STAFF PICKS

kimber – lou barlow
lindsay – unwound, uncle acid & the deadbeats, widowspeak
dario – widowspeak
jeff – widowspeak

 

THIS WEEK’S NEW RELEASES

 

The ArcsYours, Dreamily CD/LP (Nonesuch)
The Arcs is a new band led by The Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach. The band’s aesthetic isn’t too far removed from the Black Keys’ utilitarian blues-rock, but it puts a little more emphasis on fleshed-out arrangements that recall classic Southern soul. Features contributions from Richard Swift (who has played with the Shins and released a bunch of solo albums), Leon Michels (who worked with Action Bronson and Michael Bublé), Homer Steinweiss (whose drumming credits include Amy Winehouse and Bruno Mars), bassist Nick Movshon (another Winehouse collaborator), versatile Nashville guitarist Kenny Vaughan, and the women of New York’s Mariachi Flor De Toloache. “This project was about making music with some of my longest relationships in music,” Auerbach told NPR. “Leon (Michels), Richard (Swift) and I have not only worked in The Black Keys together, but we have produced together, played on various projects of each other’s, and we’ve collaborated longer than a lot of bands stay together. It just kind of came naturally.”
 
Lou BarlowBrace The Wave CD (Joyful Noise)
Vinyl version due September 18. “Lou Barlow’s circuitous path as a recording artist has taken him through key roles in Sebadoh and Dinosaur Jr., not to mention The Folk Implosion, which cracked the pop charts with ‘Natural One’ back in the ’90s. He’s also put out a bunch of solo work, both under his own name and in the bedroom-recording project Sentridoh, but in recent years he’s focused more on repairing old professional relationships. That’s meant rejoining Dinosaur Jr., in which he once feuded famously with bandleader J Mascis, and putting out 2013’s Defend Yourself, the first new Sebadoh record in 14 years. Brace The Wave keeps Barlow’s sound stripped to its barren bones, an approach suited to the pleas and confessions therein.” – NPR
 
 
Dianne CoffeeEverybody’s A Good Dog CD/LP+MP3 (Western Vinyl)
Unlike the production limitations that defined the sound of Diane Coffee’s debut My Friend Fish (recording drums on an iPhone, using a detuned guitar in lieu of a bass, etc.) Everybody’s A Good Dog was recorded in proper studios with an assortment of guest appearances, horns, and a string ensemble, finally bringing to life Fleming’s deep well of talent and ideas. The album covers a lot of ground from sweet acapella harmonies, to bursts of big brass and Motown swagger, to unhinged psychedelic mayhem.
 
 
Lloyd Cole1D Electronics 2012-2014 CD/LP+CD (Bureau B)
Lloyd Cole is mostly known for his outstanding pop music, but he certainly has a taste for electronic music. In 2013 he released a highly acclaimed album together with electronic music legend Hans Joachim Roedelius, for whom he also curated a compilation of his electronic music recordings Kollektion 2 – Roedelius – Electronic Music. On 1D Electronics 2012-2014 some pieces were originally created with overdubs by another in mind. Some were simply experiments. One or two may have had loftier ambitions…. None of the pieces involves the use of a piano keyboard or a computer, except to record it. Some modulations were executed by hand. Most were generated by programmed sequencers and logic. Each piece is a self-contained electronic circuit.
 
Dâm-Funk – Invite The Light CD/3xLP+MP3 (Stones Throw)
Dâm-Funk’s second album features Snoop Dogg, Q-Tip, Flea, Ariel Pink, Junie Morrison, Jody Watley, Computer Jay, Nite Jewel, JimiJames, Jane Jupiter, Novena Carmel, Leon Sylvers III and IV. Design by Freddy Anzures. “Just as you try to get a grip on Dâm-Funk’s sound, he glides away and comes at you from a new direction on Invite The Light. In the last few years, he’s worked with the likes of former Slave frontman Steve Arrington, Snoop Dogg and new beat producers like Benedek and Computer Jay, so it’s no surprise that the guest list runs long on his latest. In addition to the folks named above, Dâm-Funk also invites Q-Tip, Jody Watley, Nite Jewel and Kid Sister along for the ride, with each song changing to fit the contours of its guests. But beyond all the interlopers, this remains Dâm-Funk’s show, and for all his chameleonic funk moves, it’s the skate-rink boogie of the penultimate track that makes his modus operandi evident: ‘Kaint Let ‘Em Change Me.’” – NPR
 
FidlarToo CD/LP (Mom + Pop)
This 12-song collection of pop-infused garage rock expands on the band’s 2013 self-titled album that put them at the forefront of modern punk music. Too showcases a band that continues to fine-tune its sonic approach while also highlighting a more introspective and revelatory approach to songwriting. It also marks the first time the band has worked with a producer (Jay Joyce, Nashville). “We could have made record number one again… but instead we decided to challenge ourselves and admit that we don’t know everything,” said guitarist and lead vocalist Zac Carper. “Up until this point we had recorded everything ourselves, so working with a producer taught us so much. I didn’t want to make a standard rock record. The goal for this album was to think outside the box and I think Jay really helped us do that.”
 
 
Jerusalem In My HeartIf He Dies, If If If If If If CD (Constellation)
Radwan Ghazi Moumneh returns with a second full-length album from his acclaimed Jerusalem In My Heart (JIMH) project, conceived and recorded in his dual homes Montréal and Beirut. Moumneh expands his compositional palette on If He Dies, If If If If If If, exploring new deconstructions and juxtapositions of both traditional and popular Arab musical currents, with an album that oscillates between powerfully emotive vocal tunes and instrumental works that primarily make use of Radwan’s expressive acoustic playing on buzuk and zurna as a point of departure. Vinyl version due September 18.
 
Painted PalmsHorizons CD/LP+MP3 (Polyvinyl)
On their sophomore full-length, Horizons, electronic duo Painted Palms draw inspiration from a number of sonic palettes — the song structure of ‘60s pop, ‘80s synths, the hypnotic vibes of early ‘90s Creation Records bands like Primal Scream and Happy Mondays, and the beats of early ‘00s Southern hip-hop — to create a panoramic pop sound that is uniquely their own. Mixed by former DFA house engineer Eric Broucek (LCD Soundsystem, Classixx), Horizons is the work of two musicians who share a singular focus and absolute trust in each other’s talents.
 
 
Public Image Ltd.What The World Needs Now… CD/2xLP (PiL Official)
PiL’s 10th album follows the huge critical success of 2012’s This Is PiL, the band’s first album in 17 years. In winter 2014 PiL returned to Steve Winwood’s Wincraft studio in the Cotswolds’ to record What The World Needs Now... Commenting on the album, John Lydon says, “Buy now while stocks last.” It is self-funded by PiL and released on their own label, with artwork partly inspired by Native American Hopi characters, was designed and painted by John Lydon. “t’s a sturdy, muscular affair wherein Lydon rants energetically about everything from blocked toilets to Botox and the iCloud, on quintessentially cranky, ruck-friendly fare such as ‘Double Trouble’ and ‘I’m Not Satisfied’” – Record Collector. “A record of disarming directness…” — Mojo
 
Max RichterFrom Sleep CD/2xLP (Deutsche Grammophon)
Acclaimed British composer Max Richter made history, with a ground-breaking piece of work: his 2015 work,Sleep, is an eight-hour lullaby. An exploration of music, consciousness and human connectivity, the work is intended to be listened to while sleeping. The landmark work is played on piano, strings, with subtle electronic touches and vocals — but no words. This album, From Sleep, is a one-hour version.
 
SavantArtificial CD/2xLP (RVNG International)
The story of electronic music pioneer K. Leimer continues with a focus on his auteurist studio project Savant. Compiling the standalone album, 1983’s The Neo Realist (At Risk), with Savant’s debut 12” and a grip of compilation and unreleased tracks, Artificial Dance documents Leimer’s complete collaborative venture into the unpredictable realities of music, exploring the gulf between what is expected by its creators and what is eventually — and eternally — committed to tape. Aligning himself with the Cage-ean principles of chance operations and musical contingency, Savant was a band sans jam. Allegorically, a blindfolded collaboration whose happenstance source music Leimer would sample, loop and sculpt at will. Leimer was creatively autonomous to the point of being a persona absentia in Seattle’s ‘80s rock scene. Unconcerned by social status, Leimer enlisted musicians from experimental and post-punk groups in the area to come record as Savant at his home studio, Tactical.
 
Joan ShellyOver And Over CD/LP (No Quarter)
“If Kentucky folk singer and guitarist Joan Shelley had written the stories of her second album, Over And Even, for a book instead, its cover would be the forest green of middle Appalachia, and its edges would be worn. Her voice is milky and smooth, but her songs are aged and made wise by their lyrical weight. From the best of her genre she’s inherited the illusory ability to write songs that sound ancient and unimpeachably true. So there would be no first edition of her book — it would arrive well-loved.” — NPR
 
Uncle Acid & The DeadbeatsThe Night Creeper CD (Rise Above)
Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats’ new album is comprised of ten tracks of the type of sonic psyche-frazzling heaviness and blood-drenched pop that have made them one of Britain’s great cult bands. Recorded at Toe Rag studios in early 2015 with engineer Liam Watson (White Stripes, Tame Impala, Electric Wizard), their fourth opus The Night Creeper finds the quartet in full-on death-tripping, third eye-widening mode. Here songs ooze louche evil over flesh-melting riffs that creep like hot magma bubbling up through the earth’s crust at their own malevolent pace. Vinyl version due September 18.
 
 
WidowspeakAll Yours CD/LP+MP3 (Captured Tracks)
A honed and elegant interweaving of dream-pop and slowcore rock & roll, easygoing melodies and dusty, snaking guitars. All Yours is ambitious without feeling labored-over, anchored in the strengths of Widowspeak’s consistent influences. There are those familiar Morricone-come-Verlaine guitar passages, moody and country-tinged instrumentation, watery tremolo, velvety stacked vocals. You can hear Molly’s affection for The Cranberries and The Sundays in the wavering melodies of “Dead Love” or “Girls,” and Rob’s adoration of George Harrison and Robbie Robertson in his brilliantly economical guitar playing.
 
 
The Brian Jonestown MassacreThank God For Mental Illness [1996] LP+MP3 (A. Recordings)
Available on HQ-180gm yellow vinyl with download code for the original CD’s 33-minute closing track “Sound Of Confusion,” excluded from this LP. This the first time that this title has been available on vinyl.
 
DestroyerForces From Above 12”+MP3 (Merge)
Features the DJ johnedwardcollins@gmail.com remix of “Forces From Above,” backed with “Times Square, Poison Season.”
 
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EnvyAtheist’s Cornea LP (Temporary Residence)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. First new album in five years from legendary Japanese post-hardcore band. Despite its relative brevity (at 43 minutes it is Envy’s shortest album since their early ‘90s thrash days), Atheist’s Cornea is easily the band’s most progressive work. Beginning with a punishing pummel, holes of light are gradually punched open to reveal an uncanny series of dynamic, emotionally charged epics.
 
GeorgiaGeorgia LP+MP3 (Domino)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. 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.
 
 
Method ManThe Meth Lab 2xLP (Tommy Boy)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Recorded in Staten Island and featuring lifelong cohorts and SI residents Redman, Raekwon, Hanz On, Streetlife, and Inspectah Deck, along with Uncle Murda, Cory Gunz, and Mack Wilds, The Meth Lab features production from Ron Browz, Allah Mathematics, J57, and 4th Disciple. 17 new and gritty tracks dripping with Mef’s lyrically imaginative, deliberate and laid-back style.
 
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.
 
UnwoundEmpire 4xLP (Numero)
The climactic entry in Numero’s four-set Unwound exploration, Empire compiles the final pair of albums by the Olympia, Washington, trio. On 1998’s Challenge For A Civilized Society, the band toyed with conventional verse/chorus form, stacking layers of noise and distraction on top of tightly constructed melodies. They would abdicate entirely just three years later with 2001’s Leaves Turn Inside You, executing a 14-song masterclass in home recording that observed a crucial band in graceful transition from post-hardcore trio to experimental quintet. The Empire box-set teems with period singles, B-sides, unreleased studio tracks, and demos, alongside a 15,000-word essay exploring the terminal stages of the ’90s, indie rock, Unwound, and civilization as we know it.

 

NEXT WEEK’S NEW RELEASES
LOW – Ones and Sixes CD/LP
SHANNON AND THE CLAMS – Gone By The Dawn CD/LP
GARY CLARK JR. – Story of Sonny Boy Slim CD/LP
DURAN DURAN – Paper Gods CD/LP
BEIRUT – No No No CD/LP
CRAIG FINN (Hold Steady) – FAITH IN THE FUTURE CD/LP
BEN FOLDS – So There CD/LP
MICACHU AND THE SHAPES – Good Sad Happy Bad CD/LP
PETITE NOIR – La Vie Est Belle CD/LP
SLAYER – Repentless CD/LP
YO LA TENGO – I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One LP reissue

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