Alt/Indie

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Kevin Morby

Kevin Morby

Sundowner [LP]

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To Whom It May Concern,

I am here to announce that my new album, Sundowner, will be out October 16th, 2020 via Dead Oceans. THE WRITING: (KANSAS CITY, KANSAS) In the winter of 2017 I moved back to my hometown of Kansas City from Los Angeles. The move was sudden and unforeseen, just as I was tying a bow on the writing process for what would become my 2019 album, Oh My God. I bought a Four Track Tascam model 424 off of an old friend to help me get to the finish line, but much to my surprise and excitement, this new piece of equipment in my all-but-bare home didn't help complete one album but rather inspire another: Sundowner. The new collection of songs came quickly and effortlessly as I did my best not to resist or refine the songs, but instead let them take shape all on their own. As the songs kept coming I cleared out the crowded shed that was sitting dormant in my backyard and built a makeshift studio before adding drums, lead guitar and piano to complete the demos. Each day I would teach myself basic recording techniques, watching the channels illuminate and pulse as if the machine were breathing, and then emerge in the evenings as the sun was getting low: - around 5:30 in the winter, when the Kansan sunsets look icy and distant, like a pink ember inside of a display case, and 9 o'clock in the summer, when the sunsets are warm and abstract. Landing back home felt jarring juxtaposed with a life full of chaos and adventure with my band on the road. But at the very least, I was happy to have - for the first time in my adulthood - a place to close the door, with no temptations other than to work on music and reflect on what I had built since I left. It was a new form of isolation, one I had never explored or expected to experience. Not ready to let go of the hand of the California desert, I spent the winter decorating the best I knew how; with mementos from my previous home, cactus and aloe vera and covering the walls in pinewood - immediately earning my house it's nickname, The Little Los Angeles. THE RECORDING: Sonic Ranch, Neve Room, Tornillo, Texas In January 2019 I contacted my friend and producer Brad Cook to help recreate what I had made in my shed. We chose to work in Texas; we wanted to make sure the record was done far away from any coastline, and in the heart of America. Brad played bass and some keys on the album, but beyond that he encouraged and inspired me to play almost everything else. All lead guitar, proper drums (save the drums on "A Night At The Little Los Angeles"), mellotron and what I believe to be the albums secret weapon - a WWII era collapsible and slightly out-of-tune pump organ - were performed by me. We did, however, bring in James Krivchenia towards the end of the session to fill out the percussion. It was an honor to work with him as he built maracas from pecans and played on the floor of the live room, adding flourish wherever he saw fit. On the last evening of the session, after everything had wrapped, we all climbed on top of an empty water tower on the property, giving us a view in all directions. To the North you could see an endless Texas, with long wisps of cirrus clouds above the desert floor, and to the South there was Mexico, the recent detention camps only a mile beyond, with large cumulus clouds hovering over, bringing us to an ominous pause. To the West, towards the setting sun, the two families of clouds merged, holding the last light of the day in purple and orange. Below, a freight train cut the landscape in half as it whistled in the distance. AFTER Almost as soon as the session wrapped, I was off and away on press trips and then proper tours for Oh My God, which came out in April that same year. Sundowner sat inside of a hard drive back at Sonic Ranch and did not see the light of day, until I found myself, as did the rest of the world, stuck inside their home and in quarantine in March 2020. My second year of touring for Oh My God was cancelled. Brad, Jerry and I worked from our respective homes, sending notes back and forth as we worked alone but together to mix the album, and suddenly, just like that, Sundowner was finished. Songs, like sunsets, are fleeting, and it's only due to a willingness and desire to catch them that you ever, if even only for a moment, grab a hold of one. When writing Sundowner, I was lucky to have had the Tascam 424 there to help capture both. Sundowner is my attempt to put the Middle American twilight - it's beauty profound, though not always immediate - into sound. It is a depiction of isolation. Of the past. Of an uncertain future. Of provisions. Of an omen. Of a dead deer. Of an icon. Of a Los Angeles themed hotel in rural Kansas. Of billowing campfires, a mermaid and a highway lined in rabbit fur. It is a depiction of the nervous feeling that comes with the sky's proud announcement that another day will be soon coming to a close as the pink light recedes and the street lamps and house lights suddenly click on. Kevin Morby, Kansas, 2020.

Kevin Morby
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Helena Deland

Helena Deland

Someone New [LP]

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A unique transformation occurs the moment a lover lays eyes on your bedroom for the first time: the room is suddenly, involuntarily no longer your own. Your curated “you” is subject to the impressions of the other, and you try hard to adopt this filter yourself, wondering what information the objects and their position suggest about you. If, in moments like these, the new gaze seems to almost conjure the room, a desperate question arises: what remains of the room without the other? With no external sources of appraisal or affirmation, where does the stuff of the self reside, and how does it take shape?

These blood-deep paranoias set the stage for Helena Deland’s debut album, Someone New, an exploration of gender, power, time and the “self” that finds Deland in full control of her sound and style, even as she asks whether control is ever possible. The album was written and recorded over a period of two years, beginning with Deland’s guitar and expanding into a lavish sonic sphere that blends elements of hypnagogic pop and classic folk. Deland’s voice ties it all together, sometimes hushed in a whisper, sometimes shrouded in distortion, and sometimes full and clear – but always inviting the listener into her world.

Helena Deland
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Matt Berninger

Matt Berninger

Serpentine Prison [LP]

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After a series of stand-alone singles and a release under the moniker EL VY (with Brent Knopf of Menomena), Serpentine Prison is the first solo record from GRAMMY-Award winning artist Matt Berninger of The National. Recorded with and produced by the legendary Booker T. Jones, it's a collection of deeply personal songs dripped in Booker's signature Memphis sound perfectly blended with Berninger's unmistakable baritone.

Matt Berninger
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Japandroids
Massey Fucking Hall, the upcoming live album from Japandroids, captures the power and intensity that have made the band one of indie rock’s most beloved live acts. The Canadian duo on guitar and drums, bring a wall of sound that delivers a full dose of raw and un¬hinged emotion to sixteen fan favorites that span the band’s storied career. sonically this is Japandroids perfection, capturing the energy that has long made their live shows so electrifying; performed at the legendary Massey Hall in Toronto.
Japandroids
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beabadoobee

beabadoobee

Fake It Flowers [LP]

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beabadoobee has navigated the world of global touring, viral fame and musical creation to work towards a dazzling debut album. 'Fake It Flowers' is a testament to this. Bea adopts a mature sound, where her familiar warm, fuzzy lo-fi lies between strings & melodies, bringing the raw honesty of her DIY roots into a new era.
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Jeremy Ivey

Jeremy Ivey

Waiting Out The Storm [LP]

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Vinyl LP pressing. 2020 release. Nashville-based performer Jeremy Ivey has operated in the background for years as a songwriter/guitarist with his wife, celebrated country-rock luminary Margo Price. Ivey is back in the spotlight with his sophomore solo album Waiting Out The Storm via Anti- Records. Produced by Price, the ten-song album finds Jeremy Ivey expanding his sound with his band the Extraterrestrials. On Waiting Out The Storm, an album with electricity coursing through it's veins, Ivey zooms out to take a widescreen look at the world around us-the landscape, the people that populate it, and the ways in which we help each other survive against all odds. Ivey, who writes prolifically and cites Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan as influences, evokes "'Mutations'-era Beck along with classic country" (Rolling Stone). His solo material travels through a wide spectrum of classic folk, gently frayed psychedelia, pop, and a bit of Southern rock.

Jeremy Ivey
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Future Islands

Future Islands

As Long As You Are [LP]

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'A quintessential Future Islands blend of thumping drums, thick synths and a gooey bass line that anchors a swooning guitar. Frontman Samuel Herring delivers another charac- teristically mighty vocal performance' - Rolling Stone

Future Islands
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Weyes Blood

Weyes Blood

Cardamom Times [LP]

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On vinyl for the first time since 2005, this fifth anniversary edition of Weyes Blood’s Cardamom Times features new cover art and demonstrates Mering’s reverence of devotional music and the avant-garde, channeling the domestic hymns of Sybille Baer through the lens of Baltimore’s experimental DIY scene; the minimal drones of Terry Riley accompanied by the voices of the Sacre Coeur; the confrontational words of Anaïs Nin with the warm embrace of St. Augustine. With printed insert & download card.
Weyes Blood
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North Americans
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North Americans

Roped In [LP]

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Patrick McDermott began his North Americans project with two albums: 2013’s No_No, and 2015’s Legends. Both records were dense affairs, with blocks of sound shifting and moving like melting glaciers to create a gorgeous, impenetrable, collection of digital drones. Though they sounded nothing like what would come a bit later, both records showcased McDermott’s understanding of mood and composition. On 2018’s Going Steady, McDermott blended his love of American Primitive guitar playing with playful pieces that never overstayed their welcome. He also began collaborating with a wide range of artists: from Julianna Barwick to guitar prodigy Hayden Pedigo, as well as Cloud Nothings’ Dylan Baldi, and more.

Now, two years later, McDermott is releasing Roped In, a gorgeous, intimate, and often spare album that pulls back from the collaborative nature established on Going Steady for a collection of fragile drone pieces anchored by McDermott’s intricate but direct guitar playing and haunting pedal steel work from Portland, Oregon’s Barry Walker.

Where Going Steady was brimming with ideas and micromovements, Roped In is relatively sparse, built on patience and the kind of once-in-a-lifetime collaborative energy between McDermott and Walker, and accented by occasional collaborations from harpist Mary Lattimore and guitarist William Tyler. “I wanted to focus on the simplicity of the music,” McDermott says. “I didn’t want to be beholden to this massive goal of [making music] to see how progressive and experimental it could be. I was attempting to cherish the pureness of this type of music.”

North Americans
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Touche Amore
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Touche Amore

Lament [LP]

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TOUCHÉ AMORÉ has been burrowing through angst, alienation, cancer, and heartbreak throughout four adored studio albums. After over a decade of working through darkness, the band’s gorgeously gruff fifth album, Lament, finds the light at the end of the tunnel. Through 11 songs, TOUCHÉ AMORÉ looks back at its past and uses hard-won optimism to point its fans toward light, and love.

Touche Amore
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Budos Band

Budos Band

Long In The Tooth [LP]

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15 years after the release of their debut album, Daptone's Royal Court from Staten Island delivers a truly epic collection of new material that finds the group further bridging the gap between the farfisa-fueled Ethio-Funk stylings of their early recordings, with the psychedelic, Sabbath-inspired hellfire of late. The title track and lead single, Long in the Tooth, jumps out of the speakers with a heavy drum break (reminiscent of the B-Boy approved grooves of their early output), drenched in a pulsating, hallucinatory wall of organ, menacing horns, and a rugged guitar riff that pummels the listener into Budonian submission. Imagine Link Wray and Mulatu Astatke collaborating on a Italian horror soundtrack and you're getting close.

Budos Band
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METZ

METZ

Atlas Vending [LP]

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Vinyl LP pressing. 2020 release. "Change is inevitable if you're lucky," says guitarist/vocalist Alex Edkins while talking about Atlas Vending, the fourth full-length album by Toronto's METZ. "Our goal is to remain in flux, to grow in a natural and gradual way. We've always been wary to not overthink or intellectualize the music we love but also not satisfied until we've accomplished something that pushes us forward." The music made by Edkins and his compatriots Hayden Menzies (drums) and Chris Slorach (bass) has always been a little difficult to pin down. Their earliest recordings contained nods to the teeming energy of early '90s DIY hardcore, the aggravated angularities of This Heat, and the noisy riffing of AmRep's quintessential guitar manglers, but there was never a moment where METZ sounded like they were paying tribute to the heroes of their youth.

METZ
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Travis

Travis

10 Songs [LP]

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At various points along the trajectory between then and now, Travis have sold millions of albums (just under three million of The Man Who in the UK alone); they’ve been the subject of an award-winning feature length documentary (Almost Fashionable) and Fran has elicited acclaim from Paul McCartney, Elton John and Graham Nash – all songwriters whose ability to divine a timeless melody out of thin air has sustained them through the decades. ’10 Songs’ is an album that holds you in its own emotional microclimate at the outset and keeps you there. It’s also a grown-up record. ’10 Songs’ is a record about the way life comes at love and what love does to weather those challenges. “This is no rehearsal/This is the take,” sings Fran at the beginning of Waving At The Window, over an insistent piano hook, “Promises you once kept/Are going to break Every track on this album carries an even load. No passengers here. Nowhere to hide. “I write songs in an antiquated way,” explains their creator, “Sitting at the bottom of the bed, ‘pouring my simple sorrow to the sound hole and my knee’, as Joni Mitchell put it.” As a songwriter based in L.A., Fran Healy doesn’t need anyone to tell him this is no longer how it’s done. It’s far from uncommon for the credits on successful modern pop songs to feature upwards of ten writers. Hits by committee. “It’s fine,” notes Fran, “Personally though, I’ll take ten songs written by one person over one song written by ten people. And if I feel that way, then surely someone else must do too.”

Travis
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Lewis Del Mar

Lewis Del Mar

August [2LP]

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Double vinyl LP pressing. 2020 release. New York duo Lewis Del Mar returns with their sophomore album August. The first new music from Lewis Del Mar since their 2016 self-titled debut, "This album is, nearly word for word, our account of gluing the vase back together, cracks visible," says Lewis Del Mar.

Lewis Del Mar
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Buffalo Tom

Buffalo Tom

Birdbrain [Green LP]

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Beggars Banquet is excited to announce a limited edition 30-year Anniversary edition of Buffalo Tom's epic second album Birdbrain. Available on mint green vinyl, the album has been out of print for years. Since Birdbrain's release 30 years ago, many songs from it album have become live favorites including the epic title track 'Birdbrain', and 'Enemy'. Trouser Press wrote that '[Birdbrain] boasts most of Buffalo Tom's best songs.'

Buffalo Tom
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Mrs. Piss

Mrs. Piss

Self-Surgery [LP]

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Vinyl LP pressing. Includes digital download. Mrs. Piss is a new collaboration between Chelsea Wolfe and Jess Gowrie. Drawing on their collective rock, metal, and industrial influences, the project began while the two were touring around together during Wolfe's Hiss Spun album in 2017. The result is their debut album Self-Surgery, which was recorded at The Dock Studio in Sacramento, CA and in Wolfe's home studio, The Canyon. These songs feel more urgent and visceral than anything either of them has created before: heaviness spurred on by punk spirit.

Mrs. Piss
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Talking Heads
DISCLAIMER: LIMITED EDITION/EXCLUSIVE RELEASES
Orders for limited edition/exclusive releases are processed and fulfilled in the order in which they are received and are subject to inventory limitations. In most cases, we will be able to fulfill your order, but in the event we cannot, you will be fully refunded the amount charged at the time of your preorder. Thank you for your business!
Talking Heads
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Talking Heads
DISCLAIMER: LIMITED EDITION/EXCLUSIVE RELEASES
Orders for limited edition/exclusive releases are processed and fulfilled in the order in which they are received and are subject to inventory limitations. In most cases, we will be able to fulfill your order, but in the event we cannot, you will be fully refunded the amount charged at the time of your preorder. Thank you for your business!
Talking Heads
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Talking Heads
DISCLAIMER: LIMITED EDITION/EXCLUSIVE RELEASES
Orders for limited edition/exclusive releases are processed and fulfilled in the order in which they are received and are subject to inventory limitations. In most cases, we will be able to fulfill your order, but in the event we cannot, you will be fully refunded the amount charged at the time of your preorder. Thank you for your business!
Talking Heads
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Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens

The Ascension [2LP]

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The Ascension is the eighth studio album from singer, songwriter and composer Sufjan Stevens and is the long awaited follow-up to Stevens’ Carrie & Lowell. One of the most acclaimed albums of 2015, The New York Times praised Carrie & Lowell as “restrained and meticulous” while Pitchfork declared it “a masterpiece.”

In the time between Carrie & Lowell and the forthcoming The Ascension, Stevens also released Oscar-nominated music for the Luca Guadagnino film Call Me By Your Name; a collaborative album entitled Planetarium with Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner (The National) and James Mcalister; The Decalogue, a solo piano work performed by Timo Andres; and scored several works for ballet: Reflections (Houston Ballet) and Principia (NYCB).

The Ascension is musically expansive and sweeping in thematic scope.

Sufjan Stevens
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The Nude Party
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The Nude Party

Midnight Manor [LP]

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Midnight Manor, the much anticipated sophomore album of the six-piece rock outfit The Nude Party is set for release on October 2nd via New West Records. Following two years of non-stop touring in support of their eponymous debut release, the band returned to their farmhouse in New York's Catskill Mountains to record the follow up to their acclaimed 2018 self-titles debut.

Like The Band's sacred home-recording habitat The Big Pink, The Nude Party's communal dwelling provided the landscape and proximity to focus on deepening their bonds through music. It was at the Manor that the band of childhood friends could shift their energies from the archetypical emotional journeys of mid-twenty-somethings towards rebuilding their road-worn relationships with one another, leading them to write Midnight Manor - an album that lead singer Patton Magee describes as "a stone skipping over troubled waters."

With Midnight Manor, The Nude Party shine a light on their past while at the same time moving towards a brighter future.

The Nude Party
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Gabriel Garzon-Montano

Gabriel Garzon-Montano

Aguita [LP]

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This will come as no surprise to those who've followed GGM since 2014's Bishouné: Alma Del Huila, the critically-lauded, self-produced EP that put him on the map, and served as sample fodder for a handful of popular music's most iconic artists. His follow-up LP, 2017's Jardin, melded classical and folkloric instruments with rnb, hip-hop, and cumbia, proving once again that Gabriel is totally comfortable making transformative, funky, cathartic records all by himself. Agüita, his first release for Jagjaguwar, is a sequence of impossibly diverse offerings ranging from trap anthems to string-drenched art pop ballads - a prismatic self-portrait, personal and universal all at once. The artist is present, and he is in final form. Garzón-Montano's ability to execute a wide range of musical styles is his secret weapon - and so it is no wonder he bristles at the prospect of settling into any one genre. "Genre has never been a consideration," he says. "The idea of genre uses fear of failure as a baseline. Genre puts the music in a box. This album is anti-genre. Anti-fear. Anti-box." What remains is an ultra-personal journey through the three separate characters that constitute GGM's personality: the debonair leading man, the wistful impressionist, and the Latino Urbano hitmaker. In this life, a first-generation American, born in Brooklyn to French and Colombian parents, can marry 808s with 19th-century art song, and catch a million plays in a weekend. In this life, old school analog tape and autotuned, varispeeded androgyny live together in perfect harmony, and the algorithm meant to guide us to our next playlist is of no use. In this life, big brujo energy means blunts and 3 inch heels; it means Appolonia's hands around you from the back of that motorcycle; it means nueva cancion, and reggaeton; it means the rabid, joyful individualism of funk - of oneness - of the one. (Yeah, in this life - you're on your own.) The magic of Agüita lives in Gabriel's ability to consolidate a range of truths into a focused, crystallized idea. "Bloom," "Blue Dot," and "Fields" compare the growth and loss inherent in human life with the changing of the seasons and the life cycles of the universe; on "Fields," Garzón-Montano evokes the despondent whimper of Thom Yorke. There are mirrors of the same themes in compositions like "With a Smile," "Tombs," "Someone," and "Moonless," a quartet of songs that explore the births and deaths of the relationships we have with the people we love; on "Moonless," Gabriel explores for the first time his struggle with the grief of his mother's passing: "Mama died / and I was moonless in a Stygian tide... trying to hide the ripening tumor / breathing fire, love but a rumour / There's a woman in my sky / 17 when I learned to cry... " It is to his immense credit as a songwriter that we are left with an understanding of the depth of his loss, despite having never experienced it. Equally impactful are the trap and reggaeton cuts - the album's energetic high points. On "Agüita," "Mira My Look," and "Muñeca," GGM delves into club-banger territory, performing in Spanish for the first time on record. Whether you're here for the medium, or for the message, for the man himself, or one of his characters, Agüita stands as the strongest installment thus far in a series of alarmingly sincere, sensationally profound works, from an artist who has sought not only to challenge established preconceptions and categories, but to expose their ultimate unworthiness. From composition to execution, the product distills the essence of Gabriel Garzón-Montano's genius, an uninterrupted creative process rare in this age of fattened album credits.

Gabriel Garzon-Montano
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Idles

Idles

Ultra Mono [LP]

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If 'Joy As An Act of Resistance.' was meant to detail the band's manifesto, then their highly anticipated third album ' 'Ultra Mono' - is the sound of IDLES heading into battle, battering ram in hand, for those tenets. Sonically constructed to capture the feeling of a hip-hop record (Kenny Beats even helped with programming on several tracks), the songs double down on the vitriolic sneer and blunt social commentary of their past work. Not far beneath the surface of their self-admitted sloganeering lies a deeply complex and brutally relevant album that chews up clichés and spits them out as high art for the masses. Active presence and self-acceptance also stand at the core of 'Ultra Mono,' with much of the songwriting done on-the-spot in the recording booth, and the phrase 'I am I' serving as a lyrical and spiritual mantra throughout. Ultimately 'Ultra Mono' is a celebration of community.
Idles
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Sylvan Esso

Sylvan Esso

Free Love [LP]

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Free Love thrives on collaborative frisson—two people pushing one another into new territories with the shared assurance of knowing they’re in good company, a sort of trust fall in reverse. Yes, these 10 songs are some of Sylvan Esso’s most direct. And most delicate. And most intricate. And most urgent. Free Love carries the confidence of two people delighted to be all those things, together, at once.

Sylvan Esso
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Blitzen Trapper

Singer-songwriters have been tackling existential questions about life and death since time immemorial' or at least the 1960s. But when it came to Blitzen Trapper's newest album, Holy Smokes Future Jokes, front man Eric Earley looked beyond mere existence'or even the end of it'to contend with grander cosmic explorations: namely, the intermediate period between a person's separate lives on earth, 'and what it means to escape the cycle of birth and rebirth,' he explains. Inspired by George Saunders' 2017 experimental tome, Lincoln in the Bardo and the Tibetan Book of the Dead, Earley's lyrics take the listener on a wild and dramatic journey through rivers of waist-high water in the aftermath of a tragic car wreck and the hazy morning before a murderous moment, and from getting blitzed to the point of extinction inside a masonic temple to a stop for chips and dip before the apocalypse.

Blitzen Trapper
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Omar Rodriguez-Lopez

Omar Rodríguez-López THE CLOUDS HILL TAPES Part I, II & III These recordings of three sessions dating from the years 2018/ 2019 and taken at the Clouds Hill Studio are now being published digitally and as a 3-LP vinyl box set. Part I features eight pieces, and Parts II and III six pieces each, which have been entirely newly arranged, produced by Johann Scheerer, and performed by Omar Rodríguez-López and a range of guest musicians. Only very few songwriters and arrangers have succeeded in leaving their mark on several generations with their compositions and their performances. Omar Rodríguez-López is one of these exceptional artists. Just hearing his name brings a shine to the eyes of aficionados of hard or virtuoso or cosmic music. Listening to his music you can feel it: This is someone who completely abandons himself to his art - and someone with an incredible amount of knowledge about the depth of possibility guitar music can explore. During the 2000s Omar Rodríguez-López released an astonishing variety of solo works. On these recordings the artist used pieces that had accumulated over the years. However, what has so far been missing is a release that brings together the pieces from that era. This wait now has come to an end for here are THE CLOUDS HILL TAPES, Part I - III featuring 20 tracks that present his music in a new light. Omar Rodríguez-López has long considered the Hamburg Clouds Hill studio his creative second home. He has known the producer Johann Scheerer for 15 years and they are close friends as well as creative partners. "Johann is great at what he does. What makes him truly special is his instinct. This helps him find most interesting sounds, make the right decision", is how Omar Rodríguez-López describes it. Whenever the two meet, a shared creative process ensues immediately. This is just what happened at the end of 2018: Really, Omar Rodríguez-López had come to Hamburg as a visitor at the Clouds Hill Festival, but Johann Scheerer invited him to use free studio capacity for a session in which to re-record outstanding pieces from the previous solo albums. "We got the band together, rehearsed for two days - and then we ran the tapes", Omar Rodríguez -López recalls. These original tapes can incidentally be seen on the covers of the three albums resulting from the sessions. THE CLOUDS HILL TAPES will be one of the reference works in the musical cosmos of this unique artist. The Clouds Hill Tapes Pts. I, II & III

Omar Rodriguez-Lopez
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Bob Mould

Bob Mould

Blue Hearts [LP]

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Single LP on black vinyl in single jacket w/ euro sleeve & matte coating. Includes coupon for full download

An explosive album of pain, rage and fear with some of the most direct and confrontational lyrics of his four-decade career. According to Bob, “This is the catchiest batch of protest songs I’ve ever written in one sitting.”

Bob Mould
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Will Butler

Will Butler

Generations [LP]

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In the five years since Will Butler released his debut album, Policy, he’s toured the world both solo and as a member of Arcade Fire, released the Friday Night live album, recorded and released Arcade Fire’s international #1 album Everything Now, earned his master’s degree in public policy from Harvard, hosted a series of touring town halls on local issues (police contracts, prison reform, municipal paid sick leave, voting rights), and spent time raising his three children. 

He also found the time and inspiration to write and record a new album, Generations.

“My first record, Policy, was a book of short stories,” Butler says. “Generations is more of a novel—despairing, funny, a little bit epic… A big chunk of this record is asking: What’s my place in American history? What’s my place in America’s present? Both in general—as a participant, as we all are, in the shit that’s going down—but, also extremely particularly: me as Will Butler, rich person, white person, Mormon, Yankee, parent, musician of some sort, I guess. What do I do? What can I do? The record asks that question over and over, even if it’s not much for answers.”

While the songs on Generations contain their fair share of dread and regret, there is ultimately a lightness that shines through Butler’s music. That brightness is at its most intense when he and his solo band—Miles Francis, Sara Dobbs, and Julie and Jenny Shore—perform on stage. Their electricity is palpable throughout Generations, with the bulk of the new songs having been worked out live. Wild synth production—gnarly bass synths with live drums—and anthemic backing vocals as on first single “Surrender” are punctuated by intimate, direct moments: Butler’s voice cracking on “Fine” as he conjures his ancestors, and “Promised,” a meditation on friendship, how lives are built together, and how and why they drift apart.

Generations was recorded and produced by Butler in the basement of his home in Brooklyn. Tracking finished in March 2020, as New York closed down for the pandemic. Half the record was mixed in Montreal by longtime Arcade Fire engineer Mark Lawson, the other half by Brooklyn-based producer Shiftee (who is, incidentally, bandmate Julie Shore’s husband and Will’s brother-in-law).

Generations opens a dialogue with the world. It posits answers—and deals with those answers being refuted. Ultimately, it navigates the conversation as a way to find the truth… or at least a way forward.

Will Butler
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Surfer Blood

Surfer Blood

Carefree Theatre [Blue LP]

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Surfer Blood's Carefree Theatre, out May 1, 2020 on Kanine Records, is their fifth studio album. The Carefree Theater in West Palm Beach, FL was the only real venue in town for most of John Paul Pitts childhood. It was where he would go for anything from shows to theatrical productions. It was just the kind of exposure that showed him there was a whole world outside of Florida, the kind of experience that would inform a twenty-one year old student to drop out of school and start a band. He did just that. Surfer Blood's rise was remarkable - and just recently recounted in detail with the 10 year anniversary of their debut and breakout album Astro Coast. A decade ago. That's a long time. Where a lot can happen. On May 1, 2020, Surfer Blood will release Carefree Theatre an album that bring them full circle. Pitts returned to Florida, returned to Kanine and created an album worth of short pop songs.

Surfer Blood
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Sad13

Sad13

Haunted Painting

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Haunted Painting, Sad13's second album and first for Dupuis' label Wax Nine (Melkbelly, Johanna Warren), marks her return to artmaking. "Some of these songs feel like emotions that came from a cloud, and I was trying to translate them," she says. But the scope of a Sad13 song is rarely only personal. As ever, Sad13 weaves timely societal critiques into rushing hooks and whip-smart wordplay that's all still a blast: riffer "WTD" is about climate gentrification and billionaires' consequent desire to colonize the ocean and space.

Sad13
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A Certain Ratio

A Certain Ratio

ACR Loco

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2020 release from the legendary Manchester-based post-punk band, their first studio album in 12 years.

A Certain Ratio
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Thurston Moore

Double vinyl LP pressing. This is Thurston Moore's seventh solo album, and features musicians Deb Googe (My Bloody Valentine) on bass and backing vocals, Jon Leidecker aka "Wobbly" (of Negativland) on electronics, James Sedwards on guitar, and Sonic Youth's Steve Shelley, as well as Jem Doulton, alternating on drums. "Hashish", the first single from the album, is described by Moore as "an ode to the narcotic of love in our shared responsibility to each other during isolation."

Thurston Moore
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Cayucas

Cayucas

Blue Summer

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A return to musical roots is a time-honored tradition for many established artists who have endured for the better part of a decade. Forming and shaping an identity can take an album or two, and perpetuating forward motion while perfecting a sound can take another. Sometimes a swerve gets thrown in, an unseen obstacle sets itself in the middle of a path, or an experiment or two get eked out for one reason or another. But oftentimes by this point in a career an itch pops up to circle back to where it all began in order to do what the artist does best. And so, for their fourth album as Cayucas, brothers Zach and Ben Yudin are heading back to the beach-in other words, to the sunny, vibrant, melodic rock from which they first paddled out. The eight tracks also mark the first time Zach will earn a producer credit for a Cayucas album. The Yudins' studio, dubbed Corner Pocket, is filled with many vintage pieces of equipment, but a vintage reverb tank found in Japan and a DanElectro with space echo may appear on the album more than any other sound. When it came time to title the record, only one phrase seemed to capture the mood correctly. "The album is called Blue Summer, which is a lyric in the song 'Malibu '79 Long,'" Zach says. "It just felt right as a title. It was simple, classic and evokes the mood. No matter your feelings about the warmest season, be sure that Cayucas will always be there to provide it's perfect soundtrack.

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Roger Eno and Brian Eno

Roger Eno and Brian Eno

Luminous [LP]

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The "Mixing Colours" story continues with "Luminous", adding to Roger Eno & Brian Eno's first duo album on Deutsche Grammophon. Includes "Pewter", formerly a Japan-only bonus track, as well as six brand new tracks. Available on vinyl September 25th.

Roger Eno and Brian Eno
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Osees

Osees

Protean Threat [LP]

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MP3 Album:

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Witness the ever-changing, ever-mutating threat that is reality. Perception is under duress; sensibility is bending everyday under the barrage of nonsense. One must make note of whom one is and what one has become: look into the mirror of the planet-killers-psychic cannibals infiltrate and contaminate once familiar and seemingly secure territories... formidable foes indeed! What powers these beasts? What fuels discord and hatred? The behemoth of a "civil" society? What are the weapons at one's disposal? Generosity is the aegis against greed, empathy is the armor to deflect apathy, love is the club to abate hate... The fog is lifting and humans are opening their eyes. And so Castle Face offers this field recording, the Osees Protean Threat, from the pits as a quick booster between protein pills and recycled sweat beverage anthems to assist the listener to not worship at the altar of violence and greed, to not offer oneself up for free, to stand up and be vigilant! Truth will not be found in the speeches and photo ops of the overlords- stand strong and together under the gaze of the oppressors. Stand vigilant, united with those who don't have the same privileges. Demand respect and a peaceful life for all. This recording is at the apogee of scuzz-punk anthem amulets for the ears and heart, a battery for one's core. Be strong. Be human. Be love.

Osees
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