Lindsay – Reigning Sound, Mdou Moctar, and Indigo Sparke
Dario – Indigo Sparke
Zach- Lord Huron, Kishi Bashi, and Chai
Kimber – Fly Pan Am
Available on limited, indie exclusive Opaque Custard/Blue vinyl, gatefold jacket. Lord Huron presents their fourth studio album, Long Lost. The band has often tried to uncover the past of their studio, Whispering Pines, without much success. Instead, they decided to imagine what has gone on in the studio, who has passed through, and that is how Long Lost was created. Featuring the singles “Not Dead Yet,” “Mine Forever,” “I Lied” and “Love Me Like You Used To.
On Mountain Spring Clear color vinyl. Over the last several years, the critically acclaimed composer and adventurous multi-instrumentalist Kishi Bashi has travelled frequently to Montana and Wyoming to work on Omoiyari, a “song film” about Japanese internment during WWII. The experience was potent for Kishi Bashi, who conducted research for the film (and 2019 album of the same name) by speaking to internment camp incarcerees and descendents. These conversations led to him reflecting on his own identity as a Japanese-American while laying the foundation of his forthcoming Emigrant EP. Along with the brutal history and harsh climate of the American West, Kishi Bashi also sensed a hope and potential, compassion, and resilience. On Emigrant EP, he celebrates these qualities. Arranged and recorded over the last year, the six tracks serve as a time capsule of the 2020 condition and a continuation of the concepts explored in Omoiyari. What’s more, they find Kishi Bashi rewriting musical tradition in the image of his own experience, further embracing his love for roots music and violin fiddling. Meditating on the anxieties of the COVID-19 pandemic, the comforts of nature, the pains of resource-fueled conflicts, and the resiliency that emerges from struggle, Emigrant EP is steeped in the past while it looks to the future.
Lambchop – Showtunes CD (Merge)
LP has been delayed. CD available now. In late 2019, Kurt Wagner was experimenting with something new, something that would eventually reveal itself as Lambchop’s Showtunes. By taking simple guitar tracks and converting them into MIDI piano tracks, “Suddenly I discovered I could ‘play’ the piano,” he says. “It was a revelation that from those conversions, I was able to manipulate each note and add, subtract, arrange the chords and melody into a form that didn’t have any of the limitations I had with my previous methods of writing with a guitar.” Removing these limitations led to a surprising new sound, something akin to show tunes but with edges sanded down and viewed through Kurt’s own specific lens. “In general, it’s a genre I was none too fond of,” he admits, “with the exceptions of a few Great American Songbook-type of stuff or some of the works of artists like Tom Waits or early Randy Newman or even Gershwin or Carmichael. I’d always wanted to make songs with a similar feel, but my skills were limited until now.” “Now that the door reopened up, I realized that anything is possible given time and space to do it,” Kurt says. This led to the addition of one more key player, an effortlessly natural fit and one that for many will feel overdue. For the first time, longtime friend and collaborator James McNew of Yo La Tengo joins on upright bass.
Vinyl LP pressing in gatefold jacket, available on limited, indie exclusive yellow and green vinyl. Includes digital download. It’s been over 15 years since Greg Cartwright uprooted to Asheville NC, but this new Memphis-made record shows the songwriter in top form and wholly inspired by his birthplace. And it’s not only the terrain that’s familiar: For this new LP, Cartwright also reunited with Reigning Sound’s original “Memphis lineup” of Jeremy Scott (bass), Greg Roberson (drums), and Alex Greene (keyboards), all of whom played on the band’s earliest recordings. The new songs explore fresh lyrical and musical territories but at times also tastefully echo back to Reigning Sound’s Break Up, Break Down and Time Bomb High School. That’s not by chance-it’s just what happens when these musicians get in the same room. Their sonic chemistry hasn’t faded a bit.
American cult band of the ’80s, Violent Femmes captured the essence of teen angst with remarkable precision. 40 years on, their legacy remains strong. Add It Up (1981-1993) documents the trailblazing trio’s stylistic development as they rose to become one of alt-rock’s most commercially successful acts. This 23-track compilation includes hits such as “American Music,” live recordings of “Add It Up,” & “Kiss Off,” a trove of demos, B-sides, & rarities.
Gruff Rhys – Seeking New Gods CD/LP (Rough Trade)
Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals) releases his new album Seeking New Gods through Rough Trade Records. It was recorded following a US tour with his band and mixed in LA with superstar producer Mario C (Beastie Boys). The album concept was originally driven to be the biography of a mountain, Mount Paektu (an East Asian active volcano). However, as Gruff’s writing began to reflect on the inhuman timescale of a peak’s existence and the intimate features that bring it to mythological life, both the songs and the mountain became more and more personal.
John Hiatt + Jerry Douglas Band – Leftover Feelings CD/LP (New West)
In the midst of a global pandemic, John Hiatt walked into Historic RCA Studio B to record a record. Hiatt teamed up with multi-Grammy award winning artist and producer, Jerry Douglas and his band, The Jerry Douglas Band. The result of those sessions would be the album, Leftover Feelings. There’s no drummer, yet these grooves are deep and true. And while the up-tempo songs are, as ever, filled with delightful internal rhyme and sly aggression, the Jerry Douglas Band’s empathetic musicianship nudges Hiatt to performances that are startlingly vulnerable. In life, leftover feelings can remain unresolved. Explicated in a place of history, a place of comfort. A sacred place, if you believe the documentation of human expression to be a holy thing. Here are Hiatt and Douglas, creating love songs and road songs, sly songs and hurt songs.
Mdou Moctar – Afrique Victime CD/LP (Matador)
Matador Records release Afrique Victime, the long-awaited new album by Mdou Moctar. With Afrique Victime the prodigious Tuareg guitarist and songwriter rips a new hole in the sky – boldly reforging contemporary Saharan music and “rock music” by melding guitar pyrotechnics, full-blast noise, and field recordings with poetic meditations on love, religion, women’s rights, inequality, and Western Africa’s exploitation at the hands of colonial powers.
Intruder is the 21st solo album from the iconic and influential Gary Numan. Intruder sees Gary reunite with producer Ade Fenton, who previously produced four critically acclaimed albums for Numan: Jagged, Dead Son Rising, Splinter and Savage. With a career that has spanned nearly four decades, his approach to electronic music remains an inspiration to artists across genres and eras, from stadium goliaths such as Depeche Mode, Prince and Nine Inch Nails to alternative heroes such as Beck, Damon Albarn and Marilyn Manson. Even Kanye West owes him a debt, and David Bowie once credited him with “writing two of the finest songs” in British music.
Colored Loser Edition available. Since breaking out in 2018, Chai have been associated with explosive joy. At their live shows, the Japanese four-piece have become known for buoyant displays of eclectic and clever songwriting, impressive musicianship, matching outfits, delightful choreography, and sheer relief. At the core of their music, Chai have upheld a stated mission to deconstruct the standards of beauty and cuteness that can be so oppressive in Japan. Wink is a fitting title then: a subtle but bold gesture.
Drab Majesty – Unarian Dances LP (Dais)
Drab Majesty’s first ever release was the 2012 self-released cassette tape “Unarian Dances“. Originally limited to 100 copies, tracks from this tape would eventually make their way onto the Completely Careless CD collection as bonus cuts. Now, along with the “Unknown to the I” 12″, these songs are finally made available on vinyl in 45 RPM 12″ format, bringing all early Drab Majesty material from the Careless era (2012-2015) to vinyl. Mastered by Josh Bonati with beautiful new packaging by Nathaniel Young.
Drab Majesty’s first release for Dais Records was the “Unknown to the I” cassette in 2015, which featured the title track that would later appear on his debut album “Careless” that summer. The additional early cuts “Saturn Inc.” and “Ultra Violet” have previously only been available on digital or as CD bonus tracks. Now, along with the “Unarian Dances” 12″ also released on March 26, these songs are finally made available on vinyl in 45 RPM 12″ format, bringing all early Drab Majesty material from the Careless era (2012-2015) to vinyl. Mastered by Josh Bonati with beautiful new packaging by Nathaniel Young.
Chicago trio Facs return in 2021 with Present Tense, their fourth album & perhaps their sharpest statement as a band, honing & refining their stark, minimal scrape & clatter and effortlessly navigating through post-rock, industrial, dub, and cacophonous experimental detonations.
Fly Pan Am – Frontera CD/LP (Constellation)
Fly Pan Am have composed some of their most direct, visceral and immediately satisfying music for the acclaimed modern dance piece FRONTERA by Montréal-based troupe Animals Of Distinction. Juxtaposing stern foreboding electronics and minimalist motorik avant-rock, the Frontera studio album superbly captures the bristling, sculpted, intensely evocative instrumental pieces that Fly Pan Am developed in close conception and collaboration with the dancers. The Frontera recordings track faithfully to the narrative of the original work, where eight movements (featuring a company of 10 dancers) flow from controlled chaos and tensely choreographed kinetics to slow, wrenchingly austere set pieces. This music also stands powerfully and exceptionally well on its own, resonating with the themes of the devastating dance piece. Deluxe 180gram vinyl includes artworked inner and 6-panel fold-out insert featuring photographic stills from the original dance production.
Indigo Sparke – Echo CD/LP (Sacred Bones)
On limited red vinyl. Infused with heartbreak and hope, Indigo’s songs are sombre, yet reflective, positioning herself like a stone being tumbled in tides of time. Sparke established herself on the Australian music scene in 2016 releasing her self-produced EP Night Bloom. It was on a tour in Australia supporting Big Thief that Indigo met Adrianne Lenker. The two formed a transcendental connection and over the next two years, explored vast deserts and heaving cities across the world, eventually ending up in an old castle nestled in the hills of Northern Italy. The record was recorded between LA, Italy and New York, co-produced by Indigo, Adrianne, and Andrew Sarlo (producer of Big Thief, Nick Hakim, Hovvdy, Courtney Marie Andrews, Bon Iver, Hand Habits, Active Child). Sarlo engineered the first session in LA. James Krivchenia (drums) and Max Oleartchik (bass) played on the record with an eerie yet fairy-tale like contribution by Nick Hakim on the glockenspiel on her track “Baby.” It was at the castle that Indigo met Shahzad Ismaily (musician and multi-instrumentalist) who, upon learning Indigo wrote poetry, asked her late one night to work on a song with him. What became of that session is “Dog Bark Echo.” Back in New York, at Shahzad’s studio (Figure 8), the record was completed. The final session there was engineered and eventually mixed by Phil Weinrobe (producer/engineer of Leonard Cohen, Damien Rice, Adrianne Lenker, Buck Meek, JFDR, Lonnie Holley).
Princess Goes To The Butterfly Museum – Thanks For Coming LP
Previously released on CD, now available on 2LP. Princess Goes to the Butterfly Museum is a new alternative band, self-described as ‘Gothadelic Rocktronic’ with influences from David Bowie to Black Sabbath to Donna Summer, all with a unique and modern spin. The band is comprised of a powerhouse trio: vocalist Michael C. Hall whose TV credits include “Dexter” and “Six Feet Under” and Broadway credits include lead roles in Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Lazarus, keyboardist Matthew Katz Bohen from iconic rock band Blondie, and drummer Peter Yanowitz of Wallflowers and Morningwood.
From the vaults of Studio One comes an eclectic grouping of rare shots picked from the treasure chest of the label’s releases. Here album tracks by Willie Williams, Lennie Hibbert and Freddie McGregor are joined by rarer releases by the Conquerors, Cool Operator, Roy Richards and the Freedom Singers. Also included are alternate versions of songs like “All the Way” and “Jah Light” as well as “Pirates Choice” that have circulated among Studio One collectors for some years. All tracks are taken from their original master tapes and completely remastered by GRAMMY-winning engineer Toby Mountain.
Colleen – The Tunnel and the Clearing (Thrill Jockey)
Colleen is an aboundingly inventive composer and artist. For two decades Cécile Schott, as Colleen, has crafted welcoming, enchanting, and bewildering music. The multi-instrumentalist and vocalist’s timeless compositions make use of carefully selected tools to mold memories into transcendent splendor. The Tunnel and the Clearing finds Schott at her most vulnerable and confident, invoking contemplative and swirling organ processed through analog electronics, steady drum machine syncopations and her distinctive voice. On an album centered on processing the complicated washes of emotion through tribulations and revelations Colleen presents a vision of breathless clarity.
Anti-Flag – Die for the Government LP (New Red Archives)
Avail on neon pink vinyl. Special remaster of Anti-Flag’s politically charged 1996 debut album features blistering hardcore punk rock anthems such as “You’ve Got To Die For The Government,” “Red, White And Brainwashed,” “Police State In The USA” and more. Anti-Flag are an American punk band from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. The band is well known for political activism, focusing on anti-war activism, anti-imperialism, class struggle, human rights, and various socio political sentiments. The line-up includes singer/guitarist Justin Sane and drummer Pat Thetic, who founded the band. Anti-Flag is known also for their advocacy of progressive political action groups such as Greenpeace and Amnesty International.
Khruangbin – Green Label 12″
Super limited series of 12″s. 5 different releases. This is the third, with red label. Super limited. Available in-store only.
COMING NEXT WEEK!
FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE – Welcome Interstate Managers LP
PJ HARVEY – Peel Sessions LP
MOBY – Reprise CD/LP
BLACK MIDI – Cavalcada CD/LP
BACHELOR (Jay Som + Palehound) – Doomin Sun CD/LP
LOU BARLOW – Reason To Live CD/LP
BEACHY HEAD – S//T CD/LP
GREEN DAY – Nimrod LP reissue
MASERATI – LP reissues
BETHS – Jump Rope Gazers LP
KING GIZZARD + THE LIZARD WIZARD – L.W. LP
TRAVIS – Boy With No Name LP
UNSANE – Improvised Munitions + Demo LP
ALEX SOMERS – Siblings LP + Siblings 2 LP