kimber – matmos
lindsay – michael nau, marlon williams
dario – the shivas, why the mountains are black
jeff – cavern of anti-matter, thundercat
THIS WEEK’S NEW RELEASES
Animal Collective – Painting With CD/LP+MP3 (Domino)
“Animal Collective’s tenth album, Painting With, reunites the Merriweather lineup of Lennox, Portner, and Weitz, with Josh Dibb (a.k.a. Deakin) sitting this one out for a side project of his own. Built around modular synths and eccentric percussion instruments, it’s definitely in line with the group’s style. But one reference point tending to crop up in interviews now is the Ramones; stripping away any husk of reverb or ambient interludes for the very first time, the 12-song, 41-minute set distills Animal Collective’s sound to a potent, hypercolor dose. It’s poppier, in a characteristically warped way, than even Merriweather, the group’s most popular album to date. That’s down to the record’s rarely wavering energy; subtle details abound in the interplay between Lennox and Portner’s near-indistinguishably overlapping yawps, or in the giddy, ping-ponging sonic backdrops, but that’s all a bonus when the songs bounce along like Tigger in a 5 Hour Energy ad.” – SPIN
The Cave Singers – Banshee CD (Jagjaguwar)
Banshee brings The Cave Singers back to their original three-piece lineup and also their approach to songwriting: an exchange of Derek Fudesco sending lead vocalist Pete Quirk a riff and Pete responding with vocal ideas. From there, the songs come together. Driving guitars, foot-tapping percussion, and Quirk’s powerful vocals make an intricate quilt that blankets the audience in comfort, aggressively communicating a gentle reminder: we are soft bodies trying to survive with one another.
Cavern Of Anti-Matter – Void Beats/Invocation Trex CD/3xLP+MP3 (Duophonic)
Cavern Of Anti-Matter isthe new band from Stereolab mainman Tim Gane, now Berlin-based and collaborating with original Stereolab drummer Joe Dilworth, and synth wizard Holger Zapf.Void Beats/Invocation Trex features contributions from Bradford Cox (Deerhunter/Atlas Sound), Sonic Boom (Spacemen 3), and Jan St. Werner (Mouse On Mars/Lithops).
Choir Of Young Believers – Grasque CD/LP+MP3 (Ghostly Int’l)
Having been inspired by everything from experimental electronic music to Danish ’80s and ’90s pop, to modern hip-hop and R&B to techno and Westcoast slow jams, Choir Of Young Believers’ Jannis Noya Makgrigiannis had made a new, imaginary band in his head called Grasque to reflect those influences.
Lake Street Dive – Side Pony CD/LP (Nonesuch)
For their Nonesuch Records debut album, Side Pony, Lake Stree Dive (drummer Michael Calabrese, bassist Bridget Kearney, singer Rachael Price, and guitarist/trumpeter Michael “McDuck” Olson) worked with Nashville-based producer Dave Cobb (Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton, Secret Sisters).Title track “Side Pony” refers to a whimsical hairstyle, but it also serves as a metaphor for Lake Street Dive’s philosophy and personality as a band. As Kearney puts it, “When we were settling on the album title, that one just stuck out to us as embodying the band’s spirit. We’ve always been this somewhat uncategorizable, weird, outlying, genre-less band. That’s the statement we wanted to make with this record: be yourself.”Olson echoes her sentiment: “It has also come to mean anything you’re doing for the sheer joy of it. We have always ‘rocked our side pony.’ Now we have a convenient phrase for it.” (Limited vinyl copies pressed on colored wax.)
Lushlife – Ritualize CD/LP (Western Vinyl)
From the moment you hear the bristling boom-bap chorus on album-opener “Totally Mutual Feeling,” it’s apparent that Lushlife’s third full-length finds the Philadelphia rapper-producer at his most introspective. Themes of isolation and mortality permeate Ritualize, a cinematic hour-long odyssey co-produced by enigmatic production trio, CSLSX (pronounced “Casual Sex”) and featuring contributions from Ariel Pink, Killer Mike, Marissa Nadler, RJD2, and more. With CSLSX at the boards, an entire universe opens up for Lush, where the pulsating Juno synths of ’80s L.A. night music sit side-by-side with gorgeously propulsive indie-leaning jams, and low-fi soul burners too. The resulting LP is a post-blog-era joint that seems to exhale the whole of the 20th century in a single, fascinating breath.
Matmos – Ultimate Care II CD/LP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
Recorded in the basement studio of their home in Baltimore, Ultimate Care II was constructed entirely out of the sounds generated by a Whirlpool Ultimate Care II model washing machine. Like its namesake, the album runs across its variations as a single, continuous 38-minute experience that starts with the grinding turn of the wash size selection wheel, and ends with the alert noise that signals that the wash is done. Between these audio-verité book-ends, we experience an exploded view of the machine, hearing it in normal operation, but also as an object being rubbed and stroked and drummed upon and prodded and sampled and sequenced and processed by the duo, with some occasional extra help from an ultra-local crew of guest stars (some of whom regularly do laundry chez Matmos). Dan Deacon, Max Eilbacher (Horse Lords), Sam Haberman (Horse Lords), Jason Willett (Half Japanese), and Duncan Moore (Needle Gun) all took part, either playing the machine like a drum, processing its audio, or sending MIDI data to the duo’s samplers.
Michael Nau – Mowing CD/LP (Suicide Squeeze)
“Appalachian singer/songwriter Michael Nau didn’t intend to make an album by himself. Recorded piecemeal on various back porches and down back roads in Burlington, Vermont, Nashville, and his home base of Cumberland, Maryland, his debut solo LP Mowing came together in quiet moments of downtime between polishing earnest jangle-pop gems with his wife as Cotton Jones. ‘While You Stand,’ the album opener, has a similarly homespun texture without the sepia-toned production; it’s just Nau harmonizing with himself, hitting a reedy and resonant hum — surprisingly indelible for such a wisp of a song — that stays lodged in your ear long after its two minutes’ end.” – SPIN
The Pop Group – For How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Mass Murder? [Reissue/1980] CD/LP (Freaks R Us)
The Pop Group’s arrival on the music scene in 1977 caused such a savagely radical commotion, that they are now seen as one of the most wildly innovative, groundbreaking bands of the whole post-punk era. With mystical fire, enraged by global injustices, the group delivered scathing political and society-indicting messages aboard an apocalyptic roller coaster, ferociously straddling their beloved influences such as free jazz, conscious funk, heavyweight dub and audacious experimentalism.
Ra Ra Riot – Need Your Light CD/LP+MP3 (Barsuk)
After being a band for a decade, it’s easy to get disillusioned with the tedium of adulthood, but Need Your Light, the fourth full-length from RaRa Riot, is the sound of a band being reinvigorated by their own existence. Correspondingly, the album sees the group—which originated in Syracuse but has now dispersed all over the country—getting back to their house party roots without abandoning the more-heady soundscapes they explored with 2013’s Beta Love. The result is an album that’s celebratory without being saccharine, and that sees the group collectively mining their prior experiences to craft something that looks toward the future with an optimistic gaze. “Ra Ra Riot’s journeyed state of identity—adapting to several lost members of the years, incorporating synthesizers to their original baroque pop sound—has managed to culminate in their most balanced record to date.” – Flood Magazine
Carrie Rodriguez – Lola CD (Luz)
A bilingual album by Carrie Rodriguez and The Sacred Hearts featuring guitarist Bill Frisell and guest vocalist Raul Malo. Inspired by 1940s-era recordings of her San Antonio-born great aunt Eva Garza, the bilingual album presents a collection of ranchera-inspired originals by Rodriguez in English, Spanish and “Spanglish,” coupled with Spanish songs written by some of her favorite Mexican composers. Backing band The Sacred Hearts features Bill Frisell, Viktor Krauss on bass, Luke Jacobs on pedal steel and guitars, David Pulkingham on nylon string guitar and electric guitar and Brannen Temple on drums and percussion. Vocalists Raul Malo and Gina Chavez and Grammy Award-winning bajo sexto player Max Baca also make appearances.
The Shivas – Better Off Dead CD/LP (K Records)
The Shivas — typically versed in garage and surf and psych, pieces of Nuggets and Pebbles, touring regularly with The Dandy Warhols and playing Austin Psych Fest — have laid down Better Off Dead not with the raucous anarchy of the John Cusack movie of the same name, but instead with this lilting grace of static and radio waves from the past century falling all around, studying not the fuzzy chunks that fell off in the wake of the ’60s psychedelic crisis.
Mavis Staples – Livin’ On A High Note CD (ANTI-)
The soul and gospel music legend takes on a set of 12 original songs written exclusively for her by a group of fine songwriters, including: M .Ward, Ben Harper, Valerie June, Neko Case, tUnE-yArDs, Nick Cave, John Baptiste, Justin Vernon, Aloe Blacc, and more. Vinyl edition due April 1.
TEEN – Love Yes CD/2xLP+MP3 (Carpark)
TEEN’s new album, Love Yes, explores the disharmony and empowerment that both sexuality and spirituality can create within the modern woman’s psyche. Universal ideas of loyalty, pleasure, purity, power, aging, and love are confronted with a knowable specificity. There is a quality of wholesomeness, but also an edge—a kind of wise anger and electricity. “Love Yes feels like a culmination of the band’s initial evolution, and [album track] ‘Tokyo’ signals another bold direction. A driving pop song built from churning synths, a rubbery bass line, and a swaying 6/8 waltz groove, it captures the group’s stage-honed interplay, with all four members playing together live without multi-tracking.Teeny Lieberson’s lyrics take a dramatic leap forward as she analyzes the complexities of aging relationships, sensuality, and misogyny that all too often goes unchecked.” – NPR
Doug Tuttle – It Calls On Me CD/LP (Trouble In Mind)
New Hampshire-native Doug Tuttle (ex-MMOSS) presents the follow-up to his acclaimed 2013 solo debut self-titled album with It Calls On Me. Eschewing the jittery, love-lorn anxiety of his first solo outing, It Calls On Mepresents a decidedly dreamier journey through softer, sun-burnt landscapes, while still showcasing Tuttle’s trademark masterful guitar-work and his very own brand of impeccably-crafted, fractured psychedelic pop.
Venetian Snares – Traditional Synthesizer Music 2xCD/2xLP+MP3 (Timesig/Planet Mu)
An LP comprised of songs created and performed live exclusively on a modular synthesizer with no overdubbing or editing. “Each song was approached from the ground up and dismantled upon the completion of its recording. The goal was to develop songs with interchangeable structures and sub structures, yet musically pleasing motifs.”
Wild Nothing – Life Of Pause CD/LP+MP3 (Captured Tracks/Bella Union)
Life Of Pause is the new LP from dream pop songwriter Jack Tatum, aka Wild Nothing. “Opener ‘Reichpop’ provides the first indication of Wild Nothing’s new direction, with its multiple layers creating a tropical backdrop to Tatum’s airy vocals, which sound remarkably similar to the husky tones of Bombay Bicycle Club frontman Jack Steadman. It may not be a radical transformation – the dream pop label could certainly still be attached – but the natural evolution of the track is evidence of the freedom Tatum allowed himself.The same is true of ‘Lady Blue,’ where the underlying synths and repeated ‘ooohs’ give it a summery, cool swagger, before it breaks down into an infectious hook as Tatum sings ‘Can you wait for ever girl?’. The title track is also wrapped in a cloak of haze as the prominent synths reach their peak on yet another catchy chorus (‘How can we want love?’), while the funky bassline works seamlessly in the background.” – Music OMH
Marlon Williams – Marlon Williams CD/LP+MP3 (Dead Oceans)
Marlon Williams is a singer/songwriter and guitarist from Lyttelton, New Zealand. He has performed solo as well as with current backing group the Yarra Benders. He first came to attention as front-man of The Unfaithful Ways and has also performed and recorded as a duo with Delaney Davidson. William’s music style straddles folk, country, soul, bluegrass and the blues. “As a former choirboy turned classical music student whose father was a member of a punk band, Marlon Williams was never going to make a conventional country-rock LP. Sure enough, the New Zealander’s solo debut is part Jeff Buckley, part early rock ‘n’ roll, as underlined by his cover of a Billy Fury song (‘I’m Lost Without You’). Williams’s voice is shown off best on another cover, the folk standard ‘When I Was A Young Girl,’ every second of which rings true. And while he doesn’t know quite where his strengths lie yet, tracks such as ‘Strange Things’ and ‘Lonely Side Of Her’ boast a ghostly, weathered quality.” – The Guardian
Wolfmother – Victorious CD/LP (UMe)
Fourth album from the Australian hard rock band. “Possessing a fun lightness (and brevity) that Wolfmother have sorely lacked, Victorious is an eminently listenable record: ‘Simple Life,’ ‘Baroness’ and ‘City Lights’are high-order stompers, while ‘Pretty Peggy’ and ‘Best Of A Bad Situation’ are a pair of bucolic Zeppelin III changes of pace.” – Rolling Stone
Jason Collett – Song And Dance Man LP (Arts & Crafts)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. “Song And Dance Man,” the title track from Jason Collett’s sixth full-length album, finds the singer/songwriter back at center stage, with three-minutes-and-change and a story to sing. Featuring the bright production touch of Bahamas’ Afie Jurvanen, “Song And Dance Man” covers the trials and triumphs of the modern musician with poignant poetry: If you can tweet something brilliant, you got a marketing plan. Song And Dance Man’s thirteen songs bear the wit and melody of classic Jason Collett: contemplative reflections on getting older, backed with an affinity for freewheeling ‘70s dance music. The album’s conspiring themes of love and loneliness, sun and shadows, are buoyed by its soaring sound. Each song rises into an easy, spacious groove, lead by Jason’s languid melodies and Afie’s sun-drunk bass.
Foo Fighters – Saint Cecilia EP 12” (RCA)
Recorded at its namesake the Saint Cecilia Hotel in the midst of the band’s two headline sets at this year’s Austin City Limits festival, Foo Fighters’ five-song Saint Cecilia EP is both a scrapbook of nearly forgotten moments in the band’s 20-year odyssey and a heartfelt thank you to the legions of FF faithful who have made that journey possible.
Mastodon – White Walker 12” (Reprise)
Extremely limited 12” inch vinyl picture disc pressing.“White Walker” was released digitally last winter as part of the Game Of Thrones mixtape Catch The Throne: The Mixtape, Volume 2. The B-side features an a cappella version of the single.
Tift Merritt – Bramble Rose [Reissue/2002] LP (Yep Roc)
Bramble Rose, the debut album by Tift Merritt, celebrates its 14 year anniversary with a deluxe reissue on limited edition vinyl with new artwork. The New Yorker has called Tift Merritt “the bearer of a proud tradition of distaff country soul that reaches back to artists like Dusty Springfield and Bobbie Gentry.”
The Neighbourhood – Wiped Out! 2xLP (Columbia/Sony)
Released last October on CD – now available on vinyl. Wiped Out! Is The Neighbourhood’s second album and follow-up to 2013’s I Love You. The first single “R.I.P. 2 My Youth”– which is actually the last track on the album – blends rocky shades of Foals with minimalist hip-hop. The track is both playful and despairing: ‘I’m just telling the truth / You can play this at my funeral / Tell me sister don’t cry and don’t be sad / I’m in paradise with Dad.’Speaking of the song to KROQ Los Angeles, the band said, “Sometimes your youth — some people have it taken away from them earlier and some people get to wait a little longer before you have to grow up, but either way the world kind of hits you.”
Thundercat – The Beyond/Where The Giants Roam LP (Brainfeeder)
Virtuoso bassist and singer/songwriter Stephen Bruner aka Thundercat returns to the Brainfeeder fold with his first solo material in two years. Mini-album The Beyond / Where The Giants Roam finds Thundercat collaborating with the likes of Flying Lotus, Herbie Hancock, Kamasi Washington, Miguel Atwood- Ferguson and Mono/Poly.
Various Artists – Why The Mountains Are Black – Primeval Greek Village Music: 1907-19602xLP (Third Man)
Now available on vinyl. Double-disc collection of primal and unhinged Greek village music that at times sounds more like free jazz or doom folk, feral and trance-like as it is. After years of research, fieldwork and collecting, Christopher King—Grammy-winning producer, sound-engineer, curator and writer—has gathered together from his private 78 rpm archive the most mind expanding and libido inducing song and dance music from the rural hinterlands of mainland Greece and its islands. Recorded between 1907 and 1960, this collection contains the first and the last—the alpha and the omega—of Greek demotika—or folk music.
NEXT WEEK’S NEW RELEASES
THE 1975 – I Like It When You Sleep… CD/LP
QUILT – Plaza CD/LP
SANTIGOLD – 99 Cents CD/LP
SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS – SVIIB CD/LP
TSUNAMI BOMB – Trust No One CD/LP
SHOOTER JENNINGS – Countach CD/LP
LILY & MADELINE – Keep It Together CD/LP
LNZNDRF – Self-Titled CD/LP
STEVE MASON – Meet The Humans CD/LP
MOUNT MORIAH – How To Dance CD/LP
SARAH NEUFELD – Ridge CD/LP
EMMA POLLOCK (delgados) – In Search Of Harperfield CD/LP
WACO BROTHERS – Going Down In History CD/LP
WAKEY WAKEY – Overactivist CD/LP
MACKLEMORE/RYAN LEWIS – This Unruly Mess I’ve Made CD
VARIOUS – God Don’t Never Change: The Songs Of Blind Willie Johnson CD/LP
JOHN ZORN – Flaga: The Book Of Angels Vol 28 CD
SIN ROPAS – Mirror Bride CD/LP
BAD RELIGION – 30 Years Live LP
JULIEN BAKER – Sprained Ankle LP
BOWIE LP REISSUES FOR – Best of the BBC, Aladdin Sane, Space Oddity, Hunky Dory, Man Who Sold The World, Pinups, Ziggy Stardust LP
BEN FOLDS – Rockin’ The Suburbs LP
MORRISSEY – Bona Drag LP