In 2018, David Gordon Green’s Halloween, starring icon Jamie Lee Curtis, slaughtered the box office, earning more than$250million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing chapter in the four-decade franchise and setting a new record for the biggest opening weekend in history for a horror film starring a woman. The film had the distinction of being the first film in the series with creator John Carpenter’s direct involvement since1982’sHalloween III: Season of the Witch. Carpenter served as an executive producer, a creative consultant, and, thrillingly, as a soundtrack composer, alongside his collaborators from his recent solo albums, Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies.
Now the scream team is back for the highly anticipated follow up, Halloween Kills and Carpenter has returned to the studio with son Cody Carpenter and godson Daniel Davies to further expand on the iconic score that forever changed the course of horror cinema and synthesizer music. The2018Halloweenmovie soundtrack received unanimous praise and brought a rich and ominous depth to the original theme music that was famously recorded on a shoestring budget in1978. The trio utilized an array of software synths, vintage analogue equipment, and live instrumentation including a Dave SmithOB-6, bowed guitar, Roland Juno, Moog, Roland System1, Roland System 8, different guitar pedals, mellotron, and piano. Now with the Halloween Kills score director Green has pushed the musicians to be more experimental and take their modern sound to a chilling new level.
Standout tracks like “Unkillable” and “Rampage” feature skittering synths over deep four on the floor bass that create a full psychosis of dread before the guitars smash into the song like a semi creating a confusion over whether to headbang, dance, or run for you life. More tragic songs like “Michael’s Legend” and “Strode’s at the Hospital” showcase exquisite and delicate piano playing and prove the range of orchestration this team is capable of executing with mastery and vision. Like all of Carpenter’s legendary soundtracks Halloween Kills features incredible standalone music that like their Lost Themes trilogy of music made for imaginary films can be enjoyed thoroughly with or without the context of the film.
CD: $19.95 Buy
Curated by director Todd Haynes, the official soundtrack to his feature documentary (out Oct 15 on Apple TV+) about the highly influential, iconic New York band, The Velvet Underground.
I’ll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute to the Velvet Underground & Nico, which is a contemporary tribute to the Velvets debut album.
Where to begin with a new Melvins release?
Their latest offering, the acoustic retrospective, Five Legged Dog, finds the Melvins unstuck in time, the musical version of Vonnegut’s Billy Pilgrim, quantum-vaulting between eras and eardrums. At once going forwards and backwards. Is it mere coincidence the album's epicentre should be a rendering of the Stones’ rocker, “Sway,” with conspicuous keystone lyrics, “Did you ever wake up to find / A day that broke up your mind / Destroyed your notion of circular time….”
Five Legged Dog is a four album beast, a testament to their unmatched work ethic, their penchant for pushing the envelope, then shredding it to bits. Said Melvins founder, Buzz Osborne, “One acoustic record seems like a joke and two is pretty normal, but doing FOUR?!? That’s like going to war against an army of gorillas on LSD.”
The Melvins rudder has been their love of other bands, always fans of the good stuff. They were unabashedly Kids In Satan's Service. But not just KISS... The Who, Throbbing Gristle, Butthole Surfers, Blondie, Flipper and the unfathomable bathysphere of electroacoustic noise... Melvins loved those bands the way you love your oxygen. And after all this time, they breathe that music still. The more mordant their cover renditions have been, the deeper the Melvins' sound has plumbed, until all familiars are hidden, then resolved as newly slabbed granite so massive that to dismantle it into its separate sources is unimaginable. Few artists work so hard at exceeding limits, fewer still follow absurdity past all reason and yet, mile upon mile Melvins strike fertile soil of sound and conceptual fury. And with this album Osborne aimed to make a statement. “This a big one. We knew we had to do something massive to prove we weren’t fucking around.”
According to Crover, “These four albums represent a career retrospective.” Indeed, Five Legged Dog takes a measured sampling of their recorded works, alternating selections from Big Business-era albums, Nude With Boots, The Bride Screamed Murder, (A) Senile Animal, and the tragically under-appreciated Bulls and Bees, and pairing them with ancient pagan favourites Stoner Witch, Honky and Houdini (whose iconic album cover, curiously, depicts a two-headed mutt, no doubt the same rabid bitch that years later spawned this eponymous five-legged dog). Melvins diehards will foam at the 36-song track list which includes “Edgar The Elephant,” “Revolve,” “The Bit,” “Hooch,” “Anaconda,” “Billy Fish,” as well as a no-way-they-can-do-that-acoustically version of “Honey Bucket.”
So here we are. A four-album acoustic retrospective that somehow evades nostalgia. Did you expect, something predictable? This is The Melvins, after-all.
After releasing their 2010 album Treats on Mom+Pop--which became an indie classic, deemed 'Best New Music' by Pitchfork, 'phenomenal' by Paste Magazine, 'pop smarts' by Rolling Stone, and a 'game-changer' by Stereogum--Sleigh Bells have returned to the label for their fifth studio album, Texis, out September 10, 2021, the day after their sold-out Treats 10-Year Anniversary show at Webster Hall and ahead of a headline US tour throughout October and February.
Noah Gundersen returns with his much anticipated new album, ‘A Pillar of Salt’ out October 8th ahead of a US headline tour kicking off October 9th. The project is a return to form for Gundersen, coupling heartfelt lyrics with his signature understated vocal performance. Featuring singles “Sleepless in Seattle” and “Atlantis,” a stunning duet with Phoebe Bridgers, fans old and new will be celebrating this triumphant piece of art.
To emerge from a global pandemic with a renewed sense of situational awareness, hard won insight, and a new album is the kind of move we’ve come to expect from THRICE over the last twenty years. With Horizons/East, Dustin Kensrue and his bandmates address, with candor and courage, the fragile and awkward arrangements that pass for civilization, while inviting us to dwell more knowingly within our own lives. Without surrendering any of the energy and hard edge of their previous albums, they’ve given us a profoundly meditative work which serves as a musical summons to everyday attentiveness.
Since forming THRICE with guitarist Teppei Teranishi, bassist Eddie Breckenridge, and drummer Riley Breckenridge in 1998, Kensrue has never been one to back down from a mental fight. This mood is set by the opening synth-driven number “Color of the Sky,” which sounds well-suited to accompany the closing credits of the Stranger Things season finale. Think Flying Lotus giving way to Elbow and setting the listener down in a new dimension. A self-recorded effort, Horizons/East conveys a palpable sense of danger, determination, and possibility.
Vinyl: $22.98 Buy
Why Do Birds Sing? is the 5th studio album from the textbook American cult band, Violent Femmes. It was their last studio album with original drummer, Victor DeLorenzo. Featuring the fan favorite “American Music,” which reached #2 on Billboard’s Modern Rock Chart, as well as a cover of Culture Club’s “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me.” “The momentum of the song [“American Music”] and the album that spawned it provided a springboard for the band to bona fide cult status.” – Rolling Stone.
‘22 Break’ is about Anthony and Josephine’s relationship over the past year or so, and how after having toured and made music together continuously up to the lockdown last year, found themselves alone and in each other’s company for the first time in a long time - testing their relationship to the breaking point. Bespoke CD packaging.
Nashville’s Caitlin Rose will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of her debut album “Own Side Now”with a deluxe, fully remastered version of the record.
Rose released “Own Side Now” in 2011 to instant acclaim from critics who praised her crystal clear vocals and ingenious lyricism equal parts heartbroken and defiant. The album comes in an embossed gatefold jacket and includes an 80’s style hologram sticker, lyric insert and a bonus 7” single with the unreleased tracks “Only Lies” and “Whatchoo”.
Following nearly two years of global touring in support of their adventurous and acclaimed album, The Wilderness (2016), Explosions In The Sky paused on the future to reflect on the past. Celebrating their 20th year as a band with a pair of remastered reissues of early beloved classics – How Strange, Innocence(2000) and The Rescue (2005) – they embarked on a memorable series of anniversary concerts in 2019. It was around then that Explosions In The Sky was approached to craft the score to a new documentary about a place with which, as native Texans, they were very familiar: Big Bend National Park.
That documentary, Big Bend: The Wild Frontier of Texas, premiered on PBS in the United States as well as on a variety of networks in other countries in early 2021. The hour-long film intimately follows the lives of native animals amid expansive aerial views of the iconic desert landscape that makes up one of the grandest natural wonders in the world. The band set these sights to an inspired, melodic, and meaningful blend of acoustic guitar, slide guitar, strings, piano, bells, and drums that feels as alive and diverse--and vast and lonely--as the place it depicts.
Big Bend (An Original Soundtrack for Public Television) takes that mesmerizing score and recontextualizes it as a stand alone album. Those brief cues have been expanded and transformed into a thoughtful, gorgeous full-length album that recalls some of the band’s most magical and memorable moments from their storied history.
Big Bend: The Wild Frontier of Texas is a film that explores the past and present of the vast, complicated landscape that still holds countless mysteries yet to be uncovered. In Big Bend (An Original Soundtrack for Public Television), Explosions In The Sky pursue a similar approach to their own past and present, and find inspiration in all that has yet to be discovered.
Vinyl: $18.98 Buy
Austin indie folk duo make their Grand Jury debut with True Love. Recorded over winter 2020 in LA with Andrew Sarlo (Big Thief, Bon Iver, etc.). This album is about growth and nostalgia. Both band members got married. One had a kid. They’ve found themselves individually away from the band, but settling into their most creatively fertile moment as a duo. Artwork by Bradley Pinkerton (Harry Styles, The Weeknd, etc.).
Flying Lotus follows the release of his sweeping epic Flamagra and his Producer of the Year Grammy nomination for Thundercat's It Is What It Is, with an expansive original soundtrack for Netflix's new anime series, Yasuke.
Flying Lotus is the executive producer & composer of Yasuke, which retells the story of feudal Japan's first African samurai who served with Oda Nobunaga. The series is directed by LeSean Thomas, stars Lakeith Stanfield and features Takeshi Koike as its lead designer.
Flying Lotus' score for Yasuke is an unforgettable titan in his musical canon, drawing enhanced influence from prior instrumental and vocal works alike, while looking towards the future uncompromisingly. The music lies heavily steeped within the legacy of jazz and electronic instrumentation, with select feature appearances by longtime friends and collaborators: Thundercat, Denzel Curry and Niki Randa.
Rock icon and multi-instrumentalist Roger Taylor introduces his new solo album Outsider. With much of Outsider recorded during lockdown, this new album finds Taylor in a reflective mood, conveying a palpable sense of isolation, concerns over the passing of time, and tellingly dedicated "to all the outsiders, those who feel left on the sidelines". A highly personal project, Outsider's instrumentation is almost entirely performed by Taylor, with his vocals matching the mood-piece atmosphere.
JW Francis burst onto the scene with his critically acclaimed debut ‘We Share a Similar Joy’, with features from DIY and Line of Best Fit to being named Album of The Day on BBC 6 Music. His warm, affable melodies and comforting lyrics earned him fans on both sides of the Atlantic, and now he returns with his sophomore album WANDERKID, a concept album about a wandering anti-hero. WANDERKID hones in on JW’s dreamy soundscapes and explores themes of escapism, whilst still maintaining that sense of comfort and intimacy so beautifully demonstrated in his debut. To celebrate the release, JW is going on a 2,000 mile walking journey across the Eastern United States along the Appalachian Trail. With WANDERKID, JW Francis is further cementing his place as a future stalwart in the alternative New York scene.
2021 release, the debut album from Park Hye Jin. The album-entirely written, produced and performed by the South Korean-born and now LA-based the producer, rapper, singer, and DJ-follows the release of her hugely successful How Can I EP and comes on the heels of a string of collaborations. Includes the single 'Let's Sing Let's Dance', a wistful dance track that places Hye Jin's mantra-like vocals over piano keys and rumbling bass. Elsewhere on the record she continues to expand her sonic palette, drawing on a range of influences that take in electronic, rap/hip-hop and downtempo sensibilities to present the most complete vision yet of her sound.
In Pond’s universe nothing stays still for long. Although no one who heard 2019’s “Tasmania” could possibly describe its pulsating psych - pop as straight, Pond wanted to try a more spontaneous way of working for their next record.
Taking a leaf out of krautrock outliers Can’s book, at the start of 2020, Pond embarked on a series of totally off-the-cuff jam sessions from which songs and ideas could be pulled out.
Given the pace at which ideas whizz past your head, it makes for a dizzying listen. Opener Song For Agnes explodes out the speakers like an intergalactic rock opera, running a synapse-tingling gauntlet through bubbling synth pop, 80s hair metal and blissed out saxophone before you know what’s hit you.
It’s an apposite curtain-raiser for an album that can encompass pounding techno (Human Touch), elastic hipped robo-funk (America’s Cup), tripped out motorik (Czech Locomotive) and acres more besides without even topping for breath. Take lead single Pink Lunettes, which opens up thumping like ESG eight hours into a session at Berghain before climbing aboard a gargantuan synthship and disappearing off over the horizon.
Lyrically, too, 9 takes Pond into uncharted territory. Allbrook’s songs here take a more impressionistic tack than before, resulting in both the hilarious one-liners within Human Touch’s gonzoid thrash (sample lyric: “she was jacking a car but she seemed quite nice so I let her use the toilet in my place”) and the social and environmental concerns of blissed out closer Toast, which addressed both last year’s bush fires and the appalling wealth divide in Allbrook’s childhood home in Western Australia.
Above all though, what you get from “9” is a sense of creative abandon and just plain fun. If it was only a fraction as enjoyable to make as it is to listen to then they must have been having a hoot.
Vinyl: $50.98 Buy
Daptone celebrates 20 years of soulful music with the release of The Daptone Super Soul Revue "LIVE at the Apollo". Performed and recorded over three nights in front of a sold-out crowd at The World Famous Theater in Harlem, NY (December 4th - 6th, 2014), this album brings the electrifying performances that helped put Daptone on the map directly to your living room! Featuring live sets from Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Charles Bradley and his Extraordinaires, Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens, Antibalas, The Budos Band, Menahan Street Band, Saun & Starr, The Sugarman 3, as well as our em-cee, Binky Griptite. This album is lovingly dedicated to the memory of our dear friends Sharon, Charles, Naomi, and Cliff.
Distant Populations, just the fourth full-length album of Quicksand’s career, comes as a comparatively swift follow-up to Interiors--which itself came a full 22 years after its predecessor, 1995’s Manic Compression. Critically lauded and deemed very much worth the wait, Interiors succeeded in reestablishing the band as the powerful and contemporary entity they had always been.
Distant Populations has a punchier, more up-tempo sound than its predecessor; its 11 songs are concise, carved sonic jewels boasting not a single wasted note; and its raw power, its gripping lyricism, leaps out from the very first listening. It is a striking step up for the band.
The songwriting itself had been no minor process: Following the release of Interiors, the band successfully toured around the world and in the process fully re-established their chemistry together. Looking forward to making the next album, the three of them—frontman/ guitarist Walter Schreifels, bassist Sergio Vega, and drummer Alan Cage—had methodically recorded various soundchecks, improvisations, and show rehearsals, and compiled the results. “Eventually, when it came time to make a record,” Schreifels says, “we would just edit down to the ones that were most exciting to us all, and then refocus on them and see if we could recapture the magic from it.”
There may be a final irony in the title of Distant Populations. Practically speaking, that’s precisely whom Quicksand recorded it for: Listeners very far away. Not a single one of these songs has ever been played live onstage. The band has dates on hold for the fall, notes Schreifels, and fingers are crossed Quicksand will be out there performing very soon. They will likely be the most memorable shows of the band’s career.
Jaime – the first solo album from Brittany Howard – has been reimagined by an astonishing cross-section of the five-time GRAMMY winners’ peers. Featuring fresh takes and remixes from Bon Iver, Childish Gambino, Common, Michael Kiwanuka, Little Dragon & more - Jaime Reimagined illuminates these songs in a brilliant and new light. Jaime was awarded four stars by Rolling Stone, MOJO and Q, named the Best Album of 2019 by NPR and nominated for a GRAMMY in the Best Alternative Music Album category.
The Midnight Miracle is a thought-provoking spoken word album that uniquely blends salon and storytelling traditions while providing a glimpse into the unique perspectives of Dave Chappelle, Talib Kweli, Yasiin Bey, and their friends. The Midnight Miracle was recorded during Chappelle's legendary 2020 Summer Camp in Ohio and released in 2021. CD Digipak.
Hayden Pedigo is an acoustic guitarist and soundscape composer from Amarillo, Texas. Hayden's music combines the American primitive guitar picking styles of John Fahey with a proclivity for experimental sound design and manipulation. By his early 20s, Hayden had collaborated with luminaries such as Charles Hayward of This Heat, Fred Frith, Werner Diermaier of Faust, and outlaw country legend, Terry Allen. His latest LP and debut on Mexican Summer, 'Letting Go,' will be released this fall.
On September 24, Mac McCaughan will release The Sound of Yourself, his second full-length under his own name.
Throughout his musical career fronting Superchunk and Portastatic, Mac McCaughan has channeled more than his share of angst and tumult into a microphone, resulting in straight-up undeniable rock anthems. So how can a voice so familiar to others still seem foreign to its owner? On The Sound of Yourself, he explores that question fully, shooting his voice through a prism and refracting it across these songs in new and rewarding ways. In January 2021, McCaughan found himself at his home studio in Chapel Hill staring down a clean slate after wrapping up a film score and several other music projects. This setting—a distant light at the end of a figurative tunnel, and a literal room full of instruments—was integral to The Sound of Yourself. His thought process was simple: “Each day is blurring into the next, so what are we doing today? How can I disrupt this? I think what resulted was a theme of subdued... ‘joy’ is the wrong word, but it’s at least comforting if not propulsive to have something open-ended to work on every day without any kind of structure or deadline or rules.”
While the pop-oriented tracks hint at sounds first explored on his 2015 album Non-Believers, McCaughan’s recent scoring work and frequent excursions down the rabbit hole of synthesizers and sequencers (see: the Moogfest-commissioned POMS and his ambient project with Mary Lattimore) add a particularly crystalline spaciness akin to The Durutti Column and Bowie’s Berlin trilogy. Also similar to the making of the Berlin trilogy, McCaughan sought out vital contributions from a slew of accomplished musicians: Yo La Tengo, Mackenzie Scott (TORRES), Jon Wurster (Superchunk, Mountain Goats, Bob Mould Band), Annie Hayden (Spent) & Michael Benjamin Lerner (Telekinesis), just to name a few.
Mute are excited to announce the release of José González’s fourth studio album Local Valley, out September 17th on limited edition indie exclusive green vinyl, black vinyl, CD and digital formats.
Local Valley is a natural continuation of the styles that José has developed over the years both solo and with his band Junip. The album strikes a balance between stripped back arrangements—just Jose’s intimate vocal and exquisite nylon string guitar work—and tracks driven by groovy drum machine loops and other percussive elements.
With songs sung in English, Spanish and Swedish, Local Valley invites us to look beyond our tribal instincts and join together in a more harmonic state. The album explores our shared humanity and the scientific-based existential questions we face together on our quest to understand ourselves and our place in the cosmos.
José González has tallied over 1 billion streams, 150+ licensed TV, film, and video game uses, and has a major presence at radio stations around the globe. This year, he has been selected by National Geographic to be an Earth Day Ambassador alongside Willie Nelson, My Morning Jacket, Yo Yo Ma, and more.
The album cover and physical packaging of Local Valley showcases the beautiful hand drawn artwork of Swedish designer Hannele Fernström.
José plans to tour with Rufus Wainwright in the Fall of 2021.
Mild High Club makes a long-awaited comeback with Going Going Gone, the band's first solo album since 2016"s cult favorite Skiptracing. An album that speaks directly to the times we live in, Going Going Gone sees Mild High Club blending the psychedelic pop of earlier albums Skiptracing and Timeline with influences from around the world, especially Brazilian avant-garde music from the '70s and '80s.
Jordan Rakei’s most vulnerable and intimate album to date. While the heart of the record will be familiar to fans of his neo-soul and hip-hop-infused work, here Rakei dives deeper into his sound, merging electronic with acoustic, and rugged grooves with ambient atmospheres, to create something richer, more detailed, and more textural than before.