STAFF PICKS

Kimber – Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn
Lindsay – Destroyer
Dario – William Eggleston
Dominic – The Sea And The Cake reissues

THIS WEEK’S NEW RELEASES

Brand New – Science Fiction CD/LP (PMTRAITORS, LLC)
Science Fiction serves as the long-awaited fifth full-length (and potentially final) album from cult Long Island band Brand New and their first since 2009’s Daisy. Produced by frequent collaborator Mike Sapone, the mythical and moody 12-track collection is a distinct chapter in the band’s shape-shifting career complete with compelling interludes, gripping lyrics, textured guitars and rollercoaster loud-soft dynamics. “It’s tough to put Science Fiction in immediate comparison with Brand New’s older LPs, though fans are undoubtedly already trying,” Billboard writes. “It’s better than Daisy, impossible to compare to the pop-punk simplicity of 2001’s Your Favorite Weapon, and once it’s fully sunk in (which could take another eight years), could be argued as 2003’s Deja Entendu and 2006’s The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me‘s superior.”

 

Bully Losing CD/LP+MP3/Cassette (Sub Pop)
While Bully’s 2013 debut Feels Like tumbled headlong into the precarious nature of Alicia Bognanno’s young adult life, its follow-up Losing is their first for Sub Pop (Bully’s sound is an outgrowth of the bands the label championed in the late ‘80s and ‘90s). Losing is a document of the complexity of growth: navigating breakups with sensitivity, learning not to flee from your troubles but to face them down no matter how messy they may be. Bognanno’s gruff yet dynamic voice is allowed to bloom, and it has a tenderness and openness to it here that’s new. There’s power in the guitar attack, delicacy and toughness in the melodic hooks, precision in the drums, and backbone in the bass. While Bognanno wouldn’t call Losing a political record, she doesn’t deny that the current political atmosphere and its urgency and tension haven’t shaped some of her ideas on this record, too – though she does not want that to be its focus. Mostly, this is an internal record, a universalized diary and an exorcism – not of any one specific demon, but of the host of them that characterize contemporary anxieties.

 

John Carpenter – Anthology: Movie Themes 1974-1998 CD/LP/LP+7” (Sacred Bones)
As the director and composer behind dozens of classic movies, John Carpenter has established a reputation as one of the greatest filmmakers in the history of modern cinema, as well as one of its most influential musicians. The minimal, synthesizer-driven themes to films like HalloweenEscape From New York, and Assault On Precinct 13 are as indelible as their images. Anthology: Movie Themes 1974-1998 collects 13 classic themes from Carpenter’s illustrious career together on one volume for the first time. Each theme has been newly recorded with the same collaborators that Carpenter worked with on his hit Lost Themes studio albums: his son, Cody Carpenter, and godson, Daniel Davies. Anthology is a near-comprehensive survey of Carpenter’s greatest themes, from his very first movie, the no-budget sci-fi film Dark Star, to 1998’s supernatural Western, Vampires. Those sit alongside the driving, Led Zeppelin-influenced Assault On Precinct 13 theme, Halloween‘s iconic 5/4 piano riff, and the eerie synth work of The Fog. [Deluxe colored vinyl pressing with bonus 7” single also available.]

 

Circuit Des Yeux – Reaching For Indigo CD/LP/Cassette (Drag City)
“Haley Fohr has been making music as Circuit Des Yeux for a long time – since she was 18 in fact. She has already released four full-length albums under the moniker, and the last of those, 2015’s In Plain Speech, was something of a breakthrough for Fohr, and certainly caught the attention of Drag City, who signed the artist for the release of her fifth album, Reaching For Indigo. Judging from lead single ‘Paper Bag’, she is set to continue her exploration into the personal through psychonautic sounds. The burbling, aquatic sounding single is the kind of beguiling mixture of bare-bones songwriting and delightful artifice that Circuit Des Yeux managed on her last album, and promises more of the same from Reaching For Indigo.” – The 405

 

Colleen – A Flame My Love, A Frequency CD/LP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
French multi-instrumentalist Colleen (Cécile Schott) is fearless in her willingness to explore new sounds and new ways of creating music as a solo performer. On her new album she introduces the most drastic change to her music since she began singing on her fourth album, setting aside the viola da gamba she is known for in exchange for all electronic instrumentation – Moog pedals and Critter and Guitari synthesizers. [Limited white colored vinyl pressing also available.]

 

Tegan and Sara – The Con X: Covers CD (WB)
To commemorate the 10th anniversary of Tegan and Sara’s classic 2007 album, The Con, 14 of Tegan and Sara’s favorite artists each interpret a song from the original album. Tegan says, “As the 10th anniversary of The Con approached, Sara and I started to brainstorm meaningful ways to celebrate what was easily one of our most important records… we wanted a companion piece that would live on past the anniversary, hence The Con X: Coversalbum was born. We also wanted the proceeds to go to our recently launched Tegan and Sara Foundation, which raises money for self-identified women and girls in the LGBTQ community. With that intention set, we asked 14 artists who were either outspoken allies of the LGTBQ community or LGBTQ themselves to each cover a song from The Con, in any fashion they saw fit. All the artists agreed to donate their time and energy to the project and their labels all agreed to waive their fees as well. We are beyond grateful for the contributions of each artist, and we hope fans of The Con will be moved by their interpretations.” [Vinyl edition due December 22.]

 

Destroyer – Ken CD/LP+MP3 (Merge)
Of his twelfth studio album and its enigmatic title, Destroyer’s Dan Bejar offers: “Sometime last year, I discovered that the original name for ‘The Wild Ones’ (one of the great English-language ballads of the last 100 years or so) was ‘Ken.’ I had an epiphany, I was physically struck by this information. In an attempt to hold on to this feeling, I decided to lift the original title of that song and use it for my own purposes. “It’s unclear to me what that purpose is, or what the connection is. I was not thinking about Suede when making this record. I was thinking about the last few years of the Thatcher era. Those were the years when music first really came at me like a sickness, I had it bad. Maybe ‘The Wild Ones’ speaks to that feeling, probably why Suede made no sense in America. I think ‘ken’ also means ‘to know.’” The album was produced by Josh Wells of Black Mountain, who has been the drummer in Destroyer since 2012. The album was recorded in its entirety in the jam space/studio space that the group calls The Balloon Factory. However, unlike 2015’s Poison SeasonKen was not recorded as a “band” record, though everyone in the band does make an appearance. [Limited yellow colored vinyl pressing also available.]

 

William Eggleston – Musik CD/LP (Secretly Canadian)
Native Memphian William Eggleston, 77, is widely regarded as one of the most important photographers of the late 20th Century, but there is another side to him that took root in his Sumner, Mississippi childhood, where he discovered the piano in the parlor that ignited in him a lifelong passion for music. In the 1980’s, Eggleston, who disdained digital cameras and modernity in general, became surprisingly fascinated with a synthesizer, the Korg O1/W FD, which had 88 piano-like keys, and in addition to being able to emulate the sound of any instrument, also contained a four-track sequencer that allowed him to expand the palette of his music, letting him create improvised symphonic pieces, stored on 49 floppy discs, encompassing some 60 hours of music from which this 13 track recording was assembled.

 

Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn – Echo In The Valley CD (Rounder)
With one eye on using the banjo to showcase America’s rich heritage and the other pulling the noble instrument from its most familiar arena into new and unique realms, Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn’s second album is simultaneously familiar and wildly innovative. The results are fascinating, especially considering their strict rules for recording: all sounds must be created by the two of them, the only instruments used are banjos (they have seven between them, ranging from a ukulele to an upright bass banjo), and they must be able to perform every recorded song live. With the exception of a few restyled traditional tunes, all tracks on Echo In The Valley are originals, and are largely co-written – a different creative approach from their first album, where songs were mostly his or hers. New original tunes range from “Over The Divide,” a song inspired by Hans Breuer, who worked to ferry Syrian refugees to safety, to “Blooming Rose,” inspired by Native American voices and lamenting a continual distancing from nature, and “Don’t Let It Bring You Down” is an emphatic mantra for hard times. [Vinyl edition due November 3.]

 

Heaters – Matterhorn CD/LP (Beyond Beyond Is Beyond)
38-minutes of propulsive, precisely sculpted sonic signatures, Matterhorn is the master-class in its execution. It’s a full-screen image of dawn, dusk and darkness, never scanned-and-panned, and never less than mesmerizing.

 

Sondre Lerche – Pleasure CD (Analog Spark)
“For more than a decade, Norwegian-turned-New-Yorker Sondre Lerche explored confessional singer/songwriter reveries, Burt Bacharach-tinted chamber pop and the kitchen-sink gamut of country/blues/psych-folk, much of it with a jazzy undertone. With 2014’s Please, Lerche channeled his inner David Byrne and fully connected with his long simmering love of ’80s synth pop and Brazilian samba on a set of songs that addressed the end of his marriage. Pleasure finds Lerche similarly searching for danceable solutions, once again setting his irresistibly twisted lyric pretzels (“I’ve got so much love to give/So many graves to dig” or “I’m always watching/Call it voyeurism or masochism, a coward’s distance”) to drum machinery, Saturday-night fever sweats and twitchy ‘80s Frankie/Duran2/Soft Cell moves. The beauty of Pleasure’s vintage danceteria lies in its sharp 21st-century focus and Lerche’s consistently reliable songwriting skills, which have proven adaptable to every genre in which he’s dabbled.” – Magnet [Vinyl edition due November 10.]

 

Lindstrøm – It’s Alright Between Us As It Is CD/LP (Feedelity Recordings)
Lindstrøm pieces together a new full-length of the sparkling house and cosmic disco that his longstanding Feedelity imprint has been a key pusher of since its inauguration in 2002. Refining his love of “arpeggiated synths, warm and steamy analogue bubble baths and earworm melodies” It’s Alright Between Us As It Is folds in a whole journey around the late night tales that it is sure to be the soundtrack of in the near future.

 

Nick Lowe – Pinker And Prouder Than Previous [Reissue/1988] CD/LP (Yep Roc)
Nick Lowe – Party Of One [Reissue/1990] CD/LP (Yep Roc)
The last two of Yep Roc’s reissue series of six classic yet long unavailable Nick Lowe albums. The albums – Nick The KnifeThe Abominable ShowmanNick Lowe and His Cowboy OutfitThe Rose Of EnglandPinker And Prouder Than Previous, and Party Of One – span the years 1982 to 1990, and represent a crucial bridge from Lowe’s trailblazing ’70s work to the “remarkable second wind” (New York Times) and widespread critical acclaim that have characterized his more recent releases.

 

Nahko – My Name Is Bear CD (SideOneDummy)
Nahko’s (Medicine For The People) first solo album under his name. Spanning his formative years as an emerging artist travelling through the wild landscapes of Alaska, Hawaii and Louisiana, My Name Is Bear is a collection of deeply personal songs that tell the tales of Nahko’s awakening as an artist [Vinyl edition due November 3.]

 

Pet Shop Boys – Yes: Further Listening 2008-2009 3xCD/LP (Rhino/Parlophone)
Pet Shop Boys – Elysium: Further Listening 2011-2012 CD/LP (Rhino/Parlophone)
Two more ‘Further Listening’ multi-disc sets– the last two albums Neil and Chris issued in the Parlophone era. 2017 remasters. CD editions include B-sides and remixes.

 

Margo Price – All American Made CD/LP/2xLP (Third Man)
Delivering on the promise of her debut and then some, All American Made finds Price planting her flag firmly in the soil as a songwriter who is here for the long haul, one with the chops to hang with the greats she so often finds herself sharing stages with these days. Highs and lows, long nights and hard days, wild women and cocaine cowboys, politics and sexism, it’s all here, singularly filtered through Price’s wry, no-bullshit perspective. Throughout the album, her contemporary take on classic sounds is at once familiar and daring, an infectious blend of Nashville country, Memphis soul, and Texas twang that tips its cap to everyone from Waylon and Willie (who makes a guest appearance) to Loretta and Dolly, all while flipping a middle finger to the cookie-cutter pop that dominates modern country radio. Rich with swirling pedal steel, honky-tonk rhythms, and Price’s stop-you-in-your-tracks vocals, All American Made is deeply reverent of tradition even as it challenges conventions, a nuanced exploration of conflicted emotions for our deeply conflicted times.

 

The Smiths – The Queen Is Dead [Reissue/1986] 2xCD/3xCD+DVD/5xLP (Rhino)
Expanded reissues of The Smiths’ 1986 masterwork – available in a variety of editions. The double-CD features a bonus disc of demos and B-sides. Super Deluxe edition adds a bonus live CD and DVD. The 5xLP box set features the 2017 master of the album, additional recordings and the ‘Live In Boston’ recording.

 

Tori Amos – Native Invader 2xLP (Decca)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Tori Amos’ fifteenth album and follow-up to 2014’s Unrepentant Geraldines is an intense feast of melody, protest, tenderness and pain. In the summer of 2016, she took a road trip through North Carolina’s Smoky Mountains. The intention was to reconnect with the stories and songlines of her mother’s family, who were from the North Carolina and Tennessee Smoky Mountain area. That winter, two seismic events knocked the plan off its axis. The fallout from the US election. And in January her mother, Mary Ellen Amos, suffered a severe stroke leaving her unable to speak. The complex influence of America’s alt-right Super PACs, lobbyists and think tanks informs much of the tension in Native Invader.

 

Grandaddy – Under The Western Freeway 20th Anniversary Edition 2xLP (Friendship Fever)
Friendship Fever has worked closely with Jason Lytle of Grandaddy to give his seminal 1997 album the deluxe treatment it deserves. The 20th colored double-LP-set features the beautifully remastered original album as well as a bonus LP with unreleased demos from 1997.

 

Iggy & The Stooges – Raw Power [Reissue/1973] LP (Sundazed)
Limited red colored vinyl pressing.

 

The Sea And Cake – The Fawn [Reissue/1997] LP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
The Sea And Cake – Oui [Reissue/2000] LP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
The Sea And Cake – One Bedroom [Reissue/1997] LP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
Limited colored vinyl reissues of The Sea And Cake’s fourth, fifth, and sixth albums now available.

 

Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga [Reissue/2007] LP+MP3 (Merge)
With a history of stellar records, Spoon topped themselves with Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, a thrilling album recorded throughout 2006 in Austin.

 

NEXT WEEK’S NEW RELEASES

WEEZERPacific Daydream CD/LP
JULIEN BAKERTurn Out The Lights CD/LP
ELECTRIC WIZARDWe Live CD
JOE HENRYThrum CD/LP
JOHN MAUSScreen Memories CD/LP
CURTIS HARDINGFace Your Fear CD/LP
MORPHINE Live At The Warfield LP
SONDRE LERCHE Pleasure LP
MASTODONCold Dark Place 10″
PHISHA Live One LP
QUICKSANDManic Compression LP
LUCINDA WILLIAMSThis Sweet Old World LP
MORRISSEYSpent The Day In Bed 7″

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