Indie Exclusive Releases
La Dispute is five close friends from the Upper Midwest with a firm passion for the concept of music and art as a medium for making new friends. As a result, La Dispute makes (or strives to make) music that is both artistically, technically, and emotionally engaging in hopes of establishing legitimate connections with any and all interested people, while encouraging dialogue between those people and themselves about things in life that truly matter and that truly last. La Dispute also carries a firm passion for the relevance of a live show, both for the bands involved and for the people in attendance, and will go to the grave believing that the environment created when strangers come together despite their differences to celebrate one important thing is invaluable and should not under any circumstances be taken for granted.
Vinyl: $19.99 PRE ORDER
As for the album, for L+M, Canterbury Girls refers to a real place they know, in Broad Ripple, IN - and for them, as Madeleine explains," it’s the first place of adolescent freedom, the first place of blossoming girlhood - and a place to imagine the future a girl wants,” But the opposite is also at play; when youthful dreams are lost and the kind of emotional baggage that women have to carry, more often than not, becomes their burden. Burdens of disgust, of pain, unwanted attention, and trauma - the double standard, the disappointments, the disrespect, the fury, the helplessness, and the resignation. Sharing the angst bundled baggage and taking refuge in sharing and realizing you aren’t alone… that’s when healing begins. It’s the story of many, and the story of Canterbury Girls everywhere.
Vinyl: $22.98 PRE ORDER
Hello. I'm Robert Ellis, The Texas Piano Man. I wanted to take a moment to say a few words about this record and what you might expect from it. Texas Piano Man is a collection of songs specifically written for my piano driven Rock & Roll band from the great state of Texas. Myself and the guys bring these songs to you in the very spirit of Texas itself; loudly, confidently, over the top, larger than life, at times deadly serious and yet always with a wink and a smile. We invite you to come on in, stay a while, and when you leave take with you the spirit of these songs, the spirit of Texas, and the spirit of The Texas Piano Man himself. Adios!
Piroshka is the latest project of Miki Berenyi, frontwoman of British shoegazers Lush. It is also a UK alt-rock supergroup with Moose’s KJ McKillop and Modern English’s Mick Conroy and Elastica’s Justin Welch.
Vinyl: $31.98 PRE ORDER
Because this edition is so limited, it is available for in store purchase only. Come on in!
Single LP on opaque yellow & red swirl vinyl in same packaging as standard LP. 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.
Vinyl: $18.98 PRE ORDER
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.
Almost Free, the new release from FIDLAR touches on many of the tragedies and irritations of modern life: existential dread, gentrification, the inescapable sway of the super-rich and the self-involved, post-breakup telecommunication, performative wokeness, the loneliness of sobriety or the lack thereof. But through sheer force of imagination and an unchecked joie de vivre, the L.A.-based band manages to turn feeling wrong into something glorious and essential. In the age of joyless self-care, Almost Free makes a brilliant case for being less careful, for living without fear of fucking up, and possibly embracing any incurred damage as a lucky symptom of being alive. The album sees the band pushing boundaries into new territory and influences while staying true to their unshakable core. "A lot of the vibe was, 'Well, why can't we do that? Why can't we have horns? Why can't we have key changes? Why can't we have a harmonica loop?', said lead singer/guitarist Zac Carper. It was abouttaking the ceiling off. Having it be limitless. Ain't no rules." Elvis added "Almost Free feels like a step forward for us in a lot of ways. We tried to be true to ourselves and let the music come out naturally, without fear of how people would receive it.
Following the ever-emotive Boo Boo, Toro Y Moi’s new album Outer Peace is a time capsule that captures our relationship to contemporary culture into one comprehensive, sonic package. As both a producer and designer, Bear utilizes abstract sound pairings with recognizable samples for his most pop influenced record to date, including features from ABRA, WET, and Instupendo. This is no departure from his funk and disco roots, which can be heard on “Ordinary Pleasure”, later fusing into variations of house with tracks like “Freelance” and “Laws of the Universe.” Smooth interludes melt into fast paced beats, paralleling the feeling of driving through the Bay Area, where Bear spent most of his time writing the album. Outer Peace is duality. It embodies whatever form you choose to inhabit in the moment. Listen and let your imagination become the universe.
**LIMITED EDITION - INSTORE ONLY**
Icons KAREN O and DANGER MOUSE (a.k.a. Brian Burton) unveil their first recording as a duo, “LUX PRIMA”. The song is the first to be released from a forthcoming joint album. “After making music for the past twenty years and embarking on making this record with Brian I knew a couple things: one was that the spirit of collaboration between us was going to be a pure one, and two was that the more I live the less is clear to me,” said O. “When you create from a blurry place you can go places further than you’ve ever been. I think we both were excited to go far out.” “LUX PRIMA” is the first release from iconic Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman KAREN O and legendary musician-producer DANGER MOUSE. In addition to four albums with Yeah Yeah Yeahs and a solo album, Crush Songs, Grammy-nominated O has contributed to soundtracks for Where The Wild Things Are and Her, for which she was nominated for an Oscar. Grammy- winning artist DANGER MOUSE’s projects include Gnarls Barkley, Broken Bells and Danger Doom as well as work with Adele, Gorillaz, ASAP Rocky and beyond.
Vinyl: $24.98 PRE ORDER
Here Swings The Judge is Milt Hinton’s first LP as a band leader, and includes intimate, private recordings featuring Ben Webster on tenor saxophone before his departure to Europe in 1964. The remaining tracks consist of dynamic studio recordings produced by Harry Lim, and feature prominent players such as Jon Faddis and Budd Johnson. These sessions range from the swinging “Blue Skies,’ to the slow, serene blues of “Blues for the Judge.” This is truly an impressive collection of recordings from the group of early jazz musicians.
Vinyl: $22.98 PRE ORDER
Topping the Billboard R&B charts in 1957, Bill Justis' "Raunchy" is one of the most successful rock & roll instrumental tracks of all time. Having grown up in Memphis, Justis played an integral part in the development of rock music, working with artists on the legendary Sun Record Company, as well as recording music for himself. This collection of instrumentals pays homage to 1960's era rock & roll scene of the south. Now the album has been remastered for its first vinyl pressing in nearly five decades.
This holiday LP is brimming with jazz rarities plucked from the Prestige, Contemporary, and Debut label vaults. Notable artists include pianist Bobby Timmons, known for playing with Chet Baker and here contributing covers of "White Christmas" and "You're All I Want For Christmas," and tenor saxophone greats Dexter Gordon and Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, each performing spirited takes on "The Christmas Song." The Christmas Collection songs, most of which are long out-of-print, have been remastered from original audio tapes and then pressed on festive translucent red vinyl. Remastered from the original tapes by Paul Blakemore at CMG Mastering and lacquers cut by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio. Pressed on translucent red vinyl at RTI.
On December 7, Merge Records will reissue Hot Issue, a dozen turn-of-the-century new digs and old finds recorded by Redd Kross in Hollywood between 1980 and 2007. Available on limited-edition translucent fluorescent green Peak Vinyl, licorice black vinyl, and CD, this collection of top-quality recordings features Redd Kross rarities and focuses on the band’s most explosively creative period from the early ’90s straight through to Researching the Blues, all mastered from the original source tapes for optimal audio fidelity by Bill Inglot and Dave Schultz at d2. An energetic compilation created to be a complete play experience with unreleased and rare tracks unearthed from the Jeff McDonald archives, Hot Issue is a total must for all Redd Kross fans around the world!
The 1975’s highly anticipated third studio album A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships will be released on Friday, November 30th via Dirty Hit / Interscope Records. Their debut album The 1975 is now platinum with their most recently released album I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it surpassing Gold after having debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200.
“I’m afraid I’m on the Willie Nelson retirement program, which means I’ll never retire,” promises Jim Heath, sounding every inch a Texan.
By day, Jim Heath is a mild-mannered musical historian well-versed in the birthing days of rock and roll. But when the sun goes down, he straps on his signature Gretsch 6120, steps up to the mike and is transformed into REVEREND HORTON HEAT, a hellfire-spewing, rock and roll dare-demon.
Jim’s tome is iconic: From recording with Lemmy Kilmister, being revered by country music legends like Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, touring with Soundgarden, ZZ Top, The Cramps, Social Distortion, White Zombie and the Sex Pistols (a young Lydon was connected to Jim’s original 1985 demo), to providing touring opps to upstarts Kyuss, Hank III, Marilyn Manson and countless others across decades on the road.
Heath and longtime confidant and slap-bass general Jimbo Wallace have polished up their 12th release, Whole New Life, which Heath calls “the most positive material I have ever written. It focuses heavily on rock and roll but there is a human interest parallel - songs about growing up poor, vices, marriage, having children and walking the rapturous streets of America.”
DANIEL ROMANO FINALLY FREE Finally Free marks Daniel Romanos eighth long playing album in the last eight years. He has had what understatedly would be considered a prolific output of incredibly entrancing, poignant and creative records in this span of time. Recording, producing, designing and landing his records into the minds and hearts of scores of fans the world over. He has been called a shapeshifter, contrived, a chameleon, a Charlatan, the best living songwriter, an asshole and a genius. His last record, Modern pressure received outstandingly high acclaim and praise from every notable publication out there and was acknowledged by most reputable for-profit-prize-corporations as well as a plethora of voguish music-as-competitive-sport year end lists. Despite being the bronze placeholder in most of these dogfights, he is most often noted as a person of astounding influence on all of his musically economic successors. No matter what he does, everything he puts out is better than anything else being put out by anyone else. Unnamed Subjugate.
New Vinyl: $149.98 Buy
6LP in case-wrapped folio book with 48-page book and exclusive lithograph, sticker.
Reprise Recordswill releaseAn American Treasure-a career-spanningTom Pettybox set.The 60-track set unveils dozens of previously unreleased recordings, alternate versions of classic songs, rarities, historic live performances and deep tracks that spotlight Tom's remarkable depth and evolution as a revered and tremendously influential songwriter, recording artist and performer.An American Treasuremarks the first release of Tom Petty music since the artist's tragic passing in October 2017.
New Vinyl: $35.98 Buy
HOLOGRAPHIC COVER, 18X24 POSTER, LTD TO 1500
"MISTER PEEPERS” is a song steeped in political satire, and was recently written and recorded by Ben Folds for a project in conjunction with the Washington Post Sunday Magazine. The Post approached Folds to write a song that spotlights the art of storytelling, and Folds choose to focus, with research assistance from a Post political writer, on a character currently in the news, deputy FBI Director Rod Rosenstein.
Punk legend and X co-founder John Doe has spent decades building a career that spans across various genres and even formats, with dozens of acting credits in fi lm and TV. Particle Kid is the musical identity of singer-songwriter, musician, and visual artist Micah Nelson, who - despite his young age - has an equally impressive resume. The two have played together at Willie Nelson's Luck Reunion festival and the iconic Pappy & Harriet's in Joshua Tree, CA, as well as sharing the stage for a tribute to The Doors at the Founders Award ceremony.
On this split release, the two artists cover each others' tunes with their own interpretation. As a bonus, John Doe covers a Carter Family favorite, and Particle Kid covers outsider folk hero Michael Hurley. The release is mastered at 45RPM and pressed on a 12'' gold color LP, exclusively for Black Friday.
Tony Bennett and Diana Krall celebrate their shared love of the music of George and Ira Gershwin with this limited edition 10” single of Fascinating Rhythm. Fascinating Rhythm was Tony Bennett’s first physical recording in 1949, made under his then stage name, Joe Bari, which he revisits as a duet with Krall for this project. This collectable 10” single is available exclusively for Record Store Day and limited to just 3,000 copies which features a die cut jacket.
New Vinyl: $26.98 Buy
November sees the release of MERRIE LAND, the second album from The Good, The Bad & The Queen, a band comprising of Damon Albarn, Paul Simonon, Tony Allen and Simon Tong.
The Good, The Bad & The Queen began life as the acclaimed 2007 album of the same name, a heartfelt tribute to London described by The Observer in a 5 star review as –“One of the most surprising and magical records for which Damon Albarn has ever been responsible”. The record traced a journey from the English music hall tradition to West Africa and Afrobeat, zigzagging through the West Indies and its reggae and dub, back to England and London's punk scene, all the while taking in a strand of British beat music from the '50s right through to Britpop. The result was a record specific to a place and mood but with a background that was geographically wide-ranging.
Now the four musical storytellers are back with a new studio album titled Merrie Land. Produced by Tony Visconti and The Good, The Bad & The Queen was completed in London and Wales this year, during the current ongoing period in which the UK is preparing to leave the European Union, Merrie Land is a questioning good-bye letter, a series of observations and reflections on Britishness in 2018. Even though it has been over 10 years since the band last released a record, the timing could not be more apt – there could not be a more perfect band to untangle the optimism, disorientation and confusion in the atmosphere today. With Merrie Land, the band taps into a creative symbiosis of past and future, drawing inspiration from their shared glittering musical histories and wrapping the hybrid results in a brilliantly postmodern yet thoroughly British package.
The album sees the band’s focus move beyond London with a beautiful and hopeful paean to the Britain of today - an inclusive Britain - and the possibilities of the future. In the band’s own words, Merrie Land is a ten song lament of Anglo-Saxosentialism marking the reluctant end of a relationship, and about picking up the pieces and seeing what can be salvaged. The band set a beautifully muted palette and lustrous finish to bring out a mood that is bruised yet unapologetically defiant and optimistic, and carries the underlying message: we will survive. In times of metaphysical trauma, the people need to forge ahead and wear armour. Here it is, set to the mood music of a nation about to be broken yet undefeated.
For his new album Upside Down Flowers, out November 16, 2018 via Fantasy Records, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness teamed up with noted producer and acclaimed musician Butch Walker (Pink, Weezer, Panic! At The Disco). Featuring standout tracks like 'Ohio,' 'Teenage Rockstars' and 'Paper Rain,' the album is a striking collection of wistful and biting tunes that reflect the past and our chaotic present.
Set for release on November 9, the bands fourth LP 'Take Good Care' is previewed with the first single 'All My Friends,' a song brimming with confidence that unleashes the bands next chapter. The track which is already Top 3 at AAA and Top 10 at Modern Rock. 'All my Friends' will cross over to Hot AC in early October followed by Top 40. This is just the start! 'You Said it All', 'Oh No' and 'Some People Say' are just a few of the potential chart-toppers in this collection, which was co-produced with Dave Cobb (Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton) and Andrew Dawson (Kanye, Fun) it's a project showcasing new found depth and craft that mark a band bent on proving they are far more than a band synonymous with a single song.
New Vinyl: $31.98 Buy
Les Paul’s resume is hard to top. Paul was a self-taught guitarist, specializing in jazz, country, and blues. He was also a prominent songwriter, luthier, and inventor. He's credited for pioneering the solid-body electric guitar, along with many recording innovations that are used widely today. After You’ve Gone features an impressive twenty eight songs recorded by Les Paul & His Trio between 1944-1945. The release was remastered for vinyl at Infrasonic Mastering, and pressed on vinyl for the first time ever at Pallas Group in Germany.
Cult Leader is a chaotic band from Salt Lake City, Utah. “A Patient Man” was recorded and engineered by Kurt Ballou at God City Studios (Converge, Nails, High On Fire). From the first hits of opener “I Am Healed” Cult Leader take listeners on a sonic rollercoaster ride. Much of the album follows this blueprint. Songs like “Curse of Satisfaction”, “Craft of Mourning”, and “Share My Pain” are driven by a weave work of unorthodox metallic riffing and fueled by hyper-aggressive percussion. While the tech- nical proficiency is impressive, it’s in their use of dynamics where they truly shine. The album contains four beautifully brooding epics; “To: Achlys”, “A World of Joy”, title track “A Patient Man”, and “The Broken Right Hand of God”. Each one of them carries a maturation and sense of melody that few “extreme” bands have within their arsenal. Proving that aggressive music still has much to offer the world in terms of originality, creativity, and emotion.
Never before been pressed to vinyl, Shirley Horn’s Softly is reflective of the album’s late night recording sessions at Peirre Sprey’s home recording studio in rural Maryland, aptly named Mapleshade Studio. The 1988 release is commonly referred to as one of Horn’s most introspective and emotionally intensive records to date. With her sidemen Charles Ables (bass) and Steve Williams (percussion) gathered into a quaint, pastoral living room full of recording equipment, the trio plowed through the tunes, tracking almost until dawn. The album was remastered for vinyl at Infrasonic Mastering and pressed on audiophile-grade vinyl at Pallas Group in Germany.
Micah P. Hinson is an old fashioned trouble man who fell prey to drugs and loose women, winding up homeless, destitute and incarcerated by the time most of his peers were filling out college applications. Music was his savior, and since his 2003 debut, he s pieced together a life for himself in his sleepy hometown of Abilene, TX. Recorded in 24 hours somewhere in east Texas, the new album is the follow up to last year's universally-lauded, Micah P. Hinson Presents the Holy Strangers.
JD McPherson presents A Christmas Album, SOCKS. Featuring 11 original tracks written by JD McPherson and his friends. SOCKS is an album of Holidays songs sure to be standards while you are decorating the tree. Come get warm by the fire with songs such as , "All The Gifts I Need" and "Every Single Christmas." Or, burn the cookies to "SOCKS" and "Ugly Christmas Sweater." There is something for everyone on this record to enjoy whether you are in the Christmas spirit or if you just wanna say, "Bah Humbug".
My childhood memories of Christmas aren't warm and fuzzy. The holidays were more of a nuisance for my parents than cause for celebration. This is not to say that on behalf of their only child they didn't give the season a halfhearted try. There were Christmases when I found under the tree an electric football set, a Daisy pump air-rifle and a basketball goal that never got nailed up. But, there were also mornings when apples, oranges, hickory nuts and a hammer signified that year's bounty. Which is to say that Christmas in our household was mostly a wait-and-see proposition. I was finally ready to record an album of original Christmas songs. With Dan Knobler producing and some very gifted musicians and vocalists lending their talents, the making of the album Christmas Everywhere ranks as some of the most enjoyable recording sessions I've ever experienced. The record was close to being finished when it occurred to me that to set the tone for the albums mostly irreverent subtext, I needed to compose a lyrical prelude. In honor of Clement Moore, who wrote the poem we all know as, 'The Night Before Christmas,' I came up with a short piece called 'Clement's Lament (We'll See You in The Mall)'. Tania Hancheroff and Kim Keyes stopped by the studio and performed the tune with Jordan Lehning's orchestral backing and the album was pronounced complete. Seasons Cheer, Rodney Crowell
Since the early 90s Sweden’s Opeth have stretched the boundaries of heavy music. From the progressive death metal the band began with on classics like “Orchid” and “My Arms, Your Hearse” to the records like “Blackwater Park” and the band’s recent record, 2016’s “Sorceress”, Opeth has continually invited their growing audience along with them as they grew into the musically respected band they are today. Filmed and recorded in 2017 at Red Rocks Amphitheatre outside of Denver, “Garden of the Titans (Opeth Live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre)” is a 2-CD/BLU-RAY + DVD release (along with several vinyl color formats) consisting of tracks spanning the band’s nearly 30 year career.
The original electronic music trailblazers -The Prodigy- are back with some of their fiercest ever tunes. ‘No Tourists’, has been written, produced and mixed over the last year by Liam Howlett in his studio in London’s Kings Cross. Though this is – Liam notes – “very much a band album”. Maxim and Keef Flint are very much present and correct, each supplying their legendary vocal skills on this, the Essex machine’s seventh studio record. Yes, there are one or two collaborators, but fundamentally this is the sound of the central Prodigy three, bringing their riotous sound to audiences old and new, two decades since they changed the face and sound of electronic music with epochal album ‘The Fat Of The Land’. Expanding on the general shape of the project, Liam says: “this album is equally aggressive as the last records – but in a different way." A musician, songwriter and studio maestro, Howlett is as rigorous and righteously Up For It as he was when he formed his 28-years-young band. He explains that, as ever, the new songs “are built to play live. That’s the one thing that brings everything together. I couldn’t write this music unless it has that outlet on stage. That helps write the music. This is what I do it for: the live thing. And until we feel like we can’t do it, or the buzz goes, we won’t stop." It’s that sense of do-or-die commitment that is reflected in the album title. “To us, ‘No Tourists’ is ultimately about escapism and the want and need to be derailed. Don’t be a tourist - there is always more danger and excitement to be found if you stray from the set path.”
Saves The Day have been through a lot over the past two decades: Van accidents, member changes, the emo explosion, and the adventures that carried the act and their fans from adolescence to adulthood. But they’ve never had a proper history of the band… until now. Saves The Day’s ninth album 9 tells the story of the band from the perspective of the band’s founder Chris Conley and does it in a way that’s as exhaustive as it is poetic and makes the listener a part of the songwriting process. From a narrative standpoint, 9 chronicles the epic story of a group of kids from New Jersey who realized their dream and became international sensations. However, on a more existential level, it shows how Conley “woke up” and became aware of his own consciousness through his relationship with music and the unbelievable adventures it inspired since he formed the act in 1997.
Oakland, CA trio Super Unison features Meghan O’Neil (formerly of PUNCH) on bass and vocals, Kevin DeFranco on guitar, and Justin Renninger (formerly of Snowing) on drums. Formed in 2014, the band released their acclaimed album "Auto" on Deathwish in 2017. Their new album "Stella" was recorded by Steve Albini (Nirvana, Pixies, Jawbreaker), produced by Don Devore (Ink & Dagger), and mastered by Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Oathbreaker). It is an aggressive and sonically dynamic outpouring of post punk emotion. Though they tackle dark and personal subject matter, they ultimately find a light that cuts through the dark, and a way to get through the loss and loneliness we all face.
New Vinyl: $19.98 Buy
Out 26th October, Cohesion is the third album from London based producer Masaaki Yoshida aka Anchorsong. Whose unique gift for combining catchy melodic phrasing with idiosyncratic beats and vintage African influences, positioned his latest Ceremonial LP at #5 in BBC 6Musics Albums of 2016.
Wick Records is honored to release the sophomore long player from Virginia's Troglodytic Troubadours, the group with the antediluvian je ne sais quoi: The AR-KAICS! Recorded in three days at Adrian Olsen's Montrose Studio and Produced by Wayne Gordon (Black Lips, King Gizzard..., John Spencer Blues Explosion, Michael Rault,) In This Time is a low brow journey through the teen-beat sounds of the 1960's... AND BEYOND! From the opening crude thud of "Don't Go with Him, the Velvet Underground-tinged swagger of "She's Obsessed with Herself", the breezy, late-period psych of "Long Way Down," to the unpretentious, sap-free balladry of "It's Her Eyes," The Ar-Kaics flex their deft understanding of the subtle intricacies that define bonafide garage rock. A must for fans of the Back from the Grave compilations.
Aviary is LA composer Julia Holter's most breathtakingly expansive album yet, full of startling turns and dazzling instrumental arrangements. The follow-up to her critically acclaimed 2015 record, Have You in My Wilderness, it takes as its starting point a line from a short story by Etel Adnan: "I found myself in an aviary full of shrieking birds." It’s a scenario that sounds straight out of a horror movie, but it’s also agood metaphor for life in 2018, with its endless onslaught of political scandals, freakish natural disasters, and voices shouting their desires and resentments into the void.
Pleasureland is the newest work from Canadian-born artist Haley McCallum, known professionally as Haley Bonar for the past 15 years. In 2017, she changed her surname to reflect her maternal family name, now performing under the name HALEY. Stark, minimalist, and melodically entrancing, Pleasureland stands in a class entirely of it's own, forging new but not unfamiliar ground for the Minnesota-based artist HALEY. Harkening back to her 2011 release Golder, which featured two instrumental tracks, McCallum has taken the instrumental concept a few steps further in a bold musical statement which features no vocals.
New Vinyl: $23.98 Buy
Across two decades, eight albums, and a multitude of singles, splits, and EPs, Alkaline Trio has built a reputation as a defining act in punk rock’s modern era. Formed in Chicago by vocalist-guitarist Matt Skiba in 1996, the band would come into its own with its debut album Goddammit in 1998. Since then, the band has continually evolved, incorporating new influences with each record while achieving artistic, critical, and commercial success along the way. It’s been 5 years since Alkaline Trio released their last studio album, My Shame Is True. In that time, they’ve toured the world, sold over a million records, including a 20th Anniversary – 8 LP live box set, recorded on their 2014-15 Past Live tour. Since those Past Live shows, Andriano and drummer Derek Grant both released solo albums, and Skiba joined blink-182, releasing the chart-topping album California with the band. Alkaline Trio’s live shows have always been thrilling due to the fact that, even as the band ascended through the ranks of punk, they always retained the feeling of three friends excited to be on stage together. “When I think of a Trio live show,” says Skiba, “I always go back to the humble beginnings of the band, and I want that to always be in this band.” Alkaline Trio closed 2017 with a coveted opening slot for The Original Misfits, a band Skiba describes as his “first love,” Alkaline Trio is primed to step back into the spotlight. “We have the wind at our backs, it seems,” says Skiba. “Every aspect of the band—be it business or artistically or whatever—it feels like the Gods are in our corner.” Andriano agrees, and says that he’s ready to make the band’s best record yet. “I wanna be a band that people want to hear new stuff from. Because I feel like I’m still in a band that wants to write good, new music.” “Is This Thing Cursed?” will prove that good, new music is worth the wait.
Stay Out Late is ultimately, the end result of understanding who we are, and more importantly, who we are not.
This will be our 15th year as a band, and our 5th record overall. In the years preceding the making of this record, we all had to define what it meant for us to be happy making music. There are certain mechanisms and tropes we all fall into as a result. And as hard as we may try to emulate what we consider to be higher art, or rather, classic music; we always end up with a Buxton record.
Sergio couldn't write for almost 2 years after 'Half A Native'. The answers to "why" had run dry. We all saw each other, hung out and everything was like normal. I can't really pinpoint the moment it all made sense again. The question had suddenly changed to "why not" and we were back in the studio making demos. There was a lurking sense that nobody would ever hear these songs, and that lead to a sort of creativity I'm not sure we'd really experienced before. All ideas were on the table, and more importantly they stayed on the table.
There are a handful of truly great masterpieces and the attempt of achieving that is one of the most daunting and exhausting pursuits any artist can take on. In the van we're constantly educating ourselves and finding new and in many cases old points of inspiration. Whether it be Mark Hollis, HC McEntire, Mickey Newbury or rediscovering the genius of Bette Midler, we find ourselves at the mercy of our own limitations of expression. Yet somehow in our most vulnerable project, we're simultaneously the most comfortable in our skin as we've ever been.
The core of this record is about being in it for the long haul, looking back, and being able to accept it all. We can only hope that the listener can in some way share and make tangible the joy that went into making this record.
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Following twenty albums over 50 years, Yoko Ono's Warzone is a strikingly different record from those she has previously made. Revisiting and reimagining 13 songs from her past work, spanning 1970-2009, the lyrics and messages are still pertinent perhaps even more pertinent-in 2018. Recent US presidents and many of our world leaders have never served in the military, yet they continually nourish and serve the corporate-infused military industrial complex, keeping the world in a perpetual warfare. Warzone further builds the legacy of an artist unparalleled in her unique and singular vision. With it's stripped down recordings and arrangements, and a particular emphasis on Yoko's voice and lyrics, the content of her message rings clear and unencumbered, with wisdom and fortitude her power has intensified with time and life experience.
Live From The Ryman was primarily recorded during the group’s six sold out nights at Nashville’s legendary Ryman Auditorium in 2017. The double album features 13 live versions of songs from their last three critically acclaimed, award-winning studio albums - Southeastern (2013), Something More Than Free (2015), The Nashville Sound (2017).
Visit recordstoreday.com and enter to win an autographed test pressing which was signed just before they went on stage for another multi-night stand at the "Mother Church".
Last Building Burning is the product of eight days with producer Randall Dunn (Sunn O))), Wolves in the Throne Room, Boris) in Texas studio Sonic Ranch. Clocking in just over half an hour, the eight-song album sees Cloud Nothings capture their onstage appeal with help from Dunn, who Baldi describes as “technically minded without relying on technology to perfect the live sound.” In that, Last Building Burning is a return to Cloud Nothing’s sharpest form — the unhinged, feverish, guitar-heavy sound that they explode with onstage — without their early angst. “It’s not an angry record,” says Baldi. “It’s a very joyous thing for me. And it feels so nice to scream again, especially when you know people in the crowd will be screaming along back at you.”
Ace Frehley is on a roll, and he’s ready to embark on his next musical journey with Spaceman, his third solo outing in four years, and eighth overall. Amongst Ace’s post-KISS recorded output, Spaceman might be the closest link to his widely acclaimed 1978 solo record, both in spirit and execution. First off, Frehley played all of the guitar parts on Spaceman, as well as bass on all but two songs. Longtime drummer Anton Fig, whose friendship with Ace began in that 1978 record, also appears on “Off My Back” and “Pursuit of Rock and Roll” (longtime collaborators Scot Coogan and Matt Starr also play drums on Spaceman). There’s also a thematic, almost biographical, thread running through the album of a long life in rock ’n’ roll, although Ace admits it wasn’t intentional. The first single “Bronx Boy” lays out Ace’s pre-KISS roots, running wild with an Irish street gang called the Ducky Boys. It might be his grittiest song to date, with an opening riff that lashes out like a switchblade. “Pursuit of Rock and Roll” ticks off a list of rockers that made Ace who he is, including Little Richard and the Stones. Frehley also makes it clear that rock is truly all he needs: “So sick of looking at reality TV / and like the Beatles said, you gotta ‘Let It Be.’” “No need to worry, I’ll be home soon, ’cause I’m rockin’ with the boys,” Frehley sings on “Rockin’ With the Boys,” which tells the tales of life on the road. Ace says he wrote the original version of the song back in KISS’s heyday in the ’70s—if you listen closely, it could almost be seen as a rockin’ counterpart to the Peter Criss-penned KISS classic “Beth.” Speaking of KISS brethren, let’s get back to those two songs on Spaceman that Ace didn’t play bass on. One listen of opener “Without You I’m Nothing” should be a dead giveaway. That mighty dinosaur growl of a bass tone belongs to Gene Simmons, who co-wrote that song, along with “Your Wish Is My Command,” with the Space Ace at Frehley’s home studio in Rancho Santa Fe, California. Frehley's reconnection with Simmons and fellow KISS vocalist-guitarist Paul Stanley (who joined Ace on a cover of Free’s “Fire and Water” for 2016’s covers LP Origins, Vol. 1) might be chalked up to the fact that Frehley has been sober for more than a decade (he celebrated 12 years of sobriety in September). Ace’s clean living no doubt has a lot to do with his productive streak, which began with the release of his top 20 Anomaly album in 2009, his top 10 Space Invader LP in 2014 (a first for any KISS member); and continues with Spaceman (a title suggested by Gene Simmons himself). Spaceman is a lean-and-mean nine tracks, and includes what has become a trademark for any Ace joint, a cosmic instrumental. “Quantum Flux” is a classic prog ’n’ roll song from Frehley, with lush acoustics and twin-leads. Fans might also notice the song’s doomy outro, which nods to “Black Diamond” on KISS’s 1974 debut.
The Eclipse Sessions, John Hiatt’s newest album, offers up his strongest set of songs in years. Long celebrated as a skilled storyteller and keen observer of life’s twists and turns, Hiatt can get at the heart of a knotty emotion or a moment in time with just a sharp, incisive lyric or witty turn of phrase. The 11 tracks presented in The Eclipse Sessions, from the breezy opener “Cry to Me,” to the stark “Nothing in My Heart,” the lost-love lamentation “Aces Up Your Sleeve” to the rollicking “Poor Imitation of God,” demonstrate that the singer-songwriter, now 66, is only getting better with age, his guitar playing more rugged and rootsy, his words wiser and more wry.
Hiatt goes all in with The Eclipse Sessions. There’s a grit to these songs—a craggy, perfectly-imperfect quality that colors every aspect of the performances, right down to Hiatt’s vocals, which are quite possibly his most raw and expressive to date. “They ain’t pretty, that’s for sure,” he says about the creaks and cracks that punctuate his phrases in songs like “Poor Imitation of God” and “One Stiff Breeze.” “But I don’t mind a bit. All the catches and the glitches and the gruffness, that sounds right to me. That sounds like who I am.” The Eclipse Sessions is the sound of an artist not only living in but also capturing the moment.
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Travel can inspire in surprising ways: Kurt Vile discovered as much making his first record in three years, the eclectic and electrifying Bottle It In, which he recorded at various studios around the country over two very busy years, during sessions that usually punctuated the ends of long tours or family road trips. Every song, whether it’s a concise and catchy pop composition or a sprawling guitar epic, becomes a journey unto itself, taking unexpected detours, circuitous melodic avenues, or open-highway solos. If Vile has become something of a rock guitar god—a mantle he would dismiss out of humility but also out of a desire to keep getting better, to continue absorbing new music, new sounds, new ideas—it’s due to his precise, witty playing style, which turns every riff and rhythm into points on a map and takes the scenic route from one to the next. Using past albums as points of departure, Bottle It In heads off in new directions, pushing at the edges of the map into unexplored territory: Here be monster jams. These songs show an artist who is still evolving and growing: a songwriter who, like his hero John Prine, can make you laugh and break your heart, often in the same line, as well as a vocalist who essentially rewrites those songs whenever he sings them in his wise, laconic jive-talkin’ drawl. He revels in the minutiae of the music—not simply incorporating new instruments but emphasizing how they interact with his guitar and voice, how the glockenspiel evokes cirrocumulus clouds on “Hysteria,” how Kim Gordon’s “acoustic guitar distortion” (her term) engulfs everything at the end of “Mutinies,” how the banjo curls around his guitar lines and backing vocals from Lucius to lend a high-lonesome aura to “Come Again.” These journeys took Vile more than two years to navigate, during which time he toured behind his breakout 2015 album b’lieve I’m goin’ down, recorded a duets album with Australian singer-songwriter-guitarist Courtney Barnett, opened for Neil Young in front of 90,000 people in Quebec, famously became a clue on Jeopardy, hung out with friends, took vacations with his wife and daughters. “I’ve been bouncing around a lot and recording all over. My family would meet me in the middle of America, and we’d go on a road trip somewhere. I would record in between all that stuff.” As Vile prepares for another round of lengthy tours and countless shows, these songs should prove good company, reminders of the love and responsibility he has toward those he leaves at home and those he meets along the way. That makes the sentiments resonate more strongly and lends Bottle It In an emotional weight. “It’s like that moment on the airplane,” Vile says, “when you’re on your way somewhere and you have that burst of panic. When you’re terrified of dying, that’s when you want people to know you love them.” “Impeccably recorded and mixed songs that shuffle bits of folk, new wave, or country in the mix but are always squarely down-the-middle rock.” Mark Richardson, Pitchfork “Vile’s self-awareness is as appealing as his melodies, and he’s stoked a reputation as a bit of a slacker maharishi—at the very least, a look inside Vile’s head might make you think a bit more deeply about what’s going on in your own.” The New Yorker
Recorded in Hollywood, New York City and Vancouver, British Columbia, 'Look Now' is beautiful in its simplicity, reflective in its lyrical vision, surrounded by melodies and orchestrations that are nothing short of heavenly. It's the first album Costello has made with The Imposters since the 2008 release of 'Momofuku' and his first new album since the acclaimed 2013 Roots collaboration, 'Wise Up Ghost'.
'Look Now' is an outstanding 12-strong addition to his song catalogue. Most of the titles were written solely by Elvis Costello although, 'Don't Look Now' and 'Photographs Can Lie' were co-written with Burt Bacharach, who makes a guest appearance, leading The Imposters from the piano for those two ballads.
The album was co-produced by Elvis and Sebastian Krys - the Latin Grammy Producer of the Year for 2007 and 2015, whose love and understanding of music spans both hemispheres.
Translucent Red vinyl. 180g.
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Tom Morello is living proof of the transformative power of rock’n’roll. As the co-founder of Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave and Prophets Of Rage, and through collaborations with everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Johnny Cash, he has continually pushed the limits of what one man can do with six strings.
But on his latest album The Atlas Underground, he’s transformed his sound into something even he could not have anticipated, blending Marshall stack riff-rock with the digital wizardry of EDM and hip-hop to create the most ambitious artistic effort of his storied career.
The Atlas Underground includes collaborations with Marcus Mumford, Portugal. The Man, the Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA and GZA, Vic Mensa, K.Flay, Big Boi, Gary Clark Jr., Pretty Lights, Killer Mike and Whethan among others. “The riffs and the beats led the way, but the extraordinary talents of the collaborators set my creativity into uncharted territory,” says Morello of the project, which will be released October 12th, 2018 by Mom + Pop Music.
Nothing is ever straightforward with Connan Mockasin, and nothing should ever be straightforward with Connan Mockasin. This riddled rule has never resounded more than on Jassbusters, Mockasin’s third album and first in five years. An unclassifiable, unconventional album that neither picks up from nor abandons the modes of 2013’s widely-embraced Caramel or its 2010 predecessor Forever Dolphin Love, Jassbusters foreshadows a five-part melodrama titled Bostyn ’n Dobsyn, directed by and starring Mockasin. Jassbusters soundtracks the unpredictable narrative of the television series in eclectic, electric ways.
Whether bending genres for shits n’ giggles or collaborating with artists like James Blake, MGMT, John Cale, and Charlotte Gainsbourg, Connan Mockasin has always maneuvered in mysterious ways. After touring with the likes of Radiohead and Neil & Liam Finn (Crowded House), the Kiwi R&B surrealist continues assembling a cult around his theater, nay spectacle, of life with Bostyn ’n Dobsyn screenings and Jassbusters performances throughout October and November 2018.
Swedish psych quartet Les Big Byrd (featuring members of Caesars, Fireside, Teddybears, Viagra Boys etc) return with their second album, titled Iran Iraq IKEA, on October 12. The follow-up to 2014s acclaimed debut LP They Worshipped Cats (A Recordings), it follows the two sold-out Two Man Gang and A Little More Numb 7s, finding a middle ground between their pop sensibilties and kraut-y space rock. Following the release of They Worshipped Cats the band toured around the UK and Europe with The Brian Jonestown Massacre and GOAT, as well as a slot at Austin Psych Fest, earning a reputation as one of the finest live acts around, before seting off to record the long-awaited follow-up. Iran Iraq IKEA is available in a limited edition indie exclusive pressing on white vinyl, limited to 350 copies worldwide, alongside standard black vinyl and digipak CD.
Daniel Brandt, co-founder of acclaimed German ensemble Brandt Brauer Frick, is set to release his second solo album for London imprint Erased Tapes on October 12th. Titled Channels, the new record follows the release of the London and Berlin based producer's solo debut Eternal Something from 2017. The seven-track LP is Brandt's biggest statement yet, with the album's thrilling avant-garde framework interweaving chord-driven techno, orchestral flourishes, rich electronic textures and hints of dark cinematic pop. Following on from Eternal Something, which captured a contemplative kind of isolationism, with Channels Brandt set out to create an album that captures the essence of minimalism whilst lending it to a more playful context. After performing and recording Steve Reich's Six Pianos in a group of six, Brandt began regularly composing long meditations on the piano, something that permeates the sound of the new record. Its frenetic energy and shape-shifting identity was also born out of touring with his new band Eternal Something - comprised of Brandt on piano, drums and synthesisers, Pascal Bideau on guitar and bass, plus Florian Juncker on trombone - and a desire to translate both the sound and spiritual unity of their live shows in which musicians locked together to create an intriguing meld of expansive works.
Deluxe version includes a digipak CD (with 2 bonus tracks), full color vinyl stickers, a metal logo pin and an album cover bottle opener.
Estrela Mágica is a starcrossed collaboration between Samira Winter (Winter) and Glenn Brigman (Triptides). Sighting influences from Brazil’s colorful Tropicalia movement as well as the phased out sunshine psychedelia of the American 1960’s, Winter and Triptides started blending together their favorite musical colors into a brand new sonic palette. Two years and a dozen home recording sessions later, they had crafted enough material to form Estrela Mágica.
By most bands’ fifth LP, the sound is pretty set. Parameters established. Refinement dissipated in favor of to-formula execution of what’s worked in the past. Fair enough. All Them Witches go a harder route.
In 2017, the Nashville four-piece offered what might’ve otherwise become their own template in their fourth album, Sleeping Through the War. Also their second for New West Records behind 2015 mellow-vibing Dying Surfer Meets His Maker, it brought a larger production value to dug-in heavy psych blues jamming, with oversight from producer Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson).
After exploring new ground through their early work on 2013’s Lightning at the Door and 2012’s Our Mother Electricity as well as Dying Surfer, the band had arrived at something new, sprawling, and grander-feeling than anything before it.
So naturally in a year they’ve thrown that all to the Appalachian wind, turned the process completely on its head and gone the absolute other way: recording in a cabin in Kingston Springs, about 20 miles outside of Nashville on I-40, with guitarist Ben McLeod at the helm. Take that, expectation.
The result, mixed by Rob Schnapf (Beck, Elliott Smith, Kurt Vile), is the most intimate, human-sounding album All Them Witches have ever recorded and another redefinition of who they are as a band. Introducing keyboardist/percussionist Jonathan Draper to the fold with McLeod, bassist/vocalist Charles Michael Parks, Jr., and drummer/graphic artist Robby Staebler, All Them Witches’ All Them Witches isn’t self-titled by mistake.
It’s the band confirming and continuing to develop their approach, in the shuffle of “Fishbelly 86 Onions,” the organ-laced groove of “Half-Tongue,” the tense build of “HJTC” and the fluid jam in closer “Rob’s Dream.”
It’s a reaction to being a “bigger” band. To playing bigger shows, bigger tours, etc. From the sustained consonants in Parks’ vocals to McLeod’s commanding slide in “Workhorse” and drifting melancholy at the outset of “Harvest Feast,” All Them Witches is their laying claim to the essential facets of their identity.
And most crucial to that identity is its shifting nature. All Them Witches didn’t get to this point by resting on laurels, and if anything, the urgency of these tracks – fast pushers and sleepy jams alike – is among their greatest strengths.
It’s a rawer delivery, as stage-ready as the band itself, and as ever, it captures All Them Witches in this moment. Is it who they’ll be tomorrow? Who the hell knows? Check back in and we’ll all find out together. That’s the whole idea.
Industrial metal visionary AUTHOR & PUNISHER delivers his sixth full-length recording and Relapse debut Beastland. Drawing inspiration from his career as a mechanical engineer, Tristan Shone (the creator and sole artist behind AUTHOR & PUNISHER) forged a relationship with design, sound, and fabrication that ultimately yielded his hand-built “Drone Machines” which mapped the journey away from traditional instrumentation towards custom made “precision machinery.” A robotic experimentation in industrial metal, noise, doom and drone, AUTHOR & PUNISHER recalls Nine Inch Nails channeling Godflesh, traversing through dark, uncompromising, and often disturbing soundscapes with occasional detours into rich melodies and splinters of light. Armed with newly built “Drone Machines” and a new label, Beastland is AUTHOR & PUNISHER’s career-defining statement and a powerful listening experience that further blurs the line between man and machine.
Coheed and Cambria have distinguished themselves as among the most gifted storytellers in rock. While the most conceptually abstruse Coheed records have always had a foundation in reality,The Color Before the Sunmarks the first time Sanchez is exposing his raw feelings, narrated from his own perspective. His own story is told through big, bright, driving, colorful songs that beam like power-pop, crunch like vintage '90s emocore and float with the expansive feel of space-rock.
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A highly personalised sociopathic gem delivered as a futuristic rewriting of how music works, a melodious breeze with a tail wind of venomous din. A ten-track album, her tenth studio set. Enveloping the juxtaposition of the concept of dark sunshine , a brooding solo record creating with friends to expand her off-kilter sonic vision; a squally, squeaky mix of discordant beauty. Feedback and phasing gyrate from simply strummed normality, imagine Dinosaur Jr and My Bloody Valentine cranking up a Dylan couplet. Messing with both extremes of the sonic spectrum: atonal and arrhythmic, a unique sound and a glorious return to form for one of alternative rock s true innovators. Sometimes the most subversive thing I can do musically is adhere to standard song structure, sometimes the creepiest chords are the ones we ve heard before, twisted into different shapes, and sometimes a story is lived a thousand times before we can ride it like a roller coaster. Nothing wholly unfamiliar is gonna make you look twice. When you can describe a record as being deceptively anything, you re hinting at the sociopathic nature of music. Something I love. Imagine truly buying your own sunshine and charm, but also your darkness and violence; the two sides of your psychology showing each other off in relief. Songs can do that...we can t, really. Darkness we ve seen. Kristin Hersh, July 2018
Eternal Return, the fourth full length from Richmond, Virginia’s heavy psychedelic quartet WINDHAND represents a new era for the group, a chrysalis moment that takes them to new and unforeseen heights. Across nine songs and 63 minutes, Eternal Return is an infectious display of songcraft cloaked in alluring atmosphere, molten fuzz, eerie psychedelia and ethereal vocals. The album was once again produced by Jack Endino (Nirvana, Soundgarden) with vivid artwork by Arik Roper (Sleep, High on Fire). Equally informed by heavy, fuzzed-out psych along with the iconic grunge / alternative groups of the 90s, WINDHAND have crafted a record brilliant in scope, powerful in execution, and perfect for an era of increasingly blurry yet still heavy borders.
Twenty One Pilots shook the world with the release of their 2015 LP BLURRYFACE, an album that would go on to sell over 7 million copies worldwide and earn the band their first ever GRAMMY® Award as they shattered longstanding chart records, and captivated audiences worldwide on sold-out arena runs and at international festivals. Now three years later, the duo of Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun have returned to write the next chapter of their story with TRENCH, the band's highly anticipated new studio album. TRENCH finds Twenty One Pilots fearlessly reimagining the possibilities of their music through the same candid expression and genuine identity that helped to cement their place as one of the largest bands in the world.
Bunnymen Classics Transformed & New Songs With Strings & Things Attached ‘I’m not doing this for anyone else. I’m doing it as it’s important to me to make the songs better. I have to do it.’ Ian McCulloch This new studio album will see The Bunnymen, still lead by the indominable Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant, revisit some of their greatest songs to rearrange and transform them with co producer Andy Wright…and strings and things. Expect a couple of brand new tracks to accompany the classics. Echo & the Bunnymen's dark, swirling fusion of post-punk and The Doors/The Velvets-inspired pop psychedelia has brought the group twenty top 20 hits and nine top 20 albums in the UK so far in their 40 year career. The band have come a long way from the group's infamous first concert as a three-piece with a drum machine in 1979 at the legendary Erics club in Liverpool, The Bunnymen still perform sell-out concerts across the world today. Their seminal albums 'Crocodiles', 'Heaven Up Here', 'Porcupine' and 'Ocean Rain' have been a major influence for acts such as Coldplay, The Killers and The Flaming Lips whilst later albums 'Evergreen' and 'What Are You Going To Do With Your Life?' and 'Siberia & Meteorites' demonstrate what an amazing body of work the band have. The Bunnymen are still revered by those in the best of popular culture. In the past year alone, the highly acclaimed and culturally phenomenal Netflix series 'Stranger Things' has used the song 'Nocturnal Me' whilst the equally comparable '13 Reasons Why' has used 'The Killing Moon', a song also used on another Netflix show, 'Dead of Summer'.
Swearin’ is the kind of band that comes around, at best, once a decade. Thankfully for us, they’ve come around twice. After releasing two beloved full-lengths, 2012’s Swearin’ and 2013’s Surfing Strange, the Philadelphia band quietly put things on hold. It was due, at least in part, to the band’s main songwriters, Allison Crutchfield and Kyle Gilbride, ending their romantic relationship. And though Swearin’ tried to soldier on, it became far too stressful to keep going. But after a few years apart, those bad feelings disappeared. And when the band’s three members—Crutchfield, Gilbride, and drummer Jeff Bolt—found themselves in a room again, the conversation inevitably turned back to Swearin’. “Drunkenly, without any hesitation or inhibitions,” said Crutchfield, “we asked, ‘What would it take from each of us? What would we need to do this again? What would we want to accomplish if we decided to be a band again?’” They realized that what they all wanted was to not just play shows, but to make a new record. Before the band initially split, they’d already started writing for what would have been their third album, but instead of going back to that old material, they wanted to do something that reflected the people they’d become during those intervening years. “When a band re-forms and makes a new record that is trying to sound like the heyday of their band, it doesn’t sound genuine,” said Bolt. Before long, Crutchfield and Gilbride had a new batch of Swearin’ songs, ones that meshed with the sound they’d originally developed together but boldly pushed things forward. The result is Fall into the Sun, a Swearin’ record that doesn’t try to obscure the passage of time but instead embraces it. “Getting older, your tastes change, and what you want to do changes,” said Bolt. Those changes, though subtle, are impactful, making Fall into the Sun what Crutchfield calls “the adult Swearin’ album.” It can be seen in songs like “Big Change,” where she says goodbye to Philly and the scene that she came up in, or in “Dogpile,” where Gilbride offers the line any aging punk can relate to: “By pure dumb luck I’ve gotten where I’m going.” Where Swearin’ used to pummel through their songs, on Fall into the Sun, they bask in what this newfound openness offers. It’s most notable on the ambling “Stabilize,” which sees the band throw their weight around in the song’s back half, offering up what’s easily the heaviest riff in the band’s catalog. “I think both me and Allison have gone through huge transitions in our lives. There was a lot on our minds, and it was a super fertile time to put a bunch of songs together,” said Gilbride. It’s true of the material found on Fall into the Sun, but it’s noticeable in the album’s production, too. Much like the band’s previous albums, Gilbride anchored the recording and producing of the record, but this time around, the band worked to make the process feel more collaborative than ever before. “I feel like this was the first time I could look at a Swearin’ record and say that I co-produced it, and that felt really good,” said Crutchfield. Recorded in both Philly and Los Angeles, where Crutchfield now resides, Fall into the Sun took shape by the members giving their full trust to one another, and it can be seen in the final product. Listening to Fall into the Sun, the old Swearin’ is still there, but it’s a more confident, collaborative version than the one people first came to know. Crutchfield and Gilbride always had an innate ability to mirror the other’s movements in songs, but here, they build a focused lyrical perspective across their songs, one that’s thankful for their past, but looks boldly toward the future. Though it may have taken them a while, Swearin’ finally made the third album they always wanted. Fall into the Sun is as riotously affirming as their early work...
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Double LP on opaque yellow blob in clear vinyl in same packaging as standard 2-LP. Includes coupon for full download
“Never sink and never hide / They tried to break our dream, but child: / Joy Stops Time”. I was sent an unfinished version of Dose Your Dreams so that I might contribute string parts. I couldn’t stop listening to the rough mixes I received. A friend asked me how the record was. I replied, “My God, Fucked Up have made their Screamadelica.”
And psych-rock-groove it is. The drums mixed wide, propensity for drones, for delay pedal, for repetition, groove. The politics and aesthetics of hardcore married to an “open format” approach to genre. Elements of doo-wop, krautrock, groove, digital hardcore.
“None of Your Business Man” opens the album in familiar enough territory, a sax-assisted exit from an office space. But things get psychedelic very quickly. By the time the title track arrives, Mike Haliechuk is whispering, wah pedals are in full effect, and we’re wearing oversized t-shirts and pinwheeling. “Accelerate,” the lyrical centerpiece of the album, storms in like Boredoms on a bullet train and dissolves into a digital nightmare. The album closer, “Joy Stops Time,” finds Fucked Up at their most Düsseldorfian, nearly eight minutes of blissful motorik.
At the center of it all is Damian Abraham’s scream—a man chained, a man tortured, a true protagonist. The effect is one of an epic, every chapter attempting its own narrative devices, its own genre hybridization—and it works, it works so insanely well. The drama unfolds like a miniature world of many parts being explored, a map being illuminated, location by location.
As with David Comes to Life, there is a story here. David—who once came to life—is now indentured to a desk job. David meets the elderly Joyce who closes his eyes, opens his mind, and sends him on a spiritual journey. David embarks on his own metaphysical odyssey. He sees a stage adaptation of his own life. He speaks to an angel in a lightbulb. He sees an infinite series of universes as simulations within simulations.
Meanwhile, Lloyd—Joyce’s lover—was sent, decades ago, by Joyce on the same odyssey, but was lost in the void. Lloyd seeks to be found and reunited with his lover. Where will David end up? Will Joyce and Lloyd be reunited?
Dose Your Dreams—meaning: treat your dreams as you would a dream, allow yourself to be lost within them, allow them to open your heart and your mind, enjoy them as you would a drug. Reach out for my hand and pull me close.
Richard Reed Parry’s Quiet River of Dust, is a meditative, widescreen musical experience with Beach Boy harmonies and a hypnotic pulse. Layered songs that move in a linear fashion, following a current rather than circular composition. Japanese folk myths, death poems and British folk music are tributaries flowing into a river of avant-garde composition and traditional song craft, written and performed by a member of the Grammy-winning rock band, Arcade Fire. Being released as two volumes, Quiet River of Dust Vol. 1 will be available on the start of the autumn equinox, September 21 2018. Quiet River of Dust Vol. 2 is coming out next year on the spring equinox 2019. Long before he joined Arcade Fire in 2003, Richard Reed Parry grew up in a thriving folk music community in Toronto, where house parties were full of singing. While a student of electroacoustic music and contemporary dance in university, he formed the instrumental ensemble Bell Orchestre, who have released three albums. In 2014, he released an album of biologically inspired compositions, Music for Heart and Breath, on the prestigious Deutsche Grammophon classical label. The genesis of these songs came after Arcade Fire’s first tour of Japan in February 2008. Parry stayed on for weeks after the last show, heading to a monastery for some solace in “the biggest silence you’ve ever heard.” One day he was walking alone in a massive, snow-covered cedar forest when he heard distant voices, voices that sounded a lot like his father’s folk group back in Toronto, Friends of Fiddlers Green. (Parry was 18 when his father died in 1995.) “There was no reason for something to sound like full-throated, British-Isle folk singing there,” he recalls. “I walked and walked but I could never get closer to where the music was coming from.” The ghostly experience inspired the song “On the Ground,” which in turn inspired the rest of the song cycle. When it came time to record “On the Ground,” he enlisted his father’s former colleagues on concertina, Northumbrian pipes and fiddle. For a musician raised in a musical family and environment, collaboration and community are essential parts of the process. Guest performers on this project include Parry’s partner Laurel Sprengelmeyer of Little Scream, Stef Schneider of Bell Orchestre, Dallas Good of the Sadies, Yuka Honda of Cibo Matto, Amedeo Pace from Blonde Redhead, and The National’s Aaron and Bryce Dessner.
Stardust Birthday Party is about human evolution. Specifically, one humans evolution: mine, Ron Gallo. That’s the name my parents gave me. Hi.
At one point, I was a very lost mid-twenties person living in Philadelphia, in a relationship with someone struggling with mental health issues and crippling heroin addiction. I was asleep. I didn’t know how to handle my life. I was also writing songs for HEAVY META - my “frustrated with humanity” album. I laugh about it all now, but at the time it all felt like an absolute nightmare. It was the perfect doorway to look inside the place I’d been avoiding forever: myself.
Stardust Birthday Party is about what is happening underneath all of this life stuff. My path inward. The details of my path are pointless because everyone’s path is different. It is about me sitting with myself for the first time and confronting the big question “WHAT AM I, REALLY?” It’s about the love and compassion for all things that enters when you find out you are nothing and everything. I think at one point I wanted to change the world, but now I know I can only change myself, or rather just strip away everything that is not me to reveal the only thing that’s ever been there. And that’s what this album is about, it’s me dancing while destroying the person I thought I was, and hopefully forever.
In the liner notes of John Coltrane’s album A Love Supreme (which we pay tribute to on this album) he wrote: “During the year 1957, I experienced, by the grace of God, a spiritual awakening which was to lead me to a richer, fuller, more productive life. At that time, in gratitude, I humbly asked to be given the means and privilege to make others happy through music.”
That’s it. That is the pure essence of creativity. Someone embodying what they have realized about themselves and the world that surrounds them. That is why this album exists.
Thank you for letting me share this with you. Ron Gallo