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Boo Boo Records Limited Edition Art Prints by Steve Thomas
To commemorate our storied 40+ year run in San Luis Obispo, we’ve partnered with Just Looking Gallery and artist Steve Thomas to bring you a series of limited edition, individually-numbered giclée art prints.
Ma is Devendra Banhart’s first album since 2016’s Ape In Pink Marble. Bursting with tender, autobiographical vignettes, the record displays a shift from the sonic experimentation of his previous albums to an intricate, captivating story-telling and emotional intimacy. Banhart favors organic sounds to accompany his voice and guitar here with the arrangements bolstered by strings, woodwinds, brass, and keyboards. Lead single “Kantori Ongaku” translates from Japanese to “country music” and is a nod to experimental pop legend Haruomi Hosono, a founding member of the influential electronic band Yellow Magic Orchestra. Welsh singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon contributes background vocals on “Now All Gone” and Banhart’s mentor, muse, and dear friend, the folk legend Vashti Bunyan, duets with him on “Will I See You Tonight”. Notes Banhart, “Vashti is the archetype of the mother, one of the most important people in my life. It was so beautiful to sing this duet with her.”
Boy Scouts – Free Company CD (ANTI-)
Recently released on vinyl – now available on CD. As Boy Scouts, Oakland-based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Taylor Vick makes the kind of music that hits like good advice from tough emotional truths. Vick’s songs survey the damage that can come from loving other people with curiosity and grace. Her new album Free Company is a stunningly tuneful rumination on heartbreak and loss that is always galloping toward the horizon. Opener “Get Well Soon” reckons with the difficult epiphany that comes when you’ve worked overtime to help someone you love, only to realize they won’t meet you in the middle and help themselves. Her tightest and most cohesive collection of songs, Vick recorded Free Company in a tiny studio her friend Stephen Steinbrink set up inside a rented shipping container – a unique spot that ended up being perfect for her. Steinbrink plays drums, synth, and bass throughout the record in addition to singing backup.
Sam Fender – Hypersonic Missiles CD/LP (Polydor)
Hypersonic Missiles is the debut album from Brits Critics Choice Award Winner Sam Fender. Observational, questioning and socially engaged, Fender has an innate gift for simplifying matters of the newsworthy and topical. “I don’t have answers only questions” he clarifies, but there’s a canny simplicity here that seems to be touching and plain speaking. His words reflect conversations occurring right across the globe, amongst friends in cafes, pubs, and out on the terraces. Frustrations. Misunderstandings. Despair. Album track “Dead Boys” tackles the taboo of male suicide. Having lost close friends to the epidemic, Fender was compelled to address it head on in song. The reaction was immediate. And throughout Hypersonic Missiles there’s a sense that there are far more of those revelations still to come. It’s a brave record with some of its subject matter cutting deep into the grain.
The title of Barns Courtney’s new album will no doubt be familiar to anyone who’s ever searched for something online and found themselves face to face with nothing. 404 is an album that explores feelings of loss and bereft inspired by life’s habit of throwing up its own error pages. Courtney explores absence, frustration and the never-ending search for something that seemed like it would always be there until one day, suddenly, it wasn’t: his childhood. All in all, 404 is a commentary on his journey from awe struck naivety to the dark realization of adulthood. The big picture, Barns Courtney notes, is “a weird alternative Narnia or Neverland, where all the tropes of your childhood have melted. From Pokémon to Nintendo 64, the core of my being is there: an unorthodox maelstrom of memories condensed down into this bizarre undulating world.” It makes sense that the album sounds like it does. “To start with I wanted to make a punk record or a Rolling Stones album, but what came out was the synth heavy sound of 404,” he says. “To do anything else wouldn’t have worked. It’s a strange amalgamation of influences based on everywhere I’ve been and some places I haven’t.”
Bat For Lashes – Lost Girls CD/LP (Bat For Lashes)
Lost Girls is another brilliant full-length in Natasha Khan’s incredible, acclaimed discography, mixing sounds she’s always loved – heavy bass lines, synth arpeggios, Iranian pop beats, cascading choruses – with some of her finest songwriting to date. It’s an album full of romance, a homage to Los Angeles where the album was recorded, to being a kid in the ‘80s, to films that touched and changed her life. Spanning 10 tracks, Lost Girls sees Khan dreaming up her own fully formed parallel universe, creating an off-kilter coming of age film in which gangs of marauding female bikers roam our streets, teenagers make out on car hoods and a powerful female energy casts spells and leave clues for us to follow. The women of Lost Girls are parallel to one of Khan’s previous female protagonists, the tough, darkness-driven Pearl, from her 2009 lauded album Two Suns. Within the women of Lost Girls and the character Nikki Pink, Khan unfolds elements of herself; within these songs, we do the same. [Limited indie store exclusive vinyl pressing also available.]
Paul Cauthen – Room 41 CD/LP (Lightning Rod)
Written during a stint spent living out of a suitcase in the artist-haven that is the Belmont, Room 41 chronicles Paul Cauthen’s white-knuckle journey to the brink and back, a harrowing experience that landed him in and out of the hospital as he careened between ecstasy and misery more times than he could count. Cauthen has long been a pusher of boundaries (musical and otherwise), and Room 41 is no exception, with electrifying performances that blend old-school country and gritty soul with ‘70s funk and stirring gospel. His lyrics take on biblical proportions as they tackle lust and envy, pride and despair, destruction and redemption, but these songs are no parables. [Limited edition colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Natasha Bedingfield – Roll With Me CD (We Hear Music)
Pop stardom can warp a performer’s sense of perspective. But singer-songwriter Natasha Bedingfield, who broke through in 2004 with the international smash “Unwritten”, has maintained a healthy set of priorities. “You can easily lose touch,” Bedingfield says. “Being in the real world is part of being a good songwriter.” She recently sang at the 18th Annual Chrysalis Butterfly Ball to support the organization which works to help individuals out of poverty and homelessness by providing the tools necessary to gain employment. Now she returns with Roll With Me, her fourth studio album and her first in nine years, following 2010’s Strip Me. Roll With Me was produced by multiplatinum producer Linda Perry (Christina Aguilera, P!nk, and Alicia Keys). “I wanted to make music that moves people and makes them move, says Natasha of the album. It’s bright and bold but in a way that is also raw and honest. Linda Perry says of Natasha and the album, “I wanted to work with Natasha because she is one of the best live performers I have ever seen and has one of the most versatile voices I have ever heard. It was important to both of us to capture the true spirit of who Natasha Bedingfield is and we nailed it.”
Black Belt Eagle Scout – At The Party With My Brown Friends CD/LP (Saddle Creek)
Where Black Belt Eagle Scout’s 2017 debut Mother Of My Children was a snapshot of loss and landscape and of principle singer-songwriter Katherine Paul’s standing as a radical indigenous queer feminist, this new chapter finds its power in love, desire and friendship. At the Party With My Brown Friends is a profound and understated forward step. The squalling guitar anthems that shaped its predecessor are replaced by delicate vocals and soft keys, sentiments spoken and unspoken, presenting something shadowy and unsettling; a stirring of the waters. The end result presents a captivating about-face that redefines Black Belt Eagle Scout’s beautifully singular artistic vision. [Limited maroon colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Bon Iver – i,i CD/LP (Jagjaguwar)
“Bon Iver has always been Justin Vernon’s escape route. After retreating to the woods of Wisconsin to record For Emma, Forever Ago, he drew a surrealist roadmap of the United States on Bon Iver, depicting a fantastical world where the lived, the dreamed, and desired coexisted. When this invented land felt oppressive and the anxiety of facing it too overwhelming, Vernon retreated again and burrowed within himself, pulverizing his voice with machines to create 22, A Million, a record that dramatized the fracturing of the self. There’s no more hiding on i,i. Justin Vernon takes the Bon Iver sound and reassembles it like a cubist collage, with his voice right out front. All the familiar elements are here—impressionist swells of sound, impenetrable-yet-tender lyrics, mesmerizing studio tricks—and they are buoyed by Vernon’s supple baritone, the instrument he knows how to manipulate best. Acoustic guitar, horns, and piano return to prominence alongside the jittery electronics and synths that Vernon has lately favored. But the mood he conjures with these elements feels new. These songs don’t swallow you whole with grandeur; they look outward, leaving some room for the rest of the world.” – Pitchfork