kimber – nada surf
lindsay – olympians, marching church
dario – the rachel’s reissue
jeff – the olympians
THIS WEEK’S NEW RELEASES
Lou Barlow – Apocalypse Fetish CDEP (Joyful Noise)
The Dinosaur Jr. bassist and all-around alt rock icon releases an all-ukulele EP. [Vinyl edition due November 11.]
The Brian Jonestown Massacre – Third World Pyramid CD/LP (A. Records)
BJM’s 15th album includes guest appearances include Emil Nikolaisen from the Norwegian band Serena-Maneesh, plus vocal performances by Tess Parks and Katy Lane. “‘Good Mourning,’ the opening track is a melancholic song, as the rest eight tracks are loaded with psychedelic garage elements which is endemic of BJM’s sound.” – Last Day Deaf
Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker – Overnight CD/LP (Rough Trade)
British duo Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker have built up a following in their native country over the past five years with their at once fresh and timeless folk-rock sound and dynamic live performances. The ambitious Overnight focuses on Clarke’s magnificent voice and lyrics alongside Walker’s prodigious guitar-playing and arranging; the album features panoramic orchestration by an eclectic core of acclaimed musicians, including strings, horns, piano, double bass, and drums.
CRX – New Skin CD/LP+MP3 (Sony)
New Skin is the debut album from CRX, the new project for Strokes lead guitarist Nick Valensi. Produced by Josh Homme.
Datura4 – Hairy Mountain CD (Alive)
An album of ass-kickin’ rock & roll meets face-melting psychedelic soul from Dom Mariani (The Stems/DM3/Someloves) and Greg Hitchcock (You Am I/New Christs).
Empire Of The Sun – Two Vines CD/LP (Astralwerks)
Australian psych-pop weirdos Empire Of The Sun had a spiritual awakening before they began writing for their third record. “Buddha was revealed to me,” says multi-instrumentalist Nicholas Littlemore. “And the theme really rushed through me: I wanted to write about plants and love and the planet.” To achieve this vision, Littlemore and bandmate Luke Steele recruited Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, Prince’s onetime protegée Wendy Melvoin, and David Bowie collaborators Henry Hey and Tim Lefebvre for a result that’s more akin to the interstellar psychedelia of their 2008 debut than 2013’s more Top 40-radio-baiting Ice On The Dune. Said Littlemore: “There was an image we talked about very early on with this record, before we wrote the title track, ‘Two Vines,’ and that was this image of a modern city overtaken by jungle, almost like mother nature taking back the planet. He added, “All the buildings will turn back to sand. All it will be is nature again. We wanted to make something that reflected the beauty of that, and the wisdom that plants can give us about living harmoniously on this beautiful planet.”
Alejandro Escovedo – Burn Something Beautiful CD (Fantasy)
Alejandro Escovedo is the definition of a songwriter’s songwriter. While his own career has been a modest success, the biggest names in music adore the guy’s work. Bruce Springsteen calls him up at his own shows, and has appeared on Escovedo’s recordings. Ryan Adams and Whiskeytown featured him as a vocalist on several songs during the band’s active years. R.E.M. lead guitarist Peter Buck is a frequent tour-mate—and he’s also the co-writer and co-producer of Escovedo’s new album, Burn Something Beautiful. Escovedo and Buck were joined on the writing front by indie rock hero Scott McCaughey (The Minus Five), and the three had a deep collaborative process when writing songs on the album. The result is a thirteen-track set that—if single ‘Heartbeat Smile’ is any indication—recalls both vintage Escovedo and the pop-rock sensibilities of his collaborators” – Texas Monthly. [Vinyl edition due November 11.]
Wayne Hancock – Slingin’ Rhythm CD/LP (Bloodshot)
Wayne ‘The Train’ Hancock’s new album, Slingin’ Rhythm, is a finely honed brand of juke joint rhythm sitting in the sweet spot of American music invention between country, hillbilly, jazz, and Western swing
Steve Hauschildt – Strands CD/LP (Kranky)
New release from the electronic musician and former member of Emeralds. “Strands is a song cycle that is about cosmogony and creation/destruction myths. The title alludes to the structural constitution of ropes as I wanted to approach the compositions so that they consisted of strands and fibers which form a unified whole. This was so the songs could have the appearance of being either taut or slack without being fundamentally locked to a grid. So the sounds/tones have a certain malleability to them and sound like they’re bending through time. It’s also grittier and more distorted than my previous albums. I wanted to try and capture that moment in nature and society where life slowly reemerges through desolation, so it has a layer of optimism looming underneath. The music represents this by seemingly decaying at times but then reforms and morphs in a fluid way back to its original state.” – Steve Hauschildt
Helmet – Dead To The World CD/LP (earMUSIC)
Helmet came out swinging in 1990 and was pretty consistent with album releases up to 1997. After ’97, the band took seven years to release Size Matters due to a hiatus/break up, got fairly consistent again, and then hit another pause in 2010. Now a full six years later, Helmet returns with a new album, Dead To The World. “Catch phrases, punchlines, guns, bluster, ammo, incivility, impatience, murder. You, me, us, them, life, liberty and the pursuit of property. We disagree, we disrespect, discourse disappears in the age of access. When in doubt GET LOUD! It’s my way or the highway, thank you Lawrence Tierney,” says frontman Page Hamilton in a stream of consciousness comment about the new disc.
The Hidden Cameras – Home On Native Land CD (Outside Music)
Joel Gibb is the lead singer, songwriter and choir captain of the band of folk art rockers The Hidden Cameras. Since forming in Toronto in 2001, Gibb and his gang of musical provocateurs have created music and live performances legendary for their raucous celebration of freedom, sexuality and sound. Home On Native Land was written and recorded over ten years by Gibb with friends, bandmates and icons including Mary Margaret O’Hara, Rufus Wainwright, Feist, Bahamas, Ron Sexsmith and Neil Tennant. Together they form a chorus of voices over a score of dulcet tones and cool banjo rock. [Vinyl edition due November 25.]
Honeyblood – Babes Never Die CD/LP (FatCat)
Babes Never Die is the second full-length album by Scottish female duo Honeymoon, composed of Shona McVicar (drums) and Stina Marie Claire Tweeddale (guitar and vocals). “Their sound has been intensified with chunky riffage and punchy rhythms whilst they’ve retained their catchy melodies.”
Marching Church – Telling It Like It Is CD (Sacred Bones)
Marching Church, the onetime solo project and now bona fide big band formed by singer Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, has followed its leader’s muse everywhere from their early days of 4-track lo-fi tapes, to Sam Cooke-tinged soul on This World Is Not Enough, to outré free jazz on their most recent Coming Down 12″. For Telling It Like It Is, Rønnenfelt and his bandmates have foregone much of their past proclivity for wild stylistic swings in favor of thematically unified, complicated, but fundamentally cohesive song arrangements; the studio itself at times acting as an auxiliary band member. The result is the most focused vision of Marching Church yet, but one that has lost none of its swagger, and none of its power to enthrall. [Vinyl edition due November 11.]
Michael Mayer – & CD/2xLP (!K7)
As is alluded to in its title, & is a highly collaborative affair, with Mayer teaming up with somebody different on each of its 12 tracks. Having mainly worked in a solo capacity in recent years, the German producer was inspired by a series of back-to-back performances he made last year. The acts invited on board for the LP come from varied backgrounds and include the likes of Joe Goddard (of Hot Chip), Roman Flügel, Miss Kittin, Prins Thomas, Kölsch, as well as Kompakt stalwarts Jörg Burger, Wolfgang and Reinhard Voigt.
Nada Surf – Peaceful Ghosts CD/LP+MP3 (Barsuk)
Nada Surf has played hundreds of live gigs over the course of the band’s 24-year history, but this past summer they tried something new: Performing with an orchestra. The New York-based band played two performances, one with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra at a concert hall on June 17, and another with the German-based Babelsberg Film Orchestra at a film studio in front of about 50 people on June 21. Peaceful Ghosts is comprised of that second performance.
The Olympians – The Olympians CD/LP+MP3 (Daptone)
A dramatic and cinematic journey to the outer limits of instrumental soul music, built on a foundation laid by the same craftsmen whose bricks built the legacies of Sharon Jones, Lee Fields, Charles Bradley, The Budos Band, and Menahan Street Band, and painted with lush strings, harpsichord, harp, and horns.
The Orb – COW / Chill Out World CD/LP+MP3 (Kompakt)
The Orb’s 16th album features guest appearances from Youth and Roger Eno. Featuring only the occasional presence of buoyant, gently rhythmic pulses and loops, Alex Paterson describes COW as “Our most ambient album yet”. Sounds bubble, flutter and float through various atmospheres and moods, from bucolic and picturesque, childlike wonderment, the texture of bygone memories, to the universe’s infinite depth. Whilst Alex calls it “a protest album in reverse”, Thomas Fehlmann further explains, “We didn’t intend to rehash old chill out vibes. On the contrary. It’s the 21st century and it seems like a good idea for people to sit back and chill the f*ck out, before continuing to act destructively. To chill out is to act consciously, guided from a calm center.”
The Pop Group – Honeymoon On Mars CD/LP+MP3 (Freaks R Us)
The post punk provocateurs return with a new album. Honeymoon On Mars finds the band unwaveringly incensed and resolute in their mutative sense of innovation, as Stewart elaborates: “it’s a stand against manufactured hate, a hypersonic journey into a dystopian future full of alien encounters and sci-fi lullabies.” [CD is available in Regular and Deluxe editions. Deluxe adds a five-track megamix bonus EP, a zine of cut up art by Mark Stewart, three badges, and a sticker. Limited color vinyl edition also available.]
Selector Dub Narcotic – This Party Is Just Getting Started CD/LP (K Records)
The debut album by Selector Dub Narcotic is an exercise in ecstatic genre-smashing, blending and up-ending. Calvin Johnson of the K label and such Olympia combos as Dub Narcotic Sound System, Beat Happening, Halo Benders and most recently The Hive Dwellers has been working under the nom de plume Selector Dub Narcotic since founding the Dub Narcotic Studio in 1993. This Party Is just Getting Started is a collaboration with NW hip-hop producer Smoke M2D6, who first began working with K producing the All Your Friend’s Friends compilation. As a member of the Oldominion crew Smoke M2D6 has produced almost every major hip-hop artist in Washington and Oregon. This Party Is Just Getting Started began with the song “All for the Sake of Rhymin'” (which samples K artist Mahjongg) and snowballed into an entire album of dance pop garage soul with Calvin’s trademark melodica wafting overall.
Slothrust – Everyone Else CD/LP (Dangerbird)
Composed of Leah Wellbaum (guitars/vocals), Kyle Bann (bass), and Will Gorin (drums), Slothrust have crafted a veritable fireworks display in Everyone Else—visceral, bone marrow cutting anthems that grab your ear in the short term and sustain their appeal over the long haul thanks to the sheer complexity and originality of the arrangements and lyrical depth. “People have always had trouble comparing us to other bands, but someone recently described us as Nirvana meets Wynton Marsalis, and I loved that,” says Wellbaum. The band, who studied music and honed their sound while enrolled at Sarah Lawrence College, are worthy of such a lofty compliment. “We all studied jazz and blues, so I often use chords and voicings that aren’t quite as conventional for contemporary rock,” she states. “Certain harmonic movement can get stale, so I try to incorporate colorful notes to give it more depth. The improvisational spirit of blues music is also something we try to always keep with us, even in more composed playing.” She goes on to say, “I am drawn to musicians a bit further outside of the rock tradition, such as John Fahey, Elizabeth Cotten, D’Angelo, and Portishead. Growing up I listened to a lot of R&B and classical music. And musicals.”
TOY – Clear Shot CD (PIAS America)
“Altered consciousness, dreamy detachment and a healthy streak of escapism have long been hallmarks of psychedelic music. TOY is well aware of this — but at the same time, the British band is savvy enough to know just how far a pop song can be pushed, pulled and stretched. Snatches of everyone from Can to Stereolab to MGMT can be heard in Clear Shot‘s chugging-yet-supple anthems to ecstasy. ‘Dream Orchestrator’ is the catchiest of the lot; propelled by a throbbing beat and effervescent synths, it’s by far the danciest track on the album, not to mention the most forward-gazing. The chorus alone could be bottled and sold as an antidepressant, fueled as it is by easygoing hooks, squalls of breathless noise and upward-spiraling rapture. Rather than relying too heavily on the work of psychedelia’s past masters, frontman Tom Dougall and crew have put a futuristic spin on hallucinatory pop — that is, if the future were something to be viewed with romance and wonder instead of today’s all-too-pervasive doom” – NPR. [Vinyl edition due November 11.]
Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition 2xLP (Warp)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Atrocity Exhibition is a fresh, bold rap album — a sonic swirl inspired by the work of Talking Heads and Joy Division that sounds like nothing else from the past or present. Featuring contributions from producers like Evian Christ, Petite Noir (who also lends vocals to the world-weary clang of ‘Rolling Stone’), Black Milk, The Alchemist and frequent collaborator Paul White, the album is full of laser-beam guitars, gym-teacher whistles, creaking vocal samples, and air-raid drones. It is the most intriguing take on hallucinatory rap since the heady heights of Cold Vein or Madvillainy. Known for his wide range of collaborations, including everyone from Purity Ring, The Avalanches and Rustie to Schoolboy Q, E-40, and Ghostface Killah, Atrocity Exhibition sees a continuation of this carefully curated mix. Kelela lends her snaking vocals to the intriguingly murky “From The Ground,” Cypress Hills B-Real delivers a languid hook on “Get Hi,” and Earl Sweatshirt, Kendrick Lamar, and Ab-Soul all convene for the twinkling ominousness of album standout “Really Doe.” [Deluxe pink color vinyl pressing also available.]
Drake – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late  2xLP (Republic)
Drake/Future – What A Time To Be Alive (Republic)
Drake – Views 2xLP (Republic)
Official vinyl editions now available
Luna – Long Players 92-99 6xLP (Captured Tracks)
This vinyl box set gathers Luna’s five albums from the ‘90s as well as a compilation of demos and B-sides recorded contemporaneously. Accompanying the records is a book featuring archival imagery, an interview with Dean Wareham conducted by Noah Baumbach, and an oral history with the band and their producers. As the majority of these records were never released on vinyl outside of limited pressings, this is a boon to longtime fans and new listeners alike.
Rachel’s – Systems/Layers  2xLP+MP3 (Quarterstick)
Louisville-based avant-garde chamber group Rachel’s present the vinyl debut of their 2003 full-length album Systems/Layers. This double LP album release also includes the vinyl debut of Rachel’s 2005 EP, Technology Is Killing Music.
Weezer – Weezer (Blue Album) [Reissue/1994] LP (Geffen)
Weezer – Pinkerton [Reissue/1996] LP (Geffen)
Weezer – Weezer (Green Album) [Reissue/2001] LP (Geffen)
Weezer – Maladroit [Reissue/2002] LP (Geffen)
Weezer – Make Believe [Reissue/2005] LP (Geffen)
Weezer – Weezer (Red Album) [Reissue/1996] LP (Geffen)
Standard weight 120gm vinyl reissues – each with a 12”x12” insert. All self-titled albums are pressed on their respective color vinyl.
She & Him – Christmas Party CD/LP (Sony)
Christmas Party is the new holiday album from She & Him, the duo comprised of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward. Christmas Party is the follow up to their wildly popular A Very She And Him Christmas, and this new collection features guest appearances by Jenny Lewis, The Chapin Sisters and Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley.
NEXT WEEK’S NEW RELEASES
HOPE SANDOVAL + THE WARM INVENTIONS (Mazzy Star) – Until The Hunter CD/LP
JIM JAMES (My Morning Jacket) – Eternally Even CD
LAMBCHOP – Flotus CD/LP
STRFKR – Being None One Going Nowhere CD/LP
TAD LP reissues
BRIGHT EYES – Fevers and Mirrors reissue CD/LP
BRIGHT EYES – Lifted Or The Story Is In The Soil reissue CD/LP
CHRIS ROBINSON – If You Lived Here You Would Be Home By Now CD/LP
KAISER CHIEFS – Stay Together CD/LP
ESBEN AND THE WITCH – Older Terrors CD/LP
CZARFACE – Fistful Of Peril CD/LP
LEE FIELDS + EXPLORERS – Special Night CD/LP
NAIM AMOR/JOHN CONVERTINO – Western Suite and Siesta Song CD/LP
COMMON – Black American Again CD
ALICIA KEYS – Here CD
EFTERKLANG – Leaves: The Colour Of Falling CD
TYVEK – Origin Of What CD/LP
ALEJANDRO ESCOVEDO – Burn Something Beautiful LP
NADA SURF – Wild Heart LP
PINK FLOYD – Dark Side Of The Moon LP
NICO MUHLY + TEITUR LASSEN – Confessions LP
PINK FLOYD – Dark Side Of The Moon LP
NICO MUHLY + TEITUR LASSEN – Confessions LP
TORO Y MOI – Live From Trona 12″