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Julie Sophie

Forgive Too Slow

    forgive too slow, Avant Garde artist julia-sophie’s deeply personal debut album is testament to her ability to transform adversity into raw beauty, combining her traditional songwriting roots with her own take on experimental electronica. It features her intimate voice backed by warm and precise electronic sounds whose free spirited explorations give body to the carefully written personal songs

    julia-sophie comes off the drama of her 2010s rock band, Little Fish, which was signed to a major label. The surreal experiences (like being flown to Las Vegas in helicopters with a bag of slot machine money or given limousines for the day to go shopping), along with having to work in environments where she felt unsafe, drove her decision to leave the fame game. She turned down the offer to emigrate to America and engage with the machinations of the system as it did not feel “true or congruent with who I was”. Instead, she focused her attention on her hometown (Oxford, UK).

    She started recording lo-fi pop in her garage, using an old laptop, wonky microphones and hitting whatever was around for beats. Candy Says grew to be more of a collective than a band, and eventually co-wrote a film score for indie film Burn Burn Burn and recorded a cover of Running Up That Hill for the Netflix film Close (starring Noomi Rapace).

    Julia-Sophie soon started recording songs with her friend B, who had a studio stacked from wall-to-wall with analogue recording gear, vintage synths and drum machines. She decided to self-release and the music reached audiences beyond her expectations, including support from BBC Radio 6 and a feature in The Quietus.

    forgive too slow is Julia-Sophie’s debut solo album, and concerns relationships and the struggles we go through when we “forgive too slow” and can’t break out of patterns from the past.

    The songs narrate her story of self-destruction (“numb”), love (“falling”), and loss (“telephone”). By the end, embers are still burning and there is no telling if Julia-Sophie has found peace, but we do get a sense that she has gotten closer to the core of her being and is finally living authentically.


    1. 2:00am
    2. I Was Only
    3. Lose My Mind
    4. Numb
    5. Falling
    6. Comfort You
    7. Just Us
    8. Wishful Thinking
    9. Better
    10. Telephone

    Various Artists

    Flux Gourmet - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

      Ba Da Bing is releasing the soundtrack to 2022’s paeon to cuisine prep, Flux Gourmet. A vibrant, four-coursed, 23-track double album, Flux Gourmet includes contributions by Heather Trost, Jeremy Barnes, Marta Salogni, Cavern of Anti-Matter, and Roj (Broadcast), as well as Strickland’s own compositions as part of The Sonic Catering Band.

      British Director and sonic pioneer, Peter Strickland, known for The Duke of Burgundy (2014), Berberian Sound Studio (2012) and Björk: Biophilia Live (2014), has always pushed visuals and narrative to absurd heights. In Flux Gourmet, performance artists taking part in a residency dedicated to sonic catering combining cooking, sound and theater. Food is amplified, microphones are jammed against blenders, and the sizzling sound of the frier turns becomes an ominous rattle. The film’s soundtrack is equally as process oriented, experimental, and kaleidoscopic as its protagonists’ practice.

      Contributors are Cavern of Anti-Matter, Jeremy Barnes, Heather Trost, Roj (formerly of Broadcast), Tim Harrison, Dan Hayhurst and Nurse With Wound.


      Side A:
      A1. Heather Trost - Early Gardens
      A2. Roj - Trip To The Shops
      A3. The Sonic Catering Band - Death Borscht
      A4. The Sonic Catering Band - The Third Gastric Surge Of The Night
      A4. Jeremy Barnes - The Funeral Table

      Side B:
      B1. The Sonic Catering Band - Greed
      B2. The Sonic Catering Band - HLA-DQ8
      B3. Heather Trost - Early Gardens (earlier)
      B4. Roj - Trip To The Shops
      B5. Nurse With Wound - Hindu Monastery Breakfast
      B6. Tim Harrison - Ohmlette’s Law

      Side C:
      C1. The Sonic Catering Band - Vegetable Trash
      C2. The Sonic Catering Band - A Sedimental Journey
      C3. The Sonic Catering Band - Baron Von Omelette
      C4. The Sonic Catering Band - Dossier De Canteen
      C5. Cavern Of Anti- Matter - Insufflation Tube
      C6. Jeremy Barnes - The Funeral Table
      C7. The Sonic Catering Band - A Pain I Can’t Hold In

      Side D:
      D1. Heather Trost - Early Gardens (earliest)
      D2.Dan Hayhurst - Monday Service
      D3. Marta Salogni - Cross-Contamination
      D4. Roj - Trip To The Shops (closing Down)
      D5. Jeremy Barnes - The Funeral Table (demonstration)

      Secret Pyramid

      A Vanishing Touch

        While possibly not the first ambient record to be inspired by J Dilla’s Donuts, Secret Pyramid’s A Vanishing Touch is in rarified company. The two seem antithetical—with Donuts a now classic collection of short beats compiled together and A Vanishing Touch being a forty-minute suite consisting of fourteen pieces. However, like any genre, ambient music has a lot more going on beneath the surface than might be initially gleaned.

        From the start, Amir Abbey dropped his usual songwriting process of long contemplation and careful sculpting. “I let the pieces live and breathe, and I spent a lot less time tweaking and editing. Doing this brought an energy and mystery to the music that was missing from what I’ve made in the past.” This allowed the record to come together quickly”, with Abbey working on it nightly after his work day had ended. “Each album is a snapshot of where I am at that point in time. With this album, I have been thinking about shifting memory, how a moment in time does not need to be thought of as endless, but rather part of a cycle. Every beginning is as important and salient as the ending that follows.”

        Working at home, as he always has, Abbey embeds synths, tape loops and processing, horns, ondes martenot, guitar, bass, and organ within the multi-tiered composition of A Vanishing Touch. Sounds morph, bleed, fade, and permeate with moments where a listener is able to make out what is being played at that moment. “I’ve intentionally blurred some of the instrumentation and it can’t be easily made out, so even if you pay attention to the sound, there’s something ephemeral about it.” Each measure feels deep, singular, mysterious, and unconfined. It’s a new approach to ambience—the magic of the moment as a moment, not stretched beyond its point in time. “A Vanishing Touch is about impermanence and the beauty that can result from it.”


        1. Whim
        2. Slow Softly
        3. Broken Wing
        4. Kiss The Hold
        5. So So
        6. Out Of The Sky Into The Ground
        7. Valerian
        8. Bloom Nightly
        9. One Twelve (feat. Ilyas Ahmed)
        10. Blush
        11. Hands To
        12. First Rotation
        13. Turning Into Air
        14. Cradle

        The Dead C

        Operation Of The Sonne - 2023 Reissue

          The Dead C’s trio of albums in the middle of their harsh 90s reality served for many as entry points to the band. Operation Of The Sonne, The White House and Tusk received wider distribution than the band had ever seen before, and this was the first rays of them being considered amongst the most important rock bands of the 20th century.

          This trio of vinyl reissues capture their intensity and presence in a way that may even blow out the candle of the original pressings. Newly remastered by Lasse Marhaug, and with bonus tracks, these 2023 reissues have been cut carefully and loud, with the sonic wars heard on these now-classic tracks more blaring than ever.

          Coming after the monster that was Harsh 70s Reality, and its evil twin, Clyma Est Mort, this album has always confounded even soi-disant Dead C fans. Side one documents the discovery of the analogue synthesizer coupled with field recordings from the basement of Willowbank, Koputai’s “most stately” home. Side two emerged spontaneously to cassette on stage at the “fabled” Empire Tavern—and it still sounds like stripping the breathable atmosphere from an already-depleted biosphere.

          The Dead C

          The White House - 2023 Reissue

            The Dead C’s trio of albums in the middle of their harsh 90s reality served for many as entry points to the band. Operation Of The Sonne, The White House and Tusk received wider distribution than the band had ever seen before, and this was the first rays of them being considered amongst the most important rock bands of the 20th century.

            This trio of vinyl reissues capture their intensity and presence in a way that may even blow out the candle of the original pressings. Newly remastered by Lasse Marhaug, and with bonus tracks, these 2023 reissues have been cut carefully and loud, with the sonic wars heard on these now-classic tracks more blaring than ever.

            The Dead C on The White House, now including bonus track “Breakdown/World”: “Recorded in the winter of 1994, sessions were accompanied by snow, an infrequent but always super-exciting event in downtown Dunedin. Mainly if not entirely recorded direct to REVOX B77, just like The Clean’s Oddities. Our version of Led Zepp IV with no ‘Stairway’, as recorded by the Meat Puppets in a K-hole. Originally M&D by Matador, this is as major label as we got. Mere pseud post-grunge sell-out moves-ah.”

            The Dead C

            Tusk - 2023 Reissue

              The Dead C’s trio of albums in the middle of their harsh 90s reality served for many as entry points to the band. Operation Of The Sonne, The White House and Tusk received wider distribution than the band had ever seen before, and this was the first rays of them being considered amongst the most important rock bands of the 20th century.

              This trio of vinyl reissues capture their intensity and presence in a way that may even blow out the candle of the original pressings. Newly remastered by Lasse Marhaug, and with bonus tracks, these 2023 reissues have been cut carefully and loud, with the sonic wars heard on these now-classic tracks for blaring than ever.

              How does one follow up one of the most immediately revered noise rock releases of all time? Definitely not by spending ten times the money and time recording their next release and doing a bloated double album. Tusk (now including bonus track “There Is Something To Be Gained”), The Dead C record, is uncompromising and unrelenting. Here’s a band enjoying more attention than they ever got before, and they launch their new album with a long, ominous percussive rattle. Tusk digs into the thought bubble that formed via Operation Of The Sonne and The White House, sharpens the edges and reveals some of their greatest broken progressions and vicious feedback. The band is at their performative peak, staking their ground with an amp covered in dirt

              TRACK LISTING

              1. Plane
              2. Head
              3. Tuba
              4. Half
              5. Imaginary
              6. Tusk
              7. There Is Something To Be Gained

              Asher White

              New Excellent Woman

                Kaleidoscopic pop songs in the vein of Devendra Banhardt, Dirty Projectors and The Kinks.

                Guest appearance on "Garden" by guitarist Eli Winter.

                Asher White’s music is a complex and heartfelt reaction to the churn of our modern world. With tender intimacy and resounding anxiety, White takes a wide view through the lens of her own queer sexual politics and transgender identity; what does it mean to renew, to progress, to transform? What is lost, gained, or irreversibly altered?

                At 22 years old, White has developed a massive self-released discography: over a dozen albums since 2015, each one started the moment the last one was finished. New Excellent Woman is a distillation of these experiments and discoveries, a new achievement in songwriting that stands astride the cracks in the earth and lopsided ground. Songs jump between styles like a pubescent sex drive, all locked together by White’s ability to pull melody out of chaos.

                New Excellent Woman wanders a meticulous cut-and-pasted path paved by forebears like The Books and Animal Collective. It sounds like a live band, bursting with kinetic energy, but the album was constructed alone in her Providence, RI studio, where she arranged, performed, recorded, and mixed the record herself. The ingenuity of Dirty Projectors is laced with the catchiness and warmth of The Kinks, and maybe a dash of Elephant 6. It’s like an ADHD party and you’re the first to arrive.

                New Excellent Woman is built from detritus, often quite literally: from the thrift store amplifiers and scavenged keyboards she uses to her penchant for discovering and sampling obscure YouTube videos into her songs. The thick fog of “Bedsong” is made up of little more than a Hammond organ found on craigslist and a few muffled drums piled with rags; opener “Ptolemy” uses a seemingly random video of teenage boredom as its textural and rhythmic backdrop.

                The ceaseless march of our modern world can feel both awe-inspiring and abysmal. New highways and condominiums are erected in a matter of weeks as historic burial grounds are demolished. Even short TikToks seem to expire in real time. Asher White won’t change things, but New Excellent Woman gives us a fresh and poignant perspective of the shifting world around us through her eyes—and maybe a connection is the best we can hope for.

                TRACK LISTING

                1. Ptolemy
                2. Skate Park Anthem
                3. Saturday Morning
                4. Mare
                5. Tresemme Instrumental
                6. Modern Guilt
                7. Garden
                8. Bedsong
                9. New Excellent World

                The Veils

                Nux Vomica - 2023 Reissue

                  The rawness of The Veils' Nux Vomica can be enjoyed to a degree never heard before, with Ba Da Bing's limited edition pressing of the records with the original mixes by Nick Rainey left intact. Originally released in 2006, The Veils sophomore album Nux Vomica was praised for its “Herculean intensity” by The Guardian, and called “a heady blast of gothic psychodrama” by The Observer, while Pitchfork praised leader Finn Andrews’ “magnetic, outsize persona.”

                  Long out of print, the vinyl version was resuscitated by Music on Vinyl in 2017 and quickly sold out. Now, The Veils present the definitive version of their most heralded album to date, which dusts off the original mixes by legendary producer Nick Launay (Public Image Limited, The Birthday Party, INXS and Midnight Oil) and offers them to fans here for the first time. Taken from the original two-inch analog tape reels, each song was carefully remastered by Alex Wharton at Abbey Road Studios in London. Nux Vomica was the first of many creative reinventions for Andrews, who at 22 had already released an album on Rough Trade, moved from New Zealand to London to form a band, then back to New Zealand where he once again started the band anew. The creative progression is clear in Andrews’ incisive lyricism and knack for hell-fire dramatics.

                  From the positively mirthful “Advice for Young Mothers to Be” to the simmering ominousness of “Nux Vomica,” from the ornate spectacle of “Calliope!” to the Grand Guignol of “Jesus for the Jugular”, Nux Vomica is a remarkably accomplished album for a musician so young who was facing the pressures of British musical stardom. All intentions to release this dark and raw set of recordings were dashed upon submission to Rough Trade for approval, who didn't like the results. They hired mixing engineer Bill Price to adjust the sound and add additional instrumentation. Launey’s mixes were shelved and forgotten about, while the album nonetheless went on to be a critical highpoint for the band and is much loved to this day.


                  Patterns For Auto-Tuned Voices And Delay

                    Eliza Bagg leads a complex musical life: working as a classical opera singer, she has soloed with the New York Philharmonic, performed in Meredith Monk’s opera at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and toured Europe with the legendary John Zorn. While making her own music under the guise of art-pop solo act Lisel, she’s also collaborated as a vocalist with some of the most renowned experimental artists, including Ben Frost, Julianna Barwick, Daniel Wohl, and many others, all while playing indie rock venues and lovably dingy basements. One day, it’s Lincoln Center or The Kitchen, the next it’s an outdoor LA ambient series. She was always torn between her two worlds, and it wasn’t until she began work on Patterns For Auto-tuned Voices And Delay that she discovered a way to merge them together. Patterns comes out of Bagg’s experience as a vocalist singing Renaissance and Baroque music along with the work of modern-day minimalists like Steve Reich and Philip Glass. “I developed a vocal processing system that allowed me to change the idea of what my instrument is,” Bagg says of the album’s genesis, a system that combines her virtuosic singing with autotune and delay effects to create a melding of human and machine. Sure, she’ll admit it. “I’m a sci-fi nerd,” she says, with a laugh. “I’m a Blade Runner and Battlestar person. I love things that explore how society interacts with machines.” While making Patterns, she dove first into Renaissance polyphony and chant. The music of Hildegard von Bingen, Thomas Tallis, and Carlo Gesualdo is a familiar world to her. Starting with Renaissance and Medieval singing styles and idioms, she added processing and electronic world-building to bring out new, expressive qualities of those styles. From there, she improvised in these styles, fed the performances into Ableton, and incorporated modern day hyperpop (like SOPHIE) and ambient electric sounds and aesthetics. From Philip Glass to Charli XCX, Carl Stone to Grimes, Patterns makes radical connections. Yet, it was important for Bagg to maintain the spiritual origins of these vocal techniques. Patterns For Auto-tuned Voices And Delay stands within those traditions, using voices to transcend the cerebral and overwhelm the listener, all while evoking a unique set of references that span five hundred years.

                    TRACK LISTING

                    1. INTRO: Liturgy
                    2. One At A Time
                    3. Stalactite
                    4. Wingspan
                    5. Immature
                    6. Blades Of Grass
                    7. Plainsong
                    8. Polyphony For Voices
                    9. At The Fair
                    10. Rising Mist
                    11. Whirlpool

                    The Veils

                    ... And Out Of The Void Came Love

                      It’s been seven strange years since The Veils’ last studio album Total Depravity, and Finn Andrews has a new double album to show for it. …And Out Of The Void Came Love is the result of this tumultuous period of injury, isolation and new life. Following the release of Total Depravity, Andrews released a solo album and began a worldwide tour. One night, while lashing out at a particularly intense moment on piano, he broke his wrist on stage. He played on and finished the rest of the tour, but it wasn’t until he got it examined much later that he realized what a bad move that was. The convalescence that followed meant a lengthy hiatus from touring, so he did what he does best and stayed at home and wrote songs. Just when his hand had healed sufficiently for him to play again, The Veils found themselves in need of a new record label, but Finn set about starting to make a new record regardless. Producer Tom Healy invited Finn to his small studio underneath the old Crystal Palace ballroom in Mount Eden, and they listened through the legions of songs he had amassed throughout the previous year. Following another two years of intermittent recording between lockdowns, Finn’s wife became pregnant, and yet more songs started coming. By the time the songs had been recorded, it was clear that arranging the album into two halves best suited such varied material—but the meaning of the songs as a whole still eluded Andrews. The result of all these years of questioning, confinement and precarious uncertainty is this magnificent new double album. It is an album intended to be listened to in two sittings with a short break in the middle. Composer Victoria Kelly’s soaring string arrangements play an integral role in bringing the songs to life, as do musicians Cass Basil (bass), Dan Raishbrook (lap steel, guitar), Liam Gerrard (piano), Joseph McCallum (drums), the NZTrio and special guests the Smoke Fairies on backing vocals. The Veils have toured consistently throughout their twenty year history and garnered a formidable reputation as one of the world’s greatest live bands. They have also been praised by film directors Paolo Sorrentino, Tim Burton and David Lynch who have all used their music on their soundtracks.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      1. Time
                      2. No Limit Of Stars
                      3. Undertow
                      4. Bullfighter (Hand Of God)
                      5. The World Of Invisible Things
                      6. Epoch
                      7. Diamonds And Coal
                      8. Rings Of Saturn
                      9. Made From Love With Far To Go
                      10. The Pearl (Part II)
                      11. Someday My Love Will Come
                      12. The Day I Meet My Murderer
                      13. Between The Ocean And The Storm
                      14. I've Been Waiting


                      Keeper Is The Heart

                        Eva Louise Goodman’s Nighttime project locates itself on a musical tree planted on the British Isles, perched atop the branch of folk leaning into sixties rock. Her upstate New York environs don’t stray far from that image. With tempered percussion, floating mellotron, and singing that evokes Bleecker & MacDougal on a fervent Saturday afternoon, her new album Keeper Is The Heart reaches deep into the essence of musicians such as Vashti Bunyan, Sibylle Baier and Pentangle, breaking down the decades into a sound thoroughly and bizarrely modern.

                        Through her years performing with Mutual Benefit, Goodman fell in love with life on the road and the collaborative energy of a band. In this third Nighttime album, she channels these experiences into her own music. The creative journey from writing to recording to mixing drove her deeper into a sense of self while expanding her sound. In the process, she put aside lo-fi origins and challenged herself to achieve the same intimacy with a bigger production.

                        Like most paths of self-discovery, the journey started with displacement. In October 2019, Goodman set out to record the album on her own, while cat-sitting at a friend’s empty Brooklyn apartment. Rather than recording, she was drawn to the overgrown garden, where she spent her days listening to music and reading old journals. Charlie Megira, The Incredible String Band and Roy Montgomery invoked the spirit of the album, as she realized that a new, more collaborative approach would be necessary to bring the songs to life.

                        In March 2021, after a pandemic year immersed in sound experimentation and writing, she entered the upstate New York studio of recording engineer Rick Spataro (Florist). Together, Spataro and Goodman dove into creating the album, recording one song a day, letting the spark and excitement of spontaneity be their guide. “I've always been fascinated with ‘automatic’ arts,” Goodman says, “where things are created intuitively and without premeditation, from the subconscious.” In this light, they worked with abandon– pushing through the heaviness of songs written years earlier with the same energy as songs which were not yet fully developed. Taking chances, improvising, they sought to strip away pretense, and elude perfectionism at all cost.

                        Among their experiments, the duo manipulated tape speeds–slowing or speeding up different instrument tracks, imbuing passages with altered perspectives. Improvisation was the key in track five, ‘The Way,’ a song about “the magical act of carving out a path through life, amidst all possibility.” After a long day of recording, the song was feeling heavy and uninspired. As night fell, Spataro picked up the Stratocaster and, in one take, laid down a rolling, roiling guitar line that defined the track.

                        This spirit of surrender weaves through the album. “Break free from time, and sink in the pool of the mind,” begins ‘Garden of Delight’, an energetic highlight, propelled by 60’s-era organ and Jefferson Airplane-esque vocals. The song was accidentally deleted after the first day of recording. By luck or fate, the one surviving file captured the song’s loose and free-wheeling essence. Inspired, Goodman encouraged her circle of collaborators to work similarly: “I gave everyone trust and total freedom to contribute as they felt called to, encouraging an intuitive approach of simply improvising, playing through the song a few times and then sending over the results.” Synth, cello, violin, saxophone and flute all appear, but often in unconventional ways.

                        Keeper Is the Heart reflects Goodman’s process towards greater creative freedom. The first words she sings: “Lift the veil of all of this hate/To see the fear at its base.” Her last lines: “We’ll follow the fates across the great expanse of time/To the source of the light within our mind.” In between is a work of art awash in personal awakenings that revel in the freedom of intuition, the lifting of veils, and the beauty of transformation. As Goodman states, “What is it you find when you look inward to see beyond, past your fears, to your heart's true desires?”

                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Barry says: Drifting folky ballads, both psychedelic and rooted in melody, influenced by classics of the 60's but with influences of modern electronica. 'Keeper Is The Heart' flows beautifully, and carries you with it. Lovely.

                        TRACK LISTING

                        Side A
                        1. Veil
                        2. When The Wind Is Blowing
                        3. Curtain Is Closing
                        4. The Fool
                        5. The Way
                        6. Garden Of Delight
                        Side B
                        7. Ring Of Fire
                        8. Spring, You Come Again
                        9. Feeling The Weeks
                        10. The Sea
                        11. Across The Ocean Of Time

                        Heather Trost

                        Desert Flowers

                          As Heather Trost put together her new album Desert Flowers, she imagined herself sitting out on the mesa amidst the arid climate and sand. Even with such little water to survive, wildflowers bloom. This vision is an embellishment of Trost’s Albuquerque surroundings, an intersection of rural splendor and emptiness. She remains focused on those purple, yellow and orange flowers with faces beaming up to the sky, thriving on very little. “How does a flower grow in the desert?” she sings. Desert Flowers postulates the potential for new life. Using the messages from the unconscious during sleep, the record ultimately conceives a bridge to the world beyond our own.

                          Written and recorded in her home studio, Trost began with harmonic frameworks, allowing the melodies to naturally take root. Introductory track “Frog And Toad Are Friends” - yes, named after the book - is like a surf song from a sci-fi movie. Trost sees it as a mindwipe, “a playful kind of romp to help shake off the cobwebs and get the bones moving.”

                          The album ripens as it progresses, and “Sandcastles” best embodies the spirit of the record. Lush strings and bass are complimented by a slow guitar groove, as Trost soulfully fantasizes about Earth’s regeneration. “In time, the bullets and tanks, and all of humanity’s violent creations will melt back into mountains and the ocean,” she says.

                          From there, Trost sharpens her lyrical focus. “The Devil Never Sleeps” is about trusting one’s intuition, and “Blue Fish” (which features prominently in the new Peter Strickland film Flux Gourmet) recounts a dream resembling a cryptic prophecy: “a gray bird appeared to me on a pebble beach. When the bird opened his beak there was a blue fish flopping around and speaking to me.” Continuing the themes of Nature and transcendence, “You Always Gave Me Succor” describes a moving encounter with a coyote which left her feeling watched over, as she witnessed an otherworldly spirit. “Hear you howl deep inside my heart,” she sings. “When my feet can’t bear the concrete/Follow you to the river.” She has often gone back to that memory whenever reaching a crossroads in life.

                          “Your Favorite Color” is about the metaphysical bond between loved ones, even after death. Trost cites a few dream visits from kith and kin, and the intense mixture of love, loss, and comfort that washed over her in those moments of resurrection. Each song conveys how opening ones eyes, both literally and metaphysically, is the key to finding beauty.

                          Integral to the record’s creation was Trost’s cohort in A Hawk & A Hacksaw and record label Living Music Duplication, Jeremy Barnes. “This album wouldn’t sound the way it does without his wonderfully discerning and courageous ear,” she says. Much like her previous two albums, Agistri and Petrichor, the record was primarily recorded at their home studio.

                          Many of the tracks on Desert Flowers were created during difficult years, during which Trost’s strident creativity offered a much-needed path to solace. “Maybe these songs are a bit like desert flowers,” she reflects, “pushing their way towards the sun, and in turn searching and pushing roots deep into the ground for water. As above, so below, the light and the dark, extroverted and introverted, color and monochrome.”

                          TRACK LISTING

                          A1 Frog And Toad Are Friends
                          A2 Sandcastles
                          A3 The Devil Never Sleeps
                          A4 Blue Fish
                          A5 Black Is The Night
                          B1 You Always Gave Me Succor
                          B2 Despoina
                          B3 The Debutante
                          B4 Your Favorite Color



                            Like any scientist would before coming to a conclusion, Fusilier’s new EP,Treason, asks only questions without ever making a statement.Treason locates its universe right after the Big Bang, where fragments join and create something entirely new. This liminal space in between is what occupies the mind of Atlanta-raised, Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist Blake Fusilier.
                            Across the EP, Fusilier hypothesizes that the only road to true freedom of the spirit is through radicalization and reimagining. He questions the complexities of the self and the realities of race & sexuality alongside the expectations of the artist, asking: “How can I exist given that the size of my imagination of me doesn’t yet fit into the ways I am seen?”

                            Themes of violence, youth, alienation, and belonging undergird the collection, while its songs serve as individual love letters to the artists he’s most inspired by, like Nine Inch Nails, Bill Withers, and Fela Kuti. It fits in today somewhere between TV On The Radio, Mitski, and Radiohead with its precise yet opaque lyrics, indie-rock guitar riffs, classical motifs and sometimes-soaring, sometimes-crooning melodies.

                            Treason aims to pull you into its gravitation with “Peace,” an orchestra of droning synths punctuated by lyrics that embody the Fusilier ethos: “My gift to the world is to die in a whirlwind.”

                            Lead single “No Words” builds on mantras over percussive clicks and clacks, towards a cathartic end. The song, which twists and shifts like a snake slowly shedding its skin, is a perfect introduction to Fusilier’s sound and to - in his own words - “letting go of the thought that I’m not the main character in my own story.”

                            Later, EP standout “Lost” builds its merits on a gentle groove, dissonant guitars, and a powerful whisper, then reaches an explosion of self-assurance. “I’m in love with the whole of life,” he sings, presiding over an anxious cacophony. The moments are many when Fusilier accepts the irrational and addresses the psychological divisions that exist in a society that impresses self-doubt. Blake says, “Treason is a sort of purgatory that I wander through, wondering if I belong to the ideal or to the monstrous. It’s a search for a home.”

                            For Fusilier, the destruction of the theoretical self - or the imagined self - yields profound opportunities for scientific exploration and self-actualization. Yet, by the time Treason comes to its close, Blake begins to accept his interior dialogue’s harsh words. On EP closer “KTA,” against the backdrop of a mind folding in on itself, Blake asks himself quite simply: “Do you really want a new enemy?”

                            These final moments succumb to a minimalist and melodic frenzy, all to introduce us to its own cycle of self-discovery. Throughout, Treason revolves and revolts, constantly questioning in hopes that an answer appears in the whirlwind.

                            TRACK LISTING

                            1. Peace
                            2. No Words
                            3. Lost
                            4. ...eversafe
                            5. 1000 Words

                            Cassandra Jenkins

                            The Ramble (Morning & Night)

                              Cassandra Jenkins takes the opportunity to expand on a track from her An Overview On Phenomenal Nature LP and presents two side-long ambient pieces. "The Ramble (Morning, May 2021)" and “The Ramble (Night, May 2021)” both prominently feature field recordings made in her native New York’s Central Park, and in the woods of upstate New York. Improvised piano, saxophone, and guitar interconnect and break apart over the sounds of birdsong, crickets, and a distant metropolis. There will be no further pressings of this. 

                              TRACK LISTING

                              1. The Ramble (Morning May 2021)
                              2. The Ramble (Night May 2021)

                              Cassandra Jenkins

                              (An Overview On) An Overview On Phenomenal Nature

                                Features additional material from Cassandra Jenkins' An Overview On Phenomenal Nature sessions.

                                Cassandra Jenkins' An Overview on Phenomenal Nature emerged from the blue earlier this year. With pandemic unknowns and political upheaval leaving most at frayed ends, the New York-born musician’s assuring voice and expansive fresh take on songwriting created a much needed reflective space for listeners worldwide. As 2021 comes to a close, Jenkins revisits those flowing textures and refrains with (An Overview On) An Overview On Phenomenal Nature, a collection of previously unreleased sonic sketches, initial run-throughs, demos, and sound recordings from the cutting room floor that provided the scaffolding for what became one of this year’s most critically acclaimed albums.

                                When Jenkins visited Josh Kaufman’s studio this summer, they opened up their original sessions to uncover the ideas that were shed in the creative process. The new collection, (An Overview On) An Overview On Phenomenal Nature, isn’t merely a retrospective; it acts as a clear-eyed addendum as well as a compelling origin story, coming to life as a subconscious companion to the original album.

                                First takes of “New Bikini” and “Hailey” are born from opposite starting points; while “New Bikini” began as an airy alto meander, “Hailey”’s origins lie in an upbeat dance track. On “Crosshairs (Interlude),” Jenkins’ pitched vocal delivers a straight monotone, recasting the format as poetry with music highlighting her words, and “Ambiguous Norway (Instrumental)” lifts the ambient nature of the mournful song into glimmering waves. The demo version of “Michelangelo” contains alternate lyrics “I’m Michelangelo, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle,” a lost contrast to the later verse where Jenkins’ likens herself to the sculptor. On “Hard Drive (Security Guard),” we join Jenkins as she listens to a passionate museum guard whose promised “overview” of the exhibit on view builds into a monologue of observations on art, politics, feminism and the human condition. This candid interaction evolved into the cornerstone and title of Jenkins’ album.

                                Before they decided to make an album together, Jenkins brought Kaufman a song called “American Spirits.”The dusky ballad takes us to the Texas plains via a voicemail from the payphone of a county jail (“Miss Cassandra”). Cassandra sings, “Time here burns through the sunsets / Like you and a pack of American Spirits” over warm instrumentation with a vocal delivery that reinforces Jenkins’ unwavering tenderness towards her subjects.

                                (An Overview On) An Overview On Phenomenal Nature bookends Cassandra Jenkins' musical output this year with nuance, coloring in the corners, and giving us another window into her ever-expanding world of chance encounters, experiences, and sonic textures. They glimmer like the sun’s changing patterns on the wall as a new day gets going. 

                                TRACK LISTING

                                1. Michelangelo (Demo)
                                2. New Bikini (First Take)
                                3. Crosshairs (Interlude)
                                4. Ms. Cassandra
                                5. American Spirits
                                6. Hailey (Premix)
                                7. Ambiguous Norway (Instrumental)

                                Sharon Van Etten

                                Epic Ten

                                  Sharon Van Etten’s career since the release of her second album, 2010’s epic is well-known; critically lauded albums, films, and television shows have continually displayed her expanding artistry. Upon its release, epic laid a romantic melancholy over the gravel and dirt of heartbreak without one honest thought or feeling spared. Her songs covered betrayal, obsession, egotism, and all the other emotions we dislike in others and recognize in ourselves. Van Etten's grounded and clenched vocals conveyed a sense of hope--the notion that beauty can arise from the worst of circumstances.

                                  To celebrate the 10th anniversary of this special album’s release, and to acknowledge the convergence of Van Etten’s present and past work, she asked fellow artists she admired to participate in an expanded reissue, where each artist would cover one different song from epic in their own style. Some are musicians Van Etten herself admired in her early days (Fiona Apple, Lucinda Williams, and Aaron Dessner and Justin Vernon of Big Red Machine), some are peers (Courtney Barnett, IDLES), and others are part of a younger generation of innovators (Shamir, St. Panther). What they all share is embodied by epic--a musician frankly communicating themself through the power of music.

                                  The resulting epic Ten is a double LP featuring the original album plus the new album of epic covers and reimagined artwork.

                                  TRACK LISTING

                                  Album 1
                                  1. A Crime
                                  2. Peace Signs
                                  3. Save Yourself
                                  4. DsharpG
                                  5. Don’t Do It
                                  6. One Day
                                  7. Love More

                                  Album 2
                                  1. A Crime (Big Red Machine)
                                  2. Peace Signs (IDLES)
                                  3. Save Yourself (Lucinda Williams)
                                  4. DsharpG (Shamir)
                                  5. Don’t Do It (Courtney Barnett Ft. Vagabon)
                                  6. One Day (St Panther)
                                  7. Love More (Fiona Apple)

                                  Cassandra Jenkins

                                  An Overview On Phenomenal Nature

                                    “Nothing ever really disappears,” Cassandra Jenkins says. “It just changes shape.” Over the past few years, she’s seen relationships altered, travelled three continents, wandered through museums and parks, and recorded free-associative guided tours of her New York haunts. Her observations capture the humanity and nature around her, as well as thought patterns, memories, and attempts to be present while dealing with pain and loss. With a singular voice, Jenkins siphons these ideas into the ambient folk of her new album.
                                    An Overview on Phenomenal Nature honors flux, detail, and moments of intimacy. Jenkins arrived at engineer Josh Kaufman’s studio with ideas rather than full songs — nevertheless, they finished the album in a week. Jenkins’ voice floats amid sensuous chamber pop arrangements and raw-edged drums, ferrying us through impressionistic portraits of friends and strangers. Her lyrics unfold magical worlds, introducing you to a cast of characters like a local fisherman, a psychic at a birthday party, and driving instructor of a spiritual bent.

                                    Jenkins’ last record, 2017’s Play Till You Win, confirmed the veteran artist’s talent. Evident of Jenkins’ experience growing up in a family band in New York City, the album showcased her meticulous songwriting and musicianship, earning her comparisons to George Harrison and Emmylou Harris. Jenkins has since played in the bands of Eleanor Friedberger, Craig Finn, and Lola Kirke, and rehearsed to tour with Purple Mountains last August before the tour’s cancellation. Her new record departs from her previous work in its openness and flexibility, following her peripatetic lifestyle. “The goal is to be more fluid, to be more like the clouds shifting constantly,” she says. The approach allowed Jenkins to express herself like she never has.

                                    On album opener “Michaelangelo,” before the heavy drum beat and fuzz guitars enter, Jenkins sings quietly “I’m a three-legged dog, working with what I’ve got / and part of me will always be looking for what I lost // there’s a fly around my head, waiting for the day I drop dead.” Phenomenal Nature thrives in this dichotomy between ornate sonics and verbal frankness, a calming guided tour to the edge. Later, on “Crosshairs,” amid lush strings, she sings conversationally: “Empty space is my escape / it runs through me like a river / while time spits in my face.”

                                    “Hard Drive,” the third track and album centerpiece, opens with a voice memo Jenkins recorded at The Met Breuer: a guard muses about Mrinalini Mukherjee’s hybrid textile and sculpture works, which were then on display in a retrospective titled Phenomenal Nature. “When we lose our connection to nature, we lose our spirit, our humanity,” she explains. Stuart Bogie's saxophone & Josh Kaufman's glittering guitar make way for Jenkins' spoken word which constellates scenes from her life, gradually building and blossoming as she recreates a meditation guided by a friend who incants, “One, two, three.”

                                    Sounds of footsteps and bird calls run through the album’s glittering conclusion, “The Ramble.” Meditative and bright, it recalls how Jenkins felt while writing and recording her new material: “Everything else is falling apart, so let’s just enjoy this time,” she said. If Phenomenal Nature has a unifying theme, it’s the power of presence, the joy of walking in a world in constant flux and opening oneself to change.

                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    1. Michaelangelo
                                    2. New Bikini
                                    3. Hard Drive
                                    4. Crosshairs
                                    5. Amibiguous Norway
                                    6. Hailey
                                    7. The Ramble

                                    Wendy Eisenberg


                                      Drawing the connections between Wendy Eisenberg’s releases feels like undertaking a wide-ranging investigation. Albums of wildly inventive guitar, tempo-shifting avant rock and curiously leftfield pop fit together as offerings of Eisenberg’s curious mind. On Auto, their most innovative and inner-reaching album yet, Eisenberg explores emotional, subjective truth, and how it interacts with an objectivity no person alone can grasp. Inspired by the solo work of Mark Hollis (Talk Talk) and David Sylvian’s Blemish, with playing skills that have already seen them climbing Best Guitarist lists and an unvarnished vocal immediacy, Wendy Eisenberg has created an album of subtle display that resonates with maximal impact.

                                      Auto has multiple meanings. First, automobile: “A lot of these songs were written about and mentally take place when I’m in the car on my way to gigs,“ says Eisenberg. Immediate melodies came to them on these trips, to which they’d later add complex guitar parts. And automata: “I make myself into a machine, which is why everything that’s played is precise.” Finally, they frame their work in the literary technique of auto-fiction, “the semi-fictionalized presentation of the self in a narrative form of growth,” as Eisenberg sees it.

                                      The album served as a means toward working through emotional conflicts from adolescent trauma and PTSD, and dissects the dissolution and conflict that led towards the breakup of their former band. With much of it written while its events played out, Auto faces the grief of losing what one thinks is their future while experiencing a dramatic reshaping of their past; it delves openly into the limited nature of one person’s narrative.

                                      After making a few efforts to record Auto, Eisenberg ultimately chose to collaborate with childhood friend Nick Zanca, who contributes electronic elements and production. Mirroring the personal and organic offered by Eisenberg, synthetic sounds form a kind of boundary or context for everything. They “sound like commentary on songs that were written from an organic or subjective perspective,” says Eisenberg. Their place on the album is integral for Eisenberg’s goal “to outweigh the subjectivity of normal singer-songwriter guitar songs with the objectivity of electronic sound.”

                                      The Dead C


                                        Some bands struggle to transcend their initial mythos, those stories that introduce them to the public eye. But The Dead C is a notable exception. They appeared in 1986 under a cloud of mystery, their unconventional location (South Island, New Zealand) helping to fuel their erratic sound. Name-dropped through the nineties by groups like Sonic Youth and Yo La Tengo, they gained influence and acclaim but never strayed from their original mainlined performing technique, which can sound like chaos to the casual listener.

                                        What kind of a world greets them and their new album Unknowns in 2020? New Zealand culture is better known throughout the world, not to mention a low-virus paradise. Yes, isolated as in the past, but this time for being a nation of efficacy in tackling a public health crisis. But what about the rest of the world? The music of Mssrs. Robbie Yates, Bruce Russell and Michael Morley endures, partially because their errant sounds, once so alienating, now feel like they’ve been made flesh in a large part of the modern day world.

                                        Continuing to delve inwards for inspiration with tin ears towards trends, styles and technique, The Dead C forge onward. Unpolished, dusty and gritty, these three have again taken two guitars and drums, a combo which has less to say than ever, and leave the listener stunned. Unknowns has Morley slurring over spiraling dissemblance, with tracks ricocheting from intense to assaultive to drained, yet consistently magnificent. As reliable as ever, The Dead C are firmly grounded as an unassailable Truth.

                                        TRACK LISTING

                                        1. Grunt Machine
                                        2. Still
                                        3. The Sky Above
                                        4. Glitterness
                                        5. The Field



                                          Creating what Iggy Pop described to Jim Jarmusch as “symphonies for people that don’t have a lot of time,” Sarah Lipstate has emerged as an innovative and defining voice in the world of music under the name Noveller. Wielding a guitar as her main instrument, Lipstate has pioneered a transcendent approach to composition through her mastery and integration of effects pedals and technology. Forming unexpected sonic routes, her songs are vivid and cinematic, telling intricate tales with each tone and swell.

                                          Raised on a strict piano technique, the discovery of the guitar late in her teens allowed for an escape from formalism and unlocked the hidden realms of her creativity. Taking an antitheoretical approach, suddenly music was no longer a series of notes, rests, and time signatures, but a means of intuitive expression. Her deepened interest in experimental music, fuelled by the discovery of the bold noise of Sonic Youth, the epic scope of Glenn Branca, the delicate formularies of Brian Eno and the no wave discordance of Teenage Jesus & The Jerks, only furthered to inspire.

                                          A yearning to explore and feed that creativity took her from Louisiana to Austin, then Brooklyn to LA. Arrow is her first album since the move to the edge of the canyons of Los Angeles, and one can hear the destabilizing effect this had on her in the music. Out of her comfort zone in a new city, with a rolling expanse in front of her and an urban sprawl over her shoulder, Lipstate built her new album as she contemplated this change in her life.

                                          With her ability to add such unique sounds and textures, Lipstate has been sought out as a frequent collaborator, recently writing songs with Iggy Pop and performing as a member of his band on his worldwide tour. Past partners in crime have ranged from JG Thirlwell to Lee Ranaldo and she has performed as part of Rhys Chatham’s Guitar Army, Nick Zinner’s “41 Strings”, Ben Frost’s “Music for 6 Guitars”, and Glenn Branca’s 100 guitar ensemble. She has also toured in support of big fans in St. Vincent, Wire, U.S. Girls, The Jesus Lizard and Helium.

                                          TRACK LISTING

                                          1. Rune
                                          2. Effektology
                                          3. Zeaxanthin
                                          4. Pattern Recognition
                                          5. Canyons
                                          6. Pre-fabled
                                          7. Thorns
                                          8. Reminde


                                          Compare & Despair

                                            The thirteen songs on youbet’s debut hit like relentless bursts of color. Musically adventurous and lyrically intimate, writer Nick Llobet’s vocals lilt, hiss and command attention. His vision is fully Formed on Compare & Despair, driven by equal parts humor and melancholy. Its bright, shocking cover art depicts a cast of psychotropic cartoon characters, each representing a different song. Raised in Davie, Florida, by his Cuban immigrant father and firstgeneration Italian American mother who divorced, Llobet sensed chaos lurking around every corner. youbet’s sound captures that disorder, a backwards world where the adults act like children and kids are on their own to maintain any semblance of order. Compare & Despair sounds like returning to your hometown to rewrite the narrative of your youth with attitude and a confetti cannon. Recently arriving in New York, Llobet discovered music as a creative and therapeutic outlet. He began writing obsessively. “It’s my way of getting lost,” says Llobet.

                                            Depositing what he made on a Bandcamp page, the result was an assortment of disparate ingredients: the sound of his laugh tape-sped to surreality, a birthday song about carnitas for his step mother, fuzzed-out rockers that snuff out before they seem to begin. And then there were these beautiful, complete compositions that recalled the ingenious simplicity of Big Star or Elliott Smith. His page caught the attention of Ava Luna drummer and engineer Julian Fader (Frankie Cosmos, Mr. Twin Sister), who shared it with collaborator Katie Von Schleicher. Katie contacted Llobet, offering to help him produce and release a full-length album. A core group was formed of Llobet, Von Schleicher, Fader and Adam Brisbin (Sam Evian, Molly Sarlé), all of whom contributed over the next year to Compare & Despair. youbet makes the music of idealized youth and time-bombed birth. With a pure aim of freedom, but forever hindered by encroaching adult reality, Compare & Despair thrives in creative conflict. A stunning debut of intent, youbet sets loose a hyperactive imagination that rides the rainbow into a black hole. 

                                            TRACK LISTING

                                            1. Endless
                                            2. Volcano
                                            3. Bite
                                            4. Nice Try
                                            5. Alligator Talk
                                            6. My Side
                                            7. Deb
                                            8. Mental
                                            9. Glass Hill
                                            10. Cycle
                                            11. Discovery
                                            12. Little
                                            13. Cloud

                                            Brian Crook With The Renderers

                                            The World Just Eats Me Up Alive

                                              While recording a group of songs that would end up being part of
                                              This World Just Eats Me Up Alive, Brian Crook took a break outside
                                              with his bandmates. A small girl nearby ran up to a woman saying
                                              “Mommy, mommy! There’s a vampire here!” The mother asked how
                                              the girl knew it was a vampire, and the girl said, “He talks like this,”
                                              and proceeded to do a growling impression of a New Zealand accent.
                                              At the time, Brian was in a dark suit and had super long hair, and was
                                              playing badminton….

                                              Crook’s new solo album comprises eight years of recording, so
                                              perhaps his undead appearance is not surprising; it comprises a span
                                              of inspiration that seems almost vampiric, with themes suggested
                                              by Greek mythology, a favorite 1960s author, to the abstract
                                              electronics of Aphex Twin and Arca as influences. The album came
                                              together in parts, slowly assembled with various contributors and
                                              recording locations, the earliest trace having lyrical origins from 1991,
                                              and was done during during sessions for The Terminals, Crook’s
                                              other band (you can also add NZ legends Scorched Earth Policy and
                                              Flies Inside The Sun to that list).

                                              A near decade provides a lot of material for reflective songwriting.
                                              In Crook’s revelations about life in New Zealand and his tenebrous
                                              lyrical style there is more than a touch of comedy, albeit of a blackly
                                              humorous, “South Island New Zealand” nature. The lyrics and music
                                              come from a similar place as New Zealand painters Bill Hammond
                                              and Tony de Latour, evoking a kind of ceremonial primitivism.

                                              TRACK LISTING

                                              1. Black Mariah
                                              2. Dragged Both Ways
                                              3. This World Just Eats Me Up
                                              4. The Smoking Singularity
                                              5. Sissyphus
                                              6. Poisoning The Well
                                              7. Joyce Carol Oates

                                              The Dead C

                                              Rare Ravers

                                                Disguised as the meandering outpourings of vacant thought and activity dialed simultaneously from zero and ten. Formed in the cauldron of a fevered mistake resolute. Surrounded by ignorance, dis-interest, and the attention of the carefully self-selected. Recorded and burned through a thousand galaxies of dust and doubt and endless infinite wonder, transforming both time and space. Forever exiled to the very bottom of the world to reflect on the struggling desperate pile above. Recognizing any contribution as miniscule and insignificant when placed within the greatness of the other, the dominant insolent preening satisfied, continually shouting the pre-eminence of the first world order.

                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                1. Staver
                                                2. Waver
                                                3. Laverl


                                                Fall Asleep

                                                  Nobody is more surprised about having created a full ANMLPLNET album than the group itself: Slothrust leader Leah Wellbaum and drummer / singer Mickey Vershbow. The two met while they were both immersed in the Boston music scene, and then went on to pursue separate musical careers on opposite coasts.

                                                  Their debut album Fall Asleep truly displays their magnetic musical bond, even while withstanding physical distance and hectic schedules. The band was formed originally on a number of rules, including writing lyrics that are antonymic translations (meaning nouns, adjectives and verbs were replaced with their antonyms) and playing songs straight through as one giant piece, no breaks. The band seeks to create dream-like soundscapes, both epochal in scope and melodic. Their goal is to explore the space between songwriting and improvisation, and the result is an uncontrived melding of their personal styles and technical mastery of their instruments. Wellbaum and Vershbow basically plan, dig, then embark on a fresh road towards rock brilliance.

                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                  1. I Was Fucked By A Cloud
                                                  2. 20,000 Leagues Underneath The Serpent
                                                  3. Ride
                                                  4. Elephants Aren't So Big
                                                  5. All The Butterflies
                                                  6. What I Saw In The Field That Day


                                                  Red Godess (Of This Men Shall Know Nothing)

                                                    The music of Hawthonn is dense and atmospheric, but not inaccessible. Experimental electronic techniques fuse with doom-laden organ riffs, crystalline piano, elemental drones and haunting vocals. Largely guided by their own unconscious muse, the band’s chief inspirations lie outside of music, in Romantic poetry, dreams and reveries, esoteric symbolism, the history of magic and witchcraft, folklore and the English landscape.

                                                    Hawthonn is Leeds-based duo Layla Legard and Phil Legard. Having previously collaborated in music, as well as text and photography, they officially formed in 2014 to deepen their uniquely imaginative approach to musicmaking. Often developing from obsessive explorations of a particular theme, their work precipitates dreams and imaginative journeys, which inform the direction of their music. Their earliest music explored the afterlife mythos of Coil’s Jhonn Balance through the image of the Hawthorn tree and Cumbrian landscape where his ashes were scattered. Their approach draws lyricism from the psychoacoustic phenomena of “phantom words”—sonic textures translated from geographical space into droning sound spectra, and verbalized dream imagery.

                                                    The prime symbol of Red Goddess (Of This Men Shall Know Nothing), is mugwort. An herb associated with dreaming, travel and menstruation, mugwort particularly favors edgelands: those abandoned, untended places, part man-made, part rural, where nature begins to reclaim what humanity has left behind. The music here unfolds a mandala of symbolism from these liminal spaces, drawn from a web of fascinations which unfolded during the recording process.

                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                    1 In Mighty Revelation
                                                    2 Misandrist
                                                    3 Lady Of The Flood
                                                    4 Eden
                                                    5 Dream Fugue

                                                    Secret Pyramid

                                                    Two Shadows Collide

                                                      Amir Abbey follows up Secret Pyramid’s previous album, Movements of Night, with Two Shadows Collide, an even deeper exploration of the sounds between consciousness and transcendence. Carefully built and fluidly performed, the record expands Abbey’s relationship with modern composition and abstract songcraft. Cosmic awe fuels exploratory immensity, basking in a dreamlike presence. These works move slowly, like shifting and morphing monoliths. Ligeti’s string works, combined with field recordings, inspire “Possession,” while the Badalamenti-esque “In Wind” pays cinematic homage to the Pacific Northwest. The singular ondes Martenot floats and glides through several tracks, including the hazy and beautiful title track. Each song’s main inspiration comes from the notion behind the album title, the intersection and attraction of forces and worlds, clashing of sounds, and the dualities within our lives. Such a meditative release built upon conflict is ironic, but therein lies the perfect way to listen.

                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                      1. Touch
                                                      2. Two Shadows
                                                      3. Lost
                                                      4. A Dream On Third
                                                      5. Possession
                                                      6. Memory Within Memory
                                                      7. In Wind
                                                      8. Collide

                                                      Laura Baird

                                                      I Wish I Were A Sparrow

                                                        With a musical timeline dating back to her early childhood, Laura Baird is an exceptionally talented multiinstrumentalist and singer-songwriter, best known for her projects with her sister, Meg, as The Baird Sisters, and guitarist Glenn Jones. Baird’s own sound stems from the Appalachian folk tradition, and she connects to it via family lineage—her great-great uncle I.G. Greer’s folk recordings for the Library of Congress are a large influence. Also woven in are classical composers like Bach and Satie, and modern day musicians such as Opal and Yo La Tengo.

                                                        With this debut solo album, I Wish I Were A Sparrow, Baird plays odes to the traditions from which she learned, combining Appalachian balladry and the roughness of old field recordings, but there is also a dose of dreaminess and solitude that captures sleepy central New Jersey. This is where she departs from tradition, leaving the communal origins of folk music to capture the singular self. The lyrics also present an amalgam of old and new, with half of the songs, including “Dreadful Wind and Rain” and “Pretty Polly,” being passed down from the folk tradition, and the other half, including “Wind Wind “and “Love Song From The Earth To The Moon,” coming from Baird’s own hand. While the most salient part of her previous Baird Sisters project was the melding of familial voices and various instruments, Baird’s solo effort is centered around the combination of her virtuosic banjo playing and prominent but airy vocals. 

                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                        Barry says: It seems now that winter is drawing in, the record labels think we all like to put a blanket on, have the fire blazing and listen to some lovely folk music. Now that I mention it, it sounds lovely, and even moreso if Laura Baird can be the music in question. Not too frantic, but driven and melodic plucking banjoes flicker over pulled strings and Baird's haunting vocals.

                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                        1. Wind, Wind
                                                        2. Dreadful Wind And Rain
                                                        3. Cuckoo
                                                        4. Love Song From The Earth To The Moon
                                                        5. Pretty Saro
                                                        6. Bats
                                                        7. Did You Come Here Alone?
                                                        8. Pretty Polly
                                                        9. Hay In The Wagon
                                                        10. Home Is Were You Are
                                                        11. Poor Orphan Child
                                                        12. Twin Sisters

                                                        David Nance

                                                        Negative Boogie

                                                          David Nance, Omaha veteran of warble and hiss, returns with Negative Boogie, his new concoction of chug, throb and greasy swagger. On this album, Nance trades in his beaten up Tascam 488 for the bullet-proof, glass walls of A.R.C. Studios. What exactly is the negative boogie? Well, it’s a bit like Canned Heat but with Pere Ubu’s queasy rhythms and someone playing five finger fillet with Swell Maps. Ensconced in his ivory tower and soundproof rooms, Nance reached for unlikely weapons to tear down his own lofty experiment. He had his pick of rare guitars, cowbells, steel drums, vintage amps, Crazy Horse microphones, mellotron, and the restless but indefatigable rhythm section of Kevin Donahue and Tom May.

                                                          They started at sunrise and recorded fifteen songs by midnight. Maybe it’s his Midwestern work ethic, maybe he’s a sonic cheapskate. Maybe it’s just the sound of negative boogie. These songs stab and flow into one other like a perfectly orchestrated classic. They are drenched with Nance’s most biting and comic lyrics to date, peaking on “D.L.A.T.U.M.F. Blues (Don’t Look At This Ugly Mother Fucker Blues)”. And ripping through the entire thing is the cracked power he yanks out of the guitar, a veritable The Good, The Bad And The Ugly of riffage. This is a departure for Nance. It’s bigger and grander but it’s far from easy music. It’s his Plastic Ono Band, his For Your Pleasure, his fever dream of Rocket from the Tombs. But this of course is only a press release, written by a team of robots using words programmed to seduce you. Did it work?

                                                          The Terminals


                                                            The Terminals are the best rock band New Zealand has ever produced. Period. There’s heavy competition, but believe it. No group has lasted over three decades and maintained such intensity, structure and mood better than the core team of Steven Cogle and Peter Stapleton. Cogle’s voice is a quavering incantation of deep spell-casting, throwing more dirt onto already gritty guitar squalls. Stapleton’s rhythm section propels songs through lightning charges of tempo and energy. Age has only embedded the band’s mastery of deep sonic realms. The ten years between their last album, Last Days of the Sun, and the release of Antiseptic whip by in a flash when these records are played next to each other—they never disappoint, they never relent.

                                                            This latest album does mark some changes, however. Longtime guitarist Brian Crook now lives in the California desert, so Nicole Moffat has replaced him, providing violin and vocals. Mick El Borado thickens the atmosphere with his improvisational keyboard playing. A group that has stayed together so long knows instinctively where a song can go, although it is often the maverick pieces—ones that at first don’t seem to belong—that end up on the records. Their work together has become only more sagacious, and The Terminals don’t waste an intended or improvised note. This is a peerless rock album—think of another group who’ve stayed as heavy, as broke, and consistent for this long.

                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                            1. Antiseptic
                                                            2. Edge Of The Night
                                                            3. Runaway Train
                                                            4. The Rain Has Come And Gone
                                                            5. Days Of Silver
                                                            6. Glass Walls
                                                            7. To Be Lost
                                                            8. Light Years Away

                                                            “There’s a reason why our relationship with The Dead C is Ba Da Bing’s longest running. It’s not because they are the hardest working band we’ve ever met. It’s not because they are the largest selling band we’ve ever released. It’s not because we’re inspired to support our local music scene. “Yes, there’s definitely a reason... please give me a minute... oh, ok, I got it (just put on this record). Like every time I hear their recordings, I’m reminded that they are one of the greatest rock bands to ever pick up a guitar and attempt to play it wrong. Listening to The Dead C causes me to think differently. It brings up emotions with which I’m otherwise unfamiliar. It strikes to the essence of my being and reveals what otherwise remains hidden. I take solace in knowing that one out of every thirty of you reading this know exactly what I’m talking about.

                                                            “On the spectrum of The Dead C’s sound output, Trouble could very well be seen as springing from the same realm as the massive “Driver UFO,” one of the band’s greatest tracks ever, off Harsh 70s Reality. There’s a youthful aggression here, a churning anger, deadened by pounding drone. Much like H70s, this record serves as a gateway drug— if you were ever looking for an album to play to a newbie curious about experimental rock, this would be it. The visceral strength of their performance trembles out of the speakers. The magnificence of their stamina survives each album side.

                                                            “We are in a creative highpoint for the trio at the moment. Bruce Russell has just released a captivating solo album on Feeding Tube, while Michael Morley’s solo project Gate just put out a release on MIE. Robbie Yeats has been performing of late as backup for Alastair Galbraith. The fact that there are still means to commute between Lyttelton and Port Chalmers on the South Island of New Zealand means these three can still find time to get together, and allows for what we have here today. And it’s fucking glorious. ’’ - Ben Goldberg, Ba Da Bing.

                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                            Barry says: Fuzzed-out psychedelic drone has never sounded so good. Mesmerising feedback over longform progressive jams, swirling psychedelic solos and wah-wah chords stop and start in a (presumably) calculated but seemingly random manner while Drum fills judder around the stereo field. Progressive rock structure with a noise-drone makeup, one for the headphones.

                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                            1. One
                                                            2. Two
                                                            3. Three
                                                            4. Five
                                                            5. Four

                                                            Ben Chatwin begins his new album with an instrument you’d least expect - a dulcitone. Created in the late 19th century, the keyboard hits tuning forks with felt hammers, sounding like an ornate music box. It serves as the perfect lead in to Heat & Entropy, whose title refers to how introducing heat (energy) and entropy (chaos) into any given system can create life, exploring the blurring lines between man and machine. The first Chatwin album to be recorded domestically, Heat & Entropy starts a new chapter for the Queensferry, Scotland-based musician. Under the name Talvihorros, Chatwin is known for his innovative combination of electronic experimentation and modern classical composition. However, last year’s The Sleeper Awakes took a left turn and exchanged vanguard minimalism for enhanced melodics. Heat & Entropy delves further into this world. The result is an ornate exploration into future possibilities.

                                                            On Heat & Entropy, Chatwin originally intended to use only strings, forcing him to explore lesser-known instruments. For “Standing Waves,” he attached pieces of metal, rubber and tape to the piano strings. “The Kraken” uses Terry Riley’s repetition as a starting point, but leads to distorted vocals and an intense, hammered dulcimer climax. “Euclidean Plane” incorporates a bowed mandolin and a three-stringed didley-bow, along with acoustic guitar and metallophone by Ben’s brother, Jordan Chatwin, who has had no formal training and learned guitar by ear, playing with unconventional tunings and chords.

                                                            Despite the unique sounds and textures Chatwin found among the strings, the lure of electronics proved too great. “The album then became about the tensions between the acoustic, or natural world, and the electronic world” he explains. “For me this is where the excitement lies…. It creates a unique world of contrasts and conflicting relationships.” Chatwin calls Heat & Entropy “an album of contrast, conflict and chaos, but also of complex relationships.” Melody rises above the maelstrom in these compositions. It’s an album of experimentation, of delicately contrasting the organic with the artificial, and ultimately of great beauty and sophistication. Heat & Entropy marks the emergence of an incredibly exciting and visionary Scots composer.

                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                            Barry says: Pulsing ambient electronic fuzz meets spacey synth sweeps and industrial clanging rhythms. This, juxtaposed with the traditional strings make for a stunning and contrary coalition. Though initial furtive melodies are the basis of these compositions, they are soon challenged (and often overcome) by the impending electronic fog. Throughout, all these pieces maintain a balance rarely seen in electro-acoustic compositions, and end up being not only one world or the other but a beautiful and harmonious marriage of the two.

                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                            1. Inflexion
                                                            2. Gravitational Bodie
                                                            3. Standing Waves
                                                            4. Phantom Lights
                                                            5. Oscillations
                                                            6. The Kraken
                                                            7. Surface Tension
                                                            8. Euclidean Plane
                                                            9. Corpseways

                                                            Cross Record

                                                            Wabi Sabi

                                                              In 2013, Emily Cross decamped from Chicago to the remote, idyllic town of Dripping Springs, TX, with her husband Dan Duszynski. They rented a ranch that covers eighteen acres, has a chicken coop and is located next to a bird sanctuary. During 60-hour workweeks, split between restaurants, supermarkets and nannying, she absorbed these workaday commonalities and shaped them into her smoky, atmospheric and gripping second album, Wabi-Sabi.

                                                              Recording together as Cross Record throughout 2014 and into 2015 at the couple’s own Moon Phase Ranch, Wabi-Sabi is a crystallization of Cross’s past music and her passion for art (she studied at the Burren College of Art in Ireland). For example, the scorpions depicted on the cover were found in her bathtub (something she definitely had not experienced before living in Texas) and photographed by her, and she regularly draws and paints in a nook above the studio.

                                                              The way we interact with and adapt to different and strange environments is a theme that permeates the album. Most recording was done in the early and late hours of the day, with loons cawing in the distance thanks to that bird sanctuary. The ambiance of twilight evenings and orange dawns formed its heart and soul. Cross’s wispy, silvery singing and minimal presentation contrast with the dark intensity of booming drums, thick guitar and destabilized electronics. It can be loud, stirring and unsettling, but also quietly still and serene. Dusynski produced and engineered the record, alongside production from one of Cross’s close friends Theo Karon, while Austin-based musician Thor Harris (Swans, Bill Callahan) also contributed.

                                                              On the same day Ba Da Bing releases an album by Dunedin legend Hamish Kilgour, the label is honored to present the city’s current artists.

                                                              The tiny city of Dunedin, located in the Otago Region of New Zealand, is synonymous with smart bands, incredible melodies and a wholly distinct and innovative music. Thanks to The Clean, The Chills, The Bats, The Verlaines, and The Dead C, Dunedin has amassed a worldwide reputation for innovative music.

                                                              Local label Fishrider Records has taken on the mission of compiling and producing an album that casts a light toward the Dunedin of today. These bands have all created their own sound away from the shadow of their city’s past, yet like many of their predecessors they retain the air of slightly disturbed melancholia along with a sense of space and distance from the rest of the world. Whether it is dark synth-pop, teen angst noise pop, guitar-and-organ jangle, or all-out psychedelic weirdness, these songs all come from a place on the edge of the world where the young still read books in abundance and fend off boredom by creating music and art in cold houses. Yet again, an extraordinary number of incredible groups are populating the scene, and the songs on Temporary are the best of the best—a Dunedin Double Plus Good, if you will.

                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                              1. Mavis Gary - Dim The Droog
                                                              2. Death & The Maiden - Flowers For The Blind
                                                              3. The Prophet Hens - All Over The World
                                                              4. Males - Dead Aware
                                                              5. Mr Biscuits - My Plums Are Ripe
                                                              6. Opposite Sex - Supermarket
                                                              7. Strange Harvest - Amnesia
                                                              8. The Shifting Sands - All The Stars
                                                              9. Astro Children - Gaze
                                                              10. Kane Strang - Winded
                                                              11. Bad Sav - Buy Something New
                                                              12. Scattered Brains Of The Lovely Union - Party To Your Om
                                                              13. Trick Mammoth - Home Video

                                                              "Patience" is both appropriate and inappropriate as a title for the latest release by The Dead C—inappropriate because it’s been only two years since the last album, which in Dead C Time is but the flicker of a candle; appropriate since the key to enjoying their sounds is willingness to sit down, listen and let the music take over your mind. These four unforgiving and intense tracks will not be confused with the work of any other band. Recorded in Dunedin over the Southern summer of 2009/10, "Patience" captures a restless band that never settles into any form.

                                                              The trio of Michael Morley, Bruce Russell and Robbie Yeats makes their improvised music sound like the most substantial ever recorded, no matter in what direction they go. Here, vocal-less, thick and thundering electric drones compound and retreat like a Pacific Ocean of noise. Morley once again provides the artwork and continues in his color palette of late. Its circular, flowery texture provides the perfect mandala for contemplation while lost within the deep meditations that "Patience" inspires.

                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                              Darryl says: Nobody else does improvised avant-rock as well as the Dead C, psychedelic drone fuelled mantras of the highest order.

                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                              1. Empire
                                                              2. Federation
                                                              3. Shaft
                                                              4. South

                                                              Devon Williams


                                                                "Carefree", Devon Williams' debut album, has a melodic complexity that belies its immediacy, and descends from a lineage of great music. Those yearning for a return to intelligent pop music — songs as gratifying on their 1,963th listen as they are memorable after their first — need look no further. Over the course of a year and a half, Williams recorded at three different studios around Los Angeles, walking away with a handful of songs each time. Laying down multiple guitar tracks — making as many as ten different mixes for some songs — Williams scrutinized every moment to achieve his ideal sound. Songs such as "A Truce" or "Honey" presumably come from a lifelong fan of greats such as Nilsson and Chilton, Cope and Downes, Lennon and McLennan.

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