Music Releases 02-08-19
Single LP on black vinyl with euro sleeve. Includes coupon for full download
The cliché that circulated after the 2016 election foretold a new artistic golden age: Artists would transform their anger and anxiety into era-defining works of dissent in the face of authoritarianism.
Yet Bob Mould calls his new album Sunshine Rock.
It’s not because Mould—whose face belongs on the Mount Rushmore of alternative music—likes the current administration. His decision to “write to the sunshine,” as he describes it, comes from a more personal place—a place found in Berlin, Germany, where he’s spent the majority of the last three years. Here Mould would draw inspiration from the new environments.
Ariana Grande returns with her fifth studio album Thank U, Next. Following the release of her previous studio album Sweetener (2018), Grande began working on a new album in October of the same year, enlisting writers and producers such as Tommy Brown, Max Martin, Ilya Salmanzadeh and Andrew "Pop" Wansel. The album was created in the midst of personal matters, including the death of her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller and breaking up with fiancé Pete Davidson.
Jessica Pratt is not a loud performer. She does not have to be. In a club of a few hundred, even the bar staff are known to go quiet while she's on stage. Her third album, Quiet Signs, feels like a distillation of this power. The album leads off with "Opening Night," a nod to Gena Rowlands' harrowing, brilliant performance in the John Cassavetes film of the same name. It’s also an emblem of where this spare, mysterious collection of songs falls in the course of Pratt’s career.
"On some level I considered an audience while making the last record (2015's On Your Own Love Again)," she writes, "But my creative world was still very private then and I analyzed the process less. This was the first time I approached writing with the idea of a cohesive record in mind."
After a collection of demos and early studio recordings (Jessica Pratt, Birth Records, 2012) earned her a small, dedicated audience, Pratt moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles and recorded her first intentional album in her bedroom in a matter of months. That album, On Your Own Love Again (Drag City, 2015), would bring her around the world many times, leading many to fall under the spell of Jessica Pratt the performer, the songwriter, the singer with the heavy-lidded voice that feels alien and familiar at the same time.
Her first album fully recorded in a professional studio setting, Quiet Signs finds Pratt's songwriting and accompanying guitar work refined -- more distinct and direct. Songs like "Fare Thee Well" and "Poly Blue" retain glimmers of OYOLA's hazy day afternoon spells, yet delicate flute, strings sustained by organ arrangements, and rehearsal room piano now gesture towards the lush chamber pop and longing of The Left Banke. On the album’s first single, "This Time Around," Pratt hits on a profound, late-night clarity over just a couple of deep chords, evoking Caetano Veloso's casual seaside brilliance. And before the curtain drops on Quiet Signs, Pratt provides a show-stopping closer, "Aeroplane."
In the world of Quiet Signs, the black of night usually represents fear, despair, resignation; finally at home descending towards the illuminated city, she sings over black leather drone and tambourine shuffle with a newfound resolve. Quiet Signs is the journey of an artist emerging from the darkened wings, growing comfortable as a solitary figure on a sprawling stage.
The album was written in Los Angeles and recorded at Gary's Electric in Brooklyn, NY over 2017 and 2018. It was co-produced by Al Carlson. He plays flute, organ and piano on some songs. Matt McDermott also played piano and string synthesizer. It will be released on Mexican Summer on February 8, 2019.
Recorded at the famed Electric Lady Studios in NYC's Greenwich Village Electric Lady Sessions is a live collection featuring classic LCD Soundsystem songs, three covers, and newer material from the band's # 1 album from 2018, American Dream.
Few albums in rock ‘n’ roll history have seen its creator’s obsession veer so close to self-destruction, as Yak’s The Pursuit Of Momentary Happiness. For singer, guitarist and driving force Oli Burslem, making his band’s second album became about pursuing his artistic vision at the expense of all else, including his own financial security, and mental health. Who else these days invests every single penny available to them into recording, to the point where they become homeless? If you’ve ever asked yourself, “Where have all the guitar rockstars gone?,” we have an answer: they are sleeping in the back of an old Citroën in a London alleyway awaiting the release of their hard-earned masterpiece.
Listening to The Pursuit Of Momentary Happiness, you frequently feel the white-knuckle monomania of Yak’s mission. It’s one of those once-in-a-decade records, whose sheer sense of belief and commitment pulsates through every nanosecond of boundary-breaking sound – like Spiritualized’s Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space, and Tame Impala’s Innerspeaker, both of whose creators had a part to play in its genesis.
Guitar music is alive and well on The Pursuit of Momentary Happiness, and with Yak on the scene, we expect it’s not going anywhere.
Bohemian Rhapsody is a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music & their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury. Defying stereotypes and shattering convention, Freddie became one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. The film traces the meteoric rise of the band with their iconic songs and revolutionary sound through to Live Aid, becoming of the greatest performances in the history of rock music.
Mavis Staples has been a soul and gospel music legend for more than 50 years. Her work fronting the legendary Staples Singers defined the sound of politically-committed soul and influenced generations of musicians. As a solo artist in her own right, she has helped to define much of what is righteous and soulful in American music. There are few people who can claim to have been performing as long as Mavis Staples, let alone to her standards. This album captures her live at the Union Chapel in London with her band performing some of the greatest songs from her musical catalog, while celebrating her 79th birthday.
The sixth album from Animal Collective founding member Noah Lennox (aka Panda Bear), Buoys, was co-produced and co-mixed by collaborator Rusty Santos in Lennox’s adopted home of Lisbon, Portugal. The album features Lennox’s bright, sincere voice along with his beatific approach to melodic structure and vocal phrasing, with miles of space surrounding it, a guitar and a few textured samples fleshing out the dubby sparseness and undercurrent of speaker-limit-pushing sub-bass low-end. Animated by their ongoing interest in contemporary music production techniques, Buoys retains a deep layer of experimentation coursing through its hyper-modern production – a hallmark of Panda Bear releases that will feel intimately familiar to fans of Lennox’s decade-plus body of work.
Mercury Rev's tribute to Bobbie Gentry's 1968 gem The Delta Sweete . Featuring an amazingly talented group of featured vocalists - Hope Sandoval (Mazzy Star), Norah Jones, Lucinda Williams, Laetitia Sadier (Stereolab), Phoebe Bridgers, Margo Price, Rachel Goswell (Slowdive), Beth Orton, Marissa Nadler, Vashti Bunyan, Kaela Sinclair(M83), Susanne Sundfør and Carice van Houten
Over the past decade, Cass McCombs has established himself as one of our premier songwriters. It’s a ca- reer that’s twisted and turned, from style to subject, both between records and within them. McCombs has never made two albums that sound the same. His new one, Tip of the Sphere, is particularly unique. Tip of the Sphere is McCombs’ 9th studio album and while many of his records have been comprised of songs recorded in different studios and pieced togeth- er over time, this one was recorded quickly in one lo- cation with a strong sense of purpose, resulting in his most consistent record to date. This approach brings a raw immediacy to his songs, which are some of his best yet as he finds the perfect balance of compassion and experimentation. The rock songs rock harder, the ballads are more beautiful, the experiments more confident; with the sounds of jazz and latin music creeping in through the back window. This is an artist trying to make sense of it all through a relentless, ever searching creative process.
For over 20 years, Ben Ellman, Robert Mercurio, Stanton Moore, Jeff Raines, and Rich Vogel have been exploring the seemingly limitless musical possibilities born out of their work together as Galactic. Over those years, the seminal New Orleans band has consistently pushed artistic boundaries on the road and in the studio, approaching their music with open ears and drawing on inspiration as much from the sounds bubbling up from their city's streets as they do from each other.
Y La Bamba has been many things, but at the heart of it is singer-songwriter Luz Elena Mendoza’s inquisitive sense of self. Their fifth record, Mujeres, carries on the Portland-based band’s affinity for spiritual contemplation, but goes a step further in telling a story with a full emotional spectrum. Coming off Ojos Del Sol, one of NPR’s Top 50 Albums of 2016, Mujeres exhibits the scope of Mendoza’s artistic voice like never before. “Soy como soy,” Mendoza says, and that declaration is the bold— even political— statement that positions Mujeres to be Y La Bamba’s most unbridled offering yet. Mendoza forges new narratives from old stories of heritage and family, tracing history while forging modern chicana feminism. The raw honesty of Mujeres is in fact the raw honesty of Mendoza. Armed with the emotionality of traditional música mexicana and the storytelling of American folk, Y La Bamba’s artistry is not just their musical ability but Mendoza’s search for unadulterated truth. It is in an ancestral journey in which Mendoza comes to terms with the influence and limitations of her upbringing. While there is a celebration of the Mexican creativity that has informed Mendoza’s life, there is a darker side to reconcile with. Where do mujeres fit in to the American story? What are the sins for which we are all guilty? How do different generations interact with the world? How can a culture become visible without being tokenized? It is no surprise that in Mujeres, Y La Bamba’s first record with Mendoza at the helm of production, Mendoza contemplates these questions to tell her story. But it is not just Mendoza’s story. Challenging a narrative and dealing with the emotionality of that effort— that is everyone’s story. Mujeres was recorded by Luz Elena Mendoza and Ryan Oxford at Color Therapy Studios and Besitos Fritos Studios in Portland, Oregon. Mixed by Jeff Bond, with Grace Bugbee on bass, John Niekrasz on drums, Margaret Wher Gibson on keys, and Ed Rodriguez and Ryan Oxford on electric guitar.
VOL. 4 :: SLAVES OF FEAR uses every tool in contemporary production to make a terrifying, exhilarating LP. But beneath all of that, VOL. 4 :: SLAVES OF FEAR also has some of the most vulnerable and evocative songwriting of HEALTH’s career. In the lyrics, singer Jake Duzsik confronts death, isolation and hopelessness with an uncommon candor and intimacy. Album closer “DECIMATION” is the most radical move in the band's catalog to date: a gorgeous guitar ballad, a plea for purpose and meaning in a time that makes both feel impossible.
INSIGHTFUL SONGWRITER, KERRVILLE NEW FOLK WINNER THE VOICE (NBC) ALUM REBECCA LOEBE SIGNS WITH BLUE CORN MUSIC FOR HER 5TH ALBUM 'GIVE UP YOUR GHOSTS,' OUT FEB. 8 FIRST SINGLE "GHOSTS" video premiering on Billboard first of December "I love listening to you sing, in a genuine way." - Adam Levine (of Maroon 5) "She wraps her rich, honeyed voice around a mix of nuanced Americana and pop numbers."- The Chicago Tribune "Loebe's voice is breathtakingly beautiful, delightful and superb."- Huffington Post Though she appeared on the Voice in 2011 and was courted by Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera (eventually joining team Adam), Loebe has built her reputation through road-dogging, one show and one fan at a time. It's resulted in over 50,000 fans on social media; support slots for The Civil Wars, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Gregory Alan Isakov; airplay on over 600 stations for her previous album 'Blink.' 'Give Up Your Ghosts' marks the fifth album and a high-water mark of storytelling and emotional power for the Austinite. Written all in one sitting, the title track "Ghosts" and album opener "Growing Up" serve as mission statements for Loebe. She remembers, "When I was done, I realized that I was singing to myself, reminding myself that other people have been through anything I'm struggling with in the current moment. They've made it to the other side of the mountain, and they're cheering for me to pull through. Not only that, but I can be that for other people." The title of the record comes from the chorus - 'give up all your ghosts, at least the ones you love the most, they're never holding you as close as you are holding them.' "Ghosts" will be released as a single tomorrow. All of the songs were written in a burst of creativity and Loebe says, "I've written albums full of what I needed to say, but this album is full of songs I need to hear." "Growing Up," cowritten with Megan Burtt speaks to rolling with the changes that life throws one's way, especially for women. The emotionally resonant closer
New Vinyl: $29.98 Buy
"Real music by real musicians." Prince's Musicology is available on limited edition purple vinyl for the first time for a new generation of true funk soldiers to discover! This classic 2004 album, released just after Prince's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, had millions grooving thanks to modern classics like "Musicology," "Call My Name" and "Cinnamon Girl."
"Never mind what time it is, the party's just begun…" Prince's chart-topping 3121 is available on limited edition purple vinyl for the first time ever! Originally released in 2006, this album features wall-to-wall jamz from the gentle "Te Amo Corazon" to the non-stop groove of "Black Sweat."
New Vinyl: $25.98 Buy
"Imagine holding Planet Earth in the palm of your hand…" For the first time, Prince's unforgettable 2007 album can be a part of your vinyl collection. Rediscover your favorite tracks on this premiere limited edition purple vinyl pressing with lenticular cover, from "Guitar" and "Chelsea Rodgers" to the Grammy-nominated "Future Baby Mama."
Alex Chilton, lead singer for the Boxtops and Big Star made these recordings of jazz standards in the 1990s. Many he heard in the 1950s growing up in a house full of music on a street called Robin Hood Lane in Memphis, Tennessee. Included are many rare and previously unreleased songs from the Great American Songbook: "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying," "Time After Time," and "My Baby Just Cares For Me."
Some know Alex Chilton as the lead singer of the Boxtops who had a number one hit in 1967 with “The Letter,” others know him from the majestic Beatlesque pop of Big Star or as the name in a song by the Replacements (“Children by the millions sing of Alex Chilton…”) Others know him as the songwriter of the theme song for That 70s Show. He was at the height of his cult star fame in the mid 1980s when he made these recordings. It is some of his best most honest work oddly neglected for some time but delivered here for enthusiasts and neophytes alike. Includes B-A-B-Y, Guantanaamerika, Let Me Get Close to You and many more.
On 8th February 2019, Eric Gales returns with his brand new album ‘The Bookends’ on Provogue/Mascot Label Group and it features collaborations with B. Slade and Provogue artists Doyle Bramhall II and Beth Hart. The challenge for making ‘The Bookends’ was for Gales to challenge himself. “As a guitar player it’s been established that I can play a little bit, just a little bit,” he smiles. But for this album he not only wanted to push himself as a musician, but also as a vocalist, to build up his vocal discography. Gales’ story is an incredible one, he was a child prodigy and released his debut album The Eric Gales Band in 1991 as a 16 year old on Elektra Records. It was the first of 10 albums on a major label through a blistering career. He has released 15 studio albums in total ahead of ‘The Bookends’ and a host of other collaborations. He has battled drink and drug issues and spent time in jail in 2009 for possession of drugs and a weapon. Gales proudly tells his story every night before every show, now over two years sober he is creating some of the most breath-taking music he has ever made. If his previous album ‘Middle of the Road’ was the rebirth of Eric Gales, then ‘The Bookends’ is him knocking away his boundaries and taking flight on a voyage of self-discovery asking himself what do you think you can do and pushing that into the stratosphere.
Springhead Works is the second release by Craven Faults. The journey picks up where Netherfield Works left off. We're still in no rush to reach our destination. If anything, we're travelling more slowly than before. For this late night drive through the Yorkshire moors, the Farfisa drone is a constant companion over another two long form pieces. The mist never clears to reveal the scale of the scenery. There are brief glimpses. Patience is rewarded. Where have we been since the last time? The UFO Club, 1966. Runcorn via Stockholm a few years later. Progress. But at what cost? The Scottish Borders have been mentioned. The landscape is reminiscent of home. Rolling hills. Long hot summers. The smell of dusty 1/4" tape. Fairfield Halls, 1970. It's all a little hazy. Ask a question, but don't be surprised to get a question back in reply. When was the last time you listened without distraction? Do you remember how it feels to lose yourself completely? Each tiny variation becomes seismic. A lost cause? Perhaps. Progress. But at what cost?
Playing dark, sonically massive guitar-based heavy rock without sounding excessively metallic, ORB draws tonguein- cheek inspiration from doom rock and psychedelia. The Geelong, Victoria natives earned a solid reputation among Australian hard rock fans and a deal with Flightless Records, the label founded by King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard. ORB’s 2/8 release, Space Between, is offered on split-color vinyl (½ white + ½ black) via Flightless/ATO Records.