kimber – sonic youth
lindsay – ducktails, jessie jones
dario – vinyl williams
jeff – vinyl williams,
THIS WEEK’S NEW RELEASES
Kasey Chambers – Bittersweet CD (Sugar Hill)
Pulling together a superb studio band to record the album, Bittersweetfeatures Bernard Fanning on acoustic guitar, keyboard, piano, background vocals and lead vocals on the title track; Ashleigh Dallas on banjo, fiddle, mandolin and background vocals; Dan Kelly on electric and acoustic guitar and background vocals; Matthew Engelbrecht on bass and flugal horn and Declan Kelly on drums, percussion and vibes, Bill Chambers contributes background vocals. Sticking to her trademark no-nonsense live recording style, Kasey and the band recorded the album in just seven days in April this year.
Ducktails – St. Catherine CD/LP+MP3 (Domino)
The latest album by the solo project of Real Estate’s Matt Mondanile is filled with his baroque pop flourishes and layered with his soothing, but sharp vocals. Recorded in Los Angeles and Berlin and mixed by Rob Schnapf (Elliott Smith, Beck, FIDLAR), St. Catherine is a complex, moody work filled with yearning and lots of the gorgeous melodic fretwork for which Mondanile has become well known for with his work in Real Estate.
Eleventh Dream Day – Works For Tomorrow CD/LP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
On Works For Tomorrow Jim Elkington (Tweedy, Steve Gunn) joins Rick Rizzo, Janet Bean (Freakwater), Mark Greenberg (The Coctails), and Doug McCombs (Tortoise, Brokeback, Pullman). This is the first time since 1994 that Eleventh Dream Day has recorded with a second guitarist. The album was recorded and mixed at Wilco’s renowned Loft Studio and Mayfair Recordings.
Grave Babies – Holographic Violence CD/LP+MP3 (Hardly Art)
Holographic Violence is Grave Babies’ second Hardly Art full-length afterCrusher (2013), and further explores the themes of nihilism, the pending doom of mankind, and shaming humanity, which the band has been building their gloomy reputation on since the beginning. This time however, instead of recording everything in his basement, Wahlfeldt enlisted the help of Bryce Brown (Crypts) on bass and Mark Gajadhar (Blood Brothers, Past Lives) on drums in the early stages of recording. The songs on Holographic Violencefell into place in Mark’s studio on Orcas Island, Washington. Mixing was handled by Matt Bayles (Alice In Chains, Mastodon), with final mastering by Chris Common (Chelsea Wolfe, Mars Volta). As a final touch, Claire Haranda was added to the lineup on keyboards and synth to round out the band’s live sets. By leaving the edgy, lo-fi haze of earlier output in the past, these songs have clarified what the music of Grave Babies has to offer the future.
Warren Haynes featuring Railroad Earth – Ashes & Dust CD/2xCD (Concord)
Ashes & Dust is a masterful work of art and a particularly important statement for the Grammy Award winning artist Warren Haynes. The songs are immediately and clearly different from his usual style — encompassing beautiful acoustic arrangements, a rootsy/Americana soundscape and honeyed vocals that cut straight through to the soul. Knowing that he wanted to pursue a more folk-based approach on this project, he brought in the New Jersey-based Americana band Railroad Earth as collaborators. Available in Regular and Deluxe editions. Deluxe adds a disc containing four demo tracks and one live cut. Vinyl version due August 14.
Amy Helm – Didn’t It Rain CD (E1)
Although the personally charged, organically soulful Didn’t It Rain is her first release under her own name, Amy Helm has been making music for most of her life. She’s already won widespread praise as a singer/songwriter and live performer, first as a member of alt-country collective Ollabelle and subsequently for her extensive work with her father, Levon Helm. Blessed with a commanding, deeply expressive voice and an uncanny songwriting skill that instinctively draws upon a deep well of American musical traditions, Amy Helm delivers a timelessly powerful statement with Didn’t It Rain. The spellbinding dozen-song set is rooted in first-person experience, exploring universal themes of life, love and loss on such musically and emotionally resonant originals as the smoldering soul ballad “Rescue Me,” the hushed, lilting “Deep Water,” the meditative “Roll Away” and the stark, haunting “Wild Girl.” Complementing Helm’s originals are her personalized takes on the Sam Cooke classic “Good News” and the traditional title track, which she delivers with the heartfelt gospel urgency that’s always been an element of her vocal persona.
Jessie Jones – Jessie Jones CD/Cassette (Burger)
“Jessie Jones was once the frontwoman of the Burger Records-backed band Feeding People, who put out their debut on the So-Cal mainstay label in 2011 before signing to Innovative Leisure and releasing their final effort, Island Universe, in 2013. Jones has an intriguing, almost cinema-ready backstory: Supposedly raised a devout evangelical Christian, her love of music eventually superseded her relationship with religion. Or so the legend goes, according to a David Bevan-penned Spin review of Feeding People’s last album. Jones hasn’t been anywhere remotely near the spotlight since, but last year she began working on a new project and started singing in Death Valley Girls” – Stereogum. Vinyl version due August 21.
Joy Division – Substance [Reissue/1988] CD/2xLP (Rhino)
Reissue of this 1988 collection by the Manchester post-punk icons. Substancewas a singles compilation album and was the companion to a similar singles compilation by their subsequent band New Order, also entitled Substance.
L’Orange & Kool Keith – Time? Astonishing! CD (Mello Music)
L’Orange & Kool Keith set out to make something absurd, yet traditional, putting the Ultramagnetic MC in a position to rap over beats that fans have wanted to hear him on for years. Joining the team is a cast of legendary rappers to create a diversity of talent. The album is a loose tale of a time traveler, moving only forward through time, settling in the future and living as he would normally. Time? Astonishing! seems to imply that adventure is only a step away, but never seems to reach that point. It’s an abstract and absurdist approach to working with an absurdist MC. Vinyl version dueAugust 14.
Eleni Mandell – Dark Lights Up CD/LP+MP3 (Yep Roc)
It all started with a visit to the Country Music Hall Of Fame, where an innocent afternoon wandering the exhibits and learning about her musical heroes, like Hank Williams, George Jones, Buck Owens, and Tammy Wynette, led acclaimed L.A. singer/songwriter Eleni Mandell on an unexpected journey of profound musical and personal self-discovery culminating in Dark Lights Up, her tenth album. “It was a profound experience for me,” says Mandell. “Seeing all their lyrics and guitars on display made me reflect on just how deeply I’d been influenced by classic country.”
Sonic Youth – EVOL [Reissue/1986] CD/LP+MP3 (Goofin’)
The third studio album by Sonic Youth, originally released in May 1986 on SST Records, shows the first signs that the band was ready to transform their no wave past into a greater alternative rock sensibility. EVOL … “mark[s] the true departure point of Sonic Youth’s musical evolution,” says Pitchfork, who place the album in the #31 slot of their Top 100 Albums of The 1980s. “A near-masterpiece.”
Strange Wilds – Subjective Concepts CD (Sub Pop)
Strange Wilds slays with the hellish fury of the Northwest hardcore scene’s best, the heavenly scuzz of a Bleach-era Nirvana, and the purgatorial punishment of Touch & Go post-rock meets Devo’s de-evolution machine. The 11 songs here bleed with the hybrid DNA of Seattle’s past and future, disparate scenes fused together with sneering menace and intelligent fury in equal shares. Some songs plow through the thick fog of sludge and dirge, while others soar and speed along at breakneck pace. The titles are heady; the sensations are primal. Riffs and energy are kings in the world of Strange Wilds. Vinyl version due August 31.
Vinyl Williams – Into CD (Company)
Lionel Williams leaves behind the murkier lo-fi production of his 2012 debut full-length, Lemniscate, for the somnambulant pop of Into. The new album—out on Chaz Bundick’s (Toro Y Moi, Les Sins) Company Records—moves Lionel’s Vinyl Williams alias into a more vivid, multi-colored dream world. Unlike the dramatic film scores of his grandfather (famed composer and conductor John Williams), this 25-year-old Los Angeles-based musician’s songs are far more introspective, effortlessly blending ambient, electronic, Krautrock, psychedelia and shoegaze influences into a uniquely visceral listening experience that often mirrors the surrealism of his own collage-based visual artwork.
John Zorn – Forro Zinho N Forro In The Dark Plays Zorn CD (Tzadik)
One of the most exciting bands to come out of the wild late night Nublu scene in the East Village, Forro In The Dark combines the driving dance rhythms of forro from Northeastern Brazil with rock, jazz, reggae, folk and country. Together since 2002, they are based in New York and have collaborated with a wide variety of artists, including David Byrne, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Cibo Matto. Here they take on some of Zorn’s most lyrical and grooving compositions to create a charming CD of Brazilian-tinged dance music. Endlessly listenable, this is a CD filled with catchy hooks, burning solos, driving rhythms and infectious Zorn melodies, new and old. Produced by Jesse Harris and featuring Brazilian legend Marcos Valle as a special guest.
Action Bronson – Mr. Wonderful LP+CD (Atlantic Urban)
Released earlier this year on CD – now available on vinyl. Mr. Wonderful is a culmination of every ingredient that’s made Action Bronson’s discography delectable. The musicality is grade A; live instrumentation turns the album into a wonderland of sonic discovery. “A Light In The Addict,” featuring Party Supplies and Fools Gold vocalist Black Atlass, and “City Boy Blues,” which boasts the bottom production of 88 Keys and top coating of Party Supplies, both soar with gorgeous orchestration. The latter track in such a zone that Bronson doesn’t spit a single bar, instead letting his vocals ride the wave of soulful rock.
Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires – Sweet Disorder! b/w Stars 7”+MP3 (Sub Pop)
“Sweet Disorder!” is about disrupting systems that have proven to fall short of, if not completely undermine, their purported missions (e.g., criminal justice, mental health, the church, language) for the sake of realigning them with those missions. The song developed out of months spent revisiting the Objectivist poets, binging on early Clash albums, and observing the Atlanta actions surrounding the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and other unarmed people of color.
Joy Division – Still [Reissue/1981] 2xLP (Rhino)
2007 remaster version pressed on HQ-180gm vinyl. Still is a compilation of non-album tracks, outtakes, and the complete performance of the band’s last show.
NEXT WEEK’S NEW RELEASES
ALBERT HAMMOND JR – Momentary Masters CD/LP
TITUS ANDRONICUS – Most Lamentable Tragedy CD/LP
LIANNE LAHAVAS – Blood CD/LP
JOSS STONE – Water For Your Soul CD
CHAIRLIFT – Does You Inspire You? LP reissue
LED ZEPPELIN – Coda reissue CD/LP
LED ZEPPELIN – In Through The Out Door reissue CD/LP
SOCIAL DISTORTION – Prisonbound reissue LP
WARREN HAYNES – Ashes and Dust CD/LP
SEAWEED – Actions and Indications reissue CD/LP