Kimber – Soul Of A Nation comp
Lindsay – War On Drugs, Together Pangea
Dario – Oh Sees
THIS WEEK’S NEW RELEASES
Alex Chilton – A Man Called Destruction [Reissue/1995] CD/2xLP+MP3 (Omnivore)
As lead singer of The Box Tops and co-founder of Big Star, Alex Chilton already had a place in rock history. But he was never one to rest on his laurels. An enormous music fan himself, he consistently reinvented his own sound throughout his career, until his death in 2010. Chilton returned to Memphis’ legendary Ardent Studios and a reconstituted Ardent label to record A Man Called Destruction, a classic mix of originals and covers, this time with a full-horn section. Featuring an eclectic mixture of garage rock, jazz and R&B, the 1995 release was well received by fans and critics alike. This expanded reissue seven previously unissued tracks from the original sessions and new liner notes from journalist and author Bob Mehr (Trouble Boys: The True Story Of The Replacements). [Limited translucent blue vinyl pressing also available.]
decker. – Into The Red CD/LP (The Royal Potato Family)
For seven years running, decker. has been recording and performing some of the most vital music to be released from America’s Southwest. The music is clearly drawn from the land itself—all that is at once comforting, eerie, haunting, healing, harsh and beautiful. He carves something unique out of the essence he grasps in his red rock home of Sedona, Arizona—a land of red clay mountains and vortexes. The music takes on a spiritual mantle, a deeper, ancient calling rooted to the land itself, tapping into the mysticism of old, weird America, divining its power, resurrecting what he sees fit and crafting it into musical odysseys of treachery, redemption, enlightenment and tenacity.
EMA – Exile In The Outer Ring CD/LP+MP3 (City Slang)
After the success of 2011’s Past Life Martyred Saints and 2014 s prophetic The Future’s Void, EMA retreated to a basement in Portland, Oregon a generic apartment complex in a non-trendy neighborhood, with beige carpeting and cheap slat blinds. Now, she returns, with a portrait of The Outer Ring: A pitch-black world of dark night highways, American flags hung over basement windows, jails and revival meetings and casinos and rage. In a year dominated by white working-class alienation and anger, EMA – a Midwesterner who never lost her thousand-yard stare – has delivered an album that renders Middle American poverty and resentment with frightening realism and deep empathy. [Limited edition red colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Filthy Friends – Invitation CD/LP (Kill Rock Stars)
Debut album the new supergroup from Corin Tucker (Sleater-Kinney), Peter Buck (R.E.M.), Kurt Bloch (The Fastbacks), Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows, The Minus 5) and Bill Rieflin (King Crimson). The Invitation works through a flurry of different moods and styles, genre exercises and joyous experiments. The intricate guitar knots and blasts of bubblegum pop of Buck’s beloved Television are all over the herky-jerky Windmill. A mash-up of ‘60s downer vibes and rootsy rumblings makes up the marvelous “Second Life” whereas “Come Back Shelley” is all swagger and glitz in the style of a lost glam rock 45.
Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band – Dreaming In The Non-Dream CD/LP (No Quarter)
Despite psychedelic leanings, Forsyth’s records have always trained toward concision — plenty of space, yet never slack — but these tunes erupt with startling swiftness, then spend the rest of their quick-burning lives teasing multiple moods and patterns out of relatively simple materials.
A Giant Dog – Toy CD/LP+MP3 (Merge)
The fourth LP from A Giant Dog captures the Austin quintet at the height of their powers. A solid year of road-dogging and woodshedding has made the band tighter than ever, the charging dynamo of Andrew Cashen and Andy Bauer’s guitars in lockstep with the primal chug of the rhythm section, Graham Low on bass and Daniel Blanchard on drums, in the latter’s recorded debut. Singer Sabrina Ellis turns in another masterful performance, in equal parts brash, defiant, vulnerable, and raw. Lyrically, Sabrina and Andrew have a gift for making their personal frustrations and f**k-ups, fears, lusts, and addictions feel universal. While they have always given voice to the weirdoes and creeps, they dig even deeper on Toy. “I feel I’ve revealed more in this album than ever before,” Sabrina confesses. The band recorded Toy with Grammy-winning engineer Stuart Sikes (Loretta Lynn, Cat Power, The White Stripes, Reigning Sound), with Cashen producing it. “Andrew as producer makes a lot of sense,” Sabrina says. “He composes the songs and knows better than anyone what they should sound like in the end. With him at the helm, we’ve arrived at a raw, truthful, risky, and rangy album.”
Gogol Bordello – Seekers And Finders CD/LP (Cooking Vinyl)
Written over an extended time on three different continents, the bonanzatronic Seekers And Finders finds renowned nine-piece multi-cultural gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello in absolute top form – an aural party of violins, accordions, trumpet, marimba amongst the standard rock basics of guitars, drum and bass. “Seekers And Finders is just a very magical and playful record for us,” says frontman Eugene Hütz on the new album, the seventh in their wide-ranging oeuvre. “It just feels quite complete in capturing the Gogol familia transcontinental lifestyle, every side of it… the Good, The Bad, and the Snugly.” Frenetic lead single “Saboteur Blues” is about fully committing to the moment, while Regina Spektor guests on album opener “Did It All.” [Limited transparent blue and white marble colored and transparent blue vinyl pressings are also available.]
Gordi – Reservoir CD/LP (Jagjaguwar)
A brooding, multi-layered blend of electronica and folk, with lyrics that tend to avoid well-trodden paths. [Limited magenta marbled colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Grieves – Running Wild CD/2xLP+MP3 (Rhymesayers)
On Running Wild, Grieves teamed up with Swedish producer Chords. Together, the two have produced a modernized sound that is lush and intoxicating, pairing punchy drums with thick layers of synths and warm bass lines, all accented by soulful keys, horns, or guitars. Whether dark and moody, or upbeat and jazzy, Grieves navigates and complements the soundscape, penning verses that range from vulnerable and confessional, to fun and carefree. [Limited white colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Hammock – Mysterium CD (Hammock Music)
Composed as a memorial to Clark Kern, a son-like figure to Hammock co-founder Marc Byrd who died in 2016 from the tumor strain NF2, Mysterium merges modern classical, ambient, and choral music, and it’s of a piece with recent records by Max Richter and Johann Johannsson. The gorgeous, hour-long collection features contributions from the Berlin mix engineer Francesco Donadello (Winged Victory for the Sullen, Olafur Arnalds), Peter Katis (The National, Jónsi, Interpol), and the Hamburg orchestrator Roman Vinuesa (”Iris,” ”Umrika”), who transcribed scores for the Budapest Art Choir. [Vinyl edition due September 22.]
Lilly Hiatt – Trinity Lane CD/LP+MP3 (New West)
On Trinity Lane, the third album by this fixture of Nashville’s indie scene and first for New West — which makes her a labelmate of her revered songwriter dad — she’s devoted to excruciatingly revealing expression, deftly manipulating the tone and perspective of her songwriting from track to track. Her treatment of pain can, remarkably, feel both considered and diaristic. In her press bio, she describes what she’s up to as ‘taking responsibility for those emotions, and realizing what they are.’ And that sounds about right.” – NPR
Iron & Wine – Beast Epic CD/LP+MP3/2xLP+MP3 (Sup Pop)
Beast Epic, Iron & Wine’s sixth album, recasts soft power as a series of vignettes, observations and regular old songs that redeem through joy and a certain expectation of grace. Even the instant classic, “Bitter Truth,” with a lyric as pained and direct as any you’ve heard from Iron & Wine, is leavened with background vocals recalling The Jordanaires. Sam Beam goes so far as to call Beast Epic his “most personal” album to date. “The sound of Beast Epic harks back to previous work, in a way…” Beam notes. “By employing the old discipline of recording everything live and doing minimal overdubbing, I feel like it wears both its achievements and its imperfections on its sleeve. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed experimenting with different genres, sonics and songwriting styles and all that traveled distance is evident in the feel and the arrangements here, but the muscles seemed to have relaxed and been allowed to effortlessly do what they do best.” [Deluxe colored double-LP edition with alternate artwork, five bonus tracks, and an etching on Side D also available.]
Liars – TFCF CD/LP (Mute)
“Liars have been in a state of flux their whole career. Dance-punk, experimental rock, spooky ambience and hard-nosed techno make up some of their many mutations. Surprisingly, they’ve thrived with each new sound. No two albums sound the same, and no one quite sounds like them. TFCF (or Theme From Crying Fountain) is just as unstable. After the amicable departure of founding guitarist Aaron Hemphill, Angus Andrew returned to Australia to write as Liars’ sole member, rebuilding the band from the ground up.” – The Skinny [Limited edition red colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Nick Lowe And His Cowboy Outfit – Nick Lowe And His Cowboy Outfit [Reissue/1984] CD/LP+7” (Yep Roc)
Nick Lowe And His Cowboy Outfit – The Rose Of England [Reissue/1985] CD/LP (Yep Roc)
Yep Roc Records continues in its reissue series of six classic yet long unavailable Nick Lowe albums, fulfilling a longstanding goal of bringing the entire catalog of one of its flagship artists back into print and available on one label. The albums – Nick The Knife, The Abominable Showman, Nick Lowe And His Cowboy Outfit, The Rose of England, Pinker And Prouder Than Previous, and Party Of One – span the years 1982 to 1990, and represent a crucial bridge from Lowe’s trailblazing 1970s work to the “remarkable second wind” (New York Times) and widespread critical acclaim that have characterized his more recent releases.
Oh Sees – Orc CD/2xLP (Castle Face)
The newly shorn Oh Sees waste no time in racing headlong into nightmarish battle with the mighty Orc, clawing even farther up the ghastly peak stormed so satisfyingly by last year’s A Weird Exits. The band is in tour-greased, anvil-on-a-balance beam, gut-pleasingly heavy form, nimbly braining—with equal dashes of abandon and menace—on this fresh batch of bruisers and brooders, hypnotically stirred into to the cauldron of chaos you’ve come to expect.
Queens Of The Stone Age – Villains CD/2xLP+MP3 (Matador)
Produced by Mark Ronson and co-produced by Mark Rankin and mixed by Alan Moulder, Villains is the first full album offering from Queens Of The Stone Age since 2013’s …Like Clockwork. [The deluxe vinyl pressing features an etching on the D-Side.]
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Talk Tight CD/LP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
Talk Tight is Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever’s first release, and it was originally released on CD in March of 2016 on Ivy League Records in the band’s home country of Australia. This mini-album garnered the band critical acclaim in their home country and in the US, where Pitchfork gave the record an 8.0 and described it like so: “Seven rip-roaring tracks that move by their own logic, any one of which could be a single and all of which leave you wanting more in the best way possible…” Listening to these seven tunes, you can easily trace a national lineage: the relentlessness of Radio Birdman, the pop literacy of the Go-Betweens, the rambunctious energy of the Easybeats, and the belief—shared with Courtney Barnett—that guitars are not just crucial to the message but might very well be the message themselves. This release is the first time Talk Tight has been available in the US, and the first time it is available on vinyl anywhere. The band released their Sub Pop debut, The French Press EP, earlier this year, and are currently working on their first full-length album.
Superchunk – Superchunk [Reissue/1990] CD+MP3/LP+MP3 (Merge)
This remastered version of Superchunk’s debut album features updated artwork and includes an 11” × 17” replica of an early Chunk show flyer, with photos and notes from the band on the reverse. Both CD and LP include a bonus download of Clambakes Vol 9: Other Music From Unshowered Grumblers – Live in NYC 1990, a show recorded at CBGB just four days after the album was released.
Tera Melos – Trash Generator CD/LP+MP3 (Sargent House)
Tera Melos’ dalliances with mellower psychedelic phrases on their previous two albums, X’ed Out (2013) and Patagonian Rats (2010) are significantly trimmed and instead utilized as colorations within a swirling maelstrom of righteous aggro punk-jazz abandon. As such, it sounds like Tera Melos has fully metabolized their pop tendencies and found a way they can coexist with the band’s iconoclast origins.
Richard Thompson – Acoustic Classics II CD (Beeswing)
On the heels of the success of 2014’s Acoustic Classics, Vol. II features acoustic renderings of classic songs from the Thompson catalog, some previously recorded by other singers, some previously available only in a band format. [Vinyl edition due October 6.]
Tobacco – Ripe & Majestic CD/2xLP (Rad Cult)
Black Moth Super Rainbow frontman Thomas Fec aka Tobacco’s new Rad Cult offering Ripe & Majestic collects instrumental rarities and unreleased beats from 2007-2017. The sprawling 24-track set includes an alternate mix of “Grape Aerosmith,” one of two Beck collaborations from Tobacco’s sophomore album Maniac Meat. “The scuzzy, sludgy ‘Slaughtered By The Amway Guy’ is a particularly rock and punk-infused track with some fuzzy, hard-hitting guitar, an aggressive, driving beat, and a Kill Bill-esque siren synth that shoots in about halfway through. According to the Rad Cult Bandcamp, some relevant tags for Ripe & Majestic include ‘fantasy trash’ and ‘meatwave,’ so that should tell you all you need to know about what to expect.” – Earmilk [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Together Pangea – Bulls And Roosters CD/LP (Nettwerk)
On their latest album, Together Pangea managed to hit a sweet spot between writing rock ‘n’ roll songs worthy of being hummed 20 years from now and maintaining the brash and ballsy bite fans know and love. [Limited colored 180gm vinyl pressing also available.]
Various Artists – Soul Of A Nation: Afro-Centric Visions In The Age Of Black Power CD/2xLP+MP3 (Soul Jazz)
Subtitled Underground Jazz, Street Funk & The Roots Of Rap 1968-79. Featuring groundbreaking artists such as Gil Scott-Heron, Roy Ayers, Don Cherry, Oneness of Juju, Sarah Webster Fabio, Horace Tapscott, Phil Ranelin and many others, Soul Of A Nation shows how political themes led to the rise of ‘conscious’ black music as new Afro-centric styles combined the musical radicalism and spirituality of John Coltrane and radical avant-garde jazz music alongside the intense funk and soul of James Brown and Aretha Franklin and the urban poetry and proto-rap of the streets.
The War On Drugs – A Deeper Understanding CD/2xLP+MP3 (Atlantic)
The fourth full-length release for the Philadelphia indie rock band led by Adam Granduciel is a “band record” in the noblest sense, featuring collaboration, coordination, and confidence at every turn. “The War On Drugs craft the kind of majestic, expansive songs that all but beg to be heard in a crowd of thousands on an open field just after the sun sets. Three years ago, this site crowned them the best band of the year after their classic Lost In The Dream. With their follow up, A Deeper Understanding, the band magnifies their vision across 10 staggering tracks that make a compelling case for why they should be the biggest band. Throughout the album, The War On Drugs develop their strengths, taking what they do best and airing it out. A master class in widening scope, A Deeper Understanding finds the band unafraid to push their sound in a way that feels bigger than what any of their contemporaries are doing. The band may not ever be gigantic, as 11-minute singles aren’t that marketable, but they’ve made a record that sounds huge. Instead of trying to recreate the heightened catharsis of Lost In The Dream, A Deeper Understanding suggests a viable path forward from that turning point, a journey blown out to widescreen proportions that breathes new life into a familiar sound.” – Consequence Of Sound [Limited coke bottle clear vinyl pressing also available.]
Widowspeak – Expect The Best CD/LP+MP3 (Captured Tracks)
Existing in a sonic overlap of indie rock, dream pop, downtrodden shoegaze, slow-core and invented “cowboy grunge”, Widowspeak use familiar aesthetics as a narrative device, a purposeful nostalgic backdrop for songs that ask, “How did we get here?”
Cage The Elephant – Unpeeled 2xLP (RCA)
Cage The Elephant’s new live album, Unpeeled, was recorded over a series of intimate shows in cities including Los Angeles, Washington DC, Knoxville, and Nashville where the band performed in a stripped down arrangement with a string quartet and additional percussion. Unpeeled features 21-tracks: 18 curated songs from their past four albums plus three re-imagined versions of existing songs. Said frontman Matt Shultz about the inspiration behind the double live release: “Many times you’re adding sonic layers looking for something to hide behind, and what you don’t realize is that that vulnerability and that nakedness might be the most compelling and interesting thing about the song.” Limited edition Deluxe colored vinyl pressing also available.
Jesu/Sun Kil Moon – 30 Seconds Over Planet Earth 2xLP (Caldo Verde)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Sun Kil Moon and Jesu teamed up for the aptly titled collaborative album Sun Kil Moon/Jesu back in January 2016. Now, a little over a year later, they’re back with a follow-up.
David Rawlings – Poor David’s Almanack LP+MP3 (Acony)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Guitar man David Rawlings leaves the Machine moniker behind for his third album, Poor David’s Almanack, a wry mixture of acoustic and electric performances rich in ageless American vernacular. Gloriously captured on analog tape by studio wizards Ken Scott and Matt Andrews, the ten new songs took shape in a rollicking weeklong session at Woodland Sound Studios in Nashville, Tennessee where Rawlings and longtime compatriot Gillian Welch (who also designed the cover art) joined together with Willie Watson, Paul Kowert, Brittany Haas, Ketch Secor, and Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith to produce an album for all seasons.
Ty Segall – Fried Shallots 12” (Drag City)
Fried Shallots is a handful of numbers from different times and places over the past few years that all work together in a weird way. Profits from this release will be donated to the American Civil Liberties Union.
Trans Am – Trans Am [Reissue/1995] LP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
Trans Am – Surrender To The Night [Reissue/1997] LP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
Trans Am – Sex Change [Reissue/2007] LP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
In celebration of Thrill Jockey’s 25th Anniversary, classic titles from Trans Am are available on colored vinyl for the first time.
Various Artists – Seção Rítmica: Instrumental Funk ’70s Brazil LP+7” (Atemoya)
Brazil has always had its own brand of musical virtuosity, one that combined a distinctive and innate rhythmic swing with an effortless ability to turn seemingly abstract riffs into ridiculously catchy hooks. In the late ’60s and ’70s when these talented players in Rio and Sao Paolo turned their focus towards the North American funk scene and bands like Kool & The Gang, the Meters and the JBs, a new element was added to the mix. Culled from the times no vocalist was claiming the spotlight, these instrumentals focus firmly on the rhythm section and its funky accompaniment, a journey through the ’70s heyday of instrumental funk from Brazil from its rawest roots to refined boogie gems.
NEXT WEEK’S NEW RELEASES
QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE – Villains CD/LP/indie exclusive LP
WAR ON DRUGS – Deeper Understanding CD/LP
EMA – Exile In The Outer Ring CD/LP
FILTHY FRIENDS – Invitation CD/LP (Corin Tucker, Peter Buck, Kurt Bloch, Scott McCaughey)
THEE OH SEES – Orc CD/LP
CAGE THE ELEPHANT – Unpeeled LP colored
TY SEGALL – Fried Shallots 12″
CHRIS FORSYTH + SOLAR MOTEL BAND – Dreaming In The Non-Dream CD/LP
GIANT DOG – Toy CD/LP
GOGOL BORDELLO – Seekers + Finders CD/LP
HAMMOCK – Mysterium CD/LP
LILLY HIATT – Trinity Lane CD
IRON AND WINE – Beast Epic CD/LP
NICK LOWE – Nick Lowe + His Cowboy Outfit CD/LP
NICK LOWE – Rose Of England CD/LP
ROLLING BLACKOUTS COASTAL FEVER – Talk Tight CD/LP
SUPERCHUNK – Self-Titled CD/LP
TERA MELOS – Trash Generator CD/LP
RICHARD THOMPSON – Acoustic Classics 2 CD/LP
TOGETHER PANGEA – Bulls + Roosters CD/LP
GRIEVES – Running Wild CD/LP
OLAFUR ARNALDS – Eulogy For Evolution CD/LP
TOBACCO – Ripe + Majestic CD/LP
VARIOUS – Soul Of An Nation: Afro Centric Visions In The Age CD/LP
HANK WILLIAMS – Alone + Foresaken:The Demos CD/LP
GORDI – Reservoir CD/LP
DAVID RAWLINGS – Poor David’s Almanack LP
TRANS AM – LP reissues
WIDOWSPEAK – Expect The Best CD/LP
MYNABIRDS – Be Here Now CD/LP