LUNA music essentials...

for the week of 30 october 2015
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>El Vy – Return To The Moon CD (4AD)
El Vy (pronounced like a plural of Elvis; rhymes with 'hell pie') is the musical collaboration between Matt Berninger, vocalist and lyricist of The National, and Brent Knopf, the Portland musician and producer best known for his work in Menomena and his more recent band, Ramona Falls.
Vinyl version due November 27.
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>Martin Courtney – Many Moons CD/LP+MP3 (Domino)
Many Moons is the solo debut from Martin Courtney, the principal songwriter of Real Estate. After the 2014 release of their third album, Atlas, Courtney started writing some songs while waiting to head out on tour. He's created an album of soft psychedelia that sonically recalls The Kinks and Big Star and that lyrically reveals his life as a family man, father, and touring musician. Many Moons is breezy and full of subtle introspection. It's an elliptical document of Courtney's transition into family life and fatherhood written through the filter of being away from his loved ones and home.
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>Ryan Adams – 1989 CD (Pax Americana/Blue Note)
Produced by Adams, the first news of this reinterpretation of
1989 was revealed last month on the Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter's Instagram (misterryanadams) with the post "Taylor Swift 1989 full album cover night 1. As played by the Smiths." Several subsequent posts of song snippets revealed much more range than that including a take on "Bad Blood" that Vanity Fair called "a lovely Heartbreaker-era style version" referencing Adams' classic debut, a string quartet-enhanced version of "Blank Space," what Adams promised to be the "guaranteed saddest version of 'Welcome To New York' ever -- or your tears back," and more. Vinyl and cassette editions due December 11.
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>The Chills - Silver Bullets CD/LP (Fire)
First new album in nearly two decades from the New Zealand alt-pop band. "If there is one characteristic that has defined the music of the New Zealand group the Chills over the course of their 35-year, on-and-off, up-and-down existence, it's their ability to summon a kind of effortless beauty. Their best songs occur in soft focus, the vocals of frontman and sole consistent member Martin Phillipps hushed and controlled, his guitar lines sturdy and gleaming like gold thread." -- Pitchfork
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>Timmy's Organism - Heartless Heathen CD/LP+MP3/Cassette (Third Man)
Fronting some of the most original, compelling and unpredictable bands (not only in Detroit, but the world) for over two decades, Tim Lampinen's work with the Epileptix, Clone Defects, and Human Eye has always held a rapturous cult following. Yet his work with his current trio, Timmy's Organism, presents Lampinen (aka Timmy Vulgar) along with bassist Jeff Giant and drummer Blake Hill, ready for their close-up. With
Heartless Heathen the group touches on their artistic and spiritual forbears of Captain Beefheart and Destroy All Monsters, while amply ramping up the slop culture rapture of classic punk 'n' roll like Chrome, Crime, and the Damned as well as contemporaries like Thee Oh Sees. There's a reason why Lampinen won a $25,000 Kresge Grant for his work with his bands... he creates music that borders on art, live shows that border on theater.
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>Car Seat Headrest - Teens Of Style CD/LP+MP3 (Matador)
"Those who are coming to Car Seat Headrest with a fresh set of ears will have no trouble spotting the influences that fueled the creation of
Teens Of Style. The album is a compilation that repackages the best of Toledo's bedroom indie rock from over the years, but it could just as easily be mistaken for a compilation of artists that once appeared on Matador themselves. There's the droll, meandering vocal delivery of Pavement's Stephen Malkmus, a dense whirlpool of guitars à la Guided by Voices, and a strange kind of intimacy that's reminiscent of early Modest Mouse. Even though he's got a full band to back him now, Toledo still sing-slurs like he just tossed back a bottle of wine and stumbled into a confessional booth by himself. The results are inspired and cringe-worthy by turns, with enough lightning flashes of wisdom to balance out the rolling thunder of narcissism, teen angst, and 21st century trivialities." – Consequence Of Sound
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>Laurel Halo – In Situ CD (Honest Jon's)
Experimental techno producer Laurel Halo makes her formidable return with a double EP on Honest Jon's Records. In Situ is her first release for the iconic London label, following her two grandiose albums on Hyperdub — 2012's
Quarantine and 2013's Chance Of Rain.
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>Mark Kozelek and Nicolás Pauls – Dreams Of Childhood: A Spoken Word Album CD (Caldo Verde)
Dreams Of Childhood is a collection of 12 poems written by street kids in Argentina, translated Argentine actor/musician Nicolás Pauls, Federico Novik, Pablo Cubarle and Catalina Morano. Performed in English by Mark Kozelek and in Spanish by Nicolás Pauls. Executive producer Nicolás Pauls. All proceeds will go to La Casa de la Cultura de la Calle (The Streets House of Culture) which is a nonprofit civil organization that seeks the social inclusion of kids with no homes by giving them art, music, theatre and photography classes.
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>Trey Anastasio – Paper Wheels CD/2xLP (Rubber Jungle/ATO)
Tenth solo album from the Phish guitarist. Recorded at The Barn and inspired by the immediacy of Stax-era recordings, Trey Anastasio recorded the songs for
Paper Wheels live, often in one or two takes. The Trey Anastasio Band on this album includes Ray Paczkowski on keyboards, Tony Markellis on bass, and Russ Lawton on drums, with a horn section consisting of trombonist / vocalist Natalie Cressman, trumpeter / vocalist Jennifer Hartswick, and instrumentalist James Casey. The horns add a jazzy funk vibe to the songs, while the rhythm section provides a tighter feel than what you'd expect from Phish. The jamming is nice and focused, with Trey shining on guitar. (Available on CD and on HQ-180gm 45rpm double-LP splatter vinyl in a die cut gatefold package with six unique sleeves.)
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>Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings – It's A Holiday Soul Party CD/LP (Daptone)
The band offers up a succinct soulful soundtrack to this holiday season.
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>Steve Martin & Edie Brickell – So Familiar CD/LP (Rounder)
Comedian, actor, author, playwright, and musician Steve Martin joins up with his fellow Texas native Edie Brickell (singer/songwriter who initially burst onto the national scene as New Bohemians frontwoman) on this, their second studio album collaboration.
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>Drive-By Truckers – It's Great To Be Alive 3xCD/5xLP+3xCD (ATO)
Epic, career-spanning live set from the Drive-By Truckers recorded in San Francisco last fall.
Patterson Hood says: "We sequenced it to be like kind of an ultimate DBT set list. We never use a set list from night to night so the show is ever evolving, but for this it was like, what would be the ultimate three hour show we could play right now?"
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>Son Volt – Trace [Reissue/1995] 2xCD/LP (Rhino)
Double-CD version of
Trace that featuring newly remastered sound and more than two dozen unreleased bonus tracks. The second disc contains an unreleased live performance recorded at The Bottom Line in New York's Greenwich Village on February 12, 1996. At the show, the band played nearly every song from Trace, covered Del Reeves "Looking At The World Through A Windshield," and performed "Cemetery Savior," a tune that wouldn't surface until the following year on Son Volt's sophomore release, Straightaways. [The album has also been reissued on single-disc HQ-180gm vinyl.]
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>The Velvet Underground - Loaded: Re-Loaded 45th Anniversary Edition 5xCD+DVD (Atlantic)
Includes: The original album remastered in both stereo and mono; A generous selection of demos, early versions and alternate mixes from that era; A newly remastered/re-edited version of
Live At Max's Kansas City; Two high resolution mixes, plus a surround sound mix in DTS and Dolby Digital; An unreleased May 1970 concert recorded in Philadelphia. The final disc is an audio only DVD that features three different mixes of Loaded: Surround Sound Remix in DTS and Dolby Digital; 96/24 High resolution Stereo Downmix; 96/24 High resolution Original Stereo Mix.
(For the Surround Sound and Stereo Downmix, the original track listing has been re-sequenced slightly to include the segue that was originally planned for "I Found A Reason/Head Held High.")
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>Various Artists - Ork Records: New York, New York 2xCD/4xLP (Numero)
Where in the mythos of punk is there room for a frizzy-haired cinephile San Diegan? How could the defining rock attitude and look of the late 1970s get brainstormed by two go-nowheres from a boarding school in Hockessin, Delaware -- a D student and kid voted Most Unknown by his senior class? Forget the worn-out yarns about London gobbers and safety-pin piercings -- the true story of the birth of punk rock on 45 is the story of Ork Records, captured by Numero Group on four hefty LPs (or two shiny compact discs) and told across 120 (184 for the CD) high-gloss pages filled with insider photos and sordid details. It is a story populated by iconic names like Television, Alex Chilton, Lester Bangs, Richard Hell, The Feelies, Patti Smith, Talking Heads, Brian Eno, Blondie and the Ramones. And it's a tale told from the hallowed grounds of CBGB, Max's Kansas City, and Ardent Studios. It all began with Terry Ork, a Jewish SoCal film nerd enthralled by Andy Warhol's posse as they made a transgressive surfing flick, who moved cross-country to manage a movie memorabilia shop on the grubby streets of the Lower East Side. Made in the shadow of disco and dereliction in late '70s Manhattan,
Ork Records: New York, New York is not just the genesis of punk, it is the birth of the New York City scene and indie culture as we know it.
for the week of 23 october 2015
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>Joanna Newsom – Divers CD/2xLP/Cassette (Drag City)
"Dive, listener, knowing that your next hour will be filled with diversions aplenty: a wheeling circuit of sci-fi sea-shanties and cavalier ballads, narrated from parts unknown; a family of polysemic song-sets; a paranomasaic Liederkreis of harmonic sympathies and knotted hierarchies; a fanfare of brazen puns and martial lullabies, blazing in sorrow and horseplay and love, in turns symphonic and spare, joined by Mellotrons and Marxophones and Moogs, clavichords and celestas and of course the harp, thrumming its threnodies of circadian invasions and avian irruptions and strange loops of Shepard-toned resonant-frequencies and something called goddamned Simulacreage..."
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>Fuzz – II CD/2xLP+MP3 (In The Red)
"Garage rock maven Ty Segall is a notable figure on the American rock landscape for (among a great many things) his prolific catalogue of projects, contributions and collaborations. He represents the prioritization of production of preciousness. At a positively precocious twenty-eight years old, with boyish complexion, simpering grin and dimples still in tact, Segall has contributed his hazy stamp to more records than most musicians three times his age. In his Fuzz costume, Segall sheds a lot of skin." -- Bearded
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>Pure Bathing Culture – Pray For Rain CD/LP+MP3 (Partisan)
"Portland BTW alumni Pure Bathing Culture return with
Pray For Rain, the follow-up to 2013 debut Moon Tides. [The title track] adds new oomph to the duo's crystalline transcendental yacht-pop. It's still recognizable as the band behind 'Pendulum,' but there's a brisk uptempo drum programming, and both the synths and the guitars pulsate with new urgency and rawness. It reminds me of the way My Bloody Valentine's sound jolted into a new gear on Loveless closer 'Soon.' Speaking with Interview, Sarah Versprille credited producer John Congleton for the shift toward the visceral: 'John was demanding in our abandonment of clichés. The songs aren't covered up by a production concept [like they were on Moon Tides] … It was hard and uncomfortable for us plenty of times. It changed us, and the way we think about our music. It was much more of a passage between places than an arrival.'" – Stereogum
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>Motel Beds – Mind Glitter CD/LP (Anyway)
"A sun spotted psych pop cousin of post-Britpop Supergrass." -- MOJO
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>The Space Lady/Burnt Ones - Split CD/LP+MP3 (Castle Face)
In her inimitable style The Space Lady sparkles through "Across The Universe," "Starman," a brand-new original called "The Next Right Thing" and an achingly elegaic "Somewhere Over The Rainbow." These beautiful tunes are wonderful additions to her lovely repertoire. For their half, Burnt Ones mellow down their sound, crafting a warm cocoon on two kaliedoscopic creepers, peaking just a little with a floweringly spaced-out version of the Space Lady's greatest hit, "Synthesize Me," and closing with another druggy lullaby.
for the week of 16 october 2015
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Beach House - Thank Your Lucky Stars LP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
Surprise sixth LP comes less than two months after
Depression Cherry. "It was recorded at the same time as Depression Cherry, but for us, it's very much a different record. All of its songs were written after the DC songs. Along the way we realized that we didn't want it to be released in the traditional manner. Mainly, we just wanted our listeners to hear it first." CD version due October 30.
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>Deerhunter – Fading Frontier CD/LP+MP3 (4AD)
The seventh full-length studio release for the Atlanta indie rock band was produced with Ben H. Allen III. "Cox drew an 'influence map' for this record, one which included R.E.M., Tom Petty, and INXS. All of these names together clarify something about Cox's intentions: These are amongst the most agreeable rock artists to ever become stars, and
Fading Frontier sounds like Deerhunter attempting to create songs that are equally enjoyable in an objective way as 'Free Fallin'' or ‘Need You Tonight' or 'The One I Love'—ones where if you hear them in a restaurant or car or house party, no one will ever ask you to turn them off. While Deerhunter's created a number of indelible songs over their career, Fading Frontier may have their first that could conceivably blend into real-deal classic rock radio." [BNM] – Pitchfork
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>Neon Indian – VEGA INTL. Night School CD/2xLP (Mom + Pop)
VEGA INTL. Night School was conceived during a period of aesthetic reinvention for Alan Palomo, as he retooled the lo-fi and spontaneous writing style he'd developed as Neon Indian by incorporating elements of the cleaner production values and dance oriented approach of his previous recording moniker VEGA, ultimately merging the two into one fast lane. Developed over a four-year period, the album brims with funk-centric guitar lines, pronounced Balearic rhythms, and the most elaborate songwriting of his career. (Limited copies pressed on double transparent yellow vinyl with bonus slipmat.)
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>Majical Cloudz – Are You Alone? CD (Matador)
Are You Alone? is the follow up to Majical Cloudz' Impersonator; a heart-on-white sleeve statement of intent that brought Devon Welsh and Matthew Otto from the Montreal underground onto arena stages, critics' year end lists and the hearts and minds of thousands. After the journey they've returned with Are You Alone? Armed with little more than the recording equipment used on Impersonator, Majical Cloudz enlisted friends and family (including Owen Pallet) for only the subtlest of studio embellishment. The record, however, immediately sounds bigger, at once more intense and more immediate -- Welsh's voice has evolved from baritone proclamation to a sweeter, almost yearning, croon. Vinyl due November 13.
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>Nicole Willis & The Soul Investigators – Happiness In Every Style CD/LP (Timmion)
Nicole and the Soul Investigators offer upbeat modern soul and embrace sophisticated melodies alongside their highly evolved raw funk sound, whose wares share vinyl shelf space with fans of Sharon Jones and Charles Bradley.
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>Here We Go Magic – Be Small CD/LP+MP3 (Secretly Canadian)
HWGM's new
album Be Small finds the band taking a smaller approach to production and finding more intimate soundscapes -- from the live, expansive sound of 2012's A Different Ship, produced by Radiohead's sixth man Nigel Godrich, to Be Small's direct-to-board home-recorded album -- it hosts no less acrobatics of musicianship and a singular sonic ambition. The album was "inpired by Brian Eno and John Cale's Wrong Way Up and Robert Wyatt's Shleep," and, as frontman Luke Temple says, features "overtly major and optimistic" songs of the future pop variety.
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>Small Black – Best Blues CD/LP+MP3 (Jagjaguwar)
Coming full circle from the group's hazy, lo-fi beginnings and more streamlined, clean recent releases,
Best Blues offers a fusion of structure and ambience. Colored by singer Josh Hayden Kolenik's poetic, stream-of-consciousness lyrics, the freewheeling and atmospheric music offers listeners an electronic pulse and an intimate connection. Small Black stretches out on Best Blues and takes a step forward, showcasing an evolved sound that's both more refined and aggressive.
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>Zombi – Shape Shift CD/2xLP+MP3 (Relapse)
Shape Shift sees the space rock overlords in "live band" mode, a fitting return to their roots after their successful North American tour with the legendary Goblin in 2013 and a triumphant headlining appearance at the prestigious Roadburn Festival in April, 2015. (Limited copies pressed on blood red colored vinyl.)
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>Yacht – I Thought The Future Would Be Cooler CD/LP (Downtown)
I Thought The Future Would Be Cooler is a sweeping and visionary critique of the 21st century. It reveals the band at it's most self-assured: critical, funny, tough, and musically diverse, crafting an infectious and hyperactive conceptual pop that seems to seep through the walls of an alternate universe. Yacht's knowing references to technology, feminism, and media are layered in complex arrangements in songs about holograms and phones, police violence and identity, sex and the future. The album draws from a weird well of ADD influences: ‘80s Japanese electronic reggae (Sandii & The Sunsetz, Haruomi Hosono), '70s and '80s post-punk and no wave (Family Fodder, The Waitresses, Suburban Lawns, Killing Joke, A Certain Ratio, Devo), Norwegian disco (Todd Terje, Lindstrøm, Prins Thomas), and Grand Royal Records-era alternative music (Cibo Matto, Luscious Jackson, Money Mark). (Limited copies pressed on white vinyl.)
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>!!! – As If CD/2xLP+MP3 (Warp)
Combining punk abandon and tightly-coiled dance music has always been bonded into !!!'s DNA. It's this core plus their growth and mastery of songwriting that has seen them outlive the mid-2000s 'indie/dance punk' tag and has allowed them to consistently grow lyrically and sonically from album to album.
As If is their sixth album and their first since 2013's Thr!!!er, and was self-produced mostly by the band, along with some help from Spoon's Jim Eno and Patrick Ford, who have worked with them in the past. "Everyone wants us to be punk; everyone wants us to be raw," Nic Offer said in an interview with Spin earlier this month. "Well, we want to make dance music. The kind of dance music that sounds raw is that early-'90s house records."
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>Josh Ritter – Sermon On The Rocks CD/2xCD/LP+MP3 (Pytheas)
"On Josh Ritter's most recent album, 2013's
The Beast In Its Tracks, the singer/songwriter dredged through the battered ruins of his own post-divorce psyche. As such, the record looked relentlessly inward — to forgiveness and spite, to recovery and despair — as Ritter labored to examine his failed relationship from every angle. For his eighth full-length album, Sermon On The Rocks, Ritter takes a turn in the opposite direction — outward, toward other perspectives entirely. As its title suggests, the album is Ritter's foray into what the singer himself calls ‘messianic oracular honky-tonk,' often dispensed via a kind of traveling-preacher/snake-oil-salesman persona. Which means, in turn, that Sermon On The Rocks is lighter than usual on the sincere rumination that has marked many of its predecessors. ‘Birds Of The Meadow,' which opens the record, isn't Ritter's first examination of the apocalypse, but it's surely his fiercest" – NPR. "I wanted to make something grand. I wanted it to swing hard. I wanted to peek through deaths keyhole. I wanted my monster to run" – Josh Ritter. Available in Regular and Deluxe editions. Deluxe adds a home-recorded version of the album. (Limited copies pressed on opaque blue vinyl.)
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>Esmerine – Lost Voices CD/LP (Constellation)
Montréal chamber rock ensemble Esmerine return with the new full-length album. Led by co-founders Bruce Cawdron (Godspeed You! Black Emperor) on various mallet instruments and Rebecca Foon (Thee Silver Mt. Zion, Saltland) on cello, Esmerine also includes drummer/percussionist Jamie Thompson (The Unicorns, Islands, Little Scream) and multi-instrumentalist Brian Sanderson.
Lost Voices can fairly be called Esmerine's "rock" album, expanding upon the band's celebrated prowess at deploying structure and dynamic, balancing melodic expression against methodical restraint through a diversity of stylistic touchstones while allowing for explosive crescendos of exuberant density and maximalism that most notably distinguishes this record from previous work.
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>Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs – Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda CD (Transdreamer)
The 12-song
Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda boasts Holly's unmistakable voice gracing such persuasive tunes as the raw gospel-thrash workout "Heaven Buy And Buy," the fearsome white-trash tango "Apt. 34," the bittersweet waltz "Jackhammer," the heart-tugging holiday-themed "Christmas Is A Lie" and the crunching, anthemic title track. Vinyl version due November 27.
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>Son Little – Son Little CD (ANTI-)
Blending elements of acoustic blues, vintage soul, and conscious hip-hop into a mixture that's expressive yet deeply personal, Son Little is the alias of Aaron Livingston, a singer, instrumentalist, and songwriter who divides his time between his own music and collaborating with others. "The Philadelphia soul artist has already logged collaborations with The Roots and RJD2, but the vocalist-guitarist can by all means stand on his own merits, and with the politically-minded new single ‘O Mother' he doesn't just stand tall, but marches against injustice. In step with Marvin Gaye's ‘What's Going On,' ‘O Mother' blends a sunlit, upbeat soul sound with lyrics that beckon at the very core of injustices. Little's pleas ‘Why do they treat me like I'm not a man? I wonder does anybody know just who I am?' may read as just another turn on self-centered angst, but given the timing of the track's release, just days after a damning report on racist policing in America, the scope of Little's lines grow massive. Soul music has always held hands tightly with the push for Civil Rights in America, and at the heart of any Civil Rights movement is the simple dream of fair human treatment and dignity" – Okay Player. Vinyl version due November 27.
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>Various Artists [Prins Thomas] – Paradise Goulash 3xCD (Eskimo)
Prins Thomas tips his cap to Paradise Garage, the original New York nightclub, with this three-disc compendium, a marathon adventure into his ingenious and groundbreaking style mischievously titled
Paradise Goulash. Each disc is a gentle wandering through his musical mind with tracks from Robert Hood, Actress, Marcellus Pittman, Young Marco, I: Cube, Hieroglyphic Being, and many more. Vinyl due October 30.
for the week of 09 october 2015
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>Alex G. – Beach Music CD/LP+MP3 (Domino)
"Alex Giannascoli, more commonly known as Alex G, is a lo-fi bedroom pop artist from Pennsylvania. Although he has tons of albums currently on Bandcamp,
Beach Music is his first released under the record label Domino Recording Company. Beach Music features the same good old Alex G with smooth and fuzzy vocals, but this time introducing a variety of rhythms to the mix. With melodies ranging from ‘80s crime drama theme songs’ to ‘blues-influenced western steel guitar,’ Beach Music gives a dreamy and effervescent performance. Beach Music is a mashup of everything: genres, melodies, vocals, rhythms, you name it. Every song contains at least two different types of each, which normally should not go together so well. Alex G manages to bring together harmonies with styles of music in a way that flows from song to song in a continuous motion, with each element building on the other throughout the album." – VinylMag
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>John Grant – Grey Tickles, Black Pressure CD (Partisan)
Grant’s (Sinead O’Connor, Goldfrapp, Elton John) third solo album features lush strings and electronic influences with his singular wit and brutal candor. The album opens in an unsettling swirl of overlapping male voices repeating 1 Corinthians 13:4 in English and Icelandic before dissolving into fuzz, and closes with the same passage read clearly, this time by a young girl. In between, Grant's depth and range are vividly present. Vinyl version due October 23.
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>PROTOMARTYR - The Agent Intellect (GREEN vinyl edition) LP
out 09 OCTOBER 2015…
"’I'm going out in style,’ Joe Casey chants at the end of ‘Cowards Starve,’ one of the most riveting songs on Protomartyr's new third album,
The Agent Intellect. Casey isn't being literal. An unassuming Detroit resident in his mid-30s who speaks more than he sings, he's helped Protomartyr become one of the most intriguing post-punk groups in a climate that rewards the younger, sexier and coastal. Not surprisingly, ‘Cowards Starve’ isn't your typical danceable, punk-couture anthem. Like the rest of The Agent Intellect, it simmers, ponders and haunts." – NPR
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>Of Montreal – Snare Lustrous Doomings CD/2xLP/Cassette (Polyvinyl)
Snare Lustrous Doomings captures of Montreal’s incredible live energy with 19 high-quality recordings taken from performances at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall and Portland’s Wonder Ballroom. Features over 90 minutes of music spanning the band’s entire career -- from Bedside Drama to Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? to Lousy With Sylvianbriar and everything in between. (Vinyl pressed on purple wax.)
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>The Decemberists – Florasongs CD/LP (Capitol)
Florasongs is a five-song collection of rare and unreleased tracks from the sessions that produced their recent seventh studio album, What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World.
for the week of 02 october 2015
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>Autre Ne Veut – Age Of Transparency CD/LP (Downtown)
"Along with artists like How To Dress Well and Holy Other, Autre Ne Veut makes music that's sometimes categorized as 'PBR&B,' suggesting a point where indie pop (ironically) meets modern R&B. Autre Ne Veut's Arthur Ashin uses R&B tropes in his music, but rather than soundtrack a romantic moment, the songs instead voice the anxious thoughts that surround love. So while most R&B singers prowl the register somewhere between a pillow-talk purr and a sultry croon, only scaling upward toward a voice-cracking, la petite mort falsetto for emphasis, Ashin has his voice begin on the other side of that crack." – NPR
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>Blitzen Trapper – All Across This Land CD/LP+MP3 (Vagrant)
"Touted as a return to the "classic" sound of the band, which man will associate with the 2008 breakthrough
Furr, Portland folk-rockers Blitzen Trapper release their eighth album All Across This Land. If ever there was an indication that the record promises to be a return to the sunny, riff-oriented classic rock sounds the band has excelled at for so long, it's the title track. Tapping into the sun-dappled sounds of early-'70s blues rock, classic Laurel Canyon rock, and of course the perpetual influence of Neil Young and Crazy Horse, 'All Across This Land' is a perfect balm for the dog days of summer, its breezy optimism reflected in the accompanying 'visualette.' It's the kind of track you want to blast in the car with the windows rolled down." – Pop Matters
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>Eagles Of Death Metal – Zipper Down CD/LP (T-Boy)
EODM aka Jesse Hughes ('Boots Electric') and Queens Of The Stone Age's Joshua Homme ('Baby Duck'), are back with their first new album in seven years. 11 tracks, including the hot lead single, "Complexity." Recorded at Pink Duck Studios in Burbank, California, Hughes and Homme co-wrote all of the album's songs (with the exception of their cover of Duran Duran's "Save A Prayer"), and performed all of the instruments and vocals themselves. The album is produced by Homme.
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>John Grant – Grey Tickles, Black Pressure CD (Partisan)
Lyrically and musically,
Grey Tickles, Black Pressure represents Grant's most ambitious work, fusing lush strings and electronic influences with his singular wit and brutal candor. The album opens in an unsettling swirl of overlapping male voices repeating 1 Corinthians 13:4 in English and Icelandic before dissolving into fuzz, and closes with the same passage read clearly, this time by a young girl. In between, Grant's depth and range are vividly present. "Voodoo Doll" is an ode to a depressed lover, drenched in bright synths and pulsing bass lines, while "Guess How I Know" is a bonafide hell-raiser, its snarling guitar licks layered with distortion as Grant sings about a toxic yet irresistible relationship. Title track "Grey Tickles, Black Pressure" blends swelling strings and choral harmonies with Grant's darkly biting humor, as he tackles his HIV diagnosis with equal parts confusion and clarity ("I'm supposed to believe that there's some guy who'll take the pain away / There are children who have cancer, and so all bets are off / 'Cause I can't compete with that"). Vinyl due October 23.
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>Helvetia – Dromomania CD (Joyful Noise)
Members of Duster, Built To Spill, Love As Laughter evoke the simplicity of '70s Kinks, combined with a good dose of Captain Beefheart and the randomness of The Residents. Third-wave hardcore influences meld with elements of Neu-like trance rock. Vinyl due November 13.
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>Wavves – V CD/LP+MP3 (WB)
"It's fitting that Wavves release their new album,
V, in the early days of fall, when lazy day-drunk weekends of summer already feel like a far-off memory. Nathan Williams' brand of songwriting has followed a familiar pattern over the course of his career. His songs feel giddy, anxious, then elated, and he makes falling hard and fast into relationships and mischief sound worth it, even when it fills you with self-doubt and makes your head hurt. Like all of Wavves' catalogue, V has a sunny exterior that blinds you from some Williams' unease, which makes this a ridiculously fun album to listen to. It's a pick-me-up that soothes the changing seasons and reminds you why life is worth living." – Stereogum
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>Fort Lean – Quiet Day CD/LP (Ooh La La)
Fort Lean released two early EPs, earning glowing reviews in The New York Times and shows with HAIM and Future Islands. Now comes
Quiet Day, their debut LP on Ooh La La Records. The album is a collision of moods and tones, approachable and ambitious but delivered with a sideways subtlety "The title track rolls along with the force of a steamroller, flattening your mood into the gloomy, gray overtones of hanging out at home during a rainstorm. But alone time doesn't necessarily have to be depressing, sometimes sitting with your thoughts at home is cathartic in its own hushed way. Clouded by angst and a prominent bassline, I'm also getting early Weezer vibes from how enjoyable their ennui is." – Stereogum
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>Kylesa – Exhausting Fire CD/LP (Season Of Mist)
Seventh album from the Savannah, Georgia groove metal outfit.
Exhausting Fire provides a crowning example of the positive output that comes at the hands of Kylesa's incendiary and powerful yet nuanced and colorful framework. Following on the heels of the challenging Ultraviolet (2013) and keeping this band's tradition of artistic broad jumps that they have exhibited since forming in 2001, Exhausting Fire hurls even more rulebook pages out the tour van window. Kylesa further explore and incorporate psychedelic rock, new wave, space-age twangy Americana, '80s goth and death rock into their pitch-thick DIY punk/metal roots. (Also available on limited color vinyl.)
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>Mercury Rev – The Light In You CD/LP (Bella Union/PIAS)
The Light In You is Mercury Rev's first new album since 2008's Snowflake Midnight. Frontman Jonathan Donahue addressed the gap between albums in a press release: "It was one of those otherworldly life sequences, when everything you think is solid turns molten, but also, when something is worth saying, it can take a long time to say it, rather than just blurt it out."
On the title, Donahue said, "You can go as deep as you want with the title, on a metaphorical, spiritual level, or just poetic license. It's the beacon that shines and allows us to see ourselves – and then there's the music between Grasshopper and I, which is how we reflect each other. The arc of the album, lyrically, is someone who's gone through an incredible period of turbulence, sadness and uncertainty, and as the album progresses, a light appears on the water."
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>Editors – In Dream CD/LP+MP3 (PIAS)
Editors' fifth album
In Dream was recorded in Scotland's Western Highlands and self-produced by the band, and was mixed in London by Alan Moulder (Arctic Monkeys, My Bloody Valentine). It represents yet another shift in Editors creative world, and features guest vocals by Rachel Goswell (Slowdive). Permeated by atmospheric synths, dance club beats, stately keyboard runs and all manner of glitches and whirrs, along with the traditional guitar, bass, drums, and is an album driven, in frontman Tom Smith's words, by a desire "to be both pop and experimental." (Limited copies pressed on gold vinyl.)
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>Darkstar – Foam Island CD/2xLP+MP3 (Warp)
Foam Island, the third studio LP from Darkstar, is a beautiful contemporary electronic pop album, dealing with powerful themes of ambition and hope against the odds in the 21st century. Following collaborations with the likes of Actress, Wild Beasts and Zomby, and taking cues from peers such as Jon Hopkins and Four Tet, it is an ambitious record, buzzing with the energy and excitement of all the possibilities inherent in electronic music in 2015. Yet it is also one which has been shaped by the prevailing social and political climate at this point in time. As such the record is in parts severe and beautiful; combining hard digital rhythms and live percussion with colorful synths treated vocals and enveloping compositions.
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>Jay Dee – Come On In Love [Reissue/1974] CD (Real Gone Music)
A lost classic of '70s soul. With production by Barry White, and seven of its nine songs written or co-written by the Walrus of Love, you'd think that this one-off release from Jay Dee was in reality all but a solo album from White. While
Come On In Love sports the trademark lush orchestration (with arrangements by Gene Page) and funky rhythms that made Barry White a superstar during the '70s, the artist Jay Dee was, if not an equal partner, a worthy frontman.
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>Paul McCartney
– Tug Of War [Reissue/1982] 2xCD/3xCD+DVD/2xLP (MPL/UMG)
– Pipes Of Peace [Reissue/1983] 2xCD/2xCD+DVD/2xLP (MPL/UMG)
Tug Of War, originally released in 1982, is the third solo album by Paul McCartney. The album was produced by George Martin and includes numerous guest musicians, including Stevie Wonder, Carl Perkins, and Ringo Starr. McCartney's fourth album, Pipes Of Peace, was also was
produced by George Martin and includes the hit single "Say Say Say," a duet with Michael Jackson that stayed at #1 on the US Chart for 6 weeks. Both albums have been remastered at Abbey Road Studios as part of the ongoing Paul McCartney Archive Collection. Each features a bonus disc of previously unreleased and rare tracks. Deluxe editions of each are also available. Deluxe edition of
Tug Of War adds the 2015 remix of the entire album as a third disc. Both feature a DVD of music videos, behind the scenes footage, and previously unreleased home videos as well as a 112-page essay book. Lastly, a limited Super Deluxe edition of Tug Of War is presented in expanded, acrylic slipcase packaging. Vinyl versions are HQ-180gm double-LP.