Ásgeir – In The Silence CD (One Little Indian)
US debut for the rising Icelandic folk/electronica artist. “Despite being a ‘singer/songwriter’ album, In The Silence certainly doesn’t lack variety from an instrumental perspective — ‘Torrent’ matches its emotional lyrics with a brash rock sensibility, making it the most immediate-sounding track on the record, while ‘King And Cross’ is more akin to Alt-J with its humming bass and aquatic synths. ‘In The Silence’ comes across like a more chilled out Of Monsters And Men, and the stark, minimal ‘Going Home’ calls to mind James Blake.” – Drowned In Sound
Nicole Atkins – Slow Phaser CD/LP (Oh Mercy! Records)
A neon noir tour de force of hi-def late-night pop, Slow Phaser marks Nicole Atkins’ most ingenious and indelibly modern collection to date. Produced by Tore Johannson — with whom she partnered on her now-classic 2007 debut, Neptune City — the album is a milestone for the acclaimed singer/songwriter, her restless creativity fully realized via the addition of some surprising colors to her already diverse pallet.
Atomic Ape – Swarm CD (Web Of Mimicry)
Here’s some good news for fans of meticulously crafted instrumental music and records with major production efforts behind them: The Web Of Mimicry artist(s) formerly known as Orange Tulip Conspiracy have returned with a new lineup, a new sound, a new name, and most exciting of all, a new album called Swarm, which features a massive cast of 25 musicians, including: Trey Spruance, Eyvind Kang, Tim Young, Devin Hoff, Jessika Kenney, Dave Abramson, Timb Harris, Steve Moore and other heavy luminaries like Joe Doria, Danny Frankel and Mike Stone.
Augustines – Augustines CD/LP (Votiv/Oxcart)
Augustines was born upon the ashes of the Brooklyn indie rock band, Pela. That combo called an end to its collective trip in 2009, but founders McCarthy and Sanderson reunited to record a series of deeply personal songs chronicling despair, depression, and the untimely death of a close family member. They dubbed their intimate new endeavor, Augustines, which trademark issues required be appended to We Are Augustines.
Ausmuteants – Amusements CD (Agitated/Aarght!)
Ausmuteants are four twenty-nothings from Geelong, Victoria raised on a diet of seminal avant-punk like Chrome, the Screamers, and letʼs not mention Devo.
Behemoth – The Satanist CD (Metal Blade)
The Satanist is the 10th studio album from the Polish blackened death metal band. The cover art was painted by renowned Russian painter and occultist Denis Forkas.
Big Head Todd & The Monsters – Black Beehive CD (Shout Factory!)
“[T]his blues-infused album may be the strongest affirmation of the band’s roots. From the gritty album-opening growlers of ‘Hey Delila’ and ‘Everything About You,’ to the folk/country blues of ‘Travelin’ Light’ and ‘Forever Bonnie,’ the group shows commitment to the form. … We all know that the blues had a baby called rock & roll. Big Head Todd & The Monsters make it so.” — Relix
Scott H. Biram – Nothin’ But Blood CD/LP (Bloodshot)
What in the past has been expressed through reeling irreverence and spirit-lifting profanity (which Biram’s still got in spades; don’t worry) is here a more penetrating, and chilling, version of The Dirty Old One Man Band self-examining and penitent, yet still as crazy as a jack-eyed preacher. On his ninth album (and fifth for Bloodshot Records) blood is many, often inherently contradictory, themes: life, death, suffering, evil, commitment, legacy, atonement. “With a raw immediacy that recalls Hasil Adkins and Bob Log III, Biram specializes in a twisted hybrid of gutbucket, hillbilly and godless metal. He’ll praise the virtues of moonshine and titty bars one minute, then tongue-lash city slickers and hippies the next.” — Houston Press
The Bixby Knolls – Near & Undear CD/LP (El Camino Media, LLC)
Powered by fuzz-driven sonics, heart-stomping rhythms and soul-awakening anthems and melodies, ‘The Knolls’ do not go unnoticed for those that witness their aural craft whether it be played from a phonograph or the stage. The four-piece collective shine a different light on the ‘indie’ sound and give hope to the survival of guitar driven pop.
Michael Bloomfield – From His Head To His Heart To His Hands 3xCD+DVD (Sony Legacy)
Guitarist Mike Bloomfield never fully got his due as one of the go-to sidemen of his generation or for his importance as a common thread in the patchwork of genres that changed the face of rock & roll in the ‘60s and ‘70s. This multi-disc anthology features released and unreleased gems from solo sessions to live performances from The Fillmore East and Fillmore West, The Bottom Line and other historic venues. The compilation also features a fascinating new mini-documentary combining vintage audio interviews with Bloomfield and live performances with new reflections from his friends, collaborators and admirers.
Bombay Bicycle Club – So Long, See You Tomorrow CD (Vagrant)
“So Long, See You Tomorrow is all about the beats, you see. It’s probably a smart move, what with guitar music being declared dead every three weeks by those music-typing folk. Lead single ‘Carry Me’ makes you all nostalgic for a summer yet to be experienced, one filed with exotic fruits, awkward romance and questionable Hawaiian shirts. It’s the type of music you’d hear at Ibiza Rocks, not that I really know what type of music you’d hear at Ibiza Rocks.” – Drowned In Sound
Toni Braxton & Babyface – Love, Marriage & Divorce CD (10 Spot)
With an all-time total of 16 Grammy Awards between them, multi-platinum superstars Toni Braxton and Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds have finally teamed up for their first album of duets.
Broken Bells – After The Disco CD/LP+MP3 (Columbia)
Sophomore album from the musical partnership comprised of Brian Burton (Danger Mouse) and James Mercer (The Shins). Features the first single. “Holding On To Life. Vinyl pressed on HQ-180gm with download.
Brotherhood – The Complete Recordings 2xCD (Real Gone Music)
Right at the height of popularity for Paul Revere & The Raiders, the band’s core power trio of Phil Volk (bass), Drake Levin (guitar) and Mike (Smitty) Smith (drums) left to pursue their own more ambitious musical goals. Subsequent lawsuits and a run of bad luck meant that the first, self-titled album by their new band, Brotherhood, would be delayed, and received little notice at the time. Yet, by mixing a wealth of socially conscious original numbers with hard-rocking reinterpretations of tunes by the Mamas And The Papas and Joe South, Brotherhood was a band brimming with promise.
The John Butler Trio – Flesh + Blood CD (Vanguard)
Aussie roots virtuoso John Butler is known for his masterful lap-steel talent, as well as his unusual preference for playing acoustic guitars through a variety of pedals and distorted Marshall amps. But when it comes to the playing of stringed instruments, he virtually does it all, and extremely well at that, with a rare air of originality. Vinyl version due March 4.
Caliban – Ghost Empire CD (Century Media)
Ninth album from the German metalcore quintet.
Chain Gang Of 1974 – Daydream Forever CD (WB)
The Chain Gang Of 1974 is the moniker of multi-instrumentalist and DJ Kamtin Mohager’s alternative dance music project. Born in San Jose and raised in Hawaii and later Denver, Mohager’s first passion was hockey, but after hearing Tears For Fears’ “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” in the movie Real Genius, the teenager was inspired to play music. The project’s name references The Raveonettes album title The Chain Gang Of Love, and the birth year of another of his favorite musicians, Ryan Adams. After playing bass on tour with 3OH!3 from 2007 through 2010, Mohager launched the Chain Gang Of 1974.
Les Claypool’s Duo De Twang – Four Foot Shack CD/LP (ATO)
Four Foot Shack contains 15 songs that mix originals from Claypool’s many projects with covers such as “Man In The Box’]” by Alice In Chains and “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees. The album features just Les and MIRV outside of a cameo from Claypool’s son on banjo.
Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe – New Ammo CD (Stoopid Records)
New album acclaimed jazz/funk saxophonist and his seven-piece backing band. Denson is also known as a founder and integral member of The Greboy Allstars. New Ammo is the long-awaited follow-up to their 2009 album Brother’s Keeper. Always a formidable unit, the band is bolstered by the doubling of its already raucous horn frontline, and an invigorated orchestral approach inspired by the gritty, funk-fueled soundtracks of ‘70s cinema.
Diamond Youth – Shake CDEP/12” (Topshelf)
Melodic ’90s-influenced rock band Diamond Youth formed in 2010 around vocalist/guitarist Justin Gilman, guitarist Sam Trapkin, bassist Daniel Fang, and drummer Brendan Yates.
The Dream Syndicate – The Day Before Wine And Roses: Live At KPFK, September 5, 1982 [Reissue/1995] CD (Omnivore)
A few weeks before The Dream Syndicate entered the studio to record their seminal The Days Of Wine And Roses album, they set up in Studio ZZZZ at KPFK in Los Angeles for a live set. In attendance were members of R.E.M., the Bangles and Green On Red. The session documents the genesis of one of the most important pieces of the Paisley Underground puzzle. The band began playing at 2AM according to Wynn’s liner notes, and that could not have been a more perfect time for the ethereal sounds of this highly influential band.
Exmortus – Slave To The Sword CD (Prosthetic)
Exmortus are an entity amongst themselves, and their music — both complex and thoroughly hook-laden — refuses to lend itself to easy categorization. From the technical death/thrash riffage and surgically precise drumming to their neo-classical, twin virtuoso lead guitar attack, fans of death metal, thrash, prog metal, traditional heavy metal and all true metal sub-genres alike enjoy having their craniums crushed by the fury of Exmortus. Vinyl version due February 11.
For Today – Fight The Silence CD/LP (Razor & Tie )
For Today returns with a strong social message on their new album, Fight The Silence. On its first single of the same name, the album helps to shine a light on the issue of human trafficking; an issue that re-introduces the band at their most personal and perhaps most passionate.
Gardens & Villa – Dunes CD/LP (Secretly Canadian)
Gardens & Villa found themselves in the unlikely locale of Benton Harbor, MI in the middle of winter to record their second full-length, Dunes. With the aid of Sly Stone’s custom Flickinger recording console, acclaimed producer Tim Goldsworthy (Cut Copy, DFA Records, LCD Soundsystem, Hercules & The Love Affair) guided Gardens & Villa until they ultimately emerged with a record beaming with dystopian energy, subconscious lyrics, and uncompromising sincerity.
Grand Magus – Triumph & Power CD (Nuclear Blast)
Grand Magus is a special band: While tradition is very important to them, they still have the courage to develop their music. Stylistically, they may have come a long way from their dusty self-titled rock debut to their new metal masterpiece Hammer Of The North, but the Stockholm trio has evolved without losing touch with their experiences. They have never abandoned the driving groove of their early years or their love of epic doom and extreme metal.
Tord Gustavsen Quartet – Extended Circle CD (ECM)
Gustvasen’s quartet with Tore Brunborg, Mats Eilertsen and long-term associate Jarle Vespestad has matured into a group whose interactions draw strength from restraint, patiently building the music toward its climaxes. Here are new gospel-tinged pieces and ballads from Tord’s pen, gentle and luminescent group improvisations, and an ecstatic interpretation of the Norwegian traditional “Eg Veit I Himmerik Ei Borg (I Know A Castle In Heaven).”
Hand – The Other Side Of The World CD/LP (Golden Pavillion)
The Swiss/American progressive rock band’s first new album in decades. Their current sound reflects the band’s roots in American rock and folk music, and finds its place within the thriving context of Americana music currently in great demand. Her new EP features the single “She Keeps Me Warm” and the incredible spoken-word anthem “Body Love.”
The High Kings – Friends For Life CD (Sony Classics)
Friends For Life, the new album from The High Kings, features twelve irresistible tracks, including two original songs by the group, that showcase the brilliant instrumental and vocal talents of these four Irish musicians. Ireland’s Folk Band of the Year for the last four years, The High Kings have an accomplished musical pedigree, playing 13 instruments between them.
Jucifer – за волгой для нас земли нет (There Is No Land Beyond The Volga) CD (MRI)
Released last year on vinyl – now available on CD. With their eighth full-length album, nomadic sludge death-drone duo Jucifer channels the soul/soil of a place called Volgograd into an hour and seventeen minutes of music as storied and powerful as the land and people to which they have dedicated this latest offering. Sonic S&M for the modern, corroded soul; untouchable epithets of beauty; grim odes to all that’s heavy.
Marsen Jules – Beautyfear CD (Oktaf)
Cloudy soundscapes which at some points remind of Angelo Badalamenti’s work for David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive.
Mary Lambert – Welcome To The Age Of My Body CDEP (Capitol)
Mary Lambert is a Seattle, Washington-based singer/songwriter/poet/composer/spoken-word artist. She has been nominated for two Grammy Awards including Song of the Year for “Same Love” and Album of the Year for The Heist.
Little Mix – Salute CD (Columbia)
Sophomore album from the British Girl Group. Little Mix are a quartet formed in 2011, consisting of members Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Jade Thirlwall. They were formed exclusively for the eighth series of The X Factor, where they became the first group entry to win in the program’s eight-year history. Available in Regular and Deluxe editions. Deluxe adds four bonus tracks.
Mark McGuire – Along The Way CD/2xLP (Dead Oceans)
New album from the Emeralds guitarist/producer. Along The Way details the inner journey of an individual seeking definition and enlightenment. For those following McGuire’s musical ascent thus far, the record is a culmination of a prodigious and prolific artist. Available on CD and on green vinyl.
Jeremy Messersmith – Heart Murmers CD/LP (Glassnote)
Heart Murmers is the fifth album from the Minneapolis-based indie singer/songwriter, and is the follow-up to his 2012 album Paper Moon. Features the single “Tourniquet.” “Imagine Elliott Smith driving in a convertible, the wind flying through his hair, singing about sadness & somehow creating joy enough to forget his troubles for a while.” – The Onion
Pat Metheny – Kin (ßà) CD/2xLP+CD (Nonesuch)
In 2012, for the first time since 1980, guitarist Pat Metheny recorded with a band that highlighted tenor saxophone. Unity Band, which went on to win Metheny his 20th Grammy Award, featured Chris Potter on sax and bass clarinet, longtime collaborator Antonio Sanchez on drums, and Ben Williams on bass. Metheny added another musician, multi-instrumentalist Giulio Carmassi, and christened the ensemble Pat Metheny Unity Group. Their first record is Kin (ßà).
Moonshine Bandits – Calicountry CD (Average Joe’s Entertainment)
The Moonshine Bandits’ new album was executive produced by none other than country superstar Colt Ford and Average Joe’s CEO Shannon Houchins. Calicountry features guest appearances from The Lacs, Colt Ford, Big B, Danny Boone from Rehab, Durwood Black, and American Idol finalist Sarah Ross.
Musi-O-Tunya – Give Love To Your Children CD/2xLP+MP3 (Now Again)
Mid-‘70s funk, psych-rock, and fuzz-guitar-lead Afrobeat from Zambia’s groundbreaking band.
Marissa Nadler – July CD/LP (Sacred Bones)
Recorded at Seattle’s Avast Studio, July pairs Nadler for the first time with producer Randall Dunn (Earth, Sunn O))), Wolves In The Throne Room). Dunn matches Nadler’s darkness by creating a multi-colored sonic palette that infuses new dimensions into her songs. Eyvind Kang’s strings, Steve Moore’s synths, and Phil Wandscher’s guitar lines escalate the whole affair to a panoramic level of beautiful, eerie wonder. July is the kind of release that reminds you why NPR counts Nadler s songwriting as so “revered among an assortment of tastemakers.”
Shirley Nanette – Never Coming Back CD/2xLP (Truth & Soul)
In the early ‘70s, Hank Swarn and Shirley Nanette collaborated on a project called Never Coming Back. Swarn had been on the road for five years, lending his guitar-backing talent to Earl Grant and his band. While on tour, he wrote some tunes that were ultimately released on the album. Al Nanette approached Hank about putting together a record with Shirley, who was also keen on getting in the studio. Luckily, Swarn already had songs to bring to the session. With the support some talented local musicians, the album was recorded mostly in one or two takes in a little over a week.
Orange Juice – You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever [Reissue/1982] CD (Domino)
Orange Juice – Rip It Up [Reissue/1982] CD (Domino)
Orange Juice – Texas Fever [Reissue/1984] CD (Domino)
Orange Juice – The Orange Juice [Reissue/1984] CD (Domino)
“The leaders of the Scottish neo-pop uprising Orange Juice formed in Glasgow in late 1976. Originally dubbed the Nu-Sonics, the group comprised vocalist/guitarist Edwyn Collins, guitarist James Kirk, bassist David McClymont, and drummer Steven Daly; following the formation of the Postcard label by Collins protégé Alan Horne, the quartet renamed itself Orange Juice in 1979, adopting the new moniker as well as an aura of romantic innocence as a direct reaction to the increasingly macho aggression of punk” – AllMusic. Vinyl versions due February 11.
Eric Paslay – Eric Paslay CD (Universal Nashville)
Paslay’s debut album features his Top 15 hit single “Friday Night” which has been featured in weekly ESPN College Football Friday Primetime broadcasts last fall.
Quicksilver Messenger Service – Fillmore Auditorium November 5, 1966 CD/2xLP (Cleopatra)
One of the earliest live performances ever recorded by these icons of the San Francisco music scene.
Paul Roders – The Royal Sessions CD/LP (429)
New collection of classic R&B and soul songs re-imagined by the Bad Company singer/songwriter. Available on CD and on HQ-200gm audiophile vinyl.
Janek Schaefer – Lay-By Lullaby CD (12k)
The latest offering from the turntablist/collage/electronic artist extraordinaire weaves location recordings, made in the middle of the night above the M3 motorway, around a series of spacious sonorities, that shimmer with analogue textures and liminal melodies that burnout in the passing headlights.
Smith – A Group Called Smith/Minus-Plus [Reissue/1969] CD (Real Gone)
Smith were discovered in an L.A. nightclub by none other than Del Shannon, who got them signed to ABC-Dunhill and arranged their smash hit cover of “Baby, Its You.” They also boasted one of the best albeit largely unknown female singers of the ‘60s in the person of Gayle McCormick, who, with her blonde good looks and powerful, bluesy voice, seemed destined to lead Smith to big things (she did go on to record a series of solo albums for Dunhill). However, the band broke up after these two albums, and while the first album was reissued on a long out-of-print (and now very expensive) CD, the second album has never been reissued in any format until now.
The Smoking Hearts – Victory! CD (Bullet Tooth)
Playing with the likes of The Used, Asking Alexandria, Bullet For My Valentine, Gallows, Andrew WK, and many more, The Smoking Hearts have cemented their reputation as one of the most exciting young bands in the U.K.
Snowbird – Moon CD (Bella Union)
“The creative union of former Cocteau Twin and current Bella Union label boss Simon Raymonde and Wisconsin-born singer/songwriter Stephanie Dosen was always likely to give birth to something of beauty. In that respect, Moon fully lives up to its billing. Under the name Snowbird, the duo has crafted an intricate set of graceful songs that simply glide off Raymonde’s piano and Dosen’s tongue. As sensual as it is enigmatic, the album is a product of a long-distance nighttime liaison between the pair, with Raymonde laying down instrumental tracks after sundown to send to the North Carolina-based Dosen, who would improvise vocals over them and post the results back to London.” – Consequence Of Sound
Soundtrack – Toomorrow [From The Harry Saltzman, Don Kirshner Film] CD (Real Gone Music)
Original soundtrack to the 1970 sci-fi musical. Long before she was Sandy, the good girl of Rydell High, or Kira, the Olympian muse of the roller disco Xanadu, Olivia Newton-John was just plain Livvy, the girl singer with dreams of the big time in the 1970 sci-fi movie musical Toomorrow.
Ruben Studdard – Unconditional Love CD (Verve)
Unconditional Love is filled with some of the most romantic songs Studdard has ever recorded including “My Love” by Paul McCartney and Wings, The Carpenters classic, “They Long To Be (Close To You)” which includes Stevie Wonder on harmonica and Bonnie Raitt’s poignant, “I Can’t Make You Love Me”. Additional tracks include a steamy version of Teddy Pendegrass’ “Close The Door” which was produced by singer Eric Benet who also produced Studdard’s breathtaking version of the Boz Scaggs hit “Love, Look What You’ve Done To Me”. The album also contains a soaring duet with Lalah Hathaway of “With You I’m Born Again” which was originally recorded by Syreeta Wright and Billy Preston.
Sunn O))) & Ulver – Terrestrials CD (Southern Lord)
New collaboration between two of the most respected avant-metal bands in the underground. Three movements which are fluid like the flow of magma beneath the Earth’s crust, sonically uninhibited, unpredictably cosmic, haunting and stirring yet simultaneously ceremonious and beautiful.
The Tower Of Light – The Tower Of Light CD/LP+MP3 (Felte)
Beaming its sleepwalking sound from a bedroom in Brooklyn, The Tower Of Light deals in the marriage of polarities on his self-titled debut album. At once delicate and severe, ecstatic then pensive, both sparse and lush, it follows a road that was paved by the early days of 4AD and its strange, beautiful diversity, while making unexpected stylistic detours as it winds its way through the ether.
The Traps – Boom Pow Awesome Wow CD/LP (Castle Face)
Another grimy bit of gold from the vaults; “homemade” music from Providence, RI to irk your co-workers with. When you hear the word “garage,” does it make you want to leave the room? I can relate. Beaten over the head, we’ve been. The horse that was once merely dead is now paste on the linoleum. Garage songs sell cars. Needless to say, The Traps would be last on the list for ad men’s fancy. Sometimes you see or hear something that is so completely the raw ingredient of what was once great in your life that it stands out…or in this case, hunches over with a thread of saliva from its chin to its knee.
Tony Trischka – Great Big World CD (Rounder)
Tony Trischka is one of the leading lights of contemporary banjo. His innovations have inspired players like Bela Fleck and myriad others, helping to define the dynamic banjo stylings of today. With a formidable range from traditional pieces through contemporary experimentation, Great Big World encompasses the generous world of Tony Trischka’s music his sterling banjo, and his extraordinary original tunes.
Troyka – Troyka [Reissue/1970] CD (Real Gone Music)
One could say that Troykas self-titled 1970 Cotillion album came out of left field, but that wouldn’t quite do it justice. It really belongs on its own planet. Though there are strong elements of hard rock and psych that have made it a favorite among collectors, Troyka’s mad concoction also stirs in elements of folk, traditional Ukrainian music, Polish spoken-word bits, prog, and even funk.
Various Artists – Let No One Judge You: Early Recordings From Iran, 1906-1933 2xCD (Honest Jon’s)
Ravishingly beautiful, achingly precious songs and instrumentals, ranging from two performances by the Royal Court Orchestra in 1906 — with futuristic, overlapping trumpets and exquisite clarinet improvisation — through to a hauntingly soulful Hafez setting by Moluk Zarrabi of Kashan, from 1933.
Various Artists – Optimo (Espacio): Dark Was The Night CD (Endless Flight)
Compilation featuring music dedicated to the same spirit of human identity as the records launched into space with the Voyager spacecraft in 1977. Includes tracks from Grouper, Nurse With Wound, The Freeze, and more.
Various Artists – Pop Ambient 2014 CD/LP+CD (Kompakt)
Kompakt’s annual foray into the lighter side of their otherwise friskier electronica/dance-leaning roster features new tracks by Ulf Lohmann, Thomas Fehlmann, Mikkel Metal, Marsen Jules, Cologne Tape, Simon Scott, The Bionaut, Wolfgang Voight, and The Field.
Various Artists – This Is The Town (A Tribute To Nilsson Volume 1) CD/LP (The Royal Potato Family)
This Is The Town: A Tribute to Nilsson (Volume 1) is a 20-track collection that celebrates the artistry of legendary singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson. The set features a diverse gathering of young artists performing songs that span the breadth of Nilsson’s repertoire, including “Early In The Morning” by Langhorne Slim, “Jump Into The Fire” by Low Cut Connie, “Are You Sleeping” by Marco Benevento, “Rainmaker” by Yellowbirds, “Think About Your Troubles” by Willy Mason and “Everybody’s Talkin’” by Tracy Bonham. Harry’s daughter Annie Nilsson contributes a rendition of “Gotta Get Up,” along with the original illustrations that serve as the album’s artwork.
Water Liars –Water Liars CD/LP (Fat Possum)
The Mississippi rockers self-titled follow-up to last year’s Wyoming “is a record about trying to live and love and earn a living in times and places that don’t make it easy on anybody,” says frontman Justin Kinkel-Schuster. “It’s about trying to handle the bad times that nobody escapes and take care of the good times as long as they last. It’s us trying to tell about the outskirts of America that we’ve seen, lived through and live in, and get it right, for once if not for all.”
Juan Wauters – N.A.P. North American Poetry CD/LP (Captured Tracks)
On his debut solo record, N.A.P. North-American Poetry, Wauters dreams big; coming into his own as a singer. Building on his songwriting, popularized by The Beets, Juan presents introspective tracks, like “Water” and “Sanity,” and reflections on humans’ relationship with technology in songs like “Breathing” which features Carmelle Safdie. The record is completed, as always, by the artwork of dear friend and longtime collaborator Matthew Volz, who has honed the trademark visual aesthetic of Juan’s music. This album is a selection of recordings made between the fall of 2010 and the summer of 2012 at Marlborough Farms. N.A.P. delivers a fresh sound and lyrical candor from one of Queens’ most idiosyncratic adoptive sons.
Whiskey Myers – Early Morning Shakes CD (Wiggy Thump)
Whiskey Myers makes honest music. Loud and proud, they sing about what they know with a refreshing directness and clarity. Some call it rebel music, but it’s more like everyday soul. Their songs are stories, with relatable characters and situations. Stories of celebration, of mourning, of trials and triumph. Vinyl version due February 11.
Wild Moccasins – 88 92 CD/LP (New West)
The new album from Houston-based quintet blends the co-ed fronted band’s indie rock styling with a modern take on new wave and disco. Bringing to mind bands like Blondie and Talking Heads, 88 92 finds the troupe growing within their sound and polishing their chops with a furious backbeat.
Within Temptation – Hydra CD/2xCD (Nuclear Blast)
Available in Regular and Deluxe editions. Deluxe adds a second disc with bonus songs and covers. Vinyl version due March 4. “This album is about the big things in life and in the world today. It’s dark, and powerful! We still have our symphonic elements, but it’s much faster and heavier than The Unforgiving. It goes in completely different directions – hence the title Hydra, because it represents the different sides of us.” – Guitarist/Songwriter Robert Westerholt
Erik Wøllo – Timelines CD (Projekt)
Timelines is the 18th solo album from veteran Norwegian ambient/electronic artist Erik Wøllo. It’s a warm, epic and shimmering cycle of memorable electronic music.
Xiu Xiu – Angel Guts: Red Classroom CD/LP+MP3 (Polyvinyl)
Working with only analog synths, drum set, and 1970’s analog drum machines, Xiu Xiu has never before sounded so focused, so captivating, so intent on delivering a kick to the throat. Unbearably dark, yet incredibly illuminating, Angel Guts: Red Classroom is the work of a band unraveling to its core and exposing the boldness within. Available on CD and on HQ-180gm clear vinyl with download.
+/- (Plus Minus) – Jumping The Tracks LP+MP3 (Teenbeat)
Fifth album from NYC’s +/- (and their first in over four years) is a stunning collection of pop songs with their trademark polyrhythmic percussion, glorious harmonies, and innate knack for writing a killer hook.
Afterhours – Lowlife LP (Not Not Fun)
An unusually elegant hybridized trip-hop sub-species.
Aztec Camera – High Land, Hard Rain [Reissue/1983] LP+MP3 (Domino)
In his new liner notes for this re-issue, David Fricke calls High Land, Hard Rain “ten songs of anxious yearning, romantic urgency, big hurt and hard-won learning, distilled into compact dramas of buckskin-folk jangle and skewed-pop elegance.” We call it the one of the greatest debut albums in the history of rock & roll. Completely remastered from the analog tapes and pressed on HQ-180gm vinyl. CD version due February 18.
Chrome – Read Only Memory [Reissue/1979] LP (Cleopatra)
A very special reissue of the rare 1979 EP by pioneering art rockers, with fully restored artwork and four bonus live tracks recorded in July of 1981.
Death Of Lovers – Buried Under A World Of Roses LP (Deathwish)
Death Of Lovers features members of Whirr and Nothing, and their new album is comprised of dreary vocals, slow motion melody, and plodding percussion, which swirl together to create a crushingly depressing atmosphere.
Depeche Mode – Some Great Reward [Reissue/1984] LP (WB)
Depeche Mode – Black Celebration [Reissue/1986] LP (WB)
Depeche Mode – Music For The Masses [Reissue/1987] LP (WB)
Depeche Mode – Songs Of Faith & Devotion [Reissue/1993] LP (WB)
HQ-180gm vinyl reissues. From the beginning of their career Depeche Mode have been at the forefront of remix culture; creating their own classic extended mixes back in the early ‘80s and over the years amassing a collection of remixers of their songs that pretty much charts the history of cutting edge dance music.
The Field – Cupid’s Head Remix I 12” (Kompakt)
Remixes for the title track from Cupid’s Head by Vatican Shadow, Barker & Baumecker & Sonns.
Floor – Floor [Standard Edition/Deluxe Edition] LP+7”+MP3 (Robotic Empire)
Like the sound of heaven collapsing, Floor ground to a halt in 2003, leaving in their wake a single proper full-length release—a thunderous, soaring doom / sludge / pop / rock hybrid to which nothing before or after can truly be compared. This brilliant monolith is the stuff of legend, laying the bedrock for what would come years later with Torche. Housed in a beautiful, full-color gatefold LP jacket with silver coverage throughout, this reissue adds a 7” with three outtakes from the album’s recording session, first unearthed for the Below & Beyond discography box set. Available in Standard and Deluxe editions. Deluxe is pressed on color vinyl with expanded notes, a sticker, and a patch.
Frowning Clouds/Living Eyes – Living Eyes/Frowning Clouds 7” (Agitated)
Excellent scuzz and buzz from the wondrous town of Geelong in Victoria, Australia. A new track from each of these bands: the Frowning Clouds play the almost perfect ‘60s styled pop smothered in a sheen of fuzz, while the Living Eyes dish out a swift one-two knockout with some of their hummable garage styled thwack.
Future Islands – Seasons 12” (4AD)
The first taste from Singles, the Baltimore band’s forthcoming 4AD debut (due March 25) includes the non-album B-side “One Day.”
Gazpacho – Tick Tock  2xLP (K-scope)
The Norwegian band Gazpacho has been described by one critic as “classical post ambient nocturnal atmospheric folk world rock.” Difficult to pigeonhole, the influence of bands like Radiohead, Muse, Marillion, Talk Talk and Porcupine Tree are evident. So it makes sense that K-scope is making their 2009 album available on vinyl for the first time.
Hard Working Americans – Hard Working Americans LP (Melvin Records)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Debut album from this ‘supergroup’ consisting of Todd Snider (vox), Dave Schools of Widespread Panic (bass), Neal Casal of The Chris Robinson Brotherhood (guitars/vox), Chad Staehly of Great American Taxi (keys) and Duane Trucks of King Lincoln and of the Trucks family lineage (drums). Hard Working Americans features 11 tracks written by a range of artists that include Randy Newman, Lucinda Williams, Kevin Gordon, Hayes Carll, Kevn Kinney (Drivin’ `N Cryin’), Gillian Welch & Dave Rawlings, Brian Henneman (The Bottle Rockets), Will Kimbrough, Tommy Womack, Kieran Kane, Chuck Mead (BR5-49), Don Herron and Frankie Miller (Elizabeth Cook). Special guests include John Popper and John Keane.
Have A Nice Life – The Unnatural World LP (The Flenser)
Fans of Connecticut’s post-industrial doomgaze two-piece Have A Nice Life have been restlessly awaiting the band’s second gloom fueled auto-biographical meditation and The Flenser is pleased to present The Unnatural World.
Helm – Impasse LP (New Images)
Impasse appears as somewhat of an anomaly in the Helm canon when viewed alongside recent live performances and his work for labels like Pan and Kye. Where other works explore the mystery inherent in everyday sounds and acoustic phenomena, the album is significantly brighter in tone. Consisting of four loop-based pieces, the record invokes the same fantastic worlds found in Terry Riley’s or Boyd Rice’s early ambient pieces.
Hysterics – Can’t I Live 7” (M’Lady’s)
Six new soon-to-be-classics for the radical punk canon.
Johnny Noise – Day Is Coming LP+MP3 (Siltbreeze)
Debut solo album from Los Llamarda guitarist.
Nashville Pu##y – Up The Dosage 2xLP (SPV)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Up The Dosage picks up seamlessly where their 2009 release From Hell To Texas left off. And what is more: the quartet’s five-year hiatus seems to have done them good — all the songs sound like they were catapulted into to the public from a fountain of youth, rocking in typical Pu##y style.
No Means No – In The Fishtank 1 LP (Fishtank)
The very first of the In The Fishtank series from 1996 from punk legends No Means No is finally available on vinyl for the first time. Comes with updated/new artwork, too.
Orchid – Capricorn: The Zodiac Sessions 2xLP (Nuclear Blast America)
The Zodiac Sessions consists of the metal band’s early works – 2009’s Through The Devil’s Doorway EP as well as the debut full-length Capricorn (2011). HQ-180gm vinyl in gatefold sleeve with poster. Side D is etched.
Peace Creep – Peace Creep 12” (Alternative Tentacles)
Drawing equally on Hüsker Dü, Superchunk, Dinosaur Jr and Breeders, as well as their own heavier musical history including Bottles and Skulls and Pins Of Light, Peace Creep obliterates the stage, spilling over their instruments like a house party out of control. The group’s sound nods at their hardcore influences, while incorporating elements ranging from psychedelic to noise.
Prolife – Overheated b/w Gold Leaves 7” (Sacred Bones)
Debut 7” from new group featuring members of Slug Guts.
Pye Corner Audio – Black Mill Tapes 3 & 4 2xLP (Type)
Recommended for fans of: Boards of Canada, Ghost Box, Mordant Music, Ekoplekz, & the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. (A CD version collecting all four volumes is due February 14.)
Sceptres – Childsplay 7” (Dire)
British post-punk with weirdo guitar floating through a dark atmosphere marked by brooding melodies. Raw, moody, and intriguing.
Shoes This High – Straight To Hell LP+MP3 (Siltbreeze)
While Shoes This High’s existence was a mere glint in the eye of Father Time (a year or more, tops), they made every second count, stalking the New Zealand post-punk landscape—both North and South islands—with ravenous abandon. For most fans, their legend and reputation rest solely on the strength of one highly formidable (and collectable) self-released 7” EP from 1981. For Straight To Hell, Siltbreeze tapped into the massive tape library of famed New Zealand underground music archivist Bob Sutton, who had in his possession a white-hot live scorcher of the group, culled from a set that went down at the infamous Billy The Club way back when.
Various Artists – The 78 Project: Volume 1 LP (The 78 Project)
The 78 Project is a documentary journey across America that records today’s musicians as they perform the songs that inspired a century of music—exactly as those works were originally recorded: instantaneously onto 78 RPM lacquer discs. Inspired by folklorist Alan Lomax, The 78 Project celebrates the artistry and craft that captured America’s musical forms of a century ago, exploring the deep historical significance of American folk songs in the process. With just one microphone, one authentic 1930s Presto recorder, and one blank acetate disc, musicians are given a single, three-minute take to cut a 78 RPM record, finding in that adventure a new connection to our cultural legacy. Includes tracks by Richard Thompson, Loudon Wainwright III, Rosanne Cash, Marshall Crenshaw, Valerie June, John Henry, Vandaveer, and more.
Young The Giant – Mind Over Matter 2xLP+MP3 (Fueled By Ramen)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. For their highly anticipated second album Mind Over Matter, Young The Giant enlisted Grammy nominated producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen, known for his work with such diverse artists as Beck, Nine Inch Nails, Paramore, and M83. Featuring the electrifying lead single “It’s About Time,” the collection of songs finds the young band challenging themselves both lyrically and musically.