Lindsay – Sharon Van Etten, Belle and Sebastian, and Girls Against Boys Reissue
Zach – Belle and Sebastian, Warpaint, Ibeyi, Arcade Fire
Dario – Gillian Welch
Caleb – Bill Fay, Saâda Bonaire
Kimber – Savage Republic reissue
Arcade Fire – WE CD/LP (Columbia/Sony)
WE is the new album from Canadian rock band Arcade Fire. This is the sixth Arcade Fire studio album and is made up of seven songs that speak to this moment with unique directness. Written, recorded, and released during a critical historical juncture, they are divided into two distinct sides, “I” and “WE.” If the “I” side of the record evokes and embodies our holed-up anxiety and lack of physical connection, the “WE” side captures the excitement of new possibilities and the elevating thrill of committing to one another socially and personally. Produced by Nigel Godrich, Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, WE is a 40 minute epic as much about the forces that threaten to pull us away from the people we love, as it is inspired by the urgent need to overcome them. [An indie store exclusive white color vinyl pressing is available.]
Sharon Van Etten – We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong CD/LP+MP3/Cassette (Jagjaguwar)
Sharon Van Etten has always been the kind of artist who helps people make sense of the world around them, and her sixth album, We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong, concerns itself with how we feel, mourn, and reclaim our agency when we think the world – or at least, our world – might be falling apart. [A limited-edition smoke color vinyl pressing is available.]
Warpaint – Radiate Like This CD/LP (Virgin)
Radiate Like This – Warpaint’s anticipated new record and their first in almost six years – arrives with its own very modern mythology intact, continuing the strange, brilliant, beautiful story of the band and quite neatly picking up where 2016’s Heads Up left off. If the previous album was the coming of age, Radiate Like This presents Warpaint mk II in all their glory, a luminous coalescence of sound and vision, an album that pulsates with ideas, energy and – most crucially – gorgeous melodies. [An indie store exclusive yellow color vinyl pressing is available.]
Ibeyi – Spell 31 CD/LP+MP3 (XL Recordings)
Ibeyi features French Afro-Cuban twin sisters Lisa-Kainde and Naomi Diaz. Performing from a young age, the daughters of famed Cuban percussionist Ánga Diaz, have released two critically acclaimed albums, a self-titled debut in 2015 and Ash in 2017. Spell 31 is their boldest offering yet, an antidote to apathy in a divided world. Ethereal, crystalized signature Ibeyi harmonies are fused with gospel, persuasive percussion, momentous deeply resonant bass, and electronic neo soul expressions, transporting us into a sublime rawness that is refined by Richard Russell’s precise hand and synthesized into astonishing clarity.
Aurora – The Gods We Can Touch CD/2xLP/Cassette (Glassnote)
Aurora’s The Gods We Can Touch is an elegant and celestial but provocative album about shame, desire, and morality, all seen through the narrative prism of Greek mythology. In each of the album’s 15 songs we meet a different God.” The Greeks had gods and goddesses for everything,” Aurora notes. “For anxiety, for wine, for sex… Long ago when this concept of gods and goddesses started, they were more human, more relatable, and almost touchable. Most importantly, they had flaws.”
Savage Republic – Tragic Figures [Reissue/1982] 2xCD/2xLP (Real Gone Music)
Remastered and expanded edition of the post-punk/industrial band’s debut album. While Savage Republic echoed krautrock legends Can, post-punkers Public Image Limited (Savage Republic opened for PiL on their 1982 West Coast dates), avant-garde guitar players like Glenn Branca and Rhys Chatham, scrap metal industrialists Einstürzende Neubauten, and Bay Area sludgecore nihilists Flipper, their unlikely product of (mostly) UCLA undergrads sound like no other record before or since. [A limited-edition red color vinyl pressing is available.]
Pink Mountaintops – Peacock Pools CD/LP (ATO)
Pink Mountaintops’ first new album in eight years features 12 songs sparked from Stephen McBean’s magpie-like curiosity for a wild expanse of cultural artifacts: David Cronenberg, Disney Read-Along records from the ’70s, early Pink Floyd, mid-career Gary Numan, John Carpenter movies, and Ornette Coleman live videos. Featuring counterculture icons like Steven McDonald (Redd Kross) and Dale Crover (Melvins), Peacock Pools alchemizes those obsessions into a body of work with its own enchanting power. [An indie store exclusive color vinyl pressing is available.]
AWOLNATION – My Echo, My Shadow, My Covers And Me CD (Better Noise Music)
AWOLNATION’s new album My Echo, My Shadow, My Covers And Me is a fiercely collaborative and celebratory project. It’s an eclectic collection of masterfully crafted and carefully curated covers, with each track featuring at least one acclaimed musical artist. It includes epic re-imaginings of classics like “Wind Of Change” by the Scorpions, “Take A Chance On Me” by ABBA, and “Beds Are Burning” by Midnight Oil; and features collaborations with artists like Portugal The Man, Brandon Boyd of Incubus, Jewel, Beck, Taylor Hanson and more. [Vinyl edition due June 3.]
Belle And Sebastian – A Bit Of Previous CD/LP+MP3 (Matador)
A Bit Of Previous is a classic Belle And Sebastian album preoccupied with songs and melodies that won’t leave your head and lyrics that can make you smile and ponder and sometimes be melancholic. It’s an album self-produced and recorded by Belle And Sebastian (with contributions from Brian McNeil, Matt Wiggins, Kevin Burleigh and Shawn Everett) and their most hands-on since The Boy With The Arab Strap. So, what is a A Bit Of Previous? It’s a bit of everything, and a lot of what makes Belle And Sebastian so special and enduring. It’s a band tackling the insight, experience and responsibility that come with getting older with humor and irreverence and lyrical exactitude and musical bravado. It’s one of the UK’s most beloved pop portraitists asserting themselves as an infallible source of energy and fun. [An indie store exclusive color vinyl pressing is available.]
My Idea – Cry Mfer CD (Hardly Art)
The closer you are to someone, the crueler you can treat them, but if they love you, they’re inclined to forgive you. Lily Konigsberg and Nate Amos forgive each other now, but they were in a bad way when they recorded Cry Mfer – which is not to say their debut album is a sonic bum out. Cry Mfer proves you can still make pop music while spiraling. When not using the other party as an emotional punching bag, Nate and Lily used one another as a creative filter and sounding board – pushing, prodding and challenging themselves to “mess with different sounds,” harkening to, Nate says, “songwriting duos who seem to have their own language that other people don’t quite understand.” In life, as in art, they share a language, a hive mind. Cry Mfer is, true to the band’s vision, a beautiful mess of different sounds, completely and effortlessly genreless (though if pressed to label it, the band settles on “Truth Or Dare Pop”). While a milieu of myriad styles, from folk to dance, the album’s main through line is truth, regardless of how much the expression thereof may hurt. [An opaque red color vinyl pressing is due May 13.]
Gillian Welch – Boots No 2 The Lost Songs 3LP
Boots No. 2: The Lost Songs is a remarkable collection of forty-eight newly unearthed and celebrated home demos and reel-to-reel recordings from the vault of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. Originally recorded over a long weekend late in 2002, Pitchfork says, “the archival trove cements the singer-songwriter and her steadfast partner, David Rawlings, as modern masters of American folk.” All 48 songs were digitally released in three volumes between July and November 2020, and show a depth of musicianship, songwriting, and versatility that greatly expand the Welch / Rawlings canon.
Richard Thompson – Music From Grizzly Man CD/LP (No Quarter)
Richard Thompson’s score for Grizzly Man – Werner Herzog’s 2005 documentary film of real life and death in the Alaskan wilderness – is one of the best-kept secrets in the British guitarist’s epic canon: an instrumental masterpiece disguised as a movie soundtrack. Recorded over two days as Thompson played live in the studio to Herzog’s footage – mostly alone, at times in chamber settings with cello, piano, and percussion – these tenderly detailed melodies and quietly visceral improvisations are cinema in their own right, rendered with pictorial instinct and the dazzling technique forged in Thompson’s lifelong passage through traditional folk, psychedelia, North African modes and intensely personal songwriting.
!!! – Let It Blue CD/LP+MP3 (Warp)
Let It Be Blue contains 11 tracks that incorporate a multitude of styles and genres, easily becoming their most eclectic release yet. The band has taken a new approach to recording over the past two years, primarily working in the box to start, as opposed to their usual studio focused approach. The result, a prominent electronic / dance-leaning edge pervades the band’s familiar sonic motifs and songwriting, pushing the towards new dynamic limits for the New York mainstays. [An indie store exclusive blue color vinyl pressing is available.]
Basia Bulat – The Garden CD/2xLP+MP3 (Secret City)
Introducing The Garden: a strings album and a retrospective from a room in Montreal with the windows open, and the wind moving, and the leaves changing, and a spring-colored secret on the tip of Basia Bulat’s tongue. The Garden gathers fourteen string arrangements by three different arrangers (Owen Pallett, Paul Frith, and Zou Zou Robidoux), revisiting material from all five of Bulat’s studio albums.
Bill Fay – Still Some Light: Part 2 CD/2xLP+MP3 (Dead Oceans)
Bill Fay has always sung about attempting to understand the most universal questions: those of nature, spirituality, humanity. His songs are “calming hymns for another chaotic time”, he says. His influence can be traced through many artists’ works, and so it only seemed right to celebrate this with a collection of newer voices interpreting his timeless tracks. Originally released in 2010 by David Tibet (Current 93), Still Some Light was released as a double CD, made up of ‘70s album demos (Disc One) and 2009 home recordings (Disc Two). This year, for the first time, this collection of recordings will be pressed to vinyl and released digitally, presented alongside contemporary reimaginings of the tracks by Kevin Morby, Steve Gunn, Julia Jacklin and Mary Lattimore. Bill Fay’s words and melodies remain unaffected by the passing of time and changing trends; and here alongside the original recordings, these reinvented versions still calmly guide us through another moment of chaos.
Midland – The Last Resort: Greetings From CD (Big Machine)
Midland likes their music straight-up. Hardcore country, the kind you find in forgotten bars in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, wherever the neon’s buzzing, but not quite dead. The Grammy-nominated trio plots a resurgence of their thick harmonies, tart lyrics, and steel guitar with The Last Resort: Greetings From. Unfiltered, they want their country 120 proof. Whether it’s a cheating song, a heartbreak ballad, or a shoot-out-the-lights romper, they savor the emotions with a gusto unseen for decades.
Saâda Bonaire – 1992 CD/LP (Captured Tracks)
Recently recovered from a cellar in East Berlin, 1992 compiles the cult German studio project Saâda Bonaire’s long-lost early nineties material. Produced between Bremen and New York City, the 12 songs presented here capture the group’s attempts at steering their trademark fusion sound (reggae, Afro-funk, Eastern music, and sultry German female vocals) into uncharted nu jazz, trip-hop, and house territories.
Sunflower Bean – Headful Of Sugar CD/LP (Mom & Pop Music)
Marked by two vocalists who often take turns within a song, Sunflower Bean is an indie rock trio out of NYC. The band describes Headful Of Sugar as “an album about outsiders, searching for meaning in the desert of modern life, disillusioned but hopeful. All of the opulence we’re surrounded by is just sugar, connection to others is the real sustenance.” [A limited-edition orange color vinyl pressing is available.]
Benny Sings – Beat Tape II LP (Stones Throw)
Benny Sings’ latest release Beat Tape II is the successor to Benny’s 2018 project Beat Tape, and follows his 2021 album, Music. Beat Tape II is a mixtape-style record with some of the best beats Benny has created over the years. It features wide variety of artists including JONES, Cola Boyy, Mocky, Marc Rebillet, St. Panther, Rae Khalil, Kenny Beats, GRAMMY nominee Cory Henry, the Koreatown Oddity and more.
The Cutthroat Brothers and Mike Watt – The King Is Dead LP (Hound Gawd!)
The Cutthroat Brothers is a duo of real-life barbers, the Sweeney Todds of rock music, Jason Cutthroat on vocals & guitar and Donny Paycheck on drums. For The King Is Dead, the duo called on punk rock icon Mike Watt to join in the proceedings. Jack Endino (Mudhoney, The Sonics, Screaming Trees, L7, Soundgarden) produced mixed and mastered the album, which is steeped in themes of blood, death, drugs, sex, black magic, and bad relationships.
Daft Punk – Homework [Reissue/1997] 2xLP (Daft Life LTD)
Daft Punk – Alive 1997 [Reissue/2001] LP (Daft Life LTD)
Homework is the debut studio album by the French electronic music duo Daft Punk, originally released in 1997. As the duo’s first project on a major label, they produced the album’s tracks without plans to release them, but after initially considering releasing them as separate singles, they considered the material good enough for an album. Homework’s success brought worldwide attention to French house music. Issued in 2001, Alive 1997 is comprised of 45 minutes of non-stop live mixing that showcases Daft Punk’s unique and influential DJ style. Alive 1997 served as the group’s second release of 2001, coming on the heels of the critically acclaimed album, Discovery.
Ben Folds Five – Complete Sessions At West 54th [Reissue/1999] 2xLP (Real Gone Music)
Color vinyl reissue of the first live album to be released from the ‘vintage’ years of Ben Folds trio (consisting of Folds, drummer Darren Jessee and bassist Robert Sledge).
Girls Against Boys – House Of GVSB [Reissue/1996] 2xLP (Touch & Go)
Seminal post-hardcore band Girls Against Boys are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the 1996 release of their critically acclaimed album House Of GVSB with a double vinyl reissue of the album. Packaged in a full-color gatefold jacket, side A and B are the original album remastered by Bob Weston (Shellac). Side C and D feature odds and ends from the band’s ‘90s era work including sought-after B-sides, singles, compilation tracks, and one previously unreleased recording [An indie store exclusive white color vinyl pressing is available.]
Kishi Bashi – 151a [Reissue/2011] LP (Joyful Noise)
Clear vinyl pressing. They say that you spend your entire life writing your first album, piecing every formative moment, scribbled turn of phrase, and thematic epiphany into a fantastical collage. Multi-instrumentalist K. Ishibashi (aka Kishi Bashi) disproves that adage. The title of Kishi Bashi’s 2011 debut album, 151a, is a riff on the Japanese phrase “ichi-go ichi-e,” roughly translating to “one time, one place.” That’s exactly what this debut is: A singular time, an inimitable place, a launchpad for bigger and better things to come.
Millencolin – For Monkeys [Reissue/1997] LP+MP3 (Epitaph)
‘Psychedelic green’ color vinyl pressing of the third album by the Swedish punk band.
Tom Morello – The Atlas Underground Fire LP (Mom + Pop Music)
Blue color vinyl pressing. Following the 2018 release of his most ambitious album yet, The Atlas Underground, legendary musician and two-time Grammy winner Tom Morello returns with his latest project – a follow-up album entitled The Atlas Underground Fire. Morello’s remarkable guitar playing is on full display on the record fusing rock, alternative and electronic music together with collaborations from a mix of music icons and cutting-edge artists. The acclaimed list of collaborators includes Bruce Springsteen, Eddie Vedder, Chris Stapleton, Mike Posner, Damian Marley, and others.
The Muslims – Gentrifried Chicken LP+MP3 (Epitaph)
Indie store exclusive white color vinyl pressing of The Muslims 2020 album. Drawing from the influence of the most legendary artists and revolutionaries of our time, The Muslims has successfully synthesized the “f* you” energy of the oppressed into an ass-kicking, head-smashing, fascist-punching sonic experience. This all-queer, black & brown punk band emerged onto the US music scene shortly after the election of 2016 and have been chugging white tears and destroying lives ever since.
The Offspring – Ignition [Reissue/1992] LP (Epitaph)
30th anniversary edition pink/yellow/clear vinyl pressing of the second album by the punk rock band.
Jerry Paper – Free Time LP (Stones Throw)
Free Time by Jerry Paper is a synth-pop, weird-rock, bizarro-muzak masterpiece. This playful and joyous album captures Jerry Paper’s unique persona and tells the story of their self-discovery as a nonbinary artist. [An indie store exclusive red w/ yellow & blue color vinyl pressing is available.]
The Sun Ra Arkestra Meets Salah Ragab Plus The Cairo Jazz Band – In Egypt [Reissue/1983] LP (Strut)
Strut present the final instalment in their series of reissues of Sun Ra’s historic recordings in Egypt with The Sun Ra Arkestra Meets Salah Ragab In Egypt plus the Cairo Jazz Band, originally released on Greek label Praxis in 1983. [CD edition due June 10.]
Eddie Vedder – Ukulele Songs [Reissue/2011] LP (Republic)
Ukulele Songs comprises a fine mixture of original material penned by Vedder that he initially performed live, alongside vintage classics and standards. Guest vocalists include Glen Hansard and Cat Power’s Chan Marshall.
“Recording this song got me out of a dark place musically; I hadn’t sung or played since my last album tour finished and covid started. I just went to a local studio near my house with some friends and recorded it in a couple of hours. It was just so nice to sing again and play with friends. It was hard to capture the spirit of Bill’s version but it was a true gift getting to live in his song for a day.” – Julia Jacklin