STAFF PICKS

kimber – frightened rabbit
lindsay – parquet courts, frightened rabbit
dario – woods, kings of convenience reissues
jeff – kings of convenience reissues

THIS WEEK’S NEW RELEASES
Daniel Ash Stripped CD (Main Man)
Released on vinyl for RSD 2015 — now available on CD. For over 35 years, he has been one of the seminal figures in alternative music; whether for his wildly experimental guitar playing or for his sardonic vocal stylings, or perhaps even for throwing in a bit of saxophone, Daniel Ash (Bauhaus, Tones On Tail, Love & Rockets) has been one of modern music’s most engaging figures. Having defied categorization by fusing elements of electronica with punk, goth, and glam rock, Ash has earned the status of a living legend. In 2014, he embarked on a new solo outing with the help of his fans, launching a successful PledgeMusic campaign that would result in an album of revisited classics from throughout his repertoire.


Hayes CarllLovers And Leavers CD/LP+MP3 (Hwy 87)
Hayes Carll is at the forefront of a generation of American singer/songwriters. A Texas native, his style of roots-oriented songwriting has been noted for its plain-spoken poetry and sarcastic humor. He was nominated for a 2016 Grammy award for Best Country Song, and American Songwriter awarded him with Song of the Year for “Another Like You” in 2011, the same year he was nominated for Artist of the Year at the Americana Awards. Now Hayes returns with a powerful and raw set of songs produced by Joe Henry entitled Lovers And Leavers. The record marks a new chapter for Hayes — he has gone through much personal change in the five years since his last release, and he mines the depths of these experiences on this record. Sonically, he has stripped away some of the country sounds that marked his previous records, thus highlighting his well-worn voice and placing his straightforward and heartfelt lyrics at the center.


The Dandy WarholsDistortland CD/LP+MP3 (Dine Alone)
Distortland was first recorded in frontman Courtney Taylor’s basement on an ‘80s cassette recorder with the band adding the finishing touches in the studio. Jim Lowe, best known for his work with Taylor Swift and Beyonce, mixed the album and Taylor says the end result is an album that is “organised like a pop record but still has the sonic garbage in there.”“People don’t really talk about them these days, but back in the late ’90s and early ’00s, the Dandy Warhols perfected a certain brand of casually glamorous swagger that I’d never seen a rock band nail so hard. They were my favorite American Britpop band, if that makes any sense at all.” – Stereogum


DeftonesGore CD/2xLP (Reprise/WB)
“The road to the release of Deftones’ eighth full-length album Gore has been a rocky one as far as the press is concerned. There were missed release dates thanks to issues with mixing. And of course, there was the elephant in the room: the negative comments guitarist Stephen Carpenter made about his initial lack of interest in taking part in the writing sessions. A solid listen to Gore is all it takes to assure you that Carpenter did indeed show up on the effort. His crushing input populates a number of the included songs, and not just here and there. He may be somewhat underutilized to a small degree, but he certainly makes his presence felt. What stands out most about Gore though isn’t his aggression or frontman Chino Moreno‘s melancholic shades of new wave and sparkling alt rock. No, it’s the spacious room to breathe and fine attention paid to the smaller details in each song. As with any Deftones release, Gore isn’t an album that you’ll easily digest. It’s something you’ll likely be dissecting and finding new puzzle pieces for with each listen for weeks to come. A brave display of just how far this band have come since their nu metal days and definitive proof that the creative flame they share is still burning bright” – The PRP. [Limited copies pressed on 140gm white vinyl with two-pocket gatefold jacket and lyric sheet insert.]


Matt ElliottThe Calm Before CD/LP (Ici D’ailleurs)
Matt Elliott (Third Eye Foundation) presents the seventh album under his own name. Continuing his unique path through contemporary folk music, the six tracks collected here fit the logical continuum of his previous work while deepening its strengths, with folk guitar virtuosity influenced by the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe, songs that start with whispered melodies and end with noisy storms, truly poetic lyrics, and a tendency to avoid any well-known way of making music.


Frightened RabbitPainting Of A Panic Attack CD/LP (Atlantic)
Painting Of A Panic Attack is certainly more polished than Frightened Rabbit’s first album, but it’s remarkable how many variables remain constant. Despite the line-up changes, shifts in location and personal life traumas that have been played out on successive records over the past decade, the core and essence of the band remain the same, and it’s still as brilliant as it has ever been.
Just as it was impossible not to be seduced by the lyrics Scott Hutchison penned ten years ago, so it remains… the decision to democratize the songwriting process with their last record has opened up new channels of melody to explore: the celestial chorus lines of ‘Woke Up Hurting’ and ‘Little Drum’ on this new LP are among those moments of pure magic an artist might hope to unearth once in a lifetime.Without fail, Frightened Rabbit dig a few out for every new release.” – The Skinny


The Gloaming2 CD (Brassland)
The Gloaming enhance traditional Irish music with the best sounds from contemporary classical, post-rock, jazz and experimental music. RIYL: Sigur Ros, The Chieftans, Explosions In The Sky, Keith Jarrett, The Pogues.


Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals Call It What It Is CD/LP+MP3 (Stax/Concord Music Group)
“On his new album, Ben Harper reflects on police brutality, aging, and a pink balloon. Call It What It Is is unpredictable, lacking much cohesion, weird—and brilliant. It was recorded over the course of a year, with sessions sometimes happening months apart. I theorized to Harper that the record’s melodic, lyrical, and thematic inconsistency was related to the intervals between sessions, and he didn’t disagree. “Oftentimes what you are doing and what you think you are doing aren’t the same thing,” he said. He needed time in between sessions to let the recordings settle, to give himself some critical distance. He ended up with an album that tacks between the dark—images of the literal end of the world—and the light, with a girl carried aloft by a pink balloon. Call It What It Is is an exercise in getting jerked around; it’s an 11-track tilt-a-whirl.” – The Atlantic


Mayer HawthorneMan About Town CD/LP+MP3 (Vagrant)
“It’s been nearly three years since his last solo album, but Mayer Hawthorne has returned. With Man About Town, he’s gone back to some basics, in a sense. Hawthorne is known for trying different sounds among projects and even between solo albums. Where some of his earlier material more or less recreated ’60s and ’70s soul soundscapes, his newer material has used those references more sparingly, which has resulted in a more modern sound, combined with some nods to late ’70s and early ’80s blue-eyed-soul à la the other cat in the hat, Bobby Caldwell.” – Wax Poetics


Tim HeckerLove Streams CD/2xLP (4AD)
Love Streams takes its cues from the avant-classical orchestration and extreme electronic processing of his previous full-length, 2013’s Virgins, but shaped into more melancholic, ultraviolet hues. Inspired by notions of 15th century choral scores (particularly those by Josquin des Prez), transposed to an artificial intelligence-era language of digital resonance and bright synths, the album was assembled gradually, with layers of studio-tracked keyboards, choir and woodwinds being woven into the mix, then molded and disfigured through complex programming. Like hearing some ancient strain of sacred music corrupted by encryption, Hecker admits to thinking about ideas like “liturgical aesthetics after Yeezus” and the “transcendental voice in the age of auto-tune,” during its creation.


Fela Ransome Kuti and His Koola LobitosHighlife-Jazz and Afro-Soul (1963-1969) 3xCD (Knitting Factory)
This compilation traces Fela’s musical evolution in the decade before he formed the famous Africa 70 band.Highlife-Jazz and Afro-Soul (1963-1969) contains all the Koola Lobitos recordings with a 12-page booklet, including a full discography and essay by Fela Kuti scholar and author Michael Veal. The significant collection of 39 tracks, recorded live at the Afro-Spot in Lagos, Nigeria, in the mid- ‘60s demonstrates how Fela used a mix of jazz and high-life to create the early beginnings of what was soon to become his characteristic Afrobeat.


The LumineersCleopatra CD/LP (Dualtone)
“It’s been a lingering 4 years, but Denver natives The Lumineers have finally resurfaced with new material, their highly anticipated sophomore release, Cleopatra. And it’s the home of 11 striking tracks, from delicate narratives, to haunting poems of songs; you’re truly in for a touching ride. Aptly named title track ‘Cleopatra’ is the perfect taste of the material that makes up this new LP, with its slow building beat, infectious chorus and an intriguing tale, each of its elements plays a role in tracks to come.” – Renowned For Sound


M83 Junk CD/2xLP (Mute)
With Junk, M83 has succeeded in making what Anthony Gonzalez called “an organized mess — a collection of songs that aren’t made to live with each other, yet somehow work together. From album opener “Do It Try It,” a fractured yet catchy mélange of old-school house music pianos and pop-art bubblegum hooks worthy of ABBA, to “Moon Crystal,” an instrumental whose mutant retro-futurist grooves evoke Genesis doing a prog-disco remix of The Love Boat theme, to the smooth new wave-meets-electro funk workout “Time Wind” (featuring vocals by Beck) to “Go!,” an exultant synth-pop charmer featuring vocals from new M83 collaborator Mai Lan and guitar solo from legendary shredder, Steve Vai, one thing is perfectly clear: “Every time I make a M83 album, I’m trying to do it on my own terms – and it’s the same for this one,” Gonzalez says. “Whatever I do, whatever influences I have, it ends up sounding like me. As a musician, I’m just trying to take you somewhere else, beyond your world.”


Parquet CourtsHuman Performance CD/LP (Rough Trade)
“New York jitter-rock kings Parquet Courts have been teasing a new album called Human Performance with a Brooklyn mural, and they’ve been playing new songs live. They took a year recording it, and according to singer/guitarist Austin Brown, it tackles circa-now anxieties: ‘The unavoidable noise of NYC that can be maddening, the kind of the impossible struggle against clutter, whether it’s physical or mental or social.’ First single ‘Dust’ is a fierce, propulsive rocker, a sort of garage-punk take on krautrock.” — Stereogum


Samiyam Animals Have Feelings CD/LP (Stones Throw)
“A series of 21 short tracks, most well under three minutes, Animals Have Feelings still has its share of slightly glitchy moments and odd juxtapositions, but it might be Baker’s most directly hip-hop collection to date. There’s not a lot of raps on the album—Baker’s always been primarily an instrumental artist, and Animals Have Feelingsonly features three vocal cuts—but the LP just feels hip-hop, in a way that’s hard to pin down. ‘Lord Of The Rings,’ with Jeremiah Jae and Oliver the 2nd on the mic, layers the lyrics over sci-fi synths and plucked arpeggio; the Action Bronson–led ‘Mr. Wonderful’ (somewhat confusingly, its a track not found on Bronson’s album of the same name), sputters and glides to hypnotic effect; and Earl Sweatshirt returns for the psyche-hop-gets-tough track ‘Mirror.’ Straightforward hip-hop? Not quite—the weirdness quotient of Animals Have Feelingsis a bit too high for that—but it’s hip-hop nonetheless, and another success for Samiyam.” – XLR8R


Sonic YouthSister [Reissue/1987] CD/LP+MP3 (Goofin’)
Reissue of Sonic Youth’s fifth album, which is loosely inspired by the writings of Philip K. Dick. One of the group’s most beloved albums, 1987’s Sister incorporated the dissonance of their earlier releases into more traditional song structures.


The Traditional FoolsFool’s Gold CD/LP (In The Red)
The Traditional Fools were David Fox, Andrew Luttrell and Ty Segall. They splashed onto the underground music scene around 2006 with a no-frills, lo-fi, fun, sloppy brand of budget garage-surf-punk sadly absent from music at the time. The trio released one cassette, one full-length album, a single and then knocked it on the head.Fools Gold collects the four tracks from their eponymous 20077” single along with 13 previously unreleased recordings that have been languishing in their garage for years. Taken together, this is a barn-burner for those who can appreciate trash rock at its finest-soaked in reverb, feedback and cheap beer.


Ben Watt – Fever Dream CD/LP+MP3 (Unmade Road, Ltd.)
Previously one half of Everything But The Girl, Ben Watt returns with his third solo album. Fever Dream – self-produced at London’s famous RAK Studio 2, and mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering in Maine – takes the sonic template of the open-tuned folk-jazz, distorted string-bent rock, and soulful rumination of his last album, Hendra, and adds a fresh grainy intensity. It renews key partnerships with Hendra’s vaunted guitarist/sideman Bernard Butler and engineer Bruno Ellingham, and sprinkles guest vocal cameos from Boston’s dream-folk singer/songwriter Marissa Nadler and Hiss Golden Messenger’s M.C. Taylor.


WoodsCity Sun Eater In The River Of Light CD/LP+MP3/Cassette (Woodsist)
Woods have always been experts at distilling life epiphanies into compact chunks of psychedelic folk that exists just outside of any sort of tangible time or place. Maybe those epiphanies were buried under cassette manipulation or drum-and-drone freakouts, or maybe they were cloaked in Jeremy Earl’s lilting falsetto, but over the course of an impressive eight albums, Woods refined and drilled down their sound into City Sun Eater In The River Of Light, their ninth LP and second recorded in a proper studio. It s a dense record of rippling guitar, lush horns and seductive, bustling anxiety about the state of the world.


Kings Of ConvenienceQuiet Is The New Loud [Reissue/2001] LP (Astralwerks)
Kings Of ConvenienceVersus [Reissue/2001] LP (Astralwerks)
Kings Of ConvenienceRiot On An Empty Street [Reissue/2004] LP (Astralwerks)
140 gm color vinyl reissues of two of the Norwegian folk-pop duo’s (essential) albums plus the remix compilationVersus (which features Röyksopp, Four Tet, Ladytron, and more).

NEXT WEEK’S NEW RELEASES
PJ HARVEY – Hope Six Demolition Project CD/LP
EDWARD SHARPE – Persona CD/LP
STURGILL SIMPSON – Sailor’s Guide To Earth CD/LP
SAM BEAM / JESCA HOOP – Love Letter For Fire CD/LP
JOHN CARPENTER – Lost Themes 2 CD/LP
COATHANGERS – Nosebleed Weekend CD/LP
SUUNS – Hold/Still CD/LP
J DILLA – Diary CD
CATE LE BON – Crab City CD/LP
LYRICS BORN – Now Look What You Done – Greatest Hits CD
KEVIN MORBY – Singing Saw CD/LP
RADICAL FACE – Bastards CD
ASHLEY SHADOW – Self-Titled CD/LP
MR LIF – Don’t Look Down CD/LP
BABYFATHER – Bbf Hosted By DJ Escrow CD/LP
FRAMES – Longitude LP
NEIL MICHAEL HAGERTY / HOWLING HEX – Denver LP/CASS
GLEN HANSARD – Season On The Line LP
LITTLE GREEN CARS – Ephemera LP
METALLICA – LP reissues Kill Em All, Ride The Lightning LP
RICH ROBINSON – Through A Crooked Sun LP
RICH ROBINSON – Woodstock Sessions LP

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