Staff Picks
Lindsay – Tropical Fuck Storm, Tangents, Vanishing Twin, Idles
Zach – Idles, Courtney Barnett
Kimber – Courtney Barnett
 Tropical Fuck Storm, and The Clean
Dario – Tangents 

Courtney Barnett – Things Take Time, Take Time CD/LP/Cassette (Mom + Pop)
Courtney Barnett is back with her third studio album, Things Take Time, Take Time, a finely woven collage of snapshots recorded at a time of creative renewal and deeper understanding. The work signals an exciting new chapter for a musician who is operating at the very peak of her powers and it sees her consolidating her place in the storied global lineage of ground-breaking and influential female singer-songwriters. The 10-track collection is yet another assured leap forward for the artist. This is Barnett at her most creative and adventurous – an exquisite look at Courtney’s private world, and consequently her most beautiful and intimate record to date, with songs dealing unabashedly with love, renewal, healing and self-discovery. Rolling Stone has already tipped their hat in high praise saying: “It just might be the most personal record yet from an artist who’s already given the world plenty of emotional truth.” [Available on limited-edition blue color vinyl.]

Aesop Rock x Blockhead – Garbology CD/2xLP (Rhymesayers)
When Aesop Rock debuted in the late ‘90s with Music For Earthworms and Appleseed, Blockhead was also a part of the process, not only as a producer, but also helping coordinate sales of the CDRs to hungry hip-hop fans. Blockhead and Aesop continued to collaborate, creating an impressive list of songs along the way, including two of Aesop’s most popular songs to date; “Daylight” and “None Shall Pass”. In recent years, Blockhead has contributed production, as well as remixes, to many of Aesop’s solo releases and group projects, and Aesop has made a handful of guest features on Blockhead’s solo projects, but in all that time, Aesop and Block have never done a full album together, until now.

Idles – Crawler CD/LP/2xLP (Partisan)
Deluxe and colored LP versions have been delayed! Idles return with their new album Crawler – an album of reflection and healing amid a worldwide pandemic that stretched the planet’s collective mental and physical health to the breaking point. Frontman Joe Talbot says, “We want people who’ve gone through trauma, heartbreak, and loss to feel like they’re not alone, and also how it is possible to reclaim joy from those experiences.” Idles albums have always been anchored by these overarching themes, but the ability of the band to juxtapose beauty and rage with humor and drama has never felt more satisfying than on Crawler. These stories are vividly brought to life through Idles’ most soul-stirring music to date, recorded with co-producers Kenny Beats (Vince Staples, Freddie Gibbs) and Idles guitarist Mark Bowen. There are, of course, numerous moments that will inspire absolute mayhem in a packed concert venue, but there are also fresh textures and experiments that push Idles into thrilling new territory.

Tropical Fuck Storm – Deep States LP (Joyful Noise)
Teal color vinyl pressing. The third album from the avant-punk quad-aptly titled Deep States-mines familiar ground as well as new cultural terrains, while digging deeper into the subjective state of contemporary panic.

Lana Del Rey – Blue Banisters 2xLP (Interscope)
Recently reissued on CD – now available on vinyl. Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey’s eighth studio album Blue Banisters follows the success of fellow 2021 effort Chemtrails Over The Country Club which became her seventh consecutive top-ten album in the US. The 15-track effort includes the previously released songs “Wildflower Wildfire”, “Blue Banisters”, and “Text Book” plus new single “Arcadia”. “I guess you could say this album is about what it was like, what happened, and what it’s like now,” Del Rey shared. “If you’re interested, go back and listen to the first three songs I put out earlier. They chronicle the beginning. [‘Arcadia’] hits somewhere in the middle and by the time the record drops you will hear where we’re at today.”

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats – The Future LP (Fantasy)
Released last week on CD – a limited-edition indie store exclusive ‘black ice’ color vinyl pressing is now available. With the highly anticipated new album The Future, Nathaniel Rateliff once again demonstrates that he is a writer and performer of the highest order. The third full-length from Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats showcases his unique observations of our world and people’s ongoing struggle in learning how to better understand each other. “I look at the album overall as a big question,” notes Rateliff. “When I was writing the record we were in the middle of a pandemic and our future looked pretty bleak. I just continue to try to write from a place of hope. Then my own neurosis, and maybe being a libra gets in the way, and I can’t make up my mind. There is this constant back and forth battle in me personally and I am sure that comes out in my writing.”

Gov’t Mule – Heavy Load Blues CD/2xLP (Fantasy)
“Woke up singing a dead man’s song…” is the opening line from the Warren Haynes original “Heavy Load,” a line of imagery that feels like the beginning of dirt. On Heavy Load Blues, the iconic American band puts their unique musical stamp on an incredible collection of blues covers and originals. Haynes, the leader of Gov’t Mule, hails from a Southern rock tradition of scruffy virtuosity. Gov’t Mule is Warren’s show, and the blues is the informing foundation, personal and universal. [A limited-edition indie store exclusive blue color vinyl pressing is available.]

Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars + Anderson.Paak with Special Guest Host Bootsy Collins) – An Evening With Silk Sonic CD (Atlantic/WEA)
An Evening With Silk Sonic is a collaborative project featuring Bruno Mars and Anderson. Paak. The seeds of the collaboration were planted in 2017 when the two stars toured together in Europe. One late-night jam session on the road unlocked immediate chemistry. Just before the world slipped into quarantine, Bruno called Anderson: “Remember that idea we had back in 2017? Let’s do it.” One studio session grew into a month’s-long collaboration, culminating in the “setlist of doom”. Legendary Bootsy Collins christened Silk Sonic and came in as the “special guest host” for An Evening With Silk Sonic, their debut album.

Allen Stone – Apart CD/LP (ATO)
On his new album Apart, Washington-based singer/songwriter Allen Stone reimagines some of his most beloved songs to date, stripping each lavishly arranged track back to the very essence of its creation. Not only an ideal showcase for his powerfully emotive voice, but the album is also a testament to the magic within Stone’s artistry: a profound understanding of music’s potential to imprint upon our lives, and a commitment to creating the kind of songs that endlessly impart wisdom and comfort and undeniable joy. Featuring 11 songs culled from across Stone’s catalog – and one exquisite Bob Marley cover – Apart kicks off with the dreamy rumination of his first break-out hit “Unaware”. One of the most breathtaking moments on the album is “Bed I Made”, as R&B star Alessia Cara joins him for a duet. [A limited-edition color vinyl pressing is also available.]

Damon Albarn – The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows CD/LP/Cassette (Transgressive/Harmonia Mundi USA)
The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows was originally intended as an orchestral piece inspired by the landscapes of Iceland. This last year has seen Albarn return to the music in lockdown and develop the work to 11 tracks which further explore themes of fragility, loss, emergence and rebirth. The result is a panoramic collection of songs with Albarn as storyteller. The album title is taken from a John Clare poem “Love And Memory”. Albarn says “I have been on my own dark journey while making this record and it led me to believe that a pure source might still exist. “In a career of perpetual musical shifts and exploration, the record uncovers yet more ground, finding expansive orchestral arrangements nestling with intimate melodies, discordance brushing up against infectious majesty, all set to some of Albarn’s most arresting vocal performances to date. Much like the beauty and chaos of the natural world it soundtracks, The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows vividly documents the emotional ebb and flow of the human condition, in all its extremes, serving as a soul enriching document for our times.

Richard Ashcroft – Acoustic Hymns, Vol. 1 CD/2xLP (BMG)
Iconic singer-songwriter, and former frontman of The Verve, Richard Ashcroft delivers a new acoustic collection of his classic songs. [A limited-edition indie store exclusive turquoise color vinyl pressing is also available.]

The Charlatans UK – A Head Full Of Ideas CD/2xCD (Then)
A Head Full Of Ideas sums up The Charlatans UK’s remarkable progress from 1990 Manchester scene hopefuls to one of the UK’s most enduring and best-loved bands.

Constant Smiles – Paragon CD/LP (Sacred Bones)
Through its recent forays into dream pop and shoegaze (Control) and synth-pop (John Waters), Constant Smiles has learned how to incorporate its experimental inclinations more fluidly into the mix. Artists like Yo La Tengo, and the more recent Rat Columns, are good touchstones for Constant Smiles’ musical approach – tethering to an indie-pop core while perennially mining genres, always finding new ways to intrigue listeners and pursue a unique vision. [A limited-edition ‘vineyard grape’ color vinyl pressing is also available.]

Dave Gahan & Soulsavers – Imposter CD/LP (Columbia)
On Imposter, Depeche Mode’s Dave Gahan takes listeners on a personal journey of 12 meticulously chosen reimagined songs from across genres and time periods, including selections from Neil Young, Bob Dylan, PJ Harvey, Charlie Chaplin and Mark Lanegan, among others. One would be remiss to refer to Imposter as a cover album. Rather, Imposter is a story of songs, which Dave Gahan & Soulsavers listened to, studied, absorbed, and gave a new life. All of the songs have deep meaning to Dave, making the album a reflection of Dave’s life – a story told by others, but in his own distinct voice.

Jon Hopkins – Music For Psychedelic Therapy CD (Domino)
Music For Psychedelic Therapy carves a new path for Jon Hopkins sonically and philosophically as a follow up to 2018’s Grammy nominated Singularity. Enveloping Hopkins’ journeys across geographical and cosmological spectrums, the album is an inimitable and all-embodying journey in and of itself. It’s a richly rewarding and personal listening experience; one highly recommends indulging in without distraction. [Vinyl edition – including a limited-edition indie store exclusive pressing – due February 11.]

Jake Shimabukuro – Jake & Friends CD/2xLP (Music Theories)
Jake & Friends, the second Jake Shimabukuro album with Mascot, sees the Jimi Hendrix of the ukulele, the Michael Jordan of his instrument in the company of a multi-generational cast – from Willie Nelson and Bette Midler and Jimmy Buffett to Ziggy Marley and Billy Strings and Willie’s son Lukas. Four years in the making, Jake & Friends is loaded with new songs and favorite classics of all genres. 

Taylor Swift – Red (Taylor’s Version) 2xCD/4xLP (Republic)
Swift’s re-recording of her 2012 album, Red includes nine unreleased songs from the vault. “Musically and lyrically, Red resembled a heartbroken person. It was all over the place, a fractured mosaic of feelings that somehow all fit together in the end. Happy, free, confused, lonely, devastated, euphoric, wild, and tortured by memories past. Like trying on pieces of a new life, I went into the studio and experimented with different sounds and collaborators. And I’m not sure if it was pouring my thoughts into this album, hearing thousands of your voices sing the lyrics back to me in passionate solidarity, or if it was simply time, but something was healed along the way… This will be the first time you hear all 30 songs that were meant to go on Red. And hey, one of them is even ten minutes long.” – Taylor Swift 

They Might Be Giants – Book CD (Idlewild)
Book is a new phase They Might Be Giants album. Featuring “I Broke My Own Rule”, “I Lost Thursday”, and “I Can’t Remember The Dream”, Book is billed as a beacon of light amid a pretty unanimously rough period of time with the band’s John Linnell describing its songs as “humorously germane to the catastrophe going on around us.” [Vinyl and cassette versions due December 3.]

Vanishing Twin – Ookii Gekkou CD/LP+MP3 (Fingertips)
Vanishing Twin explore new ground on Ookii Gekkou incorporating elements of Afrofunk, outer jazz and avant-garde, all while referencing Sun Ra to Alice Coltrane, Martin Denny to Morricone, Can’s Holger Czukay to meditative Gamelan, or The Free Design, to library music of the late ’60s and early ’70s. Locked into their strangely accessible groove is a history of ‘other’ sound, a crafted hauntology that evinces something completely new.

Walk The Moon – Heights CD (RCA)
Heights is the fifth studio album by pop rock band Walk The Moon. This is the band’s first album as a trio, without bassist Kevin Ray who parted ways with the band in December 2020. [Vinyl edition due December 10.]

All Them Witches – Lightning At The Door [Reissue/2013] LP (New West)
All Them Witches – Dying Surfer Meets His Maker [Reissue/2015] LP (New West)
All Them Witches – Sleep Through The War [Reissue/2017] LP (New West)
All Them Witches – ATW [Reissue/2018] LP (New West)
All Them Witches – Nothing As The Ideal [Reissue/2020] LP (New West)
Limited multi color vinyl reissues from the Nashville-based rock band.

The Clean – Boodle Boodle Boodle [Reissue/1981] 12”+MP3 (Merge)
The “Tally Ho!” b/w “Platypus” 7” and the Boodle Boodle Boodle 12” EP, the Dunedin trio’s first official recordings as a band, both celebrate their 40th anniversary this year. These reissues have been remastered by Tex Houston with assistance from the Alexander Turnbull Library New Zealand, and The Clean’s David Kilgour and Robert Scott oversaw the careful re-creation of the original packaging. [Indie store exclusive color vinyl pressings is available.]

DMX – Exodus LP (Def Jam)
Exodus, executive produced by the legendary Swizz Beatz, solidifies DMX as part of today’s conversation and a forward motion in hip-hop. Featuring a starry cast that includes Jay-Z, The LOX, Nas, Alicia Keys, Usher, Bono, Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Griselda Boys, Moneybagg Yo, and a guest appearance from his son, Exodus. Through the heartfelt lyrics and production, Exodus is a tribute to every fan that supported DMX and will continue his legacy.

Charlie Hickey – Count The Stars 12” (Saddest Factory)
Born in 1999, Charlie Hickey grew up in South Pasadena, just minutes from Downtown Los Angeles. Raised by two singer-songwriter parents, Charlie’s second language was music since day one. As early as grade school, he was making sense of the world through songwriting, and by middle school he was writing, recording and performing songs that attracted a community of collaborators and could silence a room. [A limited-edition cobalt color extended vinyl pressing is available.]

Less Than Jake – Losing Streak [Reissue/1996] LP (Smart Punk)
Less Than Jake’s sophomore album Losing Streak has been repressed on standard black vinyl.

Psychedelic Porn Crumpets – Shyga! The Sunlight Mound LP (Marathon Artists)
Robin’s egg blue, bright yellow and hot pink splatter color vinyl pressing. Psychedelic Porn Crumpets continue to assert their status as one of Australia’s hardest working bands – pandemic be damned.

Emma Ruth Rundle – Engine Of Hell LP+MP3 (Sargent House)
Released last week on CD – a limited-edition indie store exclusive white color vinyl pressing is now available. Emma Ruth Rundle’s new album Engine Of Hell is stark, intimate, and unflinching. For anyone that’s endured trauma and grief, there’s a beautiful solace in hearing Rundle articulate and humanize that pain not only with her words, but with her mysterious language of melody and timbre. The album captures a moment where a masterful songwriter strips away all flourishes and embellishments in order to make every note and word hit with maximum impact, leaving little to hide behind.

She & Him – A Very She & Him Christmas (10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) LP+7”+MP3 (Merge)
She & Him – Holiday b/w Last Christmas 7”+MP3 (Merge)
Merge celebrates ten years of A Very She & Him Christmas, the wonderful collection of tunes from two of music’s most beloved artists-Zooey Deschanel (She) & M. Ward (Him). Recorded and originally released in 2011, Deschanel and Ward let the songs speak for themselves, oftentimes recording them with only acoustic guitar and vocals. The result is an intimate holiday recording that deserves a place in your collection next to seminal Christmas albums by the likes of The Carpenters, Vince Guaraldi, The Beach Boys, and Elvis Presley. To mark this joyous occasion, the limited-edition deluxe 10th anniversary reissue is pressed on silver tinsel vinyl and includes a brand-new 7”, also on silver vinyl, featuring renditions of Madonna’s “Holiday” and Wham!’s “Last Christmas”, as well as a bonus download of “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”’ [The 7” can also be purchased separately on evergreen vinyl.]

Spirit Of The Beehive – Entertainment, Death LP+MP3 (Saddle Creek)
Limited maroon color vinyl pressing. Spirit Of The Beehive’s fourth album, Entertainment, Death, signals new chapters for the band on multiple fronts, being the first to feature their new three-piece lineup, as well as the first to be entirely self-recorded and produced. Guitarist/vocalist Zack Schwartz and bassist/vocalist Rivka Ravede are now joined by new member Corey Wichlin, a multi-instrumentalist who relocated from Chicago to the band’s home territory of Philadelphia. Though Entertainment, Death doesn’t cohere in a single, unifying theme, the band samples old obscure commercials throughout, many of which guided the process of writing a song instead of serving as an appendage. Schwartz describes his songwriting process as a stream-of-consciousness, while Ravede asserts that she doesn’t typically write vocal parts with any specific intention in mind.

Tangents – Timeslips & Chimeras 2xLP+MP3 (Temporary Residence)
The albums Timeslips and Chimeras were created in tandem, with much of the material recorded in one day at Sydney’s Free Energy Device Studios in 2018. Timeslips leans towards more literal takes on the studio- improvised material, with Tangents’ usual blend of ambiguous post-production treatment. Chimeras expands into more constructed passages of iterated overdubs, lo- fi electric jams, additional studio takes and splintered extracts from the Timeslips sessions, offering more extreme twists, turns and stylistic variation through doomy rock and dub drones, ecstatic superjazz and abstract collages.

Susumu Yokota – Symbol LP (P-Vine)
Limited yellow colored vinyl LP pressing. Symbol is a studio album by Japanese electronica artist Susumu Yokota, released in 2005. This album is distinctive from others in his discography by being primarily composed of samples from classical orchestral pieces, such as Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite and Saint-Saëns’s Carnival of the Animals, as well as more modern compositions by John Cage and Meredith Monk.

Come – Don’t Ask Don’t Tell: Expanded Edition 2xCD/2xLP (Fire)
In 1994 Come responded to the difficult-second-album stereotype with the hypnotic, intense and emotional masterpiece Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Featuring the original line-up of Thalia Zedek, Chris Brokaw, Sean O’ Brien and Arthur Johnson, the Boston band broadened their sound by slowing down the tempos and creating a dense urban stream of consciousness that mixes noise, city blues and catharsis. The album hits you immediately as one of the greatest dissident records ever made. Lovingly remastered, this expanded edition includes Wrong Sides, an additional album’s worth of B-sides and unreleased tracks, including the band’s very first single “Car” and their last recorded song, “Cimarron”, featuring this core line-up. These gems showcase the rawness and incredible growth of a band completely in command of their songwriting and at the same time paying homage to some of their punk roots with beautiful renditions of Swell Maps “Loin Of The Surf” and X’s “Adult Books”. Also includes new artwork with unearthed photos and fresh liner notes by the band.

Mac Miller – K.I.D.S. (Kickin Incredibly Dope Shit) [Reissue/2010] (Rostrum)
Mac Miller ‎– Best Day Ever [Reissue/2011] (Rostrum)
Mac Miller ‎– Blue Slide Park [Reissue/2011] (Rostrum)
Mac Miller ‎– Watching Movies With The Sound Off [Reissue/2013] (Rostrum)
Black cassette editions.

LUCINDA WILLIAMSLu’s Jukebox: Have Yourself A Rockin Little Christmas CD/LP
BRAND NEWDevil and God Are Raging Inside Me LP
COLD WAR KIDS New Age Norms 3 LP
HELVETIAEssential Aliens CD/LP
BEACH FOSSILSOther Side Of Life: Piano Ballads CD/LP
SHARON VAN ETTENSilent Night / Blue Christmas 7″
LADIES (Rob Crow) They Mean Us CD/LP
WEEKND Highlights LP
JACKIE MITTOOThe Keyword King At Studio One LP
WIZ KHALIFARolling Papers LP
PRIMAL SCREAM Live at Levitation LP
CHARLES MINGUS The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady LP reissue