’t been working together for very long they managed to create a very unique take on hip-hop production influenced soul music right out of the gate. While Otis comes from a classic soul background, Dundiff’s previous releases were classic underground leftfield hip-hop records that even had him handle mic duties.
Pinback – Some Offcell Voices CD/LP+MP3 (Temporary Residence)
In the early days of Pinback, they were known mostly as two lauded musicians who spent their spare time away from their primary projects (Three Mile Pilot, Thingy, Heavy Vegetable) to hone their home recording skills while experimenting with ideas, tones, and instrumentation that didn’t quite fit into those primary projects. Pinback hadn’t yet become their day job; it hadn’t yet become a well-oiled five-piece touring machine; and it had no idea where it was going to go. In retrospect, that earnest curiosity is what makes those early Pinback recordings so resonant and so unique, and what separated them from every indie rock band of this century. Every bit as powerful and expressive as their first two albums, the 1999 EP, Some Voices, and the 2003 EP, Offcell, famously bucked the perception of EPs as outtakes and toss-offs. What were ostensibly minor stopgaps between albums became massive fan favorites and staples of Pinback’s live show. Having never been released on vinyl, it’s only fitting that we revisit these poignant recordings – and take the opportunity to painstakingly remaster and repackage them into the full-length album that never was, the aptly named Some Offcell Voices.
The Pineapple Thief – Your Wilderness 2xCD (Kscope)
Expanded Tour Edition of the prog rock band’s 2016 album. Features five bonus acoustic tracks.
Prince Far I – Psalms For I [Reissue/1976] CD/LP (Deeper Knowledge)
Produced by Lloydie Slim, Psalms For I finds Far I chanting Psalms and prayers over a tough selection of mostly Aggrovators-backed rhythms. This was resissued once before over a decade ago, now back again with the original artwork.
Quiles + Cloud – Shake Me Now CD (Compass)
Shake Me Now is stripped-down, yet dense. There are musical and lyrical traces of the blues, bluegrass, folk, rock, soul, and classical music.
CJ Ramone – American Beauty CD/LP (Fat Wreck Chords)
“American Beauty is the record I’ve been working towards since I started putting out records as CJ Ramone. My songwriting has definitely grown up some, but the raw energy is still there. Steve Soto, Dan Root, and Pete Sosa helped me drive every track home in a way that only veterans of the business can do, with engineer/co-producer Paul Miner throwing gas on the fire every step of the way.”
Real Estate – In Mind CD/LP+MP3 (Domino)
In Mind is the fourth album from the NJ dream pop group, their first to feature Julian Lynch on guitar, and produced by Cole M.G.N. Long respected for their deft lyrical hand and gorgeous melodies, In Mind builds upon the Real Estate’s reputation for crafting perfect songs and carries them even deeper into the pantheon of great songwriters. Here they fine-tune the winsome songwriting and profound earnestness that made previous albums—Real Estate, Days, and Atlas—so beloved, and pushes their craft in compelling new directions. Written primarily by guitarist/vocalist Martin Courtney, In Mind offers a mild shifting of the gears, positing a band engaged in the push/pull of burgeoning adulthood. Reflecting a change in lineup, changes in geography, and a general desire to move forward without looking back, the record recasts the band in a new light—one that replaces the ennui of teen suburbia with an adult version.
Replacire – Do Not Deviate CD/LP (Season Of Mist)
“The genre of technical death metal is tricky to do well. Oftentimes the songs are so densely arranged and executed that they are impenetrable and listeners may struggle for something—anything!—to latch onto. There are bands that do it well, and it’s probably time to start paying attention to Replacire, as they’re bringing some new perspectives and ideas to the genre.” – Heavy Blog Is Heavy
Righteous Vendetta – Cursed CD (Century Media)
Righteous Vendetta has come a long way from their humble beginnings at a community college in their small town of Cody, Wyoming. On a mission to cut through the clutter of mediocrity, the band set out on a self-reinvention that would alter their earlier sound into one of the most unique blends of hard hitting rock on the scene today.
Rick Ross – Rather You Than Me CD (Sony)
The rapper’s ninth album features Nas, Young Thug, Future, Meek Mill, Wale, Yo Gotta, Chris Rock, Gucci Mane, Ty Dolla $ign, Jeezy, Dej Loaf, Scrilla, Raphael Saadiq, and Anthony Hamilton.
Paul Shaffer & The World’s Most Dangerous Band – Paul Shaffer & The World’s Most Dangerous Band CD (Rhino)
After a 24-year gap since their first album, The World’s Most Dangerous Party produced by Todd Rundgren, the eponymous Paul Shaffer & The World’s Most Dangerous Band features appearances by an all-star pan-demographic lineup including guest vocalists Dion, Jenny Lewis, Bill Murray, Darius Rucker, Shaggy, and Valerie Simpson. Shaffer and bandmates Will Lee and Felicia Collins round out the lead vocal duties.
SoMo – The Answers CD (Republic)
A new collection of slick serenades from the R&B Romeo.
Sorority Noise – You’re Not As _____ As You Think CD/LP (Triple Crown)
“With 2015 sophomore release Joy, Departed, emo anthem-slingers Sorority Noise converted frontman Cameron Boucher’s struggle with depression, addiction, and mental illness into a hopeful blast of kinetic energy. It was one of the year’s best albums, and it rocketed Sorority Noise out of the shadow of Boucher’s screamo combo Old Gray. The Hartford band shared quite a bit of music in the interim, including last year’s It Kindly Stopped For Me EP, but now they deliver their proper follow-up. Recorded with Brand New producer Mike Sapone over 10 days, You’re Not As _____ As You Think is deeper and darker than its predecessor. Largely informed by several of Boucher’s close friends’ deaths, the album matches the guitar heroics of Joy, Departed with the bleak heaviness of It Kindly Stopped For Me. In a press release, Boucher explains, ‘Things are going to be tough, but it’s going to be fine in the end — and you have to keep going because you just have to. This is how it’s going to be. You’ve just got to do it’” – Stereogum. [Limited color vinyl pressing also available.]
Larry Sparks – Lonesome And Blue: More Favorites CD (Rebel)
Larry Sparks is one of the most respected and beloved figures in bluegrass music. Beginning his career in the 1960s with the legendary Stanley Brothers and then Ralph Stanley, he has carved out his own path in the music with his fine voice, his unique bluesy style of guitar picking and his uncanny knack for finding great material. Lonesome And Blue: More Favorites is a superb 14-track collection spanning Larry’s 40 year relationship with Rebel Records.
Regina Spektor – Live On Soundstage CD+DVD (BMG)
On Friday July 29, 2016, singer/songwriter and pianist Regina Spektor performed at WTTW’s Grainger Studio in Chicago to about 400 of her biggest fans, delivering an array of her compositions from past and current projects. [Stand-alone Blu-ray edition also available.]
Spoon – Hot Thoughts CD/LP+MP3 (Matador)
“In a career that spans more than 20 years, Spoon has perfected a kind of ruthlessly airtight efficiency: Every few years, the Austin band returns with a new batch of perfectly compact three-minute pop-rock songs. As consistent as it is beloved, Spoon never fails to hit its mark — delivered forcefully, and with hooks for days. If the title track on the band’s ninth album Hot Thoughts is any indication, that impeccably chosen palette’s got a few new colors. Thanks in part, no doubt, to Dave Fridmann joining the band as a co-producer, ‘Hot Thoughts’ has a rangy, swirly sparkle to it, portending an album that spreads out for a bit of a journey” – NPR. [Limited red color vinyl pressing also available.]
Stolas – Stolas CD/LP (Equal Vision)
New album from the Las Vegas, NV-based progressive rock outfit.
Svart Crown – Abreaction CD/LP (Century Media)
“Svart Crown’s brand of blackened death metal sees them wear their influences quite proudly upon their sleeve. Obvious comparisons will be drawn to Behemoth’s infernal riffing style, with some of the more obtuse, atonal guitar parts evoking the music of the likes of Morbid Angel or compatriots Gojira. The black influence is more overt than that seen in the Polish brutes’ more modern material however; with Svart Crown also owing a debt of gratitude to the likes of fellow countrymen Deathspell Omega.” – Midlands Metalheads
Tedeschi Trucks Band – Live From The Fox Oakland 2xCD/2xCD+DVD/2xCD+Blu-ray (Fantasy/Concord)
In September of 2016, Tedeschi Trucks Band set out for the West Coast to make a live album. After 10 shows, there was no shortage of great music to choose from, but for everyone on the tour, one night stood out from the rest: September 9th at the Fox Theatre in Oakland. Live From The Fox Oakland is a live double album that David Fricke calls “a new peak in the continuing story of a great American rock & roll family band.” The set is available as a Regular double-CD version as well as a Deluxe edition which adds your choice of a DVD or Blu-ray video of the show. In addition to the 15 blistering tracks, the film also features extensive behind the scenes footage, including Derek’s recent visit to Marc Maron’s garage for the WTF! Podcast, and an interview with Derek and Susan conducted by Rolling Stone critic David Fricke for SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Live From The Fox Oakland was mixed using a vintage Neve console to achieve an exquisitely immersive sound experience, and mastering guru Bob Ludwig added his craft to the full 5.1 surround sound mix and album audio. [Vinyl edition due April 14.]
UFO – Live Sightings 4xCD (Deadline Music)
Deluxe four CD box set of magnificent early ’80 live performances by one of the all-time greatest rock bands to take the stage.
Various Artists – Lord Have Mercy: The Soulful Gospel Of Checker Records CD/LP (Playback)
A hard-hitting collection of 27 funky, fantastic gospel gems from the Checker catalog. Includes gospel legends The Soul Stirrers, Salem Travelers, The Violinaires and many more, featuring beats, grooves and vocal performances that rival any of R&B recordings of the era — the best of the label’s rich heritage of music the church. Also features: The William Singers, The Gospel Classics, Estella Burke, Charlie Brown, The Inspirational Singers, The Kindly Shepherds, Stevie Hawkins, The Messiahs Of Glory, The Meditation Singers, The Masonic Wonders, The East St. Louis Gospelettes, The Faithful Wonders, Rev. “Singing” Sammy Lewis, Meditations, Lucy Rodgers, The Jordan Singers, Gospel Six, The Gospel Hi-Lites, Martha Bass, and The Harmonizing Four.
Without Waves – Lunar CD/2xLP (Prosthetic)
New album from the Chicago-based technical/progressive metal group.
The Zombies – Odessey & Oracle: 50th Anniversary Edition CD (Varese Sarabande)
This CD reissue celebrates the 50th anniversary of Odessey & Oracle, recorded between June and August of 1967 and officially released in 1968. Remastered from the best sources possible, the package includes seven bonus tracks, (alternate versions and outtakes from the original recording sessions), rare photos and new notes.
DVDs + Blu-ray:
Regina Spektor – Live On Soundstage Blu-ray (BMG)
On Friday July 29, 2016, singer/songwriter and pianist Regina Spektor performed at WTTW’s Grainger Studio in Chicago to about 400 of her biggest fans, delivering an array of her compositions from past and current projects. [Stand-alone Blu-ray edition also available.]
This Week’s Vinyl Exclusives:
Animals As Leaders – Animals As Leaders [Reissue/2009] LP (Prosthetic)
Animals As Leaders – Weightless [Reissue/2009] LP (Prosthetic)
Limited silver color vinyl pressings of the instrumental prog metal band’s first two albums.
Ares Kingdom – The Unburiable Dead [Reissue/2015] LP (Nuclear War Now)
Thrash/death metal from Kansas City, MO.
Arrested Development – 3 Years, 5 Months And 2 Days In The Life Of… [Reissue/1992] 2xLP (Capitol)
Originally released in 1992 to widespread critical acclaim, Arrested Development’s debut album 3 Years, 5 Months And 2 Days In The Life Of… stood in stark contrast to much of the hip-hop around at the time. It helped them become the first rap group to win a Grammy for New Artist, and features hits like “Tennessee,” “People Everyday” and “Mr. Wendel.” Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the album has been reissued on double-vinyl.
Julien Baker – Funeral Pyre b/w Distant Solar System 7”+MP3 (Matador)
“Memphis, TN-based songwriter Julien Baker is the latest addition to the renowned Matador Records roster. The 21-year-old’s devastating, delicate, plaintive, vulnerable debut album, Sprained Ankle (I could keep going with the adjectives, but really, ‘striking’ might be my favorite, as the music completely captivated us and left us no choice but to add it to our roster), which was released in 2015. A previously unreleased song ‘Funeral Pyre,’ is the title-track and A-side for Baker’s new 7”. Only Baker can make such a darkly macabre subject so heartbreakingly gorgeous, her signature hushed-yet- lofty vocals soaring over a quietly fingerpicked melody, crescendoing into layered, almost-orchestral beauty.
George Barnes – Country Jazz LP (Modern Harmonic)
Jazz-meets-country in an impossibly hot session circa 1959 — a platter of lightning-fast picking and impeccable taste from the legendary musician.
Califone – Quicksand / Cradlesnakes [Reissue/2003] 2xLP (Dead Oceans)
In the summer of 2002, Tim Rutili and the rest of Califone had just come out of a busy year that included touring with Yankee Hotel Foxtrot-era Wilco and collaborating with Issac Brock’s alter-ego project, Ugly Casanova. With new creative energy unlocked, the band began work on the follow-up to their breakout full-length debut, Roomsound. The result, the much celebrated Quicksand / Cradlesnakes, brims with earned confidence. Here, Califone began to master the mix of blues, country and technical glitchery so oft-referenced today, all the while creating something timeless.
Al Cohn Quintet – Cohn On The Saxophone [Reissue/1956] LP (Modern Harmonic)
Al Cohn first sprung on the national scene as one of the saxophonists on the Woody Herman hit “Four Brothers,” a crazy arrangement of “Jeepers Creepers” featuring each “brother” on a wild-and-crazy swingin’ sax solo. Along with fellow “brother” Zoot Sims, Cohn became one of New York’s leading sax men, forming with Sims a quintet that played in the hot beatnik jazz scene of the day, even backing up Jack Kerouac on a few poetry recordings. Cohn On The Saxophone finds our man Cohn taking the lead on a series of great jazz standards. Blue color vinyl pressing.
Counting Crows – August And Everything After [Reissue/1993] 2xLP (Geffen)
Counting Crows – Recovering The Satellites [Reissue/1993] 2xLP (Geffen)
Two albums of early-mid- ‘90s multi-platinum alt rock – back in print on vinyl.
Dead Can Dance – The Serpent’s Egg [Reissue/1988] LP (4AD)
Dead Can Dance – Aion [Reissue/1990] LP (4AD)
Dead Can Dance – Spiritchaser [Reissue/1996] 2xLP (4AD)
Vinyl reissues of DCD’s fourth, fifth, and seventh albums. This completes the recent vinyl reissue campaign of their classic 4AD back-catalog.
Donovan – Wear Your Love Like Heaven [Reissue/1967] LP (Speakers Corner)
Donovan’s 1967 release Wear Your Love Like Heaven is one of his brightest and most upbeat albums. Also released as the first half of the landmark two-CD box set A Gift From A Flower To A Garden, it finds Donovan in mostly electric mode, and taking an increasingly active production role that he would maintain for the rest of his career. In addition to its pristine original mono mix, this definitive LP edition boasts one of Donovan’s most memorable cover designs, featuring a haunting infrared photograph of the artist by noted photographer Karl Ferris.
Enya – The Celts [Reissue/1986] LP (Reprise)
Born Eithne Ni Bhraonain, this classically-trained pianist was kid sister in the musical family that became Clannad, joining the Irish band in 1979 but dropping out amicably three years later to pursue her own muse. This music, produced in the mid-’80s as the soundtrack to a BBC series, was released as her debut in 1987 and promptly ignored — yet its mix of atmospheric soundscapes and Enya’s lush, layered vocals, sung in both English and Gaelic, is the template for her subsequent global hits, beginning with Watermark the following year.
Lee Fields & The Expressions – Special Night Instrumentals LP (Big Crown)
Produced by Leon Michels and Thomas Brenneck, and brilliantly performed by The Expressions, Special Night was written, recorded, mixed, and mastered entirely to tape in three weeks at the legendary Diamond Mine Studios in Queens, NY. A sense of urgency, equal parts fun and inspiration, and a decent amount of beer and Jack Daniels were the driving forces during the sessions that produced Lee Fields & The Expressions latest offering.
Peter Gabriel – 1 [Reissue/1977] LP+MP3 (Real World)
Peter Gabriel – 2 [Reissue/1978] LP+MP3 (Real World)
Peter Gabriel – 3 [Reissue/1980] LP+MP3 (Real World)
Peter Gabriel – 4 [Reissue/1982] LP+MP3 (Real World)
Peter Gabriel – So [Reissue/1986] LP+MP3 (Real World)
Peter Gabriel – Us [Reissue/1992] 2xLP+MP3 (Real World)
Peter Gabriel – Up [Reissue/2002] 2xLP+MP3 (Real World)
HQ-180gm vinyl LP (half-speed remastered) pressings in gatefold sleeves, including download cards.
Insane Clown Posse – Tunnel Of Love [Reissue/1996] 12” (Psychopathic)
Limited edition pink marble color vinyl pressing. 180gm.
Katatonia – Great Cold Distance [Reissue/2006] 2xLP (Peaceville)
Limited double vinyl LP pressing of the Swedish metal band’s seventh album.
Lamb Of God – New American Gospel [Reissue/2000] LP (Prosthetic)
Limited silver color vinyl pressing of the metal band’s debut album.
Nikki Lane – Highway Queen LP+MP3 (New West)
Limited picture disc vinyl edition. Nikki Lane’s third album Highway Queen sees the young Nashville rebel emerge as one of country and rock’s most gifted songwriters. Produced by Lane and fellow singer/songwriter Jonathan Tyler, and recorded in Denton, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee, Highway Queen is an emotional tour-de-force. Blending potent lyrics, unbridled blues guitars and vintage ‘60s country-pop swagger, Lane’s new music will resonate as easily with Black Keys and Lana Del Rey fans as those of Neil Young and Tom Petty. Highway Queen starts with the whiskey-soaked restlessness of “700,000 Rednecks,” a rowdy call to action, and ends on the profoundly raw “Forever Lasts Forever,” where Lane belts freely, mourning a failed marriage – the “lighter shade of skin” left behind from her wedding ring. Lane’s journey to heartbreak takes exquisite turns. “Companion” is pure Everly Brothers’ dreaminess (“I would spend a lifetime/ Playing catch you if I can”). Elsewhere, she goes on a Vegas bender on the rollicking “Jackpot,” fights last-call blues (“Foolish Heart”) and tosses off brazen one-liners at a backroom piano (“Big Mouth”).
Let’s Go Bowling – Music To Bowl By  LP (Asian Man)
Let’s Go Bowling – Mr. Twist  LP (Asian Man)
First time on vinyl! Limited color pressings of the California ska band’s first two albums.
Necrophagist – Epitaph [Reissue/2004] LP (Relapse)
Limited orange color vinyl pressing of the German technical death metal band’s second album.
New Gen – New Gen 2xLP (XL)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. An album bringing together the best of the UK’s underground grime and rap scenes with collaborations between 17 young artists “anchored in the half space between trap, grime and new wave R&B, the melting pot which has typically come to represent the New Gen sound.”
Palisades – Palisades LP+MP3 (Rise)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. New album from the New Jersey “electronicore” band. Limited clear vinyl pressing also available.
Pia Fraus / Rocketship – Cloudy Eyes b/w Outer Otherness 7” (Seksound)
The collaborative single of these musical soulmates includes a new track from both bands, recorded specially for this release. Pia Fraus contributes with a dreampop track “Cloudy Eyes,” that, in addition to their usual dreamy boy/girl vocals and hazy guitars, the band flirts with drum machine beats and even dub-like baselines. Rocketship presents their “Outer Otherness” through a slightly lo-fi synth-pop prism, leaving out the guitars but still holding on to a pop sound in vocals and synths.
P.O.S. – Chill, Dummy 2xLP+MP3 (Doomtree)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. The Minneapolis rapper and founding member of Doomtree, releases his first solo album since 2012’s We Don’t Even Live Here. Chill, Dummy marks the rapper’s return to form following a 2014 kidney transplant. Features Justin Vernon, Astronautalis, Kathleen Hanna, Lizzo, Allan Kingdom, Busdriver and Open Mike Eagle and many others.
Prins Thomas – Dungen / Sun Araw Remixes 12” (Smalltown Supersound)
Remixes of “D” by experimentalist Sun Araw, “B” by Swedish prog rockers Dungen, plus previously unreleased / unfinished Prins Thomas original track “J”.
Public Memory – Veil Of Council LP (Felte)
Public Memory is a concoction of damaged dubbed-out percussion, unfurling tape-delayed synths and sparse sampling – all strung together by producer Robert Toher’s snarling tenor. This music is a kind of exotic crossroads between krautrock, trip-hop and coldwave, with traces of Radiohead’s Kid A drifting up through its floor.
Pulp – Different Class [Reissue/1995] LP (Plain)
Limited peach color vinyl pressing of Pulp’s Mercury Prize winning fifth LP.
Jimmy Raney – Visits Paris [Reissue/1958] LP (Modern Harmonic)
By the time Jimmy Raney recorded the ultra-cool Visits Paris, he was already at the peak of his career. Having started in 1944 with the Jerry Wald band, he’d pass through a passel of great jazz combos before ending up with Stan Getz in his classic quintet. There, the guitarist became world-renowned, and just weeks before cutting this album, in 1954, he was voted the number one guitarist in the world by French magazine Le Hot Jazz. The album finds Raney on a (very) brief break from touring France, taking the opportunity to cut an album with some local musicians and putting himself very much in the foreground after having been a sideman on previous projects. Red color vinyl pressing.
Linda Ronstadt – Living In The USA [Reissue/1978] LP (Friday Music)
Limited 180gm audiophile translucent blue vinyl pressing featuring the long out-of-print gatefold album cover graphics.
Run-D.M.C. – King Of Rock [Reissue/1985] LP (Get On Down)
Run-D.M.C.’s self-titled 1984 debut pushed the doors of pop music wide open, showing that hip-hop was not the fad that haters had prophesized. As they proved decisively on Run-D.M.C., rap was a legit art form, fully capable of producing long-players full of no-fast-forward cuts. By 1985, any doubters were running on fumes, as the group’s King Of Rock blew the aforementioned pop doors off their hinges.
Secret Shine – There Is Only Now LP (Saint Marie)
New release from the twee/shoegaze/dream pop legends originally signed to the Sarah Records label. Limited assorted color vinyl pressings also available.
Skeletonwitch – Beyond The Permafrost [Reissue/2007] LP (Prosthetic)
Skeletonwitch – Serpents Unleashed [Reissue/2013] LP (Prosthetic)
Limited vinyl reissues of the Ohio thrash metal band’s second and fifth albums. [Serpents Unleased is pressed on silver color vinyl.]
Roosevelt Sykes – Music Is My Business [Reissue/1977] LP (Fat Possum)
1999 Blues Hall Of Fame inductee Roosevelt Sykes’ piano blues classic Music Is My Business reissued on vinyl for the first time in a decade. Recorded September 17, 1975, it also includes appearances by Johnny Shines and Louisiana Red.
Toots And The Maytals – In The Dark [Reissue/1973] LP (Get On Down)
Vinyl reissue of the reggae group’s classic second LP. “In The Dark is a ska/reggae classic that captures the Maytals in their prime, brimming with energy. In the group’s music, the positive vibrations of reggae and the deep soul of singer Frederick “Toots” Hibbert are united and elevated by a pervasive spirituality. Exuding warmth and goodwill, Toots & The Maytals seek to excise their sorrows through joyful celebration and praise.” — AllMusic
Slim Willet – Texas Oil Patch Songs [Reissue/1959] LP (Modern Harmonic)
Country singer and disc jockey Slim Willet’s ode to tool-pushing, Texas Oil Patch Songs, was originally issued in 1959 by the artist on his own Winston label, and now is an impossibly-rare LP to dig up – and this Modern Harmonic edition is faithful to the original, including all twelve tracks, liner notes, and restored artwork. Color vinyl.
Steve Winwood – Back In The High Life [Reissue/1986] LP (Island)
Steve Winwood – Roll With It [Reissue/1988] LP (Island)
Vinyl reissues of the British rock icon’s fourth and fifth albums.
Wolfheart – Tyhjyys LP (Spinefarm)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Tyhjyys (‘Emptiness’ to non-Finnish speakers) is the majestic soundtrack to all things with fangs that trot in the wilderness. Over eight majestic new tracks, Wolfheart convey the harsh beauty of Mother Nature while challenging the boundaries of extreme metal.