kimber – pj harvey
lindsay – suuns, ashley shadow
dario – kevin morby
jeff – suuns

Sam Beam/Jesca HoopLove Letter For Fire CD/LP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam spent much of 2015 working the studio with other artists. He and Band Of Horses’ Ben Bridwell linked up to release Sing Into My Mouth, an album in which they covered the likes of Talking Heads and Spiritualized. Beam also contributed to Glen Hansard’s second solo LP, Didn’t He Ramble.Now, the Iron & Wine troubadour continues his collaborative streak with Love Letter For Fire, a full-length of duets with California singer/songwriter Jesca Hoop. The 13-track effort counts Wilco’s Glenn Kotche and multi-instrumentalist Robert Burger as special guests. Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, Modest Mouse) served as producer.

John CarpenterLost Themes II CD/LP (Sacred Bones)
“For Lost Themes II, Carpenter and his bandmates (namely his son and godson, both television composers themselves) still have the chops, but also show some restraint. The menacing guitars at the start of ‘Distant Dream,’ as well as the throbbing arpeggio of the synth line, suggest a panicked run through a corridor of a space station. Bombastic drums send the song hurtling along, but Carpenter and his collaborators also give the song more space, his cinematic sensibilities always favoring the kind of dread that emptiness could conjure. ‘Angel’s Asylum’ follows a similar strategy, as a minor-key motif set to ‘glass menagerie’ suddenly merges with a hard-driving backbeat that keeps gathering velocity. But just when you’d expect the three musicians to keep pushing, they peel everything back for a gentle coda marked by nylon-string guitar and airy chords. Chalk it up to their professionalism, but there’s an interconnectedness and looseness to the trio’s playing throughout Lost Themes II that allows them to change moods at a moment’s notice” – NPR. [Limited copies have been pressed on purple and white vinyl.]

The CoathangersNosebleed Weekend CD/LP+MP3 (Suicide Squeeze)
Nosebleed Weekend kicks off with “Perfume,” a song that marries sultry pop vocals with toothy guitar riffs in a manner that would make Ann and Nancy Wilson proud. It’s hard to imagine The Coathangers writing a song this accessible in their early years, but in 2016 it fits perfectly into their canon. From there the band launches into “Dumb Baby,” which harkens back to the gritty neo-garage rock of Murder City Devils. Longtime fans who still clamor for their brash post-punk angle will be immediately satiated by “Squeeki Tiki.” And after hearing the noisy loud-quiet-loud bombast of “Excuse Me?” it’s no wonder that Kim Gordon has become an outspoken fan of the band. It’s an eclectic album inspired by life on the road, and lost loved ones. [Limited copies pressed on color vinyl.]

Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros – PersonA CD/LP+MP3 (Community Music)
PersonA is the fourth album from one of your favorite indie-folk bands. Since their founding, Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros has undergone several iterations. Most notably, singer Jade Castrinos left the band in 2014. According to lead singer Alex Ebert, this marked a transformation in the band’s music. “We had long been a social experiment first, musicians second. Over time, though, we were emerging, by virtue of hours spent, into a group of musicians who could really play together. When Jade left, that confirmed our new fate: music first.” The shift is tangible on the album. “‘No Love Like Yours’ is their first official single off PersonA. While ‘Hot Coals’ was released last year, it was not announced as the album’s first song. However, both tracks have set the tone for the album, so fans can start to gather an idea of what to expect. ‘No Love Like Yours’ is a simple upbeat sound, taking you back to the classic Beatles. On the other hand, ‘Hot Coals’ begins with a dark sound while using subtly positive notes on the piano to accompany the deep trumpets and elegant drumbeats” – Indie Shuffle. [Limited 150gm white vinyl edition also available.]

PJ HarveyThe Hope Six Demolition Project CD/LP (Vagrant)
The Hope Six Demolition Project draws from several journeys undertaken by Harvey, who spent time in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Washington, D.C. over a four-year period. “When I’m writing a song I visualize the entire scene. I can see the colors, I can tell the time of day, I can sense the mood, I can see the light changing, the shadows moving, everything in that picture. Gathering information from secondary sources felt too far removed for what I was trying to write about. I wanted to smell the air, feel the soil and meet the people of the countries I was fascinated with,” says Harvey. “Just as Let England Shake made use of a sense of the horror of the First World War far more than provide literal commentary on it, so the restless The Hope Six Demolition Project is more about a sense of a fractured, disordered globe, bursting with life and catastrophe, ancient cultures, new wars and old wounds. It makes you puzzle its meaning, ponder on it, burrow nagging ideas into your head. And it is another stupendous record, of the sort nobody else is making, or probably could make. Through all her changing shapes, Harvey remains one of a kind.” – Drowned In Sound

J DillaThe Diary CD (Mass Appeal)
“After nearly 15 years of label troubles, legal battles, file rescuing and sample clearing, J Dilla’s lost 2002 vocal album The Diary [finally sees] release. Originally recorded for MCA, the iconic beatmaker, who passed away in 2006, had recruited a slew of producers to help create the 14-track LP — its beats are by Pete Rock, Madlib, Hi-Tek, Supa Dave West, Bink!, House Shoes, Nottz, Karriem Riggins and, of course, Dilla himself.Though it follows a decade of posthumous releases of varying quality, Dilla estate creative director and former Stones Throw general manager Eothen ‘Egon’ Alapatt told Rolling Stone that The Diary is ‘the last record that he actually wanted out — i.e., he said, in his own words, this record should come out during his lifetime. The last one.’” – Rolling Stone

Kate Le BonCrab Day CD/LP/Cassette (Drag City)
The third full-length release for the Welsh singer-/songwriter,“Crab Day, like its predecessor (the staggering Mug Museum), is underpinned by a bold stoicism far removed from calculable, sweetened melodics. Yet, when it really sparks, as on the mesmerizing coda of eight-minute closer ‘What’s Not Mine Or We Might Revolve’ (a spare, insistent pummel that recalls the fidgety formalism of early Throwing Muses), it yields an emotional resonance that is difficult to deny and impossible to resist.” – The Skinny

Kevin MorbySinging Saw CD/LP (Dead Oceans)
Singing Saw is a record written simply and realized orchestrally. In it, Kevin Morby (ex Woods bassist) faces the reality that true beauty — deep and earned — demands a whole-world balance that includes our darker sides. It is a record of duality, one that marks another stage of growth for this young, gifted songwriter with a kind face and a complicated mind. 

Ashley ShadowAshley Shadow CD/LP (Felte)
“Ashley Shadow is Ashley Webber, a longtime contributor to Vancover’s music scene. Besides playing bass in the early-aughts post-punk combo The Organ, she’s sung on albums including Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy’s ‘Lie Down In The Light,’ Pink Mountaintops’ ‘Outside Love,’ and The Cave Singers’ ‘Welcome Joy,’ landing her voice on releases by some of the world’s most prominent indie labels (Drag City, Jagjaguwar, and Matador respectively). Plus her sister is Lightning Dust leader Amber Webber. With a pedigree like that, it’s about time Webber released a project of her own.” – Stereogum

Sturgill SimpsonA Sailor’s Guide To Earth CD/LP+CD (Atlantic)
A Sailor’s Guide To Earth was written-beginning to end-as a letter to his first child who arrived during the summer of 2014 and features eight original songs as well as a rendition of Nirvana’s “In Bloom.” “Psych-country songwriter Sturgill Simpson impressed fans of the genre back in 2014 with the release of his sophomoreMetamodern Sounds In Country Music. In anticipation of his follow-up record, the Nashville-based performer appeared on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 radio show to shed some light on A Sailor’s Guide to Earth. ‘I wanted to express a lot of influences outside of country music, I think there’s a lot of room to explore in terms of sonic templates in the genre,’ he told Lowe. ‘If there was any intentional approach it was that I wanted to sort of reverse engineer the song craft this time around. In country music especially, it can get very formulaic. You have to have your verses and a chorus but a lot of these songs were written as plain and simple poetry on the road. I decided I was going to frame those poems to music in the studio. We already did Metamodern… so I didn’t want to make another psychedelic country album.’” – Exclaim

Suuns Hold/Still CD/LP+MP3 (Secretly Canadian)
“Suuns’ third proper album exists at the intersection of 20 Jazz Funk Greats and Kid A — a serpent’s hiss that is also yearning and hot-blooded. Its contents are the proof as to why Suuns absolutely deserve to be listed next to the names of dark groove adventurers like Stott, Forest Swords, Arca and Haxan Cloak.”

LUSH – Blindspot CD/LP
DALEK – Asphalt For Eden CD/LP
ANDY STOTT – Too Many Voices CD/LP
GREYS – Outerheaven CD
GUIDED BY VOICES – Please be Honest CD/LP