April Listening Station & Social Media Titles Released This Week:
August Burns Red – Guardians CD/2xLP (Fearless)
August Burns Red has been upholding the artistic pillars of technical proficiency, airtight grooves, and thoughtful lyricism in the hard rock world for 17 years. The two time Grammy Award-nominated Pennsylvania quintet show no signs of slowing down with their eighth full length, Guardians. “Guardians is the culmination of a complete and total team effort,” says JB Brubaker. “It was the most time we’ve ever spent in the studio on one album.” Guardians remains true to August Burns Red’s heavy sound; 11 tracks that have a common theme of helping others. “The song ‘Defender’ is about having that person who can come in and take some punches for you, and be in your corner during hard times,” says Brent Rambler. “I am quite the comic book fan and I thought the lyrics could easily turn into an awesome animated short story – kind of like if the pages of a comic were to come to life.”
Sam Hunt – Southside CD (MCA Nashville)
“A propensity for songs that don’t drag on has long been a strong point for Sam Hunt and not one song on Southside lasts longer than 3:55 minutes long, and that’s the first song on the record. ‘Let It Down’ has a twangy, sing-a-long feel to it and while it doesn’t really say too much, it’ll work well in Sam’s live show and could very well become a radio hit with its programmed drums mixed with bluegrass harmonies and instrumentation. ‘Sinning With You’ was a digital preview track a little while back and while it really didn’t feel like something a modern radio station would play, it did show a different time and sound to Sam Hunt, the same thing which can be said about ‘Breaking Up Was Easy In The ‘90s’, a song which blends sounds of R&B, ‘90s country and 2020s production techniques to give me the sense of what could become another big hit for Hunt on the radio. Sam Hunt is a unique star in country music and in a world of sameness, it’s nice that he’s around making records like Southside.” – Roughstock
Logan Ledger – Logan Ledger CD/LP (Rounder)
Bay Area-bred singer/songwriter Logan Ledger sets most of his songs in lightless or shadowy spaces: the bottom of the ocean, the abandoned cells of Alcatraz, dreamless bedrooms, and desolate streets in the dead of night. Produced by 13-time Grammy Award-winner T Bone Burnett, the Nashville-based artist’s self-titled debut matches his moody noir lyricism with a darkly toned take on country music, a sound that’s stylistically wayward yet deeply grounded in classic songcraft. With Burnett playing guitar on more than half the tracks, the album finds Ledger backed by guitarist Marc Ribot (Tom Waits, Elvis Costello), drummer Jay Bellerose (Willie Nelson, Jackson Browne), and bassist Dennis Crouch (Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton) – the same band that played on Raising Sand by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, a Burnett-produced release that won Album of the Year at the 2009 Grammy Awards. Joined by guitarist/pedal steel player Russell Pahl (Kacey Musgraves, Tyler Childers), the band artfully threads in elements of acid rock and surf music and baroque ‘60s pop to forge a decidedly Californian sound. [Limited indie store exclusive vinyl pressing available.]
Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia CD/LP (WB)
Global pop superstar Dua Lipa follows-up her Platinum-certified, Grammy Award-winning 2017 debut with her eagerly awaited second album, Future Nostalgia. Announcing a new era for the fast-rising English artist, it’s introduced by “Don’t Start Now”, an adrenaline fueled, feel good dancefloor anthem of positivity and self-empowerment, and the title track “Future Nostalgia”, a pure slice of ‘80s-influenced brilliance. “What I wanted to do with this album was to break out of my comfort zone and challenge myself to make music that felt like it could sit alongside some of my favorite classic pop songs, whilst still feeling fresh and uniquely mine,” Lipa explains. “I was inspired by so many artists on the new record from Gwen Stefani to Madonna to Moloko to Blondie and Outkast. Because of the time that I’d spent on the road touring with my band I wanted Future Nostalgia to have a lot more of a live element, but mixed together with modern electronic production. My sound has naturally matured a bit as I’ve grown up but I wanted to keep the same pop sensibility as I had on the first record. I wanted to make something that felt nostalgic but had something fresh and futuristic about it too.”
Testament – Titans Of Creation CD/2xLP (Nuclear Blast)
The time has arrived for Testament to unleash new thunder to the masses and reveal their thirteenth studio album: Titans Of Creation. Just as the elements of this planet thrive within all living creatures, each musician in Testament represents a necessary component of this latest musical endeavor. Still filled with a massive and unstoppable energy since their last release, Testament has taken their style to the next level and present an album that is loyal to the roots of traditional thrash metal while still bringing alluring, brilliant, and progressive ingredients to the table. Bass is showcased, new vocals are introduced, and as expected, the guitar work of Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick is greatly complex and mesmerizing. Titans Of Creation has many moods and material contained within; all of which somehow tie into a common philosophy of creation and its necessary counterpart: destruction. [Limited indie store exclusive red colored vinyl pressing available.]
Tētēma – Necroscape CD/LP (Ipecac)
Necroscape is the second album from Mike Patton and Anthony Pateras’ modernist electro-acoustic rock proposition Tētēma. Joined by violinist Erkki Veltheim and drummer Will Guthrie in quartet formation, this record continues to employ the wayward orchestrations and arresting physicality of their 2014 debut Geocidal, yet is renewed by a melodic language which grounds its multi-colored twists and turns in hallucinatory lyricism. Where Geocidal was loosely based on futuristic post-colonial dystopias, it’s even cheerier successor is sculpted around isolation in the surveillance age; and although lofty/high-concept sounding, this is still an intensely fun and heavy listen. Necroscape synthesizes a lot of territory: odd-time rock, musique concrète, otherworld grooves, soul, industrial noise, microtonal psychoacoustics…seemingly strange bedfellows on paper, yet in the ears they surprisingly coalesce into 13 songs which playfully challenge our notions of sonic logic and make you move at the same time. In a nutshell, listening to Necroscape creates the weird sensation of exclaiming “of course!” and “wtf?” simultaneously.
Whitmer Thomas – Songs From The Golden One CD/LP (Hardly Art)
When asked to describe himself, Whitmer Thomas – comic, musician, skateboarder, infamous Blink182 fan – will tell you, “I’m always gonna be the one whose mom called him ‘the Golden One,’ right before she died.” This is where his debut HBO comedy special, The Golden One, finds Whitmer: age 30, investigating this sense (curse?) of destiny-as-identity. It’s been 13 years since he left Alabama for L.A., becoming a linchpin for L.A.’s young, independent comedy scene with Power Violence, the monthly show he hosted with friends. But he became haunted by the question: had he already peaked, just like his mom, singer in a local band with big ambitions that never made it out of the Flora-Bama Lounge in Gulf Shores? Rather than shy away from all that messy self-mythology, Whitmer tapped the source of it all through writing this one-man show featuring his own original music. Songs From The Golden One, a companion album of songs from the special, features Whitmer’s darkwave bangers, synthesizing relatable content: millennial anxieties, therapy-speak jokes, and the annals of his own childhood tragedies. It features ten cuts of borderline-John Maus cosplay with spasms of pop-punk absurdity.
Thundercat – It Is What It Is CD/LP (Brainfeeder)
It Is What It Is follows Thundercat’s game-changing third album Drunk (2017), a record that completed his transition from virtuoso bassist to bonafide star and cemented his reputation as a unique voice that transcends genre. Co-produced with Flying Lotus, it features musical contributions from Ty Dolla $ign, Childish Gambino, Lil B, Kamasi Washington, Steve Lacy, Steve Arrington, BADBADNOTGOOD, Louis Cole and Zack Fox. “This album is about love, loss, life and the ups and downs that come with that,” Stephen Lee Bruner says. “It’s a bit tongue-in-cheek, but at different points in life you come across places that you don’t necessarily understand… some things just aren’t meant to be understood.” The unruly bounce of new single “Black Qualls” is classic Thundercat, teaming up with Steve Lacy (The Internet) and funk icon Steve Arrington (Slave). It’s another example of Bruner’s desire to highlight the lineage of his music and pay his respects to the musicians who inspired him. Discovering Arrington’s output in his late teens, Bruner says he fell in love with his music immediately: “The tone of the bass, the way his stuff feels and moves, it resonated through my whole body.” [Limited colored vinyl and limited deluxe picture disc pressings are also available.]
- Ward – Migration Stories CD/LP (ANTI-)
For his tenth album M. Ward journeyed to Quebec, Canada to work with Arcade Fire’s Tim Kingsbury, Richard Reed Parry, producer/mixer Craig Silvey (Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, Florence and The Machine) and Teddy Impakt. Together they recorded a collection of 11 songs inspired by stories of human migration. Languid, hazy and often dream-like in narrative, these songs have their origins in pictures from newspaper and television reports, stories told by friends and tales from Ward’s own family history. At Arcade Fire’s Montreal studios the assembled talents recorded what he describes as “11 largely instrumental ballads – a sci-fi fast forward to a more silent night many generations from here to a maybe-era where movement is free again.” M. Ward’s music has always felt intricate, intimate and other worldly. With Migration Stories he breathes beautiful life into vignettes of human flight, blurring the lines between reality and fantasy as it reckons with a world that feels more divided than ever before, even as its inhabitants grow more inextricably linked by the day. With a rich, emotive croon – which Uncut Magazine once likened to “honey drizzled onto a dry creek bed” – he conveys a huge depth of emotion, captured in the studio, almost entirely on the very first take.
Worriers – You Or Someone You Know CD/LP (6131)
Worriers’ new album You Or Someone You Know is an ambitious rock record that dares to push the genre forward. On the album, songwriter Lauren Denitzio addresses themes of reconstructing and reexamining relationships as they relate to the current zeitgeist. “I thought a lot about how the state of the world makes any sort of partnership stressful. The album is partially autobiographical but it’s also addressing more universal questions that people have to ask these days. Do we have kids? Do we move to a place that could be underwater in 20 years? How does having no idea how you’ll ever retire affect planning your future?” Sonically, the new album does an incredible job of reflecting these anxieties. The result is a rock epic for these times, imbued with heart that is felt throughout. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Yves Tumor – Heaven To A Tortured Mind CD/2xLP+MP3 (Warp)
2018’s Safe In The Hands Of Love marked the vanguard arrival of Yves Tumor. Unclassified and unannounced, the release received widespread acclaim and cemented itself as a landmark in the hallowed Warp catalog. The experimentalist voiced a new generation, creating a surreal pop stratosphere for outsiders and the masses alike. Heaven To A Tortured Mind is the next step in that searing trajectory. A mindfully crafted studio album, gracefully blending genre into alternative bliss. Effortless and inspired, Heaven To A Tortured Mind is an album for lovers, losers and the unconcerned. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
CDs + Vinyl:
Ad Infinitum – Chapter I: Monarchy CD (Napalm)
Energetic, straight forward, uncompromising symphonic metal.
All Time Low – Wake Up, Sunshine CD/LP (Fueled By Ramen)
All Time Low went back to the basics (and the basement) for Wake Up, Sunshine. Throughout 2019, the four musicians – Alex Gaskarth [vocals, guitar], Jack Barakat [guitar, vocals], Zack Merrick [bass, vocals], and Rian Dawson [drums] – congregated together in Nashville at Rian’s studio and at a Palm Springs rental house. Face-to-face, they wrote and recorded the 15-song affair joined by co-writer, producer, and collaborator Zakk Cervini.
Robbie Basho – Songs Of The Great Mystery – The Lost Vanguard Sessions CD/2xLP (Real Gone Music)
Archive release. Robbie Basho was one of the big three American acoustic guitar innovators, John Fahey and Leo Kottke being the other two. Basho was the least commercially successful of the three, but his influence and reputation has steadily grown since his untimely death in 1986 at the age of 45. [Limited clear vinyl pressing also available.]
Born Ruffians – Juice CD/LP+MP3 (Yep Roc)
Critically acclaimed indie rock mainstays Born Ruffians return with their sixth studio album. Juice finds the band moving into a more confident and polished direction, bringing to mind 1970s songwriting prowess with layered, and mature production sensibilities. The album was produced by Graham Walsh, known for his work with Alvvays, !!! (Chk Chk Chk), and Holy F*ck. [Limited yellow colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Anna Burch – If You’re Dreaming CD/LP+MP3 (Polyvinyl)
When Anna Burch introduced herself on her 2018 debut Quit The Curse, it was with a concentrated wash of energetic, serotonin-boosting pop. Two years later, Burch’s follow up If You’re Dreaming takes us down a different path than its predecessor, shedding some nervous energy in favor of a deeper exploration of an internal world. [Limited half-black/half-cream colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Caleb Caudle – Better Hurry Up CD/LP (Caleb Caudle)
For the recording of his new album Better Hurry Up, Caudle set up camp at the historic Johnny Cash’s log cabin (yes, the one of the famed ostrich attack) on Old Hickory Lake in Hendersonville, TN. With some friends like John Jackson of the Jayhawks (producer), and guest vocalists include Courtney Marie Andrews, Elizabeth Cook, Gary Louris, and John Paul White to create an earthy, funky sound.
Clannad – In A Lifetime CD/4xCD+3xLP+7” (BMG)
In A Lifetime is a career-spanning anthology containing tracks from Clannad’s 50-year recording career, compiled in conjunction with Clannad band members. Contains two brand new tracks, “A Celtic Dream” and “Who Knows (Where The Time Goes)” produced by Trevor Horn. New cover imagery from the Anton Corbijn. [Super deluxe edition includes four CDs, three vinyl LPs, a seven inch single, hardback book, double sided poster, and four postcards.]
The Claudettes – High Times In The Dark CD/LP (Forty Below)
The Claudettes fuse Chicago piano blues with the full-throttle energy of rockabilly and punk and the sultriness of ’60s soul to write a thrilling new chapter in American roots music.
Avashi Cohen – Big Vicious CD (ECM)
Charismatic trumpeter Avishai Cohen launched his homegrown band Big Vicious six years ago, after relocating from the US to his native Israel, rounding up friends to shape the music from the ground up, including guitarist Uzi Ramirez, bassist Jonathan Albalak and drummers Aviv Cohen & Ziv Ravitz. Textures from electronica, ambient music and psychedelia are part of the blend, along with grooves and beats from rock, pop, trip-hop and more. [Vinyl edition due June 5.]
Ruthie Collins – Cold Comfort CD (Curb)
Ruthie Collins wears her heart on her sleeve, and pretty much always has a sparkle in her eyes. Raised on a farm in Fredonia, NY, Collins blends the vulnerable, the volatile, and the serene in her music. Her songs straddle the line between Americana, bluegrass, and modern country, upheld by buoyant and agile vocals reminiscent of her musical icons, Patty Griffin and Emmylou Harris. Collins’ music features some upright bass and traditional bluegrass instrumentation in a style that’s both old-fashioned and completely modern. [Vinyl edition due June 5.]
Depravation – III: Odor Mortis CD/LP (Lifeforce)
Third album from German blackened hardcore outfit.
Discharge – Disensitise [Reissue/2009] CD/LP (Cleopatra)
Deluxe expanded edition of the galvanizing 2009 album from the hardcore British punk band. [Limited white colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Kurt Elling – Secrets Are The Best Stories CD/LP (Edition)
Secrets Are The Best Stories is the new album from acclaimed vocalist and Grammy-winning artist Kurt Elling featuring renowned pianist Danilo Pérez. This vibrant and adventurous album not only marks a vital new collaboration between two of the greats in the music but is an album that confirms Kurt Elling as the male vocalist of his generation – one who has the presence, the message and the artistic vision to stand out from the rest.
Ellis – Born Again CD/LP (Fat Possum)
Ellis’ debut album Born Again takes place in spaces both intimate and vast, ordinary and near-mythic: warm beds and lonely church pews, restless cities and desolate forests and the furthest reaches of the cosmos.
Everything Is Recorded – Friday Forever CD/LP+MP3 (XL)
Second album from multi-artist project helmed by producer artist Richard Russell. This follows the critically acclaimed and Mercury Music Prize nominated debut of 2018, Everything Is Recorded by Richard Russell. Friday Forever takes on a multi-lensed perspective of a classic night out, followed closely by the sobering reflections of the next morning. The album features an array of new collaborators in British rappers Aitch, FLOHIO and Berwyn, Irish singer songwriters Maria Somerville and Kean Kavanagh, the inimitable voices of A.K. Paul, James Massiah, and returning vocalist Infinite Coles ‘ as well as established names like Ghostface Killah and Penny Rimbaud.
Forndom – Faþi CD/LP (Nordvis)
New album from the Nordic folk/ambient one-man band from Svealand, Sweden. [Limited cold colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Garland Records – Pacific Northwest Juke Box CD/LP (Beatrocket)
While soul music might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the music of the Pacific Northwest, Salem, Oregon’s Garland Records was churning out high quality hip shakers along with their reels of garage and psych. Contained here is some super deep “Northwestern Soul,” including three cuts making their inaugural spins 50 years after they were put to tape. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Steve Goodman – Live ’69 CD (Omnivore Recordings)
Live archive release. Before Steve Goodman landed a record deal in 1971, and a few years before his classic City Of New Orleans became a modern folk standard, he was already a seasoned live performer throughout his hometown of Chicago and surrounding areas. His brilliant songwriting and musicianship, coupled with his engaging on-stage personality and distinctive performance style, made him a favorite of anyone who caught a live show.
The Grahams – Kids Like Us CD (Three Sirens Music)
New release from the country/folk duo. [Vinyl edition due April 17.]
Riley Green – Different ‘Round Here CD (Big Machine)
Born in Jacksonville, Alabama, Riley Green was raised on the sounds of old traditional country, bluegrass and southern gospel music. With a mixture of outlaw-rebellion and respect for tradition, Riley has been named one of Rolling Stone Country’s Artists You Need to Know. Different ‘Round Here is his debut album.
Jimmy Green – While Looking Up CD (Mack Avenue)
New release from the jazz saxophonist. On his heartfelt album, While Looking Up, the saxophonist was guided by the inspirational words of his pastor and recalls the joyful spirit of his daughter, Ana Márquez-Greene, who tragically lost her life in 2012, along with 25 other students and educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
Ren Harvieu – Revel In The Drama CD/LP (Bella Union)
Anyone who believes there are no second chances needs to be reintroduced to Ren Harvieu. Seven years after her Top 5 debut album, having overcome a life threatening injury, the Salford-born singer-songwriter returns with Revel In The Drama. The album is a brilliant, bolder and broader take on her timeless pop classicism, a compelling diary of a struggle with self-belief and a celebration of liberation and survival.
Horse Lords – The Common Task CD (Northern Spy)
Horse Lords make music for the liberation of mind and body. The Baltimore quartet’s album The Common Task points to a utopian, modernist ideal, recalling as diverse a cohort as The Ex and Glenn Branca to raucous Saharan guitar music, Albert Ayler, and James Tenney.
Jacaszek – Music For Film CD/LP+MP3 (Ghostly Int’l)
Released last week on vinyl – now available on CD. Since his earliest projects nearly two decades ago, Polish composer Michal Jacaszek has kept some proximity to film music. Initially, his output simply felt cinematic by nature; densely detailed electroacoustic textures on releases like Lo-Fi Stories (2004), Treny (2008) and Glimmer (2011) evoked dimly-lit worlds within themselves, vignettes of the imagination. Over time his interest in sound design and collaboration would manifest actual film projects and commissions, some of which have earned him awards. Jacaszek’s practice an amalgamation of ambient, classical, and musique concrete deploys field recordings, acoustic samples, poetry, and baroque instrumentation to paint pictures, oftentimes melancholic, nostalgic, and tragic.
Clarice Jensen – The Experience Of Repetition As Death CD/LP (FatCat)
Following up her hugely impressive 2018 debut For This From That Will Be Filled, which included collaborations with Jóhann Jóhannsson and Michael Harrison, all of the material on The Experience Of Repetition As Death was written and performed by Clarice alone and all of the sounds on it were created with a cello through a variety of effects and pedals. Clarice has recorded and performed for a host of stellar artists including Jóhann Jóhannsson, Max Richter, Björk, Arcade Fire, Nick Cave, Jónsi, Stars Of The Lid, Dustin O’Halloran, Joanna Newsom, Nico Muhly, Dirty Projectors, Frightened Rabbit and Beirut. Her music was described by Self-Titled as “incredibly powerful neo-classical pieces that seem to come straight from another astral plane.”
Jethro Tull – Stormwatch [Reissue/1979] CD/LP (Rhino/Parlophone)
Jethro Tull released Stormwatch in September 1979, completing a folk-rock trilogy the band started with Songs From The Wood in 1977 and continued the following year with Heavy Horses. Certified gold in the US, Stormwatch was also the final album to feature the classic late-1970s Jethro Tull lineup, which included Ian Anderson, Martin Barre, John Glascock, John Evan, David ‘Dee’ Palmer and Barriemore Barlow. To celebrate the album’s 40th anniversary, Parlophone/Rhino present a new CD and 180gm vinyl reissue with Steven Wilson’s 2019 stereo remix.
Eric Johnson – EJ Vol. II CD/LP (Vortexan Music)
EJ Vol. II follows its predecessor from 2016 which was simply EJ, an all-acoustic collection of songs which showcased nine original compositions and four covers. Johnson’s approach was deeply honest, intimate, personal, and delivered with organic emotion. With EJ Vol. II, he presents new repertoire that combines electric and acoustic arrangements and once again represents a collection of originals with a couple of select covers.
Lisa Lambe – Juniper CD (Blue Élan)
The Irish singer describes Juniper as a love letter to nature. Her songwriting, although inspired by the Irish landscape and surroundings is also thoroughly universal, modern and international. Lisa says she imagined Juniper as a colorful story of nature, time and place.
Kiana Ledé – KiKi CD (Republic)
From childhood pop phenom, to earthy bohemian songstress, Kiana Ledé has developed into one of the world’s most promising and intriguing young stars. Born and raised in the outskirts of Phoenix, AZ, Kiana’s family struggled to make ends meet. Looking for constant distraction she invested her teenage years into refining her craft as a songwriter. Alone in her room with nothing but a keyboard, her voice, and a mixture of records old and new, Ledé harnessed her time to tap into the rich musical history of her diverse family heritage. A true mix of cultures, African, Latino and Native American, Kiana spent years creating her own unique vocal sound into a natural blend of these global, expressive influences. Like so many great artists before her, she had learned to channel her humble upbringing, loneliness and desperation into a musical, dreamy escape. [Vinyl edition due June 5.]
Little Villains – Taylor Made CD/LP (Cleopatra)
A posthumous album featuring Philthy Animal Taylor (1954–2015), the drummer from Motörhead. [Limited red colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Nduduzo Makhathini – Modes Of Communication: Letters From The Underworlds CD (Blue Note)
What one can learn from the career of pianist, composer, and producer Nduduzo Makhathini is that an artist has achieved a tremendous breakthrough when they can tell a story so layered that its reach is limitless. The story continues with Makhathini’s remarkable ninth album, and his Blue Note Records debut, Modes Of Communication: Letters From The Underworlds.
Marillion – Script For A Jester’s Tear [Reissue/1983] 4xCD+Blu-ray/4xLP (Rhino/Parlophone)
Super deluxe four CD + Blu-ray edition. Originally released in March 1983, Script For A Jester’s Tear spawned two Top 40 singles: “He Knows You Know” (#35) and “Garden Party” (#16). This Deluxe Edition opens with a newly remixed stereo version of Script For A Jester’s Tear by Andy Bradfield and Avril Mackintosh. In addition, the collection also features new stereo remixes for the B-side “Charting The Single” that was released in January 1982, as well as the Market Square Heroes EP that followed in October that same year. The Blu-ray features 96k/24-bit versions of the new stereo remixes for Script For A Jester’s Tear and the Market Square Heroes EP, as well as the Live At The Marquee Club concert. The disc also includes a 5.1 Surround Remix of Script For A Jester’s Tear. Rounding out the collection is a new documentary with band interviews that covers the 1979 formation of Marillion in Aylesbury through the release of the 1983 album. [Stand-alone vinyl edition also available.]
Ashley McBryde – Never Will CD/LP (Warner Nashville)
Fourth studio album by American country music singer-songwriter.
Melkbelly – PITH CD/LP+MP3 (Carpark/Wax Nine)
Melkbelly sculpts their signature balance between subtle melody and frantic noise on their new album. [Limited purple colored vinyl pressing also available.]
The Monkees – The Mike And Micky Show Live CD (Rhino)
Produced by The Monkees’ archivist Andrew Sandoval and mixed by Christian Nesmith, The Mike & Micky Show Live was recorded live in March 2019. The collection includes performances of all three of the band’s #1 hits: “Last Train To Clarksville”, “I’m A Believer” and “Daydream Believer”. In addition to those hits, the live album also spotlights many of Nesmith’s finest compositions, including several songs that were never performed live during the Monkees’ heyday, like “St. Matthew” and “Auntie’s Municipal Court”. [Vinyl edition due June 12.]
Mute Forest – Riderstorm CD/LP (Lost Tribe Sound)
There is a moment early on in Riderstorm where a submarine-like pulse swells, then fades into the void. “Truth is a wave,” Kael Smith pronounces, “A rave I just can’t hear.” On Smith’s second album under the Mute Forest moniker, truth seems to slip in and out of his hands like a moth. Amongst the album’s ten sonically rich and verdant songs produced by Mike Bridavsky (Magnolia Electric Co, Rivulets) these moments of clarity are bountiful; textural brush strokes strip away, the lens focuses in, and with a magnifying glass the listener peers directly into Smith’s vulnerability.
Purity Ring – Womb CD/LP+MP3 (4AD)
Womb is Purity Ring’s long-awaited third album, following the much-loved and extremely influential Shrines (2012) and Another Eternity (2015). The five-year gap between albums has only served to distill the gorgeous and ethereal future pop for which the band is known.
San Fermin – Cormorant I & II CD/2xLP (Mastwerworks)
Released last week on vinyl – now available on CD. Following the critically acclaimed release of The Cormorant I, Brooklyn-based art pop project San Fermin deliver The Cormorant I & II, the second and final installment in their latest dual-part album. The band returns with eight new tracks that encompass the full scope of The Cormorant story. The resulting 16-track collection completes the narrative set out by The Cormorant I, expanding on bandleader Ellis Ludwig-Leone’s questions of identity, growth and its ever-changing variations.
Sepultura – Beneath The Remains [Reissue/1989] 2xCD/2xLP (Atlantic)
Digitally remastered and expanded version of the band’s influential 1989 album features a remastered version of the original album, plus more than a dozen previously unreleased studio and live recordings. [The Deluxe Edition vinyl reissue features nine unreleased “mixdown” recordings taken from the Beneath The Remains sessions at Nas Nuvens Studios in Rio de Janeiro.]
Nina Simone – Fodder On My Wings [Reissue/1982] CD/LP (Verve)
Recorded in 1982, after moving to Paris, Fodder On My Wings was one of Nina Simone’s favorite and most obscure albums. Released under a small French label and only sporadically available since then, this is the original album version making a long overdue appearance. Expanded with three bonus tracks. Fodder On My Wings is an essential Simone album, which came at a time when Simone was rejuvenated by her surroundings and by the African musicians she met in her newly adopted France.
Spoon – Telefono/Soft Effects CD (Matador)
Spoon – Telefono [Reissue/1996] LP+MP3 (Matador)
Spoon – Soft Effects [Reissue/1997] LP+MP3 (Matador)
Out of print for nearly five years, Telephono and Soft Effects have been remastered and combined on one specially priced deluxe package with an added. With amped-up acoustic guitars, jumpy song structures, and a punk attitude, Telephono (1996) was the shot across the bow from Austin’s fledgling rock heroes. The follow-up, Soft Effects (1997), features five of Spoon’s strongest songs and marks a leap forward in the band’s repertoire, signaling the great things to come on subsequent Spoon albums. [Stand-alone vinyl reissues also available.]
Thanatos – Violent Death Rituals CD/LP (Listenable)
Seventh album from the death/thrash metal band.
Thievery Corporation – Symphonik CD/2xLP (Eighteenth Street Lounge)
Thievery Corporation, the brainchild of acclaimed artists Eric Hilton and Rob Garza, return with the brand new album, Symphonik. Hilton & Garza, in association with Mason Bate’s KC Jukebox, played a historic concert on May 15, 2017 accompanied by the orchestra at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The show saw Thievery Corporation’s live show staples reimagined with orchestral arrangements commissioned from some of today’s leading young classical composers. To honor this show and inspiration it provided, Thievery Corporation have created a full album to commemorate the now-legendary concert.
TOPS – I Feel Alive CD/LP/Cassette (TOPS Music)
New release from the Montreal dream-pop band. I Feel Alive is the follow-up to 2017’s Sugar At The Gate. I Feel Alive was recorded in a basement studio in Montreal with keyboardist Marta Cikojevic, who joined the band as a live member in 2017.
Toto – Old Is New CD/LP (Sony Legacy)
Old Is New is the 14th and final studio album (though counted as the 15th album overall) by rock band Toto, originally released as part of the band’s All In box set on November 6, 2018. The tracks “Devil’s Tower” and “Spanish Sea” feature deceased band members Jeff (who died in 1992) and Mike Porcaro (who died in 2015).
Various Artists – Stone Crush: Memphis Modern Soul 1977 – 1987 CD/2xLP (Light In The Attic)
Stone Crush is the definitive overview of Memphis’ modern soul scene of the post-Stax years. It’s a collection of funky tracks of hope – from dentist O.T. Sykes, who traded dental work for studio time, to the ad-man who moonlighted as the visionary mastermind behind Captain Fantastic & Starfleet, few of them ever had anything to do with a hit, but across the board, each believed. Over a decade in the making, this is an expertly curated compilation of these home-grown slices of Memphis stylings – from roller skate boogie to private press soul to bedroom funk – rare sides whose original copies are considered holy grails by DJs and collectors all over. [Limited double orange and red colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Världen Brinner – VI Äger Natten CD/LP (ViciSolum Productions)
An emotionally infectious rock/punk explosion.
Villagers Of Ioannina City – Age Of Aquarius CD/2xLP (Napalm)
The region of Epirus is famous for its landscape of mammoth mountains and holy rivers – and now experimental heavy rock. Villagers Of Ioannina City is deeply influenced by Greek nature and cosmic phenomena and infuse their unique brand of heavy psychedelic rock with folk instruments such as bagpipes, flutes and didgeridoos.
The Warlocks – The Chain CD/LP (Cleopatra)
New studio album from one of L.A.’s premiere psych bands. [Two limited colored vinyl pressings are also available: purple and silver.]
Western Centuries – Call The Captain CD/LP (Free Dirt)
Western Centuries has embarked on a somewhat unique experiment in songwriting and performing; three people – Cahalen Morrison, Ethan Lawton and Jim Miller – sharing the songwriting and lead singing duties in the band equally. Call The Captain is a collection of 12 tracks, ranging from intimate acoustic based songs, to country, R&B, and straight up rock ‘n’ roll. The experiment continues in a time when record labels are signing bands based on algorithms and likes, it’s refreshing to work with a band that puts in the work to create a sound together; something a plug in or a computer can’t replicate.
WVRM – Colony Collapse CD/LP (Prosthetic)
South Carolina’s only grind band, WVRM release Colony Collapse, their debut release. An uncompromising collection of 14 short, sharp shocks, Colony Collapse is a product of its surroundings, an anthology of its environment, and a detailed record of the lives of the people who made it.
DVDs + Blu-ray:
This Week’s Vinyl Exclusives:
Aodon – 11069 LP (Willowtip)
Released last week on CD – now available on vinyl. Aodon is a French post-black metal band created by multi-instrumentalist/composer M-Kha (also the drummer in Silure).
Ásgeir – Bury The Moon LP (One Little Indian)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. New release from the Icelandic artist. Bury The Moon was prompted by a stay in a remote Icelandic summerhouse, just Ásgeir, his equipment, and a broken heart. Returning with a series of acoustic sketches, he set about turning these into sparse, atmospheric songs with the aid of some key lyrical collaborators – including his father, a noted poet.
Kelsea Ballerini – Kelsea LP (Black River)
Released last week on CD – now available on vinyl. Included in Rolling Stone’s Most Anticipated Albums of 2020 list, this dynamic collection of Kelsea Ballerini’s latest 13 songs is aptly self-titled – Kelsea – not surprising since this is her most authentically, self-aware reflection to date. Using songwriting as therapy, she explores everything from social anxiety to the importance of real friendships to new perspective on old heartbreaks to the realization that even the most independent, stubborn people need someone sometimes.
Beneath The Massacre – Mechanics Of Dysfunction [Reissue/2007] LP (Prosthetic)
Coming from a rich, albeit relatively modern heritage of brutal Canadian death metal bands, Beneath The Massacre is perhaps the band most likely to take the title of the heaviest and most technical band from its northern forefathers. Be it extreme brutality, intense musicianship, or sheer musical destruction, Beneath The Massacre employs intellect hand in hand with aural devastation in the band’s vocal approach, but also its instrumentation. Mechanics Of Dysfunction‘s 10 tracks combine the brutality of Suffocation, the vicious skillfulness of Origin, cacophonous melody of the Dillinger Escape Plan and the sheer technicality of fellow Canadians Cryptopsy.
David Bickler – Darklight LP (Deko Music)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Dave Bickler started his musical career as lead singer of 1970s rock group Jamestown Massacre (Billboard Top 100 song “Summer Sun”) but is best known as the vocalist for the Grammy Award winning rock band Survivor singing on their massive #1 hit “Eye Of The Tiger”. [Limited grey colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Circa Survive – Blue Sky Noise [Reissue/2010] LP (Hopeless)
Limited colored vinyl reissue of the Philly indie/prog rock band’s third album.
CMON – Confusing Mix Of Nations LP (Mexican Summer)
Confusing Mix Of Nations is the debut album from CMON, the Los Angeles pairing of Josh da Costa and Jamen Whitelock. Each of the ten tracks reads like a postcard from a different aesthetic era, from the heavy atmospherics and melancholic soul reminiscent of Regal Degal, the duo’s prior project, to the four-on-the-floor EBM rhythm grids and sublime AOR guitar lines picked from pop’s outer limits.
Sam Cooke – Keep Movin’ On [Reissue/2001] 2xLP (Abkco)
A 23-song collection that encompasses some of Sam Cooke’s best loved and most incisive songs and represents the artist both at the very pinnacle and, tragically, at the very end of his ground breaking career.
Marvin Gaye – More Trouble LP (Motown Select)
For the first time on vinyl, More Trouble features bonus cuts and alternate takes from Marvin Gaye’s Trouble Man sessions, previously featured on the 40th anniversary expanded edition of Trouble Man.
Gentle Giant – Gentle Giant [Reissue/1970] LP (Alucard)
Gentle Giant – Acquiring The Taste [Reissue/1970] LP (Alucard)
Gentle Giant – Three Friends [Reissue/1972] LP (Alucard)
Gentle Giant – Octopus [Reissue/1970] LP (Alucard)
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of their debut album, the prog rock icons reissue their first four albums on 180gm vinyl.
Gordon Lightfoot – Solo LP (Rhino)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Lightfoot discovered a treasure trove of unreleased material while he was housecleaning last year. Two CDs of songs he recorded nearly two decades ago were tucked away in his office. The songs were created in late 2001 and early 2002 before he suffered a near-fatal abdominal aortic aneurysm later that year. After discovering the songs, he went into Grant Avenue Studio in downtown Hamilton, ON with his guitar to create this beautifully minimal work.
Loviatar – Lightless LP (Prosthetic)
Leaving behind the realms of mythology and fantasy writing as lyrical inspiration, on Lightless Candadian doom/post-metal band Loviatar turn to something altogether more terrifying as they channel the realities of life – what it means, how it envelops us, how we leave it behind. With a solipsistic worldview that poses many disturbing questions – Lightless is a claustrophobic and philosophical sonic voyage.
Joni Mitchell – Shine [Reissue/2007] LP (Hear Music)
Limited 180gm vinyl LP pressing. Shine is Joni Mitchell’s 19th studio album. Recorded in 2007 at Castle Oaks Productions by Dan Marnien, Shine was the first album of new songs since 1998’s Taming The Tiger, featuring 10 new songs written by Joni, as well as a guest appearance by longtime friend James Taylor on the title track, and an updated version of her 1970 single Big Yellow Taxi.
Allison Moorer – Blood LP (Autotelic)
Released last October on CD – now available on vinyl. Blood is the first solo album in four years from the Academy, Grammy, Americana and Academy of Country Music award nominated artist. The album serves as a companion piece to her new autobiography, Blood: A Memoir, a detailed account of Moorer and her sister’s (Grammy Award winner Shelby Lynne) childhood growing up in a troubled home in Southern Alabama, which ended with the well-documented murder-suicide of her parents in 1986. Much of what the public has known about the tragic event begins and ends there. For years, Moorer had avoided going into the traumatic details of the abuse, alcoholism, intimidation, poverty and neglect that existed prior to the deaths – and for good reasons – which she addresses in the memoir. Moorer also addresses the fact that there was so much more to her family than tragedy, darkness and what people thought they knew. There was love, there was a protective mother, there was the bond of sisterhood and there was music. There was always music. The album Blood serves as a song cycle featuring ten tracks that directly connect to the people, emotions, trauma, and state of mind that are all detailed so eloquently in the memoir.
Muddy Waters – Muddy “Mississippi” Waters Live [Reissue/1979] LP (Friday Music)
Limited 180gm translucent blue and black swirl vinyl pressing in gatefold jacket. Recorded at the Newport Jazz Festival, Muddy drove the crowd into a frenzy with his famous guitar licks and his Delta growl, truly a thrilling presence on the stage. Featuring an all-star band with the likes of the legendary late great Johnny Winter on guitar, the late James Cotton on harp and the masterful Pinetop Perkins on piano, Muddy Mississippi Waters Live would go on to become one of the most revered live albums in modern day Chicago blues history.
Nightmares On Wax – Smokers Delight [Reissue/1995] 2xLP+MP3 (Warp)
Nightmares On Wax reissues his legendary 1995 album Smokers Delight on its 25th anniversary on colored vinyl featuring a silver gatefold mirror board sleeve, exclusive roach material sheet insert, sleeve notes and a download code for the album and bonus tracks. Fact Magazine retrospectively described the album as: “Pulling from the same influences that defined the late 1980s rave explosion… reconfigured the UK’s summer of love for the Discman generation while remaining just as suited to chill-out room comedowns or Ibiza sunset sessions.”
Peach Pit – You And Your Friends LP (Sony)
Sophomore release from the Vancouver-based band. “You And Your Friends is a collection of songs about me, people that the band and I care about, and some of the old friends we’ve had over the years,” vocalist Neil Smith says.
Lee Scratch Perry – Techno Party [Reissue/2000] LP (Ariwa Sounds)
Out of print for many years, this classic album from Lee Scratch Perry was originally released in 2000. Produced by The Mad Professor, this contains many gems including the eerie 9-11 prediction where The Upsetter predicts, “Many Americans shall die.” The album features music by Baby Dread, Mafia & Fluxy, Tagati as well as Mad Professor, too.
P22 – Human Snake LP (Post Present Medium)
P22 is a Los Angeles band formed in 2015 by Sofia Arreguin, Nicole-Antonia Spagnola, Justin Tenney, and Taylor Thompson. P22 borrows their name from the famed Los Angeles mountain lion who crossed both the 405 and 101 freeways to disperse in Griffith Park. Puma concolor number twenty-two. A band is always a utopian proposition. P22 is a prudent exercise in the collective rearing of offbeat protest tunes in punk’s tomb. Think the intellect and political prowess of Crass, played by west coast punkers of the early SST variety.
Billy Raffoul – A Few More Hours At YYZ LP (Interscope)
In celebration of Billy Raffoul’s third EP release A Few More Hours at YYZ, we release a special vinyl piece that includes the new EP and fan favorite tracks on the B-side.
Rare Earth – In Concert [Reissue/1971] 2xLP (Culture Factory)
Double opaque olive green LP’s with original record labels, OBI strip, printed inner sleeves and insert sheet. 1971’s In Concert contains a 23:33 version of their signature hit “Get Ready”, as well as a new studio song: “Nice To Be With You”.
Roya – Pulse LP (Labrador Sweden)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Pulse is the second full-length album from Stockholm-based electronic artist Roya. It is in many ways a continuation of the same approach taken in Hive, the award-winning debut album: rhythmic song structures paired with atmospheric background tones and dreamlike female vocals.
Spirit Adrift – Chained To Oblivion [Reissue/2016] 2xLP (Prosthetic)
Originally released in 2016, the double LP was licensed to War Crime Recordings and has been long since been out of print. This reissue features brand new gatefold artwork by Jesse Jacobi (Tomb Mold). Spirit Adrift is punishingly heavy and equally uplifting. Psychedelic currents ebb and flow throughout passages of unrelenting doom and entrancing melody.
Stitched Up Heart – Darkness LP (Stitched Up Heart)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Sophomore album from L.A. rockers.
Sun City Girls – Live At The Sky Church LP (Twenty One Eighty Two)
The first new Sun City Girls release since Funeral Mariachi (2010), Live At The Sky Church is a performance that melds their signature alien-jazz improv, Asian-tinged psychedelia, and Middle Eastern meditations together with their ranting psychodrama.
Sunn Trio – Electric Esoterica LP (Twenty One Eighty Two)
Sunn Trio is a punk threesome influenced by Middle Eastern psych, free jazz, and improvisation. Electric Esoterica is their third album.
Those Damn Crows – Point Of No Return LP (Earache)
Coming from a fine tradition of Welsh Rock music, Those Damn Crows mix soulful vocals over hard rock licks and anthemic choruses.
Toto – Toto [Reissue/1978] LP+MP3 (Sony Legacy)
Toto – Hydra [Reissue/1979] LP+MP3 (Sony Legacy)
Toto – Turn Back [Reissue/1981] LP+MP3 (Sony Legacy)
Vinyl reissues of Toto’s first three albums.
Viagra Boys – Common Sense LP (Year0001)
Viagra Boys is an unapologetically raw sextet comprised of classically trained jazz musicians, karaoke loving tattoo artists and seasoned hardcore scene veterans, churning out pulsating sounds from the sub levels of contemporary rock music – a bellowing, unstoppable force majeure of latter-day punk, PTSD disco and synthetically enhanced kraut.
Viscera – Obsidian LP (Unique Leader)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. New release from the UK death metal band.
TOPS – I Feel Alive (TOPS Music)
New release from the Montreal dream-pop band. I Feel Alive is the follow-up to 2017’s Sugar At The Gate. I Feel Alive was recorded in a basement studio in Montreal with keyboardist Marta Cikojevic, who joined the band as a live member in 2017.
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