kimber – bibio
lindsay – andrew bird, black mountain, charles bradley
dario – bombino
jeff – tim kinsella, rob crow’s gloomy place

AudacityHyper Vessels CD/LP+MP3 (Suicide Squeeze)
From the opening bedlam of barnburner “Counting The Days,” Audacity demonstrate that while their songwriting has become more nuanced, their delivery has gotten more savagely precise. With recording duties handled by longtime friend and tour-mate Ty Segall, Audacity sound like they’ve finally found someone who can capture the frenetic drive of a song like “Hypo,” the off-kilter hook of “Riot Train,” the undeniable melodic appeal of “Fire,” and the cowpunk influence of “Previous Cast.” It can be tricky to juggle the bubblegum with the piss-and-vinegar, but it’s a duality Audacity embraces.
Autolux Pussy’s Dead CD/LP+MP3 (30th Century Records/Columbia)
Experimental pop outfit Autolux releases their new LP via Danger Mouse’s 30th Century Records. “For those of us who like our shoegaze spiked with noise, menace, stylistic experimentation, and jarring dynamic shifts, there are few greater sonic pleasures than Autolux. The only trouble is that the Los Angeles trio has eked out just two full-length albums since forming in 2001, the last of which, Transit Transit, is approaching its sixth birthday. Devotees swooned when principal member Greg Edwards revived his criminally under-appreciated prior band Failure in recent years, but worried that such a move would delay fresh Autolux music even longer. Thankfully, with the help of producer Boots, best known for his work on Beyoncé’s 2013 self-titled album, the group has wrapped work on the awesomely named new LP Pussy’s Dead.” — Noisey
B BoysNo Worry, No Mind CD/LP+MP3 (Captured Tracks)
Three psychos that came to be through fate by way of necessity, B Boys offer up to the world their sonic manifesto, No Worry No Mind. A relief from the mania, an expression of duality, an extension of Dada. Abstraction takes a triangular form: effortless guitar melodies, undulating bass lines, deep swirling grooves. Interlocking vocals bob and weave over top, resounding their mantras. You’ve got something growing out your neck, my friend. Open your self to the frequencies, and let the vibrations illuminate your being.

Bibio A Mineral Love CD/2xLP+MP3 (Warp)
Bibio reaches album number seven with the carefully constructed tales found within A Mineral Love. Picking up where his The Green EP left off, A Mineral Love beautifully ties together its influences from the ghosts of music that surrounded him during his childhood from ’90s jungle and hardcore dance tracks to late ’70s and into early ’80s American TV show themes.
Andrew BirdAre You Serious CD/LP+7”+MP3/LP+7”+10”+MP3 (Loma Vista)
“American singer-songwriter, violinist and professional whistler, Andrew Bird, has released his 10th studio album, Are You Serious. [The album] features collaborations from singer/songwriter and classical pianist, Fiona Apple, and Blake Mills on guitar who has previously collaborated with the likes of Conor Oberst and Lana Del Rey. Are You Serious gets off to a steady start: the first track, ‘Capsized’, is a slightly more ‘indie-rock’ than the usual ‘indie-folk’ songs of Bird that sums up just how experimental Andrew Bird can be with his instruments. ‘Capsized’ is a perfect example of him ‘manipulating’ the violin to get a metallic sound that’s similar to an electric guitar. Overall, Are You Serious is an album of opposites that somehow seem to attract, this creates a strong mix of different songs that fit together flawlessly, although it feels like they shouldn’t” – Hit The Floor. [Available in Regular and Deluxe editions. Deluxe edition includes “Shoulder Mountain” and “Pulaski,” two tracks that don’t appear on the standard version (Deluxe color vinyl edition adds these tracks as a bonus 7”).

Black MountainIV CD/2xLP+MP3 (Jagjaguwar)
The rock canon has many anti-heroes, Black Mountain being the latest. In the past, Can’s Tago Magoestablished that the only rule in rock and roll is that there are no rules. Pink Floyd’s prodigious output in the ‘70s showed us that architecture can be cool, while unskilled laborers Black Sabbath demonstrated you can make a lot from not that much. Now Black Mountain teach us that you don’t have to be afraid of the past to move bravely into the future, defining what it is to be a classic rock band in the new millennium. IV is their Houses Of The Holy, an unapologetically ambitious record made by a group of musicians who are at the peak of their powers.

BleachedWelcome The Worms CD/LP+MP3 (Dead Oceans)
L.A.-based sister duo Jennifer and Jessie Clavin knew things were going to be different for their band Bleached sophomore LP Welcome The Worms. Not only had they managed to charm world renowned producer Joe Chiccarelli (Morrissey, The Strokes, Elton John) to join the sisters and their bassist Micayla Grace in the studio, but Jen and Jessie had been crawling out of their own personal dramas. While emotionally spinning, they dove head first into music. The three girls spent time writing the 10-song LP at a remote house in Joshua Tree, away from the distractions of the city. Other times Jen and Jessie worked alone, just like when they were teenaged punk brats playing in their parents’ garage, imitating their heroes The Slits, Black Flag and Minor Threat. In the studio, Chiccarelli and co-producer Carlos de la Garza (Paramore, YACHT) helped the band perfect their fervent songs into fearlessly big pop melodies. They drew inspiration from the iconic hits of everyone from Fleetwood Mac to Heart to Roy Ayers. The result is an ambitious rock record with a new found pop refinement that somehow still feels like the Shangri-Las on speed, driven forward in a wind of pot and petals, a wall of guitars in the back seat.
BombinoAzel CD (PTKF)
After a brief 25-hour delay in Morocco on his way from Niger, Bombino arrived in Woodstock, New York to record his 2016 album at Applehead Studio with Dave Longstreth (Dirty Projectors). Longstreth proved to be a fantastic match for Bombino as this album’s producer. He has a deep respect for the Saharan music tradition and guided their sessions with a gentle but skilled hand. Fans of Bombino and Tuareg music in general will notice a few remarkable innovations on Azel. Vinyl version due April 15.

Charles BradleyChanges CD/LP (Dunham/Daptone)
Soul singer Charles Bradley’s star has been on the rise since the release of his widely praised 2011 debut album No Time For Dreaming and his ascent has continued long after the release of his triumphant second album, 2013s Victim Of Love. Dubbed ‘The Screaming Eagle Of Soul,’ the singer is proud to present his third album Changes, which is named for his popular, “smoldering” (SPIN) cover of the Black Sabbath track. “Bradley’s third album, Changes, continues in the general path of his previous work, with some key alterations. The rhythms inch closer to modernity, and the material suggests Bradley and his songwriting partners in the Menahan Street Band recognize there’s a limit to how many visits he can make to the well of autobiographical woe. The lyrics are a touch more upbeat — there are songs celebrating the redeeming power of love alongside ones that chronicle devastation. The music pulses with 2016 energy, achieving an appropriate, and conceptually clever, balance of vintage and modern. It’s the perfect platform for a singer determined to make up for lost time, and Bradley seizes it, transforming the trappings of classic soul into music that’s thrillingly, undeniably alive.” – NPR

DinnerPsychic Lovers CD (Captured Tracks)
Dinner is Danish producer and singer Anders Rhedin. Musically, the album exists in its own space between the 80’s, 90’s and the present. The songs are pop songs held together by somewhat idiosyncratic arrangements. Opener “Cool As Ice” sounds like the soundtrack to David Lynch directing Miami Vice with overdriven synthetic strings and an equally eerie and funky slap bass that slowly grow into a pop structure. Vinyl edition due April 15.

Elephant RevivalPetals CD/LP (Itz Evolving)
Fifth album from the Boulder, CO transcendental folk band. Formed in 2006, Elephant Revival is known for their thoughtful, literary inspired lyrics combined with an eclectic blend of arrangements performed with traditional folk instrumentation. RIYL: The Decemberists, Bon Iver, Old Crow Medicine Show, Dave Rawlings & Gillian Welch, Josh Ritter, Emmylou Harris.

Explosions In The SkyThe Wilderness CD/2xLP+MP3 (Temporary Residence)
The Wilderness is Explosions In The Sky’s sixth album, and first non-soundtrack release since 2011’s Take Care, Take Care, Take Care. True to its title, The Wilderness explores the infinite unknown, utilizing several of the band’s own definitions of “space” (outer space, mental space, physical geography of space) as compositional tools. The band uses their gift for dynamics and texture in new and unique ways — rather than intuitively filling those empty spaces, they shine a light into them to illuminate all the colors of the dark. From the electronic textures of the opening track to the ambient dissolve of closer “Landing Cliffs,” The Wilderness is an aggressively modern and forward-thinking work — one that wouldn’t seem the slightest bit out of place on a shelf between original pressings of Meddle and Obscured By Clouds. It is an album where shoegaze, electronic experimentation, punk damaged dub, noise, and ambient folk somehow coexist without a hint of contrivance. The progressive ambience of early Peter Gabriel, the triumphant romanticism of The Cure in their prime, and the melancholy moments of Fleetwood Mac all inform the curious beauty of The Wilderness. [Limited transparent red and opaque white color vinyl pressing also available.]

The FieldThe Follower CD/2xLP+MP3 (Kompakt)
Celebrated Kompakt staple The Field returns to the spotlight with The Follower, his fifth full-length album. His most floor-attuned work yet, The Follower continues Swedish soundsmith Axel Willner’s rich trademark sound and goes further than ever in blurring the lines between concrete experimentation, body music, and precisely laid-out arrangement.

Frankie CosmosNext Thing CD/LP (Bayonet)
Greta Kline’s musical output as Frankie Cosmos exemplifies the generation of musicians born out of online self-releasing. Kline initially built a reputation with her prolific catalog of bedroom recordings and as a performer and advocate of New York’s All Ages DIY scene. The beauty in Kline’s writing does not lie within immense statements and large gestures, but instead can be found in her ability to examine situations and relationships with heartbreaking sincerity. She makes a funny and dense experimental pop, sure, that pays reference to songwriters like Jeffrey Lewis, but also the arrangements of a group like Belle & Sebastian. On Next Thing she keeps the bedroom, DIY attitude, but also expands it with a range of instruments and styles. “‘I’m 20, washed up already,’ sings Frankie Cosmos on the appositely-titled ‘I’m 20,’ in what may just be the most misleading lyric of the year. With over 30 releases to her name and associated acts since 2012, the young New Yorker has been carving out a name alongside the likes of Car Seat Headrest and Alex G at the vanguard of the hyper-prolific Bandcamp generation.” – The Skinny

Dana Falconberry and Medicine BowFrom The Forest Came The Fire CD/LP (Modern Outsider)
“To borrow from a Jack Kerouac album title, the lyrics to Dana Falconberry’s ‘Cormorant’ feel like an amalgam of blues and haikus. The Dearborn-bred/Austin-based troubadour is adept at using natural imagery, and on this stand-out track from her new album, From The Forest Came The Fire, the themes and concision of haikus blend with the simple AAB format of traditional blues within Falconberry’s personalized indie-folk and chamber-pop framework. Over the gentle picking of banjo and pizzicato cello, Falconberry’s cool, crystalline tones quietly deliver verses that put her in an undefined relationship to natural environments, a relationship that seems to shift as the song goes along.” – NPR

Robbie FulksUpland Stories CD/LP (Bloodshot)
Upland Stories continues and — with sprinklings of pedal steel, drums, electric guitar, and keyboards — expands the sound of Fulks’ last acoustic set. His richly emotional storytelling is illuminated by his instrumental prowess and emotional voice. At 53, he is philosophically reflective, writing “with clear eyes and a full heart.”– NPR

Laura Gibson Empire Builder CD/LP (Barsuk)
Singer/songwriter Laura Gibson gathered a stellar band of old friends to complement the intimate Empire Builder: guitarist/bassist Dave Depper (Death Cab for Cutie, Menomena), drummer/percussionist Dan Hunt (Neko Case) and composer/violinist Peter Broderick. Other contributors include Nate Query of the Decemberists and vocalist Alela Diane.

HammockEverything And Nothing CD (Hammock Music)
Hammock returns with Everything And Nothing, the Nashville duos first full-length album since 2013s critically-acclaimed Oblivion Hymns. “Largely instrumental, with occasional (and often ethereal) male and female vocals used sparingly to complement the whole and magnify the human relevance, Everything And Nothing is a collection of rangy mood pieces. Musically and emotionally, it ebbs and flows with the kind of brooding atmospheric ambience that people like to call ‘post-rock.’ Conceptually, we are told, it’s about ‘enduring life’s trials and tribulations, and letting hope be the beacon to guide you through it.’ The sixteen tracks here represent personal struggle, taking the listener on a journey of doubt and change, hinting at oblivion but leaving us with hope and optimism” –Über Röck. Vinyl version due April 29.

HarmoniaDocuments 1975 CD/LP (Gröenland)
“Grönland casually drop a rocket’s worth of virgin krautrock fuel with the previously unreleased Documents 1975tape capturing Moebius, Roedelius, Rother and Eno playing live between their idyllic Forst studio and venues in Hamburg.” — Boomkat

The HeavyHurt & The Merciless CD/LP+MP3 (Bad Son)
Hurt & The Merciless marks a musical culmination for The Heavy, a mesmerizing blend of their trademark rock ‘n’ roll classicism and funk and soul grooves, with added sonic experimentation. Self-produced, the band’s main aim when recording was to capture the powerful energy of their live show—that life-affirming spark of rock ‘n’ roll when anything feels possible. The 12 track album features lead single “Since You Been Gone,” with its lolloping groove, plus the spiky garage-rock anthem “What Happened To The Love?”

Kaada/PattonBacteria Cult CD/LP (Ipecac)
Norwegian composer John Kaada and Mike Patton have partnered for Bacteria Cult, the pair’s first Kaada/Patton release since 2007’s Kaada/Patton Live DVD and the first album from the musicians since 2004’sRomances.“Working with John Kaada on this latest release was an honor and pure pleasure,” said Patton of resuming work Kaada. “His compositions have always resonated deeply with me and his orchestral arrangements for this project are harmonically dense and delicious! Each individual piece is so well constructed and inventively assembled that my vocal passages practically sang themselves. I’m hoping very much that we can seduce some eardrums and welcome listeners into this lush sonic ‘otherworld.’”“We wanted to try new things,” explains Kaada. “Fully utilizing new technologies, combined with a large orchestra, while putting more attention towards melody and structure.”The eight-song, orchestral collection exudes the music Ipecac has become well known for: eclectic, experimental and cinematic. Similar in feel to Fantômas’ Director’s Cut, as Kaada describes it, Bacteria Cult “dwells in the twilight zone where spooky and seductive meet.”

The Last Shadow PuppetsEverything You’ve Come To Expect CD/LP+MP3/LP+7”+MP3 (Domino)
Everything You’ve Come To Expect finds The Last Shadow Puppets’ Alex Turner and Miles Kane reunited with James Ford (production and drums) and Owen Pallett (string arrangements) and joined by Zachary Dawes (Mini Mansions) on bass. The album is a more open and expansive work than its predecessor, wearing its influences less obviously on its sleeve – by turns the album is soaring, snarling and breathlessly seductive. “Unlike their debut, Everything You’ve Come To Expect isn’t fixated on the ’60s baroque-pop of Scott Walker and David Axelrod, although a different vibe and era – ’70s soft-rock and blue-eyed soul – does prevail in places.The standout moments tend to be the softer, sweeter ones, with Turner putting that sardonic croon to good use on ‘Sweet Dreams, TN’ and the surreal ‘The Dream Synopsis’, while the honeyed soul-pop of ‘Miracle Aligner’ and ‘The Element Of Surprise’ sound custom-made for sunset cruises along the Pacific Coast Highway” – NME. [CD and vinyl both available in Regular and Deluxe editions. Deluxe CD features hard-book-style packaging with a 40-page booklet, while the Deluxe vinyl edition is HQ-180 gm, packaged in a board-mounted gatefold sleeve with a 32-page booklet and a translucent yellow 7” featuring the bonus track “The Bourne Identity.”]

Mike & The MelvinsThree Men And A Baby CD/LP+MP3/Cassette (Sub Pop)
Three Men And A Baby was supposed to come out sixteen years ago. These are the facts we can be sure of: in 1998, around the time his band godheadSilo went on hiatus, bassist/vocalist Mike Kunka busied himself by tagging along on a tour with his friends The Melvins. Somewhere along the way, Mike And The Melvins – King Buzzo (guitar/bass/vocals), Dale Crover (drums/vocals), and Kevin Rutmanis (bass/vocals), at the time – decided to make a record together, and gave the project the imaginative moniker Mike And The Melvins. Sub Pop, ever on the hunt for music’s Next Big Thing, enthusiastically agreed to fund and release the super-group’s debut, and recording commenced sometime in 1999. It’s at that point that things got hazy. Whatever the reasons for the delay, the incomplete recording languished on a shelf from 1999 until 2015, when, much to everyone’s surprise, the involved parties reconvened, finished the recording, and delivered it post-haste to Sub Pop International Headquarters.

ModeratIII CD/2xLP (Mute)
Intent on creating something that contrasted their own individual projects, Moderat — the trio comprised of Gernot Bronsert, Sebastian Szary (aka Modeselektor) and Sascha Ring (aka Apparat) — complete the trilogy with III. III pairs an emotional pull with sensual imagery, creating dynamic sound and depth with sophisticated lyrics and themes as they direct their gaze inward. Apparat gives unfiltered insight into his personal take on the journey we call life – he is opening up, discussing his shadow, his fears and doubts. Modeselektor reach another level, develop an intoxicating energy with their distinct rhythmical textures. One of the best parts of Moderat is their use of electronics to achieve orchestral diversity.

Operators Blue Wave CD/LP (Last Gang)
Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs, Divine Fits) presents the debut album from his band Operators. Boeckner has shown his diverse musical taste over the years; consequently, his decision to focus his attention on a new, analog post-punk project shouldn’t be surprising as it feels like nothing more than a natural progression from the first synth he bought for the debut Wolf Parade EP, to the primarily stark, digital sounds of Handsome Furs, and now the organic, melted, deeply dance driven Operators. “[Title track] ‘Blue Wave’ continues to ride the crest of ’80s sounds that propel much of Operators’ music. Kraut rock guitars slice through the electronic haze of the track as synth and horns skip hand-in-hand along the bouncy rhythm. Still, the arc of the song feels like it’s heading downwards the entire time, and like body surfing a killer curl, you know that eventually it’s all going to crash.” – Consequence Of Sound

Oranjjoolius Oranjjoolius 2xCD (Cleopatra)
Oranjjoolius boasts an array of styles careening from grandiose rock to Dick Dale-esque surf to electro punk — all blended together in perfect chaotic harmony, and packaged here with a full-length live concert bonus disc. Guest performers include Kishi Bashi (Of Montreal, Jupiter One) and theremin player Armen Ra.

Pet Shop BoysSuper CD/LP (x2)
“The Pet Shop Boys, one of the most prolific acts in electronic pop, return yet again with their Stuart Price-helmed 13th studio album Super. (Fun fact: The duo’s very first record, Please, came out in March of 1986 — almost exactly 30 years ago.) The new album, according to PSB, is meant to evoke the ‘London club scene of the early ’90s,’ which makes lead single ‘The Pop Kids’ a suitably nostalgic way to formally kick off the campaign. ‘Remember those days, the early ’90s?’ Neil declares above a dreamy throwback ’90s club pulsations while wistfully reminiscing about those halcyon days at university. ‘They called us the pop kids ’cause we loved the pop hits / And quoted the best bits, so we were the pop kids / I loved you…’ PSB have always championed an unapologetic love of disco music and pop hits, and this thumping tune is no exception: ‘We were young, but imagined we were so sophisticated / Telling everyone we knew that rock was overrated,’ Neil sings. It’s like a lyrical nod to ‘Paninaro’ (‘I don’t like rockabilly or rock ‘n’ roll particularly’) and ‘Can You Forgive Her?’ (‘She’s made you some kind of laughing stock / Because you dance to disco and you don’t like rock.’) Hey, some themes are forever.” – Pop Crush

Jan St. WernerFelder CD/LP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
Jan St. Werner, a well-respected artist and musician known for his solo compositions, his work with Mouse On Mars, and art pieces, has created a beautifully rhythmic, instantly gripping work with his new album Felder. Werner meticulously cultivates unexpected sounds and uses them to create an album that is beautiful and complex, but also incredibly approachable. He incorporates elements of jazz, folk, drone, IDM, and various other styles into the album, highlighting his ability to effortlessly build compositions that are boundless and intricate.

TacocatLost Time CD/LP+MP3/CASSETTE (Hardly Art)
“Seattle punk four-piece Tacocat were ahead of their time eight years ago when they chose a moniker combining two things that would blow up on the internet. That’s just a minor observation but it’s indicative of the progressive thinking and songwriting the band laces into shoegazing awesomeness. They’re a feminist punk band, but they’re also humanist. I agree with this sentiment because I feel if you see someone dealing with the same shitty feelings as you are, even when resulting from a different system of oppression and discrimination, it’s narrow minded and ultimately detrimental to your struggle to ignore theirs. So in addition to the obvious and unapologetic feminism on Lost Time, there is a relatibility that resonates and elevates it to something much bigger than this specific body of work at this moment in time. It also helps that the songs are excellent.” — Stereogum

Teddy Thompson and Kelly JonesLittle Windows CD/LP (Cooking Vinyl)
Teddy and Kelly first sang together on a George Jones track at LA’s Club Largo in 2011. It was love at first note and not long after they embarked on a bi-coastal musical relationship (she in L.A., he in NYC) writing the songs that would become Little Windows along with partner Bill DeMain. Inspired by the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly and Sam Cooke, the ten gorgeous songs that comprise this album explore the joy and sorrows of love and the vagaries of the human heart.
Highlights include the wide-eyed wonderment of “Wondering,” the lingering nostalgia of the Instant Grat track “I Thought That We Said Goodbye,” the promises of “Make A Wish On Me,” the pleas of “Don’t Remind Me” and the self-deception of “Better At Lying.”In keeping with this classic sound, vocally reminiscent of Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons, the album was recorded live to a 16 track tape machine by producer Mike Viola with a crackerjack band featuring Pete Thomas (drums), Davey Farragher (bass), Steve Elliot (guitar), Daniel Clarke (keys) and Teddy Thompson (guitar). Linda Thompson is the executive producer.

WeezerWeezer (White Album) CD/LP+MP3 (Crush Music)
Rivers Cuomo described Weezer’s tenth album as a “beach album,” based on his experiences “hanging around the Westside of Los Angeles, with people in Venice and Santa Monica, the beach, the Hare Krishnas, the Sikh on roller blades with the guitar, girls on Tinder within a 4-mile radius, seeing other bands, the kids from La Sera.” Sonically, Cuomo credited The Beach Boys as a major influence. The album’s producer, Jake Sinclair, was also “determined to return Weezer to their ’90s glory,” combining the “brashness and unpredictability of Pinkertonwith the summer Beach Boys grunge pop of the Blue Album.”

YeasayerAmen & Goodbye CD/LP+MP3 (Mute)
Amen & Goodbye is the fourth album by Brooklyn’s Yeasayer. It follows up their 2012 album Fragrant World but eschews its penchant for all things digital. The lead single, “I am Chemistry” features vocals from Suzzy Roche of legendary folkies, The Roches. The band recorded the album to tape, it was then given some studio sparkle by Beck drummer Joey Waronker. Amen & Goodbye is unlike any of their previous work but still retains the sounds the band are known for. Album track “Gerson’s Whistle”“flows so well that the time that passes doesn’t affect you. The driving beat behind the melodic over- and undertones will have you zoning out and bouncing your head.It’s catchy too. You really get a sense that Yeasayer has plenty of crossover potential, but they’re probably past that point of their career. ‘Gerson’s Whistle’ is one of the most enjoyable songs I’ve heard in 2016, and it could hold that place in my mind for the remainder of the year.” – Music Times

Battles EP C/B [Reissue/2006] 2xLP+MP3 (Warp)
Battles Mirrored [Reissue/2007] 2xLP+MP3 (Warp)
Battles Gloss Drop [Reissue/2011] 2xLP+MP3 (Warp)
Following the 2015 release of La Di Da Di, Battles’ first new LP in over four years, Warp announced that the band’s full catalog would be back in print on vinyl. They kept their word.

Com TruiseSilicon Tare 12”+MP3 (Ghostly Int’l)
Opening with a skating sheet of synthesizer before easing into a steady, walloping beat, Silicon Tare moves Haley and the fictional Com Truise even deeper into the cosmos, discovering new lands along the way and offering a glimpse of where he may travel in the future. And if the characters at the center of his ongoing story may be in peril, Haley himself is in control. Tare also sets the stage for the final chapter in Seth Haley’s Com Truise saga, which is the first official follow-up to Galactic Melt. It’s not only the perfect prelude to that finale, but the perfect representation of Haley’s palate of robotic synthfunk.
Loren ConnorsThe Red Painting 7”+MP3 (Family Vineyard)
The Red Painting is the first release of piano music by iconic avant guitarist Loren Connors. This piece combines Loren’s deeply moving palette of melody with a masterful control of pace and drama that ends with a guitar coda twinkling in the darkness. It’s wrenching as his glorious ‘airs’ or the distortion mangled screams of his blues. One-sided red vinyl 7” inside a silk screened sleeve.

Rob Crow’s Gloomy PlaceYou’re Doomed. Be Nice. LP+MP3 (Temporary Residence)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. 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 Doomed presents a fascinating dichotomy: dynamic, eclectic prog-pop backing alarmingly confessional, often acerbic lyrical themes.

GrimesHalfaxa [Reissue/2010] 2xLP (Arbutus)
Vinyl reissue of Grimes sophomore album – originally released by Lo on the format in 2011. “Lo Recordings have been loving the psychedelic sound of chillwave, glo-fi, drag etc. For them, no other act captured the fractal flow better than Canadian singer Claire Boucher aka Grimes. Amid the deluge of fine mind floss from the likes of Neon Indian, Hype Williams and Laurel Halo, Grimes sound is one of the most unique and delightful of all. Grimes audio universe where Kate Bush jams with Fleetwood Mac in a flotation tank while the spirit of Arthur Russell hovers overhead is simply stunning. One of the most distinctive sound worlds we’ve had the pleasure to inhabit for ooh…aeons.”

HÆLOSFull Circle LP+MP3 (Matador)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Every generation has their own version of the blues, music that captures a sense of melancholia and provides a sonic reflecting pool for young lovers, old souls, and the eternally heartbroken. For their darkly shaded and radiant debut album Full Circle, HÆLOS have found their blues where others go to find pure, uncut joy: the dancefloor. The London trio’s version of a night out is a million miles away from mirror balls and sweaty bodies, their rippling electronic pop conjuring the exhilarating privacy of a cavernous club’s dark pockets and the introspective comedowns that accompany rainy 5 A.M. cab rides. Throughout the album, HÆLOS reconstruct the firmament of dance sounds past and present to construct an exquisitely elegiac mood that retains a sense of presence as it conveys the pain of emotional distance.

JamesGirl At The End Of The World 2xLP (BMG Recorded Music)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. “There are plenty of bands doing the rounds at the moment that began their career several decades ago. The nostalgia trip is a profitable one for some. There are fewer of those bands who are still making new music, and even less that are making music that is fresh and enjoyable. It’s easy to trade on past glories and regurgitate a sound that can be sold easily. James has always been the outsiders when it comes to that commercial aspect. Despite the hit singles and ferociously supportive fan base, they never quite get the respect they deserve.To prove their worth far above a legacy band, James [has just released] their fourteen studio album. While 2014’s La Petite Mort featured a smorgasbord of styles and a common theme through many of the songs, Girl at the End of the World steps up a gear and unleashes a powerhouse of keyboards and dance-fueled beats that will take many by surprise.” – Louder Than War

Tim KinsellaFirecracker In A Box Of Mirrors LP (Joyful Noise)
The Chicago native, Tim Kinsella (Cap’n Jazz, Owls, Make Believe, and Joan Of Arc), has cemented his place as one of the more groundbreaking, underapologetically honest artists in the indie scene. Kinsella, known for his eccentric vocals, takes the listener on a gripping musical voyage while intricately weaving melodic hopefulness with lyrical heartbreak, and life experience. Firecracker In A Box Of Mirrors is a plethora of emotions involved with the human experience, the heart, and the guitar. Conceived while Kinsella was on a solo tour opening up for Pinback, Firecracker… is kind-of the inverse of “Joan Of Arc’s Greatest Hits”. While the latter re-imagines classic JOA songs with full, robust instrumentation, “Firecracker…” has stripped away all the dense layers of these songs – leaving only a single guitar and voice. The basic, stripped-down instrumentation really allows these songs to shine in ways they never have. Orange vinyl.

The ReplacementsThe Sire Years 4xLP (Rhino/WB)
Limited four vinyl LP box set containing The Replacements four albums recorded for Sire Records: Tim (1985),Pleased To Meet Me (1987), Don’t Tell A Soul (1989), and All Shook Down (1990).

Sufjan Stevens Illinois [Reissue/2005] 2xLP+12” (Asthmatic Kitty)
This 10th anniversary edition of Illinois replaces balloons (which themselves replaced Superman in 2005) with rising comic book Chicago-born superhero Blue Marvel. This special color edition (“antimatter blue” and “cape white”) is expanded with a red, star-shaped 12” featuring a demo of “Chicago.”

WitchcraftLegend [Reissue/2012] 2xLP (Nuclear Blast)
Limited double brown/gold colored vinyl LP pressing in gatefold jacket of the fourth album from the Swedish doom metal band.

Chelsea WolfeHypnos b/w Flame 7” (Sargent House)
New 7” single comprised of Abyss B-sides. “‘Hypnos’ swirls in the same gloomy pools as Abyss, with weighty guitar plucks that continue its gothic strains. Blurring the divide between metal and neo-folk with gentle yet foreboding arrangements, the track finds Wolfe clawing up from a very dark place. ‘Oh, honey I put up a fight with death,’ she sings.” – Consequence Of Sound

Mike & The MelvinsThree Men And A Baby (Sub Pop) CD/LP/CASSETTE
Three Men And A Baby was supposed to come out sixteen years ago. These are the facts we can be sure of: in 1998, around the time his band godheadSilo went on hiatus, bassist/vocalist Mike Kunka busied himself by tagging along on a tour with his friends The Melvins. Somewhere along the way, Mike And The Melvins – King Buzzo (guitar/bass/vocals), Dale Crover (drums/vocals), and Kevin Rutmanis (bass/vocals), at the time – decided to make a record together, and gave the project the imaginative moniker Mike And The Melvins. Sub Pop, ever on the hunt for music’s Next Big Thing, enthusiastically agreed to fund and release the super-group’s debut, and recording commenced sometime in 1999. It’s at that point that things got hazy. Whatever the reasons for the delay, the incomplete recording languished on a shelf from 1999 until 2015, when, much to everyone’s surprise, the involved parties reconvened, finished the recording, and delivered it post-haste to Sub Pop International Headquarters.