Jeff Tweedy will release, WARM, a solo album of all new material on November 30th via dBpm Records. WARM was produced and recorded entirely by Jeff at Chicago’s now legendary studio, The Loft (with help from some of his usual collaborators – Spencer Tweedy, Glenn Kotche and Tom Schick). WARM follows the acoustic retrospective release, Together at Last (2017), and Wilco’s 2016 album, Schmilco. The incredible liner notes for WARM were written by George Saunders. Jeff’s long-awaited memoir, Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back): A Memoir of Recording and Discording with Wilco, Etc., is out November 13th via Dutton
DANIEL ROMANO FINALLY FREE Finally Free marks Daniel Romanos eighth long playing album in the last eight years. He has had what understatedly would be considered a prolific output of incredibly entrancing, poignant and creative records in this span of time. Recording, producing, designing and landing his records into the minds and hearts of scores of fans the world over. He has been called a shapeshifter, contrived, a chameleon, a Charlatan, the best living songwriter, an asshole and a genius. His last record, Modern pressure received outstandingly high acclaim and praise from every notable publication out there and was acknowledged by most reputable for-profit-prize-corporations as well as a plethora of voguish music-as-competitive-sport year end lists. Despite being the bronze placeholder in most of these dogfights, he is most often noted as a person of astounding influence on all of his musically economic successors. No matter what he does, everything he puts out is better than anything else being put out by anyone else. Unnamed Subjugate.
Blake Mills is a guitarist, composer, and Grammy Award nominated producer. "Look" is a concentrated soundscape experience inspired by Japanese synth guitars from the 1970's. An exciting excursion from his previous singer-songwriter material, this release fits in line with similarly groundbreaking records such as Brian Eno's "Music for Airports"
For his new album Upside Down Flowers, out November 16, 2018 via Fantasy Records, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness teamed up with noted producer and acclaimed musician Butch Walker (Pink, Weezer, Panic! At The Disco). Featuring standout tracks like 'Ohio,' 'Teenage Rockstars' and 'Paper Rain,' the album is a striking collection of wistful and biting tunes that reflect the past and our chaotic present.
Near the end of Reagan's first term, the Western Massachusetts Hardcore scene coughed up an insanely shaped chunk called Dinosaur. Comprised of WMHC vets, the trio was a miasmic tornado of guitar noise, bad attitude and near-subliminal pop-based-shape-shifting. Through their existence, Dinosaur (amended to Dinosaur Jr. for legal reasons) defined a very specific, very aggressive set of oblique song-based responses to what was going on. Their one constant was the scalp-fryingly loud guitar and deeply buried vocals of J Mascis. A couple of years before they ended their reign, J cut a solo album called Martin + Me. Recorded live and acoustic, the record allowed the bones of J's songs to be totally visible for the first time. Fans were surprised to hear how melodically elegant these compositions were, even if J still seemed interested in swallowing some of the words that most folks would have sung. Since then, through the reformation of the original Dinosaur Jr lineup in 2005, J has recorded solo albums now and then. And those album, Sings + Chant for AMMA (2005), Several Shades of Why (2011) and Tied to a Star (2014) had all delivered incredible sets of songs presented with a minimum of bombast and a surfeit of cool. Like its predecessors, Elastic Days was recorded at J's own Bisquiteen studio. Mascis does almost all his own stunts, although Ken Miauri (who also appeared on Tied to a Star) plays keyboards and there are a few guest vocal spots. These include old mates Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession), and Mark Mulcahy (Miracle Legion, etc.), as well as the newly added voice of Zoë Randell (Luluc) among others. But the show is mostly J's and J's alone. He laughs when I tell him I'm surprised by how melodic his vocals seem to have gotten. Asked if that was intentional, he says, “No. I took some singing lessons and do vocal warm-ups now, but that was mostly just to keep from blowing out my vocal cords when Dino started touring again. The biggest difference with this record might have to do with the drums. I'd just got a new drum set I was really excited about. I don't have too many drum outlets at the moment, so I played a lot more drums than I'd originally planned. I just kept playing. [laughs] I'd play the acoustic guitar parts then head right to the drums.” There is plenty of drumming on the dozen songs on Elastic Days. But for those expecting the hallucinatory overload of Dinosaur Jr's live attack, the gentleness of the approach here will draw easy comparisons to Neil Young's binary approach to working solo versus working with Crazy Horse. This is a lazy man's shorthand, but it still rings true. Elastic Days brims with great moments. Epic hooks that snare you in surprisingly subtle ways, guitar textures that slide against each other like old lovers, and structures that range from a neo-power-ballad (“Web So Dense”) to jazzily-canted West Coasty post-psych (“Give It Off”) to a track that subliminally recalls the keyboard approach of Scott Thurston-era Stooges (“Drop Me”). The album plays out with a combination of holism and variety that is certain to set many brains ablaze. J says he'll be taking this album on the road later in the year. He'll be playing by himself, but unlike other solo tours he says he'll be standing up this time. “I used to just sit down and build a little fort around myself -- amps, music stands, drinks stands, all that stuff. But I just realized it sounds better if the amps are higher up because I'm so used to playing with stacks. So I'll stand this time.” I ask if it's not pretty weird to stand alone on a big stage. “Yeah,” he says. “But it's weird sitting down too.” Ha. Good point. One needs to be elastic. In all things. --Byron Coley
Old 97's founding member Rhett Miller returns with his 7th solo album, The Messenger. Recorded earlier over five days at The Isokon in Woodstock, NY with producer/musician Sam Cohen (Kevin Morby, Benjamin Booker), The Messenger sees Miller playing it faster and looser than perhaps any other time in his quarter century career, instilling what might be his most personal songs to date with a groovy limberness that belies the reflective darkness within. Backed by a white hot backing combo comprised of Cohen (Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Pedal Steel Guitar, Piano, Organ, Second Drumset), Brian Betancourt (Bass), and Ray Rizzo (Drums), Miller goes deep into his own youthful experiences with suicide and depression, placing "a long distance phone call to myself as a 14-year-old" on surprisingly buoyant new songs like "The Human Condition" and "Permanent Damage."
Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus formed boygenius after booking a tour together, but the trio had subconsciously been in the works for longer than that. Through a series of tours and performances together, and chance encounters that led to friendships – including Bridgers’ and Dacus’ first in-person meeting backstage at a Philadelphia festival, greenroom hangouts that felt instantly comfortable and compatible, a couple of long email chains and even a secret handshake between Baker and Dacus – the lyrically and musically arresting singer-songwriters and kindred spirits got to know each other on their own terms.
Micah P. Hinson is an old fashioned trouble man who fell prey to drugs and loose women, winding up homeless, destitute and incarcerated by the time most of his peers were filling out college applications. Music was his savior, and since his 2003 debut, he s pieced together a life for himself in his sleepy hometown of Abilene, TX. Recorded in 24 hours somewhere in east Texas, the new album is the follow up to last year's universally-lauded, Micah P. Hinson Presents the Holy Strangers.
Fleet Foxes and Sub Pop present a limited-edition collection in honor of the 10th anniversary of Fleet Foxes’ debut LP. First Collection 2006–2009 spans the early days of Fleet Foxes’ career, including the self-titled debut album, plus the Sun Giant EP, The First EP (formerly a self-titled, very limited-edition, self-released EP), and B-sides & Rarities. The vinyl version is packaged in a lavish box, with a 12” LP of the debut album and separate 10” records for each of the added titles; the CD version has a separate CD for each title. In addition to its musical offerings, the collection features a 32-page booklet including show flyers, lyrics and artwork from band’s early history.
Jon Spencer, the Blues Explosion man who put the "Bellbottoms" on Baby Driver! The top cat who spread the secret sauce in Boss Hog! The rockabilly right-hook from heavyweight outlaws Heavy Trash! The swank-fucking master of Pussy Galore! Jon Spencer is back! Often imitated, never duplicated, the original NYC underground-rock legend returns from the wilderness with twelve red-hot hits, each more powerful than the last! This is Garage Punk for Now People! A wizard's brew of rhythm and blues and subversive dance grooves, weaponized with sci-fi skronk and industrial attitude, calibrated for the Revolution, a Molotov cocktail of sound guaranteed to destroy any post-modern hangover. Pulsing with energy, clanging with excitement, and dripping with radioactive soul and raw emotion, Spencer opens up his heart like never before, exploring man's modern condition with caustic guitars and outerworld crooning, asking and answering the musical question, "Is it possible to torch the cut-throat world of fake news and pre-fab, plastic-coated teen rebellion with the power of rock 'n' roll?" The answer is yes-on Spencer Sings The Hits! This is the truth serum America has been craving, the beginning of a rock 'n' roll rebellion that takes no prisoners and puts the squares on ice!
The verb, the noun, the substance, the action, the command: make a mark! With that, PAINT (guitarist/singer Pedrum Siadatian of the Allah-Las), is making his mark too with his first, self-titled solo record.
PAINT started by four-tracking his own strange, slow-growing ideas just after Allah-Las third album Calico Review (2016) fed or led by a certain acid-bitter poetry and the murky music of Kevin Ayers and Syd Barrett. Siadatian found a producer in Frank Maston, who instinctively understood these songs would fall apart if scrubbed too roughly in the studio.
Think of it this way: PAINT’s first album isn’t always clean, but it’s very very clear. Sometimes the mess is the message.
February 16, 2018 marked the 10-year anniversary of the first show ever played by Los Angeles natives Touche’ Amore’. To celebrate this anniversary the band played their 1000th show at the Regent Theater in downtown LA , and this incredible event was captured on their new live album, 10 Years/1000 Shows – Live At The Regent Theater
Since the early 90s Sweden’s Opeth have stretched the boundaries of heavy music. From the progressive death metal the band began with on classics like “Orchid” and “My Arms, Your Hearse” to the records like “Blackwater Park” and the band’s recent record, 2016’s “Sorceress”, Opeth has continually invited their growing audience along with them as they grew into the musically respected band they are today. Filmed and recorded in 2017 at Red Rocks Amphitheatre outside of Denver, “Garden of the Titans (Opeth Live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre)” is a 2-CD/BLU-RAY + DVD release (along with several vinyl color formats) consisting of tracks spanning the band’s nearly 30 year career.
While recording Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s latest release, Sex & Food, Ruban Nielson, his longtime collaborator Jacob Portrait and his brother Kody Nielson, found themselves in the Vietnamese city of Hanoi playing and recording with local musicians at Phu Sa Studios. The studio, normally used for traditional Vietnamese music, found the band jamming on sessions dubbed IC-01 Hanoi: exploring the outer edges of the band’s influences in Jazz, Fusion and the avant-garde. The musicians, along with Ruban and Kody’s father, a Jazz musician in his own right, helped lay down the unique textures heard throughout Hanoi. At its core Hanoi is a record of exploration, finding its closest antecedent in Miles Davis’ experimental On The Corner – itself a record full of nods toward avant-garde composers and Jazz outsiders alike. Hanoi finds Ruban amplifying and stretching out on lead guitar, with a blown-out and wandering fuzz tone that slinks throughout the sessions. Kody and Jacob match Ruban’s melodic diversions with aplomb, mining their talents to finding as easy a role in the fusion of funk as they do in the more ambient and abstract tangents on Hanoi.
Take a tour through Ty Segall's musical psyche with his new solo album, Fudge Sandwich, a collection of Segall's take on eleven songs that were originally done by other people. These aren't just cover versions. Cover versions happen at weddings and high school band battles. The songs here are what happens when someone loves a song so much, they need to get inside it and let it propagate and transform into what it would have been if they had actually written it. Equal parts reverence and reimagination, this album shows Segall inhabiting the world of a song's intent, filtering it through the muse that drove this year's exceptional Freedom's Goblin. Cluttered, passionate and inspired, the songs are barely recognizable, irresistible and by album's end, present a cohesive collection that stands proudly alongside the best of Segall's considerable output.
Saves The Day have been through a lot over the past two decades: Van accidents, member changes, the emo explosion, and the adventures that carried the act and their fans from adolescence to adulthood. But they’ve never had a proper history of the band… until now. Saves The Day’s ninth album 9 tells the story of the band from the perspective of the band’s founder Chris Conley and does it in a way that’s as exhaustive as it is poetic and makes the listener a part of the songwriting process. From a narrative standpoint, 9 chronicles the epic story of a group of kids from New Jersey who realized their dream and became international sensations. However, on a more existential level, it shows how Conley “woke up” and became aware of his own consciousness through his relationship with music and the unbelievable adventures it inspired since he formed the act in 1997.
Aviary is LA composer Julia Holter's most breathtakingly expansive album yet, full of startling turns and dazzling instrumental arrangements. The follow-up to her critically acclaimed 2015 record, Have You in My Wilderness, it takes as its starting point a line from a short story by Etel Adnan: "I found myself in an aviary full of shrieking birds." It’s a scenario that sounds straight out of a horror movie, but it’s also agood metaphor for life in 2018, with its endless onslaught of political scandals, freakish natural disasters, and voices shouting their desires and resentments into the void.
New Vinyl: $34.98 $31.48 Buy
Original score music from Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, including 5 original songs, soundtracking the forthcoming remake of Dario Argento’s cult classic “Suspiria.” The Luca Guadagnino directed film stars Dakota Johnson & Tilda Swinton.
Oh Pep! have returned with their second full-length that takes their alt-folk to a whole new level of delicious pop. Chock full of memorable hooks, sing-along moments I Wasn't Only Thinking About You…, proves itself as a career-defining feat. The band gets its Oh from Olivia 'Liv' Hally (vocals, guitar) and its Pep! from Pepita Emmerichs (violin, mandolin), who met at secondary school in Victoria. Their harmonies are sweet, with lyrics that are thoughtful, deep, funny and poetic.
Saintseneca’s Zac Little has been thinking a lot about memory. Not necessarily his memories, though they creep in often, too. Rather, he mulls over the idea of memory itself: its resilience, its haziness, how it slips away as we try to hang on, the way it resurfaces despite our best efforts to forget. Memory is the common thread running throughout the Columbus, OH folk-punk band’s fourth album, Pillar of Na, arriving in late summer via ANTI- Records. Following 2015’s critically lauded Such Things, the new album’s name is rooted in remembrance, referencing the Genesis story of Lot’s wife who looks back at a burning Sodom after God instructs her not to. She looks back, and God turns her into a pillar of salt. “Na,” meanwhile, is the chemical symbol for sodium. “Nah” is a passive refusal and the universal song word. It means nothing and stands for nothing. It is “as it is.” Musically, Pillar of Na is Saintseneca’s most ambitious album to date, with Little aiming to incorporate genre elements he’d rarely heard in folk. “I wanted to use the idiom of folk-rock, or whatever you want to call it, and to try to do something that had never been done before,” Little explains. I told Mike Mogis I wanted Violent Femmes meets the new Blade Runner soundtrack. I’m looking for the intersection between Kendrick Lamar and The Fairport Convention.” - SAINTSENECA WILL TOUR THE WORLD IN SUPPORT OF PILLAR OF NA, THEY JUST COMPLETED A TOUR WITH HOPALONG - PRODUCED BY MIKE MOGIS (BRIGHT EYES, RILO KILEY)
Anthology box set of Stereolab's Switched On compilations of singles and rarities, originally issued between 1992 and 1998. Contains Switched On, Refried Ectoplasm [Switched On Volume 2], and Aluminum Tunes [Switched On Volume 3]. Reverse board clam shell box with disks in individual card wallets and insert.
On August 24th Interpol will release their sixth studio album Marauder on Matador Records worldwide, available on CD and vinyl. For the first time since 2007’s Our Love to Admire, Interpol have opened themselves up to the input of a producer. For two-week spells between December of 2017 to April of 2018, they travelled to upstate New York to work with Dave Fridmann – famed for recording with Mercury Rev, Flaming Lips, MGMT, Spoon, Mogwai, and countless others. In the run up to writing and recording, Sam found himself immersed in soul drummers such as Al Jackson Jr (Otis Redding’s drummer) and 80’s funk producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. “How can I make shit swing?” was the question Sam repeatedly asked himself, and the answer is in the striding gallop of opener “If You Really Love Nothing,” the embellished skip ‘n’ bounce of “Stay in Touch” and the R&B swagger of closer “It Probably Matters.” Interpol have always been world-beaters at creating a feeling, but Marauder is where the feel is just as crucial. Paul may have stepped out of the shadows as a bassist, but he’s stepping into an even brighter light as a songwriter. During Interpol’s previous albums, the singer largely kept himself out of his own work, preferring to fill his lyrics with detached thoughts, characters, and observations, often phrased in abstract. But more than 20 years on since forming at NYU, the frontman is finally allowing himself to play a role in his own stories. “This record is where I feel touching on real things that have happened to me are exciting and evocative to write about,” he explains. “I think in the past, I always felt autobiography was too small a thing for me to reference. I feel like now, I’m able to romanticize parts of my own life.” “A swift and searing song centered around a blown-out drum stomp and a prickly lead guitar riff. Singer Paul Banks’ vocals drift above the mix with a slight sneer soaked in echo.” - Rolling Stone “[The Rover] is Interpol as shit, which means ricocheting guitars and an unstoppable rhythm section.” - Noisey “Interpol are back with ignited energy.” - Stereogum “A driving and relentless bit of post-punk revivalism” - Cons. of Sound
Travel can inspire in surprising ways: Kurt Vile discovered as much making his first record in three years, the eclectic and electrifying Bottle It In, which he recorded at various studios around the country over two very busy years, during sessions that usually punctuated the ends of long tours or family road trips. Every song, whether it’s a concise and catchy pop composition or a sprawling guitar epic, becomes a journey unto itself, taking unexpected detours, circuitous melodic avenues, or open-highway solos. If Vile has become something of a rock guitar god—a mantle he would dismiss out of humility but also out of a desire to keep getting better, to continue absorbing new music, new sounds, new ideas—it’s due to his precise, witty playing style, which turns every riff and rhythm into points on a map and takes the scenic route from one to the next. Using past albums as points of departure, Bottle It In heads off in new directions, pushing at the edges of the map into unexplored territory: Here be monster jams. These songs show an artist who is still evolving and growing: a songwriter who, like his hero John Prine, can make you laugh and break your heart, often in the same line, as well as a vocalist who essentially rewrites those songs whenever he sings them in his wise, laconic jive-talkin’ drawl. He revels in the minutiae of the music—not simply incorporating new instruments but emphasizing how they interact with his guitar and voice, how the glockenspiel evokes cirrocumulus clouds on “Hysteria,” how Kim Gordon’s “acoustic guitar distortion” (her term) engulfs everything at the end of “Mutinies,” how the banjo curls around his guitar lines and backing vocals from Lucius to lend a high-lonesome aura to “Come Again.” These journeys took Vile more than two years to navigate, during which time he toured behind his breakout 2015 album b’lieve I’m goin’ down, recorded a duets album with Australian singer-songwriter-guitarist Courtney Barnett, opened for Neil Young in front of 90,000 people in Quebec, famously became a clue on Jeopardy, hung out with friends, took vacations with his wife and daughters. “I’ve been bouncing around a lot and recording all over. My family would meet me in the middle of America, and we’d go on a road trip somewhere. I would record in between all that stuff.” As Vile prepares for another round of lengthy tours and countless shows, these songs should prove good company, reminders of the love and responsibility he has toward those he leaves at home and those he meets along the way. That makes the sentiments resonate more strongly and lends Bottle It In an emotional weight. “It’s like that moment on the airplane,” Vile says, “when you’re on your way somewhere and you have that burst of panic. When you’re terrified of dying, that’s when you want people to know you love them.” “Impeccably recorded and mixed songs that shuffle bits of folk, new wave, or country in the mix but are always squarely down-the-middle rock.” Mark Richardson, Pitchfork “Vile’s self-awareness is as appealing as his melodies, and he’s stoked a reputation as a bit of a slacker maharishi—at the very least, a look inside Vile’s head might make you think a bit more deeply about what’s going on in your own.” The New Yorker
Wick Records is honored to release the sophomore long player from Virginia's Troglodytic Troubadours, the group with the antediluvian je ne sais quoi: The AR-KAICS! Recorded in three days at Adrian Olsen's Montrose Studio and Produced by Wayne Gordon (Black Lips, King Gizzard..., John Spencer Blues Explosion, Michael Rault,) In This Time is a low brow journey through the teen-beat sounds of the 1960's... AND BEYOND! From the opening crude thud of "Don't Go with Him, the Velvet Underground-tinged swagger of "She's Obsessed with Herself", the breezy, late-period psych of "Long Way Down," to the unpretentious, sap-free balladry of "It's Her Eyes," The Ar-Kaics flex their deft understanding of the subtle intricacies that define bonafide garage rock. A must for fans of the Back from the Grave compilations.
2 LP Vinyl. Seminal British Indie Pop band The Kooks return with their 5th album, "Let's Go Sunshine". The Kooks exploded onto the scene in 2006 with their debut album 'Inside In / Inside Out'. The heart and soul of "Let's go Sunshine" lies in it's hymns of lost innocence, fading relationships and the process of break-up and recovery. It's the sound of an ambitious, confident band stepping out and making a statement with their definitive album. Sing along indie anthems sit next to psychedelic flourishes, groove ridden blues and texture rich arena sized rock.
Gouge Away are a hardcore punk band from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “Burnt Sugar” is their latest album, co-produced by Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Oathbreaker) and Jeremy Bolm of Touche Amore. With “Burnt Sugar” Gouge Away dive into personal and social political subject matter without getting the bends on their way back to surface. Carrying an emotional vulnerability and honesty that few bands own in today’s music world.
This Night Falls Forever, set for release on August 24, 2018 via Concord Records, is DeVotchKa’s most ambitious album yet with more detailed arrangements, more people involved including full orchestras and an overall bigger sound. The band’s sixth studio album features 10 tracks written and produced by frontman Nick Urata. The vinyl edition features 3 sides of music and an exclusive vinyl etching on the 4th side.
This reissue celebrates the tenth anniversary of The Helio Sequence’s landmark album Keep Your Eyes Ahead with a full remaster of the original album, plus a second album of demos, alternate versions, and outtakes from the same era. After 3 albums and ten years of touring and recording, The Helio Sequence (Brandon Summers and Benjamin Weikel) recorded their most dynamic, extraordinary album, Keep Your Eyes Ahead. Keep Your Eyes Ahead married the Portland duo’s signature layered keyboards and impossibly big guitars with crisp songwriting and a relatively minimalist approach. The finger picking on “Shed Your Love” is backed by exquisite strings and ambient noise, but Summers’s serene, self-assured delivery remains front and center. While songs from the band’s early releases spanned up to 7 minutes, even the longest, lushest, catchiest track on Keep Your Eyes Ahead (fiery anthem “Hallelujah”) clocks in at 4 and a half minutes, evidence of just how refined their craft had become. Vocals were recorded spontaneously in bedroom closets and living rooms, which may explain the haunting urgency you hear in Brandon’s voice, especially on the driving title track. Produced by the band, Keep Your Eyes Ahead confirms in The Helio Sequence an energy and a range that continues to defy narrow categorization. Unapologetic pop and folk meld seamlessly to create songs that are bigger, more epic and polished than anything they’ve ever done. Keep Your Eyes Ahead is the sound of a band and a decade-old partnership that’s been invigorated. And that’s exactly how the songs will make you feel: invigorated.
Though often lumped in with New Orleans sludge bands like Eyehategod and Crowbar, Thou shares a more spiritual kinship with ’90s proto-grunge bands like Nirvana, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden (all of whom they’ve covered extensively, both in the studio and onstage). The band’s aesthetic and political impulses reflect the obscure ’90s DIY hardcore punk found on labels like Ebullition, Vermiform, and Crimethinc. From 2004 through 2016, the band has released four full-length albums, six EPs (some bordering on full lengths), two collaboration records with The Body, and enough material spread out over splits to make up another four or five LPs. Sacred Bones Records is proud to present the new album, Magus, Thou’s first full-length since 2014’s Heathen. In the months leading into the new album, Thou will be releasing three drastically different EPs: The House Primordial on Raw Sugar, Inconsolable on Community Records, and Rhea Sylvia on Deathwish, Inc. Each record will focus on a particular sound—noisy drone, quiet acoustic, and melodic grunge—all of which is incorporated into the new LP, subsumed in the band’s more standard doom metal. While sonically, Magus may be a continuation of Heathen, thematically it stands as a stark rebuttal, a journey beyond the principles of pleasure and pain. It is more the culmination of these distinct EPs, which all orbit some internal black hole. FFO alienation, absurdity, boredom, futility, decay, the tyranny of history, the vulgarities of change, awareness as agony, reason as disease.
Last Building Burning is the product of eight days with producer Randall Dunn (Sunn O))), Wolves in the Throne Room, Boris) in Texas studio Sonic Ranch. Clocking in just over half an hour, the eight-song album sees Cloud Nothings capture their onstage appeal with help from Dunn, who Baldi describes as “technically minded without relying on technology to perfect the live sound.” In that, Last Building Burning is a return to Cloud Nothing’s sharpest form — the unhinged, feverish, guitar-heavy sound that they explode with onstage — without their early angst. “It’s not an angry record,” says Baldi. “It’s a very joyous thing for me. And it feels so nice to scream again, especially when you know people in the crowd will be screaming along back at you.”
The brainchild of Matthew Logan Vasquez (Delta Spirit), Glorietta was born of a desire to collaborate with friends that Vasquez has collected over the years. Those friends; Noah Gundersen, Kelsey Wilson (Wild Child), David Ramirez, Grammy-winner Adrian Quesada, and Jason Robert Blum came together over the course of a week in a rented house in Glorieta, NM. "We chose Glorieta because it was isolated enough to feel like we were at camp" said Vasquez, "the only requirements were vaulted ceilings and a jacuzzi. The days were long with the tape running constantly as the players bought songs in various stages of completion to their new family of collaborators. Midway through the sessions the group was joined by a guest appearance from Nathaniel Ratliff, who drove straight through the night to join the party. The result is their self-titled debut record; a beautiful mix of voices from six band leaders, that fit perfectly together.
On September 7, Katie Crutchfield’s ever-shifting musical project Waxahatchee returns with the Great Thunder EP. Featuring a collection of songs written with now-dormant experimental recording group Great Thunder while Crutchfield was also writing the Waxahatchee albums Cerulean Salt and Ivy Tripp, the original recordings have mostly faded into obscurity. Unearthing and reimagining them with producer Brad Cook at Justin Vernon’s April Base studio in Wisconsin was a cathartic experience, she says. On the heels of last year’s critically acclaimed Out in the Storm, Crutchfield found herself looking to take a sharp turn away from the more rock-oriented influences of her recent records towards her more folk and country roots. “I would say that it is a complete 180 from the last record: super stripped-down, quiet, and with me performing solo, it’s a throwback to how I started,” writes Crutchfield. “Overall, the EP is a warm, kind of vibey recording.” Some of the songs on Great Thunder, like “Chapel of Pines” and “Singer’s No Star,” stayed the same and will be recognizable to those intensely familiar with Crutchfield’s catalog to date, while closer “Takes So Much” was built back up on piano from the bones of the original version, surprising even the songwriter: “Until then, I didn’t realize how beautiful this song was.” As Crutchfield entered April Base to record, she became ill but opted to forge on, beautifully stretching her voice to its emotional limits.
Matthew Dear is a shapeshifter, oscillating seamlessly between DJ, dance-music producer, and experimental pop auteur. He is a founding artist on both Ghostly International and its dancefloor o shoot, Spectral Sound. He writes, produces, and mixes all of his work. He straddles multiple musical worlds and belongs to none, now nearly 20 years into his kaleidoscopic career, with five albums and two dozen EPs plus millions of miles in the rearview of his biography. Bunny is the name of Matthew Dear’s fifth album. His first since 2012, it bounces into plain sight preceded by two slyly different singles in 2017: the moody, urgent "Modafinil Blues” and the buoyant, blithe, Tegan and Sara-featuring “Bad Ones.” Bunny follows both modes, among others, parading down a rabbit hole of unhinged phrasings, dreams, and interludes. It saunters in the shadows; it stands brightly in the moonlight. Bunny is a dual vision of avant-pop; an artistic reckoning from a 21st-century polymath; persona splintered, paradox paraphrased, a riddle rendered.
I've Tortured You Long Enough is the tongue-in-cheek title of Mass Gothic's second album. Husband/wife duo Noel Heroux and Jessica Zambri have always dipped in and out of each other's creative spaces, advising on their respective outputs and supporting one another. But, until this record, they had never completely committed to doing an entire album as a duo, sharing an equal load. The result is a record packed with the tension, chaos and beauty of a fluid and cathartic two-way conversation. In a universe that increasingly threatens our abilities to communicate and coexist, their creative union isn't just inspired but important. When Heroux put out Mass Gothic’s 2016 debut, following the end of his prior band, Hooray for Earth, he did so as a solo entity. Plagued by insecurities and anxieties, Heroux wasn't ready to deal with putting his trust and confidence into another shared project. So what changed? He can't exactly pinpoint when the phrase “I've tortured you long enough” came to him, but it became a mantra, almost a premonition. He had tortured his own psyche long enough, and was particularly in need of forcing himself out of his comfort zone and letting go of that prior stubbornness. And the phrase has a broader application, too. “It covers so many bases but it's taken on extra meaning in the past couple of years when everybody is at each other's throats, frustrated and confused all the time,” Heroux explains. Heroux and Zambri wrote I’ve Tortured You Long Enough while bouncing around the country without a place to call home. From working in a rented cabin in upstate New York, to living out of a car with a duffel bag of clothes, to crashing with their co-producer Josh Ascalon in LA, to ditching a mixed version of the album and rerecording the whole thing, the band worked tirelessly while their lives were totally in flux. “Maybe we wouldn't have been able to do it if we were anchored at home. We were forced into it. Jess was trying to open me up and if we could have just sat on a couch and thrown on the TV it probably wouldn't have worked.” The album was ultimately recorded in Brooklyn with Rick Kwan, and Chris Coady mixed the record and Heba Kadry mastered it. The final product recalls the frantic energy of Animal Collective and the celestial torch-bearing of Bat for Lashes, and reveals a remarkable arc. It begins from a place of uncertainty, disquiet, and self-doubt, and concludes with the comfort in knowing that you can be both independent and successful in a relationship.
Empress Of's debut album Me was released in 2015. As the name suggests, it presented a personal exploration of her emotional world. So personal, she says, it was difficult to perform. With Us, Rodriguez wanted to facilitate a more equal exchange of energy between herself and her listeners, to create a "community." "It's not just love songs. It's about different experiences of the heart," she says. "I want it to be like a mirror, and [the audience] sees a little bit of themselves in every song."
Producer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, songwriter and vocalist Devonte Hynes returns with his fourth album as Blood Orange, Negro Swan. Raised in England, Hynes started out as a teenage punk in the UK band Test Icicles before releasing two orchestral acoustic pop records as Lightspeed Champion. In 2011, he released Coastal Grooves, the first of three solo albums under the moniker Blood Orange. His last album, Freetown Sound, was released to critical acclaim in 2016, and saw Hynes defined as one of the foremost musical voices of his time, receiving comparisons to the likes of Kendrick Lamar and D’Angelo for his own searing and soothing personal document of life as a black man in America. He has collaborated with Solange Knowles, FKA Twigs, and many other artists, and was recently one of four artists invited to the Kennedy Center to perform alongside Philip Glass. In addition to his production work, he scored the film Palo Alto, directed by Gia Coppola and starring James Franco. Hynes’ newest album, Negro Swan, was written and produced by Hynes. Says Hynes: “My newest album is an exploration into my own and many types of black depression, an honest look at the corners of black existence, and the ongoing anxieties of queer/people of color. A reach back into childhood and modern traumas, and the things we do to get through it all. The underlying thread through each piece on the album is the idea of HOPE, and the lights we can try to turn on within ourselves with a hopefully positive outcome of helping others out of their darkness.”
Book of Bad Decisions, CLUTCH’s 12th studio album is scheduled for a worldwide release on September 7th, 2018 via their own Weathermaker Music label. The album was recorded at Sputnik Sound in Nashville, TN by producer Vance Powell (Jack White, Chris Stapleton, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather) and consists of 15 new tracks. Professional observers in both the industry and media are intrigued by the band's consistent growth over the last couple of albums. From Earth Rocker to Psychic Warfare to now Book of Bad Decisions the band's output of quality music and relentless touring has never been greater. This release has had a very lengthy setup period. It is accompanied by four IG tracks all with their own videos and a social media campaign that has brought the four band members even closer to their old and new fans. Book of Bad Decisions is a cornerstone release in Clutch's long history of successfully reinventing themselves at every new turn.
Jerry Paper is the creative persona of Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Lucas Nathan. Like A Baby is his first album for Stones Throw. Nathan cites a vast pool of influences on his music, from fellow pop outliers Prefab Sprout, Todd Rundgren and Steely Dan - a deep source of inspiration for me - to classic R&B, Stereolab, avant-garde Brazilian artists, and Japanese electronica. Inspired by a move from NYC back to Nathan s hometown of LA, Like A Baby explores existential themes tied to the endless human cycle of desire and satisfaction.
Passenger is Mike Rosenberg, the Brighton-born singer/songwriter known for busking his way to the global hit “Let Her Go” which topped the charts in 19 countries. Produced by Rosenberg, along with longtime collaborator Chris Vallejo, the new album is largely inspired by the North American landscape and geography, both musically and lyrically, and taps into Rosenberg’s family roots in New Jersey. This brings a fresh new approach and sound, and speaks to the road going traveler in all of us.
Stay Out Late is ultimately, the end result of understanding who we are, and more importantly, who we are not.
This will be our 15th year as a band, and our 5th record overall. In the years preceding the making of this record, we all had to define what it meant for us to be happy making music. There are certain mechanisms and tropes we all fall into as a result. And as hard as we may try to emulate what we consider to be higher art, or rather, classic music; we always end up with a Buxton record.
Sergio couldn't write for almost 2 years after 'Half A Native'. The answers to "why" had run dry. We all saw each other, hung out and everything was like normal. I can't really pinpoint the moment it all made sense again. The question had suddenly changed to "why not" and we were back in the studio making demos. There was a lurking sense that nobody would ever hear these songs, and that lead to a sort of creativity I'm not sure we'd really experienced before. All ideas were on the table, and more importantly they stayed on the table.
There are a handful of truly great masterpieces and the attempt of achieving that is one of the most daunting and exhausting pursuits any artist can take on. In the van we're constantly educating ourselves and finding new and in many cases old points of inspiration. Whether it be Mark Hollis, HC McEntire, Mickey Newbury or rediscovering the genius of Bette Midler, we find ourselves at the mercy of our own limitations of expression. Yet somehow in our most vulnerable project, we're simultaneously the most comfortable in our skin as we've ever been.
The core of this record is about being in it for the long haul, looking back, and being able to accept it all. We can only hope that the listener can in some way share and make tangible the joy that went into making this record.
Recorded in LA, Pasadena and Joshua Tree, With Animals is the second album by Mark Lanegan and Duke Garwood, two artists who've spent their careers stalking the peripheries and mapping sounds of the small hours. As befits a record called With Animals, these dusty songs feel like they were created in the company of the denizens of the night. Analogue and dust flecked, it's as if Lanegan and Garwood have been holed up in a '60s recording studio while the apocalypse rages outside. Over the last decade, Lanegan and Garwood have worked in tangent on 2013's Black Pudding as well as on Lanegan's solo records (2012's Blues Funeral and 2017's Gargoyle after which Garwood toured as part of Lanegan's band).
Double vinyl LP pressing. 2018 release. Crack the coffers, Oh Sees have spawned another frothy album of head-destroying psych-epics to grok and rock out to. Notice the fresh dollop of organ and keyboard prowess courtesy of Memory Of A Cut Off Head-alum and noted key-stabber Tom Dolas, while the Paul Quattrone/Dan Rincon drum-corps polyrhythmic pulse continues to astound and pound in equal measure, buttressed by the nimble fingered bottom end of Sir Tim Hellman the Brave and the shred-heaven fret frying of John Dwyer, whilst Lady Brigid Dawson again graces the wax with her harmonic gifts. Aside from the familiar psych-scorch familiar to soggy pit denizens the world over, there's a fresh heavy-prog vibe that fits like a worn-in jean jacket comfortably among hairpin metal turns and the familiar but no less horns-worthy guitar fireworks Dwyer's made his calling card. Perhaps the most notable thing about Smote Reverser is the artistic restlessness underpinning it's flights of fancy. Dwyer refuses to repeat himself and for someone with such a hectic release schedule, that stretching of aesthetic borders and omnivorous appetite seems all the more superhuman!
Debut 2018 album ... on Flying Lotus' label Brainfeeder! Glitchy club funk 'n' saturated sampledelica from London producer Felix Clary Weatherall, for fans of Mall Grab and Washed Out. Includes "Project Cybersyn".
In 2015 Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith released her first widely distributed full-length album, Euclid. Little more than a year later Smith returned with her wonderstruck psychedelic breakthrough EARS to universal praise in the spring of 2016. Pitchfork called EARS "rich and rewarding," and included EARS in their list of the top twenty experimental albums of the year, while other outlets including NPR, SPIN, and Rolling Stone sung similar best-of-the-year praises. In addition to releasing EARS in 2016, Smith toured with fellow sonic-adventurists Animal Collective, and soundtracked Google's incredible virtual tour series The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks. This year sees the welcomed continuation of Smith's output, The Kid, an album that climbs to the peaks of its forerunner and astonishingly continues upward. The Kid aurally maps the emotional realities and spiritual epiphanies of a lifeform through its infancy, societal assimilation, and eventual self-remembrance, conjuring each phase with psychoacoustic eloquence. On her newest LP Smith challenges her listeners to entertain new paradigms of listenership by drawing our attention to multiple elements simultaneously, as if-- in her words-- "listening to two conversations at once."
LIIMA was born as much of breaking old habits as building new ones, and their second album, 1982 (co-produced with Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear), provides a masterclass in pushing beyond comfort zones. 1982 was written during four residencies, beginning in January, 2016 at The London Edition. They reassembled at another hotel in Copenhagen before embarking upon tours of North and South America. They d reconvene between trips to continue work, first in a music conservatory in Viseu, Portugal and then finally in August at Berlin s Michelberger Hotel. By the time they gathered in Mankku Studios in Porvoo in the Finnish countryside LIIMA were more than ready to begin recording with Chris Taylor as co-producer. 1982 finds LIIMA - musically and lyrically exploring themes that shaped their youth while looking forward to a future which is as uncertain as it ever might have been Here the musicians stake their claim firmly to both their new name and their new sound. For a band originally founded upon enthusiastic acts of spontaneity, 1982 represents a huge, sophisticated leap forward. The decision to form LIIMA was as bold as their new sound, and the results speak for themselves.