Coming from a group whose early work was characterised by Polish knife-wielders and incarcerated serial killers, you might expect Interpol’s pandemic record to be an emotional tar pit — doubly so, given the presence of towering producer-engineer duo Flood and Moulder on the boards. But Banks felt the call to push in a “counterbalancing” direction, with paeans to mental resilience and the quiet power of going easy.
PAVEMENT – Westing (By Musket and Sextant) CD/LP reissue (Matador)
The first Matador pressing of Pavement’s Westing (By Musket And Sextant), the compilation of Pavement’s early work from 1989-1993. The new pressing coincides with this year’s release of the Terror Twilight: Farewell Horizontal 4xLP box set and a 30th anniversary limited vinyl edition of Slanted & Enchanted. Pavement begins several months out touring by headlining Primavera Sound Barcelona before continuing onto sold-out tour dates in North America and Europe.
BLACK MIDI – Hellfire CD/LP (Rough Trade)
No band can quite build their own universe like black midi. Hellfire, their third album and second in two years sees the London three piece at their most direct. “Welcome To Hell” tells the story of a debauched soldier’s excess and military discharge, soundtracked by funky guitar sections, driving horns and a progressively snarling vocal.
LIZZO – Special CD/LP (Atlantic)
2022 release, the fourth album from the singer and rapper. The album is the follow-up to her 2019 album Cuz I Love You, which peaked at number 4 on the Billboard 200 chart and was nominated for Album of the Year at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards. Special features the single “About Damn Time”.
LINDA LINDAS – Growing Up CD/LP (Epitaph)
A product of generations of underground music in L.A. and beyond, The Linda Lindas’ debut, Growing Up, channels classic punk, post punk, power pop, new wave, and other surprises into timelessly catchy and cool songs sung by all four members-each with her own style and energy. A handful of cuts have already been previewed at shows and enthusiastically approved by diehard followers in the pit at L.A.’s DIY punk institution The Smell and Head in the Cloud festival goers at The Rose Bowl alike. The Linda Lindas are stoked to unleash Growing Up.
DREAM SYNDICATE – Ultra Violet Battle Hymns and True Confessions CD/LP (Fire)
The brand-new album from The Dream Syndicate blends vintage Krautrock, Eno-like ambience, Neu-inspired rhythmic groove and a Californian sun baked sheen into the their classic psychedelic, melodic, hue.
TIJUANA PANTHERS – Halfway To Eighty LP (Innovative Leisure)
On Halfway to Eighty, riff-heavy anthems like “Helping Hand” are courtesy of Wachtel, while art-rock thrashers like “Slacker” are Shaheen’s handiwork, and smirking punk numbers like “False Equivalent” are Michicoff’s. When you keep an ear out for them, you can hear each distinct personality in the songs, but taken as a whole, it’s yet another primo Panthers set of post-Cramps, post-DEVO outsider rock and roll.
SUPERORGANISM – World Wide Pop CD/LP (Domino)
Superorganism return with their second album World Wide Pop, their first new music since 2018’s self-titled debut. Blasting back with thirteen tracks that explore the infinite versus the intimate, taking in friendship, time, connectedness, and the universe; World Wide Pop contemplates the contradiction of being hopeful and curious when faced with relentless consumerism and overwhelming noise. World Wide Pop also brings in an international set of collaborators including Stephen Malkmus, CHAI, Pi Ja Ma, Dylan Cartlidge & legendary musician and actor Gen Hoshino.
ELF POWER – Artificial Countrysides LP (Yep Roc)
Artificial Countrysides is Athens, Ga – based Elf Power’s 14th album and first for Yep Roc Records. The band expand their sound on this record to glorious effect, adding marimba, harpsichord, synth bass, distorted drum machine loops, and mellotron to their time tested mix of fuzz guitars, moog keyboards, pummeling drums, and layered acoustic guitars, achieving a satisfying and unique synthesis of traditional and futuristic sounds.
TALK TALK – The Party’s Over (40th Anniversary Edition) LP (Rhino)
Most critically-acclaimed and pioneering bands to come out of the UK. Talk Talk’s The Party’s Over was a start of a journey for Mark Hollis (vocals), Simon Brenner (keyboards), Lee Harris (drums), and Paul Webb (bass) who constantly evolved throughout their career from synth-pop beginnings into pioneering avant-garde post-rock in the latter stages of the band, being a large influence on artists such as Radiohead, St. Vincent and many more. To celebrate the 40th anniversary, The Party’s Over is being released on white vinyl across all music retailers.
JENNYLEE – Heart Tax LP (Virgin)
Heart Tax, the second solo album from Warpaint’s Jennylee, features collaborations with Goldensuns, Depeche Mode’s Dave Gahan, Trentemoller, and Warpaint bandmates Belief and Stella Mozgawa. Started in Southern California and finished in Salt Lake City, this album feels present-day Jenny yet embodies pent-up old feelings. Heart Tax encompasses a journey of introspection, artistry, and an allowance of free stream-of-consciousness to feel the healing of old baggage and energy.
STAPLE SINGERS – Be Altitude: Respect Yourself LP (Craft)
Limited 180gm vinyl LP pressing. 50th Anniversary Edition of The Staple Singers’ iconic fourth album for Stax Records, Be Altitude: Respect Yourself, with all-analog mastering from the original stereo tapes (by Jeff Powell at Take Out Vinyl) and housed in a tip-on jacket. Featuring the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section and the Memphis Horns, it includes the Billboard Hot 100 #1 hit, “I’ll Take You There,” and the title track, “Respect Yourself.”
FLUME – Palaces LP (Future Classic)
Flume kicks off a new cycle with his highly anticipated third album, Palaces. The 13-track LP shows off his ability to expertly push the boundaries of a sound he helped define, while delivering songs that are still undeniably “Flume.” Flume is an artist that has remained uncompromising in his vision and artistry since the beginning, and Palaces is no exception. Featuring a diverse range of artists from rising stars like Caroline Polachek, to established tastemakers like Damon Albarn, this album spans across genres, igniting his fan base and taking him to new heights, creating the perfect launch pad for his upcoming world tour.
ALEX DUPREE – Thieves LP (Keeled Scales)
Dupree got his musical start in Austin, Texas, and his voice still has some Heartworn Highways-era color to it. Old-Hollywood string crescendos and delicate acoustic phrases pass in and out of focus behind the vocals, a lush backdrop for the songs’ stark dialogue. Produced by local friend and favorite, Michael Krassner!
SUNNY AND THE SUNLINERS – Mr Brown Eyed Soul Vol 2 LP (Big Crown)
Sunny Ozuna is a living legend and a man worthy of praise on many levels. In the Texas and Latin Music pantheon, few have been at it longer and are more revered by their fans and peers than Sunny is. Mr Brown Eyed Soul Vol. 2 – another compilation curated by Big Crown, where they dig a little deeper into Sunny’s catalog and pull some lesser known gems that hold court with his hits. Hats off again to Mr Brown Eyed Soul himself, San Antonio’s own, Sunny Ozuna.
SPENCER KRUG – Twenty Twenty Twenty Twenty One LP (Pronounced Kroog)
While no stranger to self-producing, 2020 and 2021 found Krug (Wolf Parade) diving deeper than ever into the possibilities of his home setup, and therein refining a distinct blend of richly analog-acoustic and unabashedly artificial sounds. This self-aware and apparently self-pleasing juxtaposition is the texture making up a lot of the album, adorned with Krug’s half-baked confessionalist poetry; ill-informed takes and recluse-revelations sung out from within his cave-ish backyard studio. Living in rural Vancouver Island, loosely watching humankind unravel and gather itself over and over again from the safe, sleepy vantage point of a new father keeping himself and his family away from most others, locked in a beautiful, boring, perfect bubble, wherein every day, every month, is a kind of recurring dream, bright yet slightly troubled, a quiet walk down a too-familiar road, the cooing of the baby who doesn’t yet know… Krug has unwittingly made a collection of sonic journal entries in Twenty Twenty Twenty Twenty One, each simultaneously guarded and celebratory, cynical and hopeful.
POND – 9 Deluxe LP (Spinning Top)
Double metallic silver colored vinyl LP pressing. In Pond’s universe nothing stays still for long. Although no one who heard 2019’s Tasmania could possibly describe its pulsating psych-pop as straight, Pond wanted to try a more spontaneous way of working for their next record. Taking a leaf out of krautrock outliers Can’s book, at the start of 2020, Pond embarked on a series of totally off-the-cuff jam sessions from which songs and ideas could be pulled out.
TOSCA – Osam LP (!K7)
For Richard Dorfmeister and Rupert Huber, the idea of rebirth is a creative driving force – an artistic device which not only informs their work, but anchors it. As the avant-garde electronic group Tosca, the two artists have lived many musical lives, from their early electronic experiments with tape decks to the blissed-out dub compositions with which they have made their name.
RZA – Bobby Digital Vs Rza LP (Ruffnation)
Bobby Digital is back in the picture and potentially set square up with his host. On Friday, RZA announced a new album, RZA vs. Bobby Digital, with the release of the hard-hitting new single, “Saturday Afternoon Kung Fu Theater.” According to a press release, production on the album is handled by DJ Scratch.
SENSES FAIL – Hell Is In Your Head LP (Pure Noise)
2022 release from the New Jersey-based post-hardcore band. Hell Is In Your Head is the follow-up to 2018’s If There Is Light, It Will Find You. The album was co-produced by SAOSIN’s Beau Burchell.
OZOMATLI – Marching On CD/LP (Blue Elan)
If the city of Los Angeles had a soundtrack, it would be Ozomatli’s music. Since forming in 1995, the lineup’s collaborative, energetic blend of multicultural music and activism has earned the band three GRAMMYs®, four Hollywood Bowl shows, a TED Talk and much more. But more importantly, Ozo has inspired and energized listeners worldwide. Even at gigs in locales including Burma and Mongolia, Ozomatli’s messages and music, sung in both Spanish and English, need no translation. Circa 2022, Ozo’s new songs, stronger-than-ever brotherhood and the potent emotional impetus behind Marching On further cements the legacy begun with the band’s 1998 self-titled debut.
RISE AGAINST – Nowhere Generation II CD (Loma Vista)
Two decades into delivering social commentary via their blistering brand of punk rock, Rise Against’s latest, Nowhere Generation II, may be their most poignant, as it sums up the struggles, injustices, and collective action of a generation. The new single, “Last Man Standing,” is smooth in its most sensitive moments and roaring like a tempest at its peak. Brimming with punk rock spirit, it begs that we answer who and what is left if we continue on our current path.
MOBB DEEP – Infamy LP (Get On Down)
Double vinyl LP pressing. Infamy is the fifth studio album by hip hop duo Mobb Deep. Infamy has been certified Gold by the RIAA, selling over 800,000 copies in the United States of America. It has been successful critically as well as commercially, getting good scores from The Source and HipHopDX, as well as Allmusic and Rolling Stone magazine.