Indie Exclusive Releases
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
JD McPherson presents A Christmas Album, SOCKS. Featuring 11 original tracks written by JD McPherson and his friends. SOCKS is an album of Holidays songs sure to be standards while you are decorating the tree. Come get warm by the fire with songs such as , "All The Gifts I Need" and "Every Single Christmas." Or, burn the cookies to "SOCKS" and "Ugly Christmas Sweater." There is something for everyone on this record to enjoy whether you are in the Christmas spirit or if you just wanna say, "Bah Humbug".
Vinyl: $34.98 PRE ORDER
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.
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.
Oakland, CA trio Super Unison features Meghan O’Neil (formerly of PUNCH) on bass and vocals, Kevin DeFranco on guitar, and Justin Renninger (formerly of Snowing) on drums. Formed in 2014, the band released their acclaimed album "Auto" on Deathwish in 2017. Their new album "Stella" was recorded by Steve Albini (Nirvana, Pixies, Jawbreaker), produced by Don Devore (Ink & Dagger), and mastered by Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Oathbreaker). It is an aggressive and sonically dynamic outpouring of post punk emotion. Though they tackle dark and personal subject matter, they ultimately find a light that cuts through the dark, and a way to get through the loss and loneliness we all face.
Vinyl: $23.98 PRE ORDER
Across two decades, eight albums, and a multitude of singles, splits, and EPs, Alkaline Trio has built a reputation as a defining act in punk rock’s modern era. Formed in Chicago by vocalist-guitarist Matt Skiba in 1996, the band would come into its own with its debut album Goddammit in 1998. Since then, the band has continually evolved, incorporating new influences with each record while achieving artistic, critical, and commercial success along the way. It’s been 5 years since Alkaline Trio released their last studio album, My Shame Is True. In that time, they’ve toured the world, sold over a million records, including a 20th Anniversary – 8 LP live box set, recorded on their 2014-15 Past Live tour. Since those Past Live shows, Andriano and drummer Derek Grant both released solo albums, and Skiba joined blink-182, releasing the chart-topping album California with the band. Alkaline Trio’s live shows have always been thrilling due to the fact that, even as the band ascended through the ranks of punk, they always retained the feeling of three friends excited to be on stage together. “When I think of a Trio live show,” says Skiba, “I always go back to the humble beginnings of the band, and I want that to always be in this band.” Alkaline Trio closed 2017 with a coveted opening slot for The Original Misfits, a band Skiba describes as his “first love,” Alkaline Trio is primed to step back into the spotlight. “We have the wind at our backs, it seems,” says Skiba. “Every aspect of the band—be it business or artistically or whatever—it feels like the Gods are in our corner.” Andriano agrees, and says that he’s ready to make the band’s best record yet. “I wanna be a band that people want to hear new stuff from. Because I feel like I’m still in a band that wants to write good, new music.” “Is This Thing Cursed?” will prove that good, new music is worth the wait.
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.
Live From The Ryman was primarily recorded during the group’s six sold out nights at Nashville’s legendary Ryman Auditorium in 2017. The double album features 13 live versions of songs from their last three critically acclaimed, award-winning studio albums - Southeastern (2013), Something More Than Free (2015), The Nashville Sound (2017).
Vinyl: $20.98 PRE ORDER
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 Eclipse Sessions, John Hiatt’s newest album, offers up his strongest set of songs in years. Long celebrated as a skilled storyteller and keen observer of life’s twists and turns, Hiatt can get at the heart of a knotty emotion or a moment in time with just a sharp, incisive lyric or witty turn of phrase. The 11 tracks presented in The Eclipse Sessions, from the breezy opener “Cry to Me,” to the stark “Nothing in My Heart,” the lost-love lamentation “Aces Up Your Sleeve” to the rollicking “Poor Imitation of God,” demonstrate that the singer-songwriter, now 66, is only getting better with age, his guitar playing more rugged and rootsy, his words wiser and more wry.
Hiatt goes all in with The Eclipse Sessions. There’s a grit to these songs—a craggy, perfectly-imperfect quality that colors every aspect of the performances, right down to Hiatt’s vocals, which are quite possibly his most raw and expressive to date. “They ain’t pretty, that’s for sure,” he says about the creaks and cracks that punctuate his phrases in songs like “Poor Imitation of God” and “One Stiff Breeze.” “But I don’t mind a bit. All the catches and the glitches and the gruffness, that sounds right to me. That sounds like who I am.” The Eclipse Sessions is the sound of an artist not only living in but also capturing the moment.
Vinyl: $34.98 PRE ORDER
Recorded in Hollywood, New York City and Vancouver, British Columbia, 'Look Now' is beautiful in its simplicity, reflective in its lyrical vision, surrounded by melodies and orchestrations that are nothing short of heavenly. It's the first album Costello has made with The Imposters since the 2008 release of 'Momofuku' and his first new album since the acclaimed 2013 Roots collaboration, 'Wise Up Ghost'.
'Look Now' is an outstanding 12-strong addition to his song catalogue. Most of the titles were written solely by Elvis Costello although, 'Don't Look Now' and 'Photographs Can Lie' were co-written with Burt Bacharach, who makes a guest appearance, leading The Imposters from the piano for those two ballads.
The album was co-produced by Elvis and Sebastian Krys - the Latin Grammy Producer of the Year for 2007 and 2015, whose love and understanding of music spans both hemispheres.
Translucent Red vinyl. 180g.
Vinyl: $26.98 PRE ORDER
Tom Morello is living proof of the transformative power of rock’n’roll. As the co-founder of Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave and Prophets Of Rage, and through collaborations with everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Johnny Cash, he has continually pushed the limits of what one man can do with six strings.
But on his latest album The Atlas Underground, he’s transformed his sound into something even he could not have anticipated, blending Marshall stack riff-rock with the digital wizardry of EDM and hip-hop to create the most ambitious artistic effort of his storied career.
The Atlas Underground includes collaborations with Marcus Mumford, Portugal. The Man, the Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA and GZA, Vic Mensa, K.Flay, Big Boi, Gary Clark Jr., Pretty Lights, Killer Mike and Whethan among others. “The riffs and the beats led the way, but the extraordinary talents of the collaborators set my creativity into uncharted territory,” says Morello of the project, which will be released October 12th, 2018 by Mom + Pop Music.
Molly Burch burst onto the music scene in 2017 with her debut Please Be Mine – a ten-track ode to unrequited romance written after studying Jazz Vocal Performance in Asheville, NC – and earned immediate praise from critics for her smoky, effortless vocals and bleeding-heart lyrics. Following a year of touring all over North America, Europe and the UK alongside the likes of Ought, Alex Cameron, Grizzly Bear and Courtney Barnett amongst others, Burch then returned to Texas to decompress. Finding herself suddenly devoid of stimulation and with nothing but time on her hands, she began anew, bouncing ideas off her bandmate and boyfriend Dailey Toliver – who contributed guitar parts and orchestration suggestions – and, slowly, an album took shape; soon after, First Flower became real.
A walk-through Burch’s most intimate thoughts – broken friendships, sibling relationships, and overwhelming anxiety – First Flower is a bright, beautiful album peppered with moments of triumph with Burch’s voice as strong and dexterous as ever. Opening track “Candy” is a swinging, playful hit, while “Wild” deals with pushing away fear. Title track “First Flower” is classic Burch, a simple love song that makes your skin raise with goosebumps when she breaks into the chorus. But the album’s true stand-out is “To The Boys”, a courageous, sassy fuck-you to her own self-deprecation where she learns to love all the things she hated about herself. “I don’t need to scream to get my point across/I don’t need to yell to know that I’m the boss,” she coos over a sparse guitar riff.
First Flower is a shapely sonic stage to let Burch shine on. The composition and production carefully constructed to compliment and not over power.
Nothing is ever straightforward with Connan Mockasin, and nothing should ever be straightforward with Connan Mockasin. This riddled rule has never resounded more than on Jassbusters, Mockasin’s third album and first in five years. An unclassifiable, unconventional album that neither picks up from nor abandons the modes of 2013’s widely-embraced Caramel or its 2010 predecessor Forever Dolphin Love, Jassbusters foreshadows a five-part melodrama titled Bostyn ’n Dobsyn, directed by and starring Mockasin. Jassbusters soundtracks the unpredictable narrative of the television series in eclectic, electric ways.
Whether bending genres for shits n’ giggles or collaborating with artists like James Blake, MGMT, John Cale, and Charlotte Gainsbourg, Connan Mockasin has always maneuvered in mysterious ways. After touring with the likes of Radiohead and Neil & Liam Finn (Crowded House), the Kiwi R&B surrealist continues assembling a cult around his theater, nay spectacle, of life with Bostyn ’n Dobsyn screenings and Jassbusters performances throughout October and November 2018.
Vinyl: $39.98 PRE ORDER
Coheed and Cambria have distinguished themselves as among the most gifted storytellers in rock. While the most conceptually abstruse Coheed records have always had a foundation in reality,The Color Before the Sunmarks the first time Sanchez is exposing his raw feelings, narrated from his own perspective. His own story is told through big, bright, driving, colorful songs that beam like power-pop, crunch like vintage '90s emocore and float with the expansive feel of space-rock.
For the first time since Happy Hollow, the new Cursive album reunites Tim Kasher, guitarist/singer Ted Stevens and bassist Matt Maginn with founding drummer Clint Schnase, as well as co-producer Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, M. Ward, Jenny Lewis) at ARC Studios in Omaha. They’re joined by Patrick Newbery on keys and touring mainstay Megan Siebe on cello. Press pickup from album announcement included Pitchfork, Brooklyn Vegan, NPR, SPIN, COS and more. US tour dates 10/18-11/18.
There are few voices more deeply embedded in the iconography and mythology of American indie rock than that of Chan Marshall. Under the musical nom de plume of Cat Power, Marshall has released music for nearly 25 years now and her prowess as a songwriter, a producer, and most notably—as a voice—has only grown more influential with time. Wanderer, Cat Power’s stunning 10th studio album, marks a pivotal moment in both Chan Marshall’s life and her career. In the six years since the release of 2012’s Sun, Marshall has travelled the world, given birth to a child, and parted ways with her previous record label. Even though it was, in many ways, a period of profound upheaval and radical change, those experiences resulted in a record that is arguably the most assured artistic statement of her career. Produced by Marshall and mixed by Rob Schnapf (Elliott Smith, Beck), the album includes appearances by longtime friends and compatriots, as well as guest vocals courtesy of friend and recent tourmate Lana Del Rey. Wanderer is, in many ways, a quintessential Cat Power record, with Marshall’s clarion voice front and center in a set of songs that remarkably stark and straightforward. But, if old Cat Power records might easily have been viewed as repositories for pain, Wanderer is, at its heart, a testament to the transformative nature of songs, an album-length imagining of alternate paths, redemptions, connections, and open-ended possibility.
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.”
A highly personalised sociopathic gem delivered as a futuristic rewriting of how music works, a melodious breeze with a tail wind of venomous din. A ten-track album, her tenth studio set. Enveloping the juxtaposition of the concept of dark sunshine , a brooding solo record creating with friends to expand her off-kilter sonic vision; a squally, squeaky mix of discordant beauty. Feedback and phasing gyrate from simply strummed normality, imagine Dinosaur Jr and My Bloody Valentine cranking up a Dylan couplet. Messing with both extremes of the sonic spectrum: atonal and arrhythmic, a unique sound and a glorious return to form for one of alternative rock s true innovators. Sometimes the most subversive thing I can do musically is adhere to standard song structure, sometimes the creepiest chords are the ones we ve heard before, twisted into different shapes, and sometimes a story is lived a thousand times before we can ride it like a roller coaster. Nothing wholly unfamiliar is gonna make you look twice. When you can describe a record as being deceptively anything, you re hinting at the sociopathic nature of music. Something I love. Imagine truly buying your own sunshine and charm, but also your darkness and violence; the two sides of your psychology showing each other off in relief. Songs can do that...we can t, really. Darkness we ve seen. Kristin Hersh, July 2018
Eternal Return, the fourth full length from Richmond, Virginia’s heavy psychedelic quartet WINDHAND represents a new era for the group, a chrysalis moment that takes them to new and unforeseen heights. Across nine songs and 63 minutes, Eternal Return is an infectious display of songcraft cloaked in alluring atmosphere, molten fuzz, eerie psychedelia and ethereal vocals. The album was once again produced by Jack Endino (Nirvana, Soundgarden) with vivid artwork by Arik Roper (Sleep, High on Fire). Equally informed by heavy, fuzzed-out psych along with the iconic grunge / alternative groups of the 90s, WINDHAND have crafted a record brilliant in scope, powerful in execution, and perfect for an era of increasingly blurry yet still heavy borders.
Stardust Birthday Party is about human evolution. Specifically, one humans evolution: mine, Ron Gallo. That’s the name my parents gave me. Hi.
At one point, I was a very lost mid-twenties person living in Philadelphia, in a relationship with someone struggling with mental health issues and crippling heroin addiction. I was asleep. I didn’t know how to handle my life. I was also writing songs for HEAVY META - my “frustrated with humanity” album. I laugh about it all now, but at the time it all felt like an absolute nightmare. It was the perfect doorway to look inside the place I’d been avoiding forever: myself.
Stardust Birthday Party is about what is happening underneath all of this life stuff. My path inward. The details of my path are pointless because everyone’s path is different. It is about me sitting with myself for the first time and confronting the big question “WHAT AM I, REALLY?” It’s about the love and compassion for all things that enters when you find out you are nothing and everything. I think at one point I wanted to change the world, but now I know I can only change myself, or rather just strip away everything that is not me to reveal the only thing that’s ever been there. And that’s what this album is about, it’s me dancing while destroying the person I thought I was, and hopefully forever.
In the liner notes of John Coltrane’s album A Love Supreme (which we pay tribute to on this album) he wrote: “During the year 1957, I experienced, by the grace of God, a spiritual awakening which was to lead me to a richer, fuller, more productive life. At that time, in gratitude, I humbly asked to be given the means and privilege to make others happy through music.”
That’s it. That is the pure essence of creativity. Someone embodying what they have realized about themselves and the world that surrounds them. That is why this album exists.
Thank you for letting me share this with you. Ron Gallo
Twenty One Pilots shook the world with the release of their 2015 LP BLURRYFACE, an album that would go on to sell over 7 million copies worldwide and earn the band their first ever GRAMMY® Award as they shattered longstanding chart records, and captivated audiences worldwide on sold-out arena runs and at international festivals. Now three years later, the duo of Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun have returned to write the next chapter of their story with TRENCH, the band's highly anticipated new studio album. TRENCH finds Twenty One Pilots fearlessly reimagining the possibilities of their music through the same candid expression and genuine identity that helped to cement their place as one of the largest bands in the world.
Bunnymen Classics Transformed & New Songs With Strings & Things Attached ‘I’m not doing this for anyone else. I’m doing it as it’s important to me to make the songs better. I have to do it.’ Ian McCulloch This new studio album will see The Bunnymen, still lead by the indominable Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant, revisit some of their greatest songs to rearrange and transform them with co producer Andy Wright…and strings and things. Expect a couple of brand new tracks to accompany the classics. Echo & the Bunnymen's dark, swirling fusion of post-punk and The Doors/The Velvets-inspired pop psychedelia has brought the group twenty top 20 hits and nine top 20 albums in the UK so far in their 40 year career. The band have come a long way from the group's infamous first concert as a three-piece with a drum machine in 1979 at the legendary Erics club in Liverpool, The Bunnymen still perform sell-out concerts across the world today. Their seminal albums 'Crocodiles', 'Heaven Up Here', 'Porcupine' and 'Ocean Rain' have been a major influence for acts such as Coldplay, The Killers and The Flaming Lips whilst later albums 'Evergreen' and 'What Are You Going To Do With Your Life?' and 'Siberia & Meteorites' demonstrate what an amazing body of work the band have. The Bunnymen are still revered by those in the best of popular culture. In the past year alone, the highly acclaimed and culturally phenomenal Netflix series 'Stranger Things' has used the song 'Nocturnal Me' whilst the equally comparable '13 Reasons Why' has used 'The Killing Moon', a song also used on another Netflix show, 'Dead of Summer'.
Adrianne Lenker has been writing songs since she was 10 years old. Her "back story" has been well documented in various interviews and profiles for Big Thief over the last 3 years. Despite, or more likely because of the constant touring and studio work, the last few years have been some of the most prolific for Lenker as a writer. Songs pop out at soundcheck. They pop out on late night drives between cities. They pop out in green rooms, hotel stairwells,gardens, and kitchens around the world. In the hands of Lenker songwriting is not an old dead craft. It is alive. It is vital. With little regard for standard album cycle practice or the idea of resting at all, Lenker set out to make a document. Songs can be slippery and following a 2+ years on the road with Big Thief, Lenker felt a growing need to document this particular time in her life in an intimate, immediate way. The result is her new album, abysskiss. "I want to archive the songs in their original forms every few years," explains Lenker. "My first solo record I made was Hours Were the Birds. I had just turned 21 and moved to New York City where I was sleeping in a warehouse, working in a restaurant and photographing pigeons. Now five years later, another skin is being shed." Following a two week road trip through the southwestern United States, Lenker headed into the studio with longtime friend Luke Temple. Temple put on his loosely fitting, bright orange, 100% wool producer hat and for one week they made music. The songs chosen for this collection were the songs that felt the most alive in the room. These are not castaways or B-sides. Some of these songs have been alive for years while some were written just days before the session. Some will appear in different future forms, some will not. The thread that connects these songs is notsomething that can easily be put down in words. Intuition connects these songs. They are a record of a time. With this collection, Lenker further illuminates to the listening public what those close to her already know; here we have a songwriter of the highest order, following her voice and the greater Voices that pass through her with an unflinching openness and clarity of translation.
Vinyl: $20.98 PRE ORDER
Swearin’ is the kind of band that comes around, at best, once a decade. Thankfully for us, they’ve come around twice. After releasing two beloved full-lengths, 2012’s Swearin’ and 2013’s Surfing Strange, the Philadelphia band quietly put things on hold. It was due, at least in part, to the band’s main songwriters, Allison Crutchfield and Kyle Gilbride, ending their romantic relationship. And though Swearin’ tried to soldier on, it became far too stressful to keep going. But after a few years apart, those bad feelings disappeared. And when the band’s three members—Crutchfield, Gilbride, and drummer Jeff Bolt—found themselves in a room again, the conversation inevitably turned back to Swearin’. “Drunkenly, without any hesitation or inhibitions,” said Crutchfield, “we asked, ‘What would it take from each of us? What would we need to do this again? What would we want to accomplish if we decided to be a band again?’” They realized that what they all wanted was to not just play shows, but to make a new record. Before the band initially split, they’d already started writing for what would have been their third album, but instead of going back to that old material, they wanted to do something that reflected the people they’d become during those intervening years. “When a band re-forms and makes a new record that is trying to sound like the heyday of their band, it doesn’t sound genuine,” said Bolt. Before long, Crutchfield and Gilbride had a new batch of Swearin’ songs, ones that meshed with the sound they’d originally developed together but boldly pushed things forward. The result is Fall into the Sun, a Swearin’ record that doesn’t try to obscure the passage of time but instead embraces it. “Getting older, your tastes change, and what you want to do changes,” said Bolt. Those changes, though subtle, are impactful, making Fall into the Sun what Crutchfield calls “the adult Swearin’ album.” It can be seen in songs like “Big Change,” where she says goodbye to Philly and the scene that she came up in, or in “Dogpile,” where Gilbride offers the line any aging punk can relate to: “By pure dumb luck I’ve gotten where I’m going.” Where Swearin’ used to pummel through their songs, on Fall into the Sun, they bask in what this newfound openness offers. It’s most notable on the ambling “Stabilize,” which sees the band throw their weight around in the song’s back half, offering up what’s easily the heaviest riff in the band’s catalog. “I think both me and Allison have gone through huge transitions in our lives. There was a lot on our minds, and it was a super fertile time to put a bunch of songs together,” said Gilbride. It’s true of the material found on Fall into the Sun, but it’s noticeable in the album’s production, too. Much like the band’s previous albums, Gilbride anchored the recording and producing of the record, but this time around, the band worked to make the process feel more collaborative than ever before. “I feel like this was the first time I could look at a Swearin’ record and say that I co-produced it, and that felt really good,” said Crutchfield. Recorded in both Philly and Los Angeles, where Crutchfield now resides, Fall into the Sun took shape by the members giving their full trust to one another, and it can be seen in the final product. Listening to Fall into the Sun, the old Swearin’ is still there, but it’s a more confident, collaborative version than the one people first came to know. Crutchfield and Gilbride always had an innate ability to mirror the other’s movements in songs, but here, they build a focused lyrical perspective across their songs, one that’s thankful for their past, but looks boldly toward the future. Though it may have taken them a while, Swearin’ finally made the third album they always wanted. Fall into the Sun is as riotously affirming as their early work...
Double LP on opaque yellow blob in clear vinyl in same packaging as standard 2-LP. Includes coupon for full download
“Never sink and never hide / They tried to break our dream, but child: / Joy Stops Time”. I was sent an unfinished version of Dose Your Dreams so that I might contribute string parts. I couldn’t stop listening to the rough mixes I received. A friend asked me how the record was. I replied, “My God, Fucked Up have made their Screamadelica.”
And psych-rock-groove it is. The drums mixed wide, propensity for drones, for delay pedal, for repetition, groove. The politics and aesthetics of hardcore married to an “open format” approach to genre. Elements of doo-wop, krautrock, groove, digital hardcore.
“None of Your Business Man” opens the album in familiar enough territory, a sax-assisted exit from an office space. But things get psychedelic very quickly. By the time the title track arrives, Mike Haliechuk is whispering, wah pedals are in full effect, and we’re wearing oversized t-shirts and pinwheeling. “Accelerate,” the lyrical centerpiece of the album, storms in like Boredoms on a bullet train and dissolves into a digital nightmare. The album closer, “Joy Stops Time,” finds Fucked Up at their most Düsseldorfian, nearly eight minutes of blissful motorik.
At the center of it all is Damian Abraham’s scream—a man chained, a man tortured, a true protagonist. The effect is one of an epic, every chapter attempting its own narrative devices, its own genre hybridization—and it works, it works so insanely well. The drama unfolds like a miniature world of many parts being explored, a map being illuminated, location by location.
As with David Comes to Life, there is a story here. David—who once came to life—is now indentured to a desk job. David meets the elderly Joyce who closes his eyes, opens his mind, and sends him on a spiritual journey. David embarks on his own metaphysical odyssey. He sees a stage adaptation of his own life. He speaks to an angel in a lightbulb. He sees an infinite series of universes as simulations within simulations.
Meanwhile, Lloyd—Joyce’s lover—was sent, decades ago, by Joyce on the same odyssey, but was lost in the void. Lloyd seeks to be found and reunited with his lover. Where will David end up? Will Joyce and Lloyd be reunited?
Dose Your Dreams—meaning: treat your dreams as you would a dream, allow yourself to be lost within them, allow them to open your heart and your mind, enjoy them as you would a drug. Reach out for my hand and pull me close.
Estrela Mágica is a starcrossed collaboration between Samira Winter (Winter) and Glenn Brigman (Triptides). Sighting influences from Brazil’s colorful Tropicalia movement as well as the phased out sunshine psychedelia of the American 1960’s, Winter and Triptides started blending together their favorite musical colors into a brand new sonic palette. Two years and a dozen home recording sessions later, they had crafted enough material to form Estrela Mágica.
By most bands’ fifth LP, the sound is pretty set. Parameters established. Refinement dissipated in favor of to-formula execution of what’s worked in the past. Fair enough. All Them Witches go a harder route.
In 2017, the Nashville four-piece offered what might’ve otherwise become their own template in their fourth album, Sleeping Through the War. Also their second for New West Records behind 2015 mellow-vibing Dying Surfer Meets His Maker, it brought a larger production value to dug-in heavy psych blues jamming, with oversight from producer Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson).
After exploring new ground through their early work on 2013’s Lightning at the Door and 2012’s Our Mother Electricity as well as Dying Surfer, the band had arrived at something new, sprawling, and grander-feeling than anything before it.
So naturally in a year they’ve thrown that all to the Appalachian wind, turned the process completely on its head and gone the absolute other way: recording in a cabin in Kingston Springs, about 20 miles outside of Nashville on I-40, with guitarist Ben McLeod at the helm. Take that, expectation.
The result, mixed by Rob Schnapf (Beck, Elliott Smith, Kurt Vile), is the most intimate, human-sounding album All Them Witches have ever recorded and another redefinition of who they are as a band. Introducing keyboardist/percussionist Jonathan Draper to the fold with McLeod, bassist/vocalist Charles Michael Parks, Jr., and drummer/graphic artist Robby Staebler, All Them Witches’ All Them Witches isn’t self-titled by mistake.
It’s the band confirming and continuing to develop their approach, in the shuffle of “Fishbelly 86 Onions,” the organ-laced groove of “Half-Tongue,” the tense build of “HJTC” and the fluid jam in closer “Rob’s Dream.”
It’s a reaction to being a “bigger” band. To playing bigger shows, bigger tours, etc. From the sustained consonants in Parks’ vocals to McLeod’s commanding slide in “Workhorse” and drifting melancholy at the outset of “Harvest Feast,” All Them Witches is their laying claim to the essential facets of their identity.
And most crucial to that identity is its shifting nature. All Them Witches didn’t get to this point by resting on laurels, and if anything, the urgency of these tracks – fast pushers and sleepy jams alike – is among their greatest strengths.
It’s a rawer delivery, as stage-ready as the band itself, and as ever, it captures All Them Witches in this moment. Is it who they’ll be tomorrow? Who the hell knows? Check back in and we’ll all find out together. That’s the whole idea.
After his celebrated self-titled 2016 debut, Roosevelt aka Marius Lauber steps outside. While the debut album was deeply rooted in club culture and neon lit Nightmoves, his new album, entitled Young Romance, sees the 27 year-old producer embracing a new found love for bigger, bolder and sunnier pop songs - a fearless leap towards the light with songs that will further establish him as one of the most talented young artists of the day. Pressed on limited sun yellow vinyl.
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.
News of a previously unreleased recording by any of jazzs 'holy trinity is a reason to get excited. Now two have come along in the space of a few months. For hot on the heels of Impulses hit Coltrane release comes this precious lost treasure from prime-era Monk, featuring his most critically acclaimed Quartet. Mønk is a memorable live set (Copenhagen, Denmark) from 1963, featuring among other gems, glorious versions of soon-to-be classics Bye-Ya and Monks Dream that outdo even the famous studio versions. It's most definitely Monk in is pomp, heralding a year in which Monk would become one of only 4 jazz artists to ever appear on the front cover of TIME magazine. The original tapes, having been saved from a skip, have been faithfully restored, mastered and cut using Gearbox's legendary all-analogue process, making this a treat for audiophiles, enthusiasts, historians and music lovers of all shapes and sizes."
Vinyl: $21.98 PRE ORDER
Richard Reed Parry’s Quiet River of Dust, is a meditative, widescreen musical experience with Beach Boy harmonies and a hypnotic pulse. Layered songs that move in a linear fashion, following a current rather than circular composition. Japanese folk myths, death poems and British folk music are tributaries flowing into a river of avant-garde composition and traditional song craft, written and performed by a member of the Grammy-winning rock band, Arcade Fire. Being released as two volumes, Quiet River of Dust Vol. 1 will be available on the start of the autumn equinox, September 21 2018. Quiet River of Dust Vol. 2 is coming out next year on the spring equinox 2019. Long before he joined Arcade Fire in 2003, Richard Reed Parry grew up in a thriving folk music community in Toronto, where house parties were full of singing. While a student of electroacoustic music and contemporary dance in university, he formed the instrumental ensemble Bell Orchestre, who have released three albums. In 2014, he released an album of biologically inspired compositions, Music for Heart and Breath, on the prestigious Deutsche Grammophon classical label. The genesis of these songs came after Arcade Fire’s first tour of Japan in February 2008. Parry stayed on for weeks after the last show, heading to a monastery for some solace in “the biggest silence you’ve ever heard.” One day he was walking alone in a massive, snow-covered cedar forest when he heard distant voices, voices that sounded a lot like his father’s folk group back in Toronto, Friends of Fiddlers Green. (Parry was 18 when his father died in 1995.) “There was no reason for something to sound like full-throated, British-Isle folk singing there,” he recalls. “I walked and walked but I could never get closer to where the music was coming from.” The ghostly experience inspired the song “On the Ground,” which in turn inspired the rest of the song cycle. When it came time to record “On the Ground,” he enlisted his father’s former colleagues on concertina, Northumbrian pipes and fiddle. For a musician raised in a musical family and environment, collaboration and community are essential parts of the process. Guest performers on this project include Parry’s partner Laurel Sprengelmeyer of Little Scream, Stef Schneider of Bell Orchestre, Dallas Good of the Sadies, Yuka Honda of Cibo Matto, Amedeo Pace from Blonde Redhead, and The National’s Aaron and Bryce Dessner.
Big Bad Blues, as the title suggests, focuses on Gibbons' lifelong love of the blues and rock & roll, showcasing the blues-influenced vocals and guitar licks that have together served as the foundation for his numerous hits over the past five decades. The album features 11 tracks balancing some classic covers like 'Rollin' and Tumblin,'' and 'Standing Around Crying' along with some of Billy's signature new blues originals.
Toronto rockers Metric emphasize guitars on the band’s latest album, a collection of 12 new songs packed with massive riffs, driving rhythm and raw/smooth vocals that have become their instantly identifiable signature sound. Produced by Justin Meldal-Johnsen (M83, Beck, Nine Inch Nails), Metric’s seventh LP addresses a climate of cultural and political anxiety while refusing to give despair the upper hand. In many ways, it’s the most Metric album the band has ever made as Emily Haines, Jimmy Shaw, Joshua Winstead and Joules Scott-Key rediscover their shared love of music and how good they are at making it together. “This felt like the culmination of a lifetime spent playing together and trusting each other and going for it,” Shaw says.
Joyce Manor are back with a new album, entitled Million Dollars To Kill Me. Frontman Barry Johnson along with co-founding guitarist Chase Knobbe, new drummer Pat Ware—(“Awesome new drummer,” adds Johnson)—and longtime bassist Matt Ebert, wrote enough songs to fill a full-length, and then worked to get songs lifted from emails between Johnson and one of his musical hero Impossibles’ guitarist/vocalist Rory Phillips, with whom he had been co-writing long distance, to match the ones written at full volume. (“Bedroom charm versus live rock band,” Johnson explains.) Their next step was a new step: their first time recording outside their L.A. hometown, at Converge’s Kurt Ballou’s GodCity studio in Salem, Massachusetts. They recorded daily 10-to-6 and then slept right upstairs in bunk beds: “Kinda felt like camp,” says Johnson. “It was a pleasure—I would recommend it to anyone.” If 2016’s Cody was about growing up, then Kill Me is about what happens next—the reckonings with love, money, doubt and confusion, and the hope that persists despite it all.
New Vinyl: $27.98 Buy
"I always planned on getting back together with the Conspirators as soon as possible, and continuing on with what we started," Slash says. Which brings us to LIVING THE DREAM, the new full-length offering from the group-which, in addition to SLASH and singer KENNEDY, also includes bassist TODD KERNS, drummer BRENT FITZ and, making his recorded debut after several years of live work with The Conspirators, rhythm guitarist FRANK SIDORIS. The album, their third overall following World on Fire and 2012's Apocalyptic Love, is possibly the band's strongest collective statement to date. From the barnstorming, high-octane riffery of opener "Call of the Wild" to the wah-drenched funk rock of "Read Between the Lines," the haunting majesty of "Lost Inside the Girl" to the swaggering deep-in-the-pocket Seventies grooves of "Serve You Right," the stately, quasi-classical melodic themes of "The Great Pretender" to the massive hooks and anthemic, singalong choruses of first single "Driving Rain," LIVING THE DREAM packs a compendium of sounds and styles into 12 tightly arranged and sharply executed tracks, all of it shot through with SLASH's trademark electrifying and dynamic riffing and high-wire, lyrical solos.
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The Marshall Tucker Band's Greatest Hits have been given the platinum treatment. Their original master tapes from the 1970s have been carefully restored, compiled and remastered specially for vinyl using a 100% analogue process by one of the most renowned mastering engineers in the world. This double LP set has 16 all time southern rock classics including "Can't You See," "Heard It In A Love Song," and "Fire on the Mountain." For this LP-only re-issue, we added the album tracks "A New Life" and "I'll Be Loving You." You will hear these spirited recordings again for the first time and we think the effort was worth it. For the audiophiles. For the love of music and musicianship. For the love of listening. For the timeless recordings of The Marshall Tucker Band.
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'The legendary Aphex Twin returns bringing the heat once more! One of the most spectacular and critically lauded artists in the world, the Collapse EP is one surely not to be missed!!! For nearly three decades Aphex Twin has reigned as The God of Electronic Music. His tunes have packed dancefloors, soundtracked late night sessions and highlighted festivals around the globe. The emotional crescendos he manages to sculpt from his melodies take the listener on a roller coaster of feelings. Also known as Richard D. James, the Duke of Rave has built a career on frollicking visuals and beastly bangers, but this doesn t mean the man cannot trade in a whole plethora of emotions, Avril 14th is a sumptuous celestial patchwork of sadness and euphoria, whilst Come to Daddy is without doubt the most petrifying song in the universe. The Collapse EP falls between these, affirming him as the very best electronic wizard in the game! The Collapse EP is a juicy bag of delights. Extending the flamboyant paths that Aphex Twin has consistently managed to forge through his dizzying career. From the utterly exhilarating T69 collapse to the complete and utterly bonkers, instantaneous and life affirming abundance10edit[2 R8's, FZ20m & a 909] featuring vertigo inducing high hats and sauntering arrangements with some brain scrambling noise thrown in for good measure!
Richard Thompsons new album, 13 Rivers, is the artists first self-produced record in over a decade. 13 Rivers is a very stripped down, bare-bones recording and according to Thompson the album is a reflection of current events that have happened in his life. This has been an intense year for myself and my family, getting older doesnt mean that life gets easier! There are surprises around every bend. I think this reflects in the immediacy of the stories, and the passion in the songs. Sometimes I am speaking directly about events, at other times songs are an imaginative spin on what life throws at you. The music is just a mirror to life, but we try to polish that mirror as brightly as possible. The album was recorded at Boulevard Recording in Los Angeles, California. 13 Rivers features Richards regular accompanists, Michael Jerome and Taras Prodaniuk, as well as Thompsons guitar tech, Bobby Eichorn, on second guitar. Each track on the album was recorded in analog, with minimal overdubbing. Boulevard is a really funky-looking studio, says Richard, but it sounds great. It used to be called The Producers Workshop, and was owned by Liberace, whose ghost is reportedly still hanging around. Steely Dan records were done there, and The Wall by Pink Floyd was mixed there. Clay Blair, the engineer, is a Beatles nut, and has every piece of Beatles gear he can lay his hands on - so if things sound a bit like Abbey Road, so be it! 13 Rivers consists of thirteen tracks. It is an album as much about growth as it is about reflection. Says Thompson, I dont know how the creative process works - I suppose it is some kind of bizarre parallel existence to my own life. I often look at a finished song and wonder what the hell is going on inside me. We sequenced the weird stuff at the front of the record, and the tracks to grind your soul into submission
‘Heaven’ highlights Dilly Dally’s rough edges in all their ragged glory, drawing every potent ounce of energy from the foursome’s swampy tones, raspy vocals, and volatile rhythm section. While the music is undeniably ferocious, there’s uplift woven into the fabric of every track. The album opens with the dreamy “I Feel Free,” which begins as a floating, untethered soundscape before transforming into a soaring anthem for a world that’s ready to finally turn the page on all the darkness and disillusion the last few years have wrought. The inexorable “Believe” insists on self-confidence, while the driving “Sober Motel” celebrates the lucidity a clear mind, and the lilting “Sorry Ur Mad” makes a case for releasing yourself from the prisons of anger and resentment. ‘Heaven’ album carves out its own atheistic religion to get through the day, a faith that validates our pain as real but responds with a beaming light of hope.
Thrice created Palms with a free-form and fluid approach to the album’s sonic element. The result is their most expansive work to date, encompassing everything from viscerally charged post-hardcore to piano-driven balladry. To carve out that eclectic sound, Thrice enlisted trusted producer Eric Palmquist for the recording of the percussion and vocal tracks, and self-produced all of the guitar parts on Palms. “When we track our own stuff we tend to be far less neurotic about getting every note perfect,” says singer Dustin Kensrue. “It’s more about getting the right emotion out of the performance, so that it connects on a deeper level.” Kensrue, co-founded Thrice with guitarist Teppei Teranishi, bassist Eddie Breckenridge, and drummer Riley Breckenridge in 1998. Hailing from Orange County, California, the band formed when three of its members were still in high school, making their debut with the kinetic punk/hardcore hybrid of the 2000 album Identity Crisis. Their breakthrough arrived with 2003’s The Artist in the Ambulance—Thrice’s third full-length, whose singles “All That’s Left” and “Stare at the Sun” each landed on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart. Palms is the band’s first release since signing to Epitaph in early 2018, and the album matches its raw passion with a measured intensity, a rare feat for an album so informed by the volatility of the times. “Even though some of these songs are really aggressive-sounding, I wanted to make sure they never felt like finger-pointing, especially at a time when there’s so much talking past each other,” says Kensrue. Within that approach, Thrice reveal their profound commitment to making an enduring impact on the listener.
Released in 1980, Heartattack and Vine was Waits’ final album on Elektra /Asylum Records and it built on the raw blues approach of Blue Valentine with the incendiary title track, the funky, organ driven “Downtown” and the stomping NOLA blues of “Mr. Siegal”. This album also contains some of Waits most popular ballads, including “Jersey Girl” which was famously a hit for Bruce Springsteen. “On the Nickle” is a moving song about the homeless people who lived on 5th street in downtown LA, and “Ruby’s Arms” is a beautiful song with a lovely Bach-like melody.
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The latest postcard from The Chills epic journey is an album about consolidation, re-grouping, acceptance and mortality, claims the chief Chill. Hopefully a kind of Carole King Tapestry for ageing punks. Wow! Are rock bands allowed to grow old gracefully and assess the world's and their shortcomings in the process? Is it possible to swerve the obvious and make something that's bittersweet in tone but harmonious on the ear? Of course it is. On Snow Bound lost heroes are lamented, relationships are re-evaluated, atonement is sought, mortality is mulled over and fake news is undercut. It's serious stuff, the thoughts of a dysfunctional 50-something wrestling with maturity and discovering that their post-punk DIY beliefs still have a real voice that resonates between the fans of their early years and which can now pass down to the next generation. Casting our minds back, we can recall that The Guardian mused, They sound almost like the musical embodiment of autumn, when confronted with Silver Bullets. Three years on, Snow Bound nestles heartily in its own winter of discontent. And all this with a humalong melodic verve, Phillipps' gift for the tempered dalliance of verse and chorus and those gorgeous euphoric organ fills. Let the soul-searching commence
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On-U Sound is a label inextricably linked with dub music, and the much-loved Starship Africa is arguably the definitive album-length dub record on the label. With the vinyl now commanding high prices on the secondhand market (having not been pressed since 1982 and never released in North America), On-U Sound is proud to present this extra special Record Store Day 2017 reissue, pressed on limited edition gold vinyl, with a fold-out poster insert telling the fascinating story of this classic album in full, complete with never-before-seen photos of the original recording session.
A) Starship Africa B) Space Movement
Death Metal icons DEICIDE announce the release of their 12th studio album, “Overtures Of Blasphemy”, their first album after 2013’s critically acclaimed “In The Minds Of Evil”.
“Overtures Of Blasphemy” was produced by Jason Suecof (The Black Dahlia Murder, Trivium) at Audio Hammer Studios and comes with a brilliant artwork by Zbigniew Bielak (Watain, Ghost, Paradise Lost).
The album will be released through Century Media Records worldwide on September 14th, 2018.
Alejandro Escovedo’s new album is perhaps his most varied and expansive album to date. It is his first album recorded outside of America, in northern Italy, with co-writer Don Antonio Gramentieri and a band of Italian musicians. It is also Alejandro’s first ever concept album drawing the story of two young immigrants to the US, who bond over a mutual love of punk rock as they struggle with the racism and discrimination as immigrants. Special guests on the album include Wayne Kramer (MC5), Joe Ely, and Peter Perrett and John Perry of The Only Ones. The sound ranges from straight ahead rockers like, “Sonica USA,” to ballads like the classic Joe Ely penned, “Silver City,” and everywhere in between. To describe this album as, "epic," might be an understatement.
The first new Spiritualized album in 6 years.
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.
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.
LP is glossy jacket with printed sleeve + clear vinyl + LP3 coupon
Notes on Escape-ism’s The Lost Record by Johnny Sincere When Escape-ism—nom de guerre of mythic rock ’n’ roll provocateur / theorist / revolutionary Ian Svenonius (performer, author, filmmaker, etc.)—announced the imminent release of its second long-player, The Lost Record, it shook the foundations of the hermetic swamp / tundra known as “underground music.” In the music world, a “lost record” is the term for an LP that was passed over, unappreciated—maybe not even released—but is later discovered, unearthed, and celebrated by in-the-know tastemakers and canny connoisseurs. Many of our culture’s favorite records are “lost” records; once despised or unheard, they’re now in heavy rotation in the clubhouse and in the car. Indeed, every group or musician dreams of making such a seminal record, with the heroic underdog narrative of: 1)Initial rejection by philistines 2)Clueless mishandling by the record company 3)An aimless amble through the desert of neglect and finally 4)Rediscovery and veneration However, the process a record has to go through to be “lost”—and then found again—is arduous. It’s also quite risky, since most lost records are really just lost: tossed aside and forgotten forever. So, when Escape-ism—the most exciting group in the world—announced its new and highly anticipated release The Lost Record, it created a commotion. For some, it seemed unfair for Escape-ism to jump ahead of the usual protocol and not go through the degradation that a historic “lost record” suffers: the endless time spent in a bin in the basement or a remote warehouse. Unshipped, unloved, unappreciated. But for Escape-ism, it seemed easier to circumvent the rigmarole and just get on with it. The Lost Record is a classic, destined to bewitch the minds, hearts, and dancing shoes of any rock ’n’ roll fan who happens to discover it, for as long as such creatures exist. Without the high-octane hype machine of the mind-control minstrels who hypnotize the hapless through the mass media, The Lost Record is bound for inevitable obscurity, but—with its timeless tunes, poignant message, and innovative sound—rediscovery and immortal status is equally assured! The Lost Record, being what it is, has enormous selling potential. Music enthusiasts will be thrilled to be the ones clever and kind enough to have rescued this platter from oblivion. The tunes—“Bodysnatcher,” “I’m a Lover (at Close Range),” “Exorcist Stairs,” “Nothing Personal,” and the rest—are foot-stomping classics as sung by the greatest song stylist and most dynamic performer of the epoch, Ian Svenonius. It’s a no-brainer that The Lost Record will be both unfairly neglected but also enshrined as a pinnacle achievement for subterranean civilization. Recorded in four different studios—Gaucho in Los Angeles, Flat Black in Iowa, Tonal Park in Takoma Park, MD, and at Club Blasé in DC—the record is the culmination of humanity’s attempt at something poignant, perverse, and poetically imperfect. Escape-ism is the work of Ian Svenonius, the author of Supernatural Strategies for Making a Rock ’n’ Roll Group, The Psychic Soviet, and Censorship Now!!; the singer of The Make-Up, Chain & the Gang, XYZ, et cetera; the writer / director of What Is a Group?, the world’s only rock ’n’ roll sci-fi documentary exploitation film; and the host of “Soft Focus,” the musician-on-musician chat show that preceded all the pretenders. Escape-ism, though, isn’t a footnote in a laundry list of awards and citations; it’s the most vital thing going now. At festivals, clubs, art galleries, happenings, parties, and put-downs, Escape-ism is ripping up stages, unlocking cages. Escape-ism reinvents rock ’n’ roll the same way the jet engine reinvented travel. It’s an enchanting and terrifying answer to the mire of contentless, going-through-the-motions beat groups and electr...
There was something sinister about Crooked Fingers, both the name of the project and the music that Eric Bachmann wrote at the helm of its ever-shifting lineups over 15 years. He retired the moniker a couple of years ago, but with his third album under his own name, the transformation feels gorgeous and final and irreversible: No Recover.
The drunken louts and red devil dawns are a thing of the past now, monuments to a different time. Bachmann, husband and recent father, has some new lenses through which to view the world. But while No Recover is decidedly mellow and reflective, do not mistake it for the work of a relaxed, satisfied songwriter, sitting on some Georgia porch with a stalk of wheat between his lips, gently rocking a cradle with his foot and whistling an old tune.
No, the Eric Bachmann of 2018 seems to view life with a sort of disgruntled maturity and righteous resignation. No Recover is both harrowing and beautiful, and its mellowness can be deceiving. The album is mostly just him, a classical guitar, some treated rhythm tracks, and otherworldly drop-ins from singer Avery Leigh Draut and guitarist Eric Johnson, Bachmann’s old pal from their Archers of Loaf days. He’s got a lot on his mind, only some of it pretty.
The sunset on the album’s cover might be the end of a cruel world for the duo in “Jaded Lover, Shady Drifter,” who introduce No Recover; they feel like flip-side lovers, both sonically and lyrically, of the couple at the center of Bring On the Snakes’ “The Rotting Strip.” But that dark sentiment is quickly reversed with “Daylight,” one of Bachmann’s most stunning vocal performances ever: For a guy who earned his stripes by shredding his vocal cords in the ’90s, he sure can croon. And though the words cast some shadows—“fight for your life,” he implores—ultimately there is hope. “If you try, you can be loved.”
Same goes, to a less direct degree, for “Waylaid,” the record’s jauntiest song, and a meditation on failure and love that leaves room for Johnson’s bright-but-mournful electric guitar to take center stage. But leave it to Bachmann to save the best for last: No Recover ends with one song for his wife and another for his son. “Wild Azalea,” for Liz Durrett—who also makes a brief appearance earlier in the album—is pure ’70s AM gold, including the tinge of sadness that the best of that era embraced. And “Dead and Gone” offers wistful, Bachmann-style comfort to a child. It’s vulnerable and giving, a lifetime promise that somehow intertwines regret and hopefulness.
In that way, it perfectly encapsulates No Recover—and Bachmann himself—circa 2018. He’s got a lifetime of experience behind him, and a catalog that runs the gamut from fiery to scary to simply beautiful, sometimes all at once. But it also feels like a new beginning. Here’s to another 25 (or more!) years of watching him grow.
Mothers attempt to exist in two places at once - both singular and collaborative, sprawling and concise, present and distant. Kristine Leschper, songwriter and founding member of the project, explains that it is in the space between opposites that she finds herself. The multifaceted is, by nature, fragmented - each facet reflecting a slightly different perspective of the whole. On their latest record, Render Another Ugly Method, the band attempts to gain an expanded view of its surroundings through splintered sound, thought, and image.