Staff Picks
Lindsay – Big Thief, Cactus Blossoms, and Holy Hive
Dario – Holy Hive and Josephine Foster
Zach – Pedro the Lion, Moonchild, Los Retros, and Alt-J 

Josephine Foster
Kimber – Big Thief 

Big Thief – Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You CD/2xLP+MP3 (4AD)
Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You is a sprawling double-LP exploring the deepest elements and possibilities of Big Thief. To truly dig into all that the music of Adrianne Lenker, Max Oleartchik, Buck Meek, and James Krivchenia desired in 2020, the band decided to write and record a rambling account of growth as individuals, musicians, and chosen family over four distinct recording sessions. In Upstate New York, Topanga Canyon, The Rocky Mountains, and Tucson, AZ, Big Thief spent five months in creation and came out with 45 completed songs. The most resonant of this material was edited down into the 20 tracks that make up DNWMIBIY, a fluid and adventurous listen. [A limited-edition indie store exclusive vinyl pressing is available.]

Holy Hive – Holy Hive LP (Big Crown)
Released last September on CD – now available on vinyl. In 2020 Brooklyn’s Holy Hive introduced us all to something we didn’t know we needed. Homer Steinweiss’ thickly pocketed drumming paired with Paul Spring’s floaty falsetto vocal produces a sound that’s like a salve. It’s been dubbed folk soul and Holy Hive not only expertly overlay the more apparent musical aspects of folk and soul – but they also draw from the more profound: being able to pull traditions from the past and make them their own. [A limited-edition indie store exclusive translucent pink w/ blue splatter color vinyl pressing is available.]

Spoon – Lucifer On The Sofa CD/LP+MP3 (Matador)
Spoon’s tenth album, Lucifer On The Sofa, is the band’s purest rock ‘n’ roll record to date. Texas-made, it is the first set of songs that the quintet has put to tape in its hometown of Austin in more than a decade. Written and recorded over the last two years – both in and out of lockdown – these songs mark a shift toward something louder, wilder, and more full-color. Lucifer On The Sofa was co-produced by Spoon and Mark Rankin (Adele, Queens of the Stone Age), with contributions from Dave Fridmann and Justin Raisen. Britt Daniel describes the album as, “the sound of classic rock as written by a guy who never did get Eric Clapton…I spent a lot of 2018 and 2019 listening to ZZ Top.” [Black vinyl now, limited-edition indie store exclusive orange color vinyl pressing available 2/25.]

alt-J – The Dream CD/LP (Atlantic)
The Dream is an album of intrigue, beauty and humanity – a coalescence of everything that has made alt-J a global band with true staying power. True-crime inspired stories and tales of Hollywood and the Chateau Marmont rub shoulders with some of the band’s most personal moments to-date. The album was created after a period of rest for the band following their seismic world tour in support of previous record Relaxer. It is a record that is the sound of a band growing as songwriters and storytellers. [A limited-edition indie store exclusive vinyl pressing is also available.]

Boy Harsher – The Runner (Original Soundtrack) LP (Nude Club)
Augustus Muller and Jae Matthews’ fifth release entitled The Runner (Original Soundtrack) is not a traditional album. Rather, it is the soundtrack to a short film, also entitled The Runner. The film, written, produced, and directed by the duo, is a searching horror film, attached to a meta-style ‘documentary’ about Boy Harsher’s recording process. The album includes several distinct components: cinematic arrangements, vocal features, and of course classic Boy Harsher dark pop. [An indie store exclusive translucent violet color vinyl pressing is available.]

Dan Andriano & The Byegones – Dear Darkness CD/LP+MP3 (Epitaph)
Multifaceted singer-songwriter and instrumentalist Dan Andriano (Alkaline Trio) delivers the debut album from his new project Dan Andriano & The Bygones featuring Bay Area musicians Randy and Dylan Moore and Nick Kenrick. The self-produced project finds Andriano venturing into deeply personal lyrical territory while also pushing the limits of just what his unclassifiable sound can be. Andriano first began work on what would become Dear Darkness during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, writing demos and raiding his archives of unfinished ideas, doing so more out of a deep-seated need to create than with any true end project in mind. Having spent so much of his life touring and making music, the time off forced by the pandemic was foreign to Andriano, who, at moments, struggled with how to use this newfound freedom, but also found it to be fruitful for his creative process.

Josephine Foster – Godmother LP (Fire)
A beautifully observed baroque masterpiece, part dream pop, part futuristic psych-folk with ambient synths and Josephine Foster’s plaintive guitar. Godmother is a slowly unfolding song cycle that marries a myriad of previous musical escapades with electronic experiments. Exploring new horizons on this record, it sees Foster at her most expressive and hypnotic. Now back home in the mountains of Colorado, Josephine’s 20-year journey to this new nirvana becomes enthralled further with a symphony of synths that sound like they are played in some neighboring netherworld, through cotton gauze.

Shame – Drunk Tank Pink 2xLP (Dead Oceans)
Deluxe double-LP edition on limited-edition translucent red color vinyl. There are moments on Drunk Tank Pink where you almost have to reach for the sleeve to check that this is the same band who made 2018’s Songs Of Praise. Such is the jump Shame has made from the riotous post-punk of their debut to the sprawling adventurism and twitching anxieties laid out here. The South Londoner’s blood and guts spirit, that wink and grin of devious charm, is still present, it’s just that it’s grown into something bigger, something deeper, more ambitious and unflinchingly honest.

Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio – Cold As Weiss CD/LP (Colemine)
Over the course of the last five years, the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio has established themselves as the world’s premier funky organ trio. The organ trio, along with founder and manager Amy Novo, continues to devise the perfect blend of raw, passionate music and engaging industry practices. [An indie store exclusive translucent blue color vinyl pressing is available.]

Moonchild – Starfruit CD/LP+MP3 (Tru Thoughts)
Starfruit is the fifth album from L.A. trio Moonchild (Amber Navran, Andris Mattson, and Max Bryk). The result of ten years spent working and growing together, Starfruit showcases the respect, musical understanding, and love the trio have, both for each other and for the noteworthy list of collaborators featured on the album. Bringing a host of beautiful melodies and personal lyrics, Starfruit beholds offerings from Lalah Hathaway, Alex Isley, Tank and The Bangas, Rapsody, Ill Camille, Mumu Fresh, Chantae Cann and Josh Johnson.

Pedro The Lion – Havasu CD/LP+MP3 (Polyvinyl)
After a 15-year hiatus, Seattle, WA’s David Bazan reformed his legendary project Pedro The Lion with the release of 2019’s Phoenix, its first new album in over a decade. Phoenix became an instant critical darling, with publications such as NPR saying “It’s a feat to reignite an old flame after 15 years; it’s another thing altogether to make it burn brighter than ever,” and Vulture calling it “Bazan’s best work in years and a worthy successor to a back catalog beloved by indie rock and emo fans for over 20 years.” With Havasu, Bazan continues his prolific trajectory while planting the seeds for darker stories ahead. [A limited-edition translucent peach color vinyl pressing is available.]

Urge Overkill – Oui CD/LP (Omnivore)
Nash Kato and Eddie “King” Roeser met at Northwestern University, formed Urge Overkill (named after a George Clinton/Parliament lyric), and soon released a Steve Albini produced EP on Restless Records. After a string of acclaimed releases on Touch & Go Records (including the Stull EP, containing their cover of Neil Diamond’s “Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon”, which became a hit after being featured in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction), the band moved to Geffen Records and issued a pair of albums which took over alternative radio. It wasn’t until 2011 that Urge Overkill released new music, when they returned with Rock & Roll Submarine. Now, a decade later, Urge Overkill release Oui. The new album features twelve new tracks from Kato and Roeser – eleven are Urge originals, with the opener (and first single) being a cover of Wham!’s “Freedom!”. [A limited-edition indie store exclusive vinyl pressing is available.]

The Cactus Blossoms – One Day CD (Walkie Talkie)
One Day is the third album from the Cactus Blossoms – featuring eleven songs written, produced, and harmonized by brothers Jack Torrey and Page Burkum. Recorded and mixed by longtime collaborator Alex Hall using a mobile rig in Page’s Minneapolis basement, the album continues the evolution of the band’s signature blend of country, soul, and ‘60s rock sounds, all anchored by the brothers’ core sibling harmony vocal style. [Vinyl edition due May 13.]

Imarhan – Aboogi LP (City Slang)
With two albums, IMARHAN has become an emblem of the new Tuareg generation, breathing new life into “Assouf”, the desert blues. While most of current Tuareg productions are exiled to the United States, the group, led by Sadam, is part of their culture and their city, the capital of the Tuareg people, with an open door to the desert. By building their own studio in Tamanrasset Aboogi, Imarhan become the spokesmen of the young Tuareg lost generation (forgotten by Algerian, Nigerian and Malian governments). Recorded with GRUFF RHYS of the SUPER FURRY ANIMALS

Amos Lee – Dreamland CD/LP (Dualtone)
With one foot in the real world and the other in a charmed dimension of his own making, Amos Lee creates the rare kind of music that’s emotionally raw yet touched with a certain magical quality. On his eighth album Dreamland, the Philadelphia-born singer/songwriter intimately documents his real-world struggles (alienation, anxiety, loneliness, despair), an outpouring born from deliberate and often painful self-examination. But, thanks to a palpable sense of playfulness, Dreamland embodies an unpredictable and endlessly imaginative sound – a prime showcase for Lee’s warmly commanding voice and soul-baring songwriting. With the release of Dreamland, Lee hopes that his songs might inspire others to live more fully and free of fear.

Jessie Ware and SamphaValentine 7″ (Young Turks)
For Valentine’s Day 2011 Jessie Ware and Sampha released their duet ‘Valentine’. Reissued for the first time, this new pressing re-imagines the original heart-shaped vinyl on a 7” etched with hearts and Jessie and Sampha’s initials. Limited to 1000 copies. Orange vinyl.

Disclosure – DJ Kicks 2xLP+MP3 (!K7)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. For a duo whose youthful energy rejuvenated the world of house music at the start of the 2010s, it seems incredible that Disclosure is now into their second decade of musical life. The incredible vigor of those early records, the spark of invention and ever-onward musical thrust, remains with the Disclosure brothers, Howard and Guy Lawrence, to this day. Their third album, 2020’s Energy, was aptly named, with house, breakbeats, disco, UK Garage, electro, soul, R&B, hip-hop and a globe-trotting array of percussion combining to bracing effect, as the Lawrence brothers spat musical life into the face of the pandemic. The emphasis throughout DJ Kicks is on motion. Here, Disclosure keeps the energy high, with a mix that showcases the wonderful malleability of a house beat in the right hands. From sub bass to disco samples to 303 tweaks, all is welcome in Disclosure’s house, with the mix allowing individual songs space to breathe even as the pace remains hare footed. 

Grouplove – Never Trust A Happy Song [Reissue/2011] LP (Atlantic)
It’s been ten years since Grouplove met on a commune in Greece and brought the idea of forming a band back to California. They’d never have anticipated making it this far: five albums, multiple chart-topping singles across alternative and pop formats, a Grammy nomination, and critical acclaim from outlets such as Rolling Stone, which heralded the group as “a band who have perfected big, radio-friendly rock songs.” As their debut album Never Trust A Happy Song approaches its tenth anniversary, Grouplove is ready to celebrate with the fans by releasing a limited edition vinyl, pressed on 180gm green vinyl.

Fenne Lily – On Hold [Reissue/2018] LP (Dead Oceans)
On Hold, a tender collection of expressive, open-hearted songs, was Fenne’s first foray into songwriting, written during her teenage years. Writing her own songs was initially a “therapy exercise” for Fenne, who is normally reserved when it comes to talking about her feelings. The album, self-released in 2018, organically found a large audience online, which grew after she opened for Lucy Dacus and Andy Shauf’s North American tours last spring. Surrounding it’s release, The Line of Best Fit deemed Fenne “a new and extraordinary voice capable of wringing profound and resonant moments out of loss.” [A limited-edition lime green color vinyl pressing is available.]

Los Retros – Looking Back LP (Stones Throw)
Los Retros is the young Mexican American singer-songwriter whose music has captured the hearts of fans around the world. He broke onto the scene with the viral single “Someone To Spend Time With” in 2019. Looking Back is his third EP. Los Retros was just sixteen when he first began recording in his family’s living room on an old four-track. The recordings comprising Looking Back grew out of these early sessions. Fan favorite, they are now officially released for the first time. [An indie store exclusive yellow w/ green & pink color vinyl pressing is available.]

Cat Stevens – Harold And Maude (Original Soundtrack) CD/LP (A&M)
Timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the landmark film’s release, this new CD and 180gm version of the soundtrack combines nine Cat Stevens originals as well as – for the first time – additional dialogue and instrumental music from the film. This new edition will also feature enhanced packaging including liner notes, lyrics, transcription of movie dialogue, and photos from the 1972 Paramount Pictures production.

Eddie Vedder – Earthling CD (Republic)
The new solo album from Eddie Vedder includes the tracks “Long Way”, “The Haves”, and more. It was produced by Andrew Watt and features special guest artists.

Kanye West – Donda 2xCD (Def Jam)
Deluxe Edition CD of the record-shattering Donda, featuring four bonus tracks plus fan-favorite verses from Andre 3k, Kid Cudi and more.

Nino Palladino and Blake Mills – Notes With Attachments LP (Impulse)
Vinyl edition of the 2020 album from renowned bassist Pino Palladino and celebrated multi-instrumentalist and producer Blake Mills. The record was recorded in stages over the course of two-plus years. It features drummer Chris Dave, saxophonists Sam Gendel, Marcus Strickland and Jacques Schwartz-Bart and keyboardist Larry Goldings, among others.

Soulwax – Much Against Everyone’s Advice [Reissue/1998] LP (PIAS America)
Vinyl reissue of the second studio album by the Belgian alternative rock band.

Charlatans UK – A Head Full Of Ideas 3LP (Then)
A Head Full of Ideas sums up the Charlatans’ remarkable progress from 1990 Manchester scene hopefuls to one of the UK’s most enduring and best-loved bands. Somehow, they have not just carried on but adapted and transformed. The classic Charlatans sound – driving Hammond organ, Northern Soul and house-influenced rhythms, swaggering guitars and Tim Burgess’s sunny yet somehow yearning vocal – is instantly recognisable. And in spite of everything they have been through their music is now more relevant than ever, The Guardian described their last album, Different Days as ‘one of their best ever’.


BEACH HOUSE Once Twice Melody CD/LP
ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN Songs To Learn and Sing LP
NINA SIMONEMontreux Years LP
GREGOR BARNETT (Menzingers)Don’t Go Throwing Roses In My Grave CD/LP
DODOS Grizzly Peak LP
GET UP KIDSThere Are Rules LP reissue
LUCEROSelf-Titled LP
MIDLAKETrials Of Van Occupanther LP
13TH FLOOR ELEVATORSPsychedelic Sounds Of LP reissue
13TH FLOOR ELEVATORSEaster, Everywhere LP
SAINT ETIENNE Foxbase Alpha LP reissue