Kimber – Bombino
Lindsay – Ryley Walker, Parquet Courts
Dario – Bombino, Ryley Walker
Paula – Matt Costa, Michael Rault
THIS WEEK’S NEW RELEASES
Ash – Islands CD/LP (Liberator Music/Infectious Music)
Islands is Ash’s seventh studio album since their inception in 1992. The title of the album alludes to the unique environments in which its constituent songs were birthed. In the spring of 2016, following a whirlwind Japanese tour to close out the touring cycle for 2015’s Kablammo! album, Ash frontman Tim Wheeler undertook a visit to the picturesque island of Naoshima. Wheeler found the island’s tranquil, meditative atmosphere conducive to both reflection and creativity, and as he immersed himself in his craft, new song ideas began to ferment and flow.
Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel CD/LP+MP3/Cassette (Mom + Pop Music)
The Grammy and Brit nominated Courtney Barnett returns with her second album. Tell Me How You Really Feel follows her critically acclaimed 2015 debut album Sometimes I Sit And Think And Sometimes I Just Sit and recent collaborative record, Lotta Sea Lice, with Kurt Vile. One of the most distinctive voices in music, Courtney is known for mixing witty observations with unflinching self-assessment – fast forward to now and although all of the cleaver turns of phrase and an eye for story telling are still there; this new collection of songs sees a more serious and outwardly tone capturing the current social landscape yet still retaining moments of intimacy and warmth. [Deluxe CD edition with expanded booklet and red colored vinyl pressing also available. All formats include digital download.]
Thomas Bartlett & Nico Muhly – Peter Pears: Balinese Ceremonial Music CD (Nonesuch)
Nine songs written by Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman) and Nico Muhly plus three gamelan transcriptions by ethnomusicologist Colin McPhee, which inspired the new songs. Bartlett and Muhly play pianos and keyboards on the album, and Bartlett sings, joined by other musicians on strings and metallic pitched percussion. McPhee recorded a suite of Balinese ceremonial music with Benjamin Britten in 1941. Muhly says: “The project is named after Peter Pears, who was Britten’s partner and also an observer and collaborator of a larger community of musicians, writers, and thinkers.”
James Bay – Electric Light CD/LP (Republic)
A singer/songwriter with a penchant for crafting moving and evocative folk-pop, James Bay hails from the North Hertfordshire market town of Hitchin in England.
Bombino – Deran CD/LP (Partisan)
On his new album, Deran, Bombino and crew have conjured up a roving mystery tour of contemporary Saharan sounds across 10 songs of rare maturity and power that mark a turning point in the career of a guitarist and songwriter who was born in the shade of an acacia tree about 80 miles north west of the ancient town of Agadez, and has since risen to forefront of the new Tuareg guitar generation.
Matt Costa – Santa Rosa Fangs CD/LP (Dangerbird)
Santa Rosa Fangs is a stirring, stunning, and cinematic look and listen into the sometimes autobiographical, sometimes fictional journey of the venerable California musician Matt Costa through the tangled groves and grapevines of his home state. Produced by Peter Matthew Bauer (The Walkmen) and Nick Stumpf (French Kicks), the songs on Santa Rosa Fangs center around a fictional young woman named Sharon, her two brothers Ritchie and Tony, and their story of love, loss and coming of age in California, replete with long distance love affairs and nostalgic romances.
Frog Eyes – Violet Psalms CD/LP (Paper Bag)
Seventeen years after their teetering debut, Vancouver band Frog Eyes unveil their eighth and final album Violet Psalms – a giddy lament; a gnashing jubilee; a rain-drenched allocution on hope vs. horror, paradise vs. pride, Marx and Brexit and bad acid trips. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Gas – Rausch CD/2xLP+MP3 (Kompakt)
Wolfgang Voigt’s sixth album under his Gas moniker, Rausch, starts almost how we’d expect it to. Following last year’s Narkopop, Voigt continues down a similar path with a rich, cinematic effort of blooming ambient music. Voigt masterfully plays with textures and sound on Rausch and incorporates them precisely, which is one of the fascinating things about his new music as Gas. His earlier work is relatively static: unchanging, hypnotic loops that begin how they end. On Rausch, Voigt gingerly adds bits and pieces that temporarily change that idea that can break the listener’s concentration. In its brief seven tracks, Rausch barely makes it over an hour mark, but in that time frame, Voigt gives his listener a lot to unpack and offers the idea that he still has a lot more to say.” – The Line Of Best Fit
Jonny Greenwood – Bodysong [Reissue/2003] CD/LP (XL)
Greenwood’s first original score for a film, back in-print on CD and vinyl. Simon Pummell’s BAFTA winning 2003 documentary Bodysong tells the story of an archetypal human life using images taken from all around the world and the last 100 years of cinema. The images span the microcosm (inside the body), through the individual (the first cry of a new-born baby), to the macrocosm (accumulated archive footage of ritual celebration and the carnage of war). The editing, music, and the mythic narrative arc of the material is designed to take the viewer on a roller coaster tour of the human body and life cycle. Every possible depiction of the human life from microscopic medical to portraits and newsreels, from births to deaths, are cut to a music track by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood to create a mythic narrative of the arc of a single life.
Ray LaMontagne – Part Of The Light CD/LP+MP3 (Columbia)
Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Ray LaMontagne returns with his seventh studio effort, Part Of The Light, which was wholly written and produced by the artist. With a voice that recalls a huskier, sandpapery version of Van Morrison and Tim Buckley, Ray LaMontagne joins such artists as Iron & Wine in creating folk songs that are alternately lush and intimately earthy. Each release from his catalog over the last 13 years carries its own character and feel. Having worked with producers Ethan Johns, Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys and Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Ray’s vast sonic catalogue has been called everything from “a perfect throwback to the lost art of the album-length format,” from Entertainment Weekly to “epic and magical,” from Rolling Stone and “gorgeous and ambitious,” from Esquire. NPR’s All Things Considered said that Ray throughout the course of his career “has continued to push himself in different directions,” while People called Ray a “marvel of nature.” [Limited clear vinyl pressing also available.]
Low Cut Connie – Dirty Pictures (Part 2) CD/LP (Contender)
This little act from South Philly continues to dig in their corner of the sandbox, looking for something useful and real to offer their fans. Low Cut Connie is the hardest-working band in show business — no matter what the pay, what size the venue, no matter what definition of success is applied, Adam Weiner and the rest of the crew try to light the fire at every show and with every record. Dirty Pictures (Part 2) reminds all of us, all the little people, to keep our fires lit at any cost.
Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks – Sparkle Hard CD/LP+MP3 (Matador)
Sparkle Hard is light ’n’ breezy, head-down heavy, audacious, melancholic and reflective, goodtime and bodacious, and it pulls off the smartest trick: it’s both unmistakeably The Jicks and – due to the streamlining of their trademark tics and turns, plus the introduction of some unexpected flourishes (Auto-Tune! A fiddle! Guest vocalist Kim Gordon! One seven-minute song with an acoustic folk intro!) – The Jicks refashioned.
Nellie McKay – Sister Orchid CD/LP (Palmetto)
Conjuring the image of a lonely all-night truck stop along Highway 1 on the California coast, all but lost in the fog that comes creeping along the shoreline…Sister Orchid speaks of the night, the outsider, the plaintive wail of those lost at sea. The album was conceived in solitude, executed in darkness. It comes from a place of quiet, a world of low lights and cool drinks, up against a hard wall. An oasis of hungry eyes and easy promises, warm as a biscuit, the kind of place your mother warned you against.
Parquet Courts – Wide Awake CD (Rough Trade)
Parquet Courts’ fifth record since their formation eight years ago is about independence and individuality but also about collectivity and communitarianism. Love is at its center. There’s also a freshness here, a breaking of new territory that’s testament to the group’s restless spirit. In part, this may be attributed to the fact that it’s produced by Brian Burton, better known as Danger Mouse, but it’s also simply a triumph of their songwriter’s art. “An urgent, fantastic return that sees the band at the very top of their game, and more together than ever.” – DIY Mag [Deluxe vinyl edition featuring dual booklets of original artwork by the band’s Andrew Savage also available.]
Quiet Slang (Beach Slang) – Everything Matters But No One Is Listening CD/LP+MP3 (Polyvinyl)
There’s something almost cheeky about the title of James Alex’s new project: Quiet Slang. As the name implies, Alex is embracing minimalism, smothering the fuzz in favor of a cello, a piano, and his voice. Everything Matters But No One Is Listening is a collection of 10 Beach Slang covers. [Limited clear vinyl pressing also available.]
Otis Redding – Dock Of The Bay Sessions CD/LP (Atlantic)
The 12-song Dock Of The Bay Sessions collection was compiled with input from Roger Armstrong of Ace Records and Otis biographer Jonathan Gould and has the Redding family’s full endorsement. Although the individual tracks have been previously released across a smattering of posthumous albums and compilations, this marks the first time they have been assembled to resemble what this album could possibly have been. In the liner notes, musician-journalist Bob Stanley writes: “This album is the first indication of a new Otis Redding, one that has slayed audiences in Europe, one which won him a whole new crowd at the Monterey International Pop Festival.”
Matthew Sweet – Tomorrow’s Daughter CD (MRI)
Nedelle Torrisi – Only For You CD (Frenchkiss)
Los Angeles-based Nedelle Torrisi has been a musician since the day she was born. And while her early years focused on jazz, her career – from her previous solo albums to her work with Cryptacize (her band with Chris Cohen) – has always contained more of a ‘90s R&B sensibility. That appreciation is evident on her new album, Only For You. There is a sonic thread between this album and Torrisi’s last release, 2015’s Advice From Paradise, but the writing on the new album is intentionally tighter, and the production cleaner. She co-produced the album with Billy Uomo of the band Babes who also played and programmed drums. Jeremy Gara of Arcade Fire lent his skills along with many other talented L.A.-based musicians. “Good Love” was produced by the band Inc., Kenny Gilmore (Ariel Pink) produced “Show Me Your Face” and “Vision Of Love.” David Greenbaum (Beck) and Gilmore mixed the album. Beyond her own work, Torrisi has contributed and played with a number of artists and bands whose ranks include Ariel Pink, Dev Hynes and Sufjan Stevens.
TT (Warpaint) – LoveLaws CD/LP (Caroline)
TT, also known as Theresa Wayman, vocalist and guitarist of Warpaint, releases her debut solo album, LoveLaws. The 10-track collection reflects Wayman’s personal growth and growth as a musician over the past fourteen years, as well as enabling her to explore ideas that are otherwise difficult in a band setting. The album was written by a mother of a twelve-year-old son “coming from a position of what it’s like to have and to get unconditional love.” The record is also about the ups and downs of romance, viewed through Wayman’s experience as a traveling musician, where the routine can be maddening in its loneliness and where relationships are difficult. The songs were her way of processing this loneliness. The result is an album that, in Wayman’s words, is: “down tempo, pretty sexy, and a bit emotional. I’m a romantic person in a world where a relationship is difficult. But I also needed to be on my own and not force having a relationship.” TT plays bass, guitar, and synth on the album, and programmed the drum beats on most of the tracks. She also had a little help from Warpaint bandmates Jenny Lee Lindberg (bass) and Stella Mozgawa (drums).
Ryley Walker – Deafman Glance CD/LP (Dead Oceans)
“I was under a lot of stress because I was trying to make an anti-folk record and I was having trouble doing it. I wanted to make something deep-fried and more me-sounding. I didn’t want to be jammy acoustic guy anymore. I just wanted to make something weird and far-out that came from the heart finally. I was always trying to make something like this I guess, trying to catch up with my imagination. And I think I succeeded in that way.”
The Breeders – Pod [Reissue/1990] LP (4AD)
The Breeders – Last Splash [Reissue/1993] LP (4AD)
The Breeders – Tittle TK [Reissue/2002] LP (4AD)
The Breeders – Mountain Battles [Reissue/2008] LP (4AD)
In October 2017, The Breeders announced their return to 4AD, along with a new album, All Nerve, released in March 2018. The label is also reissuing their previous four albums on vinyl including Pod (1990), Last Splash (1993), Title TK (2002) and Mountain Battles (2008).
The Brian Jonestown Massacre – Hold That Thought 10” (A. Recordings)
Hold That Thought announces The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s forthcoming two albums to be released in 2018 (June and September, respectively). White-colored 10″ vinyl.
The Garden – Mirror Might Steal Your Charm LP+MP3 (Epitaph)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Taking the audience away into a still unfathomed sound world and bringing back some of the scuzzier elements of their earlier work, the duo’s more guitar focused third album is another sublime slice of post-modern pop. Welcome back to a land that’s familiar, slightly out of sync, and a little bit unnerving.
Anthony Green – Studio 4 Acoustic Session LP (Memory Music)
To celebrate the release of his 2016 album Pixie Queen, Anthony Green (renown singer of Circa Survive and Saosin) performed a number of songs from his catalog at Studio 4 in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.
Pennywise – Never Gonna Die LP+MP3 (Epitaph)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Never Gonna Die is the twelfth full-length effort from Pennywise and the legendary Southern California punk institution’s first of new songs with singer Jim Lindberg, guitarist Fletcher Dragge, drummer Byron McMackin, and bassist Randy Bradbury in over a decade.
NEXT WEEK’S NEW RELEASES