LUNA music essentials...

for the week of 28 OCTOBER 2016
Stacks Image 9157
>Ólafur Arnalds – Island Songs CD+DVD (Mercury Classics)
The BAFTA-winning instrumentalist and producer brings you a unique and evolving audio-visual portrait of his home country of Iceland. “This project is on a scale that has never been attempted in the classical music world before.” [Vinyl edition due December 2.]
Stacks Image 9184
>Soft Hair – Soft Hair CD/LP (Weird World)
Soft Hair is Connan Mockasin and Sam Dust (LA Priest/Late Of The Pier). Soft Hair was written and recorded in a wide array of locations using methods that neither Mockasin nor Dust had used previously. As a result, the record gives the listener a view into an exotic world with a blend of familiar, unfamiliar and unconventionally attractive sounds.
Stacks Image 9162
>The Olympians – The Olympians CD/LP+MP3 (Daptone)
A dramatic and cinematic journey to the outer limits of instrumental soul music, built on a foundation laid by the same craftsmen whose bricks built the legacies of Sharon Jones, Lee Fields, Charles Bradley, The Budos Band, and Menahan Street Band, and painted with lush strings, harpsichord, harp, and horns.
Stacks Image 9176
>Empire Of The Sun – Two Vines CD/LP (Astralwerks)
Australian psych-pop weirdos Empire Of The Sun had a spiritual awakening before they began writing for their third record. “Buddha was revealed to me,” says multi-instrumentalist Nicholas Littlemore. “And the theme really rushed through me: I wanted to write about plants and love and the planet.” To achieve this vision, Littlemore and bandmate Luke Steele recruited Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, Prince’s onetime protegée Wendy Melvoin, and David Bowie collaborators Henry Hey and Tim Lefebvre for a result that’s more akin to the interstellar psychedelia of their 2008 debut than 2013’s more Top 40-radio-baiting
Ice On The Dune. Said Littlemore: “There was an image we talked about very early on with this record, before we wrote the title track, ‘Two Vines,’ and that was this image of a modern city overtaken by jungle, almost like mother nature taking back the planet. He added, “All the buildings will turn back to sand. All it will be is nature again. We wanted to make something that reflected the beauty of that, and the wisdom that plants can give us about living harmoniously on this beautiful planet.”
Stacks Image 9189
>Helmet – Dead To The World CD/LP (earMUSIC)
Helmet came out swinging in 1990 and was pretty consistent with album releases up to 1997. After '97, the band took seven years to release
Size Matters due to a hiatus/break up, got fairly consistent again, and then hit another pause in 2010. Now a full six years later, Helmet returns with a new album, Dead To The World. “Catch phrases, punchlines, guns, bluster, ammo, incivility, impatience, murder. You, me, us, them, life, liberty and the pursuit of property. We disagree, we disrespect, discourse disappears in the age of access. When in doubt GET LOUD! It’s my way or the highway, thank you Lawrence Tierney,” says frontman Page Hamilton in a stream of consciousness comment about the new disc, adding, “Religious tchotchkes nailed to the walls of homes above razor-scarred mirrors. Do you meditate, levitate, pray? Live in L.A.! I’m a huge fan, got a perfume line, smell nice, plan my next move. Threats loom, the bad news network blooms, fear sells. Just get ‘em out, the spying neighbors, suspects, terrorists our forefathers intent. ‘If you don’t like it, leave’ and call it democracy.”
Stacks Image 9217
>Alejandro Escovedo – Burn Something Beautiful CD (Fantasy)
Alejandro Escovedo is the definition of a songwriter’s songwriter. While his own career has been a modest success, the biggest names in music adore the guy’s work. Bruce Springsteen calls him up at his own shows, and has appeared on Escovedo’s recordings. Ryan Adams and Whiskeytown featured him as a vocalist on several songs during the band’s active years. R.E.M. lead guitarist Peter Buck is a frequent tour-mate—and he’s also the co-writer and co-producer of Escovedo’s new album,
Burn Something Beautiful. Escovedo and Buck were joined on the writing front by indie rock hero Scott McCaughey (The Minus Five), and the three had a deep collaborative process when writing songs on the album. The result is a thirteen-track set that—if single ‘Heartbeat Smile’ is any indication—recalls both vintage Escovedo and the pop-rock sensibilities of his collaborators” – Texas Monthly. [Vinyl edition due November 11.]
Stacks Image 9206
>Nocturnal Habits – New Skin For Old Children CD/LP (Glacial Pace)
Nocturnal Habits marks a return for influential guitarist/vocalist Justin Trosper. His work in the seminal post hardcore band Unwound and more recently the angular rock of Survival Knife are evident in the overall sound of
New Skin For Old Children, however there is a new tone, focused more sharply on the songwriting and production. The angles have been softened to create crushing, blunt force blows rather than sharp cuts. Recorded throughout the world from Italy to Los Angeles and the backwoods of the Northwest, New Skin For Old Children reunites Trosper with Sara Lund, his Unwound collaborator and so called “secret weapon,” as well as Dale Crover (Melvins), Sherry Fraser, and Scott Seckington (Two Ton Boa).
Stacks Image 9165
>DJ Shadow – Endtroducing [Reissue/1996] 3xCD/6xLP (Mercury)
Endtroducing is 20 years old and to celebrate this milestone DJ Shadow has re-opened the sessions to personally curate a bonus album of remixes by a carefully selected roll call of electronic music luminaries, which he has christened Endtroducing Re-Emagined.
for the week of 21 OCTOBER 2016
Stacks Image 9066
>Surefire Soul Ensemble - Out On The Coast CD/LP (Colemine)
Pure funk fire from our pals, out on the West Coast! If heavy, original, instrumental soul is your thing and you dig the styles of Quincy Jones, Jimmy McGriff, Mulatu Astatke, Isaac Hayes, and The Poets of Rhythm--this one is for you!!! On limited Orange vinyl...
Stacks Image 9077
>NxWorries - Yes Lawd! CD/2xLP (Stones Throw)
On Yes Lawd!, Anderson.Paak plays a theatrically brash version of himself who raps and sings like a '70s superstar and talks sh*t like a stone cold player. The performance is seeded with details from his life, which has seen a fair share of struggle and hard-won triumph. Meanwhile Knxwledge weaves a tapestry of sampled bits and live fragments bass, brass and violin that smooths everything over, reminding us that despite whatever struggle it took to get here... well, you already know the name: NxWorries. Anderson .Paak and loop beast Knxwledge - make an exceedingly clean pair, even as they deal almost entirely in the gritty: vocals that sound lived in for a couple of lifetimes; beats that kick up dust as they bump; and an 18-track set that plays like a mixtape merging skits, songs, and snippets into a package of fluid groove and rough-cut rap 'n' soul gems. You may have heard these two out in the world, on their own or sprinkling some of their musical gold dust on someone else's songs, but this is what happens when .Paak and Knx get home, lay back, light up, and let it go.
Stacks Image 9137
>Busman's Holiday - Popular Cycles CD/LP (Joyful Noise)
Much like the lyrical content, the musical landscape of Popular Cycles spans grandly, from the booming of a 21-piece orchestra to the solitary sound of a singing bowl. From Western soundtracks to a drone of twelve-strings, tones of forgiveness sweet enough to taste, funky drummers, the splish-splosh of fingers & palms, and melancholy chanting. From Richard Strauss to PeeWee's Playhouse, Busman's Holiday brings a refreshing sound to the stale world of pop music.
Stacks Image 8990
>Weyes Blood – Front Row Seat To Earth CD/LP (Mexican Summer)
“At times on the new album from indie outfit Weyes Blood, you can’t quite tell where you are. The aesthetic (artist presence, voice, song arrangements) feels rather folk, but the way Natalie Mering, who is the band, vocalizes with such thick, haunting tones makes you question what it is you’re actually listening to. I still don’t really know, but I like it.
Front Fow Seat To Earth seems defined by just how transitional and evasive it is. It’s tender and brimming with emotion on songs like ‘Do You Need My Love’ and ‘Seven Words,’ but never lets the audience too close to the artist, or even the subject, for that matter. Her vocal talent is unique, something of a cross between Joan Baez and Judee Sill, but even that’s not quite right. There’s no good category to put her or this album in, except maybe ‘original.’” – Cecil Whig
Stacks Image 9031
>Kadhja Bonet – The Visitor CD/LP (Fat Possum)
L.A.’s Kadhja – pronounced “kod-ya” – creates cosmic neo-R&B 'n' psychedelic jazz perfect for fans of Flying Lotus and Deradoorian. Her new album
The Visitor opens with an awe you’d expect from the golden age of cinema. In its half-mythical atmosphere, “Earth Birth” offers keys and choirs science-fictionally echoing down from deep space. This overture fades and Kadhja’s voice velvetly emerges on “Honeycomb” with a timelessness sending listeners scrambling to find her nearest genre. After running through classical, jazz, soul, folk, and even psychedelia, you find it ultimately impossible to comfortably place her. This is all by Kadhja’s design. For if she were “folk” it would only be the folk of some future aeon, a thousand hears hence. If her rich instrumentation of strings and wind strikes us as a “classic,” it’s not because it harkens to any past era, but because Kadhja paints perennial imagery that could as much be now as then as any other time. The Visitor is an opus unpolluted by the mixed advice or overproductions that plague other albums. It plays through like one individual’s lucid dream in what is sometimes an all-too-dreamless musical landscape. [Limited color vinyl pressing also available.]
Stacks Image 9023
>Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker CD/LP (Columbia)
“For the past 25 years I've had this notion that on every successive Leonard Cohen record his voice would get deeper and deeper until one day he'd put out an album so subsonic that you'd just feel it, not hear it. Well, we're close. ‘You Want It Darker,’ the title track to his 14th studio album in a 49-year recording career, speaks of a world without hope. ‘A million candles burning / for the love that never came. / You want it darker / we kill the flame.’ Despite the depth of his voice and the strength and wisdom of his writing, I discern a frailness. What I hear are multiple takes on just this one track and a few edits within a verse. Listen at 2:06 — you can hear an edit right in mid-breath just after the line ‘middle-class and tame.’ And shortly after, Cohen says, ‘I'm ready my Lord,’ and the choir sullenly and eerily keeps the tone dark. It's sad and difficult, but as good as this is, I can imagine this forthcoming album as Cohen's last statement.” -- NPR
Stacks Image 9012
>The Radio Dept. – Running Out Of Love CD/LP (Labrador)
One of Sweden's most influential indie/electronic pop acts The Radio Dept.’s new album
Running Out Of Love is their first album since the critical and commercial success of 2010’s Clinging To A Scheme which earned a Best New Music rating from Pitchfork. Running Out Of Love has been described by the band as an album about life in Sweden in 2016 moving in the wrong direction: politically, intellectually, morally. It’s about the impatience that turns into anger, hate and ultimately withdrawal and apathy when love for the world and our existence begins to falter. Lead single “Swedish Guns” is a scathing indictment of the Swedish arms industry. The track features an infectious grooving riff underlying dark but moving lyrics, a powerful combination to be sure. “Their discontentedness is paired with delicate vocals and appealing, almost hypnotic beat that betrays the somber overtones. Sometimes the delivery is more powerful when it's paradoxical and subliminal” – Prefix. [Limited color vinyl pressing also available.]
Stacks Image 9001
>Jimmy Eat World – Integrity Blues CD/LP+MP3 (RCA)
With warm production and a powerful upbeat groove, the first single on Jimmy Eat World’s new album
Integrity Blues, “Sure And Certain,” pairs a buzzing guitar hum with an unshakable chant. “It’s about the idea of having blinders on for what you want to do and achieve,” the frontman explains. “Since you’re so laser focused on what you think you want, you’re missing out on everything around you. It can be a very limiting way to go about life.” Meanwhile, the gorgeously minimal title track “Integrity Blues” tempers orchestral, cinematic overtones with a stark and striking vocal performance. Elsewhere on the record, “Get Right” snaps into an energetic refrain, while “Through” serves up one of the band’s hookiest moments to date. “You Are Free” flaunts one of the group’s most hummable and heartfelt refrains, serving as another high watermark. “It Matters” illuminates the band’s diverse sonic palette and covers what Adkins describes as “a central theme about the idea that a sense of comfort comes from within and not just external validation.” “Pass The Baby” builds from a delicate heartbeat-style click into a deliberate and distorted explosion. Near seven-minute closer “Pol Roger” carves out an emotional and entrancing climax encased in a rapture of guitars and vocals, which according to Adkins, “Felt like the right way to sum everything up.”
Stacks Image 9039
>David Crosby – Lighthouse CD/LP (Ground Up)
Lighthouse is an intimate, stripped-down set that highlights David Crosby’s instantly recognizable voice, incisive songwriting, and incomparable guitar work. The palpable joy in the 9-song collection captures the iconic artist in an unexpected burst of inspiration. For Lighthouse, Crosby received an able assist from Michael League, the bandleader/bassist for Snarky Puppy who executive produced and co-wrote much of the album with Crosby. It features a rare economy of sound, filled primarily by David Crosby’s voice and guitars, and Michael League’s bass. On album opener, “Things We Do For Love,” written for his wife Jan, David’s vocals reflect a poetic tenderness. On “Paint You A Picture,” a cinematic tale of romantic regret co-written with Marc Cohn (Walking In Memphis), they are filled with remorseful resignation. The longtime social activist lands his political punches as he bitingly condemns the craven politicians who send other people’s children to war on “Somebody Other Than You,” and compassionately reminds us that we are all the same on “Look In Their Eyes,” a poignant tale about the Syrian refugee crisis.
Stacks Image 9047
>Planes Mistaken For Stars – Prey CD/LP/Cassette (Deathwish Inc.)
After a ten-year absence, the post-hardcore outfit returns with a new album. [Limited edition beer color vinyl pressing also available.]
Stacks Image 8875
>American Football – American Football (LP2) CD/LP+MP3/Cassette (Polyvinyl)
Not long after Polyvinyl Records released American Football’s self-titled debut album in 1999, the band called it quits, having only played a smattering of Champaign-Urbana college house parties and sets at small clubs like Chicago’s legendary Fireside Bowl. Such an inauspicious turn of events made what followed all the more incredible. Over time, the record went on to become one of Polyvinyl’s bestselling releases to date, and ended up serving as “one of the single most influential rock records of its time” according to Noisey and many others. To most everyone that found them after the fact, the band was no more than an apparition. At a time when reunions have become rote, American Football is decidedly an anomaly. There is no past glory to relive or reignite, nor the burden to branch out and break from a well-worn formula. Seventeen years later everything still feels brand new, because for them it is. “You can’t just forget all the other lives you’ve lived,” Mike Kinsella sings, and every single one of the nearly two decades worth of experiences since they last put pen to paper as American Football seem to bleed through on this record. [Limited 180gm color vinyl pressings also available: one orange, the other red and orange starburst.]
for the week of 14 OCTOBER 2016
Stacks Image 8842
>Nicolas Jaar – Sirens CD/LP (Other People)
Sirens is a thoughtful study in contrasts, both musical and political. It's only Nicolas Jaar's second LP, but it is the mark of an enduring electronic composer” [BNM/8.7] – Pitchfork.
Sirens [is] an ambitious and eclectic album that packs tons of ideas into its runtime and manages to pull them all off with a great deal of style. There’s a lot to digest here. ‘Killing Time’ crackles with his trademark, lush samples and ambient noises, its tinkling piano interjections reminiscent of Alice Coltrane or Laraaji. Midway through its 11 minutes, it morphs into a doleful ballad, Jaar’s tender vocal merging with a slow beat. ‘The Governor’ marries distorted drums and effects with layers of crackling interference, piano and treated saxophone, while ‘Leaves’ is a delicate ambient piece, its samples (of what sounds like a father and son talking in Spanish) adding a transporting quality. The centerpiece though is the superb, affecting ‘No,’ a tune which deserves to be a huge radio hit but will probably remain the secret of Jaar’s (many) fans. On this track Jaar sings in Spanish; his voice has become a hugely versatile instrument, tender one minute, forceful the next. It accompanies a cumbia beat, a nod to his Chilean roots, with a bittersweet melody best experienced through headphones to get the full spine-tingling effect. It’s probably the best thing he’s done so far.” – XLR8R
Stacks Image 8834
>Conor Oberst – Ruminations CD/LP (Nonesuch)
This past winter, Conor Oberst found himself hibernating in his hometown of Omaha after living in New York City for more than a decade. He emerged with the unexpectedly raw, unadorned solo album
Ruminations. “I wasn't expecting to write a record,” says Oberst. “I honestly wasn't expecting to do much of anything. Winter in Omaha can have a paralyzing effect on a person but in this case it worked in my favor. I was just staying up late every night playing piano and watching the snow pile up outside the window. Next thing I knew I had burned through all the firewood in the garage and had more than enough songs for a record. I recorded them quick to get them down but then it just felt right to leave them alone.’ With the help of engineer Ben Brodin, he recorded all the songs in the span of 48 hours. The results are almost sketch-like in their sparseness, and they ultimately became the songs that comprise Ruminations. These tracks do not have the multi-layered instrumentation of the most recent Bright Eyes and solo albums: This is Oberst alone with his guitar, piano, and harmonica; the songs connect with some of the rough magic and anxious poetry that first brought him to the attention of the world, while their lyrical complexity and concerns make it obvious they could only have been written in the present.
Stacks Image 8853
>Kings Of Leon – Walls CD/LP+MP3 (RCA)
Seventh album from multi-platinum selling rock band. [Limited blue color vinyl edition also available.]
Stacks Image 8864
>Wax Tailor – By Any Beats Necessary CD/2xLP (Le Plan)
Wax Tailor aims to make you travel with his fifth studio album
By Any Beats Necessary. "The album's title reflects my determination to use all kinds of sounds and textures to get to something musical," says JC Le Saout. "The word 'Beat' also draws a line towards the Beat Generation, Kerouac's famous novel On The Road, and the quest for a better place. And so, in this time when each of us needs a little escape, I conceptualized this album as the soundtrack to a better elsewhere". This new take on the western frontier leads us on a fabled road where blues, psychedelic rock, soul, funk and hip-hop collide. Joining him on this ride are guests Ghostface Killah, R.A. The Rugged Man, who crosses mics with up and comers A-F-R-O & Token. The album also features Tricky in a very personal duet with Charlotte Savary, Lee Fields, the godfather of the retro soul scene, Sara Genn, Mattic and Raashan Ahmad and newcomer Idil. [Limited color vinyl pressing also available.]
Stacks Image 8902
>Moby & The Void Pacific Choir – These Systems Are Failing CD (Mute)
As with much of Moby's output during his nearly three-decade long career, it's not surprising that a spiritual and political questioning underpins
These Systems Are Failing. “That quality of atmospheric sadness I've done so much of before isn't here -- there's nothing quiet or ambient,” he notes. “Sonically, this record isn't subtle: it's big & loud, with huge kick drums & massive choral choruses.” [Vinyl edition due November 18.]
Stacks Image 8910
>Mono – Requiem For Hell CD/2xLP+MP3 (Temporary Residence)
Requiem For Hell finds Mono returning to longtime friend and collaborator, Steve Albini. The album is heavier and scarier than most of Mono's output to this point -- hear the dizzying 18-minute title track for example -- but it also carries some of their most sublime moments. This dichotomy is how one band's obsession with conflict has manifested itself into one of underground music's simultaneously quietest and loudest catalogs.
Stacks Image 8894
>D.D Dumbo – Utopia Defeated CD/LP+MP3 (4AD)
D.D Dumbo’s fantastical debut album conjures a vivid, wide-eyed musical landscape teeming with nervous energy and exotic evocations of the world at large. Backed by skittering sounds,
Utopia Defeated hinges on Perry’s expressive voice, and the dissonance of an artist compelled to question his position in the natural world. The resulting sonic universe is a collision of blues licks, echoes of world music, strident ‘80s pop, the kinetic energy of dance music, and splashes of outsider art akin to Captain Beefheart, one of D.D Dumbo’s touchstones.
Stacks Image 8926
>Two Door Cinema Club – Gameshow CD/2xLP+MP3 (Glassnote)
On Two Door Cinema Club's third album,
Gameshow, the band has challenged themselves to indulge a wide and varied range of styles and influences stretching way beyond the traditional Two Door sound to take in Prince, Madonna, McCartney, Chic, Krautrock, neo soul and modernist pop. [Limited translucent blue color vinyl edition also available.]
Stacks Image 8918
>Oasis – Be Here Now [Reissue/1997] 3xCD/2xLP+MP3 (Big Brother Recordings Ltd.)
Expanded reissue of the third studio album from the iconic English rock band featuring an additional two CDs of rarities & B-sides, including the ‘Mustique Demos.’ [Double-vinyl edition includes a download for all bonus tracks.]
Stacks Image 8826
>Big Star – Complete Third 3xCD (Omnivore)
Over the years, Big Star’s 1978 album
Third has been re-released, re-sequenced, and reissued as Sister Lovers. Now, all of the album’s recordings—demos, mixes, and alternate versions of songs—have been collected in one place for the first time on this three-disc set, Complete Third. The collection boasts 69 total tracks, 28 of which are previously unheard session recordings, demos and alternate mixes made by producer Jim Dickinson and engineer John Fry. “The small but rabid cult of Big Star, composed initially of rock critics and hometown Memphis hipsters, coalesced around 1972’s #1 Record, which supercharged the legacy of the Beatles and Byrds, and 1974’s Radio City, which brought additional attitude and poignancy to the recipe. The shimmering brilliance of Big Star’s sound and songs on those two LPs, along with its underdog allure, would have been sufficient to perpetuate the band’s legend. But there was a third album, and that strange beast of a record made all the difference for subsequent generations of fans—many of whom formed bands of their own—who turned each other on to this music as if it were a secret religion or a trippy new drug” -- Bud Scoppa’s Complete Third liner notes. [Three separate double LPs to follow, each vinyl volume representing a CD in the boxed set.]
for the week of 07 OCTOBER 2016
Stacks Image 8884
>HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER - Heart Like a Levee + Vestapol (Limited Edition w/SIGNED POSTER) 2-LP set
'Heart Like a Levee' will be released on CD and LP, as well as limited-edition deluxe 2-CD and 2-LP versions. The deluxe versions include fold out poster and a second bonus album, 'Vestapol,' with its own packaging and artwork.

'Vestapol' is composed of eight unreleased songs written during the same time period as 'Levee,' and performed and recorded almost entirely by Taylor in various motels on the road and at home in Durham.

We are taking pre-orders for the DELUXE 2-LP version, only—as it is limited to 2000 copies worldwide. It's gonna be nice!
Stacks Image 8489
>Green Day – Revolution Radio CD/LP (Reprise)
Revolution Radio is Green Day’s twelfth album. Billie Joe Armstrong spoke to Rolling Stone about it, which the band self-produced for the first time since 2000’s Warning, and digressed on how “Bang Bang” was the first track conceived. Eerily enough, it’s from the prospective of a shooter. “It’s about the culture of mass shooting that happens in America mixed with narcissistic social media,” Armstrong explains. “There’s this sort of rage happening, but it’s also now being filmed and we all have ourselves under surveillance.” He extrapolated further on the album, adding that he plays “a lot of bow guitar on the record, sort of like Jimmy Page”, that the title track was inspired by a protest he witnessed in New York, and that he gets deep on “Too Dumb to Die”. Naturally, politics factored into the songwriting, as he argues: “I can only go from my own personal life, but this is the most chaos I’ve ever seen in an election. It’s just so freaky. I don’t want to add more of the outrage or anger. I’d just try to reflect it.” “Everybody’s freaked out,” he adds. “Nobody can rationalize with each other because everybody is stuck in fear and in anger, and there’s nothing in between. In a nutshell, that is what the record reflects.”
Stacks Image 8475
>Phantogram – Three CD/LP (Republic)
The third album from the duo of Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel “moves gracefully from scorn-fueled breakup music to angsty and lustful power-pop, both darkly raw and high-class glam, making this an album worthy of a deeper emotional investment” – Under The Radar. “Phantogram are at their best when blasting out gritty, heavy choruses –
Three has them in spades.” – DIY Magazine
Stacks Image 8458
>Norah Jones – Day Breaks CD/LP (Blue Note)
Norah Jones’ sixth solo album
Day Breaks is a kindred spirit to the singer’s breakout debut Come Away With Me, and finds the 9-time Grammy-winner returning to the piano and her roots. The album features jazz luminaries including her Blue Note labelmates -- saxophonist Wayne Shorter, organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, and drummer Brian Blade -- on a 12-song set that presents nine new originals alongside covers of songs by Horace Silver, Duke Ellington and Neil Young. “Day Breaks feels full circle because I'm going back to my early influences," says Norah. "After the first record, I drifted away from the piano a little bit. I still played it, but was more inspired to write on guitar. I really loved playing piano on this record.”
Stacks Image 8450
>Shovels & Rope – Little Seeds CD/2xLP+MP3 (New West)
Charleston, South Carolina-based indie folk duo Shovels & Rope consist of married singer/songwriters Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst. “
Little Seeds is as loud as we’ve ever been and it’s as quiet as we’ve ever been. It’s our most personal record and reflects some of those extremes we’ve experienced both sonically and lyrically. It has been nothing short of a harrowing couple of years, full of beauty and sorrow. We got served an adult portion. We grew up. From raw and primal electric guitar feedback slammers to mandolin led ballads, it’s just us being ourselves…and stretching” -- Shovels & Rope. [Limited translucent red color vinyl edition also available.]
Stacks Image 8439
>GOAT – Requiem CD/LP+MP3/Cassette (Sub Pop)
Western exports may have dominated the consciousness of international rock fans for the entirety of the 20th century, but our increasing global awareness has unearthed a treasure trove of transcendental grooves and spellbinding riffage from exotic and remote corners of the planet. With
Requiem, GOAT continue to rock and writhe to a beat beholden to no nation, no state. GOAT’s only outright declaration for Requiem is that it is their “folk” album, and the album is focused more on their subdued bucolic ritualism than psilocybin freakouts. Tracks like “All-Seeing Eye” and “Goatfuzz” conjure the sultry heathen pulsations that ensnared us on their previous albums. Perhaps the most puzzling aspect of Requiem comes with the closing track “Ubuntu.” The song is little more than a melodic delay-driven electric piano line, until we hear the refrain from “Diarabi”—the first song on their first album—sneak into the mix. It creates a kind of musical ouroboros—an infinite cycle of reflection and rejuvenation, death and rebirth.
Stacks Image 8511
>Joyce Manor – Cody CD/LP+MP3 (Epitaph)
Cody isn’t an album that changed everything for Joyce Manor, but Joyce Manor had to change a bit to make their album Cody. Since the release of their 2014 Epitaph debut Never Hungover Again, guitarist and singer Barry Johnson has taught himself the meditation techniques championed by the Beatles and director David Lynch, and he found he was suddenly wide open. Before, songs were labor; now they were revelations, appearing almost fully formed in his head before he had time to even catch them on a voicemail to himself. For Cody, the band camped out in the studio for two months with producer Rob Schnapf, credited on classics by Elliott Smith, Guided By Voices, Saves The Day and Rancid, all in the Joyce Manor record collections, of course. With Schnapf’s help, they’d explore deeper arrangements, new pre-production techniques, and different ways of working both together and with someone else. “Joyce Manor is one of the country's best rock bands, a fact long obvious to their teenage fans and band peers. With their expansive fourth album Cody, maybe the rest of the world will finally notice too” – SPIN. [Limited pink color vinyl edition also available.]
Stacks Image 8929