CDs + Vinyl:
!!! – As If CD/2xLP+MP3 (Warp)
Combining punk abandon and tightly-coiled dance music has always been bonded into !!!’s DNA. It’s this core plus their growth and mastery of songwriting that has seen them outlive the mid-2000s ‘indie/dance punk’ tag and has allowed them to consistently grow lyrically and sonically from album to album. As If is their sixth album and their first since 2013’s Thr!!!er, and was self-produced mostly by the band, along with some help from Spoon’s Jim Eno and Patrick Ford, who have worked with them in the past. “Everyone wants us to be punk; everyone wants us to be raw,” Nic Offer said in an interview with Spin earlier this month. “Well, we want to make dance music. The kind of dance music that sounds raw is that early-’90s house records.”
Edward David Anderson – Lower Alabama: The Loxley Sessions CD (The Royal Potato Family)
Anderson returns with his second solo album — a nine-track effort is the most stripped-down and roots-based album. The resulting collection floats melodiously on rivers of fiddle and clouds of pedal steel, on gentle acoustic guitars and hints of piano, dusted with some ghostly guitar from Will Kimbrough and striking vocal harmony from Crawford’s wife, singer Savana Lee. Vinyl due November 27.
Olga Bell – Incitation CD (One Little Indian)
“After the Dirty Projectors split with Angel Deradoorian, they added Olga Bell to their lineup for 2012’s Swing Lo Magellan. But we’ve been covering Olga Bell since she was in the collaborative outfit Bell, a 2008-era Band To Watch. These days, Bell is a solo artist under her full name, releasing an album sung completely in Russian last year called Krai and following that up this year with a new EP. Maybe sharing a label with Björk inspired Bell to channel some of her head-thrown-back pathos (although Bell is already on the record as a fan). The title track ‘Incitation’ submerges dark and discordant brass under angular synths and frenzied beats. It would feel disorganized if it wasn’t for the sharp stab of her voice piercing through the noise.” – Stereoum. Vinyl version due November 27.
Birthmark – How You Look When You’re Falling Down CD/LP+MP3 (Polyvinyl)
Birthmark is the solo project of multi-instrumentalist Nate Kinsella, who on top of releasing three previous albums under the Birthmark moniker, has collaborated with his cousins Mike and Tim Kinsella in various projects over the years (Owen, American Football, Joan Of Arc, Make Believe).
Raoul Björkenheim with Ecstasy – Out Of The Blue CD (Cuneiform)
Ecstasy is usually an all too fleeting experience offering the briefest glimpse at transcendence. But a heightened sense of consciousness and discovery manifests throughout Out Of The Blue, the transporting second album by composer and guitar maestro Raoul Björkenheim and his extraordinary Finnish quartet Ecstasy. Featuring the celebrated drummer Markku Ounaskari, the young and dauntingly prolific bassist Jori Huhtala and saxophonist Pauli Lyytinen, Ecstasy has forged more than a signature sound. Earthy, pristine and unmistakably Nordic, the music evokes the grandeur of Finnish landscapes and the hothouse intimacy of a tight-knit Helsinki scene where the musicians regularly convene to refine their volatile sound.
Doug Hream Blunt – My Name Is Doug Hream Blunt: Featuring The Hit CD (Luaka Bop)
Doug Hream Blunt learnt to play music at the age of 35, by taking an evening class in the Golden Gate neighborhood of San Francisco in the late 1980s. The class was organized by a local high school music teacher and his wife, and held in a small home-built studio of their garage. Today, Doug is starting to receive a cult following. With admirers such as Ariel Pink, Dam-Funk, David Byrne and Jamie Lidell, he has had a direct influence on the art and music of Dean Blunt, who has not only taken his name, but also created work following the steps of Doug — recording music with non-musicians and sidestepping other norms for ‘how things should be done.’
BØRNS – Dopamine CD (Interscope)
Growing up in coastal Michigan, Garrett Borns moved from one inspiration to another. His first artistic love was visual arts and then came music thanks to an eccentric piano teacher. At the age of fifteen BØRNS attended the prestigious summer program at Interlochen Center for the Arts to study filmmaking while writing songs on the side with the music majors. Playing local gigs through high school and college, BØRNS ended up in a secluded treehouse home in the Los Angeles canyons where he wrote his debut Candy EP, a set that filters the singer s naturally moody, sensual sound through an explosion of sunlight, as he puts it.
Joe Budden – All Love Lost CD (eOne)
Joe Budden, the quick-witted lyricist, has always has a knack for introspection, taking a life that he makes so public and twisting lines around it with humor and biting observations. But the New Jersey MC, known for his Mood Muzik mixtapes, his dalliances with dime pieces and a dark side, has really matured beyond his years. Guests include Royce Da 5’9, Marsha Ambrosius & Jadakiss, Eric Bellinger, Yummy Bingham & Felicia Temple, and Emanny.”
Christine And The Queens – Christine And The Queens CD (Atlantic)
Christine And The Queens’ Héloïse Letissier has already made a name on the back of her shadowy pop songs in her native France. This US edition features some translations of songs from the triple platinum French version as well as a few new songs and collaborations with Tunji Ige and Perfume Genius. “It’s challenging, Christine says, to be attempting full-scale U.S. crossover success while also combatting the norms of an industry she’s attempting to pierce, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. “The thing that bothers me is that sometimes I do interviews and they’re like, ‘Oh, so you’re like the good woman, ‘cause you’re not trivializing your body,’’ she says. ‘You’re not a whore. You’re not selling your body like Miley Cyrus.’ I love Miley! She’s punk rock, she’s crazy, she’s sexual, and that’s cool. I can be complex like that. I would love to be perceived as a male rock star. You can take a picture of me and not airbrush it. Embrace my defects” – SPIN. Vinyl version due October 30.