Staff Picks
Kimber – Wye Oak
Lindsay-  Fontaines D.C., Charley Crockett, Land of Talk
Dario- Fontaines D.C., Ohmme
Eric- Charley Crockett

Fontaines D.C. – A Hero’s Death CD/LP/2xLP (Partisan)
Barely a year after the release of their acclaimed debut album Dogrel (which charted Top 10 in the UK, earned a Mercury Prize nomination, and No. 1 Album of the Year positions for BBC 6Music and Rough Trade), Dublin, Ireland post-punk outfit Fontaines DC return with an intensely confident, patient, and complex sophomore album. A Hero’s Death arrives battered and bruised, albeit beautiful – a heady and philosophical take on the modern world, and its great uncertainty. [Limited single-disc stormy blue colored vinyl and limited deluxe double-LP cut for 45rpm featuring a photobook edition also available.]

Charley Crockett – Welcome To Hard Times CD/LP (Son Of Davy)
After undergoing open heart surgery that saved his life, Charley Crockett said he considered calming down for a bit, but once he recovered he “wanted to make an album that would change the entire conversation about country music.” That album is Welcome To Hard Times, an aptly named collection that perfectly fits these troubled days even though it was made just before the pandemic hit.

Madeline Kenney – Sucker’s Lunch CD/LP+MP3 (Carpark)
Oakland artist Madeline Kenney bounds toward the unknown on her third album, Sucker’s Lunch, expanding on the idea of what a love song could be “a little more cautious than exuberant, more nuanced than blazing devotion.” Sonically, the album expands upon Kenney’s guitar-driven sound – a definitive step forward from an artist adept at communicating universal sentiments in a voice unmistakably her own. To help realize her vision, Kenney enlisted Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack, previous collaborators and friends. Stack and Wasner’s rhythm section trace circles around Kenney’s off-kilter guitar, with verdant curls of synths, saxophone, and complex harmonies. Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner lends his distinctive tenor to lead single “Sucker”.

Land Of Talk – Indistinct Conversations CD/LP+MP3 (Saddle Creek)
Indistinct Conversations follows 2017’s acclaimed Life After Youth – at the time Land Of Talk’s first album in seven years. The release saw praise from Pitchfork, Paste, The AV Club, and NPR Music, among others. All 11 songs on Indistinct Conversations were written by Elizabeth Powell (vocals/guitar/keys), and share the hallmarks of the Land Of Talk sound: her silvery vocals; masterful, at times cacophonous guitar playing; and a stream-of-conscious lyricism-here perhaps at her most emotionally vulnerable and honest.

Mike Polizze – Long Lost Solace Find CD/LP (Paradise Of Bachelors)
The debut solo album by Mike Polizze – and his first release for Paradise of Bachelors – finds the erstwhile Purling Hiss frontman and Birds of Maya shredder stepping out from behind the wall of guitar noise into the bright sunshine. Performed entirely by Polizze with longtime friend Kurt Vile (largely live and acoustic) and recorded by War on Drugs engineer Jeff Zeigler, this intimate Philadelphia affair clarifies the bittersweet earworm melodicism of Dizzy Polizzy’s songwriting, revealing bona fide folk-pop chops. Long Lost Solace Find finally harvests the wild local honey from the buzzing hive of Hiss. “Beautifully melancholic… A craftsman whose easy mastery hides the years of work it took to get there.

Sufjan Stevens – America 12″ (Asthmatic Kitty)
Super limited 12″ preceeding upcoming full-length The Ascension.

Paul McCartney – Flaming Pie [Reissue/1997] 2xCD/2xLP/3xLP/5xCD+2xDVD (Capitol)
Digitally remastered edition of the 13th release in the Paul McCartney Archive Collection, personally supervised by McCartney and remastered at Abbey Road Studios. Originally released in 1997, the critically acclaimed and universally beloved solo album was produced by Paul, Jeff Lynne, and George Martin, featuring a supporting cast of family and friends including Ringo Starr, Steve Miller, Linda McCartney, and son James. [Expanded double-CD edition features 21 bonus tracks. The triple 180gm vinyl LP edition features the remastered album cut at half-speed, packaged in a gatefold sleeve with exclusive artwork & booklet, plus one LP of unreleased home recordings in hand-stamped white label sleeve, both housed in a slipcase. The deluxe five-CD + double-DVD box set edition features a wealth of bonus material, including the In The World Tonight documentary, original music videos, EPKs, interviews, performances and behind-the-scenes material, a 128-page book containing previously unpublished images by Linda McCartney, expanded album artwork from the archives and the story behind the album, hi-res 24bit 96kHz audio, and more. A 180gm double-vinyl reissue (also cut at half-speed) of the original album is also available.]

Wye Oak – No Horizon 12″ (Merge)
5-song EP of original compositions by Wye Oak (Jenn Wasner & Andy Stack) in collaboration with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. Pressed on hot pink vinyl.

NOFX – West Coast Vs. Wessex CD/LP (Fat Wreck Chords)
Split album featuring five Frank Turner tracks covered by NOFX and five NOFX tracks covered by Frank Turner.

Ohmme – Fantasize Your Ghost CD/LP (Joyful Noise)
There’s an obvious chemistry emanating throughout Ohmme’s music that’s so tangible it can only come from a decades-spanning friendship. Songwriters Sima Cunnningham and Macie Stewart formed their unbreakable bond performing throughout the fringes of Chicago’s many interlocking communities, collaborating with titans from the city’s indie rock, hip-hop, and improvised worlds. But together, along with drummer Matt Carroll, they’ve stretched the boundaries of what guitar music can do starting with the band’s experimental 2016 self-titled EP and their adventurous debut 2018 LP Parts. Now their longstanding partnership culminates with the stunning and muscular follow-up Fantasize Your Ghost. [Limited blue colored vinyl pressing also available.]

Dashboard Confessional – The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most [Reissue/2001] LP (Hidden Note)
Limited indie store exclusive orange/opaque colored vinyl pressing. “Of all the downtrodden intellectuals turning skate-punk into emo, Dashboard Confessional’s Christopher Carrabba is by far the most bruised. With just an acoustic guitar and some choice words, the Ben Folds sound-alike turns the concept of the love song on its head with The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most’s torrent of poetic abuse aimed at girls who’ve taken advantage of his good nature. From “Saints And Sailors” (“This apartment is starving for an argument / Anything at all to break the silence”) to “The Good Fight” (“I claimed you as my only hope and watched the floor as you retreated”) to “Screaming Infidelities” (“So kiss me hard because this will be the last time I let you”), Carrabba is unapologetically bitter. Yet while his love life may be a tragic mess, the pure cathartic joy he derives from putting the ladies in question back in their place – evident from his venomous acoustic attacks – is unmistakable, infectious, and fantastically liberating. Wallowing in self-pity has seldom been so much fun.” – Dan Gennoe

Lou Barlow ‎– Emoh [Reissue/2004] LP+MP3 (Merge)
From Lou Barlow: “Emoh was released in January 2005, within a day or two of my first child, Hannelore, being born. I put my real name on it, and it felt like the beginning of a new, more confident era. At the same time, I was asked to rejoin Dinosaur Jr, so, instead of spending the next year touring in support of Emoh, I started a Dinosaur Jr reunion that continues to this day.”

Dirty Projectors – Flight Tower 12”+MP3 (Domino)
Dirty Projectors present the next in a sequence of five EPs to be released this year. Each EP features a different band member on lead vocals – Maia Friedman, Felicia Douglass, Kristin Slipp and Dave Longstreth – with everyone trading verses on the fifth and final installment. On Flight Tower, Felicia is in the captain’s chair.

Alison Mosshart – Rise b/w It Ain’t Water 7”+MP3 (Domino)
Best known as one-half of acclaimed duo The Kills, Alison Mosshart is releasing music under her own name for the first time. “Rise” is a searing, slow burner while “It Ain’t Water”, is a melancholy acoustic lament of a B-side.

Shirley Collins – Heart’s Ease CD/LP+MP3 (Domino)
Heart’s Ease follows 2017’s Lodestar, Shirley Collins’ first record in 38 years, and one that brought Shirley’s widely missed voice back to fans. An album broader and brighter in tone than Lodestar, it finds Shirley exploring warmer themes and features three songs less rooted within the folk tradition.

William Tyler – Music From First Cow LP+MP3 (Merge)
In First Cow, Kelly Reichardt once again trains her perceptive and patient eye on the Pacific Northwest, this time evoking an authentically hardscrabble early nineteenth century way of life. A taciturn loner and skilled cook (John Magaro) has traveled west and joined a group of fur trappers in Oregon Territory, though he only finds true connection with a Chinese immigrant (Orion Lee) also seeking his fortune; soon the two collaborate on a successful business, although its longevity is reliant upon the clandestine participation of a nearby wealthy landowner’s prized milking cow. Reichardt again shows her distinct talent for depicting the peculiar rhythms of daily living and ability to capture the immense, unsettling quietude of rural America. William Tyler composed the music for First Cow almost entirely on several of his guitars and a dulcimer.

Various Artists – Nuleaf LP (Numero)
As the rift between academic jazz, new age, and pop narrowed in the 1980s, D.I.Y. practitioners of metronome driven riffs found new growth in a burgeoning managerial middle class, a commercial audience held captive in dentist offices and waiting rooms across America. Session players took to midi-banks stocked with every instrument imaginable and delivered on a road rage-induced demand to stay cool, relaxed, and focused all at once. The extra-wide cuts packaged here will be mint for years to come. Go ahead, break the seal on a fresh pack of Nuleafs. There’s only one sensation this smooth.

Coming Next Week
JENNY O – New Truth CD/LP
STOOGES – Live At Goose Lake CD/LP
HELVETIA – This Devastating Map CD/LP
VIDEO AGE – Pleasure Line CD/LP
BRONSON – Self-Titled CD/LP
INVENTIONS – Continuous Portrait CD/LP