April Program Titles Released This Week:
The Cinematic Orchestra – To Believe CD/2xLP+MP3 (Domino)
Born out of the band’s latest formation, To Believe is a creative partnership between founder Jason Swinscoe and longtime friend and collaborator Dom Smith, along with an extended family of regular bandmates and collaborators. Guided by a communal spirit, the changing members are consistent with their ethos, where no individual ego takes precedence. Guest vocalists include the art-soul singer Moses Sumney, legendary UK rapper Roots Manuva, longtime vocal collaborator Heidi Vogel and many more. To Believe is the product of a long period of gestation, a reflection of the kind of album they wanted to make – the kind of album, that is, they’ve always made: deep, textured, and layered with meaning. With artwork by The Designers Republic and mixed by 15-time Grammy Winner Tom Elmhirst, at the legendary Electric Lady studio built by Jimi Hendrix, it’s a masterful return that stands as their most definitive statement as a group.
The Comet Is Coming – Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery CD/LP (Impulse)
The Comet Is Coming – “an improvisational, intergalactic mash-up” (The Guardian) who were shortlisted for the Mercury Music Prize in 2016 – is comprised of King Shabaka (Shabaka Hutchings) on saxophone, Danalogue (Dan Leavers) on keys/synth, and Betamax (Max Hallett) on drums. With their new album, Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery, the trio envisage a 21stCentury take on spiritual jazz that is part Alice Coltrane, part Bladerunner. The trio are nothing short of alchemists, concocting a primordial stew of taut beats, sub-bass, and unhinged sax breaks. They paint pictures of astral planes and neon seas, with driving beats and celestial melodies. Listen to the pulsing “Blood Of The Past”, on which guest vocalist Kate Tempest delivers a state-of-the-universe address that somehow simultaneously summons the spirits of William Blake, Ian Dury, Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking, all with wide-eyed awestruck wonder. Or “Summon The Fire”, perhaps their most accessible, riotous, and air-punching moment to date.
The Faint – Egowerk CD/LP (Saddle Creek)
The group that ignited an electro-pop-punk movement is back with an 11-track deep-dive into themes on modern society, the internet, and ego – specifically social media and its dark effects. Opener “Child Asleep” echoes well-loved Faint singles from the Danse Macabre days, with rapid-fire techno beats that sear so hot, your forehead will break into a sweat regardless of proximity to a dance floor. And though the synths should sound familiar to any Faint follower, the song’s monotone message is at once classic and current. It’s been four years since The Faint dropped a proper studio album, and more than two decades since they first tore onto the Midwest scene, alongside area staples Cursive and Bright Eyes, with anxious electro-pop-punk anthems that meshed doomsday themes with thudding dance-floor hooks.
Fallujah – Undying Light CD/LP (Nuclear Blast)
California progressive death metallers Fallujah swing upward and venture outward on new album, Undying Light. With new vocalist in Antonio Palermo (also of Underling fame) firmly in position and a no-filler, all-killer songwriting attack, Undying Light isn’t just the follow-up to 2016’s Dreamless, it’s a massive jump forward. Whereas Dreamless wandered intelligently and resonated lithely, new tracks such as “Glass House”, “Ultraviolet”, “Eyes Like The Sun”, and closer “Departure” find Fallujah stripped down, razor-sharp, and emotionally charged. [Limited purple/black splatter colored vinyl pressing also available.]