Kimber – La Luz
Lindsay – Beach House
Dario – Sea & Cake
Paula – La Luz, Jess Williamson
THIS WEEK’S NEW RELEASES
Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino CD/LP+MP3 (Domino)
Arctic Monkeys return with their sixth album, entitled Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino. Produced by longtime collaborator James Ford and frontman Alex Turner, the highly anticipated 11-track effort was recorded in Los Angeles, Paris and London. “The first Arctic Monkeys album in five years is lush and claustrophobic at the same time – it calls to mind a guy going a little nutty in a small room in a nice house on a hill, constructing a fantasy world in his head and setting his visions to piano” (Rolling Stone). “The album’s title is a fitting one: this record feels a lot like gazing into the night sky. At first it’s completely overwhelming – you’ll be trying to connect the scattered dots on this initially impenetrable listen, and maybe even despairing when it doesn’t all come together. But when the constellations show through, you’ll realize that it’s a product of searingly intelligent design” (NME). [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Beach House – 7 CD/LP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
Beach House released B-sides And Rarities in 2017, which served as a proverbial “cleaning out the closet” to pave way for a new creative process. Their approach in the creation of 7 was rebirth and rejuvenation. “Looking back, there is quite a bit of chaos happening in these songs, and a pervasive dark field that we had little control over. The discussions surrounding women’s issues were a constant source of inspiration and questioning. The energy, lyrics and moods of much of this record grew from ruminations on the roles, pressures and conditions that our society places on women, past and present. Thematically, this record often deals with the beauty that arises in dealing with darkness; the empathy and love that grows from collective trauma; the place one reaches when they accept rather than deny (see ‘Dark Spring,’ ‘Pay No Mind,’ ‘Lemon Glow,’ ‘Dive,’ ‘Black Car,’ ‘Lose Your Smile’).” – Beach House
Carla Bozulich – Quieter LP (Constellation)
An enchanting collection of previously orphaned and one-off tracks, a couple left over from the bountifully productive Boy sessions, others featuring collaborations with the likes of Marc Ribot, Sarah Lipstate (Noveller), Freddy Ruppert, Shahzad Ismaily and more.
Mark Kozelek – Mark Kozelek CD (Caldo Verde)
The first of two albums Kozelek has planned for 2018, Mark Kozelek is comprised of 11 songs that were recorded in hotel rooms around San Francisco, including the previously released “This Is My Town” and “My Love For You.”
La Luz – Floating Features CD/LP (Hardly Art)
Los Angeles has often been described as a “dream factory” – both a mecca where dreamers converge to pursue long-held aspirations, and a topography of hallucinogenic contradictions: enchanting tangerine sunsets diffused by smog, crystal-clutching spiritualists mingling with deep-pocketed narcissists, rows of scenic palms competing with garish billboards for commuters’ attention. It was against this backdrop that La Luz conceived their third studio album. References to dreams abound on Floating Features. Only La Luz could conjure up Floating Features’ Leone-on-LSD vibes, and the album finds the L.A. band at the height of their powers – golden rebels in a golden dream.
The Sea And Cake – Any Day CD/LP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
The Sea And Cake deliver a refreshingly intimate collection of elegantly arranged, singular pop songs. Any Day is testament to the group’s artistry, song craft, and utterly unique sound. The heart of the album’s instrumentation is Prewitt’s intriguing choice of guitar effects, sparingly used to enhance his counter melodies. The combinations create a wealth of textures from surprisingly few instruments.
Simian Mobile Disco – Murmurations CD/LP+MP3 (Wichita)
Simian Mobile Disco return with their fifth album and, never a pair of men to rest on their laurels, James Ford and Jas Shaw have switched things up this time by choosing to collaborate with London’s all-female, Deep Throat Choir. The end result is lush and sumptuous. Murmurations combines SMD’s unparalleled production talents across layers of synths and percussion with Deep Throat Choir’s unique brand of choral vocals.
Strung Out – Black Out The Sky CDEP/12” (Fat Wreck Chords)
While Strung Out has made their name on intense, frenetic slabs of metal-influenced tech-punk, there is more to the band than meets the eye. It might come as a shock to learn that the band’s new eight-song EP, Black Out The Sky, is an acoustic affair, but as vocalist Jason Cruz explains, it’s not nearly as surprising for the band members. “Every song starts on an acoustic guitar for the most part,” Cruz notes. “If it’s a good song, it can be played acoustic. For about the past five years, I’ve been pushing the band to release a record in this format.”
Jess Williamson – Cosmic Wink CD/LP (Mexican Summer)
Williamson’s sophomore album Heart Song marked a dramatic departure from debut Native State, bristling beyond the confines of folk to question the comforts of home. On Cosmic Wink, her third album and first for Mexican Summer, Williamson emerges with another self, part of an even wider consciousness. A self that bears wise evidence of past lives, but also feels new and unfamiliar, if at times from a different artist entirely.
Luke Winslow-King – Blue Mesa CD/LP+MP3 (Bloodshot)
Luke Winslow-King’s new album is an example of craftsmanship at the highest level, radiating a warmth and timeless elegance. Adept at mixing country, blues, R&B, rock ‘n’ roll, and folk influences intuitively and masterfully, Luke shapes a mood from many sources and shepherds it to a unifying place of acceptance and hope. Blue Mesa is both stately and approachable, manifestly proficient but deeply personal. “The record opens with a bluesy track featuring gospel backup singers. ‘You Got Mine’ was co-written with Lissa Driscoll who was a fixture in New Orleans and sadly, passed last year after her diagnosis with cancer. This track and the other track co-written with Driscoll, ‘Chicken Dinner’, are beautiful memories of Luke’s musical relationship with Lissa. These tracks perfectly display the warmth that he brings to his music and highlight the importance of his collaborations. By the time you get to the third and title track, ‘Blue Mesa’, you’ve already experienced the richness and diversity that comes with the album.” – Get It On Vinyl
John Prine – The Tree Of Forgiveness LP (Oh Boy)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Produced by Grammy Award-winner Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson) The Tree Of Forgiveness serves as legendary singer/songwriter John Prine’s first album of all original material since his 2005 release Fair & Square. Recorded at Nashville’s historic RCA Studio A, the album includes ten new songs written by Prine along with co-writers Pat McLaughlin, Roger Cook, Dan Auerbach, Keith Sykes and Phil Spector. In addition to Prine (lead vocals and acoustic guitar), Cobb (acoustic guitar, mellotron, claps, kazoo) and Prine’s longtime band, the album features special guests Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires. The highly anticipated collection is introduced by the heartfelt “Summer’s End” which is classic Prine.
Tom Waits – The Heart Of Saturday Night [Reissue/1974] LP (ANTI-)
Tom Waits – Night Hawks At The Diner [Reissue/1975] 2xLP (ANTI-)
180gm vinyl reissues. Limited colored pressings also available. The Heart Of Saturday Night is Waits’ second studio album. Recorded in front of a live audience at the Record Plant recording studio in Los Angeles in 1975, Nighthawks At The Diner debuts some of Waits’ greatest classics like “Warm Beer, Cold Women” and “Eggs And Sausage” with a crack jazz ensemble backing him up and some of the greatest stage patter ever committed to record.
NEXT WEEK’S NEW RELEASES