Dario- Jacaszek and Anohni
Brittany- Nikki Lane
THIS WEEK’S NEW RELEASES
Adult. – Detroit House Guests CD/LP (Mute)
Adult. is the Detroit duo Nicola Kuperus and Adam Lee Miller. Their seventh album (and first on Mute) Detroit House Guests became a reality after receiving a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation grant, and is based on the “visual” artist residency model but for musicians. Each musician would come for up to a three-week period with the parameter that we live, work, and collaborate together. The results — a total anthropological sound experiment and a full-length album.
Anohni – Paradise CDEP/10”+MP3 (Secretly Canadian)
Anohni’s Paradise EP is the extension, into 2017, of a language of protest and distress. The songs presented here — already featured in her arresting live performances — were made during the same sessions as Hopelessness, but rather than trimmings or bonus material, they are, instead, unique touch points for old problems and newly minted geo-political crises writ macabre.
Gary Clark Jr. – Live/ North America 2016 CD/2xLP (WB)
Live North America 2016 was recorded absolutely live, with no overdubs. What you hear is how it went down. The album includes all new and unreleased live recordings from Gary Clark Jr’s 2016 tour in support of his internationally acclaimed The Story Of Sonny Boy Slim. It features several songs from that album, including “The Healing,” “Grinder,” “Our Love,” “Cold-Blooded,” and “Shake,” featuring Leon Bridges and his saxophonist Jeff Dazey. The set is characterized by raw soul and funk, classic solo and blues performances, and several lengthy, tour de force guitar jams. It includes two previously unreleased covers, Jimmy Reed’s “Honest I Do” and Elmore James’ “My Baby’s Gone” as well as “You Saved Me” and “When My Train Pulls In” — fan favorites from Clark’s debut Blak And Blu. Much like the great blues, jazz, and soul legends of past, these recordings are lightening in a bottle – historical moments in time for an artist who is ever morphing and one of the truly great improvisers of his generation.
Jarvis Cocker/Chilly Gonzales – Room 29 CD (Deutsche Grammophon)
Jarvis Cocker, former frontman of the famous Brit pop band Pulp and Canadian pianist/rapper/producer/
composer Chilly Gonzales have teamed up for this exciting new project. Room 29 was initially conceived as a theatre piece about the legendary room 29 of Hollywood hotel Chateau Marmont. Cocker wrote the piece during his own stay there, inspired by one of the room’s more unusual features – a baby-grand piano – as a witness of all the countless dramas that must have taken place within. The tales from the Chateau have become so legendary that anyone with even a passing interest in rock ‘n’ roll – or any facet of the entertainment industry for that matter – will have heard a Hollywood story related to the Chateau. [Vinyl edition due March 31.]
Depeche Mode – Spirit CD/2xCD/2xLP (Columbia)
Spirit is the new album from Depeche Mode, and the band’s 14th studio release. It marks the band’s first collaboration with producer James Ford of Simian Mobile Disco (Foals, Florence & The Machine, Arctic Monkeys). “‘We’re living in a time of real change,’ says Depeche Mode singer Dave Gahan, a vision of intensity dressed head-to-toe in black. ‘As I get older, the things going on in the world affect me more. I think about my kids and what they’re growing up into. My daughter, Rosie, was deeply affected by the election last year. … She just sobbed, and I was like, ‘Wow.’ That sense of worry informed Gahan and his Depeche Mode bandmates while writing Spirit, as many of the LP’s 12 songs deal directly with the general Weltschmerz circulating the planet lately. The record’s first single, the Gore-penned ‘Where’s The Revolution?’ is a slow-building number which features fuzzy synths, and serves as a call-to-arms as Gahan sings, ‘The train is coming/Get on board,’ along with the title question. It’s a mood that continues in another Spirit song ‘Backwards.’ It opens with Gahan singing, ‘We are the bigots/We have not allowed/We have no respect/We have lost control.’ It goes on to lambaste some people’s ‘caveman mentality’ and how others ‘feel nothing inside,’ amid jabbing keyboards and pounding rhythms and complete with Gore’s backing vocals. ‘If we want things to change, a revolution, we need to talk about it and about caring about what goes on in the world,’ Gahan says” – Rolling Stone. [CD is available in Regular and Deluxe editions. Deluxe adds a bonus disc of remixes. Double-vinyl LP edition features an etching on Side D.]
Grails – Black Tar Prophecies Vol’s 1, 2, & 3 [Reissue/2006] CD/LP+MP3 (Temporary Residence)
Grails – Take Refuge In Clean Living [Reissue/2008] CD/LP+MP3 (Temporary Residence)
Remastered for vinyl and reissued for the first time in over a decade (CD reissues also available), Black Tar Prophecies Vols. 1, 2, & 3 is a massive evolutionary step in the established Grails sound and is shrouded in change and pain. The somewhat clinical studio sound and recording style with which they had established a tremendous following has been replaced with a much more free and conceptual recording style. This method liberated the group in the studio and these recordings feel much more open, heavy, and psychedelic. Take Refuge In Clean Living sees Grails pulling back their already wide lens on multiple sonic horizons. Opening with a nod to Syd Barret’s Pink Floyd (Piper At The Gates Of Dawn) Take Refuge In Clean Living begins with Morse code and drops into one of the heaviest slowburn grooves in the Grails canon. Sounding something like Hawkwind and Ravi Shankar scoring Blade Runner, it’s lysergic and earthy for Grails in a new way.
Jacaszek – KWIATY CD/LP+MP3 (Ghostly Int’l)
Michał Jacaszek is an absolute master of melancholy: the Polish composer who’s spun dramatic shades of darkness and light into gold for more than a decade now, from the trickle-down electronics of Treny and artful gloom of Glimmer to the vapor-trailed verses of their looming spiritual cousin KWIATY. KWIATY — which was inspired by An English anthology of metaphysical poetry from the 17th century — is the most vocal-driven material Jacaszek’s ever written, melding his stormy melodies with a breakout performance by Hania Malarowska (of the Warsaw-based rock band Hanimal) and the robust supporting roles of Joasia Sobowiec-Jamioł and Natalia Grzebała, with lyrics adapted from poems from Virgil and Robert Herrick.
Milky Chance – Blossom CD (Republic)
Time describes Blossom’s first single “Cocoon” as “somewhere between the folksy rock of Vampire Weekend and the haunting electropop of Beach House.” Indie Shuffle writes, “they have wonderfully upbeat songs and can also put on a pretty solid live performance,” while Indie Obsessive claims, “the band s sound combines deep, organic warmth instrumental arrangements and it also brings forth a palpable sense of returning to a place of serenity.” [Vinyl edition due April 14.]
Conor Oberst – Salutations CD/LP (Nonesuch)
Salutations is a companion piece to 2016’s lauded Ruminations. When Oberst wrote and recorded the songs on Ruminations, entirely solo—with just voice, piano, guitar and harmonica—he intended to ultimately record them with a full band. In the midst of putting together that band—upstate New York’s The Felice Brothers plus the legendary drummer Jim Keltner (Neil Young, Jackson Browne, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, and many more)—the passionate responses Oberst was getting to those first solo recordings encouraged him to release the songs as-is, in their original sparse form. The Sunday Times of London called it “the rawest album yet from the forever troubled one-time voice of a generation” and “political and very, very personal,” saying Oberst is “one of the best songwriters around.” Salutations includes full-band versions of the ten songs from Ruminations, plus seven additional songs. Guest contributions come courtesy of Jim James, Blake Mills, Maria Taylor, M Ward, Gillian Welch, Gus Seyffert, Pearl Charles, Nathaniel Walcott, and Jonathan Wilson.
Pinback – Some Offcell Voices CD/LP+MP3 (Temporary Residence)
In the early days of Pinback, they were known mostly as two lauded musicians who spent their spare time away from their primary projects (Three Mile Pilot, Thingy, Heavy Vegetable) to hone their home recording skills while experimenting with ideas, tones, and instrumentation that didn’t quite fit into those primary projects. Pinback hadn’t yet become their day job; it hadn’t yet become a well-oiled five-piece touring machine; and it had no idea where it was going to go. In retrospect, that earnest curiosity is what makes those early Pinback recordings so resonant and so unique, and what separated them from every indie rock band of this century. Every bit as powerful and expressive as their first two albums, the 1999 EP, Some Voices, and the 2003 EP, Offcell, famously bucked the perception of EPs as outtakes and toss-offs. What were ostensibly minor stopgaps between albums became massive fan favorites and staples of Pinback’s live show. Having never been released on vinyl, it’s only fitting that we revisit these poignant recordings – and take the opportunity to painstakingly remaster and repackage them into the full-length album that never was, the aptly named Some Offcell Voices.
Real Estate – In Mind CD/LP+MP3 (Domino)
In Mind is the fourth album from the NJ dream pop group, their first to feature Julian Lynch on guitar, and produced by Cole M.G.N. Long respected for their deft lyrical hand and gorgeous melodies, In Mind builds upon the Real Estate’s reputation for crafting perfect songs and carries them even deeper into the pantheon of great songwriters. Here they fine-tune the winsome songwriting and profound earnestness that made previous albums—Real Estate, Days, and Atlas—so beloved, and pushes their craft in compelling new directions. Written primarily by guitarist/vocalist Martin Courtney, In Mind offers a mild shifting of the gears, positing a band engaged in the push/pull of burgeoning adulthood. Reflecting a change in lineup, changes in geography, and a general desire to move forward without looking back, the record recasts the band in a new light—one that replaces the ennui of teen suburbia with an adult version.
Regina Spektor – Live On Soundstage CD+DVD (BMG)
On Friday July 29, 2016, singer/songwriter and pianist Regina Spektor performed at WTTW’s Grainger Studio in Chicago to about 400 of her biggest fans, delivering an array of her compositions from past and current projects. [Stand-alone Blu-ray edition also available.]
Spoon – Hot Thoughts CD/LP+MP3 (Matador)
“In a career that spans more than 20 years, Spoon has perfected a kind of ruthlessly airtight efficiency: Every few years, the Austin band returns with a new batch of perfectly compact three-minute pop-rock songs. As consistent as it is beloved, Spoon never fails to hit its mark — delivered forcefully, and with hooks for days. If the title track on the band’s ninth album Hot Thoughts is any indication, that impeccably chosen palette’s got a few new colors. Thanks in part, no doubt, to Dave Fridmann joining the band as a co-producer, ‘Hot Thoughts’ has a rangy, swirly sparkle to it, portending an album that spreads out for a bit of a journey” – NPR. [Limited red color vinyl pressing also available.]
Tedeschi Trucks Band – Live From The Fox Oakland 2xCD/2xCD+DVD/2xCD+Blu-ray (Fantasy/Concord)
In September of 2016, Tedeschi Trucks Band set out for the West Coast to make a live album. After 10 shows, there was no shortage of great music to choose from, but for everyone on the tour, one night stood out from the rest: September 9th at the Fox Theatre in Oakland. Live From The Fox Oakland is a live double album that David Fricke calls “a new peak in the continuing story of a great American rock & roll family band.” The set is available as a Regular double-CD version as well as a Deluxe edition which adds your choice of a DVD or Blu-ray video of the show. In addition to the 15 blistering tracks, the film also features extensive behind the scenes footage, including Derek’s recent visit to Marc Maron’s garage for the WTF! Podcast, and an interview with Derek and Susan conducted by Rolling Stone critic David Fricke for SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Live From The Fox Oakland was mixed using a vintage Neve console to achieve an exquisitely immersive sound experience, and mastering guru Bob Ludwig added his craft to the full 5.1 surround sound mix and album audio. [Vinyl edition due April 14.]
Julien Baker – Funeral Pyre b/w Distant Solar System 7”+MP3 (Matador)
“Memphis, TN-based songwriter Julien Baker is the latest addition to the renowned Matador Records roster. The 21-year-old’s devastating, delicate, plaintive, vulnerable debut album, Sprained Ankle (I could keep going with the adjectives, but really, ‘striking’ might be my favorite, as the music completely captivated us and left us no choice but to add it to our roster), which was released in 2015. A previously unreleased song ‘Funeral Pyre,’ is the title-track and A-side for Baker’s new 7”. Only Baker can make such a darkly macabre subject so heartbreakingly gorgeous, her signature hushed-yet- lofty vocals soaring over a quietly fingerpicked melody, crescendoing into layered, almost-orchestral beauty.
Califone – Quicksand / Cradlesnakes [Reissue/2003] 2xLP (Dead Oceans)
In the summer of 2002, Tim Rutili and the rest of Califone had just come out of a busy year that included touring with Yankee Hotel Foxtrot-era Wilco and collaborating with Issac Brock’s alter-ego project, Ugly Casanova. With new creative energy unlocked, the band began work on the follow-up to their breakout full-length debut, Roomsound. The result, the much celebrated Quicksand / Cradlesnakes, brims with earned confidence. Here, Califone began to master the mix of blues, country and technical glitchery so oft-referenced today, all the while creating something timeless.
Dead Can Dance – The Serpent’s Egg [Reissue/1988] LP (4AD)
Dead Can Dance – Aion [Reissue/1990] LP (4AD)
Dead Can Dance – Spiritchaser [Reissue/1996] 2xLP (4AD)
Vinyl reissues of DCD’s fourth, fifth, and seventh albums. This completes the recent vinyl reissue campaign of their classic 4AD back-catalog.
Nikki Lane – Highway Queen LP+MP3 (New West)
Limited picture disc vinyl edition. Nikki Lane’s third album Highway Queen sees the young Nashville rebel emerge as one of country and rock’s most gifted songwriters. Produced by Lane and fellow singer/songwriter Jonathan Tyler, and recorded in Denton, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee, Highway Queen is an emotional tour-de-force. Blending potent lyrics, unbridled blues guitars and vintage ‘60s country-pop swagger, Lane’s new music will resonate as easily with Black Keys and Lana Del Rey fans as those of Neil Young and Tom Petty. Highway Queen starts with the whiskey-soaked restlessness of “700,000 Rednecks,” a rowdy call to action, and ends on the profoundly raw “Forever Lasts Forever,” where Lane belts freely, mourning a failed marriage – the “lighter shade of skin” left behind from her wedding ring. Lane’s journey to heartbreak takes exquisite turns. “Companion” is pure Everly Brothers’ dreaminess (“I would spend a lifetime/ Playing catch you if I can”). Elsewhere, she goes on a Vegas bender on the rollicking “Jackpot,” fights last-call blues (“Foolish Heart”) and tosses off brazen one-liners at a backroom piano (“Big Mouth”).
P.O.S. – Chill, Dummy 2xLP+MP3 (Doomtree)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. The Minneapolis rapper and founding member of Doomtree, releases his first solo album since 2012’s We Don’t Even Live Here. Chill, Dummy marks the rapper’s return to form following a 2014 kidney transplant. Features Justin Vernon, Astronautalis, Kathleen Hanna, Lizzo, Allan Kingdom, Busdriver and Open Mike Eagle and many others.
Skeletonwitch – Beyond The Permafrost [Reissue/2007] LP (Prosthetic)
Skeletonwitch – Serpents Unleashed [Reissue/2013] LP (Prosthetic)
Limited vinyl reissues of the Ohio thrash metal band’s second and fifth albums. [Serpents Unleashed is pressed on silver color vinyl.]
NEXT WEEK’S NEW RELEASES
ARBOURETUM – Song Of The Rose CD/LP
BARDO POND – Under The Pines CD/LP
BLACK CROWES – Into The Fog CD
DIAMANDA GALAS – At Saint Thomas CD
CRAIG FINN – We All Want The Same Things CD
JOHNNY FLYNN – Sillion CD
JESUS + MARY CHAIN – Damage + Joy CD/LP
BRIDGET KEARNEY – Wont Let You Down CD/LP
PONTIAK – Dialectic CD/LP
LAETITIA SADIER – Source Ensemble CD/LP
SPIRAL STAIRS – Doris + The Daggers CD/LP
WOLF EYES – Undertown CD/LP
JOHN ZORN – There Is No Firament CD
ODDISSEE – Iceberg CD
DANIEL BRANDT – Eternal Something CD/LP
FUCKED UP – Year Of The Dragon CD/LP
SOUL JAZZ PRESENTS – Hustle Reggae Disco CD/LP
PALLBEARER – Heartless CD/LP
SERA CAHOONE – From Where I Started CD/LP