LUNA music essentials...
for the week of 18 AUGUST 2017
Grizzly Bear release Painted Ruins, their highly anticipated fifth full-length album and first for RCA Records. The band – Chris Bear, Ed Droste, Daniel Rossen and Chris Taylor – spent the better part of two years writing and recording the 11 new compositions on Painted Ruins. Taylor produced the album and it was mixed by Grammy Award-winning engineer Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, The War On Drugs, Weezer). Sessions took place at Allaire Studios in upstate New York and various locations around Los Angeles, including Taylor's own Terrible Studios. Rolling Stone called the record's lead single “Three Rings” “spellbinding” while Spin exclaimed that the band “strike gold” with straightforward second single “Mourning Sound.” Painted Ruins follows the group's critical and commercial 2012 breakthrough Shields.
Following the lead of musical-polymaths-with-LA-ties before him like Brian Wilson, Van Dyke Parks, and Harry Nilsson, Dent May's style on the magical mystery tour de force Across The Multiverse will be familiar to fans of his previous work. Yet there's something more refined about this collection... Stately strings mingle with boogie piano like old friends. Synths weave a celestial backdrop throughout. Every verse, bridge and chorus in its right place, giving it the unmistakable feel of a true songwriting craftsman at work. Lyrically Dent has never been sharper, musing on themes like modern romance (“Picture On A Screen,” “Face Down In The Gutter Of Your Love”), existential dread (“Dream 4 Me,” “I'm Gonna Live Forever Until I'm Dead”), and the distance to the moon (“Distance To The Moon”) as he searches for meaning among the infinite scrolling feeds of our 21st century augmented reality. The title track, a duet with Frankie Cosmos, is a deep space love song about finding love beyond impossible boundaries. [Yellow colored vinyl pressing also available.]
After a seven-year hiatus, James Lavelle returns with a new album from UNKLE. The Road: Part 1 is the project’s fifth album to date and long-awaited follow-up to 2010’s Where Did The Night Fall. the album taps into the multicultural landscape of modern London and sets out to unite an eclectic mix of ideas, cultures, and genres under the UNKLE umbrella to create something unique. Lavelle explains, “I wanted to make a record that I hadn’t been able to before, going back to the roots of where I came from, with a foot in modern London.” The lengthy list of contributors includes Queens Of The Stone Age’s Troy Van Leeuwen and Jon Theodore, Primal Scream’s Andrew Innes, The Duke Spirit’s Liela Moss, Dhani Harrison, Keaton Henson, ESKA, and long-time UNKLE collaborator Mark Lanegan.
For over a quarter of a century KMFDM is the epitome and synonym for industrial rock. Hell Yeah is their first new album in four years. [Vinyl edition pressed at 45rpm for maximum fidelity.]
for the week of 11 AUGUST 2017
Downtown Boys began by combining revolutionary ideals with boundless energy and contagious, inclusive fun, and their resolve has only strengthened as their sound and audience have grown. Cost Of Living is their third full-length, recorded with Guy Picciotto (Fugazi; producer of Blonde Redhead, The Gossip). Picciotto fostered the band’s improvisational urges while pulling the root of their music to the forefront: unflinching choruses, fearlessly confrontational vocals, and the sense that each song will incite the room into action, sending bodies into motion that were previously thought to have atrophied.
Rapturously received by Cannes film critics, Good Time is directed by Josh and Benny Safdie and stars Robert Pattinson (in a widely regarded career best performance) and Jennifer Jason Leigh. The hypnotic crime thriller follows Pattinson’s Connie in a twisted odyssey through the New York underworld in a desperate attempt to get his brother out of jail. Oneohtrix Point Never received the prestigious Cannes Soundtrack Award at this year’s 70th anniversary edition of the festival for his visceral original score. OPN was in competition with the likes of Jonny Greenwood, Jed Kurzel and Ibrahim Maalouf and took home the celebrated prize.
Guitar man David Rawlings leaves the Machine moniker behind for his third album, Poor David’s Almanack, a wry mixture of acoustic and electric performances rich in ageless American vernacular. Gloriously captured on analog tape by studio wizards Ken Scott and Matt Andrews, the ten new songs took shape in a rollicking weeklong session at Woodland Sound Studios in Nashville, Tennessee where Rawlings and longtime compatriot Gillian Welch (who also designed the cover art) joined together with Willie Watson, Paul Kowert, Brittany Haas, Ketch Secor, and Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith to produce an album for all seasons.
Tracing the origins of a traditional American genre back to early immigrants, Sollee takes a nontraditional approach, blending the influences of early Irish and Scottish musicians with the rhythms of Mexico, Africa and India. Inspired by the interactions and collaborations of string musicians from all walks of life, Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native is Sollee's most personally revealing work and a reflection of his native Kentucky, a place like many others, that's still helping refine the ever-changing Bluegrass genre. Sollee and his bandmates recorded the album in a cabin at the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Clermont, KY with a mobile, analog studio and with just a few overdubs. [Vinyl edition due September 1.]
The distinctly intense sound of the Pennsylvania-borne band's third full-length – charging guitars, thunderous drumming, and Grote's searing vocals – was brought on by a few cited influences, from shoegaze's aggressive swirl to the Velvet Underground's impeccable drone-rock sound. There's a distinctly Canadian flavor to this brand of indie rock, too; Spencer Krug's anthemic, lushly inscrutable work in Wolf Parade and his defunct Sunset Rubdown side project comes to mind, as does 2000s Toronto barnburners The Diableros' overlooked 2006 gem You Can't Break The Strings In Our Olympic Hearts. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]