CD + Vinyl:
Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams CD/LP+MP3 (Blue Note/Pax Am)
Ryan Adams’ new album is a self-titled affair and the first to be released on the combined Pax Am/Blue Note imprint. Produced by Adams’ himself at his own Pax Am Studios in Los Angeles, the new record is the NC-born singer/songwriter’s first full length since 2011’s Ashes & Fire. The first single “Gimme Something Good” has already elicited wide praise, with Stereogum exclaiming “he doesn’t seem to have lost a songwriting step. This thing is a total knockout.”
Jhené Aiko – Souled Out CD (Def Jam)
Debut album from the R&B recording artist featuring guest appearances by Common, Namiko & Miyagi and more. The album features the single “To Love & Die” and “The Pressure.” Available in Regular and Deluxe editions. Deluxe includes bonus tracks.
American Hi-Fi – Blood & Lemonade CD (Rude Records)
New album from the Boston-based pop/punk band. Featuring the single “Allison” and other notables “Golden State” and “Armageddon Days,” Blood & Lemonade wholly embraces the sound and spirit of classic, balls-to-the-wall guitar rock mixed with the power pop sensibilities that lead to their worldwide smash “Flavor Of The Weak.” Vinyl version due September 23.
The American Scene – Haze CD/LP (Pure Noise)
Haze is the sophomore full-length from the East Bay’s The American Scene. Building upon their previous releases, the album blends a darker and more mature indie rock sound with the band’s notable pop sensibilities. With natural tones reverberating throughout the record, the band shows a dancier side, allowing the record to bridge the gap between bands like The Alkaline Trio and Phoenix.
Autumn’s Dawn – Gone CD (Eisenwald)
The melancholic black metal of the past is still present in places, but it has also given way to a more refined and melodic sound, which allows the band to reach even greater heights than before.
Avi Buffalo – At Best Cuckold CD/LP (Sub Pop)
Avi Buffalo’s sophomore album is a quirky yet comforting set of songs driven by refined pop songcraft and sneaky moments of grandeur that stick in the brain. At Best Cuckold was recorded at Tiny Telephone, the analog-friendly San Francisco studio run by John Vanderslice (whose Bowie tribute Avi contributed to), engineered by Jay Pellicci (The Dodos, Deerhoof, Sleater-Kinney) and Nicolas Vernhes at Rare Book Room studio in Brooklyn.
Ballet School – The Dew Lasts An Hour CD/LP (Bella Union)
From ambient intro “Slowdream” to the slow R&B jam of new single “Lux,” from the swooning dream-pop of “Pale Saint” and “Heliconia” to the ecstatic hooks of “Heartbeat Overdrive” and “Ghost,” the album is a fresh, vibrant take on the lush, emoting tropes of ‘80s pop and rock, but sounds resolutely 21st century, its diverse influences placing the trio at the forefront of pop’s new alternative.
Banks – Goddess CD/2xLP (Harvest)
The Los Angeles native and self-taught pianist, vocalist, and songwriter releases her debut album. Effortlessly balancing her gift for honest, poetic perspectives on love and humanity with a voice that gained her overnight attention from the music industry’s most important curators – Banks is poised for massive things. Drawing from inspirations like Fiona Apple and Miss Lauryn Hill, Banks focuses on the duality of soulful earthly emotion and ethereal atmospheric sounds.
Better Than Ezra – All Together Now CD/LP (The End)
Better Than Ezra, known for their hits “Good,” “Desperately Wanting,” “Juicy,” release their eighth studio album. “Based on a preliminary listen of several tracks, singer/guitarist Kevin Griffin, bassist Tom Drummond and drummer have clearly freshened up their collective sound. Producer Tony Hoffer, who has previously worked with Fitz & The Tantrums, Silversun Pickups and Beck, gave the band an electro-pop sonic makeover. Electronic drums and loops abound.” – NOLA.com
Billy The Kid – Horseshoes & Hand Grenades CD (Xtra Mile)
The Canadian songwriter releases her new album, which was produced by Frank Turner, who also plays on the record alongside The Sleeping Souls drummer Nigel Powell. Horseshoes & Hand Grenades was recorded in London with bare bones arrangements that allow Billy’s natural storytelling and lithe voice to guide the listener through her world and her life.
Harold Budd – Jane 12-21 CD (Darla)
Companion to Jane 1-11. Minimal, modern classical piano and avant-garde electronics by the master.
Busdriver – Perfect Hair CD/2xLP (Big Dada)
What would Gravity’s Rainbow sound like as a rap album? Here is an album, which, if we may, reminds the listener of their whispered allegiances to fundamental realities. The brushstrokes are delicate, stabbing, pointed. The overwhelming crescendo they whirl towards may be one of bitterness, and rightfully so. There is also lightness. A black man is giggling and pointing at you. It may have everything and nothing to do with rap and one’s place in it. Humiliation, no longer a threat—but a reality, has been exhausted. Perfect Hair is what remains.
Billy Childs – Map To The Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro CD (Sony Masterworks)
Composer/arranger/pianist Billy Childs leads an all-star interpretation of songwriter Laura Nyro’s beloved works, featuring Renee Fleming, Esperanza Spalding, Yo-Yo Ma, Alison Krauss, Ledisi, Wayne Shorter, and more.
Matthew Collings – Silence Is A Rhythm Too  CD (Denovali)
Matthew Collings – Splintered Instruments CD (Denovali)
Matthew Collings is a Scotland-based composer. Not just a solo recording and live artist, he collaborates regularly with musicians from varying fields, including Dag Rosenqvist from Jasper, TX and Denovali labelmate Talvihorros. He is also responsible for several installations using custom-made software, which have been exhibited at Burning Man Festival in San Francisco and Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Arts. Vinyl versions due October 14.
Paul Collins – Feel The Noise CD/LP (Alive)
The Beat’s Paul Collins presents his latest solo album, Feel The Noise. Produced by Detroit studio legend Jim Diamond, who also plays bass and guitar, and features Dave Shettler (SSM) on drums, Eddie Baranek (The Sights) on lead guitar, and Nikki Corvette, the album features the single “I Need my Rock ‘N’ Roll.”
Chick Corea – Trilogy 3xCD (Concord)
Trilogy is a triple-CD set recorded live around the world with Corea’s spectacularly virtuosic trio featuring bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade, both star leaders in their own right (and previously the rhythmic backbone in Corea’s Five Peace Band). A marvel of live recorded sound, particularly for having been captured in multiple stops on the road, Trilogy sees the trio reinvent classic Corea compositions (such as “Spain”), as well as previously unreleased originals (“Piano Sonata: The Moon”).
Crimson Shadows – Kings Among Men CD/2xLP (Napalm)
New album from Canada’s emerging metal outfit and Wacken Metal Battle winners of 2013.
Death From Above 1979 – The Physical World CD/LP (Last Gang/WB)
The Physical World is the long-awaited follow up to 2004’s You’re a Woman, I’m A Machine. “…An album full of the sort of guitar riffs that we, as a society, are just not used to hearing anymore.” – Stereogum
Delta Spirit – Into The Wide CD/LP (Dualtone)
The fourth album from San Diego-bred five-piece, Into the Wide was born in a flood-ruined, cave-like, rat-colonized room in the band’s new hometown of Brooklyn. After spending more than a year writing together in the windowless studio they rebuilt after Hurricane Sandy wreaked its havoc, the group resurfaced with a batch of demos and headed to Georgia to team up with Ben Allen (a producer/engineer known for his work with artists like Animal Collective and Deerhunter).
Dwarves – The Dwarves Invented Rock & Roll CD (Burger)
The Dwarves Invented Rock & Roll is a fierce, compact showing of the band’s core strengths. On one end of the spectrum, the band tears out berserk, drug addled hardcore that rips up the room like their classic Blood, Guts, And Pu**y. But, on the other end, the band focuses on writing pop songs so snappy and sweet it sounds like they just walked out of the sock hop with Frankie Valli.
Justin Townes Earle – Single Mothers CD/LP (Vagrant)
Single Mothers is comprised of ten tracks that showcase exactly why Justin Townes Earle is considered a forefather of contemporary Americana. As a recently married, sober man JTE writes from a point of maturity and content we’ve not seen before on past records. “One day I just realized it’s not cool to die young, and it’s even less cool to die after 30,” Justin laughs as he reflects on a life past and his newfound clarity.
Emarosa – Versus CD/LP (Rise)
New album from the Lexington, KY post-hardcore band — their first in four years.
Esben And The Witch – A New Nature CD (Nostromo)
“Brighton trio Esben And The Witch long ago mastered the art of building up their songs from a brooding crawl to a brutal onslaught of sonic violence — or starting with the violence and scaling back to its eerie aftermath. In doing so, they’ve always lived up to their name. Whatever its true lineage — be that Kate Bush, Sonic Youth, Swans, Portishead, or Siouxsie And The Banshees — this music always feels like it emanated from some crooked-fingered cackler’s cauldron. It’s singular, seductive, terrifying stuff. It casts a spell. Esben are still conjuring those sensations on A New Nature, their first release through their own Nostromo label after parting ways with Matador” – Stereogum. Vinyl version due September 23.
Flowers – Do What You Want To, It’s What You Should Do CD/LP (Kanine)
“A mouthy title, fuzzy guitars and stunning female vocals, Do What You Want To has all the hallmarks of NME’s celebrated indie collection. But this is no thoughtless copy – it’s an updated, slicker version of the indie-pop song, and it’s really quite stunning. Do What You Want To will, without doubt, prove to be one of 2014’s best debut albums. Urgent pop songs, bristling with energy and intrigue, have been somewhat lacking in recent years, making this a breath of fresh air. Breathe that air in, it’s good for you. Flowers are good for you.” – Impact
Gob – Apt 13 CD (New Damage)
Ripe with Gob’s now-signature energetic, guitar-driven take on punk rock, Apt 13 finds the band picking up right where they left off with 2007’s Muertos Vivos. However, the new offering leans less towards the straight-up pop influence of earlier albums and instead puts focus on a fuller, more layered rock sound that includes sonic elements of decades past.
Grateful Dead – Wake Up To Find Out: Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY 3/29/1990 3xCD (Grateful Dead/WEA)
The legendary Nassau Coliseum show with Branford Marsalis is presented as a three-disc set.
Greensky Bluegrass – If Sorrows Swim CD/2xLP (Big Blue Zoo)
From these seemingly irreconcilable elements, the five members of Greensky Bluegrass have forged a defiant, powerful sound that, while rooted in classic string band Americana, extends outwards with a fearless, exploratory zeal. The tension and release between these components is what makes them so thrillingly dynamic, in concert and on record.
The Hanami Quartet – The Hanami Quartet CD (Off (Belgium))
The Hanami Quartet is the brainchild of Chicago guitarist Andrew Trim and Chicago saxophonist Mai Sugimoto. Cultivating their mutual Japanese roots, the two have fused their favorite Japanese folk, classical, pop, and children’s music with improvisation and deconstruction to attach an extremely personal sonic experience to a wide range of Japanese music, both old and new. The band features some of the young veterans of Chicago’s improvising scene including Jason Stein (Locksmith Isidore) and Charles Rumback (The Colorlist).
Hiss Golden Messenger – Lateness Of Dancers CD/LP+MP3 (Merge)
Lateness Of Dancers is an open, confident, immediate album, and it feels, at times, like a direct response to the darkness of Taylor’s last record, 2013’s Haw, or to the searching of 2010’s Bad Debt, the stunning acoustic LP he made at his kitchen table shortly after the birth of his son. Lateness Of Dancers includes many of Taylor’s longtime collaborators, like Phil and Brad Cook of Megafaun, the guitarist William Tyler, and his erstwhile recording partner Scott Hirsch. Alexandra Sauser-Monnig of Mountain Man contributes backing vocals.
Il Sogno Del Marinaio – Canto Secondo CD/LP (ORG Music)
Avant-garde punk legend and former Minutemen bassist Mike Watt is back with a second album from his latest project, Il Sogno Del Marinaio (translated as “The Sailor’s Dream”), a collaboration with Italian musicians Stefano Pilia and Andrea Belfi.
In Flames – Siren Charms CD (Sin UK)
The eleventh album from the Swedish metallers. Deluxe CD version due September 23. Vinyl due September 30.
Interpol – El Pintor CD/LP (Matador)
“El Pintor finds Interpol returning to the sleek, monochrome post-punk that caused such an impact in the early 2000s. ‘All The Rage Back Home’ and ‘My Desire’ are pacy, confident openers that chime melodically. Banks has added frantically glowering basslines and a fleeting falsetto to his arsenal of mean, moody and melancholy baritones. Otherwise, it’s business as usual, shrouded in the familiar sonic murk and gloom of the first two albums” – The Guardian. (Vinyl version available in Regular and ‘Collector’s’ editions.)
Kerretta – Pirohia CD/LP (Midium)
The third album proper for the Aussie rock-onslaught is a mix of ear-splitting highs and amorphous lows with suffocating atmosphere and an oppressive mood. Pirohia is primarily instrumental forward-thinking music in a retro world, and will appeal to those whom revere music of an experimental, metal, electronic, and a primal nature.
KMFDM – We Are KMFDM (Live 30th Anniversary) CD (Metropolis)
To celebrate 30 years as a group, KMFDM set off on a pair of tours in 2013. While on the road, Sascha, Lucia, Andy, Steve, and Jules tore through blistering sets spanning their discography.
Gladys Knight – Where My Heart Belongs CD (Shadow Mountain)
New inspirational album from the veteran soul vocalist.
Laibach – Opus Dei [Reissue/1987] CD (Mute)
Laibach is a Slovenian and former Yugoslav avant-garde music group associated with industrial, martial, and neo-classical musical styles. Originally released in 1987, Opus Dei was Laibach’s first album on Mute.
Lecrae – Anomaly CD (Reach Records)
Lecrae, the critically acclaimed Grammy-award winning hip-hop artist releases his seventh studio album. Known for his music message that is often at odds with his hip-hop peers, Lecrae speaks of monogamy, contentment, and faith.
Lonely Kamel – Sh*t City CD/LP (Napalm)
A uniquely Norwegian take on the stoner rock style.
Rudiger Lorenz – Invisible Voices [Reissue/1983] CD/LP+MP3 (Anthology Recordings)
This German synth wizard cast his own unique presence on the world of new age music. His vinyl debut, 1983’s Invisible Voices, highlights the point where Lorenz’s busy, sprawling compositions and untraditional tone banks came into their own.
Iain Matthews – Stealin’ Home [Reissue/1978] CD (Omnivore)
Iain Matthews rose to prominence in 1969 as a vocalist for Fairport Convention. In 1971, he hit #23 on the Billboard chart and #1 in the UK with his band Matthews’ Southern Comfort and their cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock.” But it was his ninth solo album, 1978’s Stealin’ Home (released during the time he had temporarily dropped the second “i” from his first name) that solidified his place in the ears and on the radios of America with the album’s #13 single, “Shake It.” Expanded with a nine-track bonus live set recorded to the album’s tour.
David Mayfield – Strangers CD (Compass)
David Mayfield may be one of the most original performers on the Americana scene. Known for his bombastic stage presence as much as his virtuosic guitar talent and songwriting prowess, Mayfield’s newest album Strangers is a bold affair. His goal was to record a timeless album that avoids anything overtly modern without going retro, and in the process Mayfield discovered his niche. Strangers stretches from the avant-garde to Mayfield’s musical roots, which are buried deep in the bluegrass tradition from a childhood of touring with his family’s band.
Sergio Mendez – Magic CD (Okeh/Sony Masterworks)
New album from the veteran Brazilian musician. Guests include John Legend, Seu Jorge and Milton Nascimento.
The Nomads – Showdown 1981-1993 2xCD (Sympathy For The Record Industry)
Double-CD collection from the Swedish garage punk band. This 42-song set features material recorded by from 1981 through 1993. The first disc features the best tracks from the band’s albums and singles, while the second consists primarily of rarities, outtakes, and live performances.
ODESZA – In Return CD/2xLP (Counter)
Over the past 18 months, Seattle producer duo ODESZA (Harrison Mills, Clayton Knight) has rapidly ascended to the top of their class. Accruing listens online, selling out shows and packing out festival crowds, ODESZA has won fans through the stereo and from the stage. In Return more than delivers on the promise of ODESZA previous work. A record with a precocious maturity and coherence, it’s a start-to-finish stunner of pop-infused, electronic wonder, littered with infectious hooks and potent atmosphere.
William Onyeabor – What?! CD (Luaka Bop)
Fantastic interpretations by Hot Chip, Optimo, Joakim and more. Remixes by Daphni, Scientist, Justin Stauss and even more all done as a part of the Luaka Bop/MOOG Remix Project.
The Order Of Israfel – Wisdom CD/LP (Napalm)
Debut album from the rising epic doom act with a growing cult following thanks to members previous bands Church Of Misery and Doomdogs.
PC Worship – Social Rust CD (Northern Spy)
Social Rust, PC Worship’s fourth LP to date and Northern Spy Records debut, may very well be the closest this innovative quartet, led by multi-instrumentalist Justin Frye, has gotten to the conventional rock formula. But don’t be alarmed—PC Worship has, by no means, abandoned its inherent avant-gardist roots. In fact, Social Rust portends a familial group hell bent on blending its own vision of fully realized songcraft and contagious melodicism into its trademark chaotic din.
Pere Ubu – Carnival Of Souls CD/LP (Fire)
Carnival Of Souls is Pere Ubu’s 18th album over a forty-year career that has seen them break rules, confuse and continue to divide music critics globally. The album was conceived in the midst of a grueling tour schedule that accompanied the release of Lady From Shanghai. The band performed a live underscore for a screening of the 1962 movie that gives the new album its name at the 2013 East End Film Festival in London.
Robert Plant – Lullabye And The Ceaseless Roar CD/2xLP+CD (Nonesuch)
11 new recordings, nine of which are original songs written by Plant with his band, The Sensational Space Shifters (Justin Adams: bendirs, djembe, guitars, tehardant, background vocals; John Baggott: keyboards, loops, moog bass, piano, tabal, background vocals; Juldeh Camara: kologo, ritti, Fulani vocals; Billy Fuller: bass, drum programming, omnichord, upright bass; Dave Smith: drum set; and Liam “Skin” Tyson: banjo, guitar, background vocals).
Queen – Live At The Rainbow ’74 CD/2xCD/2xCD+DVD+Blu-ray/LP (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
Recorded by Roy Thomas Baker, Queen’s March 31, 1974 show at the Rainbow was so good, it was touted as a live follow-up to Queen II for a while, before this idea was eventually shelved and Sheer Heart Attack became the third album. When that record was a massive success (along with single Killer Queen) Freddie Mercury, Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor returned to the venue in November 1974 for two further dates. Apart from the single CD version (which contains the November show only) the Live At The Rainbow ’74 releases contain (to varying degrees) both shows, newly restored, edited, mixed, and digitally remastered. The expanded double-CD digipak edition has the March show on one CD and a November show on the other, while the DVD/Blu-ray editions feature the November show with four ‘bonus’ tracks from March. The Super Deluxe version features all digital disc formats plus a 60-page hardcover book containing rare photographs and various items of memorabilia such as reproductions of the tickets, show souvenir program and poster, as well as material from the band members’ personal archives.
Rittz – Next To Nothing CD (Strange Music)
With tracks like “Profit,” “Bounce” and “Living A Dream,” production from Seven, Lifted, Supahotbeats and DJ Burnone, as well as features from Yelawolf, B.o.B. and Twista, Next To Nothing is the next chapter in the legacy of White Jesus.
Screwdriver – African Union CD (Upstairs Music)
New album by versatile South Florida based singer/songwriter Dalton Lindo aka Screwdriver. African Union is devoted to the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Organization Of African Unity. Through the medium of music Screwdriver attempts to reiterate Emperor Haile Selassie I’s message to the African leaders at the founding OAU summit on May 25, 1963 in Addis Ababa. The singer also invokes the spirit of Ghana’s first President Kwame Nkrumah, who was a leading advocate of Pan-African unity.
Sean Rowe – Madman CD/2xLP (Anti)
Sean Rowe, who The Wall Street Journal wrote, “recalls the ecstatic intensity of late-’60s Van Morrison and stark subtlety of late-era Johnny Cash” has created a beautifully primal work. Madman is deliberately simple in both arrangement and composition. It is soul music in the purest and most literal sense, hypnotic rhythms, warmly distorted guitars and Rowe’s incredible voice recalling a time, real or imagined, when music and people seemed distinctly more connected.
Shaolin Afronauts – Follow The Path CD/2xLP (Freestyle)
The driving force of The Shaolin Afronuats is Ross McHenry, the ARIA nominated composer, bandleader, producer and bassist based in Adelaide, Australia. Follow The Path is a 21-track, double album that expands upon and delves further into the musical genres that inspire and influence the group — rhythmic and pulsating Afrobeat, and the avant-garde/spiritual jazz inspired by artists such as Sun Ra and Mulatu Astatke.
Matthew Shipp – I’ve Been To Many Places CD (Thirsty Ear)
“This recording is meant as a reflection on where I have been in the music so I visit and revisit or should I say re-interpret many of the houses I have occupied. Of course this being a solo CD, the main focus is to make the piano come alive and to be a direct extension of my spirit-psyche and body. The piano here is vascular-cut it and it will bleed. When you listen to this recording you are directly listening to my brain waves and in some cases on this CD I feel I have transcended the instrument and am dealing with pure brain waves or lets say cosmic pulse.”
Simian Mobile Disco – Whorl CD/LP+CD (Anti)
Over the years as members of the criminally underrated ‘prog-psychedelic band’ Simian, as one of the UK’s finest electronic duos, and individually as esteemed producers for other acts James and Jas have accumulated mountains of incredible vintage synthesizers and other general sound-making boxes. Limiting themselves to two suitcase-sized boxes each no laptops, no racks of hardware, just one synth and one sequencer each they headed into the high desert of Joshua Tree National Park in California and recorded Whorl in front of an audience.
Sloan – Commonwealth CD/2xLP+MP3+CD (Yep Roc)
The Toronto-based rock quartet is perhaps the most truly democratic group in the annals of pop, with Jay Ferguson, Chris Murphy, Patrick Pentland, and Andrew Scott all contributing original compositions to each record, equal partners with equal say over every aspect of their work. Where in the past creative lines have been blurred to create the multi-faceted Sloan sound, Commonwealth sees the four bandmates disassociating ever so slightly to create an old-school double album sequenced with each member staking out a single side as their own artistic dominion.
Soundtrack [A.C. Newman] – What If [OST] CD (Milan)
With Daniel Radcliffe’s What If just about to hit theaters, the film’s soundtrack is now available. The score, which makes up 13 of the 17 tracks, was created by A.C. Newman of The New Pornographers. The soundtrack also features songs from The Parting Gifts, Patrick Watson, Marsha Hunt, and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes.
Soundtracks – Ghostbusters II [Reissue/1989] CD/LP (Geffen)
The Ghostbusters II soundtrack is a great blend of R&B, new jack swing, and rap. Featuring a redone version of Ray Parker, Jr.’s original theme by Run-DMC, as well as two cuts from Bobby Brown (“On Our Own” and “We’re Back”) and New Edition’s “Supernatural,” the film’s soundtrack is like a time capsule of radio in the late ’80s. Although the film didn’t spawn any truly essential songs, the soundtrack makes for a nostalgic journey that fans of the film (or ’80s R&B) will have fun revisiting.
SPC ECO – Sirens & Satellites CD (Sainte Marie)
SPC ECO consists of vocalist/lyricist Rose Berlin and multi-instrumentalist/producer Dean Garcia (formerly of the British shoegaze/alt-rock band Curve).
Steak – Slab City CD/LP (Napalm)
Debut from the UK-based stoner rock outfit.
Striker – City Of Gold CD/LP (Napalm)
The rising Canadian band revives the ’80s metal spirit but with a modern approach.
The Stroke Band – Green And Yellow CD/LP+MP3 (Anthology Recordings)
First ever reissue (fully authorized) of this 1978 cult private press LP. The Stroke Band includes Bruce Joyner, Don Fleming (producer with Sonic Youth, Hole), Mark Neill (Grammy winning producer for The Black Keys). Includes unseen photos, ephemera, comprehensive oral history, and unreleased material. Vinyl includes download code with the original Green and Yellow album; plus the band’s only live performance at Joe’s Cellar — a notorious strip club in Albany, GA; and a set of demos and psychotic improves from their Cork House headquarters.
The Strumbellas – We Still Move On The Dance Floor CD (Underneath A Mountain)
“The blend of banjo and violin with beautiful harmonies and gang vocals is damn near perfect. At no point do you feel the record being too country or too poppy… Put your bluegrass/folk judgments aside and make room for them in your playlist.” — Ridethetempo.com
SW/MM/NG – Feel Not Bad CD (Old Flame)
“Feel Not Bad brings surprisingly bright summer pop from the heart of the country. SW/MM/NG’s sound is comparable to other popular alt-rock notables. Lead singer Brian Kupillas’s singing style is very similar to The Walkmen’s Hamilton Leithauser. Despite this apparent resemblance, SW/MM/NG maintains individuality. The songs pull different punches from the typical surf anthems of summer. Where most insert high-pitched keyboard solos, SW/MM/NG brings in spacy synth touches, which heighten the ambience of youthful wonder” – LSU Revielle. Vinyl version due September 23.
Symbol Six – Dirtyland CDEP (Jailhouse)
New release from the veteran old school punk band. Symbol Six began on Posh Boy Records along with label mates Social Distortion, TSOL and Agent Orange.
Tennis – Ritual In Repeat CD/LP (Communion)
Tennis is comprised of married couple Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore. The two met in college in Denver, and embarked upon a ten-month sailing voyage that inspired what would become their first album Cape Dory. Ritual In Repeat is their third LP, and was produced by Black Keys’ Patrick Carney and Richard Swift.
Tiny Moving Parts – Pleasant Living CD/LP (Triple Crown)
Tiny Moving Parts, from the tiny town of Benson, MN, is literally a family band. Brothers Matthew (bass) & Billy Chevalier (drums) along with their cousin vocalist/guitarist Dylan Mattheisen have been best friends since their childhood. They don’t want to just be hanging out at home; they want to be out and about, which has led to over 400 shows in the last two years. Their second full length, Pleasant Living showcases a band that has moved past its growing pains and is finding its stride. It isn’t afraid to belt you with its powerful emotion, and neither are the lively personas behind the band. (Available on CD and limited color vinyl.)
Tricky – Adrian Thaws CD/2xLP (!K7)
Recorded in Tricky’s home studio in London, Adrian Thaws is a musically adventurous project and collaborators on the album include Francesca Belmonte, Nneka, Mykki Blanco, Bella Gotti, Tirzah, Blue Daisy and Oh Land. CD version is available in Regular and Deluxe editions. Deluxe contains two bonus tracks, a 24-page digibook, and hardbound book packaging.
Mark Turner Quartet – Lathe Of Heaven CD (ECM)
Mark Turner is one of the most admired saxophonists of his generation, renowned for his exploratory intellect and intimate expressivity on the full range of the tenor horn. Lathe Of Heaven is his sixth album as a leader but the first under his own name since 2001. Turner leads a quartet of kindred spirits here, often entwining serpentine with rising-star trumpeter Avishai Cohen as they play long, introspective lines of hypnotic grace; and with the lithe rhythm section of bassist Joe Martin and drummer Marcus Gilmore, there is subtle volatility in the air.
Union 13 – Ten Years Of Silence CDEP (Hella Mad)
The fifth album from the hardcore punk band from Boyle Heights, CA.
Vance Joy – Dream Your Life Away CD/LP (F-Stop/Atlantic)
Debut album from James Keogh aka Vance Joy; a folk/pop artist from Melbourne, Australia. Vance Joy’s love of music was inspired by his mother’s aptitude at literature and his father’s fondness of singing. His parents’ vast, eclectic record collection only served to heighten his partiality to it. After completing a university degree in law, he decided to take a year’s break to focus on making music. He travelled to India and South-East Asia with a collection of songs rattling around in his head. When he came home, they all fell into place. Like the unforced orchestration of his songs, Vance Joy’s recent success has developed organically.
Various Artists – No Seattle: Forgotten Sounds of the North-West Grunge Era 1986-97 2xCD/2xLP/2xLP (Soul Jazz)
While taking nothing away from Nirvana or from Sub Pop, this release presents the complexity of the music scene of the North-West in its most infamous era. Rather than celebrating the (undeniable) talent of one band, one label, one city, this release ravels up the simple thread of music history and takes pleasure in its more tangled knots. In the late 80s and early 90s, the musical fire raging in Seattle burned so bright that no one could see pinpricks of light dotting the entire state of Washington. Beyond Seattle, the North-West skies were similarly ablaze with music and creativity. (Vinyl edition spread over two double-LP volumes.)
Various Artists – The Music Of Pink Floyd 3xCD (AAO Music)
Pink Floyd tracks as performed by a bevy of veteran rock stars, including: Adrian Belew (Talking Heads, King Crimson), John Anderson (Jethro Tull), Tony Levin (King Crimson), Steve Howe (Yes), Rick Wakeman (Yes), Robby Krieger (Doors) John Wetton (Roxy Music, Asia, King Crimson), Aynsley Dunbar (Aynsley Dunbar Retalation), Alan White (Yes), Bill Bruford (King Crimson), Edgar Winter, Dweezil Zappa, and many others.
Various Artists – Take Me To The River CD (Fantasy)
Take Me To The River is a feature documentary and record celebrating the inter-generational, inter-racial, inter-gender musical influence of Memphis in the face of pervasive discrimination and segregation. The film brings multiple generations of award-winning Memphis and Mississippi Delta musicians together, following them through the creative process of recording a new album, to re-imagine the utopia of racial, gender, and generational collaboration of Memphis in its heyday. Hip-hop artists such as Snoop Dogg, PNut, Hustle & Flow’s Oscar-winning Frayser Boy, Al Kapone and Yo Gotti are paired with Grammy-winning legends of Memphis soul and R&B, including Mavis Staples, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Booker T. Jones, Charlie Musselwhite, Bobby Rush, William Bell, Otis Clay, and the incomparable session musicians of Stax and Hi Records. Oscar nominee Terrence Howard is our “MC” through the story.
Moreno Veloso – Coisa Boa CD (Luaka Bop)
Moreno Veloso, son of Brazilian music icon Caetano Veloso, began singing at the age of three, improving his natural skills while learning how to play classical guitar six years later. Veloso made his songwriting debut in 1982 with “Um Canto de Afoxé Para Bloco do lle,” which is featured on Caetano Veloso’s Cores, Nomes. Moreno Veloso became a Latin percussionist while still a teenager, touring with his father and Gilberto Gil before playing cello for Carlinhos Brown. Vinyl version due September 23.
Vio/Miré – You Will Be Spending Time Outdoors, In The Mountains, Near Water CD/LP (Shorebird)
Theirs is an expansive, viscerally arresting universe of shifting perspectives and strangely angled realities; a landscape of tranquility and commotion, comfort and alienation, gentleness and savagery that opens into vistas both naturalistic and dreamlike.
Louden Wainwright III – Haven’t Got The Blues Yet CD (429)
Wainwright’s follow up to 2012’s Older Than My Old Man Now is a 14-song, genre-busting collection of sharp, poignant songs about depression, drinking, senior citizenship, gun control, heartbreak, pet ownership and yes, New York City’s arcane practice of alternate side parking.
The Wake – Testament: Best Of CD/LP (Factory Benelux)
A comprehensive collection by the influential Scottish indie pop group including tracks recorded for cult labels Factory and Sarah Records. The Wake formed in Glasgow in early 1981 after singer/guitarist Caesar left future pop stars Altered Images. Testament combines key album tracks with popular singles including “On Our Honeymoon,” “Something Outside,” “Talk About The Past,” “Of The Matter” and “Crush The Flowers.” Also included are a previously unreleased 7” edit of “Pale Spectre,” and (on the CD only) a 2012 outtake “Clouds Disco.”
White Mana – Come Down Safari CD (Captcha)
Not just a heady mix of blown-out psych, Come Down Safari showcases White Mana moving in a more experimental direction. Sonic textures are diffuse; atmospheres are saturated. Sounds are wreathed in mists and vapors. Drones and quiet syncopations suggest fall’s rains coming on.
Michelle Williams – Journey To Freedom CD (Light Records)
Williams takes you on her faith filled journey with the fresh new single “Say Yes” that is poised to be the go to feel good inspirational song of the summer. The single features Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland of Destiny’s Child.
Wire – Document And Eyewitness 1979-1980 [Reissue/1981] 2xCD/2xLP (Pink Flag)
For those unfamiliar with Document And Eyewitness, it really doesn’t do the album justice to describe it simply as a collection of live recordings from three turn-of-the-‘80s Wire gigs. What makes it more than that is the unorthodox nature of the main performance and the way it was presented on record. The centerpiece of the original vinyl release was a recording of the final gig of Wire’s ‘70s phase (albeit one that took place in February 1980). This was a concert at the Electric Ballroom that grew out of the band’s performance art-based residency at the Jeannetta Cochrane Theatre the previous November.
The Young Presidents – Coalition CD/LP (Water Music)
The Young Presidents is a two-member rock band from New York City that blends classic rock & roll with a dash of ‘90s alternative. Using a back-to-basics approach blended with a modern sound, the band returns to the great power trio of rock: guitar, bass, and drums. Features collaborations with Corey Glover, Blondie Chaplin, Ivan Neville, Anton Fig, and Adam Ezra.
DVD + Blu-ray:
Queen – Live At The Rainbow ’74 DVD/Blu-ray/Blu-ray+CD (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
1974 was a year of high achievement for Queen. They had their first two hit singles, “Seven Seas Of Rhye” and “Killer Queen,” released two albums, Queen II and Sheer Heart Attack, and completed major tours across the UK, America and Europe. In the UK, they performed three sold-out shows at the legendary Rainbow Theatre in London’s Finsbury Park, one in March on the Queen II tour and two in November following the release of Sheer Heart Attack. Live At The Rainbow features the main show is from November coupled with the only surviving footage from the March show as a bonus. 90 minutes.
Santana – Corazon: Live From Mexico – Live To Believe It DVD/Blu-ray/Blu-ray+CD (RCA)
Combined with 40 years of hits, Santana performed many of the songs from his double-platinum album Corazon in concert December 2013, accompanied by many of his album special guests, including: Elan Atias, Chocquibtown, Lila Downs, Gloria Estefan, Juanes, Miguel, Fher Olvera (of Mana), Nina Pastori, Samuel Rosa (of Skank), Cindy Blackman Santana, Salvador Santana, Romeo Santos, Soledad, and Diego Torres. 160 minutes.
This Week’s Vinyl Exclusives:
The 5 Royales – The Harbingers Of Soul 2xLP (History Of Soul)
R&B legends The 5 Royales were incredibly renowned in the ‘50s and into the ‘60s. Bringing gospel and soul inspired harmonies into the mix they recorded some treasured sides for the King and Home Of The Blues stables. This album is a passionately compiled collection of all their most highly regarded numbers and is pressed on quality HQ-180gm vinyl.
ACxDC – Discography 03-13 LP (To Live A Lie)
Antichrist Demoncore (aka ACxDC for short) isn’t your stereotypical satanic grindviolence band. This picture disc stitches together 23 heavy hitting studio tracks on the A-side with 28 live and demo tape tracks on the B-side.
Acid Baby Jesus – Vegetable 7” (Slovenly)
Deeper and deeper into the sonic soil they burrow, harvesting fresh, organic ingredients for their psychedelic salad, Acid Baby Jesus return unbruised from a dirty rumor or two of their expiration. Drenched in a complex dressing of luxurious Mediterranean flavors, this new single released in anticipation of their upcoming second entree, provides just enough nutrition to keep you satisfied but never full.
Àrnica /Wolfsblood – Àrnica /Wolfsblood 10” (Pesanta Urfolk)
Influences: ritual folk, runechants, runes, witchcraft, northern magic, seidr, galdr, asatru, odinism. Sounds like: runic rituals in the night woods.
The Beatles – Please Please Me [Mono/Reissue 1963] LP (Capitol)
The Beatles – With The Beatles [Mono/Reissue 1963] LP (Capitol)
The Beatles – A Hard Day’s Night [Mono/Reissue 1964] LP (Capitol)
The Beatles – Beatles For Sale [Mono/Reissue 1964] LP (Capitol)
The Beatles – Help! [Mono/Reissue 1965] LP (Capitol)
The Beatles – Rubber Soul [Mono/Reissue 1965] LP (Capitol)
The Beatles – Revolver [Mono/Reissue 1966] LP (Capitol)
The Beatles – Magical Mystery Tour [Mono/Reissue 1967] LP (Capitol)
The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band [Mono/Reissue 1967] LP (Capitol)
The Beatles – The Beatles [White Album] [Mono/Reissue 1968] 2xLP (Capitol)
The Beatles – Mono Masters 3xLP (Capitol)
The Beatles – The Beatles In Mono [Box Set] 14xLP (Capitol)
The Beatles in mono: This is how most listeners first heard the group in the 1960s, when mono was the predominant audio format. Up until 1968, each Beatles album was given a unique mono and stereo mix, but the group always regarded the mono as primary. In an audiophile-minded undertaking, The Beatles’ acclaimed mono albums have been newly mastered for vinyl from quarter-inch master tapes at Abbey Road Studios. Each mono reissue is pressed on HQ-180gm vinyl with faithfully replicated artwork, newly mastered from the analogue master tapes. For a limited time – Free Beatles In Mono t-shirt with purchase – while supplies last!
Blonde Redhead – Barragán LP+MP3 (Kobalt)
Released last week on CD – now available on vinyl (packaged in a custom die-cut cover and inner sleeve with “peel and reveal” sticker insert). Barragán is Blonde Redhead’s ninth album. Tracks like “Dripping,” “The One I Love,” and “Defeatist Anthem (Harry And I)” have all the emotional punches of previous high water marks in the band’s repertoire — they just feel slightly less calculated, more serendipitous.
Chest Pain – Weltschmerz LP (To Live A Lie)
Weltschmerz starts with the distinctive oeuvre of powerviolence and drifts through the sonic territory of bands like Gasp, Swans and Killing Joke while remaining entirely its own trip.
Cuntz – Here Come The Real Boys LP+MP3 (Chunklet)
There’s no denying that Melbourne’s Cuntz crafted the feel-good hit of last summer with “Never Felt Better” — a frantic atonal mess from a country that has no shortage of gems in their jewel encrusted crown. When on tour in the US in 2013, Chunklet industries were completely floored by their live show and were ready to work with them in any capacity. Enter their first live album, culled from performances at WFMU, Death By Audio, Gonerfest 2013 and The Earl in Atlanta.
Delain – Human Contradiction 2xLP (Napalm)
Released earlier this year on CD – now available on vinyl. New album from Dutch symphonic metal sensation.
Andras Fox – Vibrate On Silent 12” (Mexican Summer)
Melbourne-based producer Andras Fox (A.r.t. Wilson) creates a tactile and unique form of Antipodean funk that feels equally informed by garage house and new age musical traditions. His productions sound appropriate on both the dance floor and in the lounge, boasting a casual danceability and mood that seamlessly adapts to both environs. On Vibrate On Silent, Wilson creates g-funk with a surf sensibility; congas, shakers, electro-acoustic melodies coalesce with deep grooves, subtle hooks and a laid-back, oceanic ambience.
Aretha Franklin – Amazing Grace [Reissue/1972] 2xLP (Atlantic)
HQ-180gm vinyl reissue of Franklin’s double-platinum selling third live album, which was recorded at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in L.A. and won a Grammy for Best Soul Gospel Performance.
Germ House – Showing Symptoms LP+MP3 (Trouble In Mind)
Dividing time between Las Cruces, NM and Boston, Justin Hubbard and Tara McManus (Mr. Airplane Man and Turpentine Brothers) recorded Germ House with Matt Rendon (Resonars), providing a deranged amalgam of candidly direct and distinctive melodies drizzled atop ragged, lo-fi punk testimonials. Herein lies the uncomfortable duality of Germ House’s album—a fascinating suite of tunes that are balancing with equal measure both the melodic and discordant.
Gun Club – Miam [Reissue/1982] LP (Sympathy For The Record Industry)
Gun Club – Death Party [Reissue/1983] LP (Sympathy For The Record Industry)
Gun Club – Las Vegas Story [Reissue/1984] LP (Sympathy For The Record Industry)
Vinyl reissues from the punk/blues band now available. The Death Party EP has been expanded with seven live tracks.
Donny Hathaway – Extension Of A Man [Reissue/1973] LP (Atlantic)
Extension Of A Man is the last studio album by soul legend Donny Hathaway. It’s noted for including a young Stanley Clarke of (then) Return To Forever on a couple of tracks, as well as drummer Fred White, brother to Earth, Wind & Fire’s Maurice White (who worked with Hathaway in Chicago in the early days).
Killwhitneydead – Suffer My Wrath LP (Tribunal)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. New release from the North Carolina-based metalcore band, their first new material since 2007. Entering their twelfth year of existence, Killwhitneydead’s origins are deeply rooted in the early deathcore scene, but on this album, the group steps away from the genre’s stylistic confines, creating something much more alluring.
Franz Kirmann – Meridians 2xLP (Denovali)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Best known as half of post-classical/electronica duo Piano Interrupted, London-based French producer Franz Kirmann goes back to his electronic roots with Meridians, his second album. Strongly influenced by movies (he cites filmmakers Wong Kar Wai, Michelangelo Antonioni, Sergio Leone, and David Lynch among his musical influences), Kirmann has a weakness for walls of sounds and fragile melodies, which to him are the sonic equivalent of slow-motion sequences, travelling shots or landscapes in cinemascope.
The Knife – Let’s Talk About Gender Baby, Let’s Talk About You And Me 12” (Mute)
Features a rework of “Full Of Fire” from Planningtorock and a remix of “Raging Lung” from Hannah Holland. Both tracks were originally released on Shaking The Habitual.
Lambchop – Live At XX Merge LP+MP3 (Merge)
As Merge fans know, Lambchop has been on the label since 1993, releasing a string of widely varied but consistently brilliant records. But the live Lambchop experience has been somewhat elusive in the U.S. While the band has toured the gilded theaters of Europe and elsewhere for nearly two decades, the Nashville group has seldom toured their home country. To help celebrate Merge’s 20th Anniversary the band showed up in one of their largest lineups in recent memory — 11-strong, including multiple guitars, keyboards, piano, and a horn section. Clear vinyl with download (audio and video).
Lemonade – Minus Tide LP (Cascine)
NY party starters Lemonade release their third album. Minus Tide is a true step forward for the trio, boasting their most contemporary and evolved songwriting to date. The material is rich with dynamic rhythms, tropical soundscapes and tribal drum patterns. The album shows the act’s tremendous growth into glistening depths of highly polished pop sounds.
Marian McLaughlin – Derive LP+MP3 (Beyond Beyond Is Beyond)
Marian aims to push folk music’s envelope by pairing intricate fingerpicking and explorative chords with expressive themes and rhapsodic delivery. NPR’s Bob Boilen: “I’ve never seen anyone play guitar quite the way Marian McLaughlin does, or sing the patterns she sings.”
MFC Chicken – Solid Gravy LP (Dirty Water)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Are you desperate to hear garage rock & roll taken back to its roots? If so, then you most definitely ready for that indescribable, unstoppable Chicken sound.
µ-Ziq – Rediffusion LP (Planet Mu)
“The DJ, producer, and Planet Mu chief has been pressing records under the name µ-Ziq since 1993. While listeners may know the pseudonym for high-speed breakbeats, impossible rhythms and jazzy, chaotic MIDI arrangements, Rediffusion takes a turn towards relaxed, quirky hip-hop variations. Planet Mu describe the record as ‘a thing of joy and hazy childhood memories.’” – Resident Advisor
Oblivions – Rock ‘N Roll Holiday: Live In Atlanta [Reissue/1995] LP (Sympathy For The Record Industry)
Recorded in 1994 in Atlanta, this recording captures Oblivians at their crudest/rudest best.
Obnox – The Juke That Sat By The Door LP+MP3 (Chunklet)
One day at Chunklet HQ, we hit up Obnox mastermind Bim Thomas (Bassholes, TMIBH, Puffy Aereolas) and asked if he ever wanted to release something under our moniker to keep it in mind. Thinking nothing other than our love of his work on 12xU and countless other labels, we went about our day. Six weeks later, The Juke That Sat By The Door which is stuffed to the gills with Nox jams, arrived at our door. This glorious 12″ EP is yet another celebration of the ceaseless creative mind that Thomas has been unleashing from Columbus, OH since the ‘90s. Bim went back to the basement and knocked out pop gem after pop gem.
Pulp – A Different Class [Reissue/1995] LP (Plain)
Different Class was the fifth album by Pulp and their commercial breakthrough. The album went to #1 in the UK album charts in 1995 at the height of the Britpop wave with the track “Common People” reaching #2 on the UK singles chart. HQ-180gm.
Redd Kross – Neurotica [Reissue/1987] LP (Sympathy For The Record Industry)
Originally released on Big Time in 1987, Neurotica is Redd Kross at their artistic peak and there are those (lots of those) who consider it to be one of the definitive records of the ‘80s. The album is loud, melodic, boisterous (in the best way) genuinely inspired and completely unrelenting head-banging pop.
So What – What You Do To Me 7” (Grazer)
San Francisco’s mutton-chopped rockers So What harken back to the days of catchy, assembly-line pop—when bubblegum bands like The Equals and 1910 Fruitgum Company rightfully topped the charts. Nonetheless, So What temper the saccharine qualities of those groups with a punk and glitter-influenced sneer, incorporating lots of tom heavy beats, snotty vocals and distorted guitars.
The Sluts – 12” Of Sluts [Reissue/1982] 12” (Jeth-row)
Originally released in 1982 on Spread-um Records “New Orleans forgotten legends that started around 1979… a classic example of glue sniffin’ rancid thug punk… an album like this sloppy 12-inch monster (divided into side fuck and side you) in these days of collegiate elevator musak is an object to cherish as much as the Dead Sea Scrolls.”
Surf Teens – Surf Mania [Reissue/1963] LP (Bacchus)
The Surf Teens were from the central coast town of Atascadero, CA and at the time consisted of Jeff Hammond (16 y/o, lead guitar), John Hammon (13 y/o, drums), Greg Smith (16 y/o, rhythm guitar), and Tony Johnson (20 y/o, bass).
David Vandervelde – Shadow Sides LP (Park The Van)
“Shadow Sides caps a six year hiatus that found Vandervelde losing friend, mentor, and frequent collaborator Jay Bennett (of Wilco), troubled with addiction, and on the wrong end of a five year marriage (foreshadowing of the latter is a major theme throughout the album). Picking up where two well-received records laid, Vandervelde stands longing, selfish, stuck with his back to any darkness – a willfully bright ignorance complement to the bright reverb brought on by his use of analog edit-free mixes.” – Tiny Mix Tapes
Vradiazei – Vradiazei LP (Pesanta Folk)
“The realization that the darkest days are yet to come inspired us to abandon the use of electricity in our music. We express the anguish of the past, the desperation of the present, and the uncertainty of the future without it. When the world is left in ruin our sound will echo in the empty streets.”
- – Sunchaser LP (Dais)
NYC post-punk outfit You. may have a heart that beats for Detroit (vocalist and founding member Trever Millay and synth/drum programmer Brad Taormina both hail from there), but the soul of their music stretches far beyond the Midwest. You.’s music up to this point has always pitted its more reflective elements against the austerity of electronics, not so much as to create a warm sound as to invite the listener in as respite from the cold. Sunchaser refines those qualities, almost to the point of reinvention.
Zammuto – Zammuto LP (Temporary Residence)
Released last week on CD – now available on vinyl. Following the dissolution of his groundbreaking collage-pop duo, the Books, Zammuto rebounded with an eponymous debut album submerged in transitional anxiety and audio effects designed to intentionally obscure the very humanistic qualities that marked Nick Zammuto’s best work in the Books. The arrangements here have more space, the songs are more dynamic, and the vocals are delivered with a confident intimacy that is almost alarmingly beautiful (the collaborations with the enchanting Daniela Gesundheit of Canadian indie-pop duo Snowblink are particularly transcendent).