The Avalanches – We Will Always Love You CD/2xLP (Astralwerks)
Australian electronic duo The Avalanches’ new album, We Will Always Love You is the much-anticipated follow-up to 2016’s Wildflower. Described as “an exploration of the vibrational relationship between light, sound and spirit,” it doubles as an examination of the human voice and a spiritual reckoning via the big questions: “Who are we really? What happens when we die?” The album features collaborations with Blood Orange (“We Will Always Love You”), Rivers Cuomo and Pink Siifu (“Running Red Lights”), Jamie xx, Neneh Cherry and CLYPSO (“Wherever You Go”), Sananda Maitreya and Vashti Bunyan (“Reflecting Light”), and alt-rapper Denzel Curry, Tricky and Melbourne-based Zambian rapper-singer Sampa The Great (“Take Care In Your Dreaming”). [Limited edition indie-store exclusive vinyl pressing available.]
Kacy & Clayton And Marlon Williams – Plastic Bouquet CD/LP (New West)
Every December, Christchurch, NZ enjoys the start of summer as Saskatoon, SK begins to freeze over. For as far apart as these places may seem, you would never know it from the sound of Plastic Bouquet, the debut collaborative album between Saskatoon duo Kacy & Clayton and Christchurch singer and songwriter Marlon Williams. While on tour across Europe in 2017, Kacy & Clayton quite literally stopped Marlon in his tracks. As if playing by divine design through the radio, the pair’s “Springtime Of The Year” immediately enchanted him. Soon thereafter, Marlon hopped a flight to Saskatoon and they wrote and recorded the bulk of what would become Plastic Bouquet. They unlocked undeniable chemistry. With Plastic Bouquet, these three musicians find common ground in dusty country spun through a kaleidoscope of psychedelic soul and dreamy fifties delivery. They created an ethnosphere that is more than the sum of its parts. It’s also the beginning of something very exciting.
Belle and Sebastian – What To Look For In Summer CD/2xLP+MP3 (Matador)
A new live double album gathering choice selections from the band’s 2019 world tour, including last summer’s epic “Boaty Weekender” cruise. All live records are a time capsule to some extent, but Belle and Sebastian’s What To Look For In Summer is perhaps a bit more evocative than originally planned. Neither a retrospective nor a back-door greatest-hits, What To Look For In Summer is the sound of a band that’s always moving forward, a picture of Belle and Sebastian in 2019 that gives equal weight to early days (“My Wandering Days Are Over”, “Seeing Other People”) and recent years (“Poor Boy”, “We Were Beautiful”), with a track selection Murdoch says was almost random. Also included are three songs from 2000’s Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant (which the band played in full at the Boaty Weekender).
The Kills – Little Bastards CD/2xLP+MP3 (Domino)
Little Bastards is extraordinary career-spanning B-sides and rarities album from duo of Alison Mosshart and British guitarist Jamie Hince. The songs date back from the band’s first 7” singles in 2002 through to 2009. All of the material has been newly remastered. Often raw, intimate and zero-budget spontaneous, the album’s title is a wry comment on these excellent recordings’ neglectful fate: in many cases birthed on the fly to fill bonus-track space on CD singles, they’d effectively vanished together with the release format that necessitated their creation. Highlights include “I Call It Art” from the Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited covers compilation, the brilliant Midnight Boom digital bonus track “Night Train”, a blistering performance of “Love Is A Deserter” from an XFM radio session and a handful of classic American roots songs performed with the kind of bruising delivery they’re famous for: Howlin’ Wolf’s “Forty Four”, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put A Spell On You” and Dock Boggs’ “Sugar Baby”.
Sturgill Simpson –Cuttin’ Grass – Vol. 1 The Butcher Shoppe Sessions) CD/2xLP (High Top Mountain)
Since breaking through in 2014 with his Grammy-nominated Metamodern Sounds In Country Music album, Sturgill Simpson has established himself as one of the most daring and most acclaimed artists of our time. His music stretches across genres and styles, from the psychedelic soul of 2016’s A Sailor’s Guide To Earth (Grammy nominated for Album of the Year and winner for Best Country Album) to the fuzzed-out rock attack of Sound & Fury in 2019. Now Simpson returns to the music of his native Kentucky with his first bluegrass project, Cuttin’ Grass – Vol. 1 (The Butcher Shoppe Sessions). The album, which he calls “a mixtape for the fans,” was dreamed up while he was recovering from COVID-19, and sees him reimagining songs from across his catalogue backed by some of Nashville’s finest acoustic virtuosos. The album was produced by Sturgill Simpson and Dave Ferguson and features Mark Howard, Scott Vestal, Mike Bubb, Tim O’Brien, Miles Miller, Stuart Duncan, and Sierra Hull. [Limited edition indie-store exclusive vinyl pressing available.]
M. Ward – Think Of Spring CD/LP+MP3 (ANTI-)
M. Ward’s new album Think Of Spring is a collection of songs originally recorded by Billie Holiday – a muse to Ward and many others. Ward achieved the intimate sound of this record by filtering the original songs and strings through a single acoustic guitar, using various alternate tunings and a minimal amount of textures and studio manipulation. Most of the songs were recorded on an analog Tascam four track. The title Think Of Spring comes from a poem written in 1924 by Jane Brown-Thompson that eventually became “I Get Along Without You Very Well” in 1938 – the first song on the record. “I first heard [Billie’s album] Lady In Satin in a mega-shopping mall somewhere in San Francisco,” M. Ward explained. “I was about 20 years old and didn’t know much about Billie’s records or her life or how her voice changed over the years. Anyway, the sound was coming from the other side of the mall and I remember mistaking her voice for a beautiful perfectly distorted electric guitar – some other-world thing floating there on this strange mournful ocean of strings and I was hooked for life.” [Limited edition translucent orange colored vinyl pressing available.]
Kamasi Washington – Becoming (Music From The Netflix Original Documentary) CD/LP (Young Turks)
Kamasi Washington composed and produced the original score for Becoming, the four time Emmy-nominated film that provided an intimate glimpse into the life of Michelle Obama. Produced by Netflix Originals, Becoming documented a moment of profound change for the former First Lady, not only for her personally but for the country she and her husband served over eight impactful years in the White House. Washington, who joined the project in its embryonic stages, provides the powerful musical backdrop.
Boris with Merzbow – 2R0I2P0 CD/2xLP (Relapse)
The brand-new collaborative album from Boris and Merzbow showcases every bit of the excitement and pulse-pounding rock and metal heard throughout the inimitable, expansive Boris catalog, as it meets the signature harsh noise and soundscapes of the equally prolific Merzbow. An album that is at once familiar and unique for its time, melodic and harsh in equal parts, 2R0I2P0 aims to find sonic harmony. After all, 2R0I2P0 translates to “Twenty Twenty R.I.P.” “This year was a period of trial for everyone in the world,” Boris comments. “This work becomes a monument to the requiem of the previous era. From here, a new world begins again.”
Styles We Paid For is Guided by Voices’ third album of 2020 and it stands as a testament to this Year In Isolation, reflecting these dark days through Robert Pollard’s prism, with the band sounding as confident and authoritative as ever. The fifteen tracks were recorded remotely during quarantine from five states (Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Tennessee) to comprise GBV’s ninth album since 2017. Pollard’s searing vocals hold center stage, with endless melodic invention and impeccable phrasing.
Interpol – Our Love To Admire [Reissue/2007] CD/2xLP+MP3 (Matador)
Released in July 2007 on Capitol Records, Our Love To Admire marked a departure from Interpol’s indie beginnings. Armed with sleeker production (courtesy of producer Rich Costey) and more ambitious instrumentation featuring strings, horns and extended keyboard arrangements, the album was the fruition of all of Interpol’s earliest efforts. It would also become one of the group’s biggest selling albums, debuting in the Top Five charts both in the US and the UK thanks to compelling singles like “The Heinrich Maneuver” and “Mammoth”. [Limited ‘blue sky’ colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Osees – Panther Rotate CD/LP (Castleface)
“In the swirling and undulant warm mud of jettisoned reels of magnetic tape, blurps up the fog of reinvention. Every night I would parley with my pilots and run and rerun the recordings. Right up until the moment sleep slips its veil over eyes and ears and you drift back without a sound. Protean Threat dream haze becomes Panther Rotate in the other dimension. A companion LP of remixes, field recordings, and sonic experiments using all sounds generated by the hum and crackle of the desert farm. For fans of Thee Oh Sees, Oh Sees, OCS, The Oh Sees, Osees…etc etc etcetcetc…”
Puscifer – Existential Reckoning CD/2xLP (BMG)
Puscifer, one of the many side-projects led by Tool/Perfect Circle frontman Maynard James Keenan, returns with their fourth full-length effort, Existential Reckoning which follows-up 2015’s Money Shot. The experimental rock band’s current lineup is rounded out by singer-keyboardist Carina Round and multi-instrumentalist Mat Mitchell while guest contributions here are also made by Greg Edwards (Failure), and drummers Gunnar Olsen and Sarah Jones.
Lee Fields – Let’s Get A Groove On [Reissue/1998] LP (Daptone)
Freshly unleash remastered for the first time since its 1998 release, Daptone is honored to announce the re-release of one of the finest and most satisfying needle drops of the last 40 years, Lee Fields’ classic, Let’s Get A Groove On. In addition to ushering in the funk revival of the 1990s, this album was a watershed moment that laid roots for the future of soul music to come, being not only Fields’ re-introduction to the modern scene, but featuring background vocals by a young Miss Sharon Jones as well.
Fields Of The Nephilim – Elizium [Reissue/1990] LP (Beggars Banquet)
Limited dark green vinyl repress. Fields Of The Nephilim’s unique sound, an apocalyptic fusion of Victorian underworld meets Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western, had an appearance to match (wide-brimmed hats, long duster coats and cowboy boots, usually black and smothered in white flour as a substitute for dust), and set them apart from their contemporaries.
FKJ – Ylang Ylang 12”+MP3 (Mom + Pop)
Drawing its name from the room where the music was made – in a remote location in the jungle – FKJ’s 2019 Ylang Ylang EP was the result of relocating himself and changing his environment and lifestyle. After months of staying there, surrounded by beautiful landscapes, mountains, and beaches, the EP is a culmination of FKJ’s feelings while creating this music. Lead single “Risk” features the inimitable talent of Dreamville signed (J Cole, Ari Lennox and J.I.D.) rapper Bas. [Limited deluxe edition also available.]
Laura Jane Grace – Stay Alive LP+MP3 (Polyvinyl)
Limited blue lapis lazuli colored vinyl pressing. Recorded at Electrical Audio by Steve Albini, Stay Alive takes all of Laura Jane Grace’s (Against Me!) pent-up fears, anger, and anxiety and releases it, like an olive branch to the weary listeners who are feeling those exact same ways.
King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard – K.G. LP (KGLW)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard return with new album K.G., their sixteenth since forming in 2010. In the wake of a global pandemic, it’s a collection of songs composed and recorded remotely after the six members of the band retreated to their own homes scattered around Melbourne. K.G. is a pure distillation of the King Gizzard sound, one that cherry picks the best aspects of previous albums and contorts them into new shapes via defiantly non-western rock scales. K.G. is the second volume in the band’s “microtonal” series that began with 2017’s Flying Microtonal Banana. “FMB was one of the purest and most enjoyable recording experiences we’ve had, and the ideas just kept coming,” explains de facto bandleader/multi-
Mumford & Sons – Delta Tour EP 12” (Glassnote)
To commemorate the second anniversary of their fourth studio album Delta, Mumford & Sons is sharing the Delta Tour EP featuring live performances from the Delta World Tour. Features six tracks.
John Prine – John Prine Live [Reissue/1988] LP (Oh Boy)
Limited colored vinyl LP pressing. Among the English language’s premier phrase-turners with music relevant to any age, the late great John Prine delivered songs that are both literate and personal. The skilled and compassionate storyteller enjoyed widespread critical acclaim in the wake of his groundbreaking eponymous debut and continued to write and perform songs that became central to our American musical heritage for nearly five decades. Dedicated to his mother Verna Prine, the intimate and playful John Prine Live was largely recorded during a three-day stint at The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, California and released in 1988 on the singer-songwriter’s own label Oh Boy Records.
The Sea And Cake – Runner [Reissue/2012] LP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
Limited robin’s egg colored vinyl LP pressing. Runner began as the companion piece to 2011’s The Moonlight Butterfly and using that album’s sonic experimentations as a starting point for a new process of writing and recording, became something completely new. Songs that began as synthesizer experiments in Sam Prekop’s home studio were reimagined by the other members, and eventually recorded and mixed by John McEntire at Chicago’s Soma Studios. The result is an album that feels like a private travelogue. Start listening at one place and end up some place else. Cherishing the unexpected mysteries around every corner.
These New Puritans – Hidden (MMXX) LP+MP3 (Domino)
Vinyl reissue of the original 2009 album in its full glory accompanied by new and unreleased material from the Hidden sessions alongside live recordings from the same era. Hidden is a record that crushes together menace and beauty: after the prelude of woodwind that is “Time Xone” and “We Want War” remain two of the most startling tracks to be released this millennium – a sound like swarms of invading, metallic wasps, robotic voices intoning, the martial rattle of layers of drums, Jack Barnett’s vocals an incantation.
Tortoise – Beacons Of Ancestorship [Reissue/2009] LP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
Limited opaque red colored vinyl repress of the post-rock band’s sixth album.
McCoy Tyner – Tender Moments [Reissue/1968] LP (Blue Note)
On Tender Moments, pianist/composer McCoy Tyner explored the colors and textures available, with an all- star cast: Lee Morgan (trumpet), Julian Priester (trombone), Bennie Maupin (tenor sax), James Spaulding (alto sax/flute), Bob Northern (French horn), Howard Johnson (tuba), Herbie Lewis (bass). Reissued as part of The Blue Note Tone Poet Series: all-analog, remastered 180gm vinyl in deluxe gatefold packaging.
Wooden Shjips – V. [Reissue/2018] LP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
Limited clear red vinyl reissue of the psychedelic rock band’s fifth album.
Less Than Jake – Silver Linings CD/LP (Pure Noise)
Silver Linings is ska punk veterans Less Than Jake’s ninth full-length and follow-up to 2013’s See The Light. It also doubles as a bunch of sonic diary pages and a mission statement that cements their conviction after two decades in this rock ‘n’ roll circus. Indeed, LTJ-frontman/guitarist Chris DeMakes, bassist/vocalist Roger Lima, trombonist Buddy Schaub, saxophonist Peter “JR” Wasilewski, and new drummer Matt Yonker – have escaped most (but not all) forms of ennui, depression and violence against screen-based objects to create an endorsement of humanity. Silver Linings also does a good amount of myth-exploding in its pursuit of joy. The songwriting core of DeMakes, Lima and Wasilewski wrote all the lyrics. New drummer Matt Yonker, whose former positions included LTJ tour manager and hammering along with such punk outfits as the Teen Idols and the Queers, helps bring a new sense of urgency the band’s overall sound. [Limited edition indie-store exclusive yellow colored vinyl pressing also available.]
COMING NEXT WEEK!
DRIVE BY TRUCKERS – Rev-OK CD/LP
PAUL MCCARTNEY – III CD/LP
MAGGIE ROGERS – Notes From The Archive: Recordings 2011-2016 CD/LP
CHILDISH GAMBINO – Because The Internet LP reissue
DECEMBERISTS – Castaways and Cutouts LP reissue
DECEMBERISTS – Her Majesty The Decemberists LP reissue
NAS – King’s Disease LP
DAVE ALVIN – From An Old Guitar LP
THUNDERCAT – Fair Chance 12″