Kimber – Kitty, Daisy & Lewis
Lindsay – Jessica Lea Mayfield, Lucinda Williams
Dario – Protomartyr
Dominic – Kamasi Washington
THIS WEEK’S NEW RELEASES
David Crosby – Sky Trails CD/2xLP (BMG)
Sky Trails, David Crosby’s third album of original material in four years, continues the fearless folk-rock legend’s unexpected late-period resurgence. Sky Trails features a full band sound that takes Crosby in a new musical direction as the set tilts toward jazz. The album opens with the intoxicating “She’s Got To Be Somewhere,” which features sturdy horns, bending guitar notes and lilting melodies. Crosby is backed on the album by the Sky Trails musicians, the core of whom are saxophonist Steve Tavaglione, bassist Mai Agan, drummer Steve DiStanislao, and Crosby’s son, multi-instrumentalist James Raymond, who also produced the album.
Steve Earle – Jerusalem [Reissue/2002] CD/LP (WB)
Steve Earle – Just An American Boy [Reissue/2003] CD/LP (WB)
Steve Earle – The Revolution Starts Now [Reissue/2004] CD/LP (WB)
The last batch of (six total) classic Steve Earle albums to be reissued this year – each remastered with some being pressed to vinyl for the first time.
Neil Finn – Out Of Silence CD (Lester Records Ltd./Kobalt)
“The multi-talented Crowded House frontman can make the most sophisticated pop music sound like the easiest thing in the world. Perhaps the first thing the listener needs to do with Out Of Silence is forget about the circumstances in which it was created. This album is piano-based orchestral pop, with a minimum of drums and percussion. It’s compact at 35 minutes, and complex in its instrumentation and arrangements, scored by composer Victoria Kelly. It is beautiful on the surface and yet seemingly bottomless: these songs are too subtle and densely textured to take in all at once. Piece by piece, Neil Finn’s Out Of Silence comes together in simplistic beauty.” [Vinyl edition due November 3.]
Frost’s Steve Albini-produced fifth album is an exercise in limitation and chromatic saturation. The Centre Cannot Hold is an attempt at transcribing a spectrum of glowing ultramarines into sound and forbids casual engagement, but rather seeks to engulf those who encounter it. [Vinyl edition due October 13.]
Ibeyi – Ash CD/LP (XL)
Their first album, the eponymous Ibeyi, grappled with the past—the sister’s relationship, origins, loss, and roots. It earned them fans and collaborators in some of the most iconic and crucial artists of today, Beyoncé and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre included. By contrast, Ash is a more visceral and potent political statement, and while firmly rooted in Afro-Cuban culture and history, finds itself entirely concerned with Ibeyi’s present: Who Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi are, what’s important to them, and how they live today, especially given that the spheres, both personally and politically, are entirely different from when Ibeyi was recorded.
13 all-time electrifying dance classics and fan favorites from The King of Pop. [Collectible glow-in-the-dark vinyl edition due October 27]
Kadavar – Rough Times CD/LP (Nuclear Blast)
“Rough Times finds Kadavar once again plowing into the fuzz filled musical earth that bands such as Hawkwind, Captain Beyond, and Blue Cheer have sown. Their endless palate of thunderous riffs and hook-laden grooves are put to expert use as they have masterfully taken this infinite combination and fashioned their own uniquely heavy music. Opening with the thunderous title track, you know you are in for a great ride. ‘Rough Times’ kicks the door open with bombastic drums and guitars drenched in grungy distortion. The beat is relentless and sets the stage for the rest of the album.
Kitty, Daisy & Lewis – Superscope CD (PIAS America)
Kitty, Daisy & Lewis are a London based trio who – now on their fourth album – continue to make old fashioned style pop, blues and soul using analogue gear. [Vinyl edition due October 13.]
Whilst inspired by the likes of the inimitable Nina Simone, the new, and darker, Loney Dear is a creation that feels as difficult as it does futile to pigeonhole. However, for those who enjoy the stripped back intimacy and compositional brilliance of Bon Iver, complete with flashes of John Grant’s more electronic work and sprinkles of Brian Eno’s production work – plus hidden flutters of jazz rhythms and subtle nods to Elton John – then this is an album that has moments of all, alongside being very much its own singular creation.
Sorry Is Gone, the highly anticipated new full-length album from Jessica Lea Mayfield, was recorded at Water Music and Electric Lady studios with producer John Agnello (Kurt Vile, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Phosphorescent). Of the album, Mayfield comments, “The whole record is about me taking my life back, without really realizing it. I realized I’m the only person that is going to look out for me. I have to be my main person. No one else. I have to sing about things and write about things that have happened to me as therapy. That’s what connects me to other music I listen to. I want music to make me feel things. This is my inner dialogue, and my chance to get the last word.” Sorry Is Gone features a variety of world-renowned musicians including Seth Avett on backing vocals and keys, drummer Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth, Sun Kill Moon), bassist Emil Amos (Grails, Holy Sons) and guitarist Cameron Deyell (Sia, Streets of Laredo.) with additional production from Patrick Damphier (The Mynabirds). [Limited edition clear vinyl pressing also available.]
Pearl Jam – Let’s Play Two CD/2xLP (Republic)
In celebration of their legendary sold out performances at Wrigley Field on August 20th and 22nd, 2016 during the Chicago Cubs historic World Series championship season, Pearl Jam releases the theatrical documentary film Let’s Play Two and this accompanying soundtrack album.
Primus – The Desaturating Seven CD/LP (ATO)
Primus’ ninth full-length album, The Desaturating Seven, serves as the cosmic trailblazer’s first studio effort of original material since 2011’s Green Naugahyde and first of original material featuring the classic Primus line-up of Les Claypool (vocals, bass), Larry LaLonde (guitar) and Tim Alexander (drums) since 1995’s Tales From The Punchbowl. The Desaturating Seven is inspired by a 1970’s children’s book Claypool often read to his kids when they were growing up. The book tells a story of seven goblins – one representing each color of the rainbow – who simultaneously pull all of the color out of the world. “Many years ago when my children were little kidlets scurrying around the place wreaking havoc and whatnot till it was time for bed and book time, my wife turned them on to a book called The Rainbow Goblins by Ul De Rico,” Claypool explained. “The dark imagery and beauty of the art struck me immediately and I thought, ‘this would make good fodder for a piece of music.’” [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Propagandhi – Victory Lap CD/LP+MP3 (Epitaph)
The first thing to know, if you want to know about Propagandhi, is that they came here to rock. Right from the snarling opening riff of their seventh album, Victory Lap, that much is clear. For everything else that swirls around the band now, and for the last 31 years – the politics, the people and, lately, a gnawing sense of despair – the sheer volume of it all hasn’t changed. Frontman Chris Hannah and bassist Todd Kowalski experienced a sea change in the band when after nine years with Propagandhi, guitarist David ‘The Beaver’ Guillas left the fold for a teaching position and they added a new member, Sulynn Hago, a seasoned guitar-slinger from Tampa, Florida. That said, Guillas is still all over Victory Lap, contributing licks to four songs. So, what do you do when you’re an unapologetically political band in a time when political speech seems more fractured than it has been in years? You strap up a guitar and get ready to rock. [Limited red colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Protomartyr – Relatives In Descent CD/LP+MP3 (Domino)
“Protomartyr aren’t going to revolutionize guitar music. That’s a big ask for any rock band in 2017, where many acts are hyper-literate, fiercely political or formally adventurous — though the group possesses all of these strengths. With those lanes occupied, consistency is ultimately what sets Protomartyr apart from the pack. Their development has been steady, as each new album broadened the scope and lyrical ambition of its predecessor. Relatives In Descent is a culmination of the band’s potential; they sound a career removed from the scrappy garage punks who released No Passion All Technique just four years ago, even as they remain snidely dissatisfied. Wolfish, braying boors populate opener ‘A Private Understanding,’ while ‘Don’t Go To Anacita’ contrasts ‘the straight white streets’ of a gated town with the migrant workers and anti-vagrant systems that maintain it. These condemnations feel especially ferocious with the full weight of the band behind them. Relatives In Descent makes guitar music feel radical again, capturing both timely and timeless anxieties.” – Exclaim [Limited blue colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Racquet Club – Racquet Club CD/LP+MP3 (Rise)
A perfect blend of melodic rock and underground emo, not unlike Jimmy Eat World, Sunny Day Real Estate, or Death Cab For Cutie. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Torres – Three Futures CD/LP (4AD)
The 10 tracks on Torres’ third album embrace ecstasy, desire and indulgence rather than self-denial, and exude this idea via immersive music. Mechanized grooves are placed at the forefront: perforated electro-pop static, gothic industrial’s harsh textures and insistent Kraut rock.
Unsane makes a vicious return with a pummeling new record that recalls the most defining elements of the band’s seminal Scattered, Smothered, And Covered and Occupational Hazard albums, surging with the band’s unrelenting singular sound created by guitarist/vocalist Chris Spencer, bassist/vocalist Dave Curran, and drummer Vinnie Signorelli.
The hair flying rock ‘n’ roll of J. Roddy Walston & The Business is back with the long-awaited follow-up to 2013’s Essential Tremors. New record Destroyers Of The Soft Life came to life in their own Richmond, VA recording studio and was co-produced by the band and Phil Ek (Fleet Foxes, Father John Misty, Built To Spill). The album is ushered in by the raging, “The Wanting,” the quartet’s first new song in four years. “I personally fell in love with writing music again,” Walston explained. “It took a while but once I realized I had room to try things that I had never tried before, I became addicted to the process.” He elaborated further by explaining how “The Wanting” describes the relationship of an estranged father and son: “Even though it is a dark song with a brutal ending, I find hope and beauty in the idea of these two people that had a shared sense of both regret and longing for each other.” [Limited edition white colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Kamasi Washington – Harmony Of Difference CD EP/12” (Young Turks)
Earlier this year, avant-garde jazz titan Kamasi Washington premiered Harmony Of Difference, an original six-movement suite, as part of this year’s Whitney Biennial. The EP is the first new music from Washington since his universally acclaimed 2015 debut album The Epic. Harmony Of Difference explores the philosophical possibilities of the musical technique known as “counterpoint,” which Washington defines as “the art of balancing similarity and difference to create harmony between separate melodies.”
Produced by Lucinda Williams and Tom Overby, This Sweet Old World – recorded to mark the 25th anniversary of the original 1992 album Sweet Old World – features all-new renditions of the record’s 12 songs, some of which have been dramatically rearranged and rewritten. Lucinda says, “Sweet Old World was really the only album after the Rough Trade album that sort of fell through the cracks a little bit. I remember going into a record store in Nashville and seeing it in the bin, and it had this sticker on it that said ‘out of print.’ I went up to the manager of this little indie store and said, ‘This isn’t out of print!’ He said, ‘Well, that’s what I had heard.’ It didn’t get attention paid to it that it should have had.” Some of the brand-new bonus material will be familiar to longtime fans. Williams’ live versions of John Anderson’s 1982 No. 1 country smash “Wild And Blue” and her take on Brit-blues power trio the Groundhogs’ version of the traditional “Factory Blues” are heard on the 2014 reissue of Lucinda Williams. The honky-tonk original “Dark Side Of Life” was Williams’ first L.A. recording, heard on the 1988 country compilation A Town South of Bakersfield Vol. 2. “What You Don’t Know,” written by John Leventhal and Jim Lauderdale, was an outtake from the original Sweet Old World sessions. [Limited edition pink colored vinyl pressing available October 27 – part of this year’s Ten Bands One Cause pink vinyl campaign in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Gilda’s Club NYC.]
Wolf Alice – Visions Of A Life CD/2xLP+MP3 (RCA)
“Wolf Alice are not just another indie band. After the runaway success of debut My Love Is Cool, the London four-piece used their platform to advocate for refugees and motivate their fans to vote. As they prepare to return with an angrier, catchier, just plain greater second album, singer Ellie Rowsell is starting to look suspiciously like a modern icon – not that she’d admit it herself. Recorded in LA with Paramore and M83 producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen, ‘Visions Of A Life’ is the antithesis of the overthought, undercooked follow-up album – it’s a big, bold expression of this band’s immense potential, in which choruses (and emotions) are communicated in letters 40ft high.” – NME
Cap’n Jazz – Analphabetapolothology [Reissue/1998] 2xLP+MP3 (Epitaph)
Cap’n Jazz were an emo/punk band formed in the early 1990’s in Buffalo Grove, IL by high school friends Tim Kinsella (vocals), Victor Villareal (guitar), and Sam Zurick (bass), along with Tim’s younger brother Mike (drums). The group released their lone LP in the spring of 1995 and broke up while on tour later that summer. Members would continue making music in bands like The Promise Ring, Joan Of Arc and American Football. In 1998 Jade Tree compiled most of their recordings (which were all out of print) on to a double-disc release, which has been repressed on 180gm black vinyl.
Concrete Blonde – Concrete Blonde [Reissue/1986] LP (Capitol)
Concrete Blonde – Free [Reissue/1989] LP (Capitol)
Concrete Blonde – Bloodletting [Reissue/1990] LP (Capitol)
Concrete Blonde – Walking In London [Reissue/1992] LP (Capitol)
Concrete Blonde – Mexican Moon [Reissue/1993] 2xLP (Capitol)
Concrete Blonde’s first five albums (original released on I.R.S.) are back in-print on vinyl.
Depeche Mode – The Best Of Volume 1 3xLP (Rhino)
17 of Depeche Mode’s singles spanning 1981-2005.
Limited edition picture disc vinyl.
Joan Of Arc – A Portable Model Of [Reissue/1997] LP+MP3 (Epitaph)
Joan Of Arc – How Memory Works [Reissue/1998] LP+MP3 (Epitaph)
Joan Of Arc – Live In Chicago, 1999 [Reissue/1999] 2xLP+MP3 (Epitaph)
Joan Of Arc – So Much For Staying Alive And Lovelessness [Reissue/2003] LP+MP3 (Epitaph)
Four of the emo band’s Jade Tree albums are back in-print on vinyl courtesy of Epitaph.
The Lemon Twigs – Brothers Of Destruction 12” (4AD)
Brothers Of Destruction was written and recorded by the duo on their 8-track at home in New York during 2015, not long after recording their debut album, Do Hollywood. The half dozen songs, most of which already feature in The Lemon Twigs’ searing live shows, are available here.
Ted Leo – The Hanged Man LP (Super Ego)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. The Hanged Man is Ted Leo’s first solo album in nearly a decade, following his 2014 Aimee Mann collaboration The Both and 2010’s The Brutalist Bricks with The Pharmacists. The 14-track collection was recorded at a home studio in Wakefield, Rhode Island with the singer/songwriter manning almost all of the instruments. The streamlined LP features Leo’s familiar sharp bursts of skinny-tie pop-punk offset with an adventurousness in both tone and structure. The Hanged Man features contributions from Chris Wilson (The Pharmacists), Aimee Mann (The Both), Jean Grae and Jonathan Coulton and is ushered in by the urgent lead single “You’re Like Me.”
Mastodon – Blood Mountain [Reissue/2006] LP (WB)
Mastodon – Crack The Skye [Reissue/2008] LP (WB)
Mastodon – The Hunter [Reissue/2011] LP (WB)
Limited edition picture disc vinyl pressings.
Monolord encompasses and transcends genre – a vortex of heavy rock density that consumes all others.
NEXT WEEK’S NEW RELEASES