July Program Titles Released This Week:
Bad Religion – Age Of Unreason LP (Epitaph)
Vinyl edition now available. Since Bad Religion’s formative years, the acclaimed Los Angeles, CA punk rock band has steadfastly advocated for humanism, reason, and individualism. Now, when these values are in decline and nationalism and bigotry are on the rise, the group’s message has never been more essential. The songs on Age Of Unreason are both furious and meticulously crafted. There are references to contemporary events; racist rallies, Trump’s election, the erosion of the middle class, Colin Kaepernick’s protest, alternative facts, conspiracy theories, as well as homages to the literary and philosophical works that have long inspired the band. This record is both a dire warning and testament to resilience. The overall message being – seek truth about the world and oneself.
Bastille – Doom Days CD/LP (Virgin)
London outfit Bastille’s third full-length album Doom Days sees the Grammy nominated and BRIT-winning four-piece stretch out into new territories and marks something of a shift in perception from its widely acclaimed predecessor Wild World, which confronted the world and the actions of those in power. Doom Days captures the need to temporarily switch off and escape whilst taking the listener on a big night out in search of distraction from the surrounding apocalypse. Be that screaming along to the radio in the back of an Uber careering through the city (“Quarter Past Midnight”), getting loved up in the company of good friends (“4AM”), a casual hook-up (“Another Place”) or the end-of-night longing to be with somebody (“Those Nights”). It also revels in the bad decisions we make both personally in our relationships and collectively on a macro scale (“Bad Decisions”), tells a relatable tale of being cornered into a deep discussion about the world’s problems when all you want to do is have a good time (“Million Pieces”), and wryly confronts modern anxieties, taking side-swipes at phone addiction, porn addiction, fake news and climate change denial. [ Indie store exclusive vinyl pressing available.]
Calexico/Iron & Wine – Years To Burn CD/LP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
Calexico and Iron & Wine first made an artistic connection with In the Reins, the 2005 EP that brought Sam Beam, Joey Burns and John Convertino together. The acclaimed collaboration introduced both acts to wider audiences and broadened Beam’s artistic horizons, but it was the shared experience of touring together in the tradition of Bob Dylan’s “Rolling Thunder Revue” that cemented the bond. Their metaphorical roads diverged in the years that followed, but they kept in touch and cross-pollinated where they could. Although they often talked about rekindling their collaboration in the studio and on stage, it wasn’t until 2018 that their schedules finally aligned. While Beam wrote all the songs for In the Reins, this recording features contributions from both Beam and Burns. While the two may have taken differing approaches to songwriting, the spirit of collaboration was alive and well in the studio; Sam shared demos ahead of time and was ready for the others to contribute with arrangement ideas and instrumental parts, while Joey spontaneous as ever, came in with concepts and an eagerness to improvise.
Stan Getz – Getz At The Gate 2xCD/3xLP (Verve)
Getz At The Gate is a previously unreleased 1961 Stan Getz live recording from the historic Village Gate in New York City. The 16-track performance finds the tenor saxophone giant working in an all-star, rarely heard quartet with pianist Steve Kuhn, bassist John Neves and drummer Roy Haynes (aka ‘The Boston Band’). Includes extensive liner notes by Boston jazz historian Bob Blumenthal. “The show was professionally recorded with a view to possible commercial release but, after those plans were forgotten, the tape sat in the vaults for 58 years. Getz At The Gate contains performances of several tracks that he had recorded in the 1950s, including “When The Sun Comes Out”, “Like Someone In Love” and “Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most”. It also hints at where he might have gone if the bossa nova sound had not dictated his next direction, with Getz’s only known recordings of “It’s All Right with Me” and “Yesterday’s Gardenias”. The album also showcases the uptempo choruses of “Airegin” and an impassioned version of “Where Do You Go?”.
Carole King – Live At Montreux 1973 CD/CD+DVD/LP (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
Carole King’s very first performance outside of the US took place in 1973, at The Montreux Pavillon as part of the world-famous Montreux Jazz Festival. Released for the very first time, this concert film/recording was captured two years after she altered the course of pop history with Tapestry, and one month after she issued the album Fantasy. Carole performs with heartfelt energy, playing classic hits such as “It’s Too Late”, “I Feel The Earth Move”, “You’ve Got A Friend” plus standout tracks from Fantasy – “Believe In Humanity” and “Corazón” – as she is backed by an ensemble of top musicians.
Los Coast – Samsara CD/LP (New West)
On their eagerly awaited debut album Samsara, the visionary Austin, TX combo Los Coast deliver a fresh blast of punchy psychedelic-pop-soul that effortlessly incorporates a wide range of genres. The band’s seamlessly soulful songcraft incorporates distinctive grooves along with the inventive compositions and commanding vocals of principal members Trey Privott (lead vocals, guitar) and John Courtney (guitar, keyboards, vocals). Samsara features such memorable, no-nonsense tunes as “Simplify”, “Monsters”, “Graves” and the frantic, tongue-twisting “(Everything But) The Kitchen Sink”. The album delivers infectious hooks, ironic lyrical twists and explosive funk grooves in equal measure, providing an irresistible frame for Privott’s soulful vocals and the band’s explosive grooves. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Mattiel – Satis Factory CD/LP (ATO)
“Not many up-and-coming artists would admit to a day job at mass-marketing email company Mailchimp. But Mattiel Brown need fear no accusations of cookie-cutter insincerity. The genre she and the band that bears her name have chosen – punky garage rock with a Dirty Water Club-style vintage finish – attracts many a paper-thin stylist, but could they deploy the line “you want to submit it all for peer review” with the aplomb Brown does on the irresistible strutting rockabilly of ‘Rescue You’? For all the Tarantino growl and spaghetti western shlock of opener ‘Til The Moment Of Death’, this second album carries itself with more assurance than last year’s eponymous debut, with songcraft and witty wordplay coming to the forefront. There’s much here to love for fans of Holly Golightly and affiliates, or formative influences the White Stripes and the Black Lips. Yet Mattiel have mastered their own mischievous energy on the likes of Millionaire’s narcotic bluesy balladry with deadpan backing vocals lifted from the Velvet Underground’s ‘Femme Fatale’, the finger-clicks and semi-spoken Tom Tom Club vocal of ‘Food For Thought’, or the skittery-cymballed, funky ‘Heck Fire’.” – The Guardian
Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real – Turn Off The News (Build A Garden) CD/2xLP (Concord)
Straddling rock and roll, country, soul, folk and R&B, Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real reach a new high-water mark on Turn Off The News (Build A Garden). This is Lukas Nelson at his best: as a songwriter, a singer, a guitarist and band leader – an artist at the peak of his powers, backed by Promise Of The Real, his nimble and dexterous brothers-in-arms, one of the most talented, in-demand rock and roll ensembles working today. Vocal and instrumental contributions on the album include Margo Price, Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson, Micah Nelson, Kesha, Shooter Jennings, Randy Houser, Lucius, Madison Ryann Ward, Hunter Elizabeth, and Neil Young. Whether it’s the sweeping, Roy Orbison-influenced production of “Where Does Love Go”, nodding to the Traveling Wilburys on the irresistible “Bad Case”, the cosmic country vibes of “Stars Made Of You”, the ‘60s infused sweet R&B of “Save A Little Heartache”, or the unmistakable Willie Nelson guitar licks that grace the poignant “Mystery”, it all comes together in the most mature and absorbing work of the band’s burgeoning career.
Old Man Luedecke – Easy Money CD/LP (True North)
The two-time Juno and multi east coast music award winning, Polaris prize nominee, Old Man Luedecke, returns with his new album Easy Money. Four years since his last release, Luedecke’s sixth studio album deals with grappling the newness of middle age, dad jokes, love for an abiding partner, and the death of a parent, mixed in with some calypso-feeling local Nova Scotia history thrown in for good measure. The record features nine new original tracks and guest appearances by Grammy award-winning Tim O’Brien, Alfie Jurvanen (Bahamas), and Fats Kaplin (Jack White, John Prine). Old Man Luedecke has been uncompromisingly unique in cementing himself in the top echelon of Canadian folk artists and Easy Money makes no exception.
Remo Drive – Natural, Everyday Degradation CD/LP+MP3 (Epitaph)
Brothers Erik and Stephen Paulson toured the world on the heels of their 2017 release Greatest Hits and 2018’s Pop Music EP. All that time spent on toll roads and tarmacs left the brothers with endless opportunities to think about how far their band had come in a short time – as well as plan for the future. While Greatest Hits overflowed with wide-eyed nativity and whole-hearted enthusiasm, Natural, Everyday Degradation finds the Paulson brothers crafting a sturdier brand of indie-rock. Produced by Joe Reinhart (Modern Baseball, Hop Along) and mixed by Peter Katis (The National, Interpol), Natural, Everyday Degradation highlights the band’s true strengths. Erik’s lyrics are emotionally resonant and universally relatable, though, they’re far more intentional and precise this time around. Instead of letting off-kilter turns of phrase and nervous energy capture listeners’ ears, Remo Drive allow their confidence to take center stage.
The Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Servants Of The Sun CD/LP (Silver Arrow)
The Chris Robinson Brotherhood’s brand new album, Servants Of The Sun, bursts into the clear blue air with the funky upper atmosphere bubbling of vintage keyboards and driving rhythm. A gateway swings wide open to a universe that the band has been tirelessly constructing for eight years through extraordinary musicianship, endless touring and a roving, seemingly bottomless wizard’s chest of sonic magic. The CRB’s eighth studio effort since forming in 2008 – spread out over six full-length albums and two EPs – sets aside the studio explorations of their more recent work and turns inward to the heart of the band’s universe. Of the origin concept, singer, guitarist and bandleader Chris Robinson explains, “I let my head go to a Saturday night at The Fillmore, and said, what’s the best set we could play?” Indeed, following that guiding principle the CRB bottled their pure essence, the distillation of their journey so far, and in many ways come full circle in delivering their most direct, bare bones, rock ‘n’ roll record since debut companion albums, Big Moon Ritual and The Magic Door.
Julia Shapiro – Perfect Version CD/LP (Hardly Art)
When Julia Shapiro flew home from a cancelled Chastity Belt tour in April 2018, everything in her life felt out of control. Dealing with health issues, freshly out of a relationship, and in the middle of an existential crisis, she realized halfway through a tour supporting her band’s third album I Used To Spend So Much Time Alone that she was going through too much to continue. “I was really struggling; I was really depressed. I felt like I couldn’t sing or be a person,” Shapiro recalls. “At that point I couldn’t even imagine playing a show again, I was so over it.” Returning home to a newly empty Seattle one-bedroom apartment, Shapiro had wanted for a long time to learn how to record and mix her own music, and out of the uncertainty of the future of her music career and her health, she began to record the songs that would become Perfect Version. What she created in the space of ten songs is an intimate and beautifully self-aware examination of feeling lost in the life you’ve created for yourself. It’s an album of shimmering guitars and layered vocals that feels vast in the emotional depth it conveys and masterful in the way each song is intentionally crafted and recorded.
Chris Shiflett – Hard Lessons CD/LP (East Beach)
Raised alongside the California coastline in Santa Barbara, Chris Shiflett kicked off his career in seminal pop-punk groups like No Use For A Name and Me First And The Gimme Gimmes. As the ’90s gave way to the 2000s, he joined the Foo Fighters’ lineup. He’s since become one of the band’s longest-running members, flying the flag of modern rock & roll for two decades. Hard Lessons follows West Coast Town as the second solo record to bear his name alone, and it’s perhaps the most Shiflett-sounding album in his entire catalog, with songs that nod to the classic Bakersfield sound one minute and Keith Richards’ greasy guitar style the next. It is Shiflett’s most vital album to date – a record that blurs the boundaries between country and rock & roll, shining a light once again not only on his guitar work, but his fiery abilities as a frontman and songwriter, as well.
Bruce Springsteen – Western Stars CD/2xLP (Columbia)
Bruce Springsteen’s first new studio album in five years takes his music to a new place, drawing inspiration in part from the Southern California pop records of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. It was recorded primarily at Springsteen’s home studio in New Jersey, with additional recording in California and New York. “This record is a return to my solo recordings featuring character driven songs and sweeping, cinematic orchestral arrangements,” says Springsteen. “It’s a jewel box of a record.” Introduced by lead single “Hello Sunshine”, the 13 tracks of Western Stars encompass a sweeping range of American themes, of highways and desert spaces, of isolation and community and the permanence of home and hope. Ron Aniello co-produced and plays bass, keyboard, and other instruments. Patti Scialfa provides vocals and contributes vocal arrangements on four tracks. The musical arrangements include strings, horns, pedal steel and contributions from more than 20 other players including Jon Brion (celeste, Moog, farfisa), as well as guest appearances by David Sancious, Charlie Giordano, and Soozie Tyrell.
CDs + Vinyl:
Mike Adams At His Honest Weight – There Is No Feeling Better CD/LP (Joyful Noise)
There Is No Feeling Better, the fourth album from Bloomington, Indiana’s Mike Adams At His Honest Weight finds the titular Adams – the singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist-producer – at the center of the independent pop institution-focused less on who he is and more on where he is. Though the album’s not short on truthful introspection, it’s an outward gaze that defines these eleven songs. In their hovering melodies and warm tones, Adams tries to make sense of an increasingly baffling world.
Ages And Ages – Me You They We CD/LP (Needle & Thread)
“Art is supposed to help get at the root of the human experience and what it’s like to be alive,” Tim Perry says. “And the challenge is how do you make music that confronts these complicated, important and sometimes very dark questions and do so in a way that still bounces around and maintains some level of optimism?” It’s a thin needle to thread but Perry’s band Ages And Ages have done just that on their fourth album, Me You They We. [Limited pink colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Angelo Badalamenti – TPS2: Twin Peaks Season Two Music And More CD/2xLP (Rhino)
The missing piece in the reissue campaign for the Twin Peaks series has been the mysterious soundtrack to Season Two. The TV program aired in 1990-1991, without the traditional accompanying record release, and it was not until 2007 that the soundtrack album was issued, and only as a very limited CD via David Lynch’s own label.
Baroness – Gold & Grey CD/2xLP (Abraxan Hymns)
Gold & Grey is the fifth studio album release from the Grammy-nominated, Philadelphia-based metal band. As with previous releases, the album’s artwork was designed by frontman and lead singer John Dyer Baizley. It is the band’s first to feature new guitarist Gina Gleason and was mastered by frequent Flaming Lips collaborator Dave Fridmann.
Will Beeley – Highways & Heart Attacks CD/LP (Tompkins Square)
Will Beeley came up in the Austin scene of the ’70s with Townes Van Zandt and Steve Earle among others. Tompkins Square reissued his two ’70s studio albums in 2017. Highways & Heart Attacks is his first album in 40 years.
“Blue” Gene Tyranny and Peter Gordon – Trust In Rock CD/LP (Unseen Worlds)
“Blue” Gene Tyranny – Out Of The Blue [Reissue/1978] LP (Unseen Worlds)
Trust In Rock documents the last evening of an epic concert series held at Berkeley’s University Art Museum in November 1976, featuring an all-star ensemble of the Bay Area’s most unclassifiable musicians performing works by Blue Gene Tyranny and Peter Gordon. This band, and this concert, played at the nexus of New Music, jam bands, pattern music, and punk. Disarmingly direct, funky, and profound, Out Of The Blue (reissued on vinyl) is an equanimous, wide-open exploration of Tyranny’s musical world: equal parts song cycle, tone poem, keyboard fantasia, and avant-garde pop record.
The Briefs – Platinum Rats CD/LP/Cassette (Burger)
Recently released on vinyl – now available on CD and cassette. The Briefs ‘77-style pop punk is loud, raucous and fierce, yet cohesive and hooky and hilarious.
Buzzcocks – A Different Kind Of Tension [Reissue/1979] CD/LP (Domino)
Buzzcocks – Singles Going Steady [Reissue/1979] CD/LP (Domino)
40th anniversary reissues of Buzzcock’s final album and definitive singles collection.
Bill Callahan – Shepherd In A Sheepskin Vest CD/LP/Cassette (Drag City)
The sense of a life thunderstruck by change infuses Shepherd In a Sheepskin Vest – the songs wander from expressions of newfound joy and great contentment to other snapshots, considerations of the not-joy that we all know. Unsettling dream-images and mythic recollections are patiently received; the undertow of the past is resisted, pulling against it instead into the present, accepting revolutions of time and the unconscious as a natural flow.
Avishai Cohen – Arvoles CD/LP (Sunnyside)
Arvoles is a collection of original instrumental compositions, and one traditional song written over the last couple of years without the intention of ever being compiled on the same record. Still, they all fit together like a hand in a glove.
Combichrist – One Fire CD/2xCD/3xCD (Rough Trade)
New release from the aggrotech/industrial band. Formed in 2003, Combichrist took founder Andy LaPlegua’s hardcore past and electronica present and merged them into a singular, mechanical music monster. Since releasing the first Combichrist album The Joy Of Gunz, LaPlegua and Combichrist have unleashed six subsequent full lengths. [Limited edition fan box set includes the two CD deluxe version and one exclusive remix CD, key fob, hand-numbered certificate of authenticity, and gym bag. Vinyl edition due July 12.]
Crumb – Jinx CD/LP (Crumb)
Crumb is the collaboration of Brooklyn-based musicians Lila Ramani (guitar, vocals), Brian Aronow (synth, keys, sax), Jesse Brotter (bass), and Jonathan Gilad (drums). Following a few EPs, their debut LP Jinx is the best example of their singular blend of hypnotic psych-rock and jazz to date.
Roger Daltrey – The Who’s Tommy Orchestral CD/LP (Polydor)
The Who’s Tommy Orchestral was recorded in Budapest, Hungary and Bethel Woods, N.Y., during a 2018 tour in which Daltrey performed the classic rock opera with the collaboration of local orchestras.
The Dangerous Summer – Mother Nature CD/LP+MP3 (Hopeless)
Following their successful 2018 comeback after a five-year hiatus, the band is getting more raw and real than ever. With lyrics outlining painful breakups, feeling isolated, and trying to rebuild – Mother Nature propels The Dangerous Summer forward with no hiatus in sight.
Demons & Wizards – Demons & Wizards [Reissue/1999] 2xLP (Century Media)
Demons & Wizards – Touched By The Crimson King [Reissue/2005] 2xLP (Century Media)
Limited double 180gm vinyl reissues of the heavy metal band’s two albums. Each feature an etching on Side D. Formed in 1999, Demons & Wizards is the side project of Hansi Kürsch (Blind Guardian) and Jon Schaffer (Iced Earth).
DMA’s – MTV Unplugged CD (Infectious Music)
The Australian rock trio played a special acoustic gig at Melbourne’s Memo Music Hall last year as part of the network’s iconic Unplugged series. [Vinyl edition due July 12.]
Dressy Bessy – Fast Faster Disaster CD/LP (Yep Roc)
20 years after their first release, Dressy Bessy returns with Fast Faster Disaster. Lyrically and sonically, the band remains true to their sound with catchy indie pop/punk hooks and sharp lyrics wrought with intense joy and deep sadness.
Hate – Auric Gates Of Veles CD (Metal Blade)
Since 1991, Hate have lived up to their name, responsible for some of the angriest and most ruthless death metal unleashed upon the world. With 2017’s Tremendum, they took a step toward a darker, more atmospheric, black metal-oriented style and began exploring Slavonic mysticism, and new album Auric Gates Of Veles boldly continues in that direction. [Vinyl edition due July 5.]
Isaac Hayes – Shaft [Reissue/1971] 2xCD (Craft Recordings)
The original Shaft soundtrack reached Number 1 on Billboard and won a Grammy for Best Film Score, while the “Theme” won the Oscar for Best Original Song. However, the music from soundtrack and the film were actually not the same. After recording in L.A. the music that would be used in the film, Hayes returned to Memphis to re-record songs to be released as the soundtrack. It’s taken 48 years, but finally both the music from the film and the soundtrack can be heard together in one double-disc package.
Kevin Hearn – Calm + Cents CD (Celery)
Current member of The Barenaked Ladies and former member of the Rheostatics, Kevin Hearn is a veteran of the Canadian Music pantheon. Now he has returned with the release of a solo collection of alternative/ experimental tracks. [Vinyl edition due June 21.]
Hey Zeus – X CD/LP (Argonauta)
Recently released on vinyl – now available on CD. Heavy rock ‘n’ roll with punk attitude.
Ingested – Call Of The Void CDEP/10” (Unique Leader)
New EP from the UK deathcore band.
Jamestown Revival – San Isabel CD/LP (Jamestown Revival)
Reflecting the majestic landscape where it was recorded, Jamestown Revival’s new album San Isabel feels calming, spacious, and most of all, natural. Led by Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance, the band embraced a minimalist approach for these 11 tracks, recorded in a remote cabin in central Colorado. Finding inspiration in ’60s and early 70’s folk and pop, the original songs on San Isabel show a reverence for early John Denver and Bob Dylan, as well as Simon & Garfunkel and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
Noah Kahan – Busyhead CD/LP (Republic)
New release from the singer/songwriter. Within two short years, music quite literally carried 22-year-old singer, songwriter, and artist Noah Kahan around the world – a long way from his native Strafford, VT 133-acre farm where he resides. In the end, Noah makes the kind of music that can travel with you forever, but it feels even better at home.
Kirlian Camera – Hologram Moon CD/LP (Dependent)
New album from the long-running darkwave project.
Luxury – Trophies CD/LP (Awake Productions)
Luxury returns with their first album since 2005. It is their fifth album and the first with three of the members as Orthodox Priests. Trophies at times recalls Luxury’s early angular post punk while it is also at times lush and meditative.
Madonna – Madame X CD/2xLP (Interscope)
Madonna’s fourteenth studio album is based on her musical experience in her new hometown of Lisbon, Portugal, which she referred to be a melting pot of culture musically, from Angola to Guinea-Bissau to Spain to Brazil to France to Cape Verde.
Heather Maloney – Soil In The Sky CD/LP (Signature Sounds)
The singer-songwriter’s new album features an amazing cast of musicians including Rachel Price from Lake Street Dive, Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith from Dawes and Jaron Olevsky and Ryan Hommel from Amos Lee’s band and features Maloney’s most melodic and striking songs yet.
Johnny Mathis – Killing Me Softly With Her Song/When Will I See You Again [Reissue/1973/1975] CD (Real Gone Music)
Johnny Mathis – The Heart Of A Woman/Feelings [Reissue/1974/1975] CD (Real Gone Music)
Real Gone Music continues their series of deluxe reissues from the superstar artist with a new two-for-one CD debuting two albums on standalone CD.
Mndsgn – Snaxx CD/LP (Stones Throw)
Album cycles come around about once every two years, but Mndsgn, aka Ringgo Ancheta, is constantly making music. He wanted to do justice to his prolific creativity, so rather than let unreleased tracks wither and die on his hard drive, he decided to put out two records ahead of his next studio album, and the concept of Snax was born. Snax (one ‘x’) was a tape of remixes, self-released in 2018. Snaxx (2 ‘x’s) follows with beat-heavy production including favorites from his hybrid live/DJ shows.
Keb’ Mo’ – Oklahoma CD (Concord)
Fresh off the Grammy-Award winning album TajMo, his collaboration with Taj Mahal, prolific blues musician Keb’ Mo’ returns his first solo record in five years. Sonically timeless but lyrically relevant, Oklahoma solidifies Keb’ as a modern master of American roots music, a reputation he has held and expanded on throughout his 25+ year career. [Vinyl edition due July 19.]
Mono – Hymn To The Immortal Wind (Anniversary Edition) [Reissue/1999] CD/2xLP+MP3 (Temporary Residence)
Beautifully remastered from the original analog master tapes by Bob Weston at Chicago Mastering Service. The CD format has been repackaged in a gorgeous full-color gatefold jacket with metallic gold inks, matte varnish, and custom inner sleeve. The double-LP vinyl format is packaged in a full-color, custom die-cut jacket with metallic gold foil stamping, matte varnish, and seven interchangeable full-color cover inserts. [Limited metallic ocean blue and green colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Neal Morse – Jesus Christ The Exorcist 2xCD/3xLP (Frontiers)
Jesus Christ The Exorcist is a monumental project in Neal Morse’s already daunting discography. A progressive rock opera ten years in the making, it was written and produced by Morse and features performances by Neal and an all-star cast of vocalists and musicians including Ted Leonard, Eric Gillette, Nick D’Virgilio, Randy George, Bill Hubauer, and Matt Smith among others.
Pinky Pinky – Turkey Dinner CD/LP+MP3/Cassette (Innovative Leisure)
Pinky Pinky’s debut album is a patchwork quilt of garage rock and oddball indie. It’s rooted in classic bass, drums, guitar, but it’s bolstered by the perspectives of a trio of L.A. youths writing about their everyday observations, anxieties and passions.
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets – And Now For The Whatchamacallit CD/LP+MP3 (Marathon Artists)
Thundering over the horizon out of Perth, Australia, the psyche-rock capital of the universe, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets are taking the world by the horns. [Limited splatter colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Jordan Rakei – Origin CD/LP (Ninja Tune)
Soulful, intimate and expansive all at once, Jordan Rakei’s third album, Origin, cuts straight to the point, in every sense of the word. The melodies are brighter, the sound is bigger and the vision behind it more finely-tuned. Switching up from the highly personal and intimate portrait he painted with 2017’s Wallflower, which was a way of grappling with his experience of anxiety and introversion, Origin is overtly inspired by dystopian visions of our future – notably Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and David Lynch’s Twin Peaks.
Mitch Ryder – Detroit Breakout! CD/LP (Cleopatra)
Legendary blue-eyed soul singer and one of Detroit music’s most iconic figures, Mitch Ryder, returns with a host of friends to reimagine 14 of his generation’s most memorable soul and rock anthems.
The Seekers – Farewell CD (Verve)
Live release from the Australian folk outfit recorded during the group’s 2013 Golden Jubilee Australian Tour.
Will Sellenraad/Eric McPherson/Rene Hart – Greene Street Vol. 1 CD/LP (Deko Music)
Sellenraad is a mainstay on the NYC scene, and beyond, appearing at storied jazz venues such as The 55 Bar, Smalls, Mezzrow, The Blue Note, Birdland, The Iridium, the former Sweet Basil and many others. Joining is bassist Rene Hart, whose television appearances include The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with Conan O’Brien and has recorded and performed with artists such as David Amram, Julian Priester, Don Braden, and Myra Melford, James Hunter, Anat Fort, Pete Seeger, Bilal and many others. Rounded out by drummer Eric McPherson, who came to prominence apprenticing with legendary saxophonist and educator, Jackie McLean, and the innovative pianist and composer Andrew Hill.
Shellac – The End Of Radio: 14 July 1994 Peel Session CD/2xLP (Touch & Go)
The End Of Radio is comprised of two previously unreleased BBC Radio Peel Sessions recorded 10 years apart – 1994 and 2004.
Sweet Oblivion – Sweet Oblivion CD (Frontiers)
Sweet Oblivion is a new metal project featuring legendary former Queensrÿche and current Operation: Mindcrime singer Geoff Tate.
Tangerine Dream – Phaedra [Reissue/1974] CD (Virgin)
Tangerine Dream – Rubycon [Reissue/1975] CD (Virgin)
Tangerine Dream – Ricochet [Reissue/1975] CD (Virgin)
Tangerine Dream – Stratosfear [Reissue/1976] CD (Virgin)
Tangerine Dream – Encore [Reissue/1977] CD (Virgin)
Tangerine Dream – Cyclone [Reissue/1978] CD (Virgin)
Tangerine Dream – Force Majeure [Reissue/1979] CD (Virgin)
Digitally remastered and expanded editions of the German electronic music group’s key ‘70s releases.
Timo Tolkki’s Avalon – Return To Eden CD/LP (Frontiers)
Five years in the making, the third installment of Timo Tolkki’s Avalon, the outstanding metal opera which saw the return of the highly talented Finnish musician to the heavy metal scene, is released.
The Vandals – BBC Sessions And Other Polished Turds [Reissue/2009] CD/LP (Kung Fu)
America’s favorite punk rock scamps jump across the pond for some British hijinks on this reissue of their 2009 compilation. [Limited red colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Various Artists – Putumayo Presents: World Peace CD (Putumayo World Music)
World Peace is a celebration of the efforts by artists and statesmen seeking a more peaceful world. Featuring: India.Arie, Jackson Browne, Nina Simone, Keb’ Mo’, David Broza/Wyclef Jean, Mira Awad, Playing For Change, Culture, Bholoja, and Bongeziwe Mabandla.
Wednesday 13 – Skeletons [Reissue/2008] CD/LP (Napalm)
Wednesday 13 – Bloodwork [Reissue/2008] CDEP/12” (Napalm)
Gunfire 76 – Casualties & Tragedies [Reissue/2009] CD/LP (Napalm)
Wednesday 13 – Calling All Corpses [Reissue/2011] CD/LP (Napalm)
Wednesday 13 – Spook And Destroy [Reissue/2012] CDEP/12” (Napalm)
Wednesday 13 – The Dixie Dead [Reissue/2013] CD/LP (Napalm)
Wednesday 13 – Undead Unplugged [Reissue/2014] CD/LP (Napalm)
Wednesday 13 – Monsters Of The Universe Come Out And Plague [Reissue/2015] CD/LP (Napalm)
A grimly glamorous ghoul who first slithered from the cobwebbed shadows of Charlotte, NC in the early-90s, Wednesday 13 (aka Gunfire 76) has firmly established himself as the world’s premier purveyor of balls-out horror punk insanity. With a vivid and vile imagination that has endeared him to countless fans of riff-driven macabre over the last two and a half decades, he has been one of rock’s most prolific protagonists, spreading his credo of grave-robbing rock ‘n’ roll and Hallowe’en debauchery around the globe and unleashing a seemingly endless stream of blood-spattered albums and EPs. [Limited colored vinyl pressings are also available.]
Hank Williams – The Complete Health & Happiness Recordings 2xCD/2xLP (BMG)
If you have a hankering for Hank and haven’t received your fill of music from the Hillbilly Shakespeare over the years, you’re in luck. Audio freshly transferred, restored & mastered from the original 16” transcription discs.
X Ambassadors – Orion CD (Interscope)
Sophomore album. Growing up in small-town upstate New York, frontman Sam Harris, his brother Casey, and childhood friend Noah Feldshuh bonded over an obsessive love for punk, rock & roll, soul, and hip-hop that defied the conventions of their peer group. [Vinyl edition due August 2.]
This Week’s Vinyl Exclusives:
1349 – Massive Cauldron Of Chaos [Reissue/2014] LP (Season Of Mist)
Limited green colored vinyl LP pressing housed in a gatefold sleeve. Norwegian black metal tyrants 1349 delivered aural hellfire with their long awaited 2014 album Massive Cauldron Of Chaos. Over four years in the making, the eight-track behemoth built on their already storied career and saw the band sharpen their orthodox black metal assault with a thrashier edge.
Ellen Allien – Alientronic 2xLP (Bpitch Control)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. One of the great ambassadors of Berlin techno, Ellen Allien presents her brand-new album Alientronic. This is a body of work rooted in the city where it was recorded, Ellen’s home and the place where she discovered techno sparking a love affair which will burn for infinity.
American Pleasure Club – F**king Bliss LP (Run For Cover)
[Limited blue and white swirl colored vinyl pressing also available.] American Pleasure Club is a pop band from Baltimore, MD. Singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist/composer Sam Ray has called the album a “deconstructed pop record” – and “music deconstructed and broken down” – citing the works of French author, photographer, and essayist Eduoard Levé, in particular his posthumous book Suicide, as well as Jacques Derrida’s difference and its application well beyond literature as big influences on the album’s theme and concept.
Anatolian Weapons Feat. Seirios Savvaidis – To The Mother Of Gods LP+MP3 (RVNG Int’l)
Anatolian Weapons, the project of Aggelos Baltas (Dream Weapons, Fantastikoi Hxoi), makes its Beats In Space Records debut with To The Mother Of Gods. A hypnotic journey through the psychedelic folk music of Seirios Savvaidis, To The Mother Of Gods testifies that music, through repetition and drone, can take us outside ourselves to a liminal space beyond thought and rationality.
Aura Safari – Aura Safari LP (Church)
Aura Safari is the union of various musical eras and influences such as jazz fusion, ‘80s boogie, world music, Italo house, Balearic beats and jazz funk.
Bad Religion – Age Of Unreason LP+MP3 (Epitaph)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Since Bad Religion’s formative years, the acclaimed Los Angeles, CA punk rock band has steadfastly advocated for humanism, reason, and individualism. Now, when these values are in decline and nationalism and bigotry are on the rise, the group’s message has never been more essential. The songs on Age Of Unreason are both furious and meticulously crafted. There are references to contemporary events; racist rallies, Trump’s election, the erosion of the middle class, Colin Kaepernick’s protest, alternative facts, conspiracy theories, as well as homages to the literary and philosophical works that have long inspired the band. This record is both a dire warning and testament to resilience. The overall message being – seek truth about the world and oneself.
Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires – Live At The Nick LP+MP3 (Don Giovanni)
“In November of 2017, we played two nights at The Nick in Birmingham with some of our favorite Alabama bands – GT//, Shaheed & DJ Supreme, Bad Example, Dommel Mossel, Me & My Knife, and Snacks, and raising attention for our friends at Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice and Hometown Action. Tension was in the air. This record is about raising hell for and from your home-place and your home-folks.”
A Beacon School – Cola LP (Grind Select)
Full-length debut from Brooklyn multi-instrumentalist Patrick J. Smith, whose previous credits include playing with Modern Rivals, Bluffing and Fiasco. Having spent the previous year working on a new project called Maxband with Max from Parquet Courts, A Beacon School marks Smith’s first entirely solo effort, allowing him to indulge his every musical impulse.
James Blake – Assume Form 2xLP (Republic)
Released last January on CD – now available on vinyl. New album from renowned English artist/producer with guests including Andre 3000 (Outkast), Travis Scott, Moses Sumney and others.
Brief Encounter – We Want To Play [Reissue/1981] LP (Athens Of The North)
Vinyl reissue of a rare modern soul, disco, soul private press album from the early ‘80s.
Brownsville Station – Brownsville Station [Reissue/1977] LP (Culture Factory)
Limited opaque white vinyl pressing. Brownsville Station was formed in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1969. After several Top 10 hits single like “Smokin’ In The Boys Room”, they recorded in 1977 “The Martian Boogie”, one of their seven singles to chart on the Hot 100, both of which appear on Brownsville Station.
Glen Campbell – Sings For The King  LP (UMe)
Limited 180gm clear vinyl pressing. The lost album from Glen Campbell, Sings For The King contains eighteen recently unearthed and restored studio recordings from 1965-1967 that casts new light on the influence that Campbell had on America’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll star, Elvis Presley.
Nat King Cole – Ultimate Nat King Cole 2xLP (Capitol)
Career spanning collection celebrating Nat King Cole’s 100th birthday, featuring his most well-loved signature songs, including “Unforgettable”, “L-O-V-E”, Mona Lisa and featuring a newly recorded duet of “The Girl From Ipanema” duet with Gregory Porter.
Comrades – For We Are Not, We Are Only Becoming LP (Facedown)
Released last week on CD – now available on vinyl. New full-length by the nowadays Colorado-based DIY post-rockers.
Destrage – The Chosen One LP (Metal Blade)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Fifth album from the progressive metal band. According to guitarist Matteo Di Gioia, going into the writing of The Chosen One, the plan was simple: No bullsh!t. No half-baked or lukewarm stuff. No self-indulgence.
The Deviants – The Deviants #3 [Reissue/1983] LP (Real Gone Music)
Limited black and white colored vinyl pressing. The Deviants were the closest thing the ’60s British rock scene had to The Mothers of Invention, with a Stooges-like fondness for fuzz guitar freakouts thrown in.
Diamond D – The Diam Piece 2 LP (Dymond Myne)
Diamond D is a legendary producer and a part of the crew, Diggin In The Crates (D.I.T.C.) that includes Big L, Fat Joe, Lord Finesse, O.C., Buckwild, Showbiz & A.G. Keeping with his legendary status, Diamond D enlist an all-star cast for The Diam Piece 2 which features guest contributions by Fat Joe, Snoop Dogg, Fat Joe, Elzhi, Raekwon, Styles P, Talib Kweli, and more.
Duster – Stratosphere [Reissue/1998] LP (Numero)
Duster – Contemporary Movement [Reissue/2000] LP (Numero)
Best listened to from inside the womb, Duster’s 1998 debut Stratosphere simultaneously capped off and reinvented the slow core’s first wave. A four-track dreamscape that will wake the neighbors and then lull them back to sleep. Hazy, arpeggiated guitars layer over a deliberate drummer with no real place to be, as semi-inaudible vocals warn of millennial malaise and subtly encourage the listener to rock out, rock out, rock out, rock out. Follow-up Contemporary Movement is a 39-minute drift into the void drenched in Cold War-era reverb and then submerged in four track hiss for good measure.
Brian Eno – Discreet Music [Reissue/1975] 2xLP (Astralwerks)
Brian Eno – Music For Films [Reissue/1975] 2xLP (Astralwerks)
Brian Eno – Ambient 1: Music For Airports [Reissue/1978] 2xLP (Astralwerks)
Brian Eno – Ambient 4: On Land [Reissue/1982] 2xLP (Astralwerks)
180gm half-speed Abbey Road Studios remastered vinyl reissues of Brian Eno’s first four solo ambient albums.
Fiend – Still Cookin’  LP (Cleopatra)
Limited vinyl pressing of the recent album from former No Limit Records artist and ex-Ruff Ryder. Features guest appearance by G-Unit member Young Buck, the legendary Daz Dillinger, and Wale.
Tiken Jah Fakoly – Le Monde Est Chaud LP (Wrasse)
A genuine standard bearer for Africa’s youth for whom he upholds the thirst for freedom and change, this hero of modern reggae is also the spokesperson for a whole continent. The titles of his albums over the years are evidence of his social conscience, and struggle has forever permeated the lines of his music: words as weapons, albums as firebrands.
Friendship – Undercurrent LP (Southern Lord)
While Friendship’s identity remains an enigma, those who have encountered their antagonistic, loud, and murky sonic world, can testify to the sheer power of the auditory torture the band creates. This is some harsh, abrasive, and vicious as f**k sounding hardcore, punk, crust, and powerviolence.
Grant Green – Grant’s First Stand [Reissue/1961] LP (Blue Note)
Had organist Baby Face Willette stayed in New York and on track, Grant Green, Willette, and Ben Dixon would have become one of the premier organ trios in jazz. From the first note of Miss Ann’s Tempo, they establish a groove, and swing like hell through two standards and four originals. This may have been Grant Green’s debut album, but all three of these musicians share equal responsibility in this magnificent January 28, 1961 date.
Johnny Griffin – Introducing Johnny Griffin [Reissue/1956] LP (Blue Note)
Limited 180gm vinyl LP pressing. Tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin blew out of Chicago and made his debut album for Blue Note Records in 1956 steering a nimble quartet with pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Curly Russell, and drummer Max Roach through a fantastic set of originals and standards.
Harry Hosono & the World Shyness – Hochono House LP (Victor Entertainment)
A re-imagining of Hosono’s 1973 solo debut album Hosono House. Recorded 45 years after The Band-like sessions that produced the rootsy Japanese Americana classic, Hochono House is an entirely solo affair, with Hosono himself handling all the recording, engineering, programming, arrangements, instruments, and singing.
Hooverphonic – No More Sweet Music [Reissue/2005] 2xLP (Music On Vinyl)
Limited blue colored vinyl pressing. Hooverphonic’s fifth studio album No More Sweet Music is their most controversial album, as it marks their departure from their original, signature sound. The radio-friendly pop songs still consists of elements from their trip-hop music. No More Sweet Music contains two versions of each song, one from the original recording and one remixed by the band’s Alex Callier.
Freddie Hubbard – Open Sesame [Reissue/1960] LP (Blue Note)
Trumpeter Freddie Hubbard burst upon the Blue Note scene in June 1960 with his auspicious debut album Open Sesame. Within six months, Hubbard had already recorded a follow-up (Goin’ Up) and appeared as a sideman on sessions with Tina Brooks (True Blue), Hank Mobley (Roll Call), Kenny Drew (Undercurrent), and Jackie McLean (Bluesnik). Hubbard’s bravado style was already fully formed on Open Sesame with his brilliant tone and jaw-dropping technical prowess at the helm of sterling quintet.
Glenn Hughes – From Now On… [Reissue/1994] 2xLP (A Sunhill Production)
Double 180gm vinyl pressing of the 1994 solo album from the legendary rock vocalist best known for his work with Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Trapeze. Includes bonus track.
Billy Idol – Vital Idol:Revitalized  2xLP (Capitol)
Double colored vinyl LP pressing. More than 30 years after his groundbreaking Vital Idol compilation cemented the vibrancy of the dance-rock remix genre in the second half of the 1980’s, Idol’s Revitalized collection features 11 new remixes by Moby, The Crystal Method and Paul Oakenfold, and more.
Jim James – Uniform Distortion/Clarity 2xLP (ATO)
This limited individually numbered vinyl box set includes Uniform Distortion (2018) on black/gold colored vinyl and Uniform Clarity (2018) on black/white colored vinyl, along with a bonus 7” comprised of four unreleased acoustic covers. Packaged in a die-cut gatefold jacket.
Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures [Reissue/1979] LP (WB)
Limited 180gm ruby red 40th anniversary colored vinyl pressing with an alternative white sleeve. Joy Division rapidly evolved from their initial punk rock influences to develop a sound and style that made them one of the pioneers of the post-punk movement of the late 1970s.
Joy Division – Atrocity Exhibition: Live In Paris, 1979 LP (Lively Youth)
Joy Division – Live At The Pardiso Club Amsterdam, January 11, 1980 LP (Lively Youth)
A pair of live broadcasts issued on vinyl.
Lenny Kravitz – Let Love Rule [Reissue/1989] 2xLP (Virgin)
Double 180gm vinyl pressing of Lenny Kravitz’ 1989 debut album.
Lagartijeando – Jallalla LP (Wonderwheel)
Lagartijeando is the name of producer, musician and DJ Mati Zundel. Born, raised and currently living in a small town on the outskirts of Buenos Aires called Dolores. From a very early age, he was musically curious- experimenting with percussion, charango, guitar, bass, voice, and beyond. Strongly influenced by his travels through Latin America, Mati’s signature psychedelic dance tracks latch onto everything from traditional folk sounds from the Bolivian altiplano to the jungle beats of Brazil.
Le Butcherettes – Live At Clouds Hill LP (Clouds Hill)
Founded in 2007 by Teri Gender Bender, Le Butcherettes captivates with a mixture of noisy songs which are always catchy enough to stay in your head. The special thing about the band is the deliberately used theatricality and the tendency to the big gesture, which gives the band its own special touch. Friends and fans of PJ Harvey, The Mars Volta and The Flaming Lips will love this limited release.
Lowdown Drifters – Last Call For Dreamers LP (MRI Associated)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. The Lowdown Drifters is a country folk rock band from Washington State formed in 2015 from a shared love of songwriting with the goal of fostering and furthering the tradition of country music.
Bob Marley & The Wailers – Legend (The Best Of Bob Marley And The Wailers) [Reissue/1984] 2xLP (Island)
Limited double 180gm vinyl pressing. This 35th anniversary edition adds two original UK-only cassette bonus tracks.
Midnight Oil – Armistice Day: Live At The Domain, Sydney 3xLP (Music On Vinyl)
In February 2017, Midnight Oil announced The Great Circle World Tour from the Sydney Harbour. The tour was the band’s first in over 15 years, commenced in Sydney, travelled to 16 countries, completed 76 performances in six months and concluded at The Domain in November 2017. The performance of their final show at the Domain was recorded and now available on 3 LPs.
Necronomidol – Voidhymn LP (Specific Bis)
The queens of dark idol metal are back with their third album.
Klaus Nomi – Klaus Nomi [Reissue/1981] LP (Real Gone Music)
Klaus Nomi was a fixture in the late-’70s NYC East Village performance art scene, but his big coming-out party was when he performed alongside David Bowie on Saturday Night Live in 1979. It wasn’t easy to out-alien The Man Who Fell To Earth, but Nomi’s demented harlequin act complete with plucked, Elsa Lanchester-like eyebrows, whiteface and widow’s peak – not to mention a pink poodle doll pal – pulled it off (Nomi often claimed he was from outer space). That got Nomi signed to RCA, where he recorded two studio albums (and adopted the oversized plastic tux that Bowie wore when he sang The Man Who Sold the World on SNL) before succumbing to AIDS in 1983 at the age of 39, one of the first celebrities to die from the disease.
Poison – Look What The Cat Dragged In [Reissue/1986] LP (Friday Music)
Limited colored 180gm vinyl LP pressing of the glam metal band’s debut album.
David Rawlings Machine – Nashville Obsolete [Reissue/2015] LP (Acony)
Dave Rawlings Machine’s 2015 folk roots tour de force Nashville Obsolete is available for the first time on vinyl. Recorded on analog tape at Woodland Studios in Nashville, Tennessee, DRM’s stark and stunning second album features seven classic David Rawlings and Gillian Welch compositions.
R.E.M. – In Time: The Best Of R.E.M. 1988-2003 [Reissue/2003] 2xLP (Craft Recordings)
First-time commercial vinyl pressing. In Time: The Best Of R.E.M. 1988-2003 is more than a greatest hits collection, it’s an opportunity to reflect on the astonishing creative and cultural influence of one of the most innovative and enduring bands of modern rock history. This collection focuses on the band’s output on Warner Bros. [Limited blue colored vinyl edition also available.]
Ritual Aesthetic – Wound Garden 2018] LP (Cleopatra)
Limited edition vinyl pressing of the new album from the Denver-based industrial metal outfit.
Sadgirl – Water LP (Suicide Squeeze)
With their new album Water, Los Angeles trio Sadgirl taps into the romantic and nostalgic spirit of their native city while exuding a time-tested authenticity suggesting they’ve had a peek behind the curtain of the glitzy boulevards and relentless sunshine. It’s a collection of breezy pop songs captured with the timbre of old-time recording techniques.
Sponge – Demoed In Detroit 1997-98 LP (Cleopatra)
Released in January on CD – now available on vinyl. A set of studio recordings taped in Detroit following the band’s blockbuster sophomore album Wax Ecstatic (1996).
Sunflower Dead – C.O.M.A.  LP (EMP Label Group)
Vinyl edition of the third album from the Los Angeles hard rockers.
Tanith – In Another Time LP (Metal Blade)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Taking their name from a character in the classic Hammer Horror The Devil Rides Out, NYC’s Tanith play vintage hard rock that harks back to the glory days of Blue Oyster Cult, Thin Lizzy and Uriah Heep. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Yelawolf – Radioactive [Reissue/2011] 2xLP (Shady)
Yelawolf’s debut studio album Radioactive, known as Radioactive: Amazing And Mystifying Chemical Tricks, was recorded within two weeks in Las Vegas Valley. Executive produced by Eminem, the 15-track project features appearances from Kid Rock, Lil Jon, Gangsta Boo, FeFe Dobson, and Killer Mike, among others.
Dennis Young – Primitive Substance LP (Athens Of The North)
Dennis Young is best known as the marimba player and percussionist for Liquid Liquid, a trend-setting early 1980’s NYC band whose song “Cavern” was used by Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel in “White Lines”. Dennis Young is a self-taught musician who started playing drums at an early age. His curiosity led him to other instruments that include marimba, percussion, keyboards, guitar and vocals. Young composes his own music, which combines influences from rock, jazz, dance, electronic and world music while incorporating unique rhythms and colorful musical textures. He has released 9 solo albums to date and helped several local musicians with production and studio work.
The Briefs – Platinum Rats (Burger)
Recently released on vinyl – now available on CD and cassette. The Briefs ‘77-style pop punk is loud, raucous and fierce, yet cohesive and hooky and hilarious.
Bill Callahan – Shepherd In A Sheepskin Vest (Drag City)
As you listen to Shepherd In A Sheepskin Vest, a feeling of totality, of completeness, steals over you, like a thief in broad daylight. Of course it does – you’re listening to a new Bill Callahan record!
Pinky Pinky – Turkey Dinner (Innovative Leisure)
Pinky Pinky’s debut album is a patchwork quilt of garage rock and oddball indie. It’s rooted in classic bass, drums, guitar, but it’s bolstered by the perspectives of a trio of L.A. youths writing about their everyday observations, anxieties and passions.