kimber – the album leaf
lindsay – cass mccombs
dario – the bad plus
jeff – mild high club, vinyl williams
THIS WEEK’S NEW RELEASES
Æthenor – Hazel CD/LP (VHF)
Fifth album from the group of eclectic travelers that includes Stephen O’Malley (SunnO))), KTL), Daniel O’Sullivan (Ulver, This Is Not This Heat, Grumbling Fur, etc.), Kristoffer Rygg (Ulver), and Steve Noble (Brötzmann Trio, N.E.W.). Atmospheric and layered, Hazel features bits and pieces of identifiable rock-moves peeking out from under a thick blanket of hard-to-identify drift.
The Album Leaf – Between Waves CD/LP (Relapse)
Nearly twenty years into a career that has seen Jimmy LaValle exercising his creativity across the realms of film scoring, sound collage, and electronic/rock music, via instrumental and vocal-driven compositions alike, LaValle and The Album Leaf deliver yet another sonic triumph with Between Waves. Born out of a thorough reinvention of LaValle’s creative process and approach, Between Waves is The Album Leaf’s first proper full-length record in over six years and the first to be recorded and produced as a complete band, and was written with greater emphasis on the group dynamic. From the moody evolution of “Glimmering Lights” to the wistful trip-hop stylings of “New Soul” and beyond, Between Waves is a gorgeous collection of euphoric melodies and emotionally charged multi-instrumental soundscapes.
The Bad Plus – It’s Hard CD (Masterworks)
The Bad Plus’ eleventh studio recording sees the leaderless trio of bassist Reid Anderson, pianist Ethan Iverson, and drummer David King returning to the distinctive deconstruction of pop forms that first drew them international attention almost two decades ago. Recorded this past April at NYC’s Brooklyn Recording with longtime engineer Pete Rende (Joshua Redman, Bill McHenry), It’s Hard spans both era and inspiration as The Bad Plus offer new perspectives on this collection of covers (Crowded House, Kraftwerk, Prince, Johnny Cash, Cindi Lauper, Peter Gabriel, Barry Manilow, Maroon 5, etc.). [Vinyl edition due October 7.]
Banks & Steelz – Anything But Words CD/2xLP (WB)
Banks & Steelz is the ongoing collaboration between Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA and Interpol’s Paul Banks. “While the cross-pollination of hip-hop luminary RZA and Banks, an artist known for moody early-2000s indie rock, suggests experiment for experiment’s sake, their chemistry on record is palpable, blending Interpol’s icy remove with RZA’s disjointed flow. ‘We’re both hard workers in the studio,’ explains RZA, who was first tipped off to Banks’ work when his manager suggested they duet. They clocked more than 200 sessions and crafted ideas for around 40 songs, meticulously landscaping the sonic terrain. ‘If I was to say I met someone who works as hard as me in the studio, it would be this young man right here,’ RZA continues. ‘He’ll do it over 30 times. To me, that’s cool, because that’s how some of the best records are made, some of the best films are made that way. I respect him as an entity.’ Antyhing But Words features guest appearances from Kool Keith, Florence Welch, Method Man, MastaKilla and GhostfaceKillah, the latter of whom appears on lead single ‘Love + War.’” — SPIN
The Beach Boys – Becoming The Beach Boys: The Complete Hite & Dorinda Morgan Sessions 2xCD (Omnivore)
In September of 1961 Al Jardine, Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson, and Mike Love stepped up to a microphone together for the first time at the home of Hite and Dorinda Morgan to demo The Beach Boys’ first three songs. Between that September date and March 1962, before signing a seven-year contract with Capitol Records on May 24, 1962, they committed nine songs to tape under the direction of Hite and Dorinda Morgan. Some iconic, others obscure—“Surfin’,” “Luau,” “Lavender,” “Surfin’ Safari,” “Surfer Girl,” “Judy,” “Beach Boy Stomp” (aka “Karate”), “Barbie,” and “What Is A Young Girl Made Of”— Every complete take, false start, master take, and every second of studio banter during these historic recordings is gathered on this collection.
De La Soul – And The Anonymous Nobody CD/2xLP (A.O.I., LLC)
And The Anonymous Nobody is hip-hop trio De La Soul’s ninth album and first in four years. Guests/contributors include Snoop Dogg, Jill Scott, Usher, Justin Hawkins (The Darkness), Damon Albarn (of Blur/Gorillaz), 2Chainz, Little Dragon, and David Byrne. True to the roots of hip-hop, And The Anonymous Nobody incorporates elements of jazz, funk, rock, country western and more sampled to create the tracks. Sampling is how De La has always made music but after spending a huge part of their career fighting off the “sample police,” they decided to simply sample themselves. Over three years, they collaborated with some of L.A.’s finest studio musicians and recorded them in free-styled, unrehearsed, jam sessions. They played everything from banjo to upright bass, sometimes up to a dozen musicians at once; simply allowing sounds to integrate. “What we’ve done is created our own crates of records; album upon albums to mine and sample from. In our world, what we’ve created is freedom, freedom to make the art you believe in without having to compromise your vision. That’s what we’ve always wanted most, that’s what we’ve always believed in, that’s what we’ve fought for…”
Morgan Delt – Phase Zero CD/LP+MP3/Cassette (Sub Pop)
The invocation of classic west coast psychedelia that permeates Morgan Delt’s Sub Pop debut LP feels like a continuous sunrise, never concealing its influences yet perfectly putting its songs through a gauzy lens that blurs and obscures. Is such a thing even possible after witnessing umpteen reverb-jockeys creating their own take on the genre? Can anything truly different be done in the realm of being both original and reverent, wearing favorite records and artists’ moves on one’s sleeve? Definitely the case with our man here. The resulting 10-song collection, Phase Zero, performed entirely by Delt, is a home-fi construction with a more subtle, brain-tickling character than its predecessor, and somewhat reflects a realist take on the flower power fantasy of 1967. Doused in echo and haze, slow chords lap in like Pacific waves, flanked by gentle whispers of multi-tracked, cooing vox, phased guitars and fuzz.
The Detroit Cobras – Mink Rat Or Rabbit [Reissue/1998] CD/LP (Third Man)
The Detroit Cobras – Life, Love And Leaving [Reissue/2001] CD/LP (Third Man)
Continuing their commitment to celebrating and shining a light on classic and influential music from Detroit, Third Man Records is honored to be able to re-introduce the world to the undeniable importance of the Detroit Cobras. As one of the earliest salvos in the great Detroit garage explosion of the turn of the century, The Detroit Cobras’ Mink, Rat or Rabbit is a landmark album. Comprised solely of cover songs (as has always been the band’s MO) the Cobra’s spirited takes on Motown classics (“I’ll Keep Holding On” originally by the Marvellettes), garage punk laments (“Bad Girl” originally known as “Bad Man” by the Oblivians) girl group Tear-Jerkers (“Easier to Cry” originally by the Shangri-Las) and New Orleans soul standards (“Break- a-way” originally by Irma Thomas) and the end result is nothing short of a staple that any record collection is empty without.Originally released in 2001, Life, Love And Leaving is the group’s best-known effort, coming at a time when bands like The White Stripes and Dirtbombs were also releasing seminal albums that started picking up recognition outside of their collective hometown of Detroit.
Robbie Fulks/Mekons – Jura CD (Bloodshot)
Released on limited vinyl for RSD Black Friday 2015 – now available on CD. “This meeting between the scrappy likes of American alt-country/folk-rocker Fulks and UK punk/folk veterans the Mekons was birthed from a 2014 tour that featured both Bloodshot artists. Someone decided it would be a good idea to haul away to the remote titular island off the coast of Scotland (that has ‘more sheep than people’) and let fly on a set of acoustic, predominantly traditional fare. These 11 tracks, recorded in just three days with Fulks and a five-member subset of Jon Langford’s ever-evolving group dubbed the ‘mini-Mekons,’ are the result. It’s an organic, rootsy set of typically edgy and sea shanty-styled UK folk tunes, murder ballads and general story songs that feel like they have been around for hundreds of years.” – American Songwriter
Glass Animals – How To Be A Human Being CD/LP (Harvest)
“The success of Glass Animals’ 2014 debut album, Zaba, is, in the words of fellow British rocker Nigel Tufnel, a mystery that’s ‘best to leave…unsolved.’ Through a curious blend of tribal percussion, casually psychedelic lyrics and a transverse connection to both modern rock and electronica, Glass Animals achieves an impressive sonic iconography. Its style is unique and recognizable, and with new album How To Be a Human Being, the band proves not to be a fluke. Rather than falling in line with the pop-washed and exhaustive appropriation of genres, Glass Animals combines a few unusual sublunary musical influences to create a sound that is primal and different. Beats ranging from glacial to urgent in tempo bait fluid synths and bewitching vocals. The result is an atmosphere of revelry, one that is trippy, green and playfully sordid.” –Westworld
Joseph – I’m Alone, No You’re Not CD/LP (ATO)
Joseph is a bewitching trio of sisters from Portland, Oregon. Expect honest words and genetically perfected harmonies. For their ATO Records debut I’m Alone, No You’re Not, the band teamed with producer Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Jenny Lewis, First Aid Kit) to record eleven original songs exploding with a mystical exuberance and heart-on-sleeve emotion. A masterclass in pristine three-part harmony, the album features golden, shimmering pop songs tucked next to the most delicate ballads: love lost and found, amplified by three unwavering voices. “On album single ‘Blood And Tears,’ a track the three women wrote together, they look ahead to the hardships that come with forging a life in music. – Consequence Of Sound
Kula Shaker – K2.0 CD/LP (Strange Folk)
Kula Shaker is a last great heretic of British rock. Named after – who else? – a ninth century Indian emperor, their esoteric (Bombay) mix of psychedelic riffs, esoteric ideas and Eastern mysticism laughed in the face of Britpop orthodoxy in the ‘90s. Bristling with energy, vitality and most importantly, killer tunes, new album K2.0 is the sound of a band rebooted, re-energized and focused solely on, as frontman Crispian Mills puts it, “being the best we can possibly be — making music that speaks for itself.”
Liz Longley – Weightless CD (Sugarhill)
Weightless is the follow-up to Longley’s 2015 self-titled release, which garnered praise from American Songwriter, Huffington Post and CMT Edge, to name a few. The new album delivers bold, thick pop with rock-and-roll edges. The starkly personal lyrics explore complexities and even dysfunction of relationships. Her award-winning songwriting is stronger than ever, and producer Bill Reynolds, the bassist of Band Of Horses (also produced the Avett Brothers, Lissie) helps embrace a lush pop-rock approach which marks a musical evolution for Longley. “Liz Longley’s singing never fails to thrill and enthrall. Her voice and tone, touched with the slightest of country inflections, pours out like clean, crystalline water.” – The Ark
Cass McCombs – Mangy Love CD/2xLP+MP3 (ANTI-)
“McCombs is one of those artists who seem to blend into the tapestry of musical consciousness, lost in generic ‘coffee shop’ playlists—and unfairly so. He diligently, quietly puts out a record every year or two, and what sets him apart from other false prolifics is that his records are good. In the past, McComb’s slightly dusty-sounding folk rock was a little drowsy but in a thoughtful way, as if he were choosing each word and note carefully so as not to misspeak. In Mangy Love, it seems McCombs is emboldened, making intrepid musical choices and owning his lyrics. It’s an album that moves from earthy world music to capacious compositions that reveal McCombs’ internal grappling with substantial ideas about life and beyond. There are moments strewn throughout Mangy Love that suggest a sense of stepping into the light (such as the religious, choral intro to ‘It’), as if McCombs has been baptized and is re-introducing himself to the world. ” – Slug Magazine. [Limited color vinyl edition also available.]
Ingrid Michaelson – It Doesn’t Have To Make Sense CD/LP (Cabin 24)
“The dog days of summer call for a song that goes down smooth; a song that, no matter where you are, can brighten your mood—even if it’s just for the few minutes it’s playing. Ingrid Michaelson’s ‘Celebrate’ is that kind of song. Michaelson’s forthcoming album, It Doesn’t Have To Make Sense, isn’t bursting with convivial songs but rather is filled with gems of newfound independence, like the first single ‘Hell No,’ and now this track, both of which bring a necessary lightness to the LP.” — Nylon
Mild High Club – Skiptracing CD (Stones Throw)
Mild High Club re-imagine AM radio hits as blasting in from a parallel universe, the sound of early ‘70s L.A. in a smog of sativa. If Todd Rundgren was the primary touchstone for previous album Timeline, frontman Alexander Brettin and band now look to the wry, trenchant wit of Steely Dan, gazing deep into the dark underbelly of sun-bright L.A. and coming away with a catchy song underpinned by slippery jazz phrasings. It’s a cosmic connection that tethers The Mild High Club to fellow sonic brethren like Ariel Pink, Tame Impala, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Connan Mockasin and more. “A cocktail of super laid back dream-pop vibes mixed in with soulfully seductive bossa nova… Skiptracing presents as the perfect soundtrack to a lazy day, month maybe even year if we still haven’t had enough of it by then!” – London The Inside
Milemarker – Overseas CD/LP (Lovitt)
New release from recently reunited synth-punk/post-hardcore band. Fans of Milemarker’s early 2000s releases like Frigid Forms Sell and Anaestheticwill find a clear sonic continuity in the angular, aggressive guitars, tense melodic vocals and soaring keyboard hooks. New members Kena Kilkka (synth, vocals) and Ezra Cale (drums) deepen the krautrock and electronic tendencies, pushing the sound in unexpected directions.
New Model Army – Winter CD/LP (EarMusic)
13th album from the veteran alt-rock/folk/punk band. “One of the signatures of Winter is this organic coupling of the drums and the DIY punk sounding guitars. The opening guitar may be peaking but the lead is even more so. It is not quite as straightforward as an ever-imploding opener, there are breaks where we get a bit of piano and the sounds weave in and out. The guitars are played to the extreme but best of all the song builds to an all-out roar of an ending and becomes a song that you can get completely lost in. I don’t know about you but that ticks one of my criteria for a classic song. It feels like a storm that the band are wrestling to control and only just managing. Pure brilliance.”–Moshville
Sub Rosa – For This We Fought The Battle Of Ages CD/2xLP (Profound Lore)
New album from the Salt Lake City doom/chamber metal band.
The Veils – Total Depravity CD/2xLP+MP3 (Nettwerk)
“It’s twelve years since The Runaway Found, the debut album of The Veils, which was most people’s introduction to the particular talents of this group’s British-born, New Zealand-raised frontman Finn Andrews. Though then barely out of his teens, he already had a trademark style: brooding, intense, distinctly gothic, yet with an underlying sense of traditional songcraft, forged in the folk clubs of Devonport. Total Depravity is the fifth album from the Veils and though still recognizably them, it has more than a few new sonic twists.The first hints were heard in June with the album’s initial single, ‘Axolotl’, which sets a typical Andrews lyric, rife with images of transfiguration and devilish deals (plus an cunning quote from Bob Dylan), amid an ominously sludgy sonic landscape courtesy of rapper and producer El-P, of vogueish hip-hop outfit Run The Jewels. The combination clicked, and there is more of El-P to be heard throughout the new album. It’s hardly like The Veils have gone hip-hop, but they have certainly refreshed their traditional rock with some of El-P’s sonic palette. You can hear how loops and effects form the foundations of some of the tracks.” –RadioNZ
Butch Walker – Stay Gold CD (Dangerbird)
As a writer of dozens of songs with hooks that stick in your head, Rolling Stone has called Butch Walker, “one of America’s best singer-songwriters,” as he has penned choruses you want to sing (or shout) along to from acts including Frank Turner, Brian Fallon, Taylor Swift, and many more. He is a teller of authentic stories of exploits and predicaments and romance that are filled with optimism; builder of albums with no boundaries — rock, pop, Americana, singer/songwriter…or, as he says, “I think it’s all just rock & roll.”
Katy Goodman & Greta Morgan – Take It, It’s Yours LP+MP3 (Polyvinyl)
Katy Goodman (La Sera, Vivian Girls) and Greta Morgan (Springtime Carnivore, The Hush Sound) team up to re-imagine ten of their all-time favorite songs. From The Replacements to Blondie, The Buzzcocks to Billy Idol, Katy and Greta replace distorted guitars with church organs and vibraphones to transform these classic tracks into dreamy, surreal jams that shine anew in the glow of the pair’s sun-drenched harmonies. Pressed on 180gm baby blue vinyl.
Soundgarden – Louder Than Love [Reissue/1989] LP (A&M)
Soundgarden – Down On The Upside [Reissue/1996] 2xLP (A&M)
Remastered 180gm vinyl reissues of Soundgarden’s second and fifth albums.
Uncle Acid &The Deadbeats – Pusher Man b/w Remember Tomorrow 7” (Rise Above)
Limited edition color 7” vinyl single.The Night Creeper album track“Pusher Man” is backed with a cover of Iron Maiden’s “Remember Tomorrow.”
Vinyl Williams – Brunei LP+MP3 (Company)
This album uses lush, Islam-influenced pop music to spread harmonious qualities with the world, to ultimately benefit the human psyche and physiology. Lyrically, the album is written mainly from the perspective of an incorporeal being from Xol, the gravity cluster orbiting the star Alnilam (the center of the Orion constellation), which represents purely harmonious patterns. [Limited color vinyl edition also available.]
NEXT WEEK’S NEW RELEASES
ANGEL OLSEN – My Woman CD/LP/CASS
ELUVIUM – False Readings On CD/LP
JAMES VINCENT MCMORROW – We Move CD/LP
PATRICK WATSON – 9th Life Of Louis Drax Soundtrack CD
SLIM CESSNA’S AUTO CLUB – Commandments According To SCAC CD/LP
MOZES + FIRSTBORN – Great Pile Of Nothing CD/LP
SOUNDWALK COLLECTIVE (PATTI SMITH) – Killer Road CD/LP
ZOMBY – Ultra CD/LP
FRIGHTNRS – Nothing More To Say CD/LP
CHATHAM COUNTY LINE – Autumn CD/LP
WARLOCKS – Songs From The Pale Eclipse CD?LP
HELMS ALEE – Stillicide CD/LP
PEARL JAM – No Code LP
PEARL JAM – Yield LP
SOCIAL DISTORTION – White Light White Heat LP
NELS CLINE – Lovers LP