CDs + Vinyl:
50 Cent – Best Of CD (Aftermath)
18 of 50’s biggest songs. [Vinyl edition due April 7.]
Trace Adkins – Something’s Going On CD (Wheelhouse)
It’s been four years since Adkins’ last studio album Love Will… released in 2013, which debuted in the top ten on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, and fans have eagerly awaited this follow-up ever since. Some of Nashville’s favorite and most respected songwriters contributed to the range and inspiration of Something’s Going On, boasting credits such as Tyler Farr, Craig Campbell and Shane McAnally to name a few.
Arch Enemy – As The Stages Burn CD+DVD/2xLP+DVD (Century Media)
New live set of Swedish melodic death metal band recorded last summer at the Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany. [Silver color vinyl pressing also available.]
The Artificials – Heart CD (Tragic Hero)
With a unique use of polyrhythms and odd time signatures, The Artificials will take you on somewhat of a mathematical journey of controlled chaos.
Basement – Promise Everything [Deluxe Edition] CD (Fueled By Ramen)
This deluxe reissue of Basement’s critically adored album includes remixed/remastered versions of the original release’s ten songs and four bonus tracks: a cover of The Cardigan’s “My Favourite Game,” acoustic versions of “Aquasun,” “Blinded Bye,” and the acoustic track “Cloud,” which originally appeared on a limited run 7”. Hailing from Ipswich, Britain’s Basement make muscular, lyrical noise-rock influenced by a handful of ’90s American guitar bands from Dinosaur Jr. to Braid. Promise Everything builds upon previous album Colourmeinkindness’ (2012) guitar-heavy emotionality with tracks that trade hardcore punk edginess for soaring melodicism, and white noise for nuanced slabs of harmonic fuzz. Tracks like the lead-off “Brother’s Keeper” and “Lose Your Grip” bring to mind a mix of bands like Sebadoh and Mudhoney. Part of what makes Basement’s sound so appealing is lead vocalist Andrew Fisher, who surfs the top of his bandmates guitar tsunami with an impassioned croon. It’s just that perfect combination of sludgy, distorted noise and Fisher’s glassy vocal warmth that helps make cuts like “Aquasun” and “For You The Moon” immediately infectious, lovelorn anthems. [Vinyl edition due May 12.]
Bereft – Lands CD/LP (Prosthetic)
The Madison, WI atmospheric doom metal outfit makes their Prosthetic Records debut.
Manford Best – Come Go With Me [Reissue/1978] CD/LP (PMG)
Reissue of the chirpy, calypso-influenced debut solo album from Manford Best (of Super Wings).
The Beta Yama Group – Free Love [Reissue/1980] CD/LP (PMG)
Nigerian musicians Nash Dodoo, Charlie Cuul and Jonas Caulley put out Free Love after releasing an album of face-melting gospel boogie as the BML Chapels in 1980. The album is, as Peter Moore puts is, “a belated love letter to San Francisco’s Summer of Love,” and, “a small slice of Haight-Ashbury transported to the Polygram Studios in Lagos.”
Eric Bibb – Migration Blues CD (Stony Plain Music)
Mainly composed of new tunes, Migration Blues includes covers of Bob Dylan’s “Masters Of War” and Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land.” An arrangement of the traditional “Mornin’ Train,” closes the opus.
Steve Black – Happy Birthday To ‘U’ [Reissue/1983] CD/LP (PMG)
An irresistible blend of highlife, Afro beat, and Afro funk.
Body Count – Bloodlust CD/LP (Century Media)
New album from the metal band fronted by hip-hop legend, actor and director Ice-T.
Brother Firetribe – Sunbound CD/LP (Spinefarm)
An AOR band from Finland, Brother Firetribe is influenced by the glory days of such stadium rock giants as Journey and Van Halen coupled with the glam of such acts as Skid Row. “Infectious, contagious, feel good hook laden melodic rock.”
Bill Brovold & Jamie Saft – Serenity Knolls CD/2xLP (RareNoise)
An intimate duo project with guitarist Bill Brovold, a former member of such New York no-wave bands as the Rhys Chatham Ensemble, the East Village Orchestra and the Zen Vikings, Serenity Knolls features Saft alternating between playing dobro and lap steel on a set of 12 ambient type tunes with a distinctive heartland undercurrent to them. An accomplished keyboardist-composer who has been widely acknowledged for his work with various John Zorn projects, including The Dreamers, Electric Masada and Moonchild, the Queens native and current resident of Kingston in upstate New York has nonetheless has maintained a longstanding relationship with the guitar.
Richard Buckner – Impasse [Reissue/2002] CD/LP+MP3 (Merge)
The words are entrancingly cryptic, as if their simplicity conceals unfathomable depths. The music is sparse, almost whispered at times, like a secret. The title gives everything away, though. During the gestation of his 2002 album Impasse, Richard Buckner was stuck. But, with perseverance, what began as one of his most troubled recording attempts ended as one of his best and most pivotal—a capstone for his wayfaring early period before he planted roots with Merge.
Chaz Bundick Meets The Mattson 2 – Star Stuff CD/LP+MP3 (Company)
World-renowned composer/producer extraordinaire Chaz Bundick (Toro Y Moi, Les Sins) has teamed up with the psychedelic-jazz grooves of The Mattson 2 for an album that unifies a trio’s creativity into a refreshing project of unhinged sonic originality. Grounding Star Stuff are break-beats, synthesizers, acoustic strums, and guitar fuzz reminiscent of David Axelrod and Arthur Verocai. With cosmic structures, timeless influences, rich harmonies, and melodic interplays, the trio brings an intergalactic edge to an album worthy of repeated visits. [Limited color vinyl pressing also available.]
The Buttertones – Gravedigging CD/LP+MP3 (Innovative Leisure)
The Buttertones’ Gravedigging is more a movie waiting to happen than an album—or a soundtrack just waiting to inspire a movie, with scene after scene of action, tension and release set to a sound that takes everything good and true about American music before the Beatles prettied it up (surf, sweet soul, the boss saxophone-overdrive garage of the Northwest wailers like the Sonics) and matches it to punk energy, post-punk precision and the kind of personality that blows the circuit-breakers at a backyard party.
Charlotte OC – Careless People CD/LP (Harvest)
Throughout Careless People, Charlotte matches the stormy intensity of her music with fearlessly intimate lyrics. SPIN praised how Charlotte “channels the bewitching allure of Stevie Nicks and the big-throated finesse of Alicia Keys.” Nylon said, “It’s only a matter of time before you get hooked on this U.K. singer and songwriter’s gorgeous sound.”
Rodney Crowell – Close Ties CD/LP (New West)
Rodney Crowell’s new album demonstrates his strengths as a songwriter and illustrates how he has learned to balance personal recollection, literary sophistication, and his profound musical reach. “It’s a loose concept album, you could say,” Crowell says. “And the concept is related to how you tell stories about yourself. Having a few years ago written a memoir, my sensibilities toward narrative—especially trying to find a common thread in different pieces of writing—had become a part of my songwriting process.” Close Ties is a roots record, in the sense that Crowell himself has deep roots that stretch back into the alternative country scene of the early ‘70s. The rise of Americana music has struck a nerve with Crowell. “I have declared my loyalty to Americana. It’s a hard category for people to get their heads around, or at least the terminology is. But all the people who represent it—Townes van Zandt, Guy Clark, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle and more recent stars like John Paul White and Jason Isbell—share a common thread, and that thread is poetry. Whether they are actual poets or their music exemplifies a poetic sensibility, generally speaking, the Americana artist shuns commercial compromise in favor of a singular vision. Which resonates with me.”
Daily & Vincent – Patriots & Poets CD (BFD)
Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent’s eighth album features collaborations with bluegrass music’s top musicians including Steve Martin, Doyle Lawson, Bela Fleck, and David Rawlings.
Dave Davies & Russ Davies – Open Road CD (Red River)
“Dave Davies certainly doesn’t have to put any more music out into the world to secure his status as one of rock and roll’s true living legends. The lead guitarist of The Kinks changed the game when he first sliced his amp speaker with a razor blade, and his crunchy riffs have inspired punk and heavy metal bands for no less than half a century. Not what we’d call a shabby legacy. So, why bother with a new album? Well, you can call it a family thing. For his new album Open Road, Davies collaborated with his son Russ — a successful electronic musician in his own right — to create a collection of “good, honest, traditional songs” that play to each songwriter’s strengths” – Consequence Of Sound. [Vinyl edition due June 2.]
Demon Hunter – Outlive CD/2xLP (Solid State)
Demon Hunter embraces brazenly transcendent melodies, without apology, while maintaining a defiant heaviness reminiscent of timeless of metal music. [Limited color vinyl pressing also available.]
Neil Diamond – 50th Anniversary Collection 3xCD (Capitol)
50 songs that range 50 years in Diamond’s career.
The Doors – The Doors: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition 3xCD+LP (Elektra)
Packaged in a 12×12 hardcover book, The Doors: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition includes a remastered version of the album’s original stereo mix, available on CD for the first time in a decade and remastered for the first time in nearly 30 years. The album’s original mono mix was also remastered for this set and is making its CD debut. An LP-version of the mono mix is also included. The third disc features live performance from The Matrix in San Francisco on March 7. Recordings sourced from the recently discovered, original tapes, previously thought to be lost. Music journalist David Fricke provides detailed liner notes for the set, which includes a selection of rare and previously unseen photographs.
Emma Dorgu – Roverman [Reissue/1979] CD/LP (PMG)
A politicized call to action, Roverman is still funky, with New York ghetto funk, straight-head boogie, and an irresistible pull towards the dancefloor.
Drake – More Life CD (Cash Money)
“Drake’s course correction to VIEWS bursts with energy—more South African house, more grime, more Kanye. It’s a long player made for luxuriating and a total immersion into Drake’s world-pop lifestyle.” — Pitchfork
Bob Dylan – Triplicate 3xCD/3xLP (Columbia/Sony)
Triplicate is 38th studio set from Bob Dylan, and features 30 brand-new recordings of classic American tunes and marking the first triple-length set of the artist’s illustrious career. The titles of the individual ten-track discs are ‘Til The Sun Goes Down, Devil Dolls and Comin’ Home Late. For the set, Dylan assembled his touring band in Hollywood’s Capitol studios to record hand-chosen songs from an array of American songwriters such as Charles Strouse and Lee Adams (“Once Upon A Time”), Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler (“Stormy Weather”), Harold Hupfield (“As Time Goes By”) and Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh (“The Best Is Yet To Come”). According to Bob Dylan, “I am finding these great songs to be a tremendous source of inspiration that has led me to one of my most satisfying periods in the studio. I’ve hit upon new ways to uncover and interpret these songs that are right in line with the best recordings of my own songs, and my band and I really seemed to hit our stride on every level with Triplicate.” [Vinyl is available in Regular and Deluxe editions. Deluxe features hard-book 78rpm-style folio packaging.]
Elysian Fields – Adelain [Reissue/1995] CD/2xLP (Nuclear War Now)
Debut album from the Greek black metal band – expanded with three bonus tracks.
Jackie Evancho – Two Hearts CD (Masterworks)
The platinum-selling vocal sensation’s new album features a wide variety of classic and popular songs including Lucio Dalla’s immortal “Caruso,” the intermezzo from Cavalleria rusticana, “Attessa,” Enya’s “May It Be” from Lord Of The Rings, Celine Dion’s “Have You Ever Been In Love” and Taylor Swift’s “Safe and Sound” all sung in Jackie’s angelic style.
Fleetwood Mac – Tango In The Night [Reissue/1987] CD/2xCD/3xCD+DVD+LP/LP (Rhino)
Reissue of Fleetwood Mac’s final studio album featuring the quintet of Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, John McVie and Stevie Nicks. It contains several hit
singles including “Big Love,” “Seven Wonders,” “Everywhere,” and “Little Lies.” [Available in Regular, Deluxe and Super Deluxe editions. Deluxe adds a disc of rare recordings and non-album tracks. Super Deluxe adds a third CD featuring 12” remixes and more, a DVD containing five music videos, and the 180gm vinyl repress.]
Nelly Furtado – The Ride CD/2xLP (Nelstar Music)
The Ride is the Canadian musician Nelly Furtado’s sixth album and first studio set in five years. Speaking to Cosmopolitan about her latest venture, Furtado said: “I came [into the studio] broken. I came there really empty. As cliché as it is, when you’re really going through it, it can be so good for songwriting. I hate saying that, because then people feel like they have to go through adversity to write good stuff, which I don’t think is true … but I’m hands down more proud of these lyrics than any I’ve ever written.” She claimed in a Twitter Q&A that The Ride is similar in style and tone to 2000 hit album Whoa, Nelly. On the album’s second single, “Pipe Dreams,” the singer goes for an airier, lighter sound than the previously released synth-pop dance track “Islands Of Me,” which she debuted two months ago. “Don’t sell me no pipe dreams,” she sings on the track. “I want to live in a kaleidoscope.” Speaking with The Fader, which premiered the song, Furtado had this to say about the album and single. “A lot of [The Ride] touches on [the false hope of dreaming], in terms of sanity versus reality,” she said. “The comedown, the hangover after the rush, and how you put the pieces back together, and how you make amends with the realer parts of life.”
Jake Xerxes Fussell – What In The Natural World CD/LP (Paradise Of Bachelors)
Entrancing guitarist and singer Jake Xerxes Fussell follows his celebrated self-titled debut (produced by William Tyler) with a moving new album of Natural Questions in the form of transmogrified folk/blues koans. This time these radiant ancient tunes tone several shades darker while amplifying their absurdist humor, illuminating our national, and psychic, predicaments. Featuring art by iconic painter Roger Brown and contributions from three notable Nathans — Nathan Bowles (Steve Gunn), Nathan Salsburg (Alan Lomax Archive), and Nathan Golub (Mountain Goats) — as well as Joan Shelley and Casey Toll (Mt. Moriah). RIYL: Michael Hurley, Bob Dylan, John Prine, Dave Van Ronk, Jim Dickinson, Raccoon Records, Joan Shelley, Nathan Bowles, Nathan Salsburg, William Tyler, Daniel Bachman, Wilco.
Geotic – Abysma CD/LP+MP3 (Ghostly Int’l)
Ask Will Wiesenfeld to contrast Baths with the music made under his Geotic alias, and you’ll get a simple response: Baths is active listening; Geotic is passive listening. But behind this straightforward duality exists two projects that are equally poignant yet starkly distinct, reflective of the emotional complexities of its creator. Don’t mistake “passive listening” for anything remotely resembling apathy: Abysma might be dance music created for at-home listening, but it’s replete with a quiet beauty and private communion that can rival anything made to command the totality of your attention span. In a world riven by noise and distraction, Abysma is as subtle as Sunday morning ritual, a tender epiphany in a bombastic fireworks show.
Goatmoon – Stella Polaris CD/LP (Werewolf)
Finnish romantic black metal band founded in 2002 in Helsinki by BlackGoat Gravedesecrator.
Goldfrapp – Silver Eye CD/LP (Mute)
Silver Eye, Goldfrapp’s seventh album, is dance music that evokes a pagan ritual rather than a club soundtrack. Cold, metallic electronics with a hot current of blood running through them. A 21st century moon dance. [Limited clear vinyl pressing also available.]
Gruesome – Fragments Of Psyche CD (Relapse)
Fragments Of Psyche further continues the development of Gruesome’s homage to death metal’s progenitors with a two-song slab of Death Human-era worship.
Kiki Gyan – Feelin’ Alright [Reissue/1983] CD/LP (PMG)
Reissue of the third and final solo album from Gyan, considered one of the best keyboardists in the world in the ’80s, starting out in the Afro funk super group, Osibisa.
Tigran Hamasyan – An Ancient Observer CD/LP (Nonesuch)
Nonesuch Records releases its second album from pianist Tigran Hamasyan. An Ancient Observer‘s songs—two of which are based on Armenian melodies—were written over the last four years. Some of the pieces are through-composed and completely written out, while others are composed with ample space for Hamasyan to improvise. Many include vocals layered into the mix. As with most of his compositions, Hamasyan cites a wide range of influences, from Baroque dance to hip-hop, with pedals connected to a synthesizer on a few tracks—while the sounds of his native country also are present, as always.
Yasmine Hamdan – Al Jamilat CD (Ipecac)
With her debut solo album Ya Nass (2013), Yasmine Hamdan introduced her personal, modern take on Arabic pop. With follow-up Al Jamilat (‘The Beautiful Ones’), she pursues her musical exploration, while taking a look at the mutations at work within the Arab world. While Yasmine’s vocals are connected to traditions of Arabic music (to which she takes an unconventional and fresh approach), the structures and arrangements of the songs are very remote from its codes, and take in elements from contemporary Western electronic, pop and folk music.
Coco Hames – Coco Hames CD/LP+MP3 (Merge)
Though it’s the first album released under her name, Coco Hames is no wide-eyed ingénue. As the singer, songwriter, frontwoman, and indomitable force behind beloved garage-pop combo The Ettes, she blazed a memorable trail across the ’00s underground. Following a final bittersweet album and tour in 2011, Hames decided to bring the curtain down on the Ettes’ run, but never lost the urge to write new songs. “The thing I loved, that I was always drawn to—the magic of creating something out of a fleeting idea and a few chords,” says Hames. “That passion never left me. I began to realize I had more that I wanted to write, and a lot more that I needed to say.” Hunkering down at Nashville’s The Bomb Shelter studio, Hames co-produced her eponymous debut with Andrija Tokic, who’d helped sire career-making albums for Alabama Shakes and Hurray For The Riff Raff, among others. Playing guitar, piano, and electric harpsichord, Hames was aided in her effort by a pair of longtime pals in bassist Jack Lawrence (The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather) and drummer Julian Dorio (The Whigs, Eagles Of Death Metal). Lead guitar was supplied by young Nashville hotshot Adam Meisterhans (The Weight, JP5) while other friends and musical foils contributed, including veteran keyboard/organ wizard Dave Amels of Reigning Sound. Hames also enlisted top Music City vocalists Carey Kotsionis (Bobby Bare, Jr., Clem Snide) and Third Man artist Lillie Mae Rische (Jack White, Jypsi) to form an angelic mini-choir for the sessions.
Hauschka – What If CD (Temporary Residence)
Since 2004 Volker Bertelmann aka Hauschka has steadily earned a remarkable reputation as a purveyor of imaginative, distinctive, prepared piano music. While engaging with his trademark technique of utilizing unusual objects — art erasers, for example — to treat (or ‘prepare’) the piano, Hauschka also programs parts for player pianos, exploiting the speed at which they could play, manipulating the resulting sounds, and building layers to emphasize a composition’s meter. Wha If is overflowing with haunting melodies, mysterious sounds, and complex patterns. [Vinyl edition due April 7.]
Julia Holter – In The Same Room CD/LP+MP3 (Domino)
The first release in Domino’s new Documents live studio recordings series. Comprised of new arrangements of songs from all of her studio releases to date, Holter‘s Domino Document is essential for anyone who has witnessed her brilliant, beguiling band on tour around the world in the last five years, and is a perfect introduction to a truly important and innovative young artist.
John Lee Hooker – Whiskey & Wimmen: John Lee Hooker’s Finest CD/LP (Vee-Jay)
John Lee Hooker’s Finest salutes the King of the Boogie with celebrated recordings from the prime of his career, spanning the legendary bluesman’s time on Vee-Jay, Stax, Riverside and Specialty Records.
Mary Hopkin – Live At The Royal Festival 1972 CD (Mary Hopkin Music)
Live archive release, a recording of the Welsh folk singer’s performance in 1972 supporting Ralph McTell. Mary was joined on stage by Brian Willoughby, Danny Thompson, Tony Visconti and the Pop Arts String Quartet. There are highlights from her first two albums as well as some of her folk favorites.
The Hot 8 Brass Band – On The Spot CD/2xLP (Tru Thoughts)
The fifth album from the New Orleans Grammy nominated band — hard hitting, sentimental and party-fuelling beats blended with addictive funk and hip-hop styles.
Invidia – As The Sun Sleeps CD (Steamhammer)
Invidia is a new band featuring former and current members of Five Finger Death Punch, In This Moment and Skinlab. Based in Las Vegas, their style embraces everything from industrial sludge to Bay Area thrash.
Isis – Live VII CD (Ipecac)
A full live set from Isis’ final Australian tour in 2010. The 9-track set features material from their fifth and last album Wavering Radiant, as well as select highlights from all of the band’s additional four full-lengths. Although rooted heavy metal and the punk/hardcore aesthetic, Isis’ music relies just as heavily on ambience, atmosphere, and tone as it does complexity and aggression. [Vinyl edition due April 14.]
Leela James – Did It For Love CD (BMG Rights Management)
The acclaimed R&B/soul singer-songwriter is back with a brand new album.
Wilko Johnson – I Keep It To Myself – The Best Of Wilko Johnson 2xCD (Deutsche Grammophon)
This collection draws together 25 tracks recorded between 2008 and 2012 by the legendary guitarist and songwriter with backing largely provided by Blockheads Norman Watt-Roy (bass) and Dylan Howe (drums), the same rhythm section that performed on Wilko’s enormously successful Going Back Home album with Roger Daltrey. It is a splendid collection of high octane rhythm & blues with that unmistakable Wilko Johnson Fender greatness stamped all over it. Songs that are sung from the heart and played from the soul.
JÜ – Summa CD/LP (Rarenoise)
New album from the raucous Budapest-based power trio.
Aimee Mann – Mental Illness CD/LP (SuperEgo)
“The title of Aimee Mann’s latest solo effort, her ninth, registers like a punch to the gut. In a world full of self-consciously clever and willfully obtuse album titles, Mental Illness is the equivalent of washing someone’s mouth out with soap. It’s not something you mull over or analyze in search of some hidden subtext or meaning. Instead, it smacks of cold reality. In an interview with Rolling Stone in January, Mann called Mental Illness the ‘saddest, slowest’ record of her 35-plus-year career. She’s not kidding. Her latest collection finds her singing love-spurned tales of heartache, anger, and remorse, giving the emotionally loaded title some added weight. But that doesn’t mean that Mann isn’t putting us on, at least a little bit. ‘I mean, calling it Mental Illness makes me laugh, because it is true,’ she said. ‘It’s so blunt that it’s funny.’ But while she might be having fun with us, she’s nonetheless created a remarkable character sketch. For 44 minutes, Mann slips into the skin of someone walking an emotional tightrope, and it’s an act she pulls off with grace and conviction. Mental Illness lays its hurt and sadness out so effectively that it’s hard to completely accept it as pure fiction. But even if we’re to take Mann’s word for it that these songs were created with some personal distance, it’s still no less powerful of a record” – Rolling Stone. [Limited color vinyl pressing also available.]
Mastodon – Emperor Of Sand CD/2xLP (Reprise)
Emperor Of Sand finds Mastodon returning to a deeply imaginative and complex conceptual storyline that ponders the nature of time. Threading together the myth of a man sentenced to death in a majestically malevolent desert, the band conjures the grains of a musical and lyrical odyssey slipping quickly through a cosmic hourglass. “Emperor Of Sand is like the grim reaper,” says drummer/vocalist Brann Dailor. “Sand represents time. If you or anyone you know has ever received a terminal diagnosis, the first thought is about time. Invariably, you ask, ‘How much time is left?’” “We’re reflecting on mortality,” adds bassist/vocalist Troy Sanders. “To that end, the album ties into our entire discography. It’s 17 years in the making, but it’s also a direct reaction to the last two years. We tend to draw inspiration from very real things in our lives.” Emperor Of Sand was recorded at The Quarry Recording Studio in Kennesaw, just outside Mastodon’s hometown of Atlanta, with producer Brendan O’Brien (Pearl Jam, Neil Young, AC/DC, Rage Against The Machine), who first worked with Mastodon on their seminal 2009 album Crack The Skye.
The Mavericks – Brand New Day CD/LP (Mono Mundo Recordings)
More than two decades into a career that’s always avoided the predictable path, the Mavericks – whose Tex-Mex twang, Cuban-influenced country and retro rock made them unlikely stars in the mid- ‘90s and critical darlings during later years – turn another corner with the new album Brand New Day. “We’re gonna love all our troubles away,” Raul Malo sings on the title track, whose throwback, symphonic sweep recalls the wall of sound arrangements of the 1960s. Malo pulls double duty as frontman and Phil Spector-ish producer, stacking the song high with bells, horns, harmonies and plenty of four-on-the-floor stomp. Also pitching in are three longtime Mavericks — drummer Paul Deakin, guitarist Eddie Perez and keys man Jerry Dale McFadden — and co-producer Niko Bolas, who helped birth songs like Neil Young’s “Rockin’ In The Free World” and Don Henley’s “The Boys Of Summer.”
Mozzy – Fake Famous CD (Mozzy)
New album from the Sacramento rapper features guest appearances by IamSu!, YFN Lucci, G-Eazy, YG, Jadakiss, Dave East, Trae tha Truth, Nef The Pharoah and more.
Tim O’Brien – Where The River Meets The Road CD (Howdy Skies)
Sixteenth solo release from the artist, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. Each of the 12 tracks on Where The River Meets The Road is connected to his home state of West Virginia. Two originals, “Guardian Angel” and the title track “Where The River Meets The Road,” tell deeply personal stories of O’Brien’s family — the death of his older sister when he was a toddler, and the tale of his great grandfather moving to his hometown of Wheeling in the 1850s. The remaining ten songs were collected and compiled after more than a decade collaborating with the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame.
David Onley – Don’t Try To Fight It CD (Red Parlor)
New album from the prolific singer-songwriter, poet, actor and radio host.
Orchestra Baobab – Tribute To Ndiouga Dieng CD/LP (World Circuit)
A decade on from their last album and almost half a century since their formation, Senegal’s Orchestra Baobab return with a set of swaying tunes fusing Afro-Cuban rhythms and African tradition in the group’s trademark style.
Kelly Lee Owens – Kelly Lee Owens CD/LP (Smalltown Supersound)
Released last week on vinyl – now available on CD. Kelly Lee Owens has dabbled in many various form of electronic music, but seems most comfortable and comforting in this atmospheric world with a beat, combining the spectral pop of Grimes with techno and the gentle krautrock of Broadcast.
Eji Oyewole – Me & You [Reissue/1985] CD/LP (PMG)
Oyewole, probably the only musician to have ever played with Fela Kuti, Miles Davis, and Bob Marley, combined African highlife with western jazz, creating a smooth and funky hybrid.
Jennifer Paige – Starflower CD/LP (Tone Tree Music)
For Jennifer Paige, Starflower is about sharing a deeper part of herself and rounding out her story musically. With a set of ten emotionally resonant new songs, Paige both covers ground about what she’s experienced in recent years, and fully looks to the future as she redefines herself as an independent artist. “It starts and ends with the music,” Paige says. Her intent was to create a cohesive album, simple and direct, that lets the song shine and her voice carry the weight. The striking range and natural power of her vocals, combined with the hard-won strength of her lyrics achieve exactly that, aided by the skillful work of producer Jeremy Bose (Ingrid Michaelson, Joy Williams, Trent Dabbs, etc.), with whom Paige co-wrote the new songs.
Pharmakon – Contact CD/LP (Sacred Bones)
Bestial Burden, the previous album by Margaret Chardiet’s Pharmakon project, focused on the disconnect between mind and body, looking at the human as an isolated consciousness stuck inside of a rotting vessel. For Contact, she wanted to look at the other side of the spectrum — the moments when our mind can come outside of and transcend our bodies. In trance states, music and the body is used to transcend the physical form and make contact with some outside force. Chardiet decided to structure the compositions of each side of Contact after the stages of trance: preparation, onset, climax, and resolution.
Phish – St. Louis ’93 6xCD (Jemp)
A six-disc CD box set containing two live Phish concerts on 4/14/93 and 8/16/93 recorded at the American Theater in St. Louis, MO.
Pile – A Hairshirt Of Purpose CD/LP (Exploding In Sound)
Never afraid to switch styles, Pile’s music has morphed over the years, embracing both the ferocious and gentle sides of punk, indie, folk, and noise rock, delivering their own brand of gnarled intensity.
La’Porsha Renae – Already All Ready CD (Motown)
Motown Records singer/songwriter La Porsha Renae was the runner-up on the 15th and final season of American Idol.
Bebe Rexha – All Your Fault Pt. 1 CDEP (WB)
6 tracks off the pop disruptor’s debut album project, including her new hit single “I Got You.”
Rexha draws influence from from nineties R&B trailblazers like Destiny’s Child, Aaliyah, and Timbaland. Guests include G-Eazy on “F.F.F.” and “Bad Bitch” (feat. Ty Dolla $ign).
Saturn – Beyond Spectra CD (Rise Above)
The Swedish metallers return with their sophomore album. “Choosing old mixing tables from the Swedish government controlled public service radio station that embraces that warm, analog feel, Saturn on their second album Beyond Spectra keep the roots of early metal top of mind, allowing for easy cranium retentio.” – Dead Rhetoric. [Vinyl edition due April 14.]
Sneaks – It’s A Myth CD/LP+MP3/Cassette (Merge)
With little more than a bass, drum machine, and deadpan vocals, Sneaks, a.k.a. Eva Moolchan, makes minimalist music that takes up space—something she herself has made a point of doing in the male-heavy Washington, D.C., DIY punk scene that has been her home. It’s A Myth builds on Sneaks’ playfully stark approach to post-punk, which, as her hometown City Paper described it, causes listeners to go “from curious to provoked to hungry.” Like most of Sneaks’ music, album closer “Future” is in constant gyroscopic movement—thumping rhythm cutting around deep bass, spoken-word patterns somersaulting through image fragments, childhood nostalgia, and cryptic wordplay. Moolchan calls Sneaks “a character” that she’s playing, and there’s certainly an element of mystery around the persona and her riddles. But it’s also all her, born out of full solo creative control after stints in a number of D.C. bands. “When I’m writing songs, it’s actually pretty selfish, because it’s like, this is what I need to hear right now in my life,” she has said.
Somi – Petite Afrique CD (Masterworks)
The new album from the superb jazz chanteuse is a song cycle inspired by the vibrant African immigrant community that has become a vital part of Harlem’s cultural dimension and to New York City as a whole. Blending modern jazz, African music and the singer-songwriter tradition, Petite Afrique is an amalgamation of the musical and cultural worlds that resonate with Somi as an African and American woman and a proud Harlemite.
Torgeir Waldemar – No Offending Borders CD/LP (Inkind Music)
A gloriously composite work with both dead honest acoustic laments and grandiose rock songs.
Troubled Horse – Revolution On Repeat CD (Rise Above Limited)
“While Graveyard and Witchcraft are probably further along in establishing their discography and live touring escapades, Revolution On Repeat provides a decent case for Troubled Horse to wedge itself in that retro-‘70s amalgam conversation to be in the mantle race” – Dead Rhetoric. [Vinyl edition due April 14.]
Uriah Heep – Look At Yourself [Reissue/1971] 2xCD (Sanctuary)
Uriah Heep – Demons And Wizards [Reissue/1972] 2xCD (Sanctuary)
Uriah Heep – Magician’s Birthday [Reissue/1972] 2xCD (Sanctuary)
BMG continues the reissue series of the seminal albums by hard rock legends Uriah Heep, one of the “big four” UK rock bands along with Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and Black Sabbath. These extensive remastered and expanded editions were curated by founding member Mick Box. Each includes a bonus disc of rare tracks and extensive liner notes.
Voivod – Build Your Weapons: The Very Best Of The Noise Years 1986-1988 2xCD (Noise)
Voivod’s three albums for the Noise Records label from ’86 to ’88 ran the gauntlet from the initial speed metal overkill of RRRÖÖÖAAARRR, followed by the more experimental studio processes forged on Killing Technology, then onto the more realized progressive tendencies of Dimension Hatröss which used studio sampling for the first time and, in doing so, laid the basis upon which many progressive metal bands have followed ever since.
Various Artists – King Jammys Dancehall 2: Digital Roots & Hard Dancehall 1984-1991 CD/2xLP (Dubstore)
“Killer second crop of definitive but often obscure digi-dancehall templates cooked up by King Jammy in his ‘80s heyday and into the ‘90s. The vocals and melodies might be super sweet but the rhythms are super rugged and rude in every part, especially the run of five hard-to-find King Jammy digi productions, including the piquant tang of ‘Nothing Don’t Come Easy’ and the barreling, noisy pressure of ‘Victim Of Babylon’ which goes on as ruff and distorted as a Muslimgauze riddim. The title of his wicked Prince Jammy dub, says it all; ‘Crucial Boy.’” — Boomkat
Warbringer – Woe To The Vanquished CD/LP (Napalm)
A unique hybrid strain of thrash and extreme metal.
White Willow – Future Hopes CD/LP (Laser’s Edge)
Seventh album by the revered Norwegian prog band.
Windswept – Great Cold Steppe CD/LP (Season Of Mist)
Windswept is the latest Ukrainian black metal project of Drudkh’s Roman Sayenko. The Great Cold Steppe is deliberately harsh and raw, which reflects the album’s theme inspired by the hostile and fierce Eastern steppes during wintertime. The album was written and recorded in three days without rehearsals and is heavy with improvisation.
George Winston – Spring Carousel (A Cancer Research Benefit) CD (RCA)
15 solo piano compositions written by Winston while in recovery from a bone marrow transplant for Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) at City Of Hope, in Duarte, California, near Los Angeles. Proceeds from sales of Spring Carousel will directly benefit City Of Hope.
Yellow Claw – Los Amsterdam CD (Mad Decent)
Taking a different approach with Los Amsterdam, Yellow Claw still deliver the hard-hitting, Amsterdam trap you know and love, but have also branched out with experimentation.
DVDs + Blu-ray:
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Once More With Feeling 2xDVD/2xBlu-ray (Bad Seeds Ltd.)
One More Time Feeling is a feature film about the making of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ acclaimed Skeleton Tree directed by Andrew Dominik (Chopper, The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford). Visually unique, One More Time With Feeling is a stark, fragile and raw documentary. Shot in 3D, color and black & white, the film probes the deeply personal circumstances surrounding the making of Skeleton Tree (the band’s 16th studio album) and features interviews and live performances by the band in the studio, along with interjected voice-over commentary by Nick Cave. This double-disc release features three exclusive short films from Andrew Dominik. “An undeniably moving contemplation of shattering loss… a tremendously moving collage.” — The Guardian
This Week’s Vinyl Exclusives:
Acceptance – Colliding By Design LP+MP3 (Rise)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. New comeback album from the Seattle-based alt-punk band. Limited color vinyl pressing.
Olivier Alary – Fiction / Non-Fiction LP (FatCat)
Montreal-based Frenchman Olivier Alary is a highly talented composer, who has previously collaborated with Björk and released albums on FatCat and Aphex Twin’s Rephlex label under the name Ensemble, Over the past five or six years Olivier has moved away from that song-based project to focus on composing material for a stream of films and artistic collaborations. As the album title alludes, Fiction / Non-Fiction is a compilation of this film music, dating from the past five years, none of which has been previously released. Olivier’s material here might sit somewhere among the likes of Jóhann Jóhannsson, A Winged Victory For The Sullen, Stars Of The Lid, and Set Fire To Flames, while having the same masterly ear for sonic detail as Oneohtrix Point Never or Tim Hecker, but throughout the tracks are imprinted with Olivier’s own, signature sound.
Bestial Warlust – Storming Bestial Legions: Live 1996 LP (Hells Headbangers)
Everything that made Bestial Warlust so deadly — bulldozing heaviness, gnawing violence, hypnotic hatred — is captured in its rawest, most red-eyed state here, making the album an indispensable component to any Bestial diehard’s collection and a rare document of black/death primitivism in the pre-social media era.
Craig Brown Band – The Lucky Ones Forget LP (Third Man)
Detroit’s most beloved bartender, cook, and ping-pong champion has gone solo. Well, solo in the sense that he’s put a firecracker musical act together and called it The Craig Brown Band. The debut full-length album, The Lucky Ones Forget, was recorded “almost live!” by Warren Defever (His Name Is Alive). It’s a long-player filled with songs about heartbreak, drinking, and vans—built upon the work of those daring punks who embraced country music (Replacements, Meat Puppets, Tom Petty, et al.).
Deana Carter – Did I Shave My Legs For This?  LP (Capitol Nashville)
Vinyl debut of the 1996 hit album that contains the No. 1 hit and Country Music Award Single of the Year, “Strawberry Wine.”
Jarvis Cocker/Chilly Gonzales – Room 29 LP (Deutsche Grammophon)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Jarvis Cocker, former frontman of the famous Brit pop band Pulp and Canadian pianist/rapper/producer/composer Chilly Gonzales have teamed up for this exciting new project. Room 29 was initially conceived as a theatre piece about the legendary room 29 of Hollywood hotel Chateau Marmont. Cocker wrote the piece during his own stay there, inspired by one of the room’s more unusual features – a baby-grand piano – as a witness of all the countless dramas that must have taken place within. The tales from the Chateau have become so legendary that anyone with even a passing interest in rock ‘n’ roll – or any facet of the entertainment industry for that matter – will have heard a Hollywood story related to the Chateau.
Death – Human [Reissue/1991] LP (Relapse)
Vinyl reissue of Death’s legendary fourth album. Limited metallic gold color pressing also available.
Ramin Djawadi – The Great Wall [OST] LP+MP3 (Milan)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Best known for his iconic scores to Game Of Thrones and Iron Man, Djawadi has also provided the music for Warcraft, Pacific Rim and Westworld among countless other projects. His score to The Great Wall is sweeping and grand featuring rumbling drums, an army of strings and traditional Chinese chanting.
Michael Giacchino – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story 2xLP (Walt Disney)
Released last December on CD – now available on vinyl. Music from the recent Star Wars spin-off.
Gold Connections – Gold Connections LP (Fat Possum)
RIYL: Car Seat Headrest, The Districts, Pavement, Modest Mouse, Wilco, Ryan Adams, Bright Eyes, Pinegrove, Built to Spill, The Walkmen. “…an animal of its own. Languid atmospherics give birth to howlingly aggressive rock ‘n’ roll that ultimately builds to a richly arranged climax.” – Stereogum
The Ahmad Jamal Trio – The Awakening [Reissue/1970] LP (Be With)
Vinyl reissue of this landmark deep trio session — recorded in NYC and released on Impulse! In 1970. As a “Zen master of jazz piano” and one of its greatest innovators, Jamal evolved his elegant sound with this adventurous record. The Awakening showcases his fast, richly melodic chops in remarkable variation.
Dadisi Komolafe – Hassan’s Walk [Reissue/1983] LP (PMG)
This modal to slightly free jazz outfit from California takes the listener on a journey back to the late ’60s and very early ’70s, into the spiritual realms of greats like John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, John McLaughlin, and Miles Davis.
Lagartijeando – El Grand Poder LP (Wonderwheel Recordings)
Lagartijeando is the name of producer, musician and DJ Mati Zundel who was born, raised and currently living in a small town on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. 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. Mati hypnotically fuses his traditional influences (with an emphasis on shaman chant and charango loops) with contemporary electronic beats.
Travis Linville – Up Ahead LP (Cen)
There’s something inexplicably authentic about Oklahoma’s Travis Linville, and it’s carried him from dive bars and classrooms to The Tonight Show and esteemed theaters and festivals across the globe. The Oklahoma Gazette rightly called him a “godfather of modern Oklahoma folk” and noted that his success opened doors for a state teeming with talent: a mentor and contemporary for other Oklahoma acts like Fullbright, Millsap, Turnpike Troubadours and John Moreland.
Reba McEntire – Songs Of Faith & Hope 2xLP (Nash Icon)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. The country music vocalist’s new double-disc project highlights traditional hymns of faith throughout the first 10 songs while more contemporary tracks of hope round out the back half.
Monster Movie – Keep The Voices Distant LP+MP3 (Graveface)
New release from the alt-rock/shoegaze outfit. Limited color vinyl pressing.
My Chemical Romance – Welcome To The Black Parade (Steve Aoki 10th Anniversary Remix) 12” (Dim Mak)
To celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the “Welcome To The Black Parade” single, My Chemical Romance tapped Dim Mak label head Steve Aoki to breathe new life into the 2006 emo classic. Now available on a vibrant limited edition 12” picture disc, Aoki imbued his signature electro flair, keeping the vocals of Gerard Way intact in an amalgamation of new-school and old-school.
Jean-Jacques Perrey – Mood Indigo [Reissue/1970] LP (Vanguard)
Sonically adventurous, Moog Indigo is a kaleidoscopic array of sounds delivered with imagination and a playful sensibility. Perrey’s approach blends funk, lounge, and the avant-garde in a meticulously arranged tapestry of Moog, tape loops, and ondioline. An absolute must-have for vintage electronica heads, space-age pop enthusiasts, producers, audiophiles, and all fans of adventurous pop music. Audiophile quality 180gm pressing.
Raymond Scott – Soothing Sounds For Baby [Reissue/1963] 3xLP+MP3 (Music On Vinyl)
Raymond Scott – Manhattan Research Inc. [Reissue/2001] 3xLP+MP3 (Music On Vinyl)
During Scott’s career as a popular bandleader, there were reports of an alter ego – inventor, professor in the lab coat, electronic music pioneer. But little of this work received public exposure. That changed in 1997 with a reissue of Scott’s 1963 Soothing Sounds For Baby (SSFB) trilogy. These albums, largely overlooked upon their original LP release, contained gentle, all-electronic sonic companions designed to calm and delight infants. In retrospect, however, Scott’s pioneering and little-heard explorations of synthesized rhythmic minimalism and low-key ambience foreshadowed the subsequent conjuring of Terry Riley, Phillip Glass, Kraftwerk and Brian Eno. Most of Scott’s works were performed on vacuum tube- and transistor-rigged music machines which he designed and built. Now, Music On Vinyl presents new editions of the Soothing Sounds For Baby and Manhattan Research Inc. on vinyl, each including full track notes, a historical overview, and newly designed covers. Limited triple 180gm color vinyl pressings.
Tall Ships – Impressions LP (FatCat)
Following the release of their acclaimed 2012 debut, Everything Touching, Tall Ships were championed by both the BBC and NME, selling out shows across the UK and headlining the BBC Introducing Stage at Reading & Leeds Festival. Their debut earned a wealth of critical praise, with Pitchfork citing its penchant for “the more swashbuckling strains of Okkervil River and Modest Mouse, M83’s downcast glimmer, and Sigur Ros’ misty yawn,” and BBC Music claiming, “the trio’s debut displays dizzying craftsmanship.” Impressions bristles with a fresh intensity: it’s a set that feels constantly on a knife edge of unpredictability, capable within a single song of being both disconcertingly tender and universal – easily the most ambitious and anthemic music the band has ever written, marking them out as one of the UK’s most promising rock bands but one worn with the battle scars of doubt, fragility and lessons learned the hard way.
Jack Tempchin – One More Song LP (Blue Elan Records)
Released last year on CD – now available on vinyl. Jack Tempchin is known for penning some of the most durable tunes in American music for a variety of artists that includes the Eagles, George Jones, Glenn Frey, Randy Meisner, Glen Campbell, Emmylou Harris, Trisha Yearwood, Chris Hillman, Patty Loveless, Tom Rush, Kate Wolf, and many others. He’s also co-written with a who’s who of American roots, rock, country, and folk composers that embraces Tom Waits, J.D. Souther, Bobby Whitlock, Jim Lauderdale and Beth Nielsen Chapman.
Tei Shi – Crawl Space LP (Interscope)
Debut album from critically-acclaimed solo artist Tei Shi (born Valerie Teicher). The Argenine indie artist has toured with Grimes, Years & Years, Jungle, and Glass Animals. Past press features include W Magazine, Noisey, The Guardian, Spin, The Fader, and more. Crawl Space was recorded over the span of a year and a half, and hears the singer documenting her transition from a “curious new kid on the block” to a “confident, self-possessed” artist. According to a press release, the record delivers a “palpable physicality” — from the claustrophobic space referenced in the LP title, to active song names like “Keep Running” and “Lift Me,” all the while evoking a feeling of moving forward through constraining situations and being able to center oneself.
Brett Young – Brett Young LP (Big Machine)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Good looks, honest lyrics and West Coast-meets-Southern sound, aptly dubbed the “Caliville” style.
Sneaks – It’s A Myth (Merge)
With little more than a bass, drum machine, and deadpan vocals, Sneaks, a.k.a. Eva Moolchan, makes minimalist music that takes up space—something she herself has made a point of doing in the male-heavy Washington, D.C., DIY punk scene that has been her home. It’s A Myth builds on Sneaks’ playfully stark approach to post-punk, which, as her hometown City Paper described it, causes listeners to go “from curious to provoked to hungry.”
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