April Social Media Titles Released This Week:
Abysmal Dawn – Phylogenesis CD/LP (Season Of Mist)
American death metal masters Abysmal Dawn are back after a six-year gap. Conceptually, Phylogenesis deals with the breakdown of social constructs humans have built over time. The album title is defined by the evolution (or diversification) of a species. So, Phylogenesis is an ironic take on guitarist/vocalist Charles Elliott’s observations, particularly how social media has accelerated and exacerbated the de-evolution of humanity’s interactive abilities.
The Black Dahlia Murder – Verminous CD/LP (Metal Blade Records)
Verminous is The Black Dahlia Murder‘s most dynamic, rousing and emotional release to date, and it achieves this without compromising one iota of heaviness. “I think this is the biggest evolutionary leap we’ve ever taken from one album to the next. We stoked the creative fires with 2017’s Nightbringers and it’s gone much further now in Verminous,” states vocalist Trevor Strnad. “It’s a very colorful, moody, and charismatic album that experiments with new sounds and ideas without losing the cutthroat Black Dahlia edge.” [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
EOB – Earth CD/LP (Capitol)
Earth is an album of rediscovery and adventure by Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien, being released under the moniker EOB. Written and recorded over five years during any possible break from the making and touring of Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool, the album deftly veers from moments of delicate folk to euphoric house, its songs seamlessly pinned together by unswerving melodic hooks and candid lyricism. A spirit of collaboration runs through Earth from the production team of Flood, Catherine Marks, Alan Moulder and Adam ‘Cecil’ Bartlett to the extraordinary musicians O’Brien assembled to bring these tracks to life; bassist Nathan East, drummers Omar Hakim and Glenn Kotche, and The Invisible’s multi-instrumentalist leader David Okumu. Portishead’s Adrian Utley appears on two tracks, whilst Laura Marling duets with O’Brien on stirring closer “Cloak of The Night”.
Shabazz Palaces – The Don Of Diamond Dreams CD/LP (Sub Pop)
It remains impossible to accurately describe a Shabazz Palaces album without lapsing into cosmic tropes. Yet sometimes clichés are stand-ins for eternal truths. Therein, The Don Of Diamond Dreams embodies a futuristic manifestation of ancient myth, full of robotic vocoder and warped auto-tune, Funkadelic refracted into different dimensions, weird portals and warm nocturnal joy rides alongside the coast (a reflection of it being mixed near the beach in California). The synthesizers are alien but the drums speak a universal language. It is hip-hop, dub, jazz, R&B, soul, funk, African, experimental, and occasionally even pop. But over the course of five albums, Shabazz Palaces have conceived the fluid boundaries of their own one-band genre.
CDs + Vinyl:
Bobby Bare – Great American Saturday Night CD (BFD)
Archive release from the country music legend; a concept album written entirely by the late Shel Silverstein and recorded in 1978.
David Bromberg Band – Big Road CD+DVD/LP (Red House)
Multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter David Bromberg isn’t standing still. He is still pushing boundaries, still an iconoclast, still unapologetically unique, as he continues to explore his life’s journey via a path that might be considered ‘asymmetrical’. His musical expression is still inimitable and his scope of knowledge is encyclopedic. On Big Road, Bromberg and his band were determined to give fans ‘something of value’ – in other words, a tangible, content-rich package of music, film, text and photos. The result is a substantive music/video release, featuring 12 new tracks, five hi-def performance videos and a mini-documentary detailing the album’s creation.
Caspar Brötzmann Massaker – Home [Reissue/1994] CD/2xLP (Southern Lord)
Originally recorded in 1994 and released in 1995, Home is characterized by Massaker’s ultra-refined riffs of shrieking, screeching feedback, and rattling machine gun staccatos. Exuding confidence, authority and a natural rapport that the musicians clearly had with one another.
Paul Burch & WPA Ballclub – Light Sensitive CD/LP (Plowboy)
Recorded in Nashville with his longtime band the WPA Ballclub along with guests Luther Dickinson, Robyn Hitchcock, Amy Rigby, and Aaron Lee Tasjan, Light Sensitive sounds both modern and instantly classic and punctuates Pop Matters declaration that Burch is “one of the best damn songwriters operating today. Burch makes music for the here and now but the fervor or rock ‘n’ roll is always just beneath the surface, as if the secret son of William Faulkner had traded his typewriter for an electric guitar.”
Johnny Burgin – Live CD/LP (Delmark)
A raw, fresh, and original all-star set of blues, shot through with live energy.
Datura4 – West Coast Highway Cosmic CD/LP (Alive)
Hot on the heels of their critically acclaimed third album, Blessed Is The Boogie, Australian rockers Datura4 have hit the motorway running for another sonic journey through burning boogie, dirty blues and rock & roll soundscapes on follow-up opus West Coast Highway Cosmic.
Die Wilde Jagd – Haut CD/LP (Bureau B)
[Limited transparent green colored vinyl pressing also available.] Die Wilde Jagd is the electronic/Krautrock music project of producer and songwriter Sebastian Lee Philipp, co-producer Ralf Beck and various guest musicians. Ethereal voices, low murmurs and distant noises from a world slowly emerging from slumbers meet the listener in an intermediate dimension of memory and premonition.
Disbelief – The Ground Collapses CD/LP (Listenable)
German thrash/death metal band Disbelief is a genuine grinding force and The Ground Collapses is the ultimate soundtrack to the apocalypse.
Duke Dumont – Duality CD/LP (Astralwerks)
A dynamo who’s produced a stunning back catalogue that includes international chart No. 1 hits, multi-Grammy nominations and bumpin’ Chicago-influenced underground productions, Duke Dumont is a contemporary electronic music powerhouse. Deeply committed to creating high quality music imbued with emotional depth, Dumont is versatile, extremely adept and hard working. With his debut album, Duality, Dumont presents the culmination of studio work in London and L.A., and showcases a voice that is diverse yet immediately identifiable.
Frazey Ford – U Kin B The Sun CD/LP+MP3 (Arts & Crafts)
On her third album, Vancouver-based singer/songwriter Frazey Ford inhabits an entire world of shapeshifting rhythm, elevating every beat and groove with the subtle magnetism of her mesmerizing voice. With its graceful collision of soul and psychedelia and sometimes ’70s funk, it’s a body of work that invites both self-reflection and wildly joyful movement, and ultimately sparks a quiet transcendence.
Erroll Garner – Gemini [Reissue/1972] CD (Mack Avenue)
Digitally remastered edition of this 1972 release. A more fitting title for this album does not exist. It is yet another example of just how well Erroll Garner knew and understood himself and his music. Perhaps his greatest talent was an ability to distill and communicate precisely who he was at any given moment. Here we find him perfectly embodying the definition of his sun sign. Whatever your views on astrology might be, all that is left to do is listen.
Girl Skin – Shade Is On The Other Side CD/LP (Jullian)
Debut album from the Brooklyn-based folk-rock collective. Shade Is On The Other Side combines elements of fragile folk and delicate art-rock to create ethereal chamber-pop songs that fearlessly revel in singer-songwriter and frontman Sid Simons’s most private thoughts. Musically, the album exists somewhere between monumental British statements such as All Things Must Pass and The Man Who, where quiet and tender folk meets dramatic guitar-pop.
Jack Grelle – If Not Forever CD/LP (Jack Grelle Music)
In the tradition of the great troubadours before him, Jack Grelle spent years hopping trains and hitchhiking across the US. You can sense the rambling spirit in his music combining elements of traditional country, folk, and rock ‘n’ roll. With his finger on the pulse of current issues, it’s no wonder that Rolling Stone claims he is a progressive honky-tonk hero arriving at just the right time in Trump’s America.
Mick Harvey – Waves Of Anzac/The Journey CD/LP (Mute)
Featuring two recent soundtracks to powerful subject matters, Waves Of Anzac/The Journey, marks the first soundtrack release from Mick Harvey (The Birthday Party, Crime and the City Solution, The Bad Seeds) in over ten years. The first, Waves Of Anzac looks at Sam Neill’s personal family history interwoven with the history of the First World War and the Anzacs through to the modern era while the second, The Journey, is a four-part composition released in support of #KidsOffNauru, a campaign working for the child refugees and people seeking asylum who find themselves in offshore detention.
Khôra – Timaeus CD/LP (Soulseller)
Started as a one-man project by mainman Oleg in 2012-2013, Khôra strives to manifest the limits of extreme metal and produce both ethereal and ferocious tunes.
Sarah Lee Langford – Two Hearted Rounder CD/LP (Cornelius Chapel)
Backed by a gang of Birmingham, AL’s greasiest rockers, including members of The Dexateens and Vulture Whale, Two Hearted Rounder is blessed with loose limbs as well as deadly aim. Much like Langford’s own musical roots, these songs embody the best elements of the Old South and the New West via a well-crafted blend of Appalachian austerity, cosmic country, and honky tonk funk that should appeal to fans of Gillian Welch, Joni Mitchell, Loretta Lynn, and the Flying Burrito Brothers.
Shelby Lynne – Shelby Lynne CD/LP (Everso)
This is an album of mostly solo, spare but emotionally rich, original torch songs done the only way this idiosyncratic artist knows how – at once tortured and vulnerable, with intimate feelings laid bare, but ultimately offering hope that there’s a light in the darkness.
Leslie Mendelson – If You Can’t Say Anything Nice… CD/LP (The Royal Potato Family)
“The anger and depression got to me, and I couldn’t hold it in anymore. So, I got into a room with my demons and we just hit record,” shares indie singer-songwriter Leslie Mendelson. The resulting album, playfully titled, If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…, is viscerally themed, imaginatively arranged, cinematically dynamic and textured, oozing raw elegance. The pairing of sparseness and potency that informs the album was inspired by John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band album. Besides being emotive and topical of the day, Leslie favored its no-frills piano, bass, drums, and guitar approach.
Tyler Morris – Living In The Shadows CD (VizzTone)
New album from the powerhouse rock ‘n’ blues guitarist featuring guest contributions by Ronnie Earl, Joe Louis Walker and Mike Zito, as well as acclaimed vocalist Amanda Fish.
Myrath – Live In Carthage CD+DVD (earMUSIC)
New live set from the Tunisian metal band and pioneers of blazing desert metal.
The Mystery Of The Bulgarian Voices and Lisa Gerrard – Shandai Ya/Stanka CDEP/12” (Prophecy)
Otherworldly female vocals from extraordinary performers have always been the trademark of world-famous choir ensemble The Mystery Of The Bulgarian Voices (formerly known as Les Mystères Des Voix Bulgares). After an almost 20-year hiatus due to the death of producer Marcel Cellier, the choir released its critically acclaimed comeback BooCheeMish in 2018 together with esteemed guest vocalist Lisa Gerrard (Dead Can Dance), combining magnificent vocals from various stylistic backgrounds and traditional Bulgarian instruments with modern elements like beatboxing. Shandai Ya/Stanka is their new seven-song EP. [Limited green colored vinyl pressing also available.]
NCT 127 – The 2nd Album ‘NCT #127 Neo Zone’ (T Version) CD (SM Entertainment Co.)
“Neo Zone is NCT 127 at its best. It checks off all the boxes when it comes to playing to their strengths, which include vocal versatility, a diversified selection of hip-hop and R&B jams, and giving fans a fun, good time. One of NCT 127’s biggest strengths is their vocal colors and tones, efficiently pulling off heavily R&B-influenced tracks and harmonizing flawlessly. Though more than half of the tracks on Neo Zone are R&B, they exist within a spectrum. The album opener, ‘Elevator’, is a feel-good, mid-tempo dance pop with late ‘90s R&B stylings and the funnest track on the album. For ‘Not Alone’, the members took a much more minimalistic approach and relied on their vocal chops. Produced by The Stereotypes and co-written by Taeyong, Mark, and Johnny, ‘Love Song’ is full of attitude and soul and features a chorus sung by the entire team — something atypical in K-pop but a skill that NCT 127 have mastered. ‘Dreams Come True’, released back in January, is a nostalgically comical throwback to the visual and sonic aesthetics of ‘90s R&B boy band ballads.” – Consequence Of Sound
Night – Sleepless CD/LP (Cleopatra)
New studio album from the TX-based electro-rock/dream-pop duo. [Limited blue colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Oranssi Pazuzu – Mestarin Kynsi CD/2xLP (Nuclear Blast America)
Always stretching the boundaries and connecting the dots between black metal, space rock, psychedelic and experimental music, Finland’s Oranssi Pazuzu release their fifth album. [Limited orange/black colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Perchta – Ufang CD/LP (Prophecy)
Taking its name from a pagan goddess revered among the people in the Upper German and Austrian Alps, Perchta from Tyrol, Austria, were founded in 2015 and channel the deity’s essence to keep alive regional traditions that have been trivialized over time to fit modern conveniences. In its epic scope, Ufang sounds like a tempest of tremolo guitars and ritualistic folk with a voice on top to pierce marrow and bone. [Limited white colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Lido Pimienta – Miss Colombia CD/LP+MP3 (ANTI-)
Lido Pimienta is a Toronto-based Colombian-born interdisciplinary musician and artist-curator. She has performed exhibited and curated around the world since 2002 exploring the politics of gender, race motherhood identity and the construct of the Canadian landscape in the Latin American diaspora and vernacular. Her new album Miss Colombia takes her ecstatic hybridity to a new level building on the nu intersection of electronica and cumbia established by her 2016 Polaris Prizewinning La Papessa as Canadian album of the year.
Louis Prince – Thirteen CD/2xLP (Last Gang)
Louis Prince is the moniker of Orange County, CA artist Jake McMullen, and serves as the new platform for his debut record, Thirteen. Pushing back against the modern convention of singles-based releases, Thirteen is an album in the classic sense, with a beginning, middle and end and a central theme. Exploring the human struggle of fear in the face failure and the role of friendship in maintaining sanity, Thirteen in a search for catharsis in the midst of the madness, the sadness and the hope of life.
RJD2 – The Fun Ones CD/LP (RJ’s Electrical Connections)
Though The Fun Ones largely emphasizes modern funk and instrumental music, RJ still occasionally flirts with vocal stylings across the album. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Sarah Siskind – Modern Appalachia CD (Sarah Siskind)
New release from the critically acclaimed North Carolina-based singer/songwriter – her first full-length album in nine years.
Snarls – Burst CD (Take This To Heart)
Snarls spent 2019 quietly blooming – two songs landed this Columbus, OH four-piece on Stereogum’s Top 100 Songs and Best New Bands honor rolls. Their debut LP Burst finds the next charming coming-of-age story in shimmering character drama (“Walk In The Woods”), woozy indie-pop (“Hair”), and blue-eyed existentialism (“Concrete”).
Sonikku – Joyful Death CD (Bella Union)
A fluent, fertile and full-color hybrid of vibrant Italo-house, liquid synth-pop, righteous disco and French philosophical asides, it signals Sonikku transition from feted DJ to fully formed dancefloor artist. [Vinyl edition due April 24.]
Soul Asylum – Hurry Up And Wait CD/2xLP (Blue Élan)
According to vocalist/guitarist Dave Pirner, making Soul Asylum’s twelfth studio full-length, Hurry Up And Wait, was a completely seamless, enjoyable and productive experience. Co-produced with John Fields and recorded at Minneapolis’ Nicollet Studios, the same place where the celebrated rock band recorded seminal early albums released on Twin/Tone Records, the album reflects Soul Asylum’s usual eclectic approach. Lyrically, songs dive into topics such as grappling with emotional and geographic disconnection, navigating romantic ebbs and flows, and the power of embracing optimism despite it all.
Temple Of Void – The World That Was CD/LP (Translation Loss)
Whereas the Temple Of Void’s first album skewed more doom and the second more death, The World That Was seemingly slots in between the two poles, mountainous as ever. More accurately, the scales perhaps might tip more “doom” here, but the manner in which Temple Of Void express that doom has definitely broadened: they’re proudly a doom-death band, but on evidence of this third album, they’re painting with even more colors in their no-less-crushing palette. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Ved Buens Ende – Written In Waters [Reissue/1995] 2xLP (Soulseller)
Written In Waters is the 1995 debut studio album by the Norwegian avant-garde metal band Ved Buens Ende. It is the only album the band released before they disbanded.
Wyldlife – Year Of The Snake CD/LP (Wicked Cool)
The fourth album from the NYC punk/rock ‘n’ roll band; released on Steven Van Zandt’s Wicked Cool Records
Frank Zappa – Carnegie Hall [Reissue/2011] 3xCD (Zappa Records)
Carnegie Hall is a quadruple live album on three CDs by Frank Zappa and The Mothers Of Invention, released posthumously on October 31, 2011, by the Zappa Family Trust. It is a mono recording of the two shows given on October 11, 1971 at Carnegie Hall in New York.
Jeremy Zucker – Love Is Not Dying CD (Republic)
Love Is Not Dying is the highly anticipated debut album from singer, songwriter and producer Jeremy Zucker. The 13-track project is an intensely personal body of work, where even at times Zucker speaks through his lyrics to his loved ones and his fans. [Vinyl edition due May 15.]
This Week’s Vinyl Exclusives:
The Armed Gang – Kenny Claiborne And The Armed Gang [Reissue/1983] LP (Espacial Discos)
Vinyl reissue of an Italo/boogie/funk/synth holy grail. Offering an overdose of street funk – catchy and foxy – Armed Gang went against the trends that dominated the Italian disco scene at that time. Moving away from the crescent influence of British synth-pop as well as from the ubiquitous shadow of the Nile Rodgers sound – both essential to Italo disco – they opted for a sound closer to boogie, a genre that was getting more popular in the USA.
David Bowie – Reality [Reissue/2003] LP (Friday Music)
Two new colored 180gm vinyl variants: “radiant yellow” and white and blue. At the turn of the millennium, Bowie scored a new legion of fans with a harder edged sound as is evident on 2003’s Reality.
Dueling Experts – Dueling Experts LP (Mello Music Group)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Griminess can create beautiful noise. Cryptic phrases occasionally offer absolute clarity. And sometimes, savagery is the most effective form of communication. For that, there are the Dueling Experts, the dark ninjas behind one of 2020’s most filthy, cohesive, and authentic hip-hop records. A self-titled masterclass of verbal carnage and bell-ringing beats that reminds you that if ain’t raw, it’s worthless.
DJ Screw – All Screwed Up [Reissue/1995] LP (Sosouth)
25th anniversary release the seminal and breakout mixtape from the late DJ Screw. All Screwed Up introduced Screw’s signature chopped & screwed sound on a mass scale, and his influence still can be heard from artists like Solange, Travis Scott and Megan Thee Stallion. Presented as a collectible two-sided picture disc.
Eater – The Complete Eater [Reissue/1993] 2xLP (Cleopatra)
Eater was an early British punk rock band from North London who took their name from a Marc Bolan lyric. They are primarily known for their 1977 single “Thinking Of The USA”. Limited white colored vinyl pressing.
Mark Erelli – Blindsided LP (Mark Erelli)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. New album from the singer/songwriter. Says Mark, “My aptly-titled 12th solo record wrestles with the questions we encounter in the middle, the certain point in life when you reflect on your hopes and dreams and what you thought were certainties. It mines the same gritty yet soulful territory as John Hiatt’s Bring The Family or Bonnie Raitt’s Nick Of Time, contemplating the delicate tension between love and commitment, faith and family, disillusionment and hope. But it isn’t a confession from the therapist’s couch, its rock ‘n’ roll, and I’m happily taking my cues from heroes like Petty and Prine.”
The Grahams – Kids Like Us LP (Three Sirens Music)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. New release from the country/folk duo.
Green/Blue – Green/Blue LP (Slovenly)
“This isn’t some pretentious punk supergroup, just longtime friends getting together because they like to play-a concept that seems like a quaint throwback in an era of Soundcloud rap and YouTube instastars.” – Annie Sparrows
Corky Laing’s Mountain – Toledo Sessions LP (Rouge)
Limited 180gm colored vinyl pressing. The Mountain drummer-songwriter’s first studio album in 42 years.
One Way System – Give Us A Future: The Singles And Demos LP (Radiation Deluxe)
Compilation album from the British punk band.
Breezy Rodio – If It Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It LP (Delmark)
Released last year on CD – now available on vinyl. With the use of A-list musicians, dynamic horn arrangements and inventive original lyrics, the Chicago blues artist returns with a new album.
Dave Specter – Blues From The Inside Out LP (Delmark)
Released last year on CD – now available on vinyl. Blues From The Inside Out is the most expressive project of Dave Specter’s 35 year career. Featuring his debut as a vocalist, the album is an exciting and timely celebration of blues, soul, jazz, funk and gospel. Features a guest appearance on guitar by Jorma Kaukonen of Jefferson Airplane/Hot Tuna fame.
Surfaces – Horizons LP (Ten Thousand Project)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Praised for their genre-bending, feel-good music that has been compared to the likes of Sugar Ray and Rex Orange County, Surfaces is based out of Texas and consists of the duo of Forrest Frank and Colin Padalecki. Cool jazzy sounds spiked with pop, hip-hop, reggae, soul, Calypso all in the service of positive vibes. [Limited red colored pressing also available.]
Trippie Redd – A Love Letter To You 4 LP (Ten Thousand Project)
Double ultra-clear vinyl LP pressing. Fresh off the release of the single “Love Me More” and three consecutive Top 5 debuts on the Billboard Top 200 in just over 12 months, multi-platinum rapper and singer Trippie Redd releases his album, A Love Letter to You 4. The 21-track set includes features from DaBaby, NBA YoungBoy, Juice Wrld, YNW Melly, Smokepurpp, and Lil Yatchy.
Violent J – Wizard Of The Hood [Reissue/2003] 2×12” (Psychopathic)
Wizard of the Hood is the debut EP by Violent J. Released in 2003, it is the Insane Clown Posse member’s first solo release. The EP is a concept album based on The Wizard Of Oz, which is retold in an urban setting. Several tracks from the EP also sample music from the 1978 film The Wiz, another urban reimagining of The Wizard Of Oz.
White Ward – Futility Report [Reissue/2017] LP (Debemur Morti Productions)
Furious and intimate, exciting and intriguing, Futility Report stems from a thoroughly modern vision, an innovative interpretation of extreme music which breaks down established codes whilst simultaneously deep-rooted in the obscure history of black metal.
Wiz Khalifa – Kush & Orange Juice 2xLP (Rostrum)
10th Anniversary special edition vinyl of Wiz Khalifa’s seminal mixtape Kush & Orange Juice. Double 180gm green and orange colored vinyl pressing housed in die-cut jacket packaging. First time ever to be released physically.
Zeds Dead – Presents: We Are Deadbeats Vol. 4 LP (Caroline)
The fourth installment of Zeds Dead’s We Are Deadbeats series includes a wide array of artists, including familiar faces Holly and Champagne Drip, alongside the likes of Jauz, Ganja White Night, Omar Linx, Subtronics, and Urbandawn.
Zero 7 – The Garden 2xLP (New State Entertainment)
2006’s The Garden won dance-pop production duo Zero 7 (Sam Hardaker and Henry Binns) a Grammy nomination in the US, and became their third consecutive gold-seller in the UK. It is chock full of warm synths, French pop flair and subtle world influences. [CD edition due May 22.]