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Alfa Mist

Variables

    On Variables, his second release for ANTI-, Alfa achieves his most fully realised, expressive musical work to date, coupling his keen ear for looping, memorably emotive piano melodies with intuitive grooves and a free-flowing jazz improvisation. Since the release of his first full-length project Nocturne in 2015, Alfa has established himself as one of the UK’s most focused, in demand and distinct musical voices. He has worked with the likes of Jordan Rakei and Tom Misch. Artists look to him for his unique blend of intimate bedroom production and expansive jazz group orchestration, since Alfa is yet to be boxed into a specific genre. His music spans everything from hip-hop beat-making to producing for artists such as rapper Loyle Carner, composing neo-classical works for the London Contemporary Orchestra, and reworking tracks from composer Ólafur Arnald’s and pioneering jazz label Blue Note.

    The return to live shows has been a welcome one for Alfa and his fans, resulting in an extensive tour throughout UK and Europe. Including a sold-out headline show at the Barbican in London. Alfa Mist will be touring Europe, UK and North America in 2023 again. It is a balance between feeling and perfectionism that ultimately gives Alfa’s music its depth and capacity for repeated listening. It is also an ethos that has enabled his remarkable work-ethic to date. ‘I’ve never been a ‘one album every four years’ artist ‘ I want to put out new projects every year,’ he says. ‘Music is an extension of my life; it is the practice of creating.’

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Foreword
    2. Borderline
    3. Aged Eyes Feat. Kaya Thomas-Dyke
    4. Cycles
    5. The Gist
    6. Genda
    7. Apho Feat. Bongeziwe Mabandla
    8. Variables
    9. 4th Feb (Stay Awake)
    10. BC

    Andy Shauf

    Norm

      Andy Shauf’s songs unfold like short fiction: they’re densely layered with colorful characters and a rich emotional depth. On his new studio album Norm, his songwriting veers decidedly more oblique, hinting at sinister happenings and dark motivations. The result: an intoxicating collection of mellifuous melodies and beguiling lyrics. Levitating, synth- laden atmospherics drive Shauf’s storytelling on ‘Norm,’ mixed by Neal Pogue (Tyler, the Creator). In 2016, The Party catapulted Andy Shauf to indie notoriety, followed by 2020’s The Neon Skyline which landed Andy Shauf performances on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and CBS This Morning: Saturday, a Polaris Prize nomination, and mentions on several best-of lists — among them, a track on Barack Obama’s playlist and praise from Pitchfork, Mojo Magazine, France Inter, Rolling Stone Germany, Q Magazine, and more.

      TRACK LISTING

      Wasted On You
      Catch Your Eye
      Telephone
      You Didn't See
      Paradise Cinema
      Norm
      Halloween Store
      Sunset
      Daylight Dreaming
      Long Throw
      Don't Let It Get To You
      All Of My Love

      Tom Waits

      Alice - 20th Anniversary Edition

        Alice is one of the most distinctive of all Waits’ creations, occupying its own corner in the odd-angeld room that is Tom Waits’ body of work. While there are familiar parts—the redoubtable ragged voice, jazz ballads and poignant musings on death and longing—the whole is strange and exotic. A devastatingly beautiful atmosphere made of sorrow and reverie, insanity and resignation, rises like a mist in Alice. It’s a lyrical melancholia, a feeling that creeps in on the arms of Stroh violins and unabashed poetry. These are songs to fall into, and sometimes, to keep falling. There are fragile, haunted musings, and laments, mad ruminations, and tales of unrequited love and anthems from beyond the grave.

        TRACK LISTING

        Alice
        Everything You Can Think
        Flower’s Grave
        No One Knows I’m Gone
        Kommienezuspadt
        Poor Edward
        Table Top Joe
        Lost In The Harbour
        We’re All Mad Here
        Watch Her Disappear
        Reeperbahn
        I’m Still Here
        Fish & Bird
        Barcarolle
        Fawn

        Etching Side D

        Tom Waits

        Blood Money - 20th Anniversary Edition

          Blood Money is etched. It’s scratched out in bold, dark lines, with marimba, trumpet, and bass clarinet and contains some songs of Tom Waits’ most memorable melodies. The songs are declarative, sardonic, unforgiving, musical dispatches, from the bottom of the heap. “Blood Money is flesh and bone, earthbound,” said Waits. “The songs are rooted in reality: jealousy, rage, the human meat wheel...They are more carnal. I like a beautiful song that tells you terrible things. We all like bad news out of a pretty mouth. I like songs to sound as though they’ve been aging in a barrel and distressed.”

          TRACK LISTING

          Misery Is The River Of The World
          Everything Goes To Hell
          Coney Island Baby
          All The World Is Green
          God’s Away On Business
          Another Man’s Vine
          Knife Chase
          Lullaby
          Starving In The Belly Of A Whale
          The Part You Throw Away
          Woe
          Calliope
          A Good Man Is Hard To Find

          Plains

          I Walked With You A Ways

            Hitting play on the debut album from Plains, the duo composed of Waxahatchee's Katie Crutchfield and Jess Williamson, we're immediately teleported into a world of Southern sunsets, wide open spaces, and the unapologetic nature of Country music.Plains began out of Crutchfield's and Williamson's mutual love for each other's music and after trading albums (Saint Cloud and Sorceress, respectively) in early 2020

            Feeling that it was time to have a separate project that could reflect a different side of her creative inspirations, Katie felt that Jess was the perfect fit for a collaboration, and they set off to create I Walked With You A Ways.Written between Kansas City, Los Angeles, and Marfa, the album was recorded in Durham, NC with collaborator and producer Brad Cook. The creative magic of only a few vocal takes, tracking with a band comprised of Spencer Tweedy and Phil Cook, gives the album a feel of fresh, on-the-spot conception. The trust and history of Crutchfield and Cook's collaborations (Saint Cloud, Great Thunder EP) set the tone for this new container of spontaneity and experimentation.

            And that's the thing about Country music, and what so much of this album nods to - from Waylon and Willie, to The Judds, The Chicks, Trio, and beyond - these are groups that are formed out of family and friendship, that lyrically take their listeners on a voyage of sorrow and hope. Crutchfield's sharp, honest edge of truth telling paired with Williamson's ability to paint the scene with candles, plains, sunsets, and small Texas towns is one of the strongest parts of this album.

            While Williamson sings "Texas in my rearview / Plains in my heart" and Crutchfield echoes "Got a heartbreak burn, take the quickest route / On this 4 lane highway I'll trace it in the clouds," the true gift of this album emerges. We're in the backseat with these two, truck windows open, wide open spaces in front of us. The feeling of being both a mess and unstoppable at our fingertips. May this album bring us all closer to ourselves and to each other.

            TRACK LISTING

            Summer Sun
            Problem With It
            Line Of Sight
            Abilene
            Hurricane
            Bellafatima
            Last 2 On Earth
            Easy
            No Record Of Wrongs
            I Walked With You A Ways

            Cass McCombs

            Heartmind

              On Heartmind, Cass McCombs enters the double-digit-album phase of his career, a quantitatively rarified place for any songwriter; rarer still, though, is the fact that he does not yet seem to have settled into a qualitative sound or pattern, of singing the same thought twice (or perhaps even once).

              Songs like "Karaoke" are a god-level burst of powerpop perfection, as fetching as anything Cass has ever cut. The springy staccato guitar, the vaporized electric keys, the melody seemingly born for singing or clapping or dancing along: Cass triangulates a perch of his very own out among The Go-Betweens, The dB's, and The Cure,and vibrates there, a beacon. And then, of course, there is the song's playful if painful lyrical conceit—the lover who is making all the sacred motions of commitment but whose feelings may be no more deep or real than someone simply reading the lyrics for "Vision of Love" or "Stand by Your Man" from some crowded bar's TV screen.

              There are, at least, some basic facts to share about Heartmind, logistical evidence that may in turn shape your own questions: Cass recorded these songs in multiple sessions on both coasts, in Brooklyn and Burbank. The great Shahzad Ismaily not only cut the staggering "Unproud Warrior" and four others here but also played lots of bass. Buddy Ross tracked "New Earth," a paean of post-humanity renewal with several sharp wisecracks. Ariel Rechtshaid—now a dozen years into his collaboration with Cass, which began with 2009's Catacombs—captured Cass' scintillating guitars on "Belong to Heaven," a thoughtful consideration of what we all lose when we lose an old friend to the inevitable end. The steadfast Rob Schnapf (who previously produced McCombs' ANTI- debut, Mangy Love) mixed and merged it all. Wynonna Judd (yes, that one) offers harmonies, while her beau Cactus Moser provides some lap steel. Joe Russo, Kassa Overall, Danielle Haim, Nestor Gomez are featured on the album, too.

              TRACK LISTING

              Music Is Blue
              Karaoke
              New Earth
              Unproud Warrior
              Krakatau
              A Blue, Blue Band
              Belong To Heaven
              Heartmind

              Mavis Staples

              We'll Never Turn Back - Anniversary Edition

                Pops saw Dr. Martin Luther King speak in 1963 and from there we started to broaden our musical vision beyond just gospel songs. Pops told us, "I like this man. I like his message. and if he can preach it, we can sing it" So we started to write "Freedom Songs," like "Why Am I Treated So Bad," "When Will We Be Paid For The Work We've Done," "Long Walk To DC," and many others. Like many in the civil rights movement, we drew on the spirituality and the strength from the church to help gain social justice and try to achieve equal rights.We became a major voice for the civil rights movement and hopefully helped to make a difference in this country. It was a difficult and dangerous time (in 1965 we spent a night in jail in West Memphis, Arkansas and I wondered if we'd ever make it out alive) but we felt we needed to stand up and be heard.

                So for us, and for many in the civil rights movement, we looked to the church for inner strength and to help make positive changes. And that seems to be missing today. Here it is, 2007, and there are still so many problems and social injustices in the world. Well, I tell you we need a change now more than ever, and I'm turning to the church again for strength.

                With this record, I hope to get across the same feeling, the same spirit and the same message as we did with the Staple Singers and to hopefully continue to make positive changes. We've got to keep pushing to make the world a better place. Things are better but we're not where we need to be and we'll never turn back. 99 and 1/2 just won't do! - Mavis.

                TRACK LISTING

                Down In Mississippi
                Eyes On The Prize
                We Shall Not Be Moved
                In The Mississippi River
                On My Way
                This Little Light Of Mine
                99 And 1/2
                My Own Eyes
                Turn Me Around
                We'll Never Turn Back
                I'll Be Rested
                Jesus Is On The Main Line

                Girlpool

                Forgiveness

                  Forgiveness is the brand new full-length Girlpool album, which finds the duo embracing weirdo-pop decadence without sacrificing the poetic curiosity that has always made their music so absorbing

                  Just like they did for What Chaos Is Imaginary, Harmony and Avery each wrote their Forgiveness songs separately, then came together to decide how to present them in a style that felt representative of what excites and inspires them now. This time, the process resulted in their slickest and most ambitious music to date, filled with idiosyncratic and provocative gestures that simultaneously support and complicate the emotionally intricate material. With its unique blend of introspective earworms and surreal party music, Forgiveness reaches beyond the loosely sketched parameters of "indie rock," challenging any preconceived notions of what a Girlpool album can or should be. "Faultline" the albums first single, is an effective introduction to the world of Forgiveness; the notion of straddling a fault line feels somewhat indicative of Forgiveness on the whole. These songs investigate the always- shifting boundaries between a number of elementally human concepts: pain and pleasure, sex and love, reality and delusion, insecurity and confidence, grief and growth.To support their vision of a sound at the intersection of Hollywood futurism and post- grunge sincerity, Girlpool enlisted help from producer Yves Rothman (Yves Tumor, Miya Folick).

                  TRACK LISTING

                  Nothing Gives Me Pleasure
                  Lie Love Lullaby
                  Violet
                  Junkie
                  Dragging My Life Into A Dream
                  Faultline
                  Light Up Later (feat. Zsela)
                  Country Star
                  Butterfly Bulletholes
                  Afterlife
                  See Me Now
                  Love333

                  Fleet Foxes

                  A Very Lonely Solstice

                    Robin Pecknold brings light to the bleakest of winters with Fleet Foxes' 'A Very Lonely Solstice' a 13-track career spanning collection recorded in December 2020, at Brooklyn, NY's St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church.

                    'A Very Lonely Solstice' captures a poignant moment in time. The recording was originally broadcasted as a live-stream event on the winter solstice of 2020, just days after New York declared a state of emergency tightening restrictions again in response to increasing COVID-19 cases. Pecknold describes the set as "me by myself on the longest night of the year... honoring the loneliness of 2020 with a nylon string and some songs new and old." Fans worldwide tuned in while quarantined at home, finding solace and a sense of community in a period of extreme isolation.

                    Much of the performance showcases a solo focus on Pecknold who offers up acoustic arrangements of fan-favorite songs spanning Fleet Foxes' catalog. Selections cover all four of the band's studio albums, including their 2008 self-titled debut album ("Tiger Mountain Peasant Song") to 2011's Helplessness Blues ("Blue Spotted Tail") and 2017's Crack-Up ("If You Need To, Keep Time On Me"), all the way to their latest release, Shore. Resistance Revival Chorus joins Pecknold on Shore tracks "Wading In Waist-High Water" and "Can I Believe You." Also featured: a cover of Nina Simone's "In The Morning" and a rearrangement of the traditional "Silver Dagger."

                    TRACK LISTING

                    1. Wading In Waist-high Water
                    2. Sunblind
                    3. In The Morning
                    4. Tiger Mountain Peasant Song
                    5. Maestranza
                    6. Helplessness Blues
                    7. Silver Dagger
                    8. Featherweight
                    9. A Long Way Past The Past
                    10. Blue Spotted Tail
                    11. If You Need To, Keep Time On Me
                    12. I'm Not My Season
                    13. Can I Believe You

                    Mavis Staples & Levon Helm

                    Carry Me Home

                      Iconic singer Mavis Staples is an alchemist of American music, and during her 70+ year career one of her most beloved musical moments was her riveting performance in Martin Scorsese’s film’ The Last Waltz,’ performing “The Weight” with The Band, a moment that forged a life-long friendship between her and Levon Helm.

                      Staples came to Woodstock, NY to perform as part of Helm’s renowned Midnight Ramble series, and the ensuing concert—available now for the first time on the rousing new ANTI- Records release Carry Me Home—would mark a personal high watermark for both artists. Captured live in the summer of 2011, Carry Me Home showcases two of the past century’s most iconic voices coming together in love and joy, tracing their shared roots and celebrating the enduring power of faith and music. The setlist was righteous that night, mixing vintage gospel and soul with timeless folk and blues, and the performances were loose and playful, fueled by an ecstatic atmosphere that was equal parts family reunion and tent revival. Read between the lines, though, and there’s an even more poignant story at play here. Neither Staples nor Helm knew that this would be their last performance together—the collection marks one of Helm’s final recordings before \r\nhis death—and listening back now, a little more than a decade later, tunes like “This May Be The Last Time” and “Farther Along” take on new, bittersweet meaning. The result is an album that’s at once a time capsule and a memorial, a blissful homecoming and a fond farewell, a once-in-a-lifetime concert—and friendship—preserved for the ages. Staples and the night’s soulful crew of backup singers handle the vast majority of the vocal work here, but it’s perhaps album closer “The Weight,” which features Helm chiming in with lead vocals for the first time, that stands as the concert’s most emotional moment.

                      "It never crossed my mind that it might be the last time we’d see each other,” says Staples. “He was so full of life and so happy that week. He was the same old Levon I’d always known, just a beautiful spirit inside and out.”

                      "My dad built The Midnight Rambles to restore his spirit, his voice, \r\nand his livelihood,” says Helm’s daughter, Amy, who sang backup \r\nvocals with her father and Staples at their performance. “He’d risen back up from all that had laid him down, and to have Mavis come sing and sanctify that stage was the ultimate triumph for him.”

                      TRACK LISTING

                      1. This Is My Country 
                      2. Trouble In My Mind 
                      3. Farther Along 
                      4. Hand Writing On The Wall 
                      5. I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free 
                      6. Move Along Train 
                      7. This May Be The Last Time 
                      8. When I Go Away 
                      9. Wide River To Cross 
                      10. You Got To Move 
                      11. You Got To Serve Somebody 
                      12. The Weight

                      Cameron Avery has arrived as a new breed of nocturnal crooner, a train-wreck romantic creating timeless, ambitious music for the modern age. Utilizing his soulful wit, shrewd arrangements, and a deep, husky baritone, Avery harnesses the dark power and humor of artists like Nick Cave, Scott Walker, and Tindersticks to expertly walk the fine line between vulnerable and venerable.

                      Hailing from the late 2000’s-era Perth, Australia, a healthy scene of hard-hitting garage rock bands, including a long stint as the drummer of Pond, Avery found his musical footing while playing with friends but sought the reward of his own outfit. Encouraged by his friend Kevin Parker of Tame Impala to record on his own, Avery started The Growl as his solo project in 2007, making an EP and an album of aggressive, distorted psychedelic rock and roll.

                      When Parker asked him to join Tame Impala as its touring bassist in 2013, Avery jumped at the chance and rose with that band to the top of the psych-rock heap, but all the while remained focused on carving out his singular identity as an artist and following his own muse. On a break from touring, Avery decided to head to the US to work on his album. He would settle in Los Angeles at the behest of Jonathan Wilson, the Echo Park musician and producer who also encouraged Avery to shine a spotlight on his baritone singing voice, unlike the snarling, obscured vocals of The Growl. It was a lofty idea, but one to which Avery aspired, encouraged by the challenge. Melancholic machismo is written into the very DNA of Ripe Dreams, Pipe Dreams.

                      From the classical, finger-picked guitar on the opener “A Time and Place” and the orchestral vamping of “Do You Know Me By Heart?” to the bombastic, self-assured swagger of “Dance with Me.” He takes an emotive page from the Leonard Cohen songbook-of-longing on “Big Town Girl” just as naturally as he thumbs an aggressive note of Bad Seed strut and Cramps rut on “Watch Me Take It Away.” And by the time he purrs that earnest refrain of “Baby, it’s you” on the album’s closer “C’est Toi,” Avery has surely mastered that drunken tightrope dance. Now a resident of New York City, Avery looks to continue his search for the ultimate sensations from a fresh vantage point.


                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Laura says: The fact that Jonathan Wilson has produced this album is more of an indicator of it's sound than the bands Cameron Avery has previously been involved with: Pond, Tame Impala, The Growl. His rich baritone is perfectly suited to the romantic, string laden, swoon-some songs that make up the majority of this album, but it's equally suited to the more robust numbers and the bluesy stomp of "Watch Me Take It Away" which is one of the album stand outs. Comparisons have been make to Leonard Cohen and Scott Walker amongst others, but on gems like "Wasted On Fidelity" and "An Ever Jarring Moment" and "C'est Toi" I'd say Richard Hawley fans should take note. Lovely stuff.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      1. A Time And Place
                      2. Do You Know Me By Heart
                      3. Dance With Me
                      4. Wasted On Fidelity
                      5. Big Town Girl
                      6. Disposable
                      7. The Cry Of Captain Hollywood
                      8. Watch Me Take It Away
                      9. An Ever Jarring Moment
                      10. C'est Toi (Extended) 

                      With the release of their second album, Celebration Rock in 2012 the band embarked on what seemed like an endless world tour, performing over 200 shows in over 40 countries, and played their final show in support of Celebration Rock in Buenos Aires, Argentina in November 2013. They would not perform live again for three years. Their third album, Near To The Wild Heart Of Life, was written clandestinely in Vancouver, Toronto, New Orleans, and Mexico City. It was (mostly) recorded at Rain City Recorders in Vancouver, BC (Fall of 2015), with one song, “True Love And A Free Life Of Free Will”, recorded at Golden Ratio in Montreal, QC.

                      The title, Near To The Wild Heart Of Life, comes from a passage in the novel A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man by James Joyce: “He was alone. He was unheeded, happy, and near to the wild heart of life.” Like their prior albums Post-Nothing and Celebration Rock, the album is 8 songs. This is because 8 songs is the standard template for a great rock n roll album. Like Post-Nothing and Celebration Rock, the album was sequenced specifically for the LP. On Near To The Wild Heart Of Life, side A (songs 1-4) and side B (songs 5-7) each follow their own loose narrative. Taken together as one, they form an even looser narrative, with the final song on side B (song 8) acting as an epilogue. If Celebration Rock was the culmination of something, then Near To The Wild Heart Of Life can be considered the beginning of something else.


                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Barry says: Forever a force to be reckoned with, Japandroids have really pulled out all the stops for their latest album, 'Near To The Wild Heart Of Life'. Equal parts 90's grunge, anthemic skate-punk and full-force rock and roll. Stunningly produced, triumphantly anthemic in places, and a stormer in every way.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      1. Near To The Wild Heart Of Life
                      2. North East South West
                      3. True Love And A Free Life Of Free Will
                      4. I'm Sorry (For Not Finding You Sooner)
                      5. Arc Of Bar
                      6. Midnight To Morning
                      7. No Known Drink Or Drug
                      8. In A Body Like A Grave 

                      Bettye LaVette

                      The Scene Of The Crime

                        After comeback album "I've Got My Own Hell To Raise", soul / R&B legend Bettye LaVette was coaxed back into the studio (and Fame Studios, Muscle Shoals at that!) again to put down a whole new album backed by the Drive-By Truckers. It's a record filled with mini dramas about life, love and survival: A blistering mix of anguished soul and greasy rock'n'roll laced with swampy guitars, Spooner Oldham's slippery Wurlitzer piano and Bettye's razor sharp voice up front.


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