CDs + Vinyl:
10 String Symphony – Generation Frustration CD/LP (Tasty Note)
New album from the progressive roots duo. 10 subtly subversive songs that seek to articulate the “helplessness blues” often felt by the Millennial generation with regards to politics, privilege, and the global climate crisis. This division and collision of generations plays out lyrically, but also musically in the push and pull between traditional acoustic and modern sounds-a combination of past and present that engages the listener both emotionally and intellectually.
6ix9ine – Day69: Graduation CD (Ten Thousand Project)
Following quickly on the heels of colorful rapper Daniel Hernandez aka Tekashi aka 6ix9ine’s (pronounced “six nine”) successful debut mixtape Day69, Day69: Graduation Day consists of the mixtape’s original eleven tracks including the hit singles “Gummo”, “Billy”, “Keke” and Kooda”, plus the highly anticipated track “Gotti” which finds Tekashi switching up his sound from his signature scream-rap style to a more melodic and auto-tuned flow. [Vinyl edition due August 10.]
AHI – In Our Time CD/LP (22nd Sentry)
Leading with his heart as much as with his head, AHI is an emotional yet discerning lyricist who would rather demonstrate love than use the word itself. He allows his light to shine inward but only to a degree, admitting to some autobiography on In Our Time but as glimpsed through an imaginative lens. While his music possesses a quality of timelessness, the sounds here reveal a broad spectrum of influence and also toe the line between retro and revelatory.
Tom Bailey – Science Fiction CD/LP (Red River Entertainment)
Tom Bailey, co-founding member of new wave pioneers the Thompson Twins, releases his first-ever solo album and his first new music altogether in some 25 years. Bailey produced the album himself with assistance from Hal Ritson (Chemical Brothers, David Guetta).
Rayland Baxter – Wide Awake CD/LP (ATO)
Rayland Baxter’s new album is a dream realized. Since he first started writing music, this roving rock ‘n’ roll philosopher dreamed of a space where he could devote every waking hour to creating. The hard-touring musician finally found it in the form of an abandoned rubber band factory in Franklin, KY, where he covered the windows, threw a mattress on the floor, and with guitar and piano in tow, spent three straight months writing. At night he would sit and listen to the sounds around him: coyotes, the howling wind, the faint prattle of the nightly TV news. The result of this isolation quest is Wide Awake, a 10-song collection that celebrates the best aspects of humanity and grasps at understanding the worst. The album runs the gamut from intensely personal to cutting social satire. On lead single “Casanova”, Rayland imagines student debt as a greedy girlfriend, admitting, “I got a real bad feeling ima let her down / got a hole in my pocket and I’m running around.” Album opener “Strange American Dream” was written around the time of the 2016 election and takes a hard look at the country’s values, while “79 Shiny Revolvers” skewers our national fixation with guns.
Beira – Vol II CD/LP (Doom Stew)
Beira’s sound harks back further in time to a more majestic era of doom. The band’s vocalist, guitarist and flautist, Ruby Haynes, cranks muscular riffs while the rest of the band stomps along with abundant capability and energy. Haynes voice-savagely tearing into passages here, or whispering more ethereally there-is going to keep you hooked.