LUNA music essentials...

for the week of 23 SEPTEMBER 2014...
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>Aphex TwinSyro CD/3xLP (Warp)
Aphex Twin makes his return on Warp with new album
Syro. Richard D. James has been releasing music since the beginning of the '90s. His first full-length album, Selected Ambient Works 85-92, came out in 1992 through R&S Records. The first Aphex Twin release on Warp would be 1993's On EP, which was followed by four studio albums for the label, as well as numerous other EPs. Syro is the first new Aphex Twin album since 2001's Drukqs.
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>Goat Commune CD/LP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
Second album from the Swedish psychedelic collective known for their intense, ritualistic live shows. Goat's hypnotic, 2012 debut,
World Music, received widespread acclaim and placed in many of that year's top-ten lists. "They largely stick to the heavy, kinetic, afro-influenced rock that proved such a winning formula, the only obvious developments being that the guitarists seem to be taking more cues from desert-rockers like Tamikrest and Tinariwen, and the songs show an increasing preference for subtlety over immediacy in the hooks department. Yet despite the apparent lack of new ideas here, the undeniable success of this work lies in Goat's deepening and development of the musical and spiritual themes presented on in World Music." – The Quietus
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>Bonnie Prince BillySinger's Grave A Sea Of Tongues CD/LP/LP+12"/Cassette (Drag City)
Singer's Grave A Sea Of Tongues is the 11th new full-length album from the mind, soul and voice of the man that is Bonnie Prince Billy. His first solo record on Drag City in nearly three years, it is a rich and roiling time of life that is captured in a myriad of moments throughout all the songs here. Throughout the album, mythos is in the wind, trysting with truth and the joys of song, of singing and playing in open space; harmonies and acoustic instruments spread in bright stereo sound, accosting in the air between the speakers and going deep, without hesitation into our waiting and needing minds and souls. We'll have limited copies, on hand, that include a bonus 12"—but they will go quickly...
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>Tweedy – Sukierae CD/2xLP (Anti)
Tweedy, the band, is a collaboration between Jeff Tweedy, best known as the founder of the pioneering Chicago rock band Wilco, and his 18-year-old son and drummer Spencer Tweedy.
Sukierae features 20 new songs penned by Jeff, performed by Tweedy father and son along with a host of musical guests.
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>King TuffKing Moon Spell CD/LP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
Black Moon Spell is the new album from L.A.-based rock outfit, King Tuff, who are long adored for their tight, anthemic songs and enigmatic leader, King Tuff (aka Kyle Thomas). Black Moon Spell recalls rock heroes such as Thin Lizzy, T-Rex and Alice Cooper, along with the inimitable blend of punk and power-pop that defined King Tuff's previous two albums.
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>Purling Hiss – Weirdon CD/LP/Cassette (Drag City)
Full-tilt with tunes, aggro riffs, feedback peals, stoned soul-searching, pop turnarounds and magisterial portraits of the go-nowhere lifestyle in abstract,
Weirdon is also a new-phase Purling Hiss album, using the songwriting and guitar style of Mike Polizze to come up with a quicksilver sound touched on only briefly on previous records. Replete with handclaps, pounding pianos, tambourines and vocal effects, but steeped in guitar roar, Purling Hiss streamlines up nicely, serving the new songs and directions of Weirdon while still slamming down hard on your ears like they like to do.
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>Leonard Cohen – Popular Problems CD (Columbia)
"Leonard Cohen turns 80 on September 21, and he remains cooler than any of us. On his birthday, the poetic rock eminence will follow up his quiet 2012 stunner
Old Ideas with a new album called Popular Problems. Cohen produced and co-wrote the LP with the frequent Madonna collaborator Patrick Leonard, who also worked on Old Ideas, and the LP pulls the same trick that Cohen has pulled on his last few albums, pairing up his grave and gravelly voice with weirdly chintzy synth settings" -- Stereogum. Vinyl due October 7.
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>Whirr – Sway CD/LP+MP3 (Graveface)
New album from the shoegaze outfit featuring Nick Bassett (formerly of Deafheaven). More than any Whirr release to date,
Sway creates a definitive sense of immersion, sculpting an environment that breathes you in instantly and breathes you out only when the record snaps into silence.
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>Alt-J – This Is All Yours CD/2xLP (Atlantic)
"As with
An Awesome Wave, the defining characteristic of This Is All Yours is the band's almost mechanical approach to its music, which can be in contrast to the visceral intent of its cryptic lyrics. While the music can be unyielding and is always meticulously arranged, words are strung together to create sensual images rather than formal narratives. Though electronics are still a primary force, much of the new album finds the trio exploring its interest in chamber pop and folk." – The Wall Street Journal
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>Julian Casablancas + The Voidz – Tyranny CD (Cult)
New album from the Strokes frontman and his mates. Over the past four years, Julian Casablancas + The Voidz have come together through music connections and friends in NYC and L.A. via their love of beat driven, aggressive and avant-garde music with the power of modern harmonies to make it catchy and powerful. A punk band that can play and style of music, they take pride in their versatility.
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>Perfume Genius – Too Bright CD/LP+MP3 (Matador)
Over the course of two astonishing albums, Perfume Genius, aka Seattle native Mike Hadreas, cemented his place as a singer/songwriter of rare frankness, creating songs that, while achingly emotional, offered empathy and hope, rather than any judgment or handwringing. Sparse, gorgeous and with Hadreas quavering vocals often only accompanied by piano, they were uncommonly beautiful tales of a life lived on the dark side scarred, brutalized, yet ultimately, slowly but surely reclaimed.
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>The Drums – Encyclopedia CD/2xLP+MP3 (Minor Records)
The Drums music often explores the themes of loss, nostalgia, redemption, vulnerability, and love with critic's raves embracing both the lyrics and their sonic signature. This time around, they've embraced a darker sound while making it as grand and majestic as they please.
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>Gary Clark Jr. – Gary Clark Jr. Live 2xCD/2xLP (WB)
Clark's first live album collects his best performances from all over the world. Austin native Gary Clark Jr.'s goal is to make timeless music that's reflective of his disparate confluence of inspirations, from classic rock and soul, to hip-hop, R&B and punk rock informed by the blues. He must be succeeding, as Spin says, "there truly is nobody else like him around." Billboard calls him a "game changer," while Rolling Stone writes, "he is as comfortable wailing on straight blues as he is with simmering soul, shifting easily from funk to a fine Stones-y grind on his electric guitars."
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>Lower Plenty – Life/Thrills CD/LP (Mexican Summer)
Life/Thrills is the Melbourne Lower Plenty's third full-length, and their collective experience (members play in a host of other bands, not limited to Total Control, The UV Race, Exhaustion, Deaf Wish and Dick Diver) will leave you thoroughly unprepared for the beautiful confusion suggested by these ten songs, which seem to have the power of slowing and even stopping time. Suitable comparisons to this music are as disparate as early Cat Power, Arab Strap, the Shrimper roster ca. 1992, the Sun City Girls, and the late-'60s/early-'70s output of the Red Crayola.
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>Chuck Prophet – Night Surfer CD (Yep Roc)
Of his new album,
Night Surfer, Prophet comments, "This record is loosely conceptual but universal all the same. It's all about a path forward, about looking around and imagining where we'll be in 20 years if we just follow that path. And of course, you'll find a persistent anxiety throughout; we live, after all, in anxious times. As John Murry told me after a first listen, 'It brings a tear to the eye and blood to the johnson.'" So yeah, a new record, new sound. It's got it's own groove with in your face guitars that snake and harmonize. They jangle too, thanks in no small part to special guest Peter Buck." Vinyl version due October 21.
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>Mr Twin Sister – Mr Twin Sister CD/LP (Twin Group)
"The Band Formerly Known as Twin Sister return with a new album that possesses a distinctly nocturnal vibe. Mr Twin Sister is a 37-minute tribute to the way night allows people to discover who they are and who they want to be." [8.1] -- Pitchfork
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>Laetitia Sadier – Something Shines CD/LP (Drag City)
New solo album from the Stereolab frontwoman. "Laetitia Sadier's solo material is essentially the same thing as a Stereolab album. With Stereolab now finished it is hard to get that updated '60s French pop vibe from anywhere else. Her solo work has continued the effort meeting a small niche in the music world. Besides her voice which continues to be rather affecting she has appeared in increasingly unusual places (ending up on a Tyler the Creator track, etc.). Hopefully at some point she begins to grow her audience." –
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>Dntel – Human Voice CD/CD+Cassette (Leaving Records)
Dntel is Jimmy Tamborello, best known as the producer for the Postal Service as well as Baths and Mia Doi Todd.
Human Voice, his seventh full-length as Dntel, is an eight-track LP of sun-drenched, deconstructed pop that follows 2012's Aimlessness. The title is a nod to the ability of machines to communicate meanings and messages in much the same way as the human voice. (Limited copies feature a bonus cassette, Human Voice Outtakes, which includes a recording of Dntel's live set from the Leaving Records-curated edition of Boiler Room in L.A.)
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>Erasure – Violet Flame CD/2xCD (Mute)
Erasure are back with their 16th studio album,
The Violet Flame, an emotionally-charged electro-pop album with euphoric, synth-fuelled melodies that strike instantly into the heart. The theme of transformation and new beginnings is captured in the album s title, a literal spiritual term meaning the transformation of negative energy into positive energy, freedom and forgiveness. Available in Regular and Deluxe editions. Deluxe features the bonus disc Live At Short Circuit, The Roundhouse, London 14/05/11.
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>Various Artists – Hyperdub 10.3 CD (Hyperdub)
Hyperdub 10.1 and 10.2 shone light on the label's dance floor and songwriting dimensions, this collection champions its beatless and ambient sounds. Inevitably, the tracklist kicks off with the label's chief protagonist of melancholy, Burial. There's new material from the likes of Kode9, The Bug, Dean Blunt, Inga Copeland, Lee Gamble, Cooly G, Fatima Al Qadiri, Ikonika, DJ Earl and Junior Boys' Jeremy Greenspan, while older cuts from King Midas Sound, Darkstar and Laurel Halo also feature. The result is a collection of tunes the labels says is "free of drums and often basslines, leaving only synthesised, sampled or looped textures that often hang like a cloud of gas, or rotate without friction like mini cyclones."
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>Louis C.K. – Oh My God CD/2xLP (Vagrant)
The three-time Emmy-winner and longtime HBO favorite takes the stage for his fourth stand-up comedy special. On
Oh My God, Louis C.K. discusses such topics as the food chain, animals, divorce, strange anecdotes, broken mortality, murder and mortality.
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>Sarah SilvermanWe Are Miracles CD/LP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
Sarah Silverman
We Are Miracles is taken from the acclaimed performer's Emmy-nominated first headline special for HBO. It was recorded at the famed Largo in Los Angeles.