March Program Titles Released This Week:
Best Coast – Always Tomorrow CD/LP (Concord)
Inspired by the ‘70s, L.A.-based duo Best Coast expand their signature indie pop sound into a harmonic blend of melodic guitars and keyboards as warm and refreshing as a California breeze. Multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno, along with the irrepressible Bethany Cosentino, combine to bring her masterful storytelling to new heights, crafting their most eloquent and reflective album to date. “Always Tomorrow is about leaving the darkness for the light, but still understanding that nothing is ever going to be perfect,” Cosentino said. “It’s about burning it all down and starting from scratch even when the idea of that is fucking terrifying. Closing one chapter and moving onto the next even when you have no idea what is on the other side. Acceptance. It’s about taking a gigantic leap of faith.”
Greg Dulli – Random Desire CD/2xLP (BMG)
For the last 30 years Greg Dulli, frontman of The Afghan Whigs and The Twilight Singers, has been the poet laureate of the bizarre whims and cruel tangents of desire. A foremost authority on the sell-your-soul rewards of carnal lust, the high voltage epiphanies of chemical enhancement, and the serotonin lows left in their wake. Therein lies Random Desire,the first solo album under Dulli’s own name. Opener, “Pantomima,” sets the tone from the sardonic taunts of the album’s first bars: desolation, come and get it. Clocking in at a lean 37 minutes, Random Desire is a clinic put on by a veteran master operating at the height of his powers, offering evidence of the hard-fought and weary wisdom learned from setbacks and victories alike. A lucid, confident and self-assured document of the songs of experience, the perils of existence, and the possibilities that offer themselves anew with each breath. Another death and rebirth from an outlaw who has seen it all and somehow lived to tell.
Grimes – Miss Anthropocene CD/LP+MP3 (4AD)
Canadian artist Claire Boucher aka Grimes follows-up 2015’s Art Angels with her highly-anticipated fifth studio album, Miss Anthropocene. An amalgamation of three albums Grimes recorded over the past three years, Miss Anthropocene is based on a neologism commonly used in scientific circles. Misanthropocene refers to both the misanthrope’s loathing of humanity and the Anthropocene era in which our planet is dominated by human activity. The 10-track collection is introduced by the breathy and beat driven “Violence” and atmospheric “So Heavy I Fell Through The Earth.”
Sonny Landreth – Blacktop Run CD/LP (Mascot Label Group)
A percussive burst of acoustic resonator guitar pushes the narrator on a journey “between the life I left and the edge of next” in the title cut of guitarist, songwriter and bandleader Sonny Landreth’s new album Blacktop Run. As the singer feels the wind at his back, a rising bass line intersects Landreth’s vocalizing to stretch the fingerpicked tune into Far Eastern melodicism. The south Louisiana artist’s groundbreaking work has long mixed familiarity with experimentation, and his latest ten-song collection stretches from hard-edged electric instrumentals to wistful acoustic ballads. The project’s range is the fruit of a renewed collaboration. Producer RS Field – who helmed Landreth’s trio of breakout albums – joined the six-stringer and co-producer Tony Daigle to finish the record which mixes genres and styles across a landscape of lyricism and rootsy grooves. [Limited gold colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Pat Metheny – From This Place CD/2xLP (Nonesuch)
Pat Metheny’s first album of new material since 2014’s Kin (←→), From This Place features ten new self-penned original compositions, and finds the revered guitarist joined by his long-time drummer, Antonio Sanchez, Malaysian/Australian bassist Linda May Han Oh, and British pianist Gwilym Simcock as well as the Hollywood Studio Symphony conducted by Joel McNeely. Additional special guests include Meshell Ndegeocello (vocals), Gregoire Maret (harmonica), and Luis Conte (percussion). “From This Place is one of the records I have been waiting to make my whole life,” Metheny says. “It is a kind of musical culmination, reflecting a wide range of expressions that have interested me over the years, scaled across a large canvas, presented in a way that offers the kind of opportunities for communication that can only be earned with a group of musicians who have spent hundreds of nights together on the bandstand.”
Agnes Obel – Myopia CD/LP (Blue Note)
For almost a decade, Danish singer-songwriter Agnes Obel has been one of the most independent and original artists in contemporary music. Following the same principles as with her previous albums (Philharmonics, Aventine and Citizen Of Glass), which she completed as a one-woman project in her own Berlin home studio, Obel has been under self-imposed creative isolation with the removal of all outside influences and distraction in the writing, recording and mixing process of Myopia. “Paradoxically, for me I need to create my own myopia to make music.” Obel was experimenting with techniques of recording processing, warping and pitching down vocals, strings, piano, celesta and lutheal piano, finding ways to melt these elements together to become one and twisting them in a way that you feel at home within the sound she conjures throughout the record.
Ozzy Osbourne – Ordinary Man CD/LP (Epic)
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Ozzy Osbourne returns with Ordinary Man, his first new solo music in almost ten years. Preceded by the tracks “Under The Graveyard” and “Straight To Hell” with Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash, the album was recorded in Los Angeles and features producer Andrew Watt on guitars, Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses) on bass and Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) on drums. Beyond the core band, Ordinary Man features an A-list of guest collaborators including Elton John, Post Malone, and Tom Morello. [Limited edition vinyl picture disc pressing also available. Indie store exclusive free litho with purchase (limited supply)].
Katie Pruitt – Expectations CD/LP (Rounder)
Emerging singer, songwriter, and musician Katie Pruitt releases her highly anticipated debut album, Expectations. Co-produced by Pruitt and her close friend Mike Robinson, Expectations was recorded in Nashville and consists of ten new songs written solely by Pruitt including the title track, which has already received critical acclaim. Rolling Stone praises, “There’s something wonderfully nostalgic about Katie Pruitt’s ‘Expectations’. The chorus-pedaled guitar tone wouldn’t be out of place on a Tears For Fears album, while the arrangement – full of pop hooks, layered harmonies and reverb-heavy riffs – rustles up the timeless, infinite feeling of being young and limitless,” while American Songwriter declares, “The single demonstrates what Pruitt does best: blend indie rock, Americana and solid songwriting.”
Purr – Like New CD (ANTI-)
Purr began in 2017 as the second project from New York City born, raised and forever-based songwriting partners Eliza Barry Callahan and Jack Staffen. Their debut album Like New was produced by Jonathan Rado (Weyes Blood, Father John Misty, Whitney, The Lemon Twigs). The duo – who had previously captured attention releasing deft, stripped down, warm-toned pysch-pop under their names, Jack and Eliza – shifted to what naturally felt like their next musical gear. If Jack and Eliza showcased the songwriting prowess of a promising young duo (they are both still in their early twenties), then Purr lets Callahan’s and Staffen’s work bloom in the fertile ground of a fully realized soundscape. Purr builds upon an ageless, classic sound that at once looks at the past while leaning into their own, individual future – with Staffen’s and Callahan’s vocals humming at the center. While the band is heavily rooted in New York City, the album was recorded at Rado’s East Los Angeles studio with and takes on a distinctly west coast feel which glows with a sunny warmth, whirrs with breeziness and is at times a little noir too.
David Starr – Beauty & Ruin CD/LP (David Starr)
Americana artist David Starr embarks on a new musical and literary adventure with a collection of songs inspired by Of What Was, Nothing Is Left, a novel written by his grandfather in 1972. Beauty And Ruin, recorded in Nashville, is produced and arranged by John Oates (Hall & Oates) and co-produced by David Starr and David Kalmusky. After working with Oates on his 2017 The Head And Heart EP, David approached him with the idea: what if we gave several of our favorite songwriters a copy of the book and asked them to write for a concept album based on the story? Starr and Oates collaborated with a group of incredible artists on the project, including Jim Lauderdale, Wood Newton, Dana Cooper, Doug and Telisha Williams (Wild Ponies), Irene Kelley, and Shelley Rae Korntved.
Sweet Lizzy Project – Technicolor CD/LP (Mono Mundo)
Every debut album represents a journey, but few have come as far or struggled so tenaciously for the chance to be heard on their own terms as Cuba’s Sweet Lizzy Project. The five-piece rock band built a strong following in its native Havana with scant resources or infrastructure to support them, in a cultural setting where they could never be entirely themselves. When American roots rockers The Mavericks’ lead singer Raul Malo, whose parents emigrated from Cuba in 1960, got to know the band, he sponsored them for US work visas and signed them to their record company in late 2017. The band made the bold decision to move to Nashville, where they recorded Technicolor at Blackbird Studios. The feisty, infectious album draws on several eras of rock and pop, adding subtle Latin undertones.
Wilsen – Ruiner CD/LP (Secret City)
Wilsen is the Brooklyn-based trio of Tamsin Wilson (guitar/vocals), Johnny Simon Jr. (guitar), and Drew Arndt (bass). Ruiner is their second album and follow-up to 2017’s I Go Missing In My Sleep. With producer Andrew Sarlo (Bon Iver, Big Thief, SASAMI) at the helm, Ruiner dissolves both the heavy reverb and ethereal moments found on their first recording by instead letting the band’s essentials – drums, bass, guitar, and vocals – have center stage. In the album’s opening moments, you might hear a knotted wash of guitars and Wilson softly humming, for a very brief moment returning you to their dreamscape but sharply, a driving rock rhythm comes into focus and so too does a revitalized band. Although Wilsen haven’t lost their fragility entirely, on Ruiner they mainly use bolder sounds and play with gritty textures and jarring grooves. See “Birds II” which centers on a piercing guitar line or the crunchy “Down” which is powered by a riotous percussion section.
CDs + Vinyl:
Aeternus – Beyond The Wandering Moon [Reissue/1997] CD/2xLP (Soulseller)
Aeternus – …And So The Night Became [Reissue/1998] CD/2xLP (Soulseller)
CD and vinyl reissue of the Norwegian black metal band’s first two albums.
Allie X – Cape God CD/LP (Twin Music Inc.)
Allie X’s new album Cape God includes collaborations with Troye Sivan and Mitski. The first single “Fresh Laundry” was released in September 2019 and coincided with a series of tour dates supporting the likes of Charli XCX and MARINA across the US, UK and Europe.
Amity Affliction – Everyone Loves You CD/LP (Pure Noise)
Seventh studio album by Australian metalcore band.
Anvil – Legal At Last CD/LP (AFM)
When it comes to virtues such as endurance, unconditional commitment and a thoroughly down-to-earth attitude, Anvil are the measure of all things. Like few other metal acts, the band have earned their laurels of blood, sweat and tears. [Limited blue colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Assassin – Bestia Immundis CD/LP (Massacre)
The wide mix of speed and thrash metal with hardcore and punk influences includes even faster and catchier songs as well as experimental tracks and darker elements.
Courtney Barnett – MTV Unplugged: Live In Melbourne CD/LP (Mom + Pop Music)
On October 22nd Courtney Barnett performed a unique and special show at the invitation of MTV Australia in her hometown of Melbourne. The Unplugged performance features Barnett as you’ve never heard her before; warm, vulnerable and emotional. [Limited blue colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Blind Ego – Preaching To The Choir CD/LP (Gentle Art Of Music)
New album from the neo-prog solo project of RPWL member Kalle Wallner.
Brand Of Sacrifice – The Interstice  CD (Unique Leader)
Released in 2018 on vinyl – now available on CD. Hailing from Toronto and New York, Brand Of Sacrifice are a prime example of genre bending extremity at its absolute finest. Blastbeats and mechanized riffing collides with sitars, whammy pedals and some of the most guttural offerings in recent years through monster vocalist Kyle Anderson. The Interstice shines with unpredictable song structures that are as mind -melting as they are immediately catchy.
BTS – Map Of The Soul: 7 CD (Bighit Entertainment)
Multiple editions are available, each including the 19-track CD and unique items: a photo book (four versions), a lyric book (four versions), a mini book (four versions), a photo card (four versions, random), a postcard, a sticker, coloring paper (four versions), and poster (four versions).
Bill Byford – School Of Hard Knocks CD/LP (Silver Lining Music)
Legendary Saxon frontman releases first solo album.
Califone – Echo Mine CD/LP (Jealous Butcher)
Echo Mine is Califone’s score to Robyn Mineko Williams’ dance. The movement and the music started together and grew together, like two clear entities. At times totally intertwined and at other times bouncing off one another, sort of like reflections. But, somehow, always connected and listening.
Cerrone – DNA CD/LP+CD (Because Music)
New release from the French disco pioneer, which he produced entirely alone. DNA is both introspective and a reflection on the world’s evolution.
Neneh Cherry – Raw Like Sushi [Reissue/1988] 3xCD/3xLP (Virgin)
Neneh Cherry exploded onto the pop music landscape by closing out the ‘80s with her internationally acclaimed debut album, Raw Like Sushi – a melting pot of musical styles and streetwise lyrics that take on life and love with equal parts tenderness. The 1988 album is now available as super deluxe triple-CD and triple-vinyl box sets.
Rose Cousins – Bravado CD (Outside Music)
Juno Aware Winner Rose Couins’ songs have appeared on Grey’s Anatomy, Supergirl, Reign, Nashville, and others. She has shared stages with heroic songwriters such as Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Jann Arden & Ron Sexsmith.
Crystal Eyes – Starbourne Traveler CD/LP (Massacre)
Starbourne Traveler is 100% heavy metal inspired by the legacies of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Accept, Helloween etc.
Cubicolor – Hardly A Day, Hardly A Night CD/LP (Anjunadeep)
Originally an electronic duo comprised of Dutch producers Ariaan and Peter, Cubicolor became a three-piece band with the arrival of British singer-songwriter Tim in 2015, after collaborating on breakthrough single “Falling”. A published poet and playwright, Tim’s musical upbringing was rooted in playing guitar and listening to Nick Drake. Combined with Ariaan’s encyclopedic knowledge of electronic music and Peter’s love of late romantic classical, created what Clash described as “a beautiful, haunting fusion of ideas”. Inspired by the cycles of time, and the cyclical movements of the planets, their new 12 track record weaves together themes of loss, hope, and acceptance.
Daisies – Cherries 12” (K. Records)
Third release from the purveyors of the electronic paisley underground.
Miles Davis – Birth Of The Cool: Music From And Inspired By Birth Of The Cool, A Film By Sanley Nelson CD/LP (Sony Legacy)
The definitive audio companion to the critically-acclaimed new documentary. The soundtrack is an essential Miles Davis playlist for seasoned fans and new listeners alike, lovingly curated by the director and paired with short audio excerpts from the film for a unique listening experience. It brings together recordings and performances spanning labels and the artist’s musical evolution-from “Donna Lee” to “Moon Dreams” from the groundbreaking 1949 Capitol sessions that were ultimately collected on the album Birth Of The Cool, through the seminal 1950s pieces for Columbia that revolutionized the worlds of jazz and popular music.
Dead Kosmonaut – Gravitas CD/LP (High Roller)
Dead Kosmonaut’s founder Mattias Reinholdsson once described the band’s sound by pointing out that the early metal bands had no restrictions on how their material should sound. [Limited picture disc pressing also available.]
Demons & Wizards – III CD/2xLP (Century Media)
Third album from the power metal unit led by Iced Earth’s Jon Schaffer and Blind Guardian’s Hansi Kürsch.
Discharge – Protest And Survive: The Anthology 2xCD/2xLP (Sanctuary)
Celebrating 40 years since the release of their debut single in 1980, British hardcore punk band Discharge are surviving pioneers of the subgenre they invented; D-beat. Having had a worldwide influence on both extreme metal and punk with their uncompromising, raw sound over the last 40 years, Discharge’s political message is now relevant more than ever.
Drama – Dance Without Me CD/LP+MP3 (Ghostly Int’l)
Released last week on vinyl – now available on CD. There is lush lovelorn affliction blended into the tracks on Dance Without Me, Drama’s debut record, which is remarkably refined for a young band.
The Five Americans – Progressions CD (Sundazed)
An exciting combination of sunshine pop, bubblegum and folk rock with psychedelic undertones, Progressions is The Five Americans’ most well-crafted album on par with fellow groups like the Monkees. [Vinyl edition due March 20.]
Rebecca Foon – Waxing Moon CD/LP+MP3 (Constellation)
The composer and musician behind Saltland and Esmerine (and former longstanding member of Silver Mt. Zion) presents a new album. While best known as an incomparable cellist crafting textural soundscapes and instrumental chamber-rock in the aforementioned projects (and more recently recognized for her creative and organizational work as cofounder of Pathway To Paris), Waxing Moon finds Foon emphasizing piano and voice with striking intimacy and elegance, showcasing a captivating evolution in her always resplendent songwriting.
Great White – Stage [Reissue/1995] CD/2xLP (Deadline Music)
Reissue of this long out of print live album from the hard rockers tearing up the stage in California in 1993 and 1994. [Limited white colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Guided By Voices – Surrender Your Poppy Field CD/LP (GBV Inc.)
Starting off the year with a 100-song marathon in Los Angeles on New Year’s Eve, Robert Pollard is setting a mighty high bar for Guided By Voices in 2020. Following three acclaimed and stylistically distinct full-length albums in 2019, Surrender Your Poppy Field is a head-spinning tour de force: a bit of everything… plus more.
Sarah Harmer – Are You Gone CD/LP (Arts & Crafts)
Multi-award-winning, platinum-selling singer-songwriter and environmental activist Sarah Harmer releases Are You Gone, her first album in a decade. A deeply personal and political collection of songs motivated by the beauty of life, the urgency of the climate crisis, and the question of loss, Sarah calls the album a spiritual successor of sorts to her acclaimed 2000 debut, You Were Here, which made many year-end critics’ lists, and which TIME called the year’s best debut album. With its simple title, Are You Gone is a meditation on the idea of presence, a sharpened, more electric confrontation with the realities of nature and human nature.
Jim Hart & Ivo Neame – Multiverse CD (Edition)
Pianist Ivo Neame and vibraphonist & drummer Jim Hart take their duo project to the next level with an astonishing and multifaceted album.
John Lee Hooker – Black Night Is Falling (Live At The Rising Sun Celebrity Jazz Club) CD (Justin Time)
Released last November on vinyl – now available on CD. This set, recorded live in Montreal in 1977, finds John Lee Hooker in fine voice and backed by a driving band composed of John Garcia on guitar, Steve Jones on bass, and Larry ‘Wild Man’ Martin on drums, with the end result being an excellent example of Hooker at his best.
Horned Almighty – Fathom The Master’s Grand Design CD (Scarlet)
Sixth album for the Danish extreme metal institution.
In The Presence Of Wolves – Of Two Minds, Stages 1-2: The Ape And The Cage CD/LP (Deko Music)
Philadelphia-native progressive group In The Presence Of Wolves rattled the East Coast metal scene with their 2015 full-length release, Thalassas, deftly mixing a bevy of classic progressive rock, modern prog-metal, experimental, post-hardcore and jazz rock influences that has since been unparalleled by any up-and-coming local artist of late. In The Presence Of Wolves further improves upon their addictive sonic blend with their EP, Of Two Minds, Stages 1-2: The Ape And The Cage, a conceptual offering all its own.
Killah Priest – The Psychic World Of Walter Reed [Reissue/2009] CD/LP (Cleopatra)
Longtime Wu-Tang associate Killah Priest reissues his 2009 low-key album on CD and red vinyl.
Kirk Knuffke – Brightness: Live In Amsterdam CD/LP (The Royal Potato Family)
Cornetist/composer Kirk Knuffke leads his acclaimed trio at the renowned Dutch jazz club Bimhuis for his first-ever concert album, Brightness: Live in Amsterdam.
King Krule – Man Alive! CD/LP (True Panther Sounds)
Like any great artist on the rise, Archy Marshall’s life is moving fast. There’s a lot to catch up on, after 2017’s sprawling masterpiece, The OOZ, broke through amid Mercury Prize nominations and mind-blowing media plaudits. Unlike that record, Man Alive! doesn’t aim to present any kind of narrative thread, or Brexit-era state-of-the-nation address; just a collection of snapshots and stories, artfully sequenced into a dazzlingly coherent whole.
Lanterns In The Lake – Spook The Herd CD/LP+MP3 (Bella Union)
It’s strange – not to mention fundamentally disconcerting – to live through turbulent times. Yet as many feel like the world is slipping out of control, artists are enlivened as they seek to make sense of the shifting sands. Hazel Wilde of Lanterns On The Lake is now a songwriter necessarily emboldened. On Spook The Herd, the band’s fourth record, her voice and preoccupations rise to the fore like never before.
Lordi – Killection CD/LP (AFM)
CD and limited picture disc vinyl editions now available. Killection is a fictional compilation album containing songs that the hard rock/heavy metal band would have recorded between the early ‘70s through to the mid- ‘90s.
Lowrider – Refractions CD/LP (Blues Funeral)
Before Monolord, Graveyard, Greenleaf, and Truckfighters, one band stood at the dawn of Sweden’s Kyuss-inspired desert rock movement. With their groundbreaking debut EP and seminal Ode To Io album, Lowrider spawned thousands of imitators. Now, at long last, the progenitors return with blistering new album Refractions, delivering on their mythic status as founders of a worldwide phenomenon.
Mighty Oaks – All Things Go CD/LP (BMG)
All Things Go is the third album by the Berlin based indie-folk trio comprised of Ian Hooper (US), Claudio Donzelli (Italy) and Craig Saunders (UK).
Mister Rogers – Bedtime [Reissue/1992] CD (Omnivore)
Mister Rogers – You Are Special [Reissue/1992] CD (Omnivore)
Mister Rogers – You’re Growing [Reissue/1992] CD (Omnivore)
Mister Rogers – Coming And Going [Reissue/1997] CD (Omnivore)
Unavailable for decades, these original releases are back in-print on CD. 60 tracks across four separate collections.
Ken Navarro – Into The Light CD (Positive Music)
11 new contemporary smooth jazz compositions from one of the genres most gifted & successful recording artists.
On Thorns I Lay – Threnos CD (Lifeforce)
Being founded as Paralysis in the early ‘90s, On Thorns I Lay soon spread their name in the global underground heavy scene along with fellow Greek metal acts such as Rotting Christ, Septic Flesh, Necromantia and Nightfall. After changing their name in 1994, the band from Athens soon developed its style between gothic, doom and death, it still is known for today. [Vinyl edition due March 20.]
Orthodox – Let It Take Its Course CD (Unbeaten)
Recently released on vinyl – now available on CD. Sophomore studio album from the Nashville-based metal band.
Jack Peñate – After You CD/LP (XL)
The third album – and first in 10 years – by the British singer/songwriter.
The Pleasure Seekers – What A Way To Die CD/LP (Sundazed)
The archetype for the ’60s-era girl group was etched indelibly into stone, like a commandment: three pretty girls with matching outfits and bouffant hairdos would sing, with musical backing supplied by a bunch of guys standing in the shadows. The Quatro sisters shattered that archetype forever with the Pleasure Seekers, an all-girl teenage rock ‘n’ roll group who played all the instruments themselves and were fully capable of wiping the stage with any male band that crossed their path.
Polaris – The Death Of Me CD/LP (Sharptone)
New album from the Sydney metalcore outfit. [Limited yellow colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Win Pongsakorn – Yes It Is! Introducing Win Pongsakorn CD (Cellar Live)
Trumpeter Win Pongsakorn has put together a varied selection of originals and a fresh arrangement of a well-known jazz standard – all performed by a first class group of young and promising musicians with elegance, excellent taste and musicality.
Lee Ranaldo and Raül Refree – Names Of North End Women CD/LP (Mute)
A new collaborative record from Lee Ranaldo and Raül Refree. In a remarkable career that has seen him flourish as a songwriter, a singer, a guitarist, a noisemaker, a poet, a visual artist, a producer, and more, Ranaldo has seen many fellow quixotics – from his bandmates in Sonic Youth to this most recent collaboration with Refree, whose restless career had taken him from hard-core bands in his youth, to the vanguard of a new movement redefining flamenco. One of the most renowned producers in southern Europe, his collaboration with Rosalía on her debut album has shaped both the modern sound of flamenco and her new found stardom.
Raspberry Bulbs – Before The Age Of Mirrors CD/LP (Relapse)
Forever defying the conventions of underground music, New York’s Raspberry Bulbs (featuring members of Bone Awl and Rorschach) continues to push the envelope via their subversive take on occult punk and black metal.
Ritual King – Ritual King CD/LP (Ripple Music)
Sophomore album from Manchester’s Ritual King, one of England’s best heavy psych/ stoner bands.
Six Organs Of Admittance – Companion Rises CD/LP (Drag City)
Ben Chasny mixes synths and digital processing techniques with his spacey guitar folk to lift his song-craft further out, while bringing it strangely full circle at the same time, sounding at times like Dark Noontide-era and other times likes something all-new. Exquisitely arranged and rich with harmonic exploration, the album presents a handful of folk-tales whose theme can best be stated as ‘Stellar-Gnostic.’ Sci-folk in the right place at the right time for the new decade.
John Sneider – Scrapper CD (Cellar Live)
John Sneider’s first album released under his own name in 20 years finds him re-united with his original band doing what he loves: swinging.
Stallion – Slaves Of Time CD/LP (High Roller)
Founded in 2013 these German speed dealers took the traditional blue collar route, releasing one demo, two EPs and two full-lengths while sweating off their after-work beers on club and festival stages throughout Europe. Now with Slaves Of Time, they achieved the almost impossible by topping 2017’s From The Dead both musically and lyrically.
Various Artists [Elaquent] – Forever is A Pretty Long Time CD (Mello Music Group)
As with all brilliant producer compilation albums, the Guelph, Ontario-based Elaquent vividly constructs his own world. It’s the hip-hop equivalent of that old question: who would you want to invite to your dream dinner party if you had the chance? But instead, it’s the lab, and the visitors include a murderer’s row of underground MCs including Oddisee, Blu, Chester Watson, Cavalier, and Guilty Simpson. The curation is impeccable, but more than that, it creates its own orphic sense of magic. [Vinyl edition due March 20.]
Various Artists – Apala: Apala Groups In Nigeria 1967-70 CD/2xLP (Soul Jazz)
The first ever collection of Apala music to be released outside of Nigeria, Apala: Apala Groups in Nigeria 1967-70 focuses on a wide selection of recordings made in Nigeria in the 1960’s, a time when Apala music was at the height of its popularity. Apala is a deeply rhythmical, hypnotic and powerful musical style that combines the striking nasal-style vocals and traditions of Islamic music, the Agidigbo (thumb piano), and the equally powerful drumming and percussion rhythms and techniques of the Yoruba of Nigeria.
Vatican – Sole Impulse CD (Closed Casket Activities)
New release from the brutal metalcore band.
Verikalpa – Tuoppitanssi CD (Scarlet)
Singing in his own native mother language (Tuoppitanssi actually stands for pintdance), the sextet combines fast up-tempos, raging vocals and brilliant melodies: a truly breathtaking assemblage of black, death & folk metal and symphonic elements.
The Vibrators – Live In NYC (At Bowery Electric) CD (Deko Music)
The legendary punk rock pioneers release an electrifying set recorded during their 2019 North American Tour.
We Sell The Dead – Black Sleep CD (earMUSIC)
Sophomore album by the metal band. [Vinyl edition due February 28.]
Hank Williams – Pictures From Lifes Other Side: The Man and His Music in Rare Recordings and Photos 6xCD+Book (BMG)
This book + six-CD set, carefully curated and assembled with leading music historian and Hank biographer Colin Escott, features over 200 images of Hank, including dozens of rare and unseen. The book is packaged with six CDs of Hank’s live in-studio performances known as the “Mother’s Best” radio shows, newly restored and remastered.
Word Alive – Monomania CD/LP (Fearless)
Phoenix, AZ quartet The Word Alive spurn genre distinctions and urge alternative music forward through the seamless integration of cinematic electronic fits and undeniable melodies into hard-hitting heaviness. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Wrekmeister Harmonies – We Love To Look At The Carnage CD/LP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
Wrekmeister Harmonies (J.R. Robinson, and Esther Shaw with frequent collaborator Thor Harris on percussion and Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart electronics), known for their large ensemble performances and intense recordings, create immense tension with spare arrangements and instrumentation. We Love To Look At The Carnage charts a restless journey beginning in the middle of the night and ending in the wee hours of the morning. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Xenobiotic – Mordrake CD (Unique Leader)
New release from Australian progressive death metal behemoths.
John Zorn – Virtue CD (Tzadik)
A moody and evocative book of music passionately performed by the remarkable acoustic guitar trio of Julian Lage, Bill Frisell and Gyan Riley, who’s previous CD for Tzadik, Nove Cantici per Francesco d’Assisi was a best-seller. Inspired by anchoress Julian of Norwich, one of the founders of Christian mysticism, Virtue is marked by a stunning, seductive lyricism and a remarkable contrapuntal interplay by these three master guitarists. Softly spiritual music that is perfect for meditative late night listening alone or with a special friend.
DVDs + Blu-ray:
This Week’s Vinyl Exclusives:
999 – Bay Area Homicide LP (Cleopatra)
Special limited edition yellow vinyl companion to the CD box set of previously unreleased live performances from one of the UK’s finest punk rock bands.
The Angelic Process – Weighing Souls With Sand [Reissue/2007] 2xLP (Roadburn Productions)
Macon, Georgia’s The Angelic Process have often been called “drone doom” but you’re not going to find much in common between them and the likes of Khanate or Sunn0))). No, their intense and massive sound is somewhere between shoegaze and crushing industrial, almost as if Justin Broadrick kept the dark heaviness of Godflesh and somehow applied it to the grace of Jesu – but with the kind of mournful melodies that can only come from doom metal.
Animals As Leaders – Weightless [Reissue/2011] LP (Prosthetic)
Limited colored vinyl reissue. When unknown virtuoso guitarist Tosin Abasi released his debut solo album under the moniker Animals As Leaders in 2009, few would have predicted the band’s meteoric rise over the next two years. Although Abasi earned acclaim as the lead guitarist in the Washington, D.C.-based metalcore act Reflux, it was still a long-shot that an instrumental album of progressive metal with jazz, electronic and ambient flourishes would develop anything more than a cult following. Whereas the group’s self-titled debut was a collaboration between Abasi and Periphery’s Misha Mansoor, 2011 sophomore effort, Weightless features the recording debut of Animals As Leaders, the true band.
Banoffee – Look At Us Now Dad LP+MP3 (Cascine)
Banoffee is a Melbourne-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter and producer with a transgressive and deeply vulnerable approach to music. She has toured with Taylor Swift on a worldwide stadium tour as part of Charli XCX’s troupe, and represents the new wave of mutant pop bubbling up from the queer club underground. [Limited colored vinyl pressing now available.]
Abramis Brama – Rubicon [Reissue/2004] 2xLP (Black Lodge)
Abramis Brama, named after the Latin name for the bream ﬁsh, hail from the south side of Stockholm, Sweden and has since its formation in 1997 released seven studio albums and one live album with heavy, ecstatic, riff-oriented hard rock – but with Swedish lyrics, an odd choice at the height of the international stoner rock movement around the turn of the millennium. The band’s complete back-catalog is being reissued throughout the year. Up next is their fourth album Rubicon. [Limited white colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Jack Broadbent – Moonshine Blue LP (Crows Feet)
Released last November on CD – now available on vinyl. Hailed as ‘the new master of the slide guitar’ by the Montreux Jazz Festival, and ‘the real thang’ by the legendary Bootsy Collins, singer-songwriter, Jack Broadbent, returns after three years to deliver an upbeat and smooth slide guitar performance in his new single ‘Wishing Well’ [from his new album Moonshine Blue]. The song has a catchy hook, a hint of folk and blues, as well as a satisfying guitar solo. Growing up, Jack listened to a variety of different artists that influenced the way he produces and performs his music, including Radiohead, Robert Johnson, Joni Mitchell, and Davey Graham. Listening and learning from a wide range of artists helped him to create a unique style by mixing various genres which led him to develop his own. With a successful history of opening for acclaimed artists such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Johnny Hallyday, Robben Ford, and Tony Joe White, Jack has headlined internationally and played at sold-out shows all over the world.”
Eugene Chadbourne – Solo Guitar Volume 4-1 / 3 LP (Feeding Tube)
Eugene Chadbourne is one of the great guitar players of the modern era. At the time he began recording in Canada in 1975, his music was a unique syncretic formulation. While its most obvious component was free improvisation in a style then most widely associated with English and European players, his music also contained elements of jazz, country, folk, blues, psychedelic and international sounds, referencing these threads in ways that were so diverse and intensely personalized it would take scholars decades to decode them.
DJ Newtown (Tofubeats) – West Members LP (Hihatt)
Long before taking on the name Tofubeats and navigating through the world of J-pop, Yusuke Kawai recorded under the name DJ Newtown. This project found the electronic artist creating jittery breakcore tracks out of a wide array of samples, inspired in part by his very own upbringing in a Kobe adjacent ‘new town,’ a sort of planned suburb in Japan occupied by big box stores and not much else.
Fiorious – I’m Not Defeated (Cassius Remix) 12” (Ed Banger)
Following death of Philippe Zdar last summer, Ed Banger and Glitterbox Recordings have come together to release the final collaborative Cassius production, with the blessing of Hubert Boombass and Philippe’s family. This special vinyl only release features their remix of Fiorious’ powerful call-to-resistance anthem “I’m Not Defeated”, a record that captures the energy of historical protest songs, and inspired remixes from Honey Dijon and Catz ‘N Dogz with critical acclaim. Etched B-side.
Fruit Bats & Vetiver – In Real Life: Live At Spacebomb Studios LP (Spacebomb Arc)
Limited custard colored vinyl pressing. In Real Life documents this musical partnership between Fruit Bats and Vetiver as part of the ongoing Live At Spacebomb series.
The Fuzztones – Raw Heat: The Real Sound Of “In Heat” LP (Bang)
Vinyl reissue of the original version (not produced by Shel Talmy) of 1989’s In Heat as it was intended to sound.
France Gall – Poupée De Cire, Poupée De Son [Reissue/1965] LP (Third Man)
France Gall – Baby Pop [Reissue/1966] LP (Third Man)
France Gall – 1968 [Reissue/1968] LP (Third Man)
France Gall was a prolific French vocalist and performer, remembered as one of the central figures of the 1960s yé-yé pop movement. Aligning catchy, spirited rhythms with lighthearted lyrics and drawing from the beat music a la early Beatles and Hollies, the yé-yé artists promoted a sort of new freedom of expression and breaking down of social barriers in post-WWII France.
Selena Gomez – Rare LP (Interscope)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. The eagerly awaited new album from the multi-platinum singer and actress includes the singles “Lose You To Love Me” and “Look At Her Now”.
Masumi Hara – 4 X A Dream [Reissue/1984] LP (Numero)
A seamless mix of the organic and inorganic, the recent past and distant future, and the possible and impossible, Japanese multi-media artist Masumi Hara’s sophomore album arrived like a fish on the moon in 1984. An album filled with contradiction and purpose, 4 X A Dream is both Balearic acid folk and damaged steel drum dub, hi-tech new wave balladry and ambient synth pop. Classical and neo-impressionist vibes haunt and entrance. Quite possibly the most unique LP you’ll ever add to your collection.
Heldon – Un Rêve Sans Conséquence Spéciale [Reissue/1976] LP+MP3 (Bureau B)
Heldon – Heldon.6. Interface [Reissue/1977] LP+MP3 (Bureau B)
Heldon – Stand By [Reissue/1979] LP+MP3 (Bureau B)
Vinyl reissues of three albums from the French prog/space rock band. [CD reissues were released a few weeks ago.]
Jan Dukes de Grey – Mice And Rats In The Loft [Reissue/1971] LP (Trading Places)
Led by the inscrutably gnomic Derek Noy, Yorkshire-based outfit Jan Dukes de Grey briefly emerged in the late ’60s to deliver two of the rarest, most sought-after albums in the British acid folk lexicon, their 1969 debut Sorcerers and the extraordinary Mice And Rats In The Loft, here represented in all its beauty. One of the most mysterious and iconoclastic albums of the whole hippie era.
Chris Janson – Real Friends LP (Warner Nashville)
Released last year on CD – now available on vinyl. Latest album from the country music recording artist and singer/songwriter. Features a guest appearance by Blake Shelton.
Tom Jones – The World Of Tom Jones [Reissue/1976] LP (Decca)
Part of Decca’s The World Of series from the ‘70s, The World Of Tom Jones corrals the crooning Welshman’s robust classics like “It’s Not Unusual”, “She’s A Lady”, the James Bond theme “Thunderball” and a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary” among others.
Lightning Bolt – Ride The Skies [Reissue/2001] LP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
Compared to their 1999 eponymous debut, Ride The Skies is cleaner and tighter as it was recorded in studio rather than live. Which is not to say this is boring or sanitized in any way; Lightning Bolt never fail to make magic, filling a space with loud, raw sound. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Keith Mansfield / Alan Hawkshaw – The Big Beat [Reissue/1969] LP (Tummy Touch)
Pounding, thumping, rocking and pulsating, The Big Beat “is without doubt the king of all library albums.” Composed by the undisputed heavyweight champions of the genre, Keith Mansfield and Alan Hawkshaw, and originally released in 1969 in the KPM 1000 Series, it is available once again
London May – Devilution: The Early Years LP (Cleopatra)
A devilishly good sampling of the early years and evolution of renowned drummer for numerous seminal punk/noise bands in the ’80s and early ’90s. Features previously unreleased tracks by Samhain, Dag Nasty, and Circle Jerks, plus rare tracks by Lunch Box (with TSOL’s Ron Emory), Distorted Pony (produced by Steve Albini), and more.
The Monsters – I’m A Stranger To Me 7”/Cassette (Slovenly)
New EP from the Swiss trash punk legends. [Cassette edition also available.]
Mudhoney – Pedazo De Pastel 12” (Folc)
An archival EP of Piece Of Cake-era tracks plus the unreleased “Knock It In The Head”.
Nujabes – Metaphorical Music [Reissue/2003] 2xLP (Hydeout Productions)
Metaphorical Music is Nujabes’ first solo album released in 2003. It offers a combination of hip hop and instrumental jazz, and features artists like Shing02, Substantial, Five Deez and Cise Starr (of Cyne). Despite the fact that the album has contributing vocals from several artists, it is roughly classified as a breakbeat album.
Oh Wonder – No One Else Can Wear Your Crown LP (Republic)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Oh Wonder is one of the UK’s best-kept secrets. Written and self-produced in the group’s own home studio before being co-mixed with Cenzo Townshend (Bat For Lashes, Christine & The Queens, Jungle), No One Else Can Wear Your Crown explores a host of different emotions and experiences – some forged on the road on their last world tour, others from taking a break and reflecting on all that they’ve accomplished as a band so far.
Pop Evil – #1’s LP (E1)
Limited opaque gold colored vinyl pressing. Grand Rapids, MI-based alt-metal/post-grunge band showcase all of their Number 1 charting singles.
Possessed – Revelations Of Oblivion 2xLP (Nuclear Blast)
Limited black and red colored vinyl pressing of the death metal band’s 2019 album. There was a time in which genuine power was felt erupting from the sonic landscape that is now referred to as “old school” death metal. Its genesis was filled with a fresh and vibrant energy, and it was the mighty Possessed who initially breathed life into this new and exciting genre. With writing that started in 1982, the first official death metal band created the now classic record Seven Churches and established the face of the genre permanently. Sadly, like with many artistic pioneers, it was very early on in Possessed’s existence that a grand tragedy struck which would put the band on hiatus for almost two decades. After many years of healing, education, renewal, and eventually new writing, there is now a resurgence of life, and the rebuilt, and polished Possessed return with the long-awaited album Revelations Of Oblivion.
Nancy Priddy – You’ve Come This Way Before [Reissue/1968] LP (Modern Harmonic)
Released just a year after her vocals graced Leonard Cohen’s debut, Nancy Priddy’s lone album is a sweeping odyssey across avant garde arrangements rife with experimental pop instrumentation and adorned with her sublimely delivered psychedelic poetry.
Prophet – Don’t Forget It LP (Stones Throw)
Prophet is an electro-funk musician from the San Francisco area, who until his debut Stones Throw album in 2018, had only released an obscure private-press LP called Right On Time (1984, Treasure Records) which to this day has a dedicated cult following. After its release, Prophet disappeared for over three decades until Stones Throw’s founder Peanut Butter Wolf, a long-time fan, met him by chance encounter.
Purple Disco Machine – In My Arms 12” (Club Sweat)
Releasing four of the biggest dance tracks of 2018 and crowned as the #2 Beatport Artist Of All Time, Dresden born disco-house producer Purple Disco Machine has quickly become one of the most prolific and sought-after producers in the industry.
Aubrie Sellers – Far From Home LP (Aurbrie Sellers Music)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. For anybody who’s ever felt as if they didn’t quite fit in, Aubrie Sellers’ masterful second album, Far From Home, the follow-up to her sensational debut, New City Blues, is essential listening. Sonically, it’s a sweeping, epic vision made manifest in crushing, amp-busting guitar rock – Sellers once dubbed this sound “garage country” – and delicate yet shattering widescreen ballads that form compelling frameworks for her angelic voice to take flight.
Septicflesh – The Great Mass [Reissue/2011] LP (Season Of Mist)
Limited colored vinyl reissue. 2011’s The Great Mass is a symphonic masterpiece that constitutes a quantum leap in the art of amalgamating orchestral music with heavy metal.
Silverstein – 18 Candles: The Early Years [Reissue/2006] 2xLP (Victory)
Silverstein – Decade (Live at the El Macambo) [Reissue/2010] 2xLP (Victory)
First time vinyl pressings. 18 Candles: The Early Years offers a rare glimpse of where the entire saga for the Canadian alt-rockers began. 2010’s Decade (Live at the El Macambo) was recorded during the band’s tenth anniversary tour.
Slander Tongue – Slander Tongue LP (Slovenly)
Debut release from Germany’s suave rock ‘n’ roll true-believers.
Sløtface – Sorry For The Late Reply LP (Nettwerk)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. After road-testing new songs in prisons across Norway as part of a nationwide arts initiative, Sorry For The Late Reply is full of blistering punk fizz and earworm hooks, articulated by masterfully melancholic lyricism.
Bruce Springsteen – 18 Tracks [Reissue/1999] 2xLP+MP3 (Sony Legacy)
Bruce Springsteen – Live In New York City [Reissue/2001] 3xLP+MP3 (Sony Legacy)
Bruce Springsteen – Rising [Reissue/2002] 2xLP+MP3 (Sony Legacy)
Bruce Springsteen – Devils & Dust [Reissue/2005] 2xLP+MP3 (Sony Legacy)
Bruce Springsteen – Live In Dublin [Reissue/2007] 3xLP+MP3 (Sony Legacy)
2020 vinyl reissues.
Stack Waddy – Bugger Off [Reissue/1972] LP (Trading Places)
Stack Waddy were the rough kids of John Peel’s Dandelion label, their gruff blues-rock sounding like a fart at a funeral alongside the introspective outpourings of label mates like Bridget St. John and Clifford T Ward. They were a tough sell in such soft times, and had broken up by the time this charmingly titled second album appeared in 1972. But the subsequent admiration of American avant-rockers like Steve Albini has revived interest enough to make this expanded reissue of Bugger Off! worth investigating, if you’ve a penchant for sludgy proto-heavy metal in the vein of Black Sabbath.
Staple Singers – Come Go With Me: The Stax Collection 7xLP (Craft Recordings)
Come Go With Me: The Stax Collection is a set that features The Staple Singers’ Stax Records studio albums (six albums), plus one disc of rarities (non-album singles and Live At Wattstax tracks). The studio albums include Soul Folk In Action, We’ll Get Over, The Staple Swingers, Be Altitude: Respect Yourself, Be What You Are, and City In The Sky. Liner notes are written by Levon Williams and Langston Wilkins.
Lindsey Stirling – Shatter Me 2xLP (Lindsey Stomp Music)
Limited numbered double neon pink vinyl pressing of the 2014 release from the violinist, dancer, performance artist, and composer.
Thin Lizzy – Nightlife [Reissue/1974] LP+MP3 (Mercury)
Thin Lizzy – Fighting [Reissue/1975] LP+MP3 (Mercury)
Thin Lizzy – Jailbreak [Reissue/1976] LP+MP3 (Mercury)
Thin Lizzy – Johnny The Fox [Reissue/1977] LP+MP3 (Mercury)
Thin Lizzy – Bad Reputation [Reissue/1977] LP+MP3 (Mercury)
Vinyl reissues of the Irish hard rock band’s fourth-through-eighth studio albums.
Joe Turner – Street Of Dreams: Boston 1985 LP (Deadline Music)
A vintage unreleased live album from the vaults of legendary hard rock vocalist and leader of the mighty Rainbow.
Claude VonStroke – Freaks & Beaks 3xLP (Dirtybird)
Freaks & Beaks nods at the inspirations that underpin VonStroke’s world, inside jokes between him and Justin Martin (“FlubbleBuddy”), unused experimental live sessions (“Session A”), playful noodling on synths (“Alpine Arpline”), obscure French producers (“Frankie Goes To Bollywood”), championing new talent (“Youngblood”), irreverent self-aware humor (“Birthday Messages”) and genre inspirations that range from ghetto tech and drum ‘n’ bass to hip-hop and breaks.
Sweet William To Ichiko Aoba – Karakai To Aman 12” (Toyokasei)
A collaboration between beatmaker Sweet William and singer-songwriter Ichiko Aoba.
Winston Surfshirt – Apple Crumble LP (BMG)
Sydney-based funk, soul and R&B act Winston Surfshirt deliver their second studio album. Having developed a cult following for their smooth style and raucous live shows, the band’s unique blend of funk, soul and hip-hop originally emerged as the solo project of singer/rapper/producer Winston Surfshirt, before organically adopting other local artists and snowballing into what is now a musical collective filling each stage they grace to the brim.
Johnny Winter – The Progressive Blues Experiment [Reissue/1968] LP (Friday Music)
180gm audiophile translucent gold vinyl pressing. Fifty years ago, Johnny Winter and his band consisting of Tommy Shannon and Red Turner made musical history as they recorded the first official Johnny Winter LP.
The Young Gods – Super Ready/Fragmenté [Reissue/2007] 2xLP (Two Gentlemen)
Vinyl reissue of the Swiss industrial band’s sixth album.
The Monsters – I’m A Stranger To Me (Slovenly)
New EP from the Swiss trash punk legends.
Poliça – When We Stay Alive (Memphis Industries)
Recently released on CD and vinyl – now available on cassette. When Poliça’s Channy Leaneagh fell off her roof while clearing ice in early 2018, she smashed her L1 vertebrae and battered her spine, leaving her in a brace with limited mobility for months. Yet Poliça’s fourth album, When We Stay Alive, is not about one debilitating accident. It’s about the redemptive power of rewriting your story in order to heal and reclaiming your identity as a result. When We Stay Alive possesses a new confidence in its sound, reflected in its fierce, determined songs and anchored by the heavy synths and punctuating beats of Poliça co-founder and producer Ryan Olson.
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