kimber – lamb
lindsay – deslondes
dario – son lux
jeff – de lux
THIS WEEK’S NEW RELEASES
Meg Baird – Don’t Weigh Down The Light CD/LP (Drag City)
Like Meg’s previous LPs (and much of Espers output,) the foundation of Don’t Weigh Down The Light is her lyrical, precise, and propulsive fingerstyle guitar work and a voice that moves from soaring and tender to soothing and spellbinding. A voice that more than a few have likened to folk’s greatest female voices: Sandy Denny, Jacqui McShee, and Shirley Collins.
Bikini Kill – The CD Version Of The First Two Records [Reissue/1994] CD (Bikini Kill)
The First Two Records is a compilation of Bikini Kill’s self-titled and Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah vinyl reissues that were released by their label in 2012 and 2014 respectively. The self-titled EP, originally released in the fall of 1992 and reissued on BK Records in 2012 is comprised of four songs recorded by Ian MacKaye on July 3, 1991, at Inner Ear Studios; one song from the band’s 1991 demo cassette, recorded by Pat Maley (Yo-Yo Studios); and one song recorded during Bikini Kill’s live performance April 4th, 1992, at Washington, D.C.’s Sanctuary Theater.
Black Mountain – Black Mountain [10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition] 2xCD/2xLP+MP3 (Jagjaguwar)
The work of a small collective of musicians operating from Vancouver, Canada, far from any industry buzz but firmly in the eye of their own storm of creativity, Black Mountain’s debut album was, of course, a beginning, but it also marked an ending – for Jerk With A Bomb, the group that preceded Black Mountain. Their jaunt across the world as guests of perhaps the biggest band in the world right then is a tale for another time, perhaps: the start of Black Mountain’s next chapter, and all that followed. For now, savor the compact, spacey brilliance of that cosmic, heavy and subtle debut album, expanded now with a raft of delicious bonus tracks scavenged from the Black Mountain Army archives.
Leon Bridges – Coming Home CD/LP (Columbia)
Sweet soul music. After hearing one of Leon Bridges’ songs, a friend asked if he listened to a lot of Sam Cooke. “I knew about him but had never really listened to his music,” says Bridges, whose new album,Coming Home, is steeped in such retro R&B sounds. “After that, I started venturing out and digging in.” The Atlanta-born, Ft. Worth-based singer also developed a taste for vintage fashion as he expanded his musical palette to include the likes of Curtis Mayfield, Jesse Belvin and even some singers outside the soul realm. “Lately, it’s been Townes Van Zandt, Bobby Womack and Van Morrison.”
Cayucas – Dancing At The Blue Lagoon CD/LP+MP3 (Secretly Canadian)
As Zach Yudin and his twin brother and bandmate, Ben, went in to create their new album, what it all came back to was something personal. While they now call Los Angeles home, they drew from the nostalgia of their childhood growing up in Davis, CA; the nostalgia in their music that is as much about a place they’ve never been as any actual experience. And it was that wandering imagination and a punchy California dream that eventually grew to become Dancing At The Blue Lagoon. While their sun-drenched, jangly, sometimes melancholic sound is quintessentially Californian, the album very much their California. It’s the sound of kids from the suburbs who fantasize in Technicolor, whose view of the Golden State is its own form of idealism. Free Cayucas keychain with purchase, limited quantites!
Citizen – Everybody Is Going To Heaven CD/LP+MP3 (Run For Cover)
Haunting these ten songs is a foreboding, dark atmosphere masterfully crafted by producer Will Yip, and an immediate, intense energy is palpable from even the first grimy seconds of the opener, “Cement.” As with every one of Citizen’s releases, Mat Kerekes’ signature vocal delivery here is a trademark feature, demonstrating the emotional tension that boils over on this release. As cathartic as ever, he duels between a soft croon and a haunting scream, confronting his demons on tracks like “My Favorite Color” echoing the tormented refrain, “my heart still beats for nothing”. And while most of the record is an intense and noisy onslaught, songs like “Heaviside” and “Yellow Love” act as armistices, each aching in reverb-drenched consonance. (Limited copies also available on baby blue vinyl.)
Creepoid – Cemetery Highrise Slum CD/LP (Collect)
After releasing two albums with No Idea, an EP for Graveface, and countless miles logged on the road with everyone from Against Me! and Balance And Composure to Kurt Vile and A Place To Bury Strangers, Philadelphia’s Creepoid lands at Collect Records for Cemetery Highrise Slum—a document of stunning growth that finally crystallizes the promise of an already feverishly loved band. Produced and mixed by Peter Mavrogeorgis (The National, Sharon Van Etten) at Dollhouse Studios in Savannah, GA, Creepoid have stripped away at the reticence of previous albums for a bold and focused effort that places equal measure on high definition and playful ambiguity alike. That critics have never quite been able to contain Creepoid’s style—they’ve been called everything from punk and psych to dream-pop and grunge—is not as much a conflict as it is a statement, and on Cemetery Highrise Slum, the band finds itself at this idiosyncratic intersection of their own design: This is how it feels when a feisty, aggressive impulse agrees to be led by a firm, but graceful hand.
De Lux – Generation CD/LP+MP3 (Innovative Leisure)
On their full-length 2014 debut Voyage, L.A duo De Lux learned how to take their influences and create a sound all their own—a beyond-their-years synthesis of post-punk, disco, funk and of course synthesizer wizardry, drawing inspiration from the same combination of agitation and exhilaration that helped LCD Soundsystem and Talking Heads deliver some of the most danceable social commentary ever. Generationis a maturation and continuation of the sound heard on their full-length, but with darker moments. “It’s a sort of Less Than Zero for the post-Social Network era,” says the band.
Desaparecidos – Payola CD/LP+MP3 (Epitaph)
More than a decade after putting out their first album, Desaparecidos return with a follow-up that breathes new life into their brutal fusion of protest music and punk. Though the band never truly parted ways, vocalist/guitarist Conor Oberst, guitarist Denver Dalley, keyboardist Ian McElroy, bassist/vocalist Landon Hedges, and drummer Matt Baum have spent much of the past 13 years pursuing other ambitions (including Oberst’s work as a solo artist and Bright Eyes frontman).
Lamb – Backspace Unwind CD/LP+CD (Butler/Music On Vinyl)
Backspace Unwind is the long awaited new Lamb album. The sixth album of the electronic music duo contains ten new songs written by Andy Barlow and Lou Rhodes with four featuring string arrangements by Tom Trapp. The vinyl version contains a bonus track that’s not available elsewhere.
Son Lux – Bones CD/LP (Glassnote)
Son Lux, founded by New York’s Ryan Lott, began as a solo exploration of the jagged, icy line between the strange and the familiar, in which sonic structures supplant the conventions of pop form. Over the last eight years, though, the name has taken on myriad meanings, just as the work has subsumed sounds and collaborators. Now, Son Lux is a band. A trio, to be exact; one that has meticulously woven together dizzying percussion, fraying guitar, symphonic bluster, and haunting vocals into a quaking and vivid post-pop (post-everything) burst called Bones. Free Son Lux print with purchase.
The Sure Fire Soul Ensemble – The Sure Fire Soul Ensemble CD/LP (Colemine)
The Sure Fire Soul Ensemble is a heavy, original, cinematic soul band from San Diego.
Richard Thompson – Still CD/2xCD/2xLP (Fantasy)
“Richard Thompson’s 16th solo album Still closes with an unusual homage to his longstanding sources of inspiration. It’s called ‘Guitar Heroes,’ and though it’s predominantly a standard jump blues, it’s laced with extended interludes in which Thompson — arguably the most under-appreciated guitar hero currently recording — tips his hat to Django Reinhardt, Les Paul and other titans. Each detour is rendered in an idiomatically correct rhythm, and each shows Thompson’s command of the relevant style. It’s like a high-speed history class, taught by one who has pondered, in depth, the signature sounds and moves of the greats” – NPR. Produced by Jeff Tweedy. Available in Regular and Deluxe editions. Deluxe adds a bonus CD containing five songs from a previously unreleased session entitled The Variations EP.
VNV Nation – Resonance CD/LP (ANA)
Resonance features many of the best-known VNV Nation songs, performed purely with orchestra and voice. No other studio instruments were used as the goal was for the release to be as authentic as possible.
Wolf Alice – My Love Is Cool CD/2xLP+MP3 (RCA)
Debut album from the London four-piece. “Wolf Alice manage to provide a mature and authentic experience with their debut effort. They blend pop and folk influences on tracks like ‘Turn To Dust’ and ‘Silk’ seamlessly with grungy anthems ‘Your Love’s Whore’ and ‘Giant Peach’, the latter of which boasts some stunning riffs that push you onto the edge of your seat. In fact, this contrast is one of the defining themes throughout the album. ‘Giant Peach’, a track filled with distorted guitar-work and climactic build-ups that wouldn’t seem out of place on a Sonic Youth album, sits right next to ‘Swallowtail’, an acoustic ballad with a vocal performance from drummer Joel Amey. The distinction between light and shade is one that Wolf Alice make superbly, a sharp contrast that is ready to embrace you or grab you by the neck with barely a moment’s notice.” – Redbrick
John Zorn – Pellucidar – A Dreamers Fantabula CD (Tzadik)
Pellucidar – A Dreamers Fantabula features some of Zorn’s catchiest melodies and plenty of fiery solos from Marc Ribot, Jamie Saft, and Kenny Wollensen. Blends soul, surf, jazz, minimalism, rumba, tango, samba, exotica in classic Dreamers style.
S. Araw “Trio” XI – Gazebo Effect 2xLP (Sun Ark Records)
S. Araw “Trio” XI is a new configuration of the Sun Araw Band, the live-action collaborative branch of Sun Araw. Over the course of several studio dates in Hollywood, California, “Trio” players Cameron Stallones, Alex Gray and Mitchell Brown successfully planted a garden of “non-dimensional” objects, not only spontaneously generating these objects but also mastering their nurture and cultivation. Gazebo Effect is a nocturnal stroll into the depths of the garden, it’s upper lawns and outbuildings.
Juan Wauters – Who Me? LP+MP3 (Captured Tracks)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Inspired by both the arrangements of Uruguayan songwriter Jaime Roos and the production of American master Dr. Dre, this collection of songs presents his continued approach to existential questioning through pop music.
NEXT WEEK’S NEW RELEASES
FAILURE – Heart Is A Monster CD/LP
MATT POND PA – State of Gold CD/LP
JOY WILLIAMS (Civil Wars) – Venus CD/LP
VELVET TEEN – All Is Illusory CD
NEIL YOUNG – Monsanto Years CD
GOOD OLD WAR – Broken Into Better Shape CD/LP
REFUSED – Freedom CD/LP
SENSES FAIL – Pull The Thorns From Your Heart CD/LP
NICK CAVE – Boatman’s Call LP reissue
NICK CAVE – No More Shall We Part LP reissue
JOY DIVISION – Closer LP reissue
JOY DIVISION – Unknown Pleasures LP reissue
OF MONSTERS AND MEN – Beneath The Skin LP
JAILL – Brain Cream CD/LP
MUTOID MEN – Bleeder CD/LP
MUTOID MEN – Helium Head EP CD/12″
LA PRIEST – Inji CD/LP