Lindsay – Hiss Golden Messenger, PJ Harvey, Faye Webster, Matthew Dear
Dario – Lucy Dacus, The Mountain Goats
Zach- Hiatus Kaiyote, The Mountain Goats, Faye Webster,
Kimber – The Mountain Goats
Hiatus Kaiyote – Mood Valiant CD/LP+MP3 (Brainfeeder)
Twice Grammy nominated, Melbourne-based group Hiatus Kaiyote returns with the new album Mood Valiant. Comprised of Naomi “Nai Palm” Saalfield (guitar, vocals), Paul Bender (bass), Simon Mavin (keys), and Perrin Moss (drums), the new record is the follow up to 2015’s Choose Your Weapon, which Rolling Stone described as “a stunning step up.” The new project comes after being sampled on songs by The Carters (Beyonce & Jay-Z), Kendrick Lamar, Anderson .Paak, Chance The Rapper, and Drake – with whom Nai Palm collaborated on his Scorpion album. Mood Valiant has been in the making for six years, but that interval reflects more hustle than hiatus. The result is an album that relaxes into a groove: sunlit, sublime, masterful. Behind everything is Hiatus’ familiar sense of musical adventure, their knack for making the complex sound simple. [Ltd edition colored indie exclusive and deluxe glow-in-the-dark vinyl pressings are available.]
Lucy Dacus – Home Video CD/LP+MP3 (Matador)
This new gift from Lucy Dacus, her third album, was built on an interrogation of her coming-of-age years in Richmond, VA. Many songs start the way a memoir might – “In the summer of ‘07 I was sure I’d go to heaven, but I was hedging my bets at VBS” – and all of them have the compassion, humor, and honesty of the best autobiographical writing. Most importantly and mysteriously, Home Video displays Dacus’ ability to use the personal as a portal into the universal. “I can’t hide behind generalizations or fiction anymore,” Dacus says, though talking about these songs, she admits, makes her ache. This album is a gorgeous example of the transformative power of vulnerability. Dacus’s voice, both audible and on the page, has a healer’s power to soothe and ground and reckon. [A limited-edition indie store exclusive vinyl pressing is available.]
PJ Harvey – White Chalk: Demos CD/LP (Island)
2007’s White Chalk served as PJ Harvey’s eighth studio album and first new material since 2004’s critically acclaimed Uh Huh Her. It finds her once again teaming up with Flood and John Parish who had previously worked together on the Grammy-nominated To Bring You My Love and Is This Desire? White Chalk also includes musical contributions from Harvey’s longtime associate Eric Drew Feldman, and Jim White from The Dirty Three. This collection of previously unreleased White Chalk demos includes early versions of the singles “When Under Ether”, “The Piano” and “The Devil”. It also features brand new artwork with previously unseen photos by Maria Mochnacz.
PJ Harvey – White Chalk [Reissue/2007] LP (Island)
2007’s White Chalk served as PJ Harvey’s eighth studio album and first new material since 2004’s critically acclaimed Uh Huh Her. It finds her once again teaming up with Flood and John Parish who had previously worked together on the Grammy-nominated To Bring You My Love and Is This Desire? White Chalk also includes musical contributions from Harvey’s longtime associate Eric Drew Feldman, and Jim White from The Dirty Three.
Hiss Golden Messenger – Quietly Blowing It CD/LP+MP3 (Merge)
Hiss Golden Messenger’s Quietly Blowing It was written and arranged by M.C. Taylor in his home studio – his 8′ × 10′ sanctuary packed floor to ceiling with books, records, and old guitars – as he watched the chaotic world spin outside his window. Between March and June 2020, Taylor wrote and recorded upwards of two dozen songs – in most cases playing all of the instruments himself – before winnowing the collection down and bringing them to the Hiss band. In July, the group of musicians, with Taylor in the production seat, went into Overdub Lane in Durham, NC, for a week, where they recorded Quietly Blowing It as an organic unit honed to a fine edge from their years together on the road. Throughout the album, Taylor brings his keen eye to our “broken American moment” – as he first sang on Hiss Golden Messenger’s critically acclaimed, Grammy-nominated Terms Of Surrender – in ways that feel devastatingly intimate and human. [A limited-edition blue color vinyl pressing is available.]
Briefly renamed Spiritualized Electric Mainline, Pure Phase expanded on the amount of personnel involved in making a Spiritualized record, with Sean Cook joining on bass and the Balanescu Quartest adding string arrangements. The record sounds like no other as there are two mixes running together concurrently. The album is the second in this series of 180g double albums mastered by Alchemy Mastering, presented in a gatefold jacket with reworked green artwork by Mark Farrow. Available on limited edition glow-in-the-dark vinyl.
Returning with their first new album in six years, Grammy-nominated band Modest Mouse deliver their anxiously awaited seventh full-length, The Golden Casket. The new collection is introduced by the anthemic “We Are Between”, a song driven by Isaac Brock’s trademark vocals vacillating between sonic isolation and the support of a full chorus, with lyrics alternating between “the best” and “the worst” parts, determining that “we are somewhere between the dust and the stars.” The album hovers in the liminal space between raw punk power and experimental studio science as Brock explores themes ranging from the degradation of our psychic landscapes and invisible technology, to fatherhood. The twelve tracks behave like amorphous organisms, undergoing dramatic mutations and mood swings that speak to the chronic tug-of-war between hope and despair that plays out in Brock’s head. [Vinyl edition due August 8.]
T. Hardy Morris – The Digital Age Of Rome CD/LP (Normaltown)
Heading into the spring of 2020, T. Hardy Morris had 12 demos that he thought would make-up his next album, then, everything changed. The world took a break and so his plans to record did as well. As we all watched and waited out the storms; viral and societal, we seemed to wake up scrolling through a whole new century, a time Morris began to refer to as The Digital Age of Rome. He scrapped the demos and began a collection of songs in quarantine where the unprecedented times and topics were unavoidable. He wanted to document the era sonically and lyrically in some way. “I wanted it to sound like how the world felt to me in the second half of 2020. Uncomfortable and chaotic, dystopian but still beautiful,” Morris says. The Digital Age of Rome was recorded in a deserted downtown Athens, GA with long-time collaborator/producer Adam Landry. [A limited-edition indie store exclusive vinyl pressing is available.]
My Morning Jacket – It Still Moves [Reissue/2003] 2xLP (ATO)
My Morning Jacket – Evil Urges [Reissue/2008] 2xLP (ATO)
Limited edition remixed/remastered color vinyl pressings. My Morning Jacket’s reverb-drenched, landmark third studio album It Still Moves boasts some of the great American rock music of our time. Everything would shift for My Morning Jacket after It Still Moves – as the conclusion to their initial trilogy of albums, it remains one of their most pivotal and enduring releases. The Grammy-nominated Evil Urges remains to be the band’s most ambitious and controversial album to date. On their fifth studio effort, an emboldened MMJ created a fiercely uncompromising, highly eclectic, and deeply personal record that catapulted the band into public consciousness and solidified their place as innovators and titans of indie rock.
The Mountain Goats – Dark In Here CD/2xLP+MP3 (Merge)
When The Mountain Goats got together in early March 2020, it was to make not one album, but two: Getting Into Knives and Dark In Here. That’s how many keepers the band’s superhumanly prolific frontman, John Darnielle, had come up with since they’d recorded In League With Dragons in Nashville back in 2018. “One of the words that John used when we were talking about the direction for Dark In Here was “wild,” which I liked a lot,” explains the band’s Peter Hughes. “Not wild in the sense of abandon – these aren’t those kind of songs. But wild in the sense of something undomesticated, untamable. Wild like the immutability of nature, the way it will take back any piece of untended space as its own, whether amidst the AutoZones and Chick-fil-A’s of Muscle Shoals [home of FAME Studios, where the album was recorded] or among the ruins of a scientific outpost on the Kola Peninsula. Wild like the whale; like a powerful animal. Or a virus – the beast that awakes, emerges from a forest, and stops the world. You can fight the calamity all you want, but either way, it’s going to demand your surrender.” [A limited-edition blue color vinyl pressing is available.]
The Murlocs – Bittersweet Demons CD/LP (ATO)
With their fifth album, Bittersweet Demons, The Murlocs share a collection of songs reflecting on the people who leave a profound imprint on their lives, the saviors and hell raisers and assorted other mystifying characters. The most personal and boldly confident work yet, the album sets that storytelling to 11 infectious tracks written mostly on piano, lending a greater emotional intensity to the band’s restless and radiant brand of garage-rock. What emerges is a beautifully complex body of work, one that shines a light on the fragilities of human nature while inducing the glorious head rush that accompanies any Murlocs outing. [A limited-edition indie store exclusive vinyl pressing is available.]
Gaspard Auge – Escapades CD/LP (Because Music)
Gaspard Auge, best known as one half of Justice – the duo that united rock and rave and whose dancefloor smashes defined a generation – releases his debut album. Escapades is an instrumental album whose sound will be familiar to Justice fans, echoing some previous works and inspirations of the cult duo. It sounds like a UFO landing from another galaxy or time, a baroque masterpiece that reimagines European classical music for this century.
Ceramic Dog – Hope CD/2xLP+MP3 (Northern Spy)
By May 2020, Marc Ribot had begun to find being depressed depressing. The guitarist and his Ceramic Dog trio – bassist/multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily and drummer Ches Smith – hadn’t played for months. With precautions in place, the trio headed to Ismaily’s Figure 8 Recording studio in Brooklyn, NY and set about capturing eight originals that reflect the era’s uncertainty.
Twenty-plus years into his career, producer/vocalist/songwriter/DJ Matthew Dear remains artistically unpredictable in pursuit of his prescient strain of electronically formed, organically-delivered indie pop. His work traverses myriad musical worlds, belonging to none. Preacher’s Sigh & Potion finds Dear unknowingly at an intersection in his young run, a burgeoning songwriter at his most freewheeling and unaffected. The album is filled with the reckless notions of an artist dashing the history of pop and rock, the twang of country, the build and release of techno.
Evidence – Unlearning Vol. 1 CD/2xLP (Rhymesayers)
Throughout his career, Evidence has always been adept at both staying true to his roots and evolving as he grows and learns from life experiences, including recognizing when the time comes to unlearn. During the campaign for his last album, Weather Or Not (2018), he expressed a desire to close the chapter on the weather-related theme that had been a staple of his solo career to that point. Unlearning Vol. 1 not only sees that vision come to life, but shines brilliantly in the process.
Etta James: The Montreux Years is a treasure trove of timeless classics, powerful and electrifying performances and raw, soaring vocals by one of the greatest ever female vocalists. The collection, featuring recordings from James’ Montreux Jazz Festival concerts in 1977, 1978, 1989 1990 and 1993, encapsulates and reflects Etta’s dynamic artistry and long-lasting impact. Spanning performances from across three decades, Etta James: The Montreux Years’ offers deeply personal and intimate snapshots into James’ acclaimed musical journey, highlights and her phenomenal career.
Rose City Band is celebrated guitarist Ripley Johnson. A prolific songwriter, Johnson started the project as an outlet nimble enough to match the pace of his writing as well as to explore songwriting styles apart from Wooden Shjips and Moon Duo. Rose City Band allows him to follow his musical muses as they greet him and not be bound by the schedules of bandmates and demands of a touring group. On Earth Trip, Johnson’s third album as Rose City Band, the guitarist colors songs with a country-rock twang and a melancholic, wistful undertone.
Nina Simone –Nina Simone: The Montreux Years 2xLP (BMG)
The Montreux Jazz Festival takes place for two weeks every summer in Switzerland, on the shores of Lake Geneva. Created in 1967 by Claude Nobs, the Montreux Jazz Festival has become over the years an essential event, generating fantastic stories and legendary performances. In its 50 year plus history, Montreux has hosted iconic performances by artists including Nina Simone, Miles Davis, Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, Marvin Gaye, Prince, Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, Elton John and Stevie Wonder. The High Priestess of Soul made five appearances at the Montreux Festival between 1968 and 1990. This set gathers material from all five of her storied performances.
Jessie Ware – What’s Your Pleasure? The Platinum Pleasure Edition 2xCD/2xLP (Interscope)
Deluxe Edition of Jessie Ware’s 2020 album. What’s Your Pleasure? The Platinum Pleasure Edition features the original album plus six new songs, including the single “Please, 0208 With Kindness”, and the Endless Remix of “Adore You”. What’s Your Pleasure? received critical acclaim for its cohesive songwriting, killer grooves, and flawless production. It was featured on many Best of 2020 lists. Pitchfork raved, “Jessie reminds us why we listen to dance music in the first place.”
Faye Webster – I Know I’m Funny Haha CD/LP (Secretly Canadian)
Faye Webster loves the feeling of a first take: writing a song, then heading to the studio with her band to track it live the very next day. When you listen to the 23-year-old Atlanta songwriter’s poised and plainspoken albums, you can hear why: she channels emotions that are so aching, they seem to be coming into existence at that very moment. Webster captures the spark before it has a chance to fade; she inks lyrics before they have a chance to seem fleeting. Her signature sound pairs close, whisper-quiet, home-recorded vocals with the unmistakable sound of musicians together in a room. Webster’s sound draws as much from the lap-steel singer-songwriter pop of the 1970s and teardrop country tunes as it does from the audacious personalities of her city’s rap and R&B community.
Daniel Avery – Together In Static LP (Mute)
Daniel Avery’s new album Together In Static is comprised of songs created specifically for live shows, yet developed into an album during the process. The record follows 2020’s surprise release Love + Light and the collaborative album with Nine Inch Nails keyboardist Alessandro Cortini, Illusion Of Time.
Brainstory – Ripe 12” (Big Crown)
Ripe pulls from jazz, hip-hop, ‘70s funk, ‘60s soul, and life in Southern California in the year 2021.
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – This Is A Mindfulness Drill LP (Jagjaguwar)
Opaque black & white color vinyl pressing. This is a Mindfulness Drill encompasses the second installment of the Jagjaguwar’s commemorative Jag Quarterly series — a year-long, four-part celebration of collaboration and community — and it features a fully reimagined reissue of Richard Youngs’ 1998 album, Sapphie. In this new take on a definitive moment of the Jagjaguwar catalog, the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble transforms Youngs’ intimate compositions, originally recorded with just classical guitar and voice, expanding the instrumentation to include affecting and intuitive arrangements of horns and more. Moses Sumney, Perfume Genius and Sharon Van Etten pay homage to Youngs’ plaintive vocal performances, delivering remarkable, reinterpreted renditions to each of Sapphie’s three torch songs.
Melvins – (A) Senile Animal [Reissue/2006] LP (Ipecac)
Melvins – Nude With Boots [Reissue/2008] LP (Ipecac)
Melvins – The Bride Screamed Murder [Reissue/2010] LP (Ipecac)
Limited-edition color vinyl reissues. Alt-rock legends The Melvins keep it exciting by ignoring any set of rules, by their exorbitant ability to make the most beautiful noise ever heard and by their humor, which is an essential brandmark of the band. They never compromise or apply for anything: they just do their own thing in their very own way. They always keep it challenging for themselves and potential listeners.
Peter Murphy – Cascade [Reissue/1995] 2xLP (Beggars Banquet)
Peter Murphy – Last And Only Star: Rarities LP (Beggars Banquet)
Peter Murphy’s solo career began in 1986 with the release of Should The World Fail To Fall Apart and continues to this day. In addition to his work as the frontman of the legendary and groundbreaking Bauhaus, he has issued ten solo albums and several live releases. Beggars Arkive presents 2021 colored vinyl reissues for all five Peter Murphy solo releases on Beggars Banquet, plus the release of the brand new rarities album, The Last And Only Star.
Nine Inch Nails – Hesitation Marks [Reissue/2013] 2xLP (Sony Legacy)
180gm vinyl reissue of Nine Inch Nail’s eighth studio album. Like previous albums, the album was produced by frontman Trent Reznor alongside longtime collaborators Atticus Ross and Alan Moulder.
The Roots – Do You Want More?!!!??! [Reissue/1995] 3xLP (Geffen)
Coming two years after their independent debut Organix (1993), The Roots’ official major-label debut album, 1995’s Do You Want More?!!!??! marked a shift in how hip-hop sounded at the time. While Stetsasonic were known as a hip-hop band, The Roots took that distinction to a whole different level with a full band of talented musicians anchored by Questlove on the drums and two MCs in Black Thought and Malik B. This vinyl triple-LP reissue was remastered from the original tapes and include bonus tracks curated by Questlove.
Six Organs of Admittance – The Veiled Sea LP (Three Lobed)
The Veiled Sea is easily one the most viscerally satisfying records in the Six Organs Of Admittance discography. As always, Ben Chasny finds the invisible threads between incongruous sound worlds. Here it’s American (electric) guitar heroics and galactic postpunk, Popol Vuh-ish pastoralism and heavy psych.
STRFKR – Reptilians [Reissue/2011] 2xLP (Polyvinyl)
Clear emerald & clear pink vinyl featuring four bonus tracks. On Reptilians, STRFKR’s second full-length album, the band built on what they had accomplished with their self-titled debut album (2008) and the Jupiter EP (2009) to create an infectious combination of acoustic instrumentation and electronic production.
Various Artists – Eccentric Disco LP (Numero)
“Party people pink” color vinyl pressing. Ten Numero-minted, dance floor ready dive bombers from disco’s all-to-brief heyday, previously swept under rug by the whitewashed glitz and glam of the era. Chugging grooves, bubbling synths, soaring strings, and sonorous voices are guaranteed to light up your night, on living room rugs and dance floors alike.
James – All The Colours Of You CD/2xLP (Missing Piece)A
All The Colours Of You is James’ sixteenth studio album and first with Grammy-winning producer Jacknife Lee. It’s a widescreen LP that takes the band into new sonic territory – from lo-fi electronica to Can-like motorik Krautrock – while remaining unmistakably James. Tim Booth explains that working with Jacknife has “made us more accessible and we didn’t realize we weren’t accessible.” To Jacknife it sounds “spontaneous” and “fresh out of the box.” James co-founder and bass player Jim Glennie simply calls the music “massive.” It’s the sound of one of Britain’s best bands deconstructed and reassembled by one of the world’s most renowned producers.
John Grant – Boy From Michigan CD/2xLP+MP3 (Bella Union/Partisan)
John Grant has established himself as one of the great musical chroniclers of the American Dream, angled mostly from its flip side – from those who did not thrive. Grant stopped being a boy in Michigan at 12, when he moved to Denver, shifting rust to Bible belt, a further vantage point to watch collective dreams unravel. “I quickly learned all about the American caste system and where I fit in. Or didn’t,” he recalls. A John Grant album always feels like vignettes derived from a tart book of poetry. Boy From Michigan is the author’s shaggy-dog story, a novelistic approach where songs are more like chapters in a leatherbound book bought from a favorite thrift store. With Cate Le Bon in the production chair, Grant has pared back his zingers, maximizing the emotional impact of the melodies, stripping the noise of vaudeville and mood-enhancing a fruitful, spare, strangely orchestrated new world for him to live in.