STAFF PICKS

kimber – la luz
lindsay – iris dement, la luz
dario – heather woods broderick
jeff – mac demarco, mewithoutyou

 

THIS WEEK’S NEW RELEASES

 

Deaf WishPain CD/LP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
Pain is a miraculously dissonant, wonderfully immediate display of Deaf Wish at their mightiest, alive with the same wild chemistry and sense of possibility that made their first recordings so vital. With more time together than they’ve ever had before, they’re found themselves confronted with ideal (yet foreign) conditions. Two-minute freakouts like “Eyes Closed” share airspace with the meditate squall of “On” and the guitar-born majesty of “Calypso.” Everything was captured in three takes or less, in a bleak, nondescript studio on the lifeless outskirts of Melbourne. Pain was mastered by Mikey Young (Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Total Control). “It’s a simple thing,” guitarist Jensen Tjhung says of their approach. “Simple takes the worry out of it. If we try to step it up and go sideways, it just doesn’t seem to work. But we’ve grown up and been through some shit. To get to this point you have to bust through a few walls. It’s easy to be new, and I think, in the end, this is what it is. When you put these people in the room, it’s Deaf Wish.” Loser Edition colored vinyl in stock now. Get a free ltd edition Deaf Wish puzzle with purchase!!


Mac DeMarcoAnother One CD/LP+MP3/CASS (Captured Tracks)
Like the days of Steely Dan or Harry Nilsson releasing a classic album every year (or less) comes Mac DeMarco’s Another One, a mini-LP announced one year after the release of the meteorically successful Salad Days. Written and recorded during the downtime between a relentless touring schedule, Another One is an eight-track release that expands the arsenal of Mac’s already impressive catalog, showing the maturity of Mac’s progression as songwriter: it’s a bit more refined, a bit more sophisticated, but nonetheless retains the guts and soul of classic Mac.


Iris DeMent The Trackless Woods CD (FlariElla)
Featuring original music and melodies by Iris, The Trackless Woods sets 18 poems by acclaimed 20th century Russian poet Anna Akhmatova to life. Hailed as one of Russia’s finest poets, Akhmatova survived the Bolshevik Revolution, both World Wars and Stalin. She lost family, friends and fellow writers to political killings and labor in the gulags. When Iris randomly stumbled upon Akhmatova’s work in a book of poetry a friend sent as a gift, she was immediately taken by the sorrow and burden of the poems, juxtaposed with Akhmatova’s lightness and transcendence in the face of inhumanity.


GeorgiaGeorgia CD (Domino)
Georgia is the eponymous debut album by multi-instrumentalist, producer and songwriter Georgia Barnes. Born and raised in north west London, the last few years have seen Georgia steadily establish herself as an important fixture in the city’s most singular and imaginative artistic circles, playing drums for Kwes and Kate Tempest among others before emerging as an irresistible creative force in her own right with last year’s Come In EP. Written, performed and produced by Barnes in its entirety, Georgia is the product of a young lifetime of voracious music listening — a bold, boundless 21st century amalgam that marks her out as an intuitive curator, distinctive songwriter of real spirit and self-taught producer of soulful, progressive and highly-defined electronic pop. Vinyl version due September 4.


Syl JohnsonComplete Twinight Singles CD/2xLP (Numero)
“There are many great soul singers, but few have inspired hip-hop from its early beginning to now. Syl Johnson is a unsung pioneer of musical fusion.” – RZA. Syl Johnson began the ’60s a blues singer and session guitarist and concluded it having synthesized his own brand of gritty Chicago soul. Their first signee, Syl Johnson set the tone at Twinight Records, writing and producing fifteen 45s during his four-year tenure with the label. This double LP neatly bundles each side of each of Johnson’s Twinight 45s, from the heavily-sampled grunts on “Different Strokes,” to the ghetto-conscious “Concrete Reservation.”


La LuzWeirdo Shrine CD/LP (Hardly Art)
Weirdo Shrine is a natural evolution of the band’s self-styled “surf noir” sound—a rawer, turbo-charged sequel that charts themes of loneliness, infatuation, obsession and death across eleven tracks, from the opening credits siren song of “Sleep Till They Die” to the widescreen, receding-skyline send-off of “Oranges” and its bittersweet epilogue, “True Love Knows.” In describing Weirdo Shrine, producer/engineer Ty Segall remarked that it gave him a vision of a “world…burning with colors [he’d] never seen, like mauve that is living.” In “Oranges,” the Brautigan poem which inspired the aforementioned track of the same name, the poet writes of a surreal “orange wind / that glows from your footsteps.” These hue-based allusions are apt: the sound of La Luz is (appropriately) vibrant, and alive with a kaleidoscopic passion. Weirdo Shrine finds them at their most saturated and cinematic.


Langhorne Slim & The Law The Spirit Moves CD/LP+MP3 (Dine Alone/Dualtone)
The Spirit Moves is a raw and relatable album about transition, growth and life and one that should appeal to anyone who’s lived a little. Brutal honesty, passionate, soulful vocals, and inspired rock ‘n’ roll, that’s Langhorne Slim.


MynabirdsLovers Know CD (Saddle Creek)
Lovers Know is definitely new territory for songwriter Laura Burhenn, forging into ‘80s, ‘90s and futuristic soundscapes, recalling Kate Bush, Sinead O’Connor, The Jesus And Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine and even ‘90s hip-hop and R&B. The album may be loaded with a fresh palette of new sounds (swarms of synths, gauzy electric guitars, and electronic drums), but her brooding, unmistakable voice leads the way. Lyrically this is her most personal and confessional work to date, and also her most accessible. Whereas her last album, Generals, watched from a wide angle to understand the world at a distance, Lovers Know pulls in close. “There’s something about wandering the world over,” Laura says, “that makes you realize how similar we all are – everyone searching for something, so often the same thing: love. It may sound trite, but it’s true. Love – or the lack of it – is the thing we all have in common. It can destroy us. It can break us open and let the light in. And it’s also the thing that can make us sing.” Vinyl version due August 28.


Night BedsIvywild CD/2xLP (Dead Oceans)
Night Beds, the musical project of 26-year-old Colorado Springs native Winston Yellen, received much acclaim for his 2013 debut album, Country Sleep, scoring plaudits for its tortured take on alt country and Yellen’s soaring vocals. But after finishing that album and before Country Sleep was even released, Yellen began experimenting with the kind of melancholic, neon-tinged R&B that makes up the mesmerizing Ivywild.


Chelsea WolfeAbyss CD/LP+MP3 (Sargent House)
Abyss opens with the disorienting lurch of “Carrion Flowers,” where Wolfe weaves a hypnotic vocal melody over monotonic industrial thuds, much as an Indian raga is constructed around a lone note or swara. On “Iron Moon,” the band pushes for extremes in its loud-quiet-loud strategy, alternating between hushed balladry and gargantuan doom. On “Dragged Out,” glacial-paced fuzz riffs underscore Wolfe’s sultry verses, until a howling wail of distortion dominates the chorus. But there are certainly moments when the brutish elements are reigned in ”Maw” could serve as a lullaby and ”Crazy Love” harkens back to the humble acoustic compositions of her Unknown Rooms album. But between them we have ”After the Fall”, the centerpiece of the album, where the abrupt tonal shifts, descending chord progressions, and climactic vocals illustrate Wolfe’s fascination with Memories, Dreams, Reflections by Carl Jung.


Heather Woods BroderickGlider LP+MP3 (Western Vinyl)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Heather Woods Broderick excels at distilling her experiences into a soulful melancholy that’s enduring both for its intimate relatable moments and its persistent sense of mystery. Her uncanny ear for evocative production and gorgeous vocal harmonies serves her well on her new album Glider. Throughout the album, the rich dreamlike atmospheres she creates hint at a darkness looming on the horizon, while the singularity of her ethereal voice always seems to linger long after the music has stopped. As a talented multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Heather has had the opportunity to record and tour with plenty of incredible artists including Horse Feathers, Efterklang, and Sharon Van Etten, which has kept her moving house and traveling around the world for much of the past decade.


Built In SunBuilt In Sun LP (Joyful Noise)
Built In Sun is a new project from Joe Plummer; drummer for The Shins, Cold War Kids and Mister Heavenly. Joe has also toured and recorded with Modest Mouse and The Black Heart Procession on drums and percussion over the last 10 years. Built In Sun was created during touring breaks between The Shins and Cold War Kids releases, originally as an instrumental idea, with inspirations landing somewhere between John Cales’ Fear, the punk vibe of the Wipers and John Reis, and his favorite soundtrack composers; John Brion and Clint Mansell.


HauschkaA ndo C y LP+MP3 (Temporary Residence)
Side A features five tracks conceived during the Abandoned City sessions, a suite of songs that together form an exceptionally resonant whole. As with Abandoned City, these songs owe as much to minimalist techno as modern composition, which makes them particularly conducive to remixes. On Side B, experimental folk icon Devendra Banhart distills Abandoned City standout, “Agdam,” to barely-there, fractured clusters of solitary piano strikes and swelling synths. By comparison, Eluvium’s transformation of “Stromness” sounds almost shockingly euphoric, all cascading waves of distortion washed over a plethora of plucked piano pings.


HEALTHDeath Magic LP (Loma Vista)
HEALTH formed in Los Angeles in 2006, playing their first shows at now-legendary DIY club The Smell. They have gone on to release four critically acclaimed albums, including two remix projects that featured diverse artists from Crystal Castles to Pictureplane, Tobacco to Nosaj Thing, reflecting the band’s wide taste and reach between the rock, electronic and experimental music worlds. Their new album epitomizes their idiosyncratic blend of electronic, rock and pop styles. Having worked with outside producers and engineers for the first time, the final result is somehow bombastic yet accessible, heartbreaking and head-banging, all steeped in classic album sensibilities of songwriting and production. CD version due August 14.


mewithoutYouPale Horses LP (Run For Cover)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. mewithoutYou’s sixth studio album hearkens boldly to the raw intensity of 2004’s Catch For Us The Foxes, while building on the rich imagery of 2006’s Brother, Sister. Epic in scope, Pale Horses is mewithoutYou at their best, breathing fresh life into the end times, gloriously terrifying and hauntingly iconic.


Nick DiamondsCity Of Quartz LP (Manque)
Nick Diamonds’ second LP, City Of Quartz, is a giant leap forward from his 2011 debut. Blending synthesizers, drum machines and his signature Spaghetti Western guitar licks, he has forged a sound that tips a hat to perennial favorites like Eno and ELP, looks ahead to more contemporary artists like ESG and EMF, but still has two feet firmly planted in his own entirely unique world, which he’s been creating with Islands, Mister Heavenly and The Unicorns since 2003.


Prefuse 73 Every Color Of Darkness LP (Temporary Residence)
The conclusion of a triptych of new recordings, Every Color Of Darkness basks in the darkest corners of Prefuse 73’s world, finding an eerie romanticism in manic beats and damaged jazz. It’s a record that showcases his uncanny ability to excavate and exploit a source of light buried in pitch black.

 

NEXT WEEK’S NEW RELEASES

 

MELANIE MARTINEZ – Cry Baby CD
GRACE POTTER – Midnight CD/LP
GOOD LIFE – Everybody’s Coming Down CD/LP
LOWER DENS – Twin Hand Movement CD/LP reissue
DEAN WAREHAM / BRITTA PHILLIPS – Mistress America Soundtrack CD
BETH ORTON – Daybreaker LP reissue
PAVEMENT – Secret History LP
RED HOUSE PAINTERS – Down Colorful Hill LP reissue
RED HOUSE PAINTERS – Shock Me LP reissue
RED HOUSE PAINTERS – S/T (both) LP reissue
RED HOUSE PAINTERS – Songs For A Blue Guitar LP reissue
REPLACEMENTS – Twin/Tone Years LP

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