kimber – nada surf
lindsay – thao and the get down stay down
dario – heron oblivion
jeff – rob crow’s gloomy place,
THIS WEEK’S NEW RELEASES
The Coral – Distance In Between CD/LP (Ignition)
After a five-year hiatus The Coral return with their eighth studio album. Recorded at Liverpool’s Parr Street Studio with co-producer Richard Turvey, Distance In Between was recorded live and mostly in just one take. “Before we started making the album we had discussed that we wanted it to be more minimal and rhythmical,” explains James Skelly (vocals, guitars). “We thought ‘if you’ve got a rhythm section that has been playing together for almost twenty years, why not make that the center of the songs?’” On the album James, Ian Skelly (drums/percussion/vocals), Nick Power (keyboard/vocals), and Paul Duffy (bass/keyboards/vocals) are joined by Coral newbie, guitarist Paul Molloy, formerly of The Zutons.
Rob Crow’s Gloomy Place– You’re Doomed. Be Nice. CD (Temporary Residence)
You’re Doomed. Be Nice. is Rob Crow’s first album since his heavily publicized withdrawal from music — specifically the toxic byproducts of the lifestyle of a touring professional musician attempting to survive in an industry of diminishing returns. Rather than perform, record, and mix every note himself — a trademark of his previous solo endeavors — Crow formed Gloomy Place, a band made up of close friends that includes another member of the beloved Heavy Vegetable. Recorded and mixed by Ben Moore (Hot Snakes), You’re Doomedpresents a fascinating dichotomy: dynamic, eclectic prog-pop backing alarmingly confessional, often acerbic lyrical themes. Vinyl edition due April 1.
Day Wave – Headcase/Hard To Read CD/LP (Grand Jury)
Day Wave’s new EP Hard To Read is paired with last year’s Headcase EP for this release. Both are intimate and lo-fi synth pop experiments, that borrow equally from confident west coast music and introspective bedroom rock. Warm synths and chiming guitars are used to create something both upbeat and sad at the same time.
Face To Face – Protection CD/LP (Fat Wreck Chords)
The melodic punk band returns to Fat Wreck Chords for their ninth full-length studio album. Protection draws from the energy and passion of Face To Face’s early records but is filtered through the band’s unique perspective as true “lifers” in punk rock. The result is an urgent and powerful 11-song blast that recalls the melody and angst of the band’s formative sound, while showcasing their greatly matured song-writing acumen. Produced by Bill Stevenson.
Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band–The Rarity Of Experience 2xCD (No Quarter)
After a year of touring, The Solar Motel Band returned to the studio last spring with Jeff Ziegler (War On Drugs, Kurt Vile) to put to tape the massive and immense The Rarity of Experience. This double album (officially The Rarity Of Experience Part I & II) sees Forsyth and his band stretching out their sound beyond anywhere they’ve gone before, touching on all corners of progressive, psychedelic and post-rock.
Guerilla Toss – Eraser Stargazer CD/LP (DFA)
Acclaimed underground psych-ragers Guerilla Toss make a gigantic leap forward while evoking the sounds of DFA’s past. Brittle guitars, thick bass riffs, and pounding drums provide a solid platform for keyboard flourishes and shrill vocals.
Heron Oblivion – Heron Oblivion CD/LP+MP3/Cassette (Sub Pop)
Members of this new San Francisco combo have put in time in both raging and relatively tranquil psychedelic sound units—this is the premise and the synergy behind this unique album. On the West Coast side, Ethan Miller and Noel Von Harmonson were together in Comets On Fire, who spent a large chunk of the mid-2000s playing unbridled, blistering rock worldwide, fueled by a steady diet of amphetaminized Crazy Horse, High Rise, MC5, Chrome, and Fushitsusha. Noel did time afterwards with Sic Alps and Six Organs of Admittance, while Miller settled into Howlin’ Rain and Feral Ohms. Charlie Saufley resided at the psychedelic pop fringes with his band Assemble Head In Sunburst Sound (kindred spirits to Comets to be sure). He was joined in California by Meg Baird, a leading light in the modern psych-folk canon thanks to her work in Philadelphia’s Espers and as a solo artist (she is also the original drummer for Philly post-hardcore degenerates Watery Love). Three shades of light run through Heron Oblivion: Baird’s rich, beautiful vocal approach, the locked-horns bass and drums of her and Miller’s streamlined-but-motorik rhythm section, and a twin guitar tapestry that both aligns with the dreaminess of the songs and crackles out of containment to froth over the rim, punctuating Opal/Fairport moves with dramatic, explosive fuzz solos.
Hop Along – Get Disowned [Reissue/2012] CD/LP (Saddle Creek)
Reissue of the debut full-length from Philadelphia’s Hop Along. Features “Tibetan Pop Stars,” which Mark Hoppus of Blink 182 called “the most painfully beautiful song ever.” Other praise: “Literally every single song on this album is brilliant… Get Disowned is probably the best album that will be released this year. If something tops it, I will be amazed” — Punknews.org; “Get Disowned gives us the things that matter most in music: Passion, fun, emotion, and a sense of being a part of something that matters” — Sputnik Music; “It’s an album made up entirely of stand out tracks” — Already Heard; “Best New Reissue” – Pitchfork. (Limited opaque blue color vinyl pressing also available.)
Ray LaMontagne – Ouroboros CD/LP (RCA)
“Ray LaMontagne scored a Grammy for 2010’s God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise while his follow-up, 2014’sSupernova, topped Billboard’s rock charts. But the soft-spoken singer-songwriter isn’t feeling any pressure for his sixth LP. ‘I don’t write in any intentional way,’ he says. ‘I just let things happen. I don’t force anything.’ A lot happened last February when LaMontagne joined My Morning Jacket’s mastermind frontman Jim James at La La Land studio in Louisville, Ky. ‘It was probably the best experience I’ve had in the studio, ever,’ LaMontagne says of collaborating with his longtime friend. ‘It was such a generous, kind, creative, playful atmosphere.’ Those sessions resulted in the eight sprawling meditations make up the rocker’s new album. Says LaMontagne: ‘It was about creating a record that I’d want to listen to if I were in the record store discovering albums. I don’t write singles. I don’t write pop songs. I never have. I’m not that kind of songwriter, and I don’t aspire to be. I let whatever creative force just tell me what to do.’” – Entertainment Weekly
Låpsley – Long Way Home CD/LP (XL)
Over the course of 2015, fast-emerging 19-year-old singer, songwriter and producer Holly ‘Låpsley’ Fletcher has become one of the most hotly tipped new UK artists around the globe with Complex calling her “one of the most promising new artists out there” and Stereogum describing her as “Adele crossed with the xx.” Through beautifully crafted songs such as “Hurt Me,” “Station” and “Falling Short,” the Liverpool, England-raised artist has created a unique sonic identity, mixing sparse, minimal electronic production with gorgeous, emotive songwriting.
La Sera – Music For Listening To Music To CD/LP+MP3 (Polyvinyl)
La Sera’s – fronted by former Vivian Girl Katy Goodman — fourth album was produced by Ryan Adams and recorded at his Pax-Am studios in Los Angeles. According to Adams, his work with Goodman and company in the studio eventually inspired his Taylor Swift cover album 1989. “If it wasn’t for [Music For Listening To Music To], the 1989 record would have never happened,” he told Rolling Stone. “The parallels between the melancholy guitar work on Adams’ 1989 and Music For Listening are easily apparent, but La Sera intertwines the downcast tones with bright, twangy guitars reminiscent of ’60s pop-rock. Katy Goodman’s vocals are melodic and catchy, gently cutting through the layers of guitar and subdued drums. Consider it the joyous flip side to Adams’ gloomy Swift covers” – Stereogum.(Limited white vinyl pressing also available.)
Lionlimb – Shoo CD/LP (Bayonet)
Shoo is the debut album from Lionlimb, the project of songwriter Stewart Bronaugh and drummer Joshua Jaeger. “Lionlimb proved their ’70s singer-songwriter bona fides with a pair of tremendous 2015 tracks, ‘Turnstile’ and ‘Bored Today.’ The Angel Olsen affiliates return with ‘Domino,’ the horn-inflected boom-bap Elliott Smith song of my dreams.” – Stereogum
Loretta Lynn – Full Circle CD/LP (Sony Legacy)
Full Circle is the first new studio album in over ten years from Loretta Lynn. Produced by Patsy Lynn Russell and John Carter Cash, and recorded at the Cash Cabin Studio in Hendersonville, TN, Full Circle takes listeners on a journey through Loretta’s musical story, from the Appalachian folk songs and gospel music she learned as a child, to new interpretations of her classic hits and country standards, to songs newly-written for the project. Highlights include “Lay Me Down,” a duet with Willie Nelson; “Everything It Takes,” featuring guest vocals from Elvis Costello; “Whispering Sea,” a new version of the first song Loretta ever wrote; and soulful new renditions of some of Lynn’s classic tunes, including a rousing renditions of “Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven” and “Fist City.”
Miike Snow – iii CD/LP+MP3 (Atlantic)
The members of Swedish/American avant-pop trio Miike Snow never stop making music — their Wikipedia page seems like the foundation for a musical Kevin Bacon game attempting to connect them to everyone in the music industry in six steps or less — but it’s been three years since they’ve released any together. That changes as Christian Karlsson, Pontus Winnberg, and Andrew Wyatt return with ‘Heart Is Full’ (which appears here on their third album, iii). It’s a big, bold metropolitan pop track bolstered by a walloping boom-bap drum loop, blaring soul samples, Auto-Tuned crooning, and one of those humongous pop-rock choruses Swedish studio pros tend to specialize in. The resulting single sounds like Akon, Peter Bjorn And John, and DJ Premier ended up in a room together and actually figured out how to make their competing aesthetics fit together; it’s chaotic, but beautifully so.” – Stereogum
Nada Surf – You Know Who You Are CD/LP (Barsuk)
Nada Surf’s eighth record, You Know Who You Are, marks the band’s first as an official quartet with the core unit — singer/ songwriter/guitarist Matthew Caws, bassist Daniel Lorca and drummer Ira Elliot — joined by indie rock gunslinger Doug Gillard on second guitar. “‘Don’t get me started about how hard it is to start or stay on track,’ Matthew Caws, singer-guitarist of Nada Surf, sings in ‘Cold To See Clear’ — one of the many anthems that grace the group’s eighth album, You Know Who You Are. Not that Caws and crew seem to have any problem staying on track themselves. The stalwart power-pop band has weathered the stormy fortunes of the music industry since making a splash with its 1996 hit ‘Popular.’ Twenty years later, Nada Surf is a one-hit wonder to some and a cult act to others. Wearing the band’s hard-earned survival like a merit badge, Caws infuses ‘Victory’s Yours’ with a jangly, Tom Petty-esque sense of euphoria. [This is also] Nada Surf’s first album with new guitarist and former Guided By Voices member Doug Gillard, and the new, four-piece lineup fits the band beautifully.” – NPR
Poliça – United Crushers CD/LP (Mom + Pop Music)
“The Minneapolis trio Poliça make cavernous, atmospheric synthpop…United Crushers, their third album, has a dark and sleek palette, both musically and lyrically, and it sometimes turns political.” — Stereogum
Prince Rama – Xtreme Now CD/LP+MP3 (Paw Tracks)
“The story behind Prince Rama’s latest album reads like a Stefan skit on Saturday Night Live. You can almost hear him giving the recap, ‘This new Prince Rama album has everything. Near death experiences, Viking ruins, extreme sports, and parachutes that open up to reveal a picture of the Mona Lisa.’ Yet this isn’t Stefan’s faux-underground New York; these are Prince Rama’s real-life visions.The story starts while the two sisters were living on a remote island in Estonia. While exploring an ancient viking ruin, Taraka Larson had a near death experience that left her with time-schizophrenia. This condition gave her the sensation of existing in multiple timelines simultaneously, feeling like she was in both the medieval ages and 2067. What she saw was a future filled with energy drink sponsored museums and extreme sports being upheld as art. Recognizing the divide between modern music and these death-defying feats, it was then that she and her sister Nimai began work on their world’s first extreme sports genre album, Xtreme Now.” – Consequence Of Sound
RNDM– Ghost Riding CD/LP (Dine Alone)
Sophomore album from the group comprised of Jeff Ament (Pearl Jam), Joseph Arthur (Fistful of Mercy) and Richard Stuverud (The Fastbacks).
Sounds Of Ceres – Nostalgia For Infinity CD/LP (Joyful Noise)
“Sound Of Ceres is a collaboration between Karen and Ryan Hover of Candy Claws, Apples In Stereo members Robert Schneider, Ben Phelan, and John Ferguson, and The Drums member Jacob Graham. This collaboration resulted in a concise, well balanced, and refreshing adaptation of many of the Hovers’ previous ideas. Combining Candy Claws’ dream pop elements with the vintage psychedelic motifs utilized by the Apples In Stereo, Nostalgia For Infinity introduces an extraterrestrial element to this supergroup’s sound through spacey synths like those in ‘Dagger Only Run.’ Still, the incorporation of components like the bossa nova-esque beats on ‘Ember Age’ and vinyl-distorted wind instrument samples used throughout the album allow Nostalgia For Infinity to maintain its distinct sense of humanity.” – Stereogum
Carter Tanton – Jettison The Valley CD/LP+MP3 (Western Vinyl)
By the time he was 15, singer, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Carter Tanton was already playing bar shows in his hometown of Baltimore. Two years later, he caught the attention of Gary E. Smith, best known for discovering and producing The Pixies. In the mid-2000’s he released a couple of EPs with his band Tulsa, prompting Rolling Stone’s David Fricke to claim “…his indie-seraphim voice is not of this world…”, and after a particularly impressive live set KEXP’s John Richards said “…he’s one of the best singer-songwriters in the country today.” Over the years, Tanton has toured and recorded with numerous artists including Marissa Nadler, Strand Of Oaks, Lower Dens, and The War On Drugs. His old friend and collaborator Marisa Nadler contributes lead vocals to the title track, and Sharon Van Etten sings on “Twenty-Nine Palms” and “Through The Garden Gates.”
Thao & The Get Down Stay Down – A Man Alive CD/LP+MP3 (Ribbon Music)
A Man Alive is Thao & The Get Down Stay Down’s fourth album. It is another amazing sonic next step for the band following up on the success of We The Common (2013), which was largely inspired by Thao’s volunteer work with the California Coalition for Women’s Prisoners, and marks an evolution in both subject matter and sound. Thao says: “I wanted A Man Alive to be beat- and bass-driven – rather than guitar-based – expanding upon the hip-hop influences of the previous record. A Man Alive is more instrumental, more riff- and loop-centric, and has more manipulated sounds.” The Get Down Stay Down are at their best on this record, and Thao herself experimented with programming beats for several tracks complementing the live drums played on every song.
Violent Femmes – We Can Do Anything CD/LP+MP3 (PIAS America)
“After 16 years, Violent Femmes’ singer and guitarist Gordon Gano and bassist Brian Ritchie have put aside their creative differences and made a full-length album, We Can Do Anything. It features the influential Milwaukee-born folk punk band in its finest form since — well, the beginning. he album was produced by Jeff Hamilton, a Milwaukee native and touring multi-instrumentalist with the band. Despite reportedly having hundreds of songs to pull from Gano’s archives, Hamilton smartly kept the album to 10 tracks, totaling 31 minutes of music. It was largely recorded with the full band performing together and with minimal post-production touches.The result is a livewire listen that doesn’t lag for a second. It’s reminiscent of the scruffy sound from its breakthrough self-titled album three decades back.On this long overdue album at least, the Femmes do give it their all” – The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. (Limited translucent gold color vinyl with bonus track also available.)
M. Ward – More Rain CD/LP+MP3 (Merge)
Ward’s eighth solo affair finds the artist picking up the tempo and volume a bit from his previous release, 2012’sA Wasteland Companion. Where that record introspectively looked in from the outside, More Rain finds Ward on the inside, gazing out. Begun four years ago and imagined initially as a DIY doo-wop album that would feature Ward experimenting with layering his own voice, it soon branched out in different directions, a move that he credits largely to his collaborators here who include R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, Neko Case, k.d. lang, The Secret Sisters, and Joey Spampinato of NRBQ. The result is a collection of upbeat, sonically ambitious yet canonically familiar songs that both propel Ward’s reach and satisfy longtime fans. “I think one of the biggest mysteries of America right now is this: How are we able to process unending bad news on Page One and then go about our lives the way the style section portrays us?” says Ward. “There must be a place in our brains that allows us to take a bird’s-eye view of humanity, and I think music is good at helping people—myself included—go to that place.”
Wussy – Forever Sounds CD (Shake It)
“To certain fans of Lucinda Williams, Crazy Horse, Mekons and R.E.M., Wussy became the best band in America almost instantaneously with the launch of their cult classic debut, Funeral Dress, in 2005. Their flawless document of ragged songwriting and modestly adventurous arrangements has only grown in dynamism in the years and albums that followed: 2007’s jangly Left For Dead, 2009’s fatalistic self-titled LP, and 2011’s more lighthearted Strawberry, which introduced the pounding Joe Klug on the backbeat. It was 2014’s schizoid Attica!, though, that put them on the map in a whole new way — notoriously cantankerous Village Voice critic Robert Christgau gave them an A+ rating — with anthems like ‘Teenage Wasteland’ interspersed with threadbare items like ‘Acetylene.’ Still, the Cincinnati quintet’s sixth album, Forever Sounds is their most challenging and densely textured to date” – SPIN. Vinyl version due April 8.
Neko Case & Her Boyfriends – Furnace Room Lullaby [Reissue/2000] LP+MP3 (ANTI-)
Limited edition red marble color vinyl remastered reissue of Case’s second solo album.
Shovels & Rope – Busted Jukebox: Volume 1 LP (New West)
Released last November on CD – now available on vinyl. Shovels & Rope’s Busted Jukebox: Volume 1 is a collaborative effort between the duo and their close friends. The ten song collection finds the band covering well known songs or tracks they have written or performed with other artists in the past. Collaborators include Shakey Graves, Lucius, J Roddy Walston, Butch Walker and more.
NEXT WEEK’S NEW RELEASES
JEFF BUCKLEY – You and I CD/LP
PETE YORN – Arranging Time CD/LP
BRIAN FALLON (Gaslight Anthem) – Painkillers CD/LP
FEELIES – Only Life CD/LP
FEELIES – Time For A Witness CD/LP
INTO IT OVER IT – Standards CD/LP
LITTLE GREEN CARS – Ephemera CD
BEN SHAPES – Wolves Of Want CD/LP
EMMY THE GREAT – Second Love CD/LP
LUCIUS – Good Grief CD/LP
PARACHUTE – Wide Awake CD
WILD FEATHERS – Lonely Is A Lifetime CD/LP
RESIDENTS – Demons Dance Alone CD
JULIAN LAGE – Arclight CD
SUNWATCHERS – Self-Titled CD/LP
BIG PUNISHER – Bronx Legends Never Die LP
DEATH INDEX – Self-Titled LP