February Program Titles Released This Week:
Dashboard Confessional – The Best Ones Of The Best Ones CD/2xLP+MP3 (Hidden Note)
Dashboard Confessional’s first-ever career-spanning compilation, The Best Ones Of The Best Ones, is a thoughtfully curated collection of the band’s most beloved songs and features selections from all seven studio albums, the So Impossible and The Drowning EPs, and the band’s MTV Unplugged performance. From start to finish, The Best Ones Of The Best Ones showcases the profound durability of Dashboard Confessional’s music over the past two decades. The collection highlights singer/songwriter Chris Carrabba’s extraordinary ability to give a cathartic voice to the messiest of emotions, which led the band to ascend from a bedroom project to a global sensation. [Limited indie-exclusive burgundy colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Dan Deacon – Mystic Familiar CD/LP+MP3 (Domino)
Dan Deacon’s most emotionally open and transcendent record, Mystic Familiar’s eleven kaleidoscopic tracks of majestic synth-pop exponentially expand his sound with unfettered imagination and newfound vulnerability. It’s the first album where Deacon presents his natural singing voice, unprocessed and with only minimal accompaniment; a vulnerable shift in a songbook abundant with characters, metaphors, and distorted vocals.
Destroyer – Have We Met CD/LP+MP3 (Merge)
Dan Bejar initially conceived of Have We Met as a Y2K album. He was already active during the era but not heard overhead in a cafe or salon, which is perhaps what the idea of the Y2K sound evokes nearly two decades later. Bejar assigned frequent producer and bandmate John Collins the role of layering synth and rhythm sections over demos with the period-specific Björk, Air, and Massive Attack in mind, but he soon realized the sonic template was too removed from Destroyer’s own, and the idea of a concept was silly anyway. So, he abandoned it and gave Collins the most timeless instruction of all: “Make it sound cool.” Atmosphere and loose approximations of a place or feeling are what we’ve come to expect from any new Destroyer record – certainly not an easily defined and stridently adhered to theme or concept. Have We Met manages to meet somewhere between those disparate Y2K reference points and Destroyer’s own area of expertise, gliding deftly into territory that marries the old strident Destroyer with the new, aged crooning one of late.
Drive-By Truckers – The Unraveling CD/LP (ATO)
Drive-By Truckers’ twelfth studio album and first new LP in more than three years – the longest gap between new DBT albums – The Unraveling took shape after co-founding singer/songwriter/guitarists Mike Cooley and Patterson Hood both battling deep pools of writer’s block. “How do you put these day to day things we’re all living through into the form of a song that we (much less anybody else) would ever want to listen to?” says Hood. “How do you write about the daily absurdities when you can’t even wrap your head around them in the first place? I think our response was to focus at the core emotional level. More heart and less cerebral perhaps.” The remarkable songcraft found on The Unraveling receives much of its musical muscle from the sheer strength of the current Drive-By Truckers line-up, with Hood and Cooley joined by bassist Matt Patton, keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist Jay Gonzalez, and drummer Brad Morgan – together, the longest-lasting iteration in the band’s almost 25-year history. The LP also features a number of special guests, including The Shins’ Patti King, violinist/string arranger Kyleen King (Brandi Carlile), and North Mississippi All-Stars’ Cody Dickinson, who contributes electric washboard to the strikingly direct “Babies In Cages”. [Limited edition colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Dustbowl Revival – Is It You, Is It Me CD/LP (Good Egg)
Dustbowl Revival’s fifth full length album over a span of 12 years, Is It You, Is It Me reveals the band moving in an exciting new direction. Instead of Dixieland jazz and Depression-era folk songs serving as musical mile markers, this new collection mines an energizing vein of soul, funk and roots-infused rock. The group’s signature intertwined vocal leads star on the opening track “Dreaming” which tackles the deep vulnerability of revealing your secrets and your soul every night in front of an audience. But where the band really sets on a new course is on lushly cinematic, orchestrated set pieces like “Mirror”, “Runaway” and, most notably, the current fan favorite and live showstopper “Sonic Boom”, about the struggle to reveal who you really are in the hidden, rose-colored world of social media. There’s a new widescreen expansiveness to these songs that wouldn’t be out of place in a packed arena or orchestra hall with a full neon light show.
Son Little – Aloha CD/LP (ANTI-)
Son Little’s Aloha blends classic soul and old-school R&B into a timeless swirl fueled by gritty instrumental virtuosity and raw, raspy vocals. Recorded at Paris’ iconic Studios Ferber with producer Renaud Letang (Feist, Manu Chao), Aloha is Little’s first album to be recorded with an outside producer. The result is an ambitious work of vision and reflection and an ecstatic testament to the freedom that comes from trusting the currents of life to carry you where you belong. While Little plays nearly every instrument on the album himself, he put his songs in the hands of an outside producer for the first time here. The entire project was an exercise in letting go, in ceding control, in surrendering to fate. Recognizing the power of our own self-destructive tendencies is a recurring theme on Aloha. Little mourns the suicide of a beloved uncle on “Suffer”, using addiction and mental illness as a lens to explore forgiveness and empathy, laments the rapidly deteriorating world his two children are set to inherit on “O Clever One”, and meditates on the dangers of succumbing to passion at the expense of reason on “Belladonna”.
Gary Moore – Live From London CD/2xLP (Mascot Label Group)
Some shows are so momentous, they pass into rock ‘n’ roll folklore. When Gary Moore stepped onto the stage of London’s Islington Academy on December 2, 2009, it was a true one-off, showcasing one of blues-rock’s biggest names in an intimate club setting. Nobody in the sell-out crowd that night suspected the great Irish bluesman was close to the end. But when Moore died fourteen months later, aged 58, the show took on added poignancy, cherished as one of his last stands, kept alive in the memories of those who attended. Now, a decade later, the release of Live From London resurrects the much-missed Irishman, bringing his blazing talents back into the spotlight. [Limited edition CD box set (featuring four guitar picks), and blue colored vinyl editions are also available.]
Frances Quinlan – Likewise CD/LP+MP3 (Saddle Creek)
Frances Quinlan has built an identity for herself over the past decade as the lead songwriter and frontwoman of the Philadelphia-based band Hop Along, and her distinct voice is among the most recognizable and inimitable in music. While the band began as Quinlan’s solo project (originally titled Hop Along, Queen Ansleis), Likewise is Quinlan’s debut under her own name. With a renewed openness to explore different sounds, Quinlan supplements her typical guitar-based instrumentation with synthesizers, digital beats, harps, strings, and a wide variety of keyboards. The shifting and exploratory nature of these musical arrangements allow her lyrics and vocals – which have always been at the forefront of her music – to reach emotional depths like never before. Her vocal tones beckon a kaleidoscopic range of emotions across all nine songs on the album, from soft and ruminative to enraged and commanding; from conveying powerful messages to highlighting small, yet poignant, moments.
Torres – Silver Tongue CD/LP+MP3 (Merge)
A person whose words are so potent that they cause the people and beings around them to vibrate is said to have a “silver tongue”. It’s apt, then, that Mackenzie Scott – who has spent the 2010s making boundary-pushing pop music under her Torres moniker – has chosen to call her new album just that; Silver Tongue is a full-scale realization of the world Scott has created over Torres’ last few albums. Even when singing in more subdued tones, Scott’s voice is fervent, her lyrics stirring and unyielding as she draws from both the divine and the everyday. The album fastidiously chronicles the impulses that make up desire – from the dreamy first blushes of infatuation through the slightly terrifying wonder that accompanies connection with another. In between, Scott wrestles with the highs and lows of what “being in love” might mean over heady guitars and swirling synths. Torres’ music has long navigated the space between the physical and the metaphysical, and Silver Tongue faces that conflict head-on, examining the ways in which the actions of others can stir up deep-seated feelings and seemingly alter the space in which one exists.
CDs + Vinyl:
Joey Alexander – Warna CD/2xLP (Verve)
Jazz pianist, composer and bandleader Joey Alexander delivers his major label debut, Warna. Translating as “colour” from Alexander’s native language of Bahasa, Warna follows four Motéma Music albums that garnered the pianist three Grammy nominations and such honors as historic critics’ and readers’ poll victories in DownBeat and JazzTimes.
Marc Almond – Chaos And A Dancing Star CD (BMG)
An iconic and influential figure with a career that spans almost 40 years and more than 30 million sales, Marc Almond has enjoyed a fresh renaissance in recent years. 2017’s retrospective Hit & Pieces saw him return to the Top 10 of the album charts, and it was followed by the critically acclaimed Shadows And Reflections set, which became the highest-charting solo album of his career so far. He also reunited with David Ball to say goodbye to Soft Cell with an emotional sold-out show at London’s O2. New album, Chaos And A Dancing Star, was made in collaboration with producer, songwriter and pianist Chris Braide (Sia, Lana Del Rey, Halsey), who also worked on 2015’s The Velvet Trail. The duo started writing for the album three years ago, their initial plan for a prog-rock album evolving into something leaning more towards strident pop melodies.
Amberlain Dawn – Looking For You CD (Napalm)
New (eighth) album from the symphonic metal band.
Artists For Peace And Justice – Let The Rhythm Lead: Haiti Song Summit, Vol. 1 CD/2xLP (Arts Music)
Let The Rhythm Lead is a collaborative project of songwriters Paul Beaubrun, Jackson Browne, Habib Koité, Jenny Lewis, Raúl Rodríguez, Jonathan Russell, and Jonathan Wilson, with members of the Haitian roots band Lakou Mizik. Hailing from four different countries, interweaving North American Indie Rock with beats and percussion of Haitian Vodou, Spanish and Malian guitar, Flamenco Tres, with songs in English, Creole, Khassonké, Manding and Spanish, this album celebrates the work of Artists for Peace and Justice in Haiti, and was recorded at their Artists Institute on the island’s southern coast, in the town of Jacmel.
The Beatophonics – Let’s Do This CD/LP (SPV)
Known for their unique musical interaction and unofficial titleholders as Denmark’s best beat orchestra, The Beatophonics return with a new album, on which the band explores new paths. The anchoring of the ’60s aesthetic is still present, but the band has also opened a window to the sounds and moods of the last 40 years of rock and pop.
Randall Bramblett – The Meantime [Reissue/2009] CD (New West)
In 2009, Randall Bramblett released the critically acclaimed album The Meantime via his Blue Ceiling label. The recording marked a departure for the highly acclaimed multi-instrumentalist who is best known for his contributions on saxophone with Steve Winwood, Traffic, Levon Helm, Sea Level, Widespread Panic and more. The record was produced by Bramblett, who performs primarily on acoustic piano, organ, and lead vocals, and features 12 original tracks, including some of Bramblett’s earliest songs such as “Sacred Harmony”, “Witness For Love”, and “One More Rose” as well as newer, unreleased compositions. [Vinyl edition due February 14.]
Sidiku Buari – Revolution (Live Disco Show In New York City) [Reissue/1979] CD/2xLP (BBE)
CD and vinyl reissue of a heavyweight Afro-Disco album.
Neneh Cherry – Raw Like Sushi [Reissue/1988] CD/LP/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. Along with single-disc remastered CD and vinyl editions, the 1988 album is also available as super deluxe triple-CD and triple-vinyl box sets.
Chromatics – Closer To Grey CD/2xLP (Italians Do It Better)
Closer To Grey is the new album from Portland’s Chromatics. It is the first album the band released since 2012. Amongst others, it contains reverent cover versions of Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound Of Silence” and Jesus And Mary Chain’s “On The Wall”. The minimalistic synth-sound of previous albums is not lost though, and singer Ruth Radelet proves once again how tender and at the same time powerful a voice can sound. [Multiple limited colored vinyl variants were pressed.]
William Patrick Corgan – Cotillions CD/2xLP (Martha’s Music)
The third solo album by the Smashing Pumpkins/Zwan frontman features seventeen Americana songs, written across the US and recorded in Chicago and Nashville, with a few guest appearances by Katie Cole, Jeff Schroeder, and other notable Nashville session musicians.
The Cryptics – Continuous New Behavior CD/LP (Pine Hill)
After a three-year hiatus, The Cryptics return with a new album that is layered with up-tempo, melodic anthems.
Don Dokken – Solitary [Reissue/2008] CD/LP (Deadline Music)
CD and vinyl reissue of the 2008 solo album from the Dokken frontman. [Limited red colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Dune Rats – Hurry Up And Wait CD/LP (BMG)
A nod to the stop-start nature of life on the road, the title of Brisbane trio Dune Rats’ third LP – Hurry Up And Wait – gives a hint of the wild ride the band have experienced following the success of their breakthrough 2017 record The Kids Will Know It’s Bullshit. You would expect a band to get swept up in all the glamour and hype – but not Dune Rats. While Hurry Up And Wait marks a new chapter for the band as their cleanest and most refined release to date, the boys prove just as tongue-in-cheek and down-to-earth as ever. [Limited picture disc vinyl pressing also available.]
Aoife Nessa Frances – Land Of No Junction CD (Ba Da Bing!)
“A liminal space-a dark vast landscape to visit in dreams… A place of waiting where I could sit with uncertainty and accept it. Rejecting the distinct and welcoming the uncertain and the unknown.” Land Of No Junction is shot through with this sense of mystery-an ambiguity and disorientation that illuminates songs with smokey luminescence. Yet, through the haze, everything comes down to what, where and who one is. With Land Of No Junction, she has built a universe full of intimacy and depth, with lyrics written through a process of free thought writing. It lends the record fluidity, each song in dialogue with the next not only through language, but the way each musical choice complements or threads into another. [Vinyl reissue due February 7.]
Fire Deuce – Lords Of Diesel CDEP/12” (Evil Ink)
Fire Deuce is a side project of Travis Stever from the band Coheed And Cambria. Their new EP, Lords Of Diesel, is a sonic adventure that combines all sorts of heavy metal sounds to bring its listener in to an eternal orgasmic state.
Guerilla Poubelle – L’ennui CD/LP (Red Scare)
L’ennui is the latest LP from Guerilla Poubelle, one of the biggest punk bands in Paris, France. It’s another strong outing for the Frenchman and puts all of their talents fully on display. There’s catchy pop-punk, hardcore songs, and the rowdy anthems you’ve come to expect from them. Plus, the lyrical content here is extra fiery.
Heathen – The Evolution Of Chaos [Reissue/2010] CD+DVD/2xLP (Mascot)
A reissue of the Bay Area thrash metal band’s 2010 album (at the time their first new album in 18 years). CD edition adds a bonus two-hour making of the album documentary and a live performance from 2009’s Thrash Domination, Japan. Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.
Heldon – Un Rêve Sans Conséquence Spéciale [Reissue/1976] CD (Bureau B)
Heldon – Heldon.6. Interface [Reissue/1977] CD (Bureau B)
Heldon – Stand By [Reissue/1979] CD (Bureau B)
CD reissues of three albums from the French prog/space rock band. [Vinyl editions due February 21.]
Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis – The Music Of Wayne Shorter CD (Blue Engine)
“He’s at the highest level of our music; you can’t get any higher than him.” So says Wynton Marsalis of the legendary saxophonist, composer, and band leader Wayne Shorter. With a legendary career spanning over 60 years, the 11-time Grammy award winner (including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy) has released countless classic records and amassed a canon of lyrical, introspective music that stands up to the greatest jazz composers. In 2015, the formidable 81-year-old joined the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis onstage for three unforgettable nights.
Kesha – High Road CD (RCA)
New album from the modern pop and the follow up to her 2017 Grammy-nominated album Rainbow. High Road is filled with emotional and stylistic range, and is a blend of heavenly highs and emotional depths. Kesha’s swagger is front and center, with frisky, rap-based tracks that show-off her skills as a lyrical spitfire, and also a folkier side that emerges. With a dream-pop ode to a best friendship, a reflective ballad about growing up without a father, and plenty of lust and laughter, High Road traverses the emotional spectrum. Guest collaborators/songwriters/producers include John Hill, Dan Reynolds, Stuart Crichton, Jeff Bhasker, Drew Pearson, Brian Wilson, Sturgill Simpson, Nate Ruess, Justin Tranter, Stint, Wrabel, and Pebe Sebert, among others.
- Michele – All Monsters Are Human CD (E1)
The fifth album from the R&B/reality show star.
Sam Lee – Old Wow CD/LP (Cooking Vinyl)
Sam Lee plays a unique role in the British music scene as a highly inventive and original singer, folk song interpreter, a passionate conservationist, committed song collector and a successful creator of live events. Alongside his organization The Nest Collective and fellow collaborators Sam has shaken up the live music scene breaking the boundaries between folk and contemporary music and the assumed place and way folksong is heard. And for the first time with Old Wow, Sam includes the instrument most notably absent from his recording career: the guitar (and electric guitar at that, played by the album’s producer Bernard Butler). Guest vocalists include Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins, plus splendid harmonies from Cosmo Sheldrake and spoken word poet Dizraeli.
Leeched – To Dull The Blades Of Your Abuse CD/LP (Prosthetic)
Leeched return with their second album, To Dull The Blades Of Your Abuse. If you thought their debut was everything abrasive and cathartic about modern extreme metal, then prepare yourself – they’ve taken things up a notch. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Lorna Shore – Immortal CD/LP (Century Media)
Third album by deathcore band; a mixture of death metal and symphonic black metal. [Limited yellow colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Loving – If I Am Only My Thoughts CD (Last Gang)
Loving is the collaboration of David Parry and brothers, Lucas and Jesse Henderson. The band came together several years ago as a result of their shared summers working in the capitalist ruins of western Canada’s forests. Their debut album, If I Am Only My Thoughts, offers listeners a space to ruminate on life’s uncertainties and acknowledge the often strange journey of being alive. [Vinyl edition due March 13.]
Clint Lowery – God Bless The Renegades CD (Rise)
Debut solo album from the Sevendust guitarist.
Walter Martin – The World At Night CD (Family Jukebox)
Walter Martin, lyricist and co-writer from The Walkmen and 2019 winner at Cannes for original music and 2019 Clio award winner for original music, releases the album The World At Night. NPR has said [Martin’s albums] “celebrate the best of humanity; love, innocence, joy, empathy and the wonder of existence itself. It’s the kind of music that can bring tears to your eyes from marveling at all the beauty in the world.”
Rod McKuen – Greatest Hits Of Rod McKuen [Reissue/1969] CD (Real Gone Music)
Rod McKuen – New Ballads [Reissue/1970] CD (Real Gone Music)
Rod’s 1969 Greatest Hits release didn’t exactly just feature his greatest hits. Instead of the usual music biz cash-in strategy of lifting songs from preceding albums to create a best-of, Rod ‘ever the artistic striver’ chose his most popular songs to re-record with new arrangements with Arthur Greenslade. His unconventional move paid off with a gold record, which has been expanded with six bonus tracks from earlier and later sessions to create a fully fleshed-out portrait of the singer-songwriter-performer. His 1970 album, New Ballads, is a masterful collaboration with ace arranger Don Costa, whose subdued, sublime instrumentation sets the perfect tone for McKuen’s intimate, romantic musical ruminations.
Mystic Prophecy – Metal Division CD/LP (Roar! Rock Of Angels)
Mystic Prophecy return with a new ground-breaking heavy metal masterpiece filled with massive riffs, anthemic hooks and furious melodies. [Limited silver colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Caroline Polachek – Pang CD/LP (Caroline Polachek)
Caroline Polachek has already lived an extraordinary life in music: her previous band Chairlift formed in 2006 whilst Caroline was still in art school. Chairlift disbanded in 2017 and Polachek feverishly began writing for her first solo project under her own name. Moving fluidly through radically different genres, Caroline collaborated with dozens of artists (Blood Orange, SBTRKT, Charli XCX); sometimes writing, sometimes singing, sometimes directing videos, and sometimes all three. For the first time, the DNA from these seemingly different projects fit together perfectly; the playfulness of Chairlift, the theatricality of Ramona Lisa, futuristic glimmerings of CEP, plus a new mastery of her voice and thick Rolodex of keen collaborators. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Poliça – When We Stay Alive CD/LP+MP3 (Memphis Industries)
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. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available. Cassette version due February 21.]
Mike Posner – Keep Going CD (Island)
As Grammy-nominated, worldwide multi-platinum selling singer-songwriter-producer Mike Posner (“I Took A Pill In Ibiza”, “Cooler Than Me”) continues on his walk across America, he commemorates crossing the California state line by dropping the new mixtape, Keep Going. It features an exciting mix of additional talent including Logic, Wiz Khalifa, Ty Dolla $ign, and Talib Kweli, as well as ‘sage wisdom’ from Diddy, Steven Tyler, Bun B, and E-40. [Vinyl edition due March 13.]
Possessed By Paul James – As We Go Wandering CD/LP (PPJ)
Konrad Wert is a man of many voices. As a special education teacher, his is articulate and intentional. As an advocate for justice in education he is passionate. But as an artist and musician- better known as Possessed By Paul James- his voice is expressive, holding rest and action in tandem. After a few years away from music, Wert returns with As We Go Wandering, bringing a rejuvenated voice to Possessed By Paul James.
Russ – Shake The Snow Globe CD (Sony)
New release from the singer/rapper. Russ’ most recent single “Best On Earth” gained some serious traction after Rihanna called it her ‘new fav song’.
Savage Hands – The Truth In your Eyes CD/LP (Sharptone)
Debut album from the metalcore-infused-alternative-rock band.
Serenity – The Last Knight CD (Napalm)
Epic symphonic and melodic metal.
Slum Village & Abstract Orchestra – Fantastic 2020 CD (Ne’astra Music Group)
Slum Village & Abstract Orchestra – Fantastic 2020 V.1 LP (Ne’astra Music Group)
Slum Village & Abstract Orchestra – Fantastic 2020 V.2 LP (Ne’astra Music Group)
A hybrid blend of smooth, funky brass rhythms with boom-bap sensibilities that is just the kind of tribute that an often unsung, but highly influential group like Slum Village deserves, and is a more than welcome addition to any Dilla completist’s library. [Vinyl edition split across two volumes, including a limited colored pressing.]
Squarepusher – Be Up A Hello CD/LP+MP3 (Warp)
Tom Jenkinson’s first new album in five years as Squarepusher finds him returning to analogue hardware, the same gear that first helped him develop his signature sound in the early ’90’s. Be Up A Hello is features nine new pieces which chart a journey into harder and darker territory. From rinsing breakbeat tracks such as “Nervelevers” and “Terminal Slam” to darker moments such as “Vortrack” and “Mekrev Bass”, the album illustrates Tom’s continuing fascination with finely balanced psychological overload.
Squirrel Flower – I Was Born Swimming CD/LP+MP3 (Polyvinyl)
Ella O’Connor Williams, also known as Squirrel Flower, comes from a deep-rooted musical family tree. Her grandparents were classical musicians who lived in the Gate Hill Co-op, an artistic cooperative from upstate New York that grew out of Black Mountain College. Ella’s father, Jesse Williams, spent most of his life as a touring jazz and blues performer and educator, and lends his bass playing to the album (listen for his smooth solo on “Headlights”). Squirrel Flower’s music is ethereal and warm, gushing with emotional depth that the listener can step into like a warm bath. The band on I Was Born Swimming plays with delicate intention, keeping the arrangements natural and light. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Tall Tall Trees – A Wave Of Golden Things CD/LP (Joyful Noise)
Tall Tall Trees is the pseudonym of songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Mike Savino. Moving to New York in the early aughts with aspirations of being a bassist in the city’s vibrant jazz and experimental music scene, Savino soon switched his focus to banjo and writing songs. For his fourth album, A Wave Of Golden Things, Savino set up residence and a mobile recording rig on a hemp farm in the Appalachian mountains outside of Asheville, North Carolina, where he now resides. Recorded in just under three weeks, with much of it arranged on the spot, the album maintains a sense of immediacy, celebrating raw performance over perfection. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Theory Of A Deadman – Say Nothing CD/LP (Roadrunner)
With Say Nothing, Theory Of A Deadman delivers undeniable anthems rooted in scorching songcraft, experimental vision, rock ‘n’ roll attitude, and clever pop ambition. The record tackles issues such as domestic violence and racism.
Louis Tomlinson – Walls CD/LP (Arista)
Debut solo release from the One Direction member. Walls was inspired by the records Tomlinson listened to in his bedroom as a kid and channeling the spirit of the Britpop era of the ’90s.
Meghan Trainor – Treat Myself CD/2xLP (Epic)
Sixth album from the singer-songwriter and her first since 2016’s Thank You. [Limited white colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Various Artists – Nuda: 21 Exciting Cuts From Italian Sexy-Comedy Disco Scene (1975-1981) CD (Four Flies)
The infamous Italian sexy-comedy genre now has its own saucy compilation. From groovy disco bangers and charming jazz-funk, sleazy-listening and rock blends, to analogue electronic experiments, these iconic sounds embody the essence of the Italian movie industry at the end of the ‘70s. [Vinyl edition due February 14.]
Ben Watt – Storm Damage CD/LP (Caroline)
Sonically adventurous, lyrically detailed and engaged, Ben Watt’s fourth LP, Storm Damage, is a personal journey through anxiety and change cut through with an insistent defiance. Sonically the album forgoes the acclaimed twin-guitar approach of its two predecessors, and boldly shifts focus onto – in Watt’s words – “a future-retro trio” of upright piano, double bass and hybrid acoustic-electronic drums, set against a half-lit backdrop of lone analogue synths, spiraling echo spins and impressionistic ‘found sounds’ adapted from online public-domain recording archives. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
The Way – Frequency Of Spirit CD (Deko Music)
Take a heavy dose of all of your favorite classic rock bands and add the right amount of Train, Matchbox 20 and Tonic and you have The Way. A tight power pop roller coaster ride of soaring melodies, crafty guitars and colorful sounds.
Chris Webby – Wednesday After Next CD (EightyHD)
The latest volume in the Connecticut rapper’s Wednesday series. Produced by JP On Da Track, Wednesday After Next includes features from Dizzy Wright, Alandon, Vincent Pastore, Jitta On The Track, Justina Valentine, Skrizzly Adams, ANoyd, Krizz Kaliko, Bennett, Locksmith, Sway Calloway, Bria Lee, Merkules, Lil Windex, Snak The Ripper, Mark Battles, R-Mean, Beanz and Jelly Roll. [Vinyl edition due February 14.]
Wire – Mind Hive CD/LP (Pink Flag)
Wire exhibit little inclination to look back; rather they remain resolutely focused on producing music that is smart, vital and defiantly modern. Mind Hive is the group’s first newly recorded material since 2017’s Silver/Lead. How a group that has been operating for such a long period is still able to produce such exciting and essential work is difficult to understand, and yet here we are.
youbet – Compare & Despair CD/LP (Ba Da Bing!)
The 13 songs on youbet’s debut hit like relentless bursts of color. Musically adventurous and lyrically intimate, writer Nick Llobet’s vocals lilt, hiss and command attention. His vision is fully formed on Compare & Despair, driven by equal parts humor and melancholy. It’s bright, shocking cover art depicts a cast of psychotropic cartoon characters, each representing a different song. youbet makes the music of idealized youth and time-bombed mirth. With a pure aim of freedom, but forever hindered by encroaching adult reality, Compare & Despair thrives in creative conflict. A stunning debut of intent, youbet sets loose a hyperactive imagination that rides the rainbow into a black hole.
This Week’s Vinyl Exclusives:
Adrenalin O.D. – Cruising With Elvis In Bigfoot’s U.F.O. [Reissue/1988] LP (Beer City)
Vinyl reissue of the third album from the hardcore punk band.
Andras – Joyful LP+MP3 (Beats In Space/RVNG Int’l)
Joyful is a long journeyed, myth-making exercise from one of electronic music’s most distinct and understated voices. Bridging an unusual connection between ‘70s acid folk and ‘90s acid house, It is an invitation to experience music through collective memory and dreaming.
Animals As Leaders – Animals As Leaders [Reissue/2009] 2xLP (Prosthetic)
New limited colored vinyl variant. When Tosin Abasi released his self-titled debut solo album under the moniker Animals As Leaders in 2009, few would have predicted the band’s meteoric rise over the following 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. A collaboration between Abasi and Periphery’s Misha Mansoor (who produced, mixed, mastered, engineered and programmed the album), Animals As Leaders’ impact on modern metal cannot be overstated, as it somehow managed to be both genre-defying and genre-defining.
Archgoat – Whore Of Bethlehem [Reissue/2006] LP (Debemur Morti Productions)
Archgoat’s 2006 debut LP is an irresistible demonstration of unstoppable angel-ripping black/death profanity. Filthy and grimy in the best tradition of venom-encrusted, soiled sacrilege, Whore Of Bethlehem sadistically expresses ruthless contempt for all things holy, sneering openly at the pitiful death scene on Golgotha amid a torrent of trampled crucifixes and weeping, violated archangels.
Atheist – Piece Of Time [Reissue/1989] LP (Season Of Mist)
Atheist – Unquestionable Presence [Reissue/1991] LP (Season Of Mist)
Vinyl reissues of the Florida thrash metal band’s first two albums. [Piece Of Time is available on colored vinyl.]
The Beau Brummels – Introducing The Beau Brummels [Reissue/1965] LP (Trading Places)
Despite borrowing the name of a historic English dandy and drawing from the sound of The Beatles, influential beat group The Beau Brummels was formed in San Francisco in 1964, when Italian American singer Sal Valentino needed a backing band for a nightclub residency.
Dierks Bentley – Riser [Reissue/2014] LP (Capitol Nashville)
Riser topped the Billboard Country Albums chart and marked Dierks Bentley’s fifth career debut in the top spot. The thunderbird symbolism speaks volumes about the complex ball of emotions locked within. It’s a symbol of strength, resilience and renewal – one that appropriately reflected Bentley’s first album since the death of his father and the birth of his first son. Produced by Ross Copperman and Arturo Buenahora Jr., it’s a project full of sonic power that has a strong sense
Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – Buhaina’s Delight [Reissue/1963] LP (Blue Note)
The lineup of drummer Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers shifted in 1961 with trumpeter Freddie Hubbard replacing Lee Morgan, pianist Cedar Walton replacing Bobby Timmons, and the addition of Curtis Fuller on trombone who joined existing members Wayne Shorter on tenor saxophone and Jymie Merritt on bass. This powerful new sextet line up first recorded on the album Mosaic, and quickly returned to the studio the next month to begin recording Buhaina’s Delight.
Brainticket – Adventure [Reissue/1980] LP (Purple Pyramid)
Brainticket – Voyage [Reissue/1982] LP (Purple Pyramid)
Limited edition translucent colored vinyl pressings of the 1980 and 1982 albums from the analog electronic masters.
Abramis Brama – Rubicon [Reissue/2004] LP (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. [Limited white colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Jim Campilongo – The Best Of Jim Campilongo: Volume One LP (Sundazed)
Thrilling attack & luminous melodic invention; riveting six-string slinging from Jim Campilongo, who flexes the extremes of his instrument and amplification in jubilant trips through explosive technique and free-rock verve. Selected by the guitarist from his story so far, featuring tracks from a previously unreleased session.
Coven – Half A Century Of Witchcraft 5xLP (Prophecy)
On the sunset eve of the ‘60s, as flower power was wilting and the winds of change blew a cold breeze over Altamont, Coven struck the first chords of major label satanic rock. This unique five-LP box set is housed in a gold embossed faux-velvet cover. It includes the classic-era Coven albums Witchcraft Destroys Minds And Reaps Souls, Coven and Blood On The Snow along with a rarities LP.
Doris Day – The Love Album [Reissue/194] LP (Craft Recordings)
Recorded in 1967 and featuring the Grammy Hall of Fame singer-actress’ favorite romantic standards, The Love Album represented the most sensual, intimate vocals of Day’s legendary career. It’s considered by critics to be among her best from the 1960’s and Day considered it her favorite album.
Diplo – Higher Ground 12” (Higher Ground/Mad Decent)
Following his recent move into country music, prolific hit maker Diplo is doubles down on his roots by launching a new house music label called Higher Ground, named after this recent deep-house inspired EP. Glow in the dark euro sleeve.
Emerald Web – Sound Trek [Reissue/1980] LP (Trading Places)
Pioneering space music duo Emerald Web, comprised of Bob Stohl and soulmate Kat Epple, made some of the most ethereal, divine, and healing sounds between 1979 and 1990.
Ever Isles – Cocoon [Reissue/2010] LP+MP3 (Touchtheplants)
Recorded in 2009, Ever Isles’ Cocoon is an experimental folk album made by Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith and Jeremy Harris on Orcas Island in an improvised recording studio built from bed mattresses. Cocoon is the only remaining document of the Ever Isles project and offers a unique glimpse at the early work of Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – an era predating her discovery of synthesis when she was still playing classical guitar.
John Foxx – Concrete And Organised Noise LP (Metamatic)
This collection of instrumental music from 1980 initially appeared on the 2018 Metamatic. Now on vinyl for the first time to celebrate Metamatic‘s 40th anniversary in January 2020, this is a haunted, at times beautiful electronic soundtrack which stands as a sister album to the main work.
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Bandana Beats LP (RCA)
Bandana Beats is an instrumental version of last year’s Bandana LP with Freddie Gibbs. Originally released in late June, Bandana marked the major label debut for both rapper and producer. It spent three weeks on Billboard’s Rap Album chart (peaking at #21,) and featured appearances from a who’s who of rap, including Pusha T, Yasiin Bey, Black Thought, Killer Mike and more.
The Growlers – Natural Affair LP (Beach Goth)
Natural Affair, the new release from the Los Angeles-based garage/indie rock band The Growlers, features lyrics centered around social commentary, rhymes, and ruminations on the pleasures and perils of modern love [CD edition due February 7.]
Guided By Voices – Man Called Blunder b/w She Wants To Know 7” (GBV Inc.)
Guided By Voices – Volcano b/w Sun Goes Down 7” (GBV Inc.)
Of “Man Called Blunder”, Robert Pollard says “the recording is perfectly executed, the best performance of a GBV song, ever…”. Non-LP B-side is a sparkling remake of “She Wants To Know” from GBV’s 1986 debut Forever Since Breakfast. The B-side of “Volcano” is a piano ballad written and sung by GBV drummer Kevin March; an outlier in the GBV canon.
Happy Mondays – Squirrel And G-Man Twenty Four Hour Party People Plastic Face Carnt Smile (White Out) [Reissue/1987] LP+MP3 (London)
Happy Mondays – Bummed [Reissue/1988] LP+MP3 (London)
Happy Mondays – Pills ‘N’ Thrills & Bellyaches [Reissue/1990] LP+MP3 (London)
Happy Mondays – …Yes Please! [Reissue/1992] LP+MP3 (London)
180gm vinyl reissues of the first four albums from the legendary UK Madchester rock/acid house fused group.
Implosion – Implosion [Reissue/1988] LP (Trading Places)
Implosion was an outstanding Italian outfit that combined prog, space rock, psych, and electronic music. Their 1988 eponymous album features long spacey, dreamy, and mostly instrumental tracks made of killer, acid-leaking electronics.
Jefferson Airplane – Woodstock Sunday August 17, 1969 3xLP (Real Gone Music)
Limited violet colored vinyl pressing of Jefferson Airplane’s complete Woodstock performance.
Daniel Johnston – Chicago 2017 LP (dBpm)
Limited clear with black and blue colored vinyl pressing of the final album from the renowned Austin, TX songwriting genius. On Wilco’s dBpm label.
Juju – Live At The East 1973 LP (Now-Again)
Now-Again Records presents deluxe reissues of the lauded Black Fire catalog in 2020. First up in the series, this previously unreleased live session recorded at the legendary Brooklyn venue The East in 1973. Magical, mystical, Afrocentric, progressive – words that could be used to describe any number of musical compositions by Sun Ra or his cosmic brothers and sisters, from John to Alice Coltrane, early ’70s projects on record labels like Detroit’s Tribe or Houston’s Lightin’ or the interests of one Washington, DC native named Jimmy Gray that centered under one, perfect moniker: Black Fire.
Pete La Roca – Basra [Reissue/1965] LP (Blue Note)
By the time drummer Pete La Roca recorded his debut album Basra in 1965 he had already appeared on nine Blue Note sessions as a sideman and spent time in bands led by Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane. But it was another tenor titan, Joe Henderson, that La Roca brought in as the sole horn voice to front a dynamic quartet that was completed by what liner note writer Ira Gitler called one of the most attuned rhythm sections in jazz featuring bassist Steve Swallow and pianist Steve Kuhn.
Lord Invader – Calypso Travels LP (Smithsonian Folkways)
An icon of Caribbean music, and one of the major forces exporting it to the world, Lord Invader epitomizes the spirit of calypso – boisterous, acerbic, and joyful.
Mint Julep – Stray Fantasies LP (Western Vinyl)
Stray Fantasies marks a deepening of the discography of wife-and-hus- band duo Hollie and Keith Kenniff under their collaborative moniker Mint Julep, an expertly manicured electric-pop venture that stands in stark contrast to the nebulous and experimental Helios and Goldmund outputs for which Keith Kenniff is known. Limited colored vinyl pressing. [CD edition due February 14.]
Nightwish – Decades: Live In Buenos Aires 3xLP (Nuclear Blast)
Recently released on CD – now available on limited colored vinyl. Recorded on September 30, 2018 at Estadio Malvinas stadium in Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires.
Pauline Oliveros/Stuart Dempster/Panaotis – Deep Listening [Reissue/1989] 2xLP (Important)
Recorded in a cistern, this double-LP reverberates with brilliant sonic clarity and masterfully improvised performances combining live electronics, vocals, trombone. and accordion. Deep Listening is a classic in the fields of improvisation, minimalism, ambient/drone, and modern classical.
Elvis Presley – 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong (Elvis’ Gold Records, Vol. 2) [Reissue/1959] LP+MP3 (Sony Legacy)
A compilation of hit singles released in 1958 and 1959 by Presley, from recording sessions going back as far as February 1957.
Saint Vitus – Lillie: F-65 [Reissue/2012] LP (Season Of Mist)
Limited colored vinyl pressing of the doom metal band’s 2012 album.
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – Tides: Music For Meditation And Yoga LP+MP3 (Touchtheplants)
Recorded in 2013, Tides: Music For Meditation And Yoga is a glimpse into the early phase of what has become Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith’s signature approach to electronic music. Composed and played on a Buchla Music Easel – the modular synthesizer that gives Smith’s music its organic feel – this collection of instrumentals is at once uplifting, transportive and meditational.
SQÜRL – Some Music For Robby Müller LP (Sacred Bones)
SQÜRL’s (Jim Jarmusch, Carter Logan) score to Claire Pijman’s documentary of unparalleled Dutch cinematographer and poet of light Robby Müller, whose work includes Paris Texas, Dead Man, Breaking The Waves, Barfly, 24 Hour Party People, and at least 70 other remarkable films. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Bridget St. John – Ask Me No Questions [Reissue/1969] LP (Trading Places)
Blessed with a distinctive voice largely defined by a rich, cello-like timbre, the English singer and guitarist Bridget St. John was brought to the attention of the adventurous guitarist John Martyn by fellow singer Robin Frederick and after being introduced to him by Martyn’s poet friend, Pete Roch, was championed by BBC Radio disc jockey John Peel, who formed the Dandelion label in 1969 (with Elektra record-plugger Clive Selwood) specifically to issue St. John’s music.
St. Vincent – Nina Kraviz Presents Masseduction Rewired LP (Loma Vista)
An eclectic remix package of St. Vincent’s Grammy award winning album Masseduction, curated by Nina Kraviz. From frantic IDM and manic footwork to glistening house and meditative dubstep (via just about everything in between) her selections build an inspired portfolio from an abundance of talent. At times fragmented, at others familiar, it takes the spirit of Masseduction and runs with it in every way possible. Limited clear vinyl pressing.
Switchblade Symphony – Three Calamities [Reissue/1999] LP (Cleopatra)
Clear vinyl pressing of the third and final album from San Francisco-based gothic duo.
Waldgefluster – Stimmen Im Wind 2020 LP+CD (Nordvis)
Germany’s Waldgefluster have returned with a recording which is in the folk influenced style of atmospheric black metal. This is a re-recording of their 2006 album Stimmen In Wimd.
Wild Nothing – Laughing Gas 12” (Captured Tracks)
On the third EP from Wild Nothing, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jack Tatum delves deeper into the territory where he thrives: namely, the synth and sophisti-pop of the 1980s. Limited colored vinyl pressing.
Tony Williams – Foreign Intrigue [Reissue/1985] LP (Blue Note)
Drummer Tony Williams had a long, fruitful relationship with Blue Note Records starting in the 1960s when he appeared on numerous post-bop classics (Herbie Hancock Maiden Voyage, Eric Dolphy Out Oo Lunch, Andrew Hill Point of Departure) and made his first two albums as a leader: Life Time (1964) and Spring (1965). After Blue Note relaunched in 1984, Williams returned to the label eager to form a new acoustic band as a vehicle to perform his compositions.
Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd St Rhythm Band – Express Yourself [Reissue/1970] LP (Real Gone Music)
The hit title track alone makes this 1970 release worth having, but it’s the other cuts on this record that make it one of the greatest psychedelic soul/funk albums of all time.