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Supreme Dicks

The Unexamined Life

    The debut album from The Supreme Dicks, available on vinyl for the first time.

    Falling somewhere between Captain Beefheart, Throbbing Gristle and SALEM in the lineage of musicians who’ve found a muse in the nasty, brutish brevity of life, Supreme Dicks chose to cloak disarmingly real paranoia and grief in the contemporary trappings of late '80s and early '90s lo-fi college rock. They may have inhabited the same sonic and physical space as colleagues like Dinosaur Jr (Lou Barlow was an occasional Dick, and at least one early Dinosaur Jr show was actually played by Dicks in disguise), but they stripped away all youthful yearning and anticipation in favor of a bleak and unblinking certainty. Honest, frank, and free of ironic distance. Obtuse and yet so essential that it can’t help but feel familiar to anyone who’s ever spent a sleepless night wondering whether there's any point to all of this. And, on occasion, warm, intimate and lovely.

    The Supreme Dicks formed while students at Massachusetts’ Hampshire College in the twilight of the Reagan era. The campus was a fractured posthippie free-for-all that many students theorized was a right- wing think tank experiment in pitting progressives against each other. The constantly revolving lineup centered around songwriters Daniel Oxenberg and Jon Shere, and whoever else was around and willing to torture an instrument. They advocated the teachings of Wilhelm Reich and were vocal about focusing their creative energy via celibacy. This may do much to explain the constant, unrelenting tension that provides the driving force behind the most powerful moments in their music. Regardless of tempo or arrangement, Supreme Dicks songs play like soundtracks to autoerotic asphyxiation, haunting tones that ring in the ears at the moment consciousness is lost and not guaranteed to return.

    TRACK LISTING

    In A Sweet Song The Arabian Song The Sun's Bells
    Jack Smith
    That I May Never Forget And Stay Garden Of Your
    Past Jack-O-Lantern
    River Song
    The Fallout Song
    Azure Dome
    The Forest Song (or Especially When The October
    Wind With Frosty Fingers, Punishes My Hair)
    Hyacinth Girls
    Ten Past Eleven
    Woody Would've Wanted It That Way
    Strange Song

    Malice K

    AVANTI

      There are ghosts all across 'AVANTI', the debut album from Malice K - the record wades through a disarray of chaos and loss with a sharp-toothed fervor. At points it’s howling and unhinged, a grungy layer atop a lush foundation of melodic capital-s Songwriting akin to the golden-age pop of the ‘70s, but in other moments it dissolves into a gentle, wistful haunting. Malice K’s songs are blunt, uncomplicated and unflinching as he probes the interiority of memories, of mistakes – saturated with an innate intensity that sucks you into his gnarled and visceral world, so barbed it could draw blood.


      TRACK LISTING

      1. Halloween
      2. Hold Me Up
      3. Song For My Baby
      4. The Old House
      5. Weed
      6. Radio
      7. You’re My Girl
      8. Concrete Angel
      9. FADE
      10. Raining
      11. Blue Monday

      Crack Cloud

      Red Mile

        Crack Cloud has always been something beyond a rock band: both profound and grand, vaporous and elusive.

        The first iteration of Crack Cloud was formed nearly a decade ago as a proxy-rehab outlet on the fringes of Calgary. Over time, two EPs and accompanying visual pieces were produced out of the residence known as Red Mile. By 2017, several members had relocated to Vancouver, working out of harm reduction centers and low-barrier shelters. Sobriety, self-reformation and the idealism of their work further formed an ethos for Crack Cloud. It was during these years that the band produced their astounding 2020 album ‘Pain Olympics’. At once, their vision became expansive, cinematic.

        Now, ‘Red Mile’ is a bit of a homecoming. Members have returned to Calgary. But Calgary/home has become a liminal space, a place of flux. After a decade of personal and collective growth, what does home even mean? ‘Red Mile’ is, for them, something like samsara: a return and a rebirth.

        ‘Red Mile’’s sound breathes expansive energy into the circuitous, street bound sonics of Crack Cloud’s prior material. Fizzling synths intertwine with chiming pianos. Songs layer like Russian nesting dolls; one may find a Ramones chorus set within a desolate Western prog soundtrack only to watch it erupt into a joyous anthem. Real-ass guitars — alternately lilting, scuzzy and soaring — ring out across wide sun-bleached spaces. In 2024, the cumulative effect is (in rock instrumentation terms) naturalistic. Any whiff of embalmed nostalgia is absent. Even the close of the album – a winding, alllllmost Jerry Garcia guitar noodle that leads us out of ‘Red Mile’ – is delivered without sentimentality.

        Principal songwriter Zach Choy’s lyrics are cutting but merciful, with a sharp self awareness that never slides into self-satisfaction. Crack Cloud as artists are critical — and ultimately as forgiving — of themselves as they are the melting world around them. The songs balance an easy charm and cathartic power: affirming life without denying death.

        Recorded predominantly between the outskirts of Joshua Tree California, and Calgary, Alberta, this record is informed by a bittersweet mélange of old and new. The sprawling, novelistic structures of their previous albums are condensed and sharpened, while maintaining their refusal to delve into superficiality. Through playful melodies and elliptical guitar soliloquy, they deliver a final product of exceptional depth and distinctly unprecious warmth. Crack Cloud have produced a mature, vital work that interrogates the platitudes of the rock-n-roll lifestyle, but ultimately exalts its sacredness.

        ‘Red Mile’’s de facto thesis statement “The Medium” is itself a rock song meditation: an ode to the form and its practitioners. This genre that — typical, repeatable, corporatized as it can be — somehow still has the power to help us live through life. We see the dusty sentiment of “I love rock and roll” exhumed, taken apart, and stitched back together. It’s a song guided by faith — if the medium helps us proclaim our love today, it’s worth protecting from derision tomorrow. We live in an era where music seems to love hitting its head against the wall. Crack Cloud’s ‘Red Mile’ is the sound — the feeling! — of the bricks giving way.


        TRACK LISTING

        SIDE A
        1. Crack Of Life
        2. The Medium
        3. Blue Kite
        4. Lack Of Lack

        SIDE B
        5. Epitaph
        6. I Am (I Was)
        7. Ballad Of Billy
        8. Lost On The Red Mile

        Dinked Edition Bonus CD:
        1. Wretched Ways - US38Y2446309
        2. Down The Drain - US38Y2446310

        Bonny Light Horseman

        Keep Me On Your Mind / See You Free

          Over the years, Bonny Light Horseman has accumulated many miles on the collective odometer of life. The band’s core trio – Anaïs Mitchell, Eric D. Johnson, and Josh Kaufman – has amassed an incomparable collected resume. Mitchell is a celebrated solo artist as well as the playwright and songwriter behind the hit Broadway musical Hadestown, which notched eight Tony Awards and a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album. Johnson is best known as the mind behind beloved indie mainstays Fruit Bats, as a longtime collaborator with The Shins, and as a film score composer. And Kaufman is a multi-hyphenate extraordinaire: songwriter, producer, and position player, having recorded and performed with artists ranging from Bob Weir to The War on Drugs to Taylor Swift, Hiss Golden Messenger and The Hold Steady. As a group, Bonny Light Horseman’s debut album received a Grammy nomination for Best Folk Album, and the track "Deep in Love" was nominated for Best American Roots Performance.

          More important than any of this, though, they’ve also lived a big ol’ messy and tangled up pile of life, and all that living permeates their music with the wisdom, humor, and depth that underlies the accolades. Theirs is the stuff that defines folk music as a genre: love and loss, hope and sorrow, community and family, change and time. The Big Stuff, with the stakes sky high.

          At the center of Bonny Light Horseman is, always, the singular combination of three powerful and tender artists, artists who expertly dodge superlatives but are quick to acknowledge that their bond makes each one better, braver and more vulnerable than they’d be on their own. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the force of their voices together, which work with complete trust in one another through the gentlest moments and the most ruthless wails.

          Bonny Light Horseman’s new album, Keep Me on Your Mind/See You Free, is an ode to the blessed mess of our humanity. Confident and generous, it is an unvarnished offering that puts every feeling and supposed flaw out in the open. The themes are stacked high and staked even higher: love and loss, hope and sorrow, community and family, change and time all permeate Bonny Light Horseman’s most vulnerable and bounteous offering to date. Yet for all of its humanistic touchpoints, Keep Me on Your Mind/See You Free was forged from a kind of unexplainable magic.

          TRACK LISTING

          1. A Keep Me On Your Mind
          2. Lover Take It Easy
          3. I Know You Know
          4. Grinch Funeral
          5. Old Dutch
          6. When I Was Younger
          7. Waiting And Waiting
          8. Hare And Hound
          9. Rock The Cradle
          10. Singing To The Mandolin
          11. The Clover
          12. Into The O
          13. Don’t Know Why Youmove Me
          14. Speak To Me Muse
          15. Think Of The Royalties Lads
          16. Tumblin Down
          17. I Wanna Be Where Youare
          18. Over The Pass
          19. Your Arms (All The Time)
          20. See You Free

          Anastasia Coope

          Darning Woman

            Darning Woman is an intentional, beautiful, sometimes confrontational album that shreds expectations of DIY, bedroom music, and feminine themes. There’s a lushness and maternal instinct at play, as Coope connects the dots between physicality, ephemera, and the ultrafeminine.

            “I don’t really like to deal that much with themes of personal hardships, or heartache and love,” says Anastasia Coope. “Ultimately, I work most honestly with the language of what is happening in a moment and the passage of time around it. That, coupled with my reaction to entering the artistic landscape, and my thoughts about what does and doesn’t get representation, comprises most of this album.”

            Darning Woman explores, among other things, the meditative aspect of sewing, patching and embellishment, care and repair, collection not as modern, craven consumption but as a counterpoint to materialism. This sort of collection – the good kind, the gathering of things to make a home – can be, in Coope’s words, “A very baby way to critique capitalism. Birds make nests, right? It can be a new life for a thing that was made. What you surround yourself with matters.”

            To that end, Anastasia Coope is also the founder and leader of the Bonzo collective and show series, an exciting new home for the type of expansive, profoundly creative scene that New York has been missing for some time. And while Bonzo may well be the ascent of a new community, Darning Woman is the story of Anastasia Coope, herself. It is the sound of Coope entering the world as an artist, acknowledging the tangle of what changes – the gaze of the world, Coope’s art in reaction and community to art in general – and what does not: her ideas and her own self.

            TRACK LISTING

            SIDE A
            1. He Is On His Way Home, We Don't Live Together
            2. Women's Role In War
            3. What Doesn’t Work What Does
            4. Darning Woman
            5. Sounds Of A Giddy Woman

            SIDE B
            1. Woke Up And No Feet
            2. Sorghum
            3. Newbin Time
            4. Return To Room

            Sunset Rubdown

            Random Spirit Lover - 2024 Reissue

              The woven lyrics and singular songwriting style heard in Sunset Rubdown invoke a mythological world, where magical narratives and tiny metaphors give shape to ordinary objects in the room; sometimes beautiful, sometimes beastly. The moniker was first born to bear the solo bedroom recordings of Spencer Krug, but has since evolved into a full-fledged band, involving the vital contributions of fellow Montreal residents Jordan Robson Cramer, Michael Doerksen, and Camilla Wynne Ingr.

              Now enter Sunset Rubdown’s third full-length record, ‘Random Spirit Lover’, featuring twelve songs that bleed in and out of each other, mixing portents with theatrics, confusions with conversions. The dark glamour of the music beneath the half-baked revelations in rhyme creates a tone of high drama, blown-out and overt, but the stage is wild and the roles aren’t clear, so the sincerity of the work and the spontaneity of the recordings can't help but shine through the formality of structure. In short, listening to ‘Random Spirit Lover’ is like watching schoolchildren in a dress rehearsal for the annual Easter play. And though they aren’t old enough to know the occasion is anything more than pastel-painted eggs and edible bunnies, they wear the fake beards with confidence and style.

              ‘Random Spirit Lover’ was recorded in early 2007 at Breakglass Studios in Montreal with Jace Lasek (also of The Besnard Lakes) and Dave Smith. A prolific and talented musician, Krug is also a member of Frog Eyes and Wolf Parade, and, in the fall of 2006, he collaborated with Dan Bejar of Destroyer and Carey Mercer of Frog Eyes to form Swan Lake, recording their first album for Jagjaguwar called ‘Beast Moans’. Jordan Robson-Cramer is currently the brain behind Magic Weapon as well as a member of Miracle Fortress, and Michael Doerksen produces his own solo work under the name of Deep Sleepover.

              TRACK LISTING

              1. The Mending Of The Gown
              2. Magic Vs. Midas
              3. Up On Your Leopard, Upon The End Of Your Feral Days
              4. The Courtesan Has Sung
              5. Winged / Wicked Things
              6. Colt Stands Up / Grows Horns
              7. Stallion
              8. For The Pier (And Dead Shimmering)
              9. The Taming Of The Hands That Came Back To Life
              10. Setting Vs. Rising
              11. Trumpet, Trumpet, Toot! Toot!
              12. Child-Heart Losers

              Chanel Beads

              Your Day Will Come

                At once a hazy relic and a digital snapshot of the human experience, Your Day Will Come is the debut album from Chanel Beads, arriving April 19 via Jagjaguwar.

                The remarkable project announces the arrival of New York-based musician Shane Lavers as a new force in experimental music, capturing the many contradictions of modern existence and the strange infiniteness of the digital world. The songs feel like a memory in which you can’t distinguish between what actually happened or what was a false reproduction in your mind—although the burning emotion remains intact. Lavers pushed himself to strip his own sense of ego from Your Day Will Come.

                Throughout, Lavers weaves in contributions from his live bandmates, singer-songwriter Maya McGrory (Colle) and experimental instrumentalist Zachary Paul, who offer their own layers of feeling. As McGrory offers a more full-bodied tone and Lavers often sings with his higher[1]pitched head voice, the two collaborators meet in the middle; it’s an intermingling of identities or a subconscious pining for androgyny. In this slippery space, different perspectives merge together, and there’s a sense of empathy and humility that arises from the blending of these voices.

                These days, Chanel Beads live shows see all three performers weaving together in absolute catharsis. This catharsis is pushed to its peak on “Idea June,” which sees McGrory taking over lead vocals to project Lavers’ lyrics. As McGrory sings, “The waves wash onto my shore,” in a voice that’s both earnest and digitally processed, it’s as though she's speaking as a separate embodiment of Lavers. In under two minutes, the track of clunky acoustic guitar and gutting strings lands somewhere between detachment and kinship.

                Similar to the off-kilter structure of “Police Scanner,” these songs are strangely affecting in their unfinished and liminal forms. Lavers, who is drawn to poor MP3 rips and transitional moments in DJ mixes, knows that these inexact musical artifacts evoke human imperfection.

                The title of Your Day Will Come could be read as a promise of the arrival of good karma, or it could be a reminder of one’s mortality, said out of spite. Yet as Lavers unpacks the haunting feelings of the past that he must release in order to move into his future, he reminds us that grief and hope might be closer than they seem to the naked eye.

                TRACK LISTING

                1. Dedicated To The World
                2. Police Scanner
                3. Idea June
                4. Embarrassed Dog
                5. Unifying Thought
                6. Your Day Will Come
                7. Urn
                8. Coffee Culture
                9. I Think I Saw

                Molly Lewis

                On The Lips

                  Consider this your invitation to Café Molly, a lounge bar like they don’t make them anymore. The lights are low, the martinis are ice cold, the banquettes are velvet, and the stage is set for the electrifying talent of whistler Molly Lewis. After the exotica stylings of The Forgotten Edge EP and the tropicalia-indebted Mirage EP, Molly wanted to encapsulate the sound of Café Molly for her debut album On The Lips, a dreamy tribute to classic mood music, it conjures up misty visions of classic Hollywood jazz clubs, Italian cinema soundtracks and lingering embraces between lovers. Recorded with producer Thomas Brenneck of the Menahan Street Band at his newly-built Diamond West Studios in Pasadena, and with something of an open door policy during the sessions, a stream of acclaimed musicians ended up across the album’s 10 tracks, including Nick Hakim, Latin Grammy-nominated Brazilian guitarist Rogê, Leland Whitty and Chester Hansen of Canadian instrumental group Badbadnotgood, Chicano soul group Thee Sacred Souls appear on the melancholy ‘Crushed Velvet’, experimental jazz pianist Marco Benevento and El Michels Affair’s Leon Michels. With her intoxicating compositions, and wry brand of stagecraft (she might not be singing up there, but she can sure tell a joke) Molly Lewis looks set to join her heroes in the storied lore of the Los Angeles lounge scene and beyond. So pull up a chair, order your favorite drink, and prepare to fall for On The Lips.

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Barry says: I Don't think i've ever been into a 'lounge' club, I know i've been into places that say they're a lounge club but they're really not, so with that in mind, i'm not sure where would be there perfect place for Molly Lewis' brilliantly rich lounge-jazz masterpiece 'On The Lips'. Lounge club, actual lounge, lounge bar, perfect for all. Sleek, smooth and sparkly.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  1. On The Lips
                  2. Lounge Lizard
                  3. Crushed Velvet
                  4. Slinky
                  5. Moon Tan
                  6. Silhouette
                  7. Porque Te Vas
                  8. Cocosette
                  9. Sonny
                  10. The Crying Game

                  Unknown Mortal Orchestra

                  II - 10th Anniversary Edition

                    Unknown Mortal Orchestra came to life in basements and bedrooms, the musical vision of Portlander-via-New Zealand Ruban Nielson that fused guitar-god riffs, choppy percussion, soul and funk. II, the sophomore album from UMO, emerged in an era rampant hedonism and isolationism and became the blueprint for everything Nielson has become renowned for. It was, and is, the solidification of Unknown Mortal Orchestra as an endlessly intriguing, brave and addictive band. Ten years on, it’s back with an expanded edition.

                    Written during a punishing, debauched touring schedule during which Nielson feared for both his sanity and health, II illustrates the emotional turmoil of life on the road, painting surrealist, cartoonish portraits of loneliness, love and despair. These conflicting themes are evident immediately; on the album’s sleeve is an unnerving image of Janet Farrar, the famous British witch, Wiccan, author and teacher of witchcraft. The chilling refrain of opener “Into The Sun” sees Nielson deliver the line “Isolation can put a gun in your hand,” softly, his words starkly intelligible above a warm, slow-burning melody that quickly brands itself onto your brain. His playful imagery (“I’m so lonely I’ve gotta eat my popcorn all alone”) mirrors the melody, before a solo that borders on psychotropic ends II‘s introduction. UMO is unafraid to dig deeper than the rest, their intoxicating, opiate groove bringing rock’n’roll’s exaggerated myths to life. And as it unfolds, II does find Nielson reenergized. “One At A Time” and “Faded In The Morning” boast dizzying choruses and instrumentals; these crusty hunks could have been excavated from a lost 1960s treasure trove. “Monki” unravels over seven minutes like the yarn from a stoner’s cardigan with an eye-frying pattern. “Dawn” is a minute of disconcerting noise that stands out between the nooks and crannies of the choruses, guitar solos, groove-heavy bass and drums that were recorded live by newly-recruited drummer Greg Rogove and Kody Nielson in a move away from the electronic percussion employed on album one. II closes with “Secret Xtians,” a tender observational puzzle that fizzes to a satisfied end.

                    In celebration of the album’s 10th anniversary Nielson’s complete collection from the II era is finally available in one compilation, and features the five acoustic tracks from the Blue EP as well as two additional B-sides. Unknown Mortal Orchestra was once Nielson’s closeted concern. With an album that uses his singular musical imagination and extraordinary talent to parade his emotions with unyielding honesty, it is now a fully realized band operating at the peak of its powers ten years on.

                    TRACK LISTING

                    1. From The Sun
                    2. Swim And Sleep (Like A Shark)
                    3. So Good At Being In Trouble
                    4. One At A Time
                    5. The Opposite Of Afternoon
                    6. No Need For A Leader
                    7. Monki
                    8. Dawn
                    9. Faded In The Morning
                    10. Secret Xtians
                    11. Swim And Sleep (Like A Shark)
                    12. Faded In The Morning
                    13. So Good At Being In Trouble
                    14. Swing Lo Magellan
                    15. Puttin’ It Down
                    16. Two Generations Of Excess
                    17. Waves Of Confidence

                    Jamila Woods

                    Water Made Us

                      On her expansive new album Water Made Us, Chicago musician and poet Jamila Woods shines anew as she asks the question, what does it mean to fully surrender into love? Across Water Made Us, Jamila embraces new genres, playful melodies, and hypnotizing wordplay, as she wades through the exhilarating tumult of love’s wreckage and refuge.

                      While 2017’s HEAVN saw Jamila celebrating her community within a lineage of Black feminist movement organizing, and 2019’s Legacy! Legacy! reframed her life’s experiences through the storied personas of iconic Black and brown artists, Water Made Us is self-revelatory in an entirely new way, making this her most personal album yet. Made together with LA-based producer McClenney, and boasting features from longtime friends and Chicago natives such as Saba and Peter CottonTale, Water Made Us is a sprawling and intimate portrait of self-reflection, cleverly designed to echo the different stages of a relationship: the early days of easy compromising, flirtatiousness, and fun; the careful negotiation through moments of conflict or hurt; the grieving of something lost; and the tender realization at the end of it all that the person who is gone never really leaves, but stays with you as you find yourself ready to try again, refreshed and reassured.

                      The album’s title -- taken from a line in album highlight “Good News” – is a subtle reference to the famous Toni Morrison quote “All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was.” It’s this sentiment – of memory, place, and returning – that acts as a pillar for the album’s arc. Water Made Us reminds us that at its best love is a warm, still ocean. Deep, shimmering, and endless in its wonder. And at its worst love can be a riptide that takes us so far away from ourselves we can hardly find our way back, hardly even remember how to swim. And yet Jamila surrenders to this surf — every wave and undertow – because maybe even the most painful endings can in fact be an invitation that calls her back home, back to shore, back to herself.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      SIDE A:
                      1. Bugs
                      2. Tiny Garden
                      3. Practice (feat. Saba)
                      4. Let The Cards Fall
                      5. Send A Dove
                      6. Wreckage Room
                      7. Thermostat (feat. Peter CottonTale)
                      SIDE B:
                      8. Out Of The Doldrums
                      9. Wolfsheep
                      10. I Miss All My Exes
                      11. Backburner
                      12. Libra Intuition
                      13. Boomerang
                      14. Still

                      DeYarmond Edison

                      Epoch

                        Epoch is the story of DeYarmond Edison: Brad Cook, Phil Cook, Justin Vernon and Joe Westerlund, told as never before. It’s a tale of community, vision, family, and a quartet that wanted to be too good to last. Rendered in maximalist detail, Epoch explores their saga while also telling a more universal tale: it explores and celebrates what everyone else is doing, making and building outside those cities that live under a microscope. It treats “small town shit” with the canonical care it deserves.

                        Scenes, especially the so-called small ones, are stitched together by the friendships and relationships that lock arms to build it. In this way, Epoch is also a friendship fable; “There’s a coming of age when it comes together,” describes Executive Producer Grayson Haver Currin, “and a coming of age when it breaks apart.” The epilogue is nice-to-have – where are they now, and so on – but it’s not the story. The story is the moment, which is the people, which is the friendships, which is the scene, which is the moment.

                        Cut Worms

                        Cut Worms

                          The car windows are down, the air is warm, and the possibilities are boundless. On Cut Worms, the new self-titled album from Brooklyn-based Max Clarke, the singer-songwriter and musician continues his exploration of what he calls “pop essentialism”. Mining the golden hits of yesteryear for a timeless double A-side sound, he contemplates age-old questions through a modern lens. Here, he leaves behind the legendary studio and sought-after producers for a more homegrown approach, working with a cast of gifted friends and collaborators. The result is a compact collection of daydream anthems that live between the summer’s hopeful beginnings and the season’s fleeting end.

                          As opposed to recording the entire album in one chunk at one studio, Clarke varied his methods. Three of the songs were cut from start to finish in his shared rehearsal space. “Don’t Fade Out” and Living Inside” were recorded in Brooklyn by Brian and Michael D’Addario of the Lemon Twigs, who also played piano and bass, respectively, on these two songs. Further basic tracking was done by Rick Spataro (of indie folk band Florist) at his Hudson Valley studio, Onlyness Analog, with contributions from the long standing Cut Worms live band–keyboardist John Andrews, bassist Keven Louis Lareau, and drummer Noah Bond (who played on all three sessions).

                          A youthful spirit breathes throughout these nine songs. The carnation-adorned school dance serenade of “I’ll Never Make It”; the starry eyed infatuation of “Is it Magic?”; the first fall leaves on the bus ride to school on “Living Inside”–all evoke a place of warmth and safety. Declarations like “Don’t Fade Out”, “Let’s Go Out On The Town”, and “Use Your Love” make high demands for life to change, but beg for us, as people, to keep hold of what makes us human. Clarke wrestles with a paradox–the joys of experience cannot be won without the loss of innocence.

                          On “Ballad of a Texas King” Clarke sings, ““Hey kid come along... something is wrong... I believe you know... All this to say, only one way that this can go…” It’s as if he’s reaching out to his younger self, letting him know the changes are inevitable. How do we hang on to a dream? How do we not lose ourselves in a world that is lost? The only way out of a nightmare is to keep going. Clarke’s answer lies in his art, where the search for love and the perfect pop song coalesce and transcend him to that other plane. –Kyle Avallone

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Liam says: Never straying too close to needless nostalgia, Cut Worms' latest is a lovely collection of charming 60s inspired pop-rock that you can't help but love!

                          TRACK LISTING

                          1. Don’t Fade Out
                          2. Take It And Smile
                          3. Ballad Of The Texas King
                          4. I’ll Never Make It
                          5. Is It Magic?
                          6. Let’s Go Out On The Town
                          7. Living Inside
                          8. Use Your Love! (Right Now)
                          9. Too Bad

                          Angel Olsen

                          Forever Means

                            'Big Time' brought Angel Olsen to a deeper, truer sense of self than ever before. Borne from the twin stars of grief and love, the album delivered beautiful sense of certainty, the sure-footed sound of an artist fully, finally at home with herself. But within that wisdom comes the realization that there is no finish line, no destination or static end point to life while you’re living it, and Forever Means collects songs from the Big Time sessions that hold this common theme. They are, in Olsen’s words, “in search of something else.”

                            “I was somewhere traveling,” says Olsen, “stopped for a few days and wandering the city, and I was thinking ‘what does ‘forever’ really mean? What are the things I’m seeking in friendship or love, and how can ‘forever’ be attainable if we’re always changing?’” Sitting with the reality of that entropy, Olsen realized “maybe the secret to ongoing love is to embrace change as part of love itself, that forever must have something to do with playing, looking, constantly searching things out for yourself, never letting yourself think you’re finished learning or exploring.” ‘Forever’”, says Olsen, “remains curious while trying also to be kind and honest.”

                            All this packs into the four precious songs that comprise Forever Means, songs from Olsen’s roads traveled and the ones ahead. “Nothing’s free / like breaking free” Olsen sings, comfortable with the costs of her clarity, her heart and voice fixed on the present, the future, the not-yet-known and the beautifully unknowable.

                            TRACK LISTING

                            SIDE A:
                            1) Nothing’s Free
                            2) Forever Means

                            SIDE B:
                            3) Time Bandits
                            4) Holding On

                            Sharon Van Etten

                            Tramp - 10 Year Anniversary Edition

                              “Dear Reader,

                              “About a year or two ago, Naomi Yang (of Galaxie 500) reached out to me after she rediscovered a video that we had made together in 2011, during the making of ‘Tramp’, just before the album’s release. It was for the song ‘Serpents’.

                              “The timing was uncanny, approaching the anniversary of ‘Tramp’. Thinking about my time in New York while in the bubble of Los Angeles and my home. Thinking about how restless I was, and now settled down and stable. Thinking about how Aaron Dessner took a chance on me after I messaged him with a fury of demos. He could see through the hiss and crappy vocals on my GarageBand demos, and that I had something to say. He gave me the confidence to be loud and to scream my rage and feel founded and justified in my own pain. He gave me more tools to find catharsis in my work. I have carried that with me ever since.

                              “Being on the West Coast the last two years, I look back on my community in New York and am forever grateful. I had so many friends and peers step up and help me unfold these demos. The album that it became. Doug Keith and Ben Lord from my original touring band, Logan Cole, Peter Silberman from The Antlers, Jessica Larrabee from She Keeps Bees, Thomas Bartlett of Doveman, Rob Moose of yMusic, Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak, Julianna Barwick, Zach Condon of Beirut, Matt Barrick (of the Walkmen), Clarice Jensen, Ben Lanz, Bryce Dessner, and Bryan Devendorf (of The National).

                              “I had almost forgotten about a song titled ‘This Is Too Right’ that didn’t make it onto the record. It was one of the first guitar ‘riffs’ I had ever written and Jenn Wasner sang on it with me. A song about not believing how good I had it, like the other shoe was about to drop. I hope everyone that helped make this record and supported it, feel the love and admiration that I continue to hold for all of you. I hope that in sharing this record again, with a new video and this forgotten track, that new listeners are brought into this album and find meaning and relevance in it today. All of the musicians on this album helped me come to life and perform in ways I never had before.

                              “May these songs find you well. Sending all my love, Sharon.”

                              Unknown Mortal Orchestra

                              V

                                Created between Palm Springs, California and Hilo, Hawai’i, V is the first double album from the Hawaiian-New Zealand singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Ruban Nielson’s Unknown Mortal Orchestra band. Designed to play as one continuous movement and road-tested on dry California freeways, V is the definitive Unknown Mortal Orchestra car record. It’s also the fifth full-length album Ruban has released in twelve years. Across fourteen sunbleached songs - written solo or with his brother Kody - Ruban draws from the rich traditions of West Coast AOR, yacht rock, weirdo pop and Hawaiian Hapa-haole music. Over a laidback blend of singalong anthems and cinematic instrumentals, he evokes blue skies, afternoons spent lounging by hotel swimming pools and the alluring darkness that lurks below perfect, pristine surfaces. It’s a duality expressed in the dilapidated sunset blues and the salt-corroded soul Ruban explores through tracks like ‘Layla’ and ‘Nadja. ’

                                During the pandemic’s early days, Ruban reunited with Kody at a cousin’s wedding in Hawai’i. With assistance from their father, Chris Nielson (saxophone/flute) and longstanding Unknown Mortal Orchestra member Jake Portrait, they brought everything Ruban had been thinking about together. The result was V, due for release on March 3, 2023, through Jagjaguwar. When they talked about records that moved them in that spine-shivering manner, Ruban started thinking about the 70s AM radio rock and 80s pop songs that had lurked on the edge of his subconscious mind for most of his life. He wanted to write his version of records like that, leading to the two glorious uptempo singles Unknown Mortal Orchestra released in 2021, ‘Weekend Run’ and ‘That Life’.

                                However, the golden good times never last forever. Not long after, health issues began to plague his extended family. Putting his recordings aside, he helped his mother and his uncle move home from New Zealand and Portland to Hawai’i, and began dividing his time between Hawai’i and Palm Springs. During this period he reconnected with his relatives, reassessed his past, and started to look at things with fresh eyes. Hawai’i brought back memories of the darker side of his parents’ lifestyle as entertainers. On those trips, he heard those classic AM radio rock records everywhere. They were inextricably intertwined with the palm trees, swimming pools, and glamorized hedonism he’d internalized from his childhood. There’s a type of music in Hawai’i called Hapa-haole (Half white). You can hear it expressed in signature Unknown Mortal Orchestra style through the humid guitar-led atmosphere of V’s penultimate song, ‘I Killed Captain Cook’. Although the songs are presented in a traditional Hawaiian manner, they’re mostly sung in English. Having been influenced by Hawaiian music since Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s first album, Ruban saw a space for himself within the tradition. When he reflected on his success, he realised he had the responsibility and platform to represent Hapa-haole music on the global stage.

                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                Barry says: Another stunning outing for synth-indie favourites Unknown Mortal Orchestra here in the sprawling, genre-defying behemoth that is 'V'. Full of jagged overdriven riffs and airy funk progressions, it's the UMO we know and love but to the nth degree. A superb collection, confidently summarising the sounds of Ruban Nielson’s singular project.

                                TRACK LISTING

                                1. The Garden
                                2. Guilty Pleasures
                                3. Meshuggah
                                4. The Widow
                                5. In The Rear View
                                6. That Life
                                7. Layla
                                8. Shin Ramyun
                                9. Weekend Run
                                10. The Beach
                                11. Nadja
                                12. Keaukaha
                                13. I Killed Captain Cook
                                14. Drag

                                Lonnie Holley

                                Oh Me Oh My

                                  ‘Oh Me Oh My’ is both elegant and ferocious. It is stirring in one moment and a balm the next. It details histories both global and personal. Lonnie Holley’s harrowing youth and young manhood in the Jim Crow South are well-told at this point — his sale into a different home as a child for just a bottle of whiskey; his abuse at the infamous Mount Meigs correctional facility for boys; the destruction of his art environment by the Birmingham airport expansion. But Holley’s music is less a performance of pain endured and more a display of perseverance, of relentless hope. Intricately and lovingly produced by LA’s Jacknife Lee (The Cure, REM, Modest Mouse), there is both kinetic, shortwave funk that call to mind Brian Eno’s ‘My Life in the Bush of Ghosts’ and the deep space satellite sounds of Eno’s ambient works. But it’s a tremendous achievement in sonics all its own.

                                  It’s also an achievement in the refinement of Holley’s impressionistic, stream-of-consciousness lyrics. On the title track which deals with mutual human understanding”, Holley is able to make a profound point as ever in far fewer phrases: “The deeper we go, the more chances there are, for us to understand the oh-me’s and understand the oh-my’s.” Illustrious collaborators like Michael Stipe, Sharon Van Etten, Moor Mother and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver serve as not only as choirs of angels and co-pilots to give Lonnie’s message flight but as proof of Lonnie Holley as a galvanizing, iconoclastic force across the music community

                                  TRACK LISTING

                                  SIDE A:
                                  1. Testing
                                  2. I Am A Part Of The Wonder
                                  3. Oh Me Oh My
                                  4. Earth Will Be There
                                  5. Mount Meigs
                                  SIDE B:
                                  6. Better Get That Crop In Soon
                                  7. Kindness Will Follow Your Tears
                                  8. None Of Us Have But A Little While
                                  9. If We Get Lost They Will Find Us
                                  10. I Can’t Hush
                                  11. Future Children

                                  Molly Lewis

                                  Mirage

                                    Molly Lewis’s compositions seem to float into our ears from distant shores. They’re otherworldly, drawn more from landscapes of dream than from anywhere you could find on a map. Lewis is a unique presence in music today. Her trademark whistle, which brings to mind the great Peruvian soprano Yma Sumac, has graced recordings of everything from Schumann lieder and Brazilian jazz to Spaghetti Western ballads and noir lounge.

                                    Lewis’s 2021 debut EP, The Forgotten Edge, was produced by Tom Brenneck (Charles Bradley, Amy Winehouse). It was a critical success, drawing praise from The New York Times and NPR, and landing Lewis a spot on CBS Sunday Morning.

                                    Now, Lewis and Brenneck have teamed up again for her second EP, Mirage, bringing aboard Brazilian guitarist Rogê, as well as percussionist Gibi Dos Santos and keyboardist Roger Manning. Capacious and atmospheric, Mirage is Lewis’s most hypnotic effort yet. Like Eden’s Island (1970) by eden ahbez - whose “Nature Boy” is covered in one of Mirage’s standout moments - the album is based on Lewis’s visions of an imaginary island. The lush, oceanic textures of Mirage transport us to the sands of an unknown beach - all alone or in the company we’ve always dreamt of keeping.

                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    1. Mirage
                                    2. Miracle Fruit
                                    3. Dolphinese
                                    4. Cabana Del Mel
                                    5. The Green Ray
                                    6. Nature Boy

                                    Okay Kaya

                                    Sap

                                      “Even my subconscious is self-conscious,” Okay Kaya sings on “Inside Of A Plum”, giving us a sense of the mental state she entered while making SAP, an album she wrote, performed, engineered, and produced alone, sometimes spending weeks at a time without social interaction. This is a concept album about consciousness in which Okay Kaya focuses her trademark combination of abstraction and wit on what happens to her mind unaccompanied, on her tendency to feel less like a human and more like the sticky secretion of a tree.

                                      After releasing her Spellemann Award winning album Watch This Liquid Pour Itself in January of 2020, Kaya left her home in New York and moved to Europe to create and show her various interdisciplinary exhibitions. Among others, she made an installation that amplified music made underwater and an interactive sculpture based on Jungian sandplay therapy for children. Between her exhibits, Kaya recorded through lockdowns by herself in the loaned studios of generous friends.

                                      SAP first grew from the first single “Spinal Tap” about Kaya wandering in Berlin, tree-touching. “Sap reminds me of the bodily functions I need to remember to do, like sleep. One might say it ‘resinates.’” The album was further inspired by Ketamine Therapy which is discussed in “The Inside Of A Plum.” Kaya explains, “The doctor said this treatment grows literal physical branches in your brain.” As she experimented with ego death, the subject of her song “Jazzercise”, Kaya found herself writing in the voices of fictional characters she’d encountered in other people’s stories. In ‘Jolene From Her Own Perspective,’ she imagines Dolly Parton’s nemesis responding to her song. In ‘Origin Story,’ Kaya writes as a mythical goddess frustrated with her creation myth. In ‘I’ve Spent Forever Planning A Crisis,’ Kaya responds to Cassavetes’ film A Woman Under The Influence writing from the perspective of the story’s children.

                                      Okay Kaya’s investigations of mind-body come along with sexy dance beats, unpredictable interlocking synths, delicate soft guitars, and close-to-the-mike R&B whispering. But Kaya likes her falsettos cracking and her soul-inspired hooks careening wildly, a beautiful chaos that somehow fits together.

                                      When she returned to New York, Kaya was excited to collaborate again, to get friends to “bless the record.” She invited friends to Gaia Studios in Greenpoint, Brooklyn to sing or play an instrument. Most songs on the album unfold with guest performances from artists as varied as deem spencer, Taja Cheek of L’Rain and Adam Green of The Moldy Peaches.

                                      Just as the recording process began with isolation and ended with friends, SAP starts with the internal and leads outside to romance, to lovers who serve as funhouse mirrors, reflecting Kaya back to herself from different angles. In “Pearl Gurl” Kaya harmonizes with her multi-tracked second self and sings her uncertain conclusion: “If love is not the answer, it’s one hell of a question.”

                                      TRACK LISTING

                                      1) Mood Into Object Personified
                                      2) Jolene From Her Own Perspective
                                      3) Origin Story
                                      4) Jazzercise
                                      5) Pathologically Yours
                                      6) Spinal Tap
                                      7) Inside Of A Plum
                                      8) Rorschach
                                      9) In Regards To Your Tweet
                                      10) Dep. Chamber
                                      11) Pearl Gurl
                                      12) The Lesson
                                      13) I’ve Spent Forever Planning A Crisis
                                      14) Like A Liver
                                      15) Weltschmerz

                                      They Hate Change

                                      Finally, New

                                        The two halves of Tampa rap duo They Hate Change - Dre (he/him) and Vonne (they/them) - first came together in front of the apartment complex where they both lived as teens. Dre had just moved down from Rochester, NY; Vonne was trying to sell him bad weed. It was clear from the start that the two listen to music differently from most people - they’re sonic omnivores, obsessive deep-divers, lovers of rare and radical sounds.

                                        Starting as kids trawling the internet for tracks, they’ve been collecting music from around the world and across the decades, amassing a shared sonic knowledge so deep that ‘encyclopedic’ barely begins to cover it - not just the East Coast hip-hop that Dre grew up on, or the hyper local bass-music variants like jook (the Gulf Coast’s twerkably raunchy answer to house) and crank (think ‘Miami bass meets NOLA bounce’), but also drum &bass, Chicago footwork, post-punk, prog (they’re, like, seriously into prog), grime, krautrock, emo, and basically any genre on the map.

                                        Once they graduated to DJs on the Tampa DIY scene - which includes everything from punk rock house parties to the black ‘teen nights’ that pop up in rec centres and ballrooms - they figured out how to pull all these disparate sounds together into a cohesive style. More importantly, they figured out how to make it something people will actually move to. When they made the transition to rapping and making beats, they brought that pleasure-seeking approach to sonic experimentation with them.

                                        TRACK LISTING

                                        1. Stuntro
                                        2. Breathing
                                        3. Who Next?
                                        4. Reversible Keys (ft. Vritra)
                                        5. Blatant Localism
                                        6. Coded Language
                                        7. (Interlude)
                                        8. 1000 Horses (ft. SARGE)
                                        9. Little Brother
                                        10. Some Days I Hate My
                                        11. Voice
                                        12. CERTI
                                        13. Perm
                                        14. X-Ray Spex
                                        15. From The Floor (ft. DJ GAYZ)

                                        Fresh grief, like fresh love, has a way of sharpening our vision and bringing on painful clarifications. No matter how temporary we know these states to be, the vulnerability and transformation they demand can overpower the strongest among us. Then there are the rare, fertile moments when both occur, when mourning and limerence heighten, complicate and explain each other; the songs that comprise Angel Olsen’s Big Time were forged in such a whiplash.

                                        Big Time is an album about the expansive power of new love, but this brightness and optimism is tempered by a profound and layered sense of loss. During Olsen’s process of coming to terms with her queerness and confronting the traumas that had been keeping her from fully accepting herself, she felt it was time to come out to her parents, a hurdle she’d been avoiding for some time. “Finally, at the ripe age of 34, I was free to be me,” she said. Three days later, her father died and shortly after her mother passed away.

                                        The shards of this grief—the shortening of her chance to finally be seen more fully by her parents— are scattered throughout the album. Three weeks after her mother’s funeral she was in the studio, recording this incredibly wise and tender new album. Loss has long been a subject of Olsen’s elegiac songs, but few can write elegies with quite the reckless energy as she.

                                        If that bursting-at-the-seams, running downhill energy has come to seem intractable to her work, this album proves Olsen is now writing from a more rooted place of clarity. She’s working with an elastic, expansive mastery of her voice—both sonically and artistically. These are songs not just about transformational mourning, but of finding freedom and joy in the privations as they come.

                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                        Barry says: Angel Olsen has always had a unique skill in writing melodies, but it's here on the heartbreaking 'Big Time' that her command of melody and atmosphere come together into the perfect whole. It's beautiful and sombre in parts, and downright jubilant in others. Beautifully balanced and achingly affectionate and tender.

                                        TRACK LISTING

                                        1. All The Good Times
                                        2. Big Time
                                        3. Dream Thing
                                        4. Ghost On
                                        5. All The Flowers
                                        6. Right Now
                                        7. This Is How It Works
                                        8. Go Home
                                        9. Through The Fires
                                        10. Chasing The Sun

                                        Sharon Van Etten

                                        We've Been Going About This All Wrong

                                          Sharon Van Etten has always been the kind of artist who helps people make sense of the world around them, and her sixth album, We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong, concerns itself with how we feel, mourn, and reclaim our agency when we think the world - or at least, our world - might be falling apart. How do we protect the things most precious to us from destructive forces beyond our control? How do we salvage something worthwhile when it seems all is lost? And if we can’t, or we don’t, have we loved as well as we could in the meantime? Did we try hard enough? In considering these questions and her own vulnerability in the face of them, Van Etten creates a stunning meditation on how life’s changes can be both terrifying and transformative. We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong articulates the beauty and power that can be rescued from our wreckages.

                                          We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong is as much a reflection on how we manage the ending of metaphorical worlds as we do the ending of actual ones: the twin flames of terror and unrelenting love that light up with motherhood; navigating the demands of partnership when your responsibilities have changed; the loss of center and safety that can come with leaving home; how the ghosts of our past can appear without warning in our present; feeling helpless with the violence and racism in the world; and yes, what it means when a global viral outbreak forces us to relinquish control of the things that have always made us feel so human, and seek new forms of connection to replace them.

                                          We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong is intensely personal, exploring themes like motherhood, love, fear, what we can and can’t control, and what it means to be human in a world that is wracked by so much trauma. The track “Home To Me,” written about Van Etten’s son, uses the trademark “dark drums” of her previous work to invoke the sonic impression of a heartbeat. Synths grow in intensity, evoking the passing of time and the terror of what it means to have your child move inevitably toward independence, wanting to hold on to them tightly enough to protect them forever. In contrast, “Come Back” reflects on the desire to reconnect with a partner. Recalling all the optimism of love felt in its infancy, Van Etten begins with the plain beauty of just her voice and a guitar, building the arrangement alongside the call to “come back” to anyone who has lost their way, be it from another person or from themselves. Hovering between darkness and light, “Born” is an exploration of the self that exists when all other labels - mother, partner, friend - are stripped back.

                                          The ten tracks on We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong are designed to be listened to in order, all at once, so that a much larger story of hope, loss, longing and resilience can be told. This is, in itself, a subtle act of control, but in sharing these songs it remains an optimistic and generous one. There is darkness here but there is light too, and all of it is held together by Van Etten’s uncanny ability to both pierce the hearts of her listeners and make them whole again. Things are not dark, she reminds us, only darkish.

                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                          Barry says: There are few artists around that are as eminently talented as Sharon Van Etten, and her latest outing has all of the acoustic nuance and juxtaposing heft we've come to expect from her. There are moments of minimalist beauty, but they fit in perfectly with the crashing waves of synth and her uncompromising vocals, pulling together all the disparate parts seamlessly. Gorgeous.

                                          TRACK LISTING

                                          SIDE A:
                                          1. Darkness Fades
                                          2. Home To Me
                                          3. I’ll Try
                                          4. Anything
                                          5. Born

                                          SIDE B:
                                          6. Headspace
                                          7. Come Back
                                          8. Darkish
                                          9. Mistakes
                                          10. Far Away

                                          Bonus Tracks (deluxe LP)
                                          Side C:
                                          Porta
                                          Used To It
                                          Never Gonna Change
                                          When I Die

                                          Handwritten Etching On Side D

                                          S. Carey

                                          Break Me Open

                                            S. Carey is the moniker of Eau Claire, Wisconsin-based multiinstrumentalist, songwriter, and producer Sean Carey. Over the past decade, Carey has fostered his flourishing solo career via themes of nature and sustainability, songwriting built from jazz beginnings, and heartfelt, emotive lyricism. His latest and fourth album, Break Me Open, is best described in his own words:

                                            In Break Me Open, I confronted darkness, I wrote about fear, I looked at love from different angles, I left it all out on the field. These past couple years have been the hardest of my life: full of grief, loss, and change. I feel like I had two choices. I could run from life, turn away, grow cold, resort to drugs, run and keep running. Or, I could give myself a deep look within. I could dig deep where the pain lives, where fear is festering, to try shed a new skin and come back a better person.Everyone is so far from perfect.This is not a “divorce” album. And while going through that has shook me to my core, leaving me at times, wondering who I am, and where to go, this record is bigger. It’s about love - past, present, and future. It’s about fatherhood - the overwhelming feeling of deep love for my kids and the melancholy of watching them grow up right before my eyes. It’s about accepting my faults and wrongdoings, exposing myself, and trying to know myself better than I did the day before. But above the darkness, it’s a message of hope, honesty, and growth. It’s a call to be vulnerable: Break Me Open.

                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Barry says: 'Break Me Open' is rich with Carey's faultless mastery of melody and tender instrumentation, it is both melancholic and hopeful in equal measure. With perfectly pitched vocals reminiscent of Bon Iver and grand instrumentation that wouldn't sound out of place on Sigur Ros' Takk, What's not to love?

                                            TRACK LISTING

                                            SIDE A:
                                            1. Dark
                                            2. Starless
                                            3. Sunshower
                                            4. Island
                                            5. Waking Up

                                            SIDE B:
                                            6. Desolate
                                            7. Paralyzed
                                            8. Where I Was
                                            9. Break Me Open
                                            10. Crestfallen

                                            Sharon Van Etten

                                            Silent Night / Blue Christmas

                                              Silent Night was recorded in 2018 for the Holiday Short Film, “The Letter” by Eric Paschal Johnson and received a Vimeo Staff Pick Award.

                                              Van Etten’s cover of the holiday classic “Blue Christmas,” was originally recorded for a benefit album called Do You EAR what I Ear in 2009 for the Association to Benefit Children, an outstanding New York-based service dedicated to permanently breaking the cycles of abuse, neglect, sickness and homelessness among disadvantaged children and their families.

                                              Both of these tracks are now available on vinyl for the first time.                                 

                                              TRACK LISTING

                                              Silent Night
                                              Blue Christmas

                                              Various Artists

                                              Sentimental Noise

                                                In most any Dungeons & Dragons adventure worth completing, the hero must come face-to-face with themselves in some form - a cursed, mystical mirror that reveals all that our hero is and is not; a reflection in some Blood River that displays for our hero the monster they have become; a doppelganger that reveals how much our hero has changed since the beginning of the adventure.

                                                So, as their year-long 25th Anniversary campaign enters its final chapter, Jagjaguwar must also confront their former self. They’re going all the way back to the basement of the sushi joint in Charlottesville; all the way back to when they were just a haphazardly made zine; all the way back to the original mantra which served at Jagjaguwar’s early guiding force. The Sentimental Noise echoing through the caverns of self-discovery is tender and deafening.

                                                The label have uncovered new and unreleased work from some of their earliest friends like Drunk, Manishevitz and Bevel. They’ve called upon necromancers like Norway’s Jenny Hval, Jagjaguwar legends Wilderness and Bloomington post-rock heroes Tammar. Mysterious noise mongers like Canada’s Wold and Oslo’s Some Nerve have delivered on their promise to absolutely split skulls open. There are two loving tributes to Patron Saint of Jagjaguwar John Prine. And they have unearthed two songs from Atsushi Miura, who once upon a time allowed founder Darius Van Arman to book shows in the basement of the sushi restaurant he ran. He dedicates one song to Darius and in the other, humorously lambasts the college town he called home for all those years. Today Jagjaguwar dies; tomorrow Jagjaguwar is reborn.

                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                Atsushi Miura - I Love You (Live At Tokyo Rose)
                                                Jenny Hval - The Cool, Cool River
                                                Wilderness - Night Sky
                                                Oneida - Smokes
                                                Tim Darcy - Unprecision
                                                Blacks’ Myths - Free Man
                                                Drunk - Waltz As Antidote
                                                Tammar - All’s Well That Ends
                                                Briana Marela - Forever Broken Hearted
                                                Zodiac Lovers - Why You Hang Around
                                                Some Nerve - Tvil
                                                Wilderness - Tomorrow
                                                Bevel - Blue Umbrella
                                                Manishevitz - All Mellow People
                                                Spokane - Useless Things Are Best
                                                Wold/Fauchion - Beryl Blade Reddening
                                                Atsushi Miura - I Hate Charlottesville

                                                Various Artists

                                                Join The Ritual

                                                  Midway through his long, earnest and often very, very funny essay on the role playing game Dungeons & Dragons in the September 2006 issue of The Believer, writer Paul La Farge proposes that Dungeons & Dragons is not a game at all but rather a ritual. La Farge notes the marked difference between game and ritual. Whereas a game seeks to demonstrate how unequal or distinct players/ teams are from one another, rituals seek to do the very opposite. “Ritual, on the other hand, is the exact inverse, for it brings about a union,” La Farge writes, himself paraphrasing anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss. “Or in any case an organic relation between the initially separate groups.”

                                                  And so, across the 25-year history of Jagjaguwar, an independent record label curiously named using a Dungeons & Dragons name generator, we find this idea of ritual as a conjoining practice. We see it early on when Jagjaguwar joins forces with a midwestern label called Secretly Canadian for a powerful fusion. We see it in familial relationships and collaboration among Jagjaguwar artists, and the ways those artists’ most treasured collaborators make their ways to the Jagjaguwar game board.

                                                  Join The Ritual, the third piece of Jagjaguwar’s 25th Anniversary celebration, looks to pay homage to the labels and artists that, whether they know it or not, invited Jagjaguwar to the table, to this wild, dark magic ritual of music. We’re talking about independent titans like Drag City, Too Pure, K Records and Touch & Go. We’re talking about heroes like R.E.M., Slint, Stereolab and Tracy Chapman. These songs captured the imaginations of our founders Darius Van Arman and Chris Swanson — and ultimately, opened up worlds to them.

                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                  SIDE A:
                                                  1. Spencer Krug - Red Dress
                                                  2. The Besnard Lakes - Good Morning, Captain
                                                  3. They Hate Change - The Seeming And The Meaning
                                                  4. Angel Olsen - Cold Blooded Old Times
                                                  5. Bruce Hornsby - Feel The Pain
                                                  6. Jamila Woods - Fast Car

                                                  SIDE B:
                                                  7. Nap Eyes - Car
                                                  8. S. Carey - Weight Of Water
                                                  9. Pink Mountaintops - The Concept
                                                  10. Cut Worms - One For The Catholic Girls
                                                  11. Okay Kaya - Nightswimming

                                                  Angel Olsen

                                                  Aisles

                                                    While spending time trying to conquer the audio of live-stream athome performances, I got better acquainted with my friend Adam McDaniel, an engineer and producer in Asheville, NC. Adam and I had known each other for years. When the band was a bit smaller I’d often rent his studio, Drop of Sun, for pre-recording / pre tour rehearsals. Summer 2020 was tough for many reasons. But Adam and his wife Emily opened their home to me and made it a safe space to create and let go. I had an idea to record some covers and bring some of the band into the mix, or add other players. I wanted to record 80’s songs that I’d overheard walking the aisles at the grocery store, and I needed to laugh and have fun and be a little less serious about the recording process in general. I thought about completely changing some of the songs and turning them inside out.

                                                    I’d heard “Gloria” by Laura Branigan for the first time at a family Christmas gathering and I was amazed at all the aunts who got up to dance. I imagined them all dancing and laughing in slow motion, and that’s when I got the idea to slow the entire song down and try it out in this way. I felt that “Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats could be reinterpreted to be about this time of quarantine and the fear of being around anyone or having too much fun. It made me wonder, is it safe to laugh or dance or be free of it all for just a moment?

                                                    I know it’s not really in my history to do something unintentional or just for the hell of it but my connection to these songs is pretty straightforward, I just wanted to have a little fun and be a little more spontaneous, and I think I needed to remember that I could!

                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                    Barry says: It's Angel's turn on the 80's tip this time, with her voice perfectly fitting the melancholic swell of synths and slo-mo takes on these well recognised classics. There's just enough here to recognise the originals, but with Olsen's wonderfully athletic vocals and inventive production they take on a new life entirely.

                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                    1. Gloria
                                                    2. Eyes Without A Face
                                                    3. Safety Dance
                                                    4. If You Leave
                                                    5. Forever Young

                                                    Unknown Mortal Orchestra

                                                    II - Love Record Stores 2021 Edition

                                                      Love Record Stores Edition available instore from 10am on Saturday September 4th, any remaining copies will be available on online from 9pm on the same day.
                                                      Limited to one per person.


                                                      Molly Lewis

                                                      The Forgotten Edge

                                                        In the most literal sense, globally renowned whistler Molly Lewis makes her gorgeous and curious compositions out of thin air. New entrees into the Exotica canon; sprawling, would-be Spaghetti Western scores; and a dash of Old Hollywood glamour — the whistle-led songs on her debut EP The Forgotten Edge are as complex, delicate and indelible as anything performed with viola or piano. “Whistling is like a human theremin,” said Lewis, an Australian native who’s spent the last several years in LA, and whose performances there and around the world are changing any preconceived notions of whistling by the room-full. .That’s not to say Lewis is all serious and snooty about the craft. Quite the contrary. Her sense of humor is witty, self-deprecating and zany. She’s as likely to reference the slapstick Leslie Nielsen film series Naked Gun for music video concepts as she is a classic piece of noir cinema.

                                                        Look no further than the equatorial and breezy opening cut “Oceanic Feeling,” a lovely walk across the flotsam-sprinkled sands in the rum-pumping vein of Les Baxter. Meanwhile, the title track — and really, the entire collection here — is a loving, and albeit rather haunting, salute to one of Lewis’s heroes, the Italian composer and musician Alessandro Alessandro Alessandroni, who’s whistle and guitar you hear on the title theme of Ennio Morricone’s A Fistful of Dollars. Lewis and her ensemble create classic cinema for your mind. Her own love for the artform began when, around the age of twelve she was given the CD Steve “The Whistler” Herbst Whistles Broadway. Something contained in it clicked. “It wasn’t that I was immediately obsessed, but I knew it was something I could do well,” Lewis said. The daughter of a musician mother and a documentary filmmaker father who often focused his films on niche communities and topics, Lewis recalls watching a television documentary with her parents about The International Whistlers Convention in Louisburg, North Carolina.

                                                        “My dad said, ‘If you ever make it into the competition, I’ll take you there’,” Lewis said. Turns out, there was no bar to entry, just a small fee. And so several years later, she and her father traveled to the convention. New to the form, Lewis didn’t take home one of the bigger prizes, but they were awarded the prize for “Whistler who traveled the greatest distance.” “We really just used the trip to drive around the United States,” she said. After studying film in Australia, Lewis moved to Los Angeles to be close to the film industry. There, her circle of artist friends grew naturally and with providence — her unique talent drawing more and more recognition. And over the last few years, Lewis’s Café Molly events at LA spots like Zebulon, Non Plus Ultra and The Natural History Museum have become fabled, elegant happenings with appearances from guests like John C. Reilly, Karen O and Mac DeMarco. Recorded with a crack team of friends and musicians during 2020’s quarantine, The Forgotten Edge is rife with incredible performances from Thomas Brenneck, Joe Harrison, Eric Hagstrom, Abe Rounds, Wayne Gordon, Gabriel Rowland, Leon Michels, and Dave Guy

                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                        Barry says: I admit to being a little baffled when I read the notes for this one, it being ostensibly a whistle-based album. Suffice to say it's MUCH deeper than that and perfectly segues between hazy country, slow exotica and swimming library ambience. It's properly beautiful and really very surprising.

                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                        1. Oceanic Feeling
                                                        2. Island Spell
                                                        3. Balcony For Two
                                                        4. The Forgotten Edge
                                                        5. Satin Curtains
                                                        6. Wind’s Lament

                                                        Big Red Machine

                                                        How Long Do You Think It's Gonna Last?

                                                          Ever since childhood, learning to play various instruments in a suburban Cincinnati basement alongside his brother Bryce, Aaron Dessner has consistently sought an emotional outlet and deep human connection through music — be it as a primary songwriter in The National, a founder and architect of beloved collaboration-driven music festivals, or collaborator on two critically acclaimed and chart-topping Taylor Swift albums recorded in complete pandemic-era isolation at his Long Pond Studio in upstate New York, among many other projects. Through it all, Dessner has brought together an unlikely community of musicians that share his impulse to connect, celebrate and, most of all, process emotion and experience through music. This generous spirit and desire to push music forward has never been more deeply felt than on Big Red Machine’s “How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last?,” the second album from Dessner’s evermorphing project with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon. In 2008, while assembling material for the charity compilation “Dark Was the Night,” Dessner sent Vernon a song sketch titled “big red machine”. Vernon interpreted “big red machine” as a beating heart and finished the song accordingly — a metaphor Dessner says “still sticks with me today.

                                                          This project goes to many places and is always on some level about experimentation, but it shines a light on why I make music in the first place, which is an emotional need. It’s one of my therapies and one of the ways I interrogate the past.” Released in 2018, Big Red Machine’s self-titled debut album evolved from improvisation and what Dessner calls “structured experimentalism,” with an ear toward building tracks that would work well in a live setting alongside visual elements. When Dessner and Vernon started the Eaux Claires Music Festival in 2015, they staged the original “Big Red Machine” as an improvisation-based performance piece. They later took that show to the PEOPLE collective’s Berlin residency and festival, and to Dessner’s Haven Festival in Copenhagen. “Big Red Machine started as this thing we would do for fun, and we fell in love with the feeling of it,” says Dessner.” Vernon agrees: “I remember it feeling really easy, but we never knew what would happen. It was exciting. As time went on, we just kept doing things together. And our friendship has grown strong, alongside all the collaborative stuff.”

                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                          Barry says: It won't be a gigantic surprise i'm sure, to hear that Big Red Machine's newest LP is as stunningly accomplished and wonderfully listenable as it's long list of collaborators would suggest. Brimming with beautiful folk charm and uncompromising melodic direction, there's very few people who wouldn't find something to enjoy here.

                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                          1. Latter Days (feat. Anaïs Mitchell)
                                                          2. Reese
                                                          3. Phoenix (feat. Fleet Foxes And Anaïs Mitchell)
                                                          4. Birch (feat. Taylor Swift
                                                          5. Renegade (feat. Taylor Swift)
                                                          6. The Ghost Of Cincinnati
                                                          7. Hoping Then
                                                          8. Mimi (feat. Ilsey)
                                                          9. Easy To Sabotage (feat. Naeem)
                                                          10. Hutch (feat. Sharon Van Etten, Lisa Hannigan And SharaNova [My Brightest Diamond])
                                                          11. 8:22am (feat. La Force)
                                                          12. Magnolia
                                                          13. June’s A River (feat. Ben Howard And This Is The Kit
                                                          14. Brycie
                                                          15. New Auburn (feat. Anaïs Mitchell)

                                                          Hypnotic Brass Ensemble

                                                          This Is A Mindfulness Drill

                                                          Somewhere along the way, I got the idea that Richard Youngs’s ‘Sapphie’ was all about a dead dog.

                                                          I don’t know if someone insinuated this idea in front of me or if I psychologically tethered the title to the tenderly printed dog paw on its cover. Either way, I’ve gone over a decade thinking this remarkable, windswept album of torch songs was about a dearly departed pet. And yet, as we approached a reissue of this Jagjaguwar classic and a new, reimagined version by artists Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Moses Sumney, Sharon Van Etten, and Perfume Genius, Richard Youngs was straightforward and unsentimental about its meanings. “The lyrics are not about anything in particular,” Youngs wrote.

                                                          The paw prints on the cover are, in fact, that of a friend’s dog (“The first dog I ever loved,” Richard said.), but there is no devastating loss at its center. And so, I want to tell Richard how this album has become a centering album for a great many of us, a transcendent and meditative piece of art. “What does ‘the mindfulness drill’ have to do with it?” Richard asks dryly me in a note.

                                                          It’s about being relentlessly present, Richard. It’s how when we listen to your album, we feel like a lonely traveler in a foreign country. How everything has a newness to it and there’s no one to share it with but the you inside of you. And that fine, fine line is where ‘Sapphie’ lives, Richard. Thank you for this, Richard.

                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                          1. Soon It Will Be Fire (feat. Moses Sumney)
                                                          2. A Fullness Of Light In Your Soul (feat. Perfume Genius)
                                                          3. The Graze Of Days (feat. Sharon Van Etten)

                                                          Dinosaur Jr.

                                                          Sweep It Into Space

                                                            Here is Sweep It Into Space, the fifth new studio album cut by Dinosaur Jr.. during the 13th year of their rebirth. Originally scheduled for issue in mid 2020, this record’s temporal trajectory was thwarted by the coming of the Plague. But it would take more than a mere Plague to tamp down the exquisite fury of this trio when they are fully dialed-in. And Sweep It Into Space is a masterpiece of zoned dialing.

                                                            Recorded, as usual, at Amherst’s Biquiteen, the sessions for Sweep It Into Space began in the late Autumn of 2019, following a West Coast/ South East tour. The only extra musician used this time with Kurt Vile. Indeed, Sweep It Into Space is a very cool album. As is typical, Lou Barlow writes and sings two of the album’s dozen tunes and Murph’s pure-Flinstonian drumming drives the record like a go cart from Hell. Lou’s songs here are as elegant as always. But there are very few moments where you wouldn’t know you were hearing Dinosaur Jr. in blindfolded needle drop.

                                                            They have a signature sound as sure as the Stooges or Sonic Youth or Discharge ever did. They continue to expand their personal universe with Sweep It Into Space, without ever losing their central core.

                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                            Barry says: There's something unmistakeable about the Dinosaur Jr sound. Not only do the melodic guitars and major-key melodies scream DJR, but Mascis' vocals bring back every memory of hazy summers spent listening to 'Green Mind' as a young teenager. 'Sweep It Into Space' has every bit of the charm and groove of their early years but with a maturity and musicianship that can only come from a band at this stage of their career.

                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                            SIDE A:
                                                            1. I Ain’t
                                                            2. I Met The Stones
                                                            3. To Be Waiting
                                                            4. I Ran Away
                                                            5. Garden
                                                            6. Hide Another Round

                                                            SIDE B:
                                                            7. And Me
                                                            8. I Expect It Always
                                                            9. Take It Back
                                                            10. N Say
                                                            11. Walking To You
                                                            12. You Wonder

                                                            Ross Gay

                                                            Dilate Your Heart

                                                              Over the last 12 years, Ross Gay’s poems have given us indelible images and phrases of radical empathy and unabated gratitude; about community, collaboration, connectedness and hard work. They have crept into our hearts and made a home of all of us. And so we are launching our 25th Anniversary celebration with ‘Dilate Your Heart’, our first spoken word album since titan Robert Creeley’s self-titled release twenty years ago.

                                                              “Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude” is given a gorgeous, slowly creeping bed of vines by Bon Iver, as Gay’s unadorned voices speaks a lifetimes of Thank You’s. On “Burial,” harpist and composer Mary Lattimore’s lunar landscape follows Gay’s voice into space, telling of our endless energy exchange with nature. Chicago’s Angel Bat Dawid dances with the frenetic, joyous scene Gay leads us through on “To the Fig Tree on 9th and Christian,” in which a group of Philadelphia strangers scramble together to harvest the fruit of the titular urban fig tree. Songwriter Gia Margaret provides a mystical, amniotic environment for Gay’s “Poem To My Child If Ever You Shall Be,” a love letter to an imagined future child, treating Gay’s voice like a message in a bottle to a far off idea made only of love and potential. Sam Gendel, a secret weapon collaborator, affects Gay’s voice on “Sorrow Is Not My Name” to something glassy and almost singsongy. Throughout, Gay recites his poems with bright aliveness, his voice as warm and easy when he speaks about death as when he speaks about mercy, or love.

                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                              1. Catalog Of Unabashed Gratitude (with Bon Iver)
                                                              2. Burial (with Mary Lattimore)
                                                              3. To The Fig Tree On 9th & Christian (with Angel Bat Dawid)
                                                              4. Poem To My Child, If You Ever Shall Be (with Gia Margaret)
                                                              5. Sorrow Is Not My Name (with Sam Gendel)

                                                              Junglepussy

                                                              Jp4

                                                                With a name as bold as Junglepussy and an artistry to match, Shayna McHayle is New York’s premier rap rule-breaker. Honest, funny and freaky, her rhymes span from the explicitly audacious to the tenderly relatable. Her unfailingly confident flow accentuates her roots in Brooklyn (her parents are from Trinidad and Jamaica) and her bars land with cool impact. In the universe that is Junglepussy, relationships are complicated, vegetables are magic and an excellently delivered flex on an ex is one punchline away.

                                                                ‘Jp4’ is Junglepussy’s stellar next phase. With contributions from vocalist Ian Isiah, rapper Gangsta Boo and producers Dave Sitek and Nick Hook, ‘Jp4’ is Junglepussy ascended. After almost a decade of experimenting, Junglepussy feels she’s finally living up to her name. The numerology of four, in its foundational symbolism, is an apt frame for ‘Jp4’. Over an eight-year career, Junglepussy’s music has led her to lecture at Yale and Columbia, create her own Junglepussy Juice, star in 2018 feature film ‘Support The Girls’ and embark on sold-out domestic and international tours. For Junglepussy, ‘Jp4’ is a culminating moment - one that holds the essence of closure while hinting at an exciting and expansive future.

                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                Bad News
                                                                Main Attraction
                                                                Telepathy
                                                                Morning Rock
                                                                Out My Window (feat. Ian Isiah)
                                                                Spiders
                                                                What You Want
                                                                Arugula
                                                                Stamina (feat. Gangsta Boo)
                                                                No Band Aid

                                                                Ryan Hemsworth

                                                                Pout

                                                                  “For this EP I was trying to live less in nostalgia and function less off obvious references. I worked on ‘Pout’ while becoming a dad, sitting a lot in my garden, and trying to kill my ego. Tracks like ‘Mountain Access’ make me think about driving around Hamilton, Ontario, my home as of a year ago. I hope people can still get a chance to walk around with this on headphones or daydream while listening to this project.” - Ryan Hemsworth

                                                                  Features from Ms. John Soda and BADBADNOTGOOD’s Leland Whitty.

                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                  Hail
                                                                  All These Dreams
                                                                  Here I Stand (feat. Ms. John Soda)
                                                                  Mountain Access
                                                                  Keep Touch (feat. Leland Whitty)

                                                                  Midnight Sister

                                                                  Painting The Roses

                                                                    As Midnight Sister, multi-disciplinary LA artists Juliana Giraffe and Ari Balouzian make motion pictures. Yes, sometimes with moving images - but most often only with the music they create together. Balouzian’s serpentine, string compositions are movie scenes that allow Giraffe, a brilliant character actor, to cloak herself in a new roles and voices. A bit of Jon Brion’s score work; some old Hollywood strings; a solid dose of glam and outsider disco from 70s independent cinema. Any perceived artifice is always matched by an indelible human fingerprint, something perfectly off. Giraffe and Balouzian’s respective work in fashion, visual art, video and film scoring - along with the gang of virtuosos with which they surround themselves - all wonderfully coalesce as Midnight Sister. If 2017’s ‘Saturn Over Sunset’ was their collection of short films about outcast life in The San Fernando Valley, then their new album ‘Paining The Roses’ is the inventive, meta motion picture that cements them as auteurs.

                                                                    ‘Painting The Roses’ is in many ways a fairy tale -- not so much the sweet-and-happy ending kind as something richer, packed with imagination and rooted in the complex human messiness beneath a story’s artifice. Frontwoman Giraffe describes it as “this tightrope of being real yet synthetic, organic yet staged, light yet dark, logical yet irrational, beautiful yet dilapidated. Joyful nonsense.” Here, disguises like masks and paint are not meant to hide but to liberate, to “set a part of us free” and Midnight Sister often embody this themselves, appearing highly stylized, curious, warm and inviting but a little askew. ‘Painting the Roses’ is a story told through the looking glass, one where we examine ourselves in a funhouse mirror but find clarity in its twists.

                                                                    Giraffe travelled to visit family in Argentina during the making of the album and reconnected greatly with that part of her family history, art and culture. Balouzian created the core album opener ‘Doctor Says’ during a session in the desert outside of LA. The guitar, which reminded Giraffe of South America, has a slow, sweltering surf-tango to it, like Dick Dale doing Carlos Gardel. And even though the song was inspired by Giraffe’s reconnection with Argentina, the song is about the fading of some close friendships during the making of the album. “Man, you have changed,” Giraffe sings, unclear if it’s directed to a friend or to herself.

                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                    Doctor Says
                                                                    Satellite
                                                                    Foxes
                                                                    Sirens
                                                                    Escalators
                                                                    Dearly Departed
                                                                    Tomorrowland
                                                                    My Elevator Song
                                                                    Wednesday Baby
                                                                    Limousine
                                                                    Song For The Trees
                                                                    Painting The Roses

                                                                    Bullion

                                                                    Heaven Is Over

                                                                      In early 2018, Nathan Jenkins returned from the coast of Arrábida to his new home studio in a cottage tucked behind the grand hotel setting of Wim Wenders’ Lisbon Story. Breaking for lunches under a Datura tree in the garden and a far cry from the Finsbury Park basement flat he rented the previous year, a set of recordings followed that galvanised into an EP - ‘We Had A Good Time’. Music informed by out-of-town trips in a 1987 Renault 9 Super, Pitchfork attributed “remarkable healing powers” to lead song ‘Hula’.

                                                                      After leaving London for a spell in Portugal, Nathan lost his taste for the night life and drew a line under a long-running NTS radio show. Much of the time spent abroad was dedicated to a longstanding collaboration with Westerman, whose album they recorded in a remote part of the Algarve countryside in 2019. Nathan’s own discography opened in 2007 with ‘Pet Sounds: In The Key Of Dee’, before pivoting in a more electronic direction via ‘Get Familiar’ and ‘Young Heartache’. From the sampledelia of 2011’s ‘Too Right’, the new wave and rave of ‘Say Arr Ee’ to the Robert Wyatt-influenced ‘Love Me Oh Please Love Me’, he’s mapped a deliberately peculiar path. 2015’s ‘Rooster’ was Eno & Byrne’s ‘Bush Of Ghosts’ given a shangaan-electro lick and clip. While Nathan’s partnership with fellow out-there pop auteur Jesse Hackett, as Blludd Relations, staggered like a half-cut Prince.

                                                                      Collaged, rhythmic alternatives. Syncopated avant-garde sambas. Off-kilter Sci-Fi jazz. Think Asha Putli in the spot at the Star Wars cantina. Arty, angular. Rich, but uncluttered. Frenetic, electric, blurring the boundaries between what is sampled, what is played. Nathan’s is a wilfully weird Pop, showcased in 2016 on his album ‘Loop The Loop’. Wayward but woven with hooks that come out of nowhere. Lyrical, often beautiful, solos on violin, oboe and desiccated guitars. Songs that demonstrate a nose-thumbing playfulness, a refusal to sit still. Where there’s always the urge to interrupt a carnival beat with a burst of galloping horse hooves. Or juxtapose ambient chords with a kazoo.  A roll call of Nathan’s broader musical adventures encompasses work with Paul Epworth, Sampha, Westerman and Nilüfer Yanya. Commissioned remixes reach from Dita Von Teese to Model 500, Tricky, Todd Terje and Lee “Scratch” Perry. Solo efforts gracing labels Honest Jon’s, R&S, Young Turks, Whities and The Trilogy Tapes. ‘Blue Pedro’, on the latter, making it into Crack Mag’s Top 100 Tracks Of The Decade.

                                                                      In 2012 Nathan started his own label, DEEK Recordings, assuming the role of inhouse producer to collaborators. The imprint’s tagline and aesthetic - Pop, not slop! - is illustrated by an ongoing playlist of the same name and further explored in a series of compilations where Nathan and friends cover and reinterpret unsung ‘unclassics’ from alt. country to obscure 80s European arthouse scores, bouncing between Captain Beefheart, The Pixies, Sade and Mazzy Starr. DEEK’s roster is equally eccentric, non-linear and pop-literate. Laura Groves and Nautic - the realization and crystallization of a shared love for the Cocteau Twins.

                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                      Heaven Is Over
                                                                      Strike A Light
                                                                      Thirty Two
                                                                      Yawn
                                                                      Loving Furlong

                                                                      Lonnie Holley

                                                                      National Freedom

                                                                        This 5-song collaboration between artist Lonnie Holley and the late visionary producer Richard Swift is a tribute to urgent, raw, American art - from Howlin’ Wolf to Captain Beefheart, from Cecil Taylor to Bo Diddley. The songs pulse with anger, hope, energy and a bit of swagger. You can hear sweat and tears through the speaker. Swift left us two years ago today but his spirit buzzes through these songs. During a West Coast tour with Deerhunter in late summer 2013, Holley was put in touch with Swift by a friend who suggested using a day off on tour to record at Swift’s National Freedom Studio in Cottage Grove, Oregon. Now rather legendary, Swift was in a breakout moment as a producer having recently worked with artists like The Shins, Foxygen and Damien Jurado. Holley’s essential debut album, Just Before Music, had come out the year prior.

                                                                        The cosmic connection between Holley and Swift was immediate. They put down five songs in their day together: all conjured in the studio and one-of-a-kind. At the end of that day in 2013, Swift - always up until the wee hours - made a late-night call to the friend who had set up the session. He was effusive about the experience - thrilled to have found a kindred spirit in Lonnie Holley and thankful to spend a day crafting unclassifiable, extemporaneous and soulful music.

                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                        Crystal Doorknob
                                                                        In It Too Deep
                                                                        Like Hell Broke Away
                                                                        Do T Rocker
                                                                        So Many Rivers (The First Time)

                                                                        Cut Worms

                                                                        Nobody Lives Here Anymore

                                                                          The shopping malls have closed down, the dressing rooms are filled with ghosts, and the carousel is covered in cobwebs. Nobody Lives Here Anymore, the latest and greatest from Max Clarke as Cut Worms, is the haunted reverie of an American landscape in-and-out of Clarke’s mind. Recorded between May and November 2019 in Memphis, Tennessee, the album is a snow globe of the mid-twentieth-century’s popular music filled with chiming guitars, honkey tonk pianos, and Telstar organs. A constant creator - be it his Cut Worms alter-ego or his day-job illustration work (designing brand logos and beer labels with madhouse technicolor pictures) - writing and making records has always been Max’s driving force.

                                                                          So after an extensive eighteen-months of touring in support of 2017’s Alien Sunset and 2018’s Hollow Ground, he set about sifting through the fragment pieces and sketches of tunes he’d accumulated, along with a jet-stream of new compositions, mining his life-long devotion to the lost American songbook for inspiration. By the time he flew to Memphis to work with producer Matt Ross-Spang at Sam Phillips Studio, he’d stockpiled more than thirty new songs. A loss of innocence lingers through this 80-minute opus as Clarke attempts to harbor love and meaning inside a world that sold itself out. He explores the wistfulness of the past in search of answers for tomorrow. And while his grand anthems overflow with timeless pop charm, his ability to dig deeper than lollipops and holding hands sets his work apart from the days of 45s and Top of the Pops.

                                                                          Gabriel Garzón-Montano

                                                                          Agüita

                                                                          This will come as no surprise to those who’ve followed GGM since 2014’s Bishouné: Alma Del Huila, the critically-lauded, self-produced EP that put him on the map, and served as sample fodder for a handful of popular music’s most iconic artists. His follow-up LP, 2017’s Jardin, melded classical and folkloric instruments with rnb, hip-hop, and cumbia, proving once again that Gabriel is totally comfortable making transformative, funky, cathartic records all by himself. Agüita, his first release for Jagjaguwar, is a sequence of impossibly diverse offerings ranging from trap anthems to string-drenched art pop ballads – a prismatic self-portrait, personal and universal all at once. The artist is present, and he is in final form.

                                                                          The magic of Agüita lives in Gabriel’s ability to consolidate a range of truths into a focused, crystallized idea. “Bloom,” “Blue Dot,” and “Fields” compare the growth and loss inherent in human life with the changing of the seasons and the life cycles of the universe; on “Fields,” GarzónMontano evokes the despondent whimper of Thom Yorke. There are mirrors of the same themes in compositions like “With a Smile,” “Tombs,” “Someone,” and “Moonless,” a quartet of songs that explore the births and deaths of the relationships we have with the people we love; on “Moonless,” Gabriel explores for the first time his struggle with the grief of his mother’s passing: “Mama died / and I was moonless in a Stygian tide...trying to hide the ripening tumor / breathing fire, love but a rumour / There’s a woman in my sky / 17 when I learned to cry…” It is to his immense credit as a songwriter that we are left with an understanding of the depth of his loss, despite having never experienced it. Equally impactful are the trap and reggaeton cuts – the album’s energetic high points.

                                                                          On “Agüita,” “Mira My Look,” and “Muñeca,” GGM delves into club-banger territory, performing in Spanish for the first time on record. Whether you’re here for the medium, or for the message, for the man himself, or one of his characters, Agüita stands as the strongest installment thus far in a series of alarmingly sincere, sensationally profound works, from an artist who has sought not only to challenge established preconceptions and categories, but to expose their ultimate unworthiness. From composition to execution, the product distills the essence of Gabriel Garzón-Montano’s genius, an uninterrupted creative process rare in this age of fattened album credits.

                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                          1. Tombs
                                                                          2. With A Smile
                                                                          3. Muñeca
                                                                          4. Fields
                                                                          5. Mira My Look
                                                                          6. Moonless
                                                                          7. Someone
                                                                          8. Bloom
                                                                          9. Agüita
                                                                          10. Blue Dot (with Theo Bleckmann)

                                                                          Angel Olsen

                                                                          Whole New Mess

                                                                            The time had come, Angel Olsen realized in the fading summer of 2018, to take her new songs out of the house. Olsen's 2016 marvel, My Woman, had been a career breakthrough, but it catalyzed a period of personal tumult, too: a painful breakup, an uneasy recovery, an inadequate reckoning. At home in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains, Olsen penned songs that finally grappled with these troubles, particularly love:"how forever is too much to promise, how relationships can lock us into static versions of ourselves, how you can go through hell just to make someone else happy. These heartsore explorations shape Whole New Mess, Olsen's first solo album since her 2012 debut and an emotional portrait so intimate and vulnerable you can hear her find meaning in these crises in real-time.

                                                                            At least nine of the eleven songs on Whole New Mess should sound familiar to anyone who has heard All Mirrors, Olsen's grand 2019 masterpiece that earned high honors on prestigious year-end lists and glossy spreads in stylish magazines. "Lark," "Summer," "Chance" - they are all here, at least in some skeletal form and with slightly different titles. But these are not the demos for All Mirrors. Instead, Whole New Mess is its own record with its own immovable mood, with Olsen working through her open wounds and raw nerves with just a few guitars and some microphones, isolated in a century-old church in the Pacific Northwest. If the lavish orchestral arrangements and cinematic scope of All Mirrors are the sound of Olsen preparing her scars for the wider world to see, Whole New Mess is the sound of her first figuring out their shape, making sense for herself of these injuries.

                                                                            Considered alongside All Mirrors, Whole New Mess is a poignant and pointed reminder that songs are more than mere collections of words, chords, and even melodies. They are webs of moods and moments and ideas, qualities that can change from one month to the next and can say just as much as the perfect progression or an exquisite chord. In that sense, these 11 songs - "solitary, frank, and unflinching examinations of what it's like to love, lose, and survive -" are entirely new. This is the sound of Angel Olsen, sorting through the kind of trouble we've all known, as if just for herself and whoever else needs it.

                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                            Barry says: 'Whole New Mess' isn't as much different versions of the same songs as it is a retelling of the entire context they were given in. Beautifully raw at times, and even more poignant than the already mindblowing 'All Mirrors', if that was the story, this is the equal and opposite other side of the story. An absolutely necessary listen.

                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                            Whole New Mess
                                                                            Too Easy (bigger Than Us)
                                                                            (new Love) Cassette
                                                                            (we Are All Mirrors)
                                                                            (summer Song)
                                                                            Waiving, Smiling
                                                                            Tonight (without You)
                                                                            Lark Song
                                                                            Impasse (workin’ For The Name)
                                                                            Chance (forever Love)
                                                                            What It Is (what It Is)

                                                                            Gordi

                                                                            Our Two Skins

                                                                              Losing someone close to you creates an almost phantom limb-like effect. Often, it feels like they’re a phone call away. But that instant between when you reach for the phone and when your brain delivers the new reality to you is a strange, momentary eternity. It’s both an uncompromising void and maybe as close as you’ll ever come to communing with that loved one again. On her new song “Sandwiches,” Gordi harnesses all the sadness and glory of this feeling into a soaring, post-new wave anthem. One of the first true Gordi “guitar songs,” it shimmers with the lush-yet-fragile momentum of The Cranberries’ classic “Dreams.” Gordi wrote “Sandwiches” as a tribute to the matriarch of her family. Her late grandmother was, in Gordi’s words, “a great feeder of people.”

                                                                              So when she fell ill, Gordi and her mother took it upon themselves to nourish the visitors gathered around her hospital bed. As they passed around sandwiches, “someone called out that she was gone.” The gravity of the moment was poignant for its softness and mundanity. Gordi approaches the totality of a loved one’s life as measured in the small memories that stay with us. She sings, “When I think of you a movie-reel of moments plays / We’ll be in the car or after mass on Saturdays / You’ll be walking down the driveway, you’ll be in your chair / You’ll say ‘See you round’ or ‘Say your “Three”’ / And now you’re everywhere.” Gordi called on long-time collaborators and Bon Iver production duo Chris Messina and Zach Hanson to make “Sandwiches” at her family home in Canowindra, Australia — an old cottage littered with some of Sophie’s favorite pieces of musical arsenal combined with some flown in from Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The tiny farm town where her family has lived for over a century, Canowindra, and the heart of the matriarch, is embedded in this song. “Her whole life was in Canowindra…we made it in a house that’s a hundred meters from her house.”

                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                              SIDE A:

                                                                              1. Aeroplane Bathroom
                                                                              2. Unready
                                                                              3. Sandwiches (Alfalfa Mix)
                                                                              4. Volcanic
                                                                              5. Radiator

                                                                              SIDE B:

                                                                              6. Extraordinary Life
                                                                              7. Hate The World
                                                                              8. Looks Like You
                                                                              9. Limits
                                                                              10. Free Association

                                                                              Moses Sumney

                                                                              Græ

                                                                                Moses Sumney evades definition as an act of duty: technicolor videos and monochrome clothes; Art Rock and Black Classical; blowing into Fashion Week from a small town in North Carolina; seemingly infinite collaborators, but only one staggering voice. A young life spent betwixt Southern California and Accra, Ghana — not so much rootless as an epyphite, an air plant. The scale is cinematic but the moves are precise deeds of art and stewardship. Sumney’s new, generous album, græ, is an assertion that the undefinable still exists and dwelling in it is an act of resistance.

                                                                                To try to pin Sumney down on a sound - and really, on any matter - is to end up with a hand full of fog, but his genius is never allowing the set to sound like a hodgepodge. His forthcoming double album expands upon the sonic universe built in Sumney's critically-acclaimed debut LP Aromanticism and subsequent EP Black In Deep Red, 2014. The songs on græ may be divergent, like the visceral, Smashing Pumpkins drama of "Virile" and the intoxicated, outro jazz of "Gagarin." There's the kinky, ambiguous bop of "Cut Me" countered with the sweeping, amphitheater-ready "Bless Me." But there's that voice, always unknowable and penetrating, threading these pieces together: a heavenly rasp, a whale call, Miles' horn, a soulful snarl. It all works to create a paradox, keeping art and artist somewhere between any one sure thing - but surely something that demands your attention affixed and your breath bated. All of this is græ.

                                                                                There's probably a biblical analogy to be made about a person who just happens to be named Moses, who flees the binary, splits a massive body into two pieces, and leads us through the in-between - holy and wholly rebellious. By breaking up græ into two multifaceted, dynamic pieces, Sumney is quite literally creating a "grey" in-between space for listeners to absorb and consider the art. Not strictly singles, not strictly albums, never altogether songs or spoken word segments on their own. It's neither here nor there. Neither/Nor, if you will. 

                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                Side A [22:57]
                                                                                1. Insula [00:47] 
                                                                                2. Cut Me [04:10]
                                                                                3. In Bloom [03:03] 
                                                                                4. Virile [04:16] 
                                                                                5. Conveyor [03:24] 
                                                                                6. Boxes [01:22]
                                                                                7. Gagarin [05:55] 

                                                                                Side B [15:18]
                                                                                8. Jill/jack [01:33] 
                                                                                9. Colouour [03:08] 
                                                                                10. Also Also Also And And And [01:32] 
                                                                                11. Neither/Nor [05:27]
                                                                                12. Polly [03:38] 

                                                                                Side C [19:44]
                                                                                13. Two Dogs [03:56] 
                                                                                14. Bystanders [04:14] 
                                                                                15. Me In 20 Years [03:41] 
                                                                                16. Keeps Me Alive [02:56]
                                                                                17. Lucky Me [04:57]

                                                                                Side D [07:55]
                                                                                18. And So I Come To Isolation [00:49] 
                                                                                19. Bless Me [05:00] 
                                                                                20. Before You Go [02:06]

                                                                                Bon Iver

                                                                                Blood Bank EP - 10th Anniversary Edition

                                                                                  Bon Iver’s Blood Bank EP was originally released in early 2009, hot on the heels of the beloved album ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’. The EP was a harbinger of a new sound for Bon Iver: a movement away from the acoustic guitar-led instrumentation of the debut and the beginning of an exploration into the experimental sounds that have evolved but defined Bon Iver ever since. The reissue of this seminal EP is coupled with brand new live renditions of all the EP tracks.

                                                                                  A reflection on the Blood Bank EP by Ryan Matteson: "When I reflect on the songs that make up the Blood Bank EP, I am drawn to mantras, both musical and lyrical. The driving and pulsating rhythm of the title track is held steady by the repeated refrain, I know it well, before it eventually yields to a beautiful array of guitar distortion and noise. These moments are significant through all four songs. When the steel guitar makes its entrance on “Beach Baby,” it’s transportive. A blissful, breezy feeling sweeps into the room and that puts you within the moment. Close your eyes and you can feel it. “Babys” follows perfectly. A piano guides your mind to the new beginnings that come with the changing of seasons. The awareness of time passes and makes way for another day. Then there’s “Woods.” A flawless finale. Foreign and new. Not just a new direction but a new beginning entirely. A place where boundaries don’t exist. It was a signal change of things to come, laying the groundwork for new collaborations. A decade later, the song says so much in just three lines. Most significant to me are the words, “I’m building a sill to slow down the time.” Time doesn’t slow down, it races."

                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                  Side A
                                                                                  1. Blood Bank
                                                                                  2. Beach Baby
                                                                                  3. Babys
                                                                                  4. Woods

                                                                                  Side B
                                                                                  1. Blood Bank (Live From Ericsson Globe, Stockholm SE, Oct 21 2018)
                                                                                  2. Beach Baby (Live From The Bomb Factory, Dallas TX, Jan 23 2018)
                                                                                  3. Babys (Live From Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, London UK, Mar 4 2018)
                                                                                  4. Woods (Live From Pitchfork Paris Presented By La Blogotheque, Nov 3 2018)

                                                                                  Nap Eyes

                                                                                  Snapshot Of A Beginner

                                                                                    Nap Eyes’ latest full length, ‘Snapshot Of A Beginner’, is proof that sometimes the late bloomers bloom brightest. Eight years and four albums into it, the artistic arc of Nap Eyes finds itself tracing a line alongside frontman Nigel Chapman’s daily tai chi practice. Those first years and albums are the cold mornings in the park: the measured movements, the joint aches, the self-doubt. With each new release, an incremental and invigorating step forward. And with the end of each album and tour, a return to the beginner’s practice. And now, ‘Snapshot Of A Beginner’ - Nap Eyes’ boldest, most concentrated and most hi-fi album to date - a study of that repeated return and all that it can teach you.

                                                                                    Almost all the songs of Nap Eyes are whittled into their final form from Chapman’s unspooling, 20-minute voice-and-guitar free-writing sessions. Each member - drummer Seamus Dalton, bassist Josh Salter or guitarist Brad Loughead - then plays a crucial role in song development, composing around the idiosyncratic structures and directing the overall sound and feel of the songs. Until now, that final song construction and recording has been mostly done live in a room. But for ‘Snapshot Of A Beginner’ the band went to The National’s neuvo-legendary upstate NY Long Pond Studio, working with producers Jonathan Low (Big Red Machine, The National) and James Elkington (Steve Gunn, Joan Shelley), the latter of whom also did pre-production arrangement work with the band.

                                                                                    It took Nap Eyes a long time and a long practice to reach this artistic zen but one gets the feeling throughout ‘Snapshot Of A Beginner’ that this balance is going to hold.

                                                                                    Previous album ‘I’m Bad Now’ was described by Uncut as “as much a modest masterpiece as ‘Spring Hill Fair’ [by The Go-Betweens] or ‘Tigermilk’ [by Belle and Sebastian].”

                                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                                    So Tired
                                                                                    Primordial Soup
                                                                                    Even Though I Can’t Read Your Mind
                                                                                    Mark Zuckerberg
                                                                                    Mystery Calling
                                                                                    Fool Thinking Ways
                                                                                    If You Were In Prison
                                                                                    Real Thoughts
                                                                                    Dark Link
                                                                                    When I Struck Out On My Own
                                                                                    Though I Wish I Could

                                                                                    Okay Kaya

                                                                                    Watch This Liquid Pour Itself

                                                                                      In Okay Kaya songs, her world looks a lot like ours — Netflix, jetlag, vegan peanut butter and chocolate ice cream, lonely bowls of ramen, diet trends. But unlike ours, each of these vibrates and shimmers with deeper, darker meaning, with existential dread and desire for understanding. Through Norwegian-raised New Yorker Kaya’s dreamy soft-focus lens, the language of Twitter memes becomes modernist poetry as her breathy contralto voice sings lines like, “If you don’t love me at my guttural sound, you don’t deserve me at my guttural sound.” This is Sade for nihilists. On the opening track of her new record she sings, “I used to fight the feeling, always let it win.” As she transforms these feelings, defeats, and victories into songs, the lyrics often involve pools of sweat, oceans, and other forms of wetness. But Okay Kaya’s world is not one of renewal and rebirth—it’s not water at all, actually. “It’s more like bile,” Kaya says, “It’s what comes out in the purge.” In these songs, Kaya swims through her melancholy and anxiety— not as a way of cleansing herself, but as an understanding of their depths

                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                      1. Baby Little Tween
                                                                                      2. Ascend And Try Again
                                                                                      3. Insert Generic Name
                                                                                      4. Overstimulated
                                                                                      5. Psych Ward
                                                                                      6. Gutteral Sounds
                                                                                      7. Asexual Wellbeing
                                                                                      8. Popcorn Heart
                                                                                      9. Mother Nature’s Bitch
                                                                                      10. Hallelu Ya Hallelu Me
                                                                                      11. Symbiosis
                                                                                      12. Givenupitis
                                                                                      13. Helsevesen
                                                                                      14. Stonethrow
                                                                                      15. Zero Interaction Ramen Bar

                                                                                      The descent into darkness is a trope we find time again across history, literature and film. But there’s also an abyss above. There’s a winding white staircase that goes ever upward into the great unknown — each step, each turn, requiring a greater boldness and confidence than the one before. This is the journey on which we find Angel Olsen.

                                                                                      Olsen’s artistic beginnings as a collaborator shifted seamlessly to her magnificent, cryptic-to-cosmic solo work, and then she formed bands to play her songs, and her stages and audiences grew exponentially. But all along, Olsen was more concerned with a different kind of path, and on her vulnerable, Big Mood new album, All Mirrors, we can see her taking an introspective deep dive towards internal destinations and revelations. In the process of making this album, she found a new sound and voice, a blast of fury mixed with hard won self-acceptance.

                                                                                      “In every way —from the making of it, to the words, to how I feel moving forward— this record is about owning up to your darkest side,” Olsen said. “Finding the capacity for new love and trusting change, even when you feel like a stranger. This is a record about facing yourself and learning to forgive what you see. It is about losing empathy, trust, love for destructive people. It is about walking away from the noise and realizing that you can have solitude and peace in your own thoughts, that your thoughts alone can be just as valid, if not more.”

                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                      Barry says: Swooning synth strokes, huge cavernous percussion and snappy mid-heavy bass form a fittingly retrophilic cushion for Olsen's always hypnotic voice, in this instance its commanding presence soars above the backdrop, both haunting and uplifting. 'All Mirrors' is a triumph.

                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                      SIDE A
                                                                                      1) Lark
                                                                                      2) All Mirrors

                                                                                      SIDE B
                                                                                      3) Too Easy
                                                                                      4) New Love Cassette
                                                                                      5) Spring

                                                                                      SIDE C
                                                                                      6) What It Is
                                                                                      7) Impasse
                                                                                      8) Tonight

                                                                                      SIDE D
                                                                                      9) Summer
                                                                                      10) Endgame
                                                                                      11) Chance

                                                                                      February in West Texas. The light low and the days still warm and sweet. The air bright with red-tailed hawk and blue bunting, with the shink and rattle of the green jay. On a pecan ranch east of El Paso, its orchards running down to the Mexican border and the waters of the Rio Grande, a thrum of activity - song, saxophone, dancers, drums, guitar, synths; the sound of something taking shape. Here, 1500 miles from Wisconsin, from where this all began, a new season.

                                                                                      When Bon Iver released For Emma, Forever Ago in early 2008 it introduced Justin Vernon as one of the most gifted songwriters of his generation and revealed a sound that was distinct - tethered to time and to place, to a season of contemplation and the crisp, heart-strung isolation of a northern Winter. Its successor, the self-titled Bon Iver, Bon Iver, brought something more frenetic, the rise and whirr of burgeoning Spring, of hope and sap and movement. In 2016's 22, A Million, Vernon came to see something different again: "It was," he says, "our crazy energy Summer record." The band's fourth album, i,i, completes this cycle: a Fall record, Vernon says, autumn-coloured, ruminative, steeped.

                                                                                      "It feels very much like the most adult record, the most complete," says Bon Iver's Justin Vernon. "It feels like when you get through all this life, when the sun starts to set, and what happens is you start gaining perspective. And then you can put that perspective into more honest, generous work."

                                                                                      The core band for the i,i sessions included Sean Carey, Andrew Fitzpatrick, Mike Lewis, Matt McCaughan, and Justin Vernon with Rob Moose and Jenn Wasner, plus contributions from James Blake, BJ Burton, Brad andPhil Cook, Aaron and Bryce Dessner, Trever Hagen, Zach Hanson, Bruce Hornsby, Channy Leaneagh, Rob Moose, Naeem, Velvet Negroni, Buddy Ross, Marta Salogni, Francis Starlite, Moses Sumney, and the members of TU Dance.

                                                                                      When sessions for i,i moved from April Base to Sonic Ranch, Bon Iver took full advantage of the facility, sometimes utilizing all five of the studio's live rooms simultaneously. "It allowed us to feel confident and comfortable, to be completely free of distraction," says Vernon of the move. "I don't think I left the property in six weeks. And in many ways the story of the album is the story of those six weeks rather than the almost six years of some of the songs."

                                                                                      The tenure at Sonic Ranch brought Vernon to a calmed creative state that he channeled into the heart of each song. Freed from the vocal distortion that once mirrored a period of fear and panic, he sings about the balance between the individual and the community, inspiration and creation. Vernon adds, "The title of the record can mean whatever it means to you or me. It can mean deciphering and bolstering one's identity. It can be how important the self is and how unimportant the self is, how we're all connected."

                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                      Barry says: Is there no end to JV's talents? He was the poster boy for brittle, morose hilltop acoutictronica for a good few years, and has seamlessly morphed into a modern take on the progressive chord structures and vocal layering of 70's rock or the percussive immediacy of 80's synthpop.

                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                      SIDE A
                                                                                      Yi
                                                                                      IMi
                                                                                      We
                                                                                      Holyfields
                                                                                      Hey, Ma
                                                                                      U (Man Like)
                                                                                      Naeem

                                                                                      SIDE B
                                                                                      Jelmore
                                                                                      Faith
                                                                                      Marion
                                                                                      Salem
                                                                                      Sh'Diah
                                                                                      RABi

                                                                                      Black Mountain’s Stephen McBean turned 16 way back in 1985. And yet, until just two short years ago, McBean had lived his entire adolescence and adult life without a proper driver’s license, that first and most coveted ticket to personal independence. When he did finally take the wheel in 2017, he essentially became a 48-year-old Sixteen Year Old, blowing out the doors off the DMV like a pyrotechnics display at a W.A.S.P. gig. Black Mountain’s new album, Destroyer, named after the discontinued single-run 1985 Dodge Destroyer muscle car, is imbued with all that wild-ass freedom and newfound agency (and anxiety and fear) that comes with one's first time behind the wheel. McBean, welding mask pulled over his Alan Watts beard, has even been rebuilding a 1985 Destroyer in his step-dad’s garage all spring — building it from its frame, putting in weekends of work to have this beast ready for sunnier days. And wouldn’t you know it: when the Destoyer's engine gives its deep snarl and the stereo rattles with Metallica's $5.98 EP, McBean is fully in the driver’s seat.

                                                                                      Destroyer is structured around that first time behind the wheel of a hot rod. The fat, charging “Living After Midnight” riffs of opener “Future Shade” is, according to McBean, “Straight outta the gates. FM radio cranked.” He ain’t kidding. The song, and all of Destroyer for that matter, seems to exist at that crucial nexus of the early-to-mid 80s Los Angeles when a war between punk and hair metal was waged. Black Flag’s My War tried and failed to keep the peace. But in the trenches, some hybrid ghoul was beginning to form in bands like Jane’s Addiction and White Zombie. The heavy extended player “Horns Arising,” with its Night Rider vocals and golden, climbing Blade Runner synths, is a fill-up at a desert gas station just in time to see a UFO hovering near a mesa. . And other songs, like The serpentine “Boogie Lover” is a cruise down the Sunset Strip. You pull into The Rainbow Bar & Grill to take the edge off. Doesn’t matter what year it is, Lemmy’s there in flesh or spirit. To continue the teenage theme, there’s also a sense of to these cuts — “High Rise” is a foray into Japanese psych, rounding the bend to a careening, youthful sense of discovery, while “Closer to the Edge” feeling like falling in love with Yes (Remember how good they were for a minute there in your youth?). “Licensed to Drive” would easily be the most exhilarating and dangerous ripper on a titular film’s soundtrack, a dose of heavy right before the muscle car’s wheels fly off going 100 mph on the freeway.

                                                                                      Shacked up in his rehearsal space, McBean found an old chair in an alley, spray painted Producer on the back and pressed record. Friends from the endless rock’n’roll highway were invited over and 22 songs were brought to life. And while some were laid back into shallow graves to dig up once again at a later date, the remaining skeletons were left above ground — given organs, skin, eyes, and the opportunity to grow their hair real long and greasy. Some of these zombie hesher jams were sent on a journey to Canada where longtime band member Jeremy Schmidt, slipping on the Official Collaborator satin jacket, had at them with his legendary synth arsenal. As he added long flowing robes, sunglasses, driving gloves and medallions, the undead songs began to transform into the new breathing creatures that make up Destroyer. Schmidt’s work with these songs was the needed transformative glue for this new era of Black Mountain.

                                                                                      Coming off his newfound automotive freedom, McBean also saw some personnel shuffling within Black Mountain. Both Joshua Wells and Amber Webber have retired their Black Mountain Army uniforms while Arjan Miranda paid his outstanding membership dues and rejoined. New members include Rachel Fannan (Sleepy Sun) and Bulgasem (Dommengang & Soft Kill) plus other familiar names like Kliph Scurlock (Flaming Lips), Kid Millions (Oneida), and John Congleton (St Vincent, Swans) take a turn in the shotgun seat. Collectively, there’s a renewed vitality to Black Mountain on Destroyer — a seasoned, veteran of heady hard rock that’s found new, young muscles to flex and roads to explore.


                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                      Mine says: On their 5th album, psych rockers Black Mountain go big. Less psych, more rock, Destroyer might be their most powerful and driving album to date.

                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                      1. Future Shade
                                                                                      2. Horns Arising
                                                                                      3. Closer To The Edge
                                                                                      4. High Rise
                                                                                      5. Pretty Little Lazies
                                                                                      6. Boogie Lover
                                                                                      7. Licensed To Drive
                                                                                      8. FD’72

                                                                                      In the clip of an older Eartha Kitt that everyone kicks around the internet, her cheekbones are still as pronounced as many would remember them from her glory days on Broadway, and her eyes are still piercing and inviting. She sips from a metal cup. The wind blows the flowers behind her until those flowers crane their stems toward her face, and the petals tilt upward, forcing out a smile. A dog barks in the background. In the best part of the clip, Kitt throws her head back and feigns a large, sky-rattling laugh upon being asked by her interviewer whether or not she’d compromise parts of herself if a man came into her life. When the laugh dies down, Kitt insists on the same, rhetorical statement. “Compromise!?!?” she flings. “For what?”

                                                                                      She repeats “For what?” until it grows more fierce, more unanswerable. Until it holds the very answer itself.

                                                                                      On the hook to the song “Eartha,” Jamila Woods sings “I don’t want to compromise / can we make it through the night” and as an album, Legacy! Legacy! stakes itself on the uncompromising nature of its creator, and the histories honored within its many layers. There is a lot of talk about black people in America and lineage, and who will tell the stories of our ancestors and their ancestors and the ones before them. But there is significantly less talk about the actions taken to uphold that lineage in a country obsessed with forgetting. There are hands who built the corners of ourselves we love most, and it is good to shout something sweet at those hands from time to time. Woods, a Chicago-born poet, organizer, and consistent glory merchant, seeks to honor black people first, always. And so, Legacy! Legacy! A song for Zora! Zora, who gave so much to a culture before she died alone and longing. A song for Octavia and her huge and savage conscience! A song for Miles! One for Jean-Michel and one for my man Jimmy Baldwin!

                                                                                      More than just giving the song titles the names of historical black and brown icons of literature, art, and music, Jamila Woods builds a sonic and lyrical monument to the various modes of how these icons tried to push beyond the margins a country had assigned to them. On “Sun Ra,” Woods sings “I just gotta get away from this earth, man / this marble was doomed from the start” and that type of dreaming and vision honors not only the legacy of Sun Ra, but the idea that there is a better future, and in it, there will still be black people.

                                                                                      Jamila Woods has a voice and lyrical sensibility that transcends generations, and so it makes sense to have this lush and layered album that bounces seamlessly from one sonic aesthetic to another. This was the case on 2016’s HEAVN, which found Woods hopeful and exploratory, looking along the edges resilience and exhaustion for some measures of joy. Legacy! Legacy! is the logical conclusion to that looking. From the airy boom-bap of “Giovanni” to the psychedelic flourishes of “Sonia,” the instrument which ties the musical threads together is the ability of Woods to find her pockets in the waves of instrumentation, stretching syllables and vowels over the harmony of noise until each puzzle piece has a home. The whimsical and malleable nature of sonic delights also grants a path for collaborators to flourish: the sparkling flows of Nitty Scott on “Sonia” and Saba on “Basquiat,” or the bloom of Nico Segal’s horns on “Baldwin.”

                                                                                      Soul music did not just appear in America, and soul does not just mean music. Rather, soul is what gold can be dug from the depths of ruin, and refashioned by those who have true vision. True soul lives in the pages of a worn novel that no one talks about anymore, or a painting that sits in a gallery for a while but then in an attic forever. Soul is all the things a country tries to force itself into forgetting. Soul is all of those things come back to claim what is theirs. Jamila Woods is a singular soul singer who, in voice, holds the rhetorical demand. The knowing that there is no compromise for someone with vision this endless. That the revolution must take many forms, and it sometimes starts with songs like these. Songs that feel like the sun on your face and the wind pushing flowers against your back while you kick your head to the heavens and laugh at how foolish the world seems.

                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                      Millie says: Jamila Woods returns with her soul-filled lyrics and incredible, strong vocals. The song titles are named after inspiration black people in creative industries and in her lyrics incorporates their experiences and how they came to be. The album is truly beautiful and holds the same strength and passion as her debut, Heavn.

                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                      BETTY
                                                                                      ZORA
                                                                                      GIOVANNI
                                                                                      SONIA (ft Nitty Scott)
                                                                                      FRIDA
                                                                                      EARTHA
                                                                                      MILES
                                                                                      MUDDY
                                                                                      BASQUIAT (ft Saba)
                                                                                      SUN RA (ft TheMIND &
                                                                                      Jasminfire)
                                                                                      OCTAVIA
                                                                                      BALDWIN (ft Nico Segal)
                                                                                      BETTY (for Boogie)

                                                                                      Seeing Other People is curiously positioned as Foxygen’s most recent last-ever album. With every album the band dies; with every album the band is reborn. But unlike the last-ever Foxygen albums before it, this one seems to have a self-effacing bittersweetness to it that signifies some sort of passing; some sort of white flag. But it SOUNDS in no way like a band giving up. It has experiments in tone and genre the likes of which we’ve not heard on a Foxygen record since….Starpower?; since 21st Century?; since Take the Kids??? You don’t need our hot take on this thing

                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                      CD/LP:

                                                                                      1. Work
                                                                                      2. Mona
                                                                                      3. Seeing Other People
                                                                                      4. Face The Facts
                                                                                      5. Livin’ A Lie
                                                                                      6. The Thing Is
                                                                                      7. News
                                                                                      8. Flag At Half-Mast
                                                                                      9. The Conclusion


                                                                                      Deluxe LP:

                                                                                      LP1
                                                                                      1. Work
                                                                                      2. Mona
                                                                                      3. Seeing Other People
                                                                                      4. Face The Facts
                                                                                      5. Livin' A Lie
                                                                                      6. The Thing Is
                                                                                      7. News
                                                                                      8. Flag At Half-Mast
                                                                                      9. The Conclusion

                                                                                      LP2 - DEMOS
                                                                                      1. Livin’ A Lie (Demo)
                                                                                      2. Face The Facts (Demo)
                                                                                      3. Mona (Demo)
                                                                                      4. News (Demo)
                                                                                      5. Seeing Other People (Demo)
                                                                                      6. Work (Demo)

                                                                                      Remind Me Tomorrow comes over four years after the release of Are We There, a top 10 critically praised album of 2014, and reckons with the life that gets lived when you put off the small and inevitable maintenance in favor of something more present. Throughout, Van Etten veers towards the driving, dark glimmer moods that have illuminated the edges of her music and pursues them full force.

                                                                                      Written while pregnant, going to school for psychology, after taking The OA audition, Remind Me Tomorrow was written in stolen time: in scraps of hours wedged between myriad endeavors — Van Etten guest-starred in The OA, and brought her music onstage in David Lynch’s revival of Twin Peaks. Off-screen, she wrote her first score for Katherine Dieckmann’s movie Strange Weather and the closing title song for Tig Notaro’s show, Tig.

                                                                                      The songs on Remind Me Tomorrow have been transported from Van Etten’s original demos through producer John Congleton’s arrangement. He helped flip the signature Van Etten ratio, making the album more energetic-upbeat than minimal-meditative. The songs are as resonating as ever, the themes are still an honest and subtle approach to love and longing, but Congleton has plucked out new idiosyncrasies from Van Etten’s sound. Joined by Van Etten’s longtime collaborator and bandmate Heather Woods Broderick, plus Jamie Stewart, Zachary Dawes, Brian Reitzell, Lars Horntveth, McKenzie Smith, Joey Waronker, Luke Reynolds, and Stella Mozgawa, Remind Me Tomorrow was recorded at studios throughout Los Angeles.

                                                                                      For Remind Me Tomorrow, Van Etten put down the guitar. When she was writing the score for Strange Weather her reference was Ry Cooder, so she was playing her guitar constantly and getting either bored or writer's block. At the time, she was sharing a studio space with someone who had a synthesizer and an organ, and she wrote on piano at home, so she naturally gravitated to keys when not working on the score - to clear her mind. Lead single “Comeback Kid” was originally a piano ballad, but driven by Van Etten’s assertion that she “didn’t want it to be pretty,” it evolved into a menacing anthem. Remind Me Tomorrow as a whole shows this magnetism towards new instruments: piano keys that churn, deep drones, distinctive sharp drums. There are dark intense synths, a propulsive organ, a distorted harmonium.

                                                                                      The breadth of Van Etten’s passions (musical, emotional, otherwise), of new careers and projects and lifelong roles, have inflected Remind Me Tomorrow with a wise sense of a warped-time perspective. This is the tension that arches over the album, fusing a pained attentive realism and radiant lightness about new love.


                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                      Laura says: “Sitting in a bar, I told you everything, you said ‘holy shit, you almost died’”. Album opener, “I Told You Everything” is a love song of sorts, and while it hints at her turbulent past it’s about trust, optimism and moving forward and marks a shift both musically and emotionally. The addition of synths and electronics, give a whole new dimension to her songs, at times providing rhythm and melody, at others a jarring tension and an air of menace. As ever her writing is deeply personal, but whereas previously the past was filled with regret and self doubt, this time around she reflects on it with an air of nostalgia and knowing. There’s still a sense of fragility when she writes about love, but you get the impression that she’s more at ease with her place in the world now and this has given her the confidence to write her most ambitious and assured album yet.

                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                      Side A
                                                                                      1. I Told You Everything
                                                                                      2. No One's Easy To Love
                                                                                      3. Memorial Day
                                                                                      4. Comeback Kid
                                                                                      5. Jupiter 4

                                                                                      Side B
                                                                                      6. Seventeen
                                                                                      7. Malibu
                                                                                      8. You Shadow
                                                                                      9. Hands
                                                                                      10. Stay

                                                                                      Moonface

                                                                                      This One’s For The Dancer & This One’s For The Dancer’s Bouquet

                                                                                        This One’s For The Dancer & This One’s For The Dancer’s Bouquet is an experimental, amorphous listen, oscillating between jazzier meditations and frenetic rock imbued with marimbas, xylophones, and steel drum. It’s made up of two distinct yet connected ideas; the music is culled from two separate projects, each with different collaborators, recorded in different studios, in different towns, in different years. The songs are sung from two completely different standpoints, blended into one long, single album. Half of the songs were written from the point of view of the Minotaur from Greek mythology, the other half written from Krug's own perspective.

                                                                                        Each side of the four-sided album is its own little journey, connected by a through-thread of density, of unmerciful darkness that colors every corner of the sound. In Krug’s own words:

                                                                                        “I never made an album under that name I was embarrassed by, and this is one of my favorites, so I may as well get out while I still can, on a personal high note to boot. Take this album as a sort of parting gift before Moonface sails into oblivion; the alter-ego’s final offering."


                                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                                        1. Minotaur Forgiving Pasiphae
                                                                                        2. The Cave
                                                                                        3. Minotaur Forgiving Knossos
                                                                                        4. Heartbreaking Bravery II
                                                                                        5. Last Night
                                                                                        6. Minotaur Forgiving Minos
                                                                                        7. Aidan’s Ear
                                                                                        8. Minotaur Forgiving Theseus
                                                                                        9. Sad Suomenlinna
                                                                                        10. Minotaur Forgiving Daedalus
                                                                                        11. Okay To Do This
                                                                                        12. Dreamsong
                                                                                        13. Hater
                                                                                        14. Minotaur Forgiving The White Bull
                                                                                        15. Walk The Circle In The Other Direction
                                                                                        16. Minotaur Forgiving Poseidon

                                                                                        Unknown Mortal Orchestra

                                                                                        IC-01 Hanoi

                                                                                        While recording Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s latest release, Sex & Food, Ruban Nielson, his longtime collaborator Jacob Portrait and his brother Kody Nielson, found themselves in the Vietnamese city of Hanoi playing and recording with local musicians at Phu Sa Studios. The studio, normally used for traditional Vietnamese music, found the band jamming on sessions dubbed IC-01 Hanoi: exploring the outer edges of the band’s influences in Jazz, Fusion and the avant-garde. The musicians, along with Ruban and Kody’s father, a Jazz musician in his own right, helped lay down the unique textures heard throughout Hanoi. At its core Hanoi is a record of exploration, finding its closest antecedent in Miles Davis’ experimental On The Corner – itself a record full of nods toward avant-garde composers and Jazz outsiders alike. Hanoi finds Ruban amplifying and stretching out on lead guitar, with a blown-out and wandering fuzz tone that slinks throughout the sessions. Kody and Jacob match Ruban’s melodic diversions with aplomb, mining their talents to finding as easy a role in the fusion of funk as they do in the more ambient and abstract tangents on Hanoi.

                                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                        Barry says: Definitely not typical UMO this, but absolutely brimming with feeling and focused on an entirely different aspect of their sound. Though they are by no means avant-garde, the more meandering ruminations of their melodic forays are exacerbated on this release, breaking into the realms of jazzy ambience, eastern flow and hypnotic woodwind. A completely surprising but thoroughly enjoyable change. Lovely stuff.

                                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                                        1. Hanoi 1
                                                                                        2. Hanoi 2
                                                                                        3. Hanoi 3
                                                                                        4. Hanoi 4
                                                                                        5. Hanoi 5
                                                                                        6. Hanoi 6
                                                                                        7. Hanoi 7

                                                                                        The expansive American experience Lonnie Holley quilts together across his astounding new album, "MITH", is both multitudinous and finely detailed. Holley’s self-taught piano improvisations and stream-of-consciousness lyrical approach have only gained purpose and power since he introduced the musical side of his art in 2012 with "Just Before Music", followed by 2013’s "Keeping a Record of It". But whereas his previous material seemed to dwell in the Eternal-Internal, "MITH" lives very much in our world - the one of concrete and tears; of dirt and blood; of injustice and hope.

                                                                                        Across these songs, in an impressionistic poetry all his own, Holley touches on Black Lives Matter (“I’m a Suspect”), Standing Rock (“Copying the Rock”) and contemporary American politics (“I Woke Up in a Fucked-Up America”). A storyteller of the highest order, he commands a personal and universal mythology in his songs of which few songwriters are capable — names like Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Joanna Newsom and Gil Scott-Heron come to mind.

                                                                                        Mith was recorded over five years in locations such as Porto, Portugal; Cottage Grove, Oregon; New York City and Holley’s adopted hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. These 10 songs feature contributions from fellow cosmic musician Laraaji, jazz duo Nelson Patton, visionary producer Richard Swift, saxophonist Sam Gendel and producer/musician Shahzad Ismaily.

                                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                        Patrick says: Sonic outlier and soul outsider Lonnie Holley returns with a third LP, this time turning his attention from internal struggles to the chaos and discord of American politics and society. As his expressive vocals touch on 'The Wall', Standing Rock, Black Lives Matter and that wotsit-looking chap in the hair piece, the twisted electronic soul instrumentation twists and turns through distortion, fx abuse and feedback, emphasising the sense of disorientation most of us feel right now.

                                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                                        SIDE A:
                                                                                        1. I’m A Suspect
                                                                                        2. Back For Me
                                                                                        3. How Far Is Spaced-Out?

                                                                                        SIDE B:
                                                                                        4. I Snuck Off The Slave Ship

                                                                                        SIDE C:
                                                                                        5. I Woke Up In A Fucked-Up America
                                                                                        6. Copying The Rock
                                                                                        7. Coming Back (From The Distance

                                                                                        SIDE D:
                                                                                        8. There Was Always Water
                                                                                        9. Down In The Ghostness Of Darkness
                                                                                        10. Sometimes I Wanna Dance

                                                                                        Cut Worms

                                                                                        Hollow Ground

                                                                                          Max Clarke has a knack for conjuring up warmth in his music, like endless summer or ageless youth. The 27-yearold’s debut album, ‘Hollow Ground’, crackles with the heat of a love-struck nostalgia, woven together with a palpable Everly Brothers influence and retro sound. It reaches back into decades of plainspoken, unfussy and squarely American storytelling and pulls it forth into 2018.

                                                                                          Some of ‘Hollow Ground’ bloomed from that same period of driven creativity that yielded EP ‘Alien Sunset’; both ‘Like Going Down Sideways’ and ‘Don’t Want To Say Good- Bye’ find new life on the album.

                                                                                          The rest is new. There’s ‘Till Tomorrow Goes Away’, a sheepish love song, thrumming with twangy guitar and a two-step rhythm. ‘Cash For Gold’ channels buoyancy; a doo-wop effect on the sleepy backing vocals build out the dreaminess of Clarke’s own affecting croon.

                                                                                          ‘Hollow Ground’ strikes the balance between cerebral and simplicity in his storytelling. His lyrics explore the raw realm of youth, its weightlessness and possibilities but channelled through a lens of restraint. Someone who’s old enough to know better but still gets drawn back into the romanticism of teenage feelings - and knows how to take the listener along, too.

                                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                                          How It Can Be
                                                                                          Coward’s Confidence
                                                                                          Don’t Want To Say Good-Bye
                                                                                          It Won’t Be Too Long
                                                                                          Till Tomorrow Goes Away
                                                                                          Like Going Down Sideways
                                                                                          Think I Might Be In Love
                                                                                          Cash For Gold
                                                                                          Hanging Your Picture Up To Dry
                                                                                          Mad About You

                                                                                          Where are we headed? What are we consuming, how is it affecting us, and why does everything feel so bad and weird sometimes? These are some of the questions posed on Ruban Nielson's fourth album as Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Sex & Food-a delightfully shapeshifting album that filters these real-deal serious themes through a vibrant sonic lens that spans battered drum-machine funk, doomy and thrashing rock, and pink-hued psychedelic disco. Recorded in a variety of locales from Seoul and Hanoi to Reykjavik, Mexico City, and Auckland, Sex & Food is a practical musical travelogue, with local musicians from the countries that Nielson and his band visited pitching in throughout.

                                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                                          A God Called Hubris
                                                                                          Major League Chemicals
                                                                                          Ministry Of Alienation
                                                                                          Hunnybee
                                                                                          Chronos Feasts On His Children
                                                                                          American Guilt
                                                                                          The Internet Of Love (That Way)
                                                                                          Everyone Acts Crazy Nowadays
                                                                                          This Doomsday
                                                                                          How Many Zeros
                                                                                          Not In Love We’re Just High
                                                                                          If You’re Going To Break Yourself

                                                                                          Preoccupations’ songs have always worked through themes of creation, destruction, and futility, and they’ve always done it with singular post-punk grit. The textures are evocative and razor-sharp. The wire is always a live one. But while that darker side may have been well-explored, that’s not quite the same as it being fully, intensely lived. This time it was, and the result is ’New Material’, a collection that broadens and deepens Preoccupations to a true mastery of their sound. In it lies the difference between witnessing a car crash and crashing your own, between jumping into an ocean and starting to swallow the water.

                                                                                          “It’s an ode to depression,’ singer Matt Flegel says plainly. “To depression and self-sabotage, and looking inward at yourself with extreme hatred.” Typically resilient, the months leading up to recording ‘New Material’ brought a new order of magnitude to feelings that had been creeping up on Flegel for some time. He’d written bits and pieces of lyrics through the course of it, small snippets he hadn’t assigned to any one thought or feeling but were emblematic of a deeper issue, something germinating that was dense and numb and fully unshakeable. As the band began writing music, that process gave shape to the sheer tonnage of what he’d been carrying. With virtually nothing written or demoed before the band sat down together, the process was more collaborative than before. It was almost architectural, building some things up, tearing others down to the beams, sitting down and writing songs not knowing what they were about. But for Flegel, it led to a reckoning. “Finishing ‘Espionage’ was when I realized,” says Flegel. “I looked at the rest of the lyrics and realized the magnitude of what was wrong.”

                                                                                          ‘New Material’ builds a world for that feeling, playing through its layers and complexities while hiding almost nothing. That inscrutable side is part of the magic, here, and a necessary counterweight to the straight-jab clarity of Flegel’s lyrics. You can deep-dive the lyrics or zone into a riff; you can face it or you can get lost in it. “My ultimate goal would be to make a record where nobody knows what instrument is playing ever,” says multi-instrumentalist Scott Munro, “and I think we’ve come closer than ever, here. It shouldn’t sound robotic — it should sound human, like people playing instruments. It’s just maybe no one knows what they are.”

                                                                                          Opener “Espionage” lives up to Munro’s goals, kicking off with a clattering, rhythmic echo that gives way to sprinting percussion and a melody in the orbit of Manchester’s classics. “Manipulation” explores the futility of going through the motions, balancing a droney, minimal march with a thunder roll that brings it to the brink, and to the doomed romantic declaration, “please don’t remember me like I’ll always remember you.” “Disarray” bursts up like a blackened confetti cannon, the song’s undeniably bright melody dancing over a refrain of “disarray, disarray, disarray” and literally nothing else. “A lot of this is about futility,” he says, “trying to find something where there’s nothing to be found.” That hunt turns into a search-and-destroy mission on “Decompose”, a tense, speedy, “blow yourself up and start again” type of song, the very picture of creation and destruction, as Flegel writes “for better or worse, we are cursed in the ways that we tend to be.” And while calling an album ’New Material’ might seem like a smartass move, the truth is it’s as matter-of-fact a title as Espionage, Disarray, or anything else on the record. Why fight that?

                                                                                          If the through-line unifying Preoccupations’ work is a furious, almost punishing cyclical quality, ‘New Material’ does offer some relief. “This is somehow the most uptempo thing we’ve ever done,” observes Flegel. That propulsive, itchy quality rescues ‘New Material’ from the proverbial bottom of the pit. To write these songs is to force oneself to reignite, to play them is to stand up and reengage. Closer “Compliance” may not seem revelatory on first listen, but it is deeply elemental, a crucial finale and the band’s first standalone instrumental. Original versions were built to death, reexamined and re-destroyed until they landed on just two chords — something simple, fundamental — and resolved to make meaning out of that, to show instead of tell. Flegel acknowledges it is more affecting to him than any other song on the record. It’s not redemption, more like a forced reprieve.


                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                          Darryl says: One of the greatest modern post-punk outfits return for one of their most blistering outings yet. Atmospheric and ambient in parts, and downright catatonic in others, this is the sound of a band reaching the peak of their game.

                                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                                          Espionage
                                                                                          Decompose
                                                                                          Disarray
                                                                                          Manipulation
                                                                                          Antidote
                                                                                          Solace
                                                                                          Doubt
                                                                                          Compliance

                                                                                          Nap Eyes

                                                                                          I'm Bad Now

                                                                                            Nap Eyes return with an allusive, ambitious third album, elevating to a new sonic clarity, depth and wavelength of succinctly stinging, guitar-centric rock and roll.

                                                                                            They are all Nova Scotians by raising and temperament but acclimated to life on an Atlantic peninsula linked narrowly to the rest of North America. ‘I’m Bad Now’, which follows enigmatic frontman Nigel Chapman’s quest for selfunderstanding, is their most transparent and personal to date and constitutes the third chapter of an implicit, informal trilogy that includes ‘Whine Of The Mystic’ (2015) and ‘Thought Rock Fish Scale’ (2016).

                                                                                            While Nigel composes songs in their inchoate form at home in Halifax, Brad Loughead (lead guitar), Josh Salter (bass) and Seamus Dalton (drums), who live a twelve-hour drive away in Montreal, augment and arrange them, transubstantiating his skeletal, ruminative wafers into discourses that transcend. The band provide ballast and bowspirit to Nigel’s cosmical mind, this album lending itself to a new sonic clarity, depth and range to match his effortless melodies and extraordinary writing.

                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                            Every Time The Feeling
                                                                                            I’m Bad
                                                                                            Judgment
                                                                                            Roses
                                                                                            Follow Me Down
                                                                                            You Like To Joke Around
                                                                                            With Me
                                                                                            Dull Me Line
                                                                                            Sage
                                                                                            Hearing The Bass
                                                                                            White Disciple

                                                                                            At its heart, Hundred Acres -- the third full-length album from Wisconsin singer/songwriter S. Carey -- finds him grounded comfortably in his skin, but still with one foot in the stream. More direct than ever, there is a wellspring of confidence in this new batch of songs that lays bare the intricacies of life while keeping its ideas uncomplicated.

                                                                                            Trained in jazz, Carey’s astute musicianship has never been in question nor taken for granted, and the execution of Hundred Acres’ new ideas is seamless. He intentionally unburdened himself from a more complicated instrumentation palate for these ten songs, and, in effect, this modification to his approach brings the content of the work much closer to a living reality. By giving equal status to the indifference of nature and the concerns of a material world -- while employing more pop-oriented structures instead of the Steve Reich- or Talk Talk-ian repetitions of his past work -- a new balance is struck that creates something unique. This in turn provides equal status for the feeling that created each song, and the feeling each song creates. Almost impossibly, there is more air between the bars; Carey and his contributors sway like treetops in the wind, remaining flexible enough that they never threaten to break.

                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                            1. Rose Petals
                                                                                            2. Hideout
                                                                                            3. Yellowstone
                                                                                            4. True North
                                                                                            5. Emery
                                                                                            6. Hundred Acres
                                                                                            7. More I See
                                                                                            8. Fool’s Gold
                                                                                            9. Have You Stopped To Notice
                                                                                            10. Meadow Song

                                                                                            Angel Olsen

                                                                                            Phases

                                                                                              How does one best describe Angel Olsen? From the lo-fi, sparse folk-melancholy of her 2010 EP, ‘Strange Cacti’, to the electrified, polished rock ‘n’ roll bursting from 2016’s beloved and acclaimed ‘MY WOMAN’, Olsen has refused to succumb to a single genre, expectation or vision. Impossible to pin down, Olsen navigates the world with her remarkable, symphonic voice and a propensity for narrative, her music growing into whatever shape best fits to tell the story.

                                                                                              ‘Phases is a collection of Olsen’s work culled from the past several years, including a number of never-before-released tracks. ‘Fly On Your Wall’, previously contributed to the online-only, anti-Trump fundraiser ‘Our First 100 Days’, opens ‘Phases’, before seamlessly slipping into ‘Special’, a brand new song from the ‘MY WOMAN’ recording sessions. Both ‘How Many Disasters’ and ‘Sans’ are first-time listens: home-recorded demos that have never been released, leaning heavily on Olsen’s arresting croon and lonesome guitar.

                                                                                              The B-sides compilation is both a testament to Olsen’s enormous musical range and a tidy compilation of tracks that have previously been elusive in one way or another.

                                                                                              Balancing tenacity and tenderness, ‘Phases’ acts as a deep-dive for longtime fans, as well as a fitting introduction to Olsen’s sprawling sonics for the uninitiated.

                                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                              Barry says: 'Phases' provides the linking thread between the varying facets of Olsen's songwriting, with B-sides and unreleased odes, come a further understanding of Olsen's innate songwriting ability and how important even these previously unused pieces can be! Lovely stuff.

                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                              1 Fly On Your Wall
                                                                                              2 Special
                                                                                              3 Only With You
                                                                                              4 All Right Now
                                                                                              5 Sans
                                                                                              6 Sweet Dreams
                                                                                              7 California
                                                                                              8 Tougher Then The Rest
                                                                                              9 For You
                                                                                              10 How Many Disasters
                                                                                              11 May As Well
                                                                                              12 Endless Road

                                                                                              Jamila Woods’s cultural lineage - from her love of Lucille Clifton’s poetry to letters from her grandmother and the late 80s post-punk of The Cure - helped structure the progressive, delicate and minimalist soul of ‘HEAVN’, her debut solo album.

                                                                                              “It’s like a collage process,” she says. “It’s very enjoyable to me to take something I love and mold it into something new.” A frequent guest vocalist in the hip hop, jazz and soul world, Jamila has emerged as a once-in-a-generation voice on her soul-stirring debut.

                                                                                              Born and raised on the Southside of Chicago, Woods grew up in a family of music lovers. She is an artist of substance creating music crafted with a sturdy foundation of her passions and influences.

                                                                                              You’ll find the bits and pieces of her past and present that make Jamila: family, the city of Chicago, self care, and the black women she calls friends. True and pure in its construction and execution, her music is the best representation of Jamila herself: strong in her roots, confident in her ideas and attuned to the people, places and things shaping her world.

                                                                                              ‘HEAVN’ features guest performances from Chance The Rapper, Nico Segal, Noname, Saba and Lornie Chia.

                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                              Bubbles
                                                                                              VRY BLK (ft Noname)
                                                                                              Popsicle (Interlude)
                                                                                              Lonely Lonely (ft Lornie Chia)
                                                                                              HEAVN
                                                                                              Eve (Interlude)
                                                                                              In My Name
                                                                                              Assata’s Daughters (Interlude)
                                                                                              BLK Girl Soldier
                                                                                              LSD (ft Chance The Rapper)
                                                                                              Still (Interlude)
                                                                                              Emerald Street (ft Saba)
                                                                                              Lately
                                                                                              Always Loving (Interlude)
                                                                                              Breadcrumbs (ft Nico Segal)
                                                                                              Stellar
                                                                                              Good Morning (Interlude)
                                                                                              Holy
                                                                                              Way Up
                                                                                              Holy (Reprise)

                                                                                              Moses Sumney

                                                                                              Aromanticism

                                                                                                Aromanticism is a concept album about lovelessness as a sonic dreamscape. It seeks to interrogate the social constructions around romance. The debut will include the recently released single "Doomed," as well as new versions of standouts "Lonely World" and "Plastic."

                                                                                                Preoccupations

                                                                                                Cassette

                                                                                                  In late 2013, Preoccupations (then known as Viet Cong) released a small-run cassette EP only available on tour. Over the course of a year, Matt Flegel and Scott Munro worked in their basement studio with a mess of old and run down equipment to build a set of fresh material. Joined by bandmates Daniel Christiansen and Michael Wallace, the band completed work on an debut cassette. What emerged from the studio was a mixture of sharply-angled rhythm workouts and euphoric 60s garage pop-esque melodies, balanced with a penchant for drone-y, VU-styled downer moments and became a hard-to-find classic.

                                                                                                  Preoccupations’s first ever release, ‘Cassette’, originally a tour-only cassette, is now being reissued on vinyl.

                                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                  Throw It Away
                                                                                                  Unconscious Melody
                                                                                                  Oxygen Feed
                                                                                                  Static Wall
                                                                                                  Structureless Design
                                                                                                  Dark Entries
                                                                                                  Select Your Drone

                                                                                                  Midnight Sister

                                                                                                  Saturn Over Sunset

                                                                                                    Midnight Sister - the project of intense creatives Juliana Giraffe and Ari Bazoulian - is brought to you by the isolating landscape of the San Fernando Valley - its colours, diners, lunatics and neon lights. Both lifelong residents of this storied valley, Giraffe and Bazoulian have only become more inspired by the area’s mythology over the years: its two-faced magical wonderland and tragic circus. Their debut, ‘Saturn Over Sunset’, works almost as an album version of Altman’s ‘Shortcuts’, each song a character study of the valley’s odd personae.

                                                                                                    Giraffe, 23, the daughter of an LA disc jockey, was raised almost exclusively on disco and Bowie. Her lyrics and lyrical melodies, informed very much by her film-making background, were composed gazing out from a tiny retail window on Sunset Boulevard. Her ‘Rear Window’-like longing allowed her imagination to run wild and cook up the wild narratives that would fill Balouzian’s compositions.

                                                                                                    Balouzian, 27, is classically trained and already a go-to arranger for odd-pop names like Tobias Jesso Jr. and Alex Izenberg. Midnight Sister represents a first for both of them. It’s Giraffe’s first time writing and performing music and it’s Balouzian’s first foray into playing true pop music.

                                                                                                    ‘Saturn Over Sunset’ is a shared musical vision of Hollywood’s oddest corners. It is the baroque, eldritch alley you must pass through to find the speakeasy night of your life. You’ll come out bleary-eyed and the sunrise will be pouring all pink and orange through the smog and palm trees.

                                                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                    Canary
                                                                                                    Leave You
                                                                                                    Blue Cigar
                                                                                                    Showgirl
                                                                                                    The Drought
                                                                                                    The Crow
                                                                                                    Daddy Long Legs
                                                                                                    Neon
                                                                                                    Shimmy
                                                                                                    So Young
                                                                                                    The View From Gilligan’s Island
                                                                                                    Hitman
                                                                                                    Clown
                                                                                                    Their Eyes

                                                                                                    Gordi

                                                                                                    Reservoir

                                                                                                      On the farm in rural Australia where 24-year-old Sophie Payten - AKA Gordi - grew up, there’s a paddock that leads down to a river. A few hundred meters away sits another house, which belongs to her 93-year-old grandmother. The rest, she says, “is just beautiful space. And what else would you fill it with if not music?” And so she did, first tinkling away on an out-of-tune piano and then on the acoustic guitar she got for her 12th birthday.

                                                                                                      Gordi’s first foray into songwriting came in the form of performances at her school’s weekly chapel. There the chrysalis of the music she’s making now - a brooding, multi-layered blend of electronica and folk, with lyrics that tend to avoid well-trodden paths - began to form. “I often find that writing about platonic relationships,” she says, “can be a great deal more powerful than writing about romantic ones.”

                                                                                                      ‘Heaven I Know’, from Gordi’s debut album ‘Reservoir’, is an example of just that. With the breathy chant of ‘123’ chugging along beneath the song’s sparse melody and melancholic piano chords, ‘Heaven I Know’ gazes at the embers of a fading friendship.

                                                                                                      The ramifications of loss ripple throughout ‘Reservoir’, which she wrote and recorded in Wisconsin, Reykjavik, Los Angeles and Sydney. Gordi produced two of the tracks herself (‘Heaven I Know’ and ‘I’m Done’) and co-produced the rest.

                                                                                                      When it comes down to it, the running thread of the album is its lyrics. “Music is kind of what encases this story that you’re trying to tell,” says Gordi. Her stories are stark, honest and soul-searching. Like ‘the trifecta’ of Billy Joel, Carole King and James Taylor that soundtracked her upbringing, she’s unafraid to sit in contemplative melancholy - a place she calls, fittingly, “the reservoir.”

                                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                      1 Long Way
                                                                                                      2 All The Light We Cannot See
                                                                                                      3 On My Side
                                                                                                      4 Bitter End
                                                                                                      5 Heaven I Know
                                                                                                      6 I'm Done (feat. S. Carey)
                                                                                                      7 Myriad
                                                                                                      8 Aeon
                                                                                                      9 Can We Work It Out
                                                                                                      10 Better Than Then, Closer To Now
                                                                                                      11 Something Like This

                                                                                                      Briana Marela

                                                                                                      Call It Love

                                                                                                        There is something unforgettable about great love songs and Briana Marela’s ‘Call It Love’ wraps its welcoming arms around the subject, invoking all its complexity.

                                                                                                        Before writing the songs that would become Call It Love, ‘Briana Marela’ was guided first and foremost by her instincts as a producer and engineer. Marela’s original vision for this album was to dig into the two poles of her songwriting styles: her ambient, ethereal side and her brighter, beat-driven pop leanings. She enlisted the production help of Juan Pieczanski and Ryan Heyner of the band Small Black upon hearing their most recent self-produced album.

                                                                                                        On this album, Briana Marela has made her proverbial giant leap, deepening her songwriting and expanding her palette to explore the sounds of love in beautiful, striking new ways. ‘Give Me Your Love’ explores what Marela calls “love’s immature, silly and selfish side.”

                                                                                                        ‘Quit’, the deep, dramatic centrepiece of ‘Call It Love’, was originally penned about a breakup with a longtime partner and written with the idea that she could give the song away to another artist. Instead, ‘Quit’ is powerful and revealing in Briana’s own hands.

                                                                                                        If ‘Be In Love’ is the sound of falling in love, ‘Farthest Shore’ is the sound of looking inward, of reckoning with and without ourselves. It is an intricate, cavernous song, setting a deceptively pretty melody over ominous drones and skittering percussion. Here, again, the contradictory becomes complementary.

                                                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                        Barry says: Dreamy vocal passages, grooving basses and swirling ethereal synths work together to form a lucid and thoroughly enjoyable suite of slightly mournful indie anthems. Great stuff.

                                                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                        Be In Love
                                                                                                        Give Me Your Love
                                                                                                        I’m Sorry
                                                                                                        He Knows
                                                                                                        Quit
                                                                                                        Feel What I Feel
                                                                                                        Last Time
                                                                                                        Call It Love
                                                                                                        Farthest Shore
                                                                                                        Rise

                                                                                                        Dasher

                                                                                                        Sodium

                                                                                                          After a string of well-received 7” releases on labels like Suicide Squeeze and Die Slaughterhaus, Dasher songs new and old have finally been smelted down into their debut album, ‘Sodium’.

                                                                                                          Dasher knifes out the chop-crunch guitar of latterday post-punk with a seething screech echoing the hardest horizons of the early 90s underground.

                                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                          Barry says: Thrashing bouts of distortion, chugging basslines and frantic riffage open things and pretty much continue along the same uncompromising route. Brilliantly energetic post-everything punked-out rock and/or roll. Killer.

                                                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                          We Know So
                                                                                                          Soviet
                                                                                                          Resume
                                                                                                          Teeth
                                                                                                          Sodium
                                                                                                          Go Rambo
                                                                                                          Eye See
                                                                                                          Trespass
                                                                                                          Slugg
                                                                                                          No Guilt
                                                                                                          Get So Low

                                                                                                          Trevor Sensor

                                                                                                          Andy Warhol's Dream

                                                                                                            It’s Trevor Sensor’s voice you notice first. A deep bubbling black tar pit of a sound, it’s a voice whose unique timbre resonates far beyond the constraints of the songwriting format. It demands the listener reaches for a new vocabulary.

                                                                                                            The 23 year old’s debut album ‘Andy Warhol’s Dream’ is part of a literate folk lineage that runs from Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan through Tom Waits and onto the likes of Bon Iver, Bright Eyes and Sufjan Stevens today. It’s an unflinching honest album, transcendent in its exploration of self and sonically a collision between the classic and the forward-thinking.

                                                                                                            Sensor’s debut EP for the label, ‘Texas Girls And Jesus Christ’, was written on a borrowed acoustic guitar. It took him out into the world: 2016 saw him tour Europe before hitting the road in the US for tours with Foy Vance and The Staves.

                                                                                                            ‘Andy Warhol’s Dream’ was recorded to tape at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio and produced by both Jonathan Rado of Foxygen (The Lemon Twigs, Whitney) and songwriter / producer Richard Swift (Damien Jurado, Foxygen). His backing band featured members of Whitney.

                                                                                                            On these 11 songs, Sensor doesn’t so much wear his heart on his sleeve, he flings it out into the darkness of the front rows that sit beyond the glare of the single blinding spotlight. This is the sound of one man’s soul laid bare, facing life head on.

                                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                            High Beams
                                                                                                            Lion’s Pride
                                                                                                            On Your Side
                                                                                                            The Reaper Man
                                                                                                            Stolen Boots
                                                                                                            Andy Warhol’s Dream
                                                                                                            It Wasn’t Good Enough
                                                                                                            Sedgwick
                                                                                                            In Hollywood, Everyone Is Plastic
                                                                                                            The Money Gets Bigger
                                                                                                            Starborne Eyes

                                                                                                            On their first proper studio record, the Los Angeles pair once again present their uncanny knack for pulling together myriad strands of influences to an elaborate, uncompromising vision. And this time, they’ve gone true big band! Every song on Hang features a 40-plus-piece symphony orchestra arranged and conducted by Trey Pollard with additional arranging from Matthew E. White. Additionally, Hang was recorded with the brother rhythm section duo of Brian and Michael D'Addario, also known as the Lemon Twigs, and features Steven Drozd of the Flaming Lips on select tracks. Written and produced entirely by Foxygen, Hang was recorded on 2” tape at Electro Vox Studios in Los Angeles.

                                                                                                            Lead single, “Follow The Leader,” is one of the album’s most upbeat songs. As described by the band, “it was a blast to make! It's a positive anthem, with some lyrical scenarios we don't quite understand." The song’s video was directed Cameron Dutra (who directed Foxygen’s “San Francisco” video).

                                                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                            Barry says: Epic symphonic strings, horns and organs working around incredibly intricate and conceptually impeccable writing. Textured, grand and bold choruses, huge build-ups and all brilliantly executed. A stunning and ambitious studio debut executed with grace.

                                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                            1 Follow The Leader
                                                                                                            2 Avalon
                                                                                                            3 Mrs. Adams
                                                                                                            4 America
                                                                                                            5 On Lankershim
                                                                                                            6 Upon A Hill
                                                                                                            7 Trauma
                                                                                                            8 Rise Up

                                                                                                            Tim Darcy

                                                                                                            Saturday Night

                                                                                                              ‘Saturday Night’, the first proper solo album from Tim Darcy (Ought), comes from one of those crossroads-type moments in life where one has to walk to the edge before knowing which way to proceed. Each track is woven to the next in a winding, complex journey through a charged, continuous present. There are love / love lost songs like the standout, almost-New Wave ‘Still Waking Up’ in which a Smiths-esque melody builds upon an underbrush that recalls 60s AM pop and country.

                                                                                                              Darcy’s unmistakable, commanding voice and lyrical phrasing are, as they are in Ought, an instrument here - vital to the entire affair. There’s a line in ‘Tall Glass Of Water’, the album’s Velvet Underground-nodding opening track, where Darcy asks himself a rhetorical question: “if at the end of the river, there is more river, would you dare to swim again?” He barely pauses before the answer: “Yes, surely I will stay, and I am not afraid. I went under once, I’ll go under once again.” That river shows up again and again in the lyrics of ‘Saturday Night’. It’s about how wonderful it can be to feel in touch with that inner current. It’s about how good it feels to make art and how terrifying; how you don’t always get to choose whether you’re swimming or drowning as we grow and move through life, just that you’re going to keep diving in.

                                                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                              Barry says: Previously known for the ferocious 'Ought', Darcy provides another side of his talented musicianship. Delicate glassine guitars, camp-fire vocals and dreamlike melodic leanings move from the chilling into the sublime. The more energetic offerings here are presented much more sympathetically than his other outfit, and to it's benefit. Yet more proof (as if any were needed) that Darcy is as talented and versatile as they come.

                                                                                                              Ruins is Wolf People’s new album, and its over-riding theme is that of nature reclaiming the land. The transcendence of life over politics, plants over people. It asks: where are we going and what comes next? If culture is history’s narration, then Wolf People are custodians and conduits; electrified sages, if you will. Through them runs a time-line of a nation rising from bloody glory to existentialist confusion.

                                                                                                              Yet within Ruins, their album proper, lies a spirit of hope too, it is a reminder that society is no match for the mighty power of music and nature working in perfect symbiosis. Wolf People are time travellers, their tools mythology, history, hauntology, big riffs, bigger beats, electricity. Recorded in Devon, Isle Of Wight and London, Ruins is their most direct and instinctive work yet, simultaneously reaching back into a fecund past to tell us who we are today, while harnessing the power of modern technology and ideas to ponder unknown futures. Lyrically Ruins imagines how the planet might appear when society has finally fallen to dust and ash, and the creeping vines and nettles have reclaimed the land. It is the product of letting go of conceit, contrivance and, indeed, a career plan.

                                                                                                              Influences upon Ruins come in all shapes, size, contours and hues: the discovery of proto Sabbath/Zeppelin Scottish band Iron Claw, the lesser known landscapes of rural Bedfordshire, backstage Taekwondo stretches, Scandinavian psychedelia, fleeting rural epiphanies, Dungen, Trees, Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, a group holiday on a remote Finnish island, and Jagjaguwar flipping out after seeing them play in Bloomington, Indiana and insisting it was time they made their Back In Black...

                                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                              1 Ninth Night
                                                                                                              2 Rhine Sagas
                                                                                                              3 Night Witch
                                                                                                              4 Kingfisher
                                                                                                              5 Thistles
                                                                                                              6 Crumbling Dais
                                                                                                              7 Kingfisher Reprise
                                                                                                              8 Not Me Sir
                                                                                                              9 Belong
                                                                                                              10 Salts Mill
                                                                                                              11 Kingfisher Reprise II
                                                                                                              12 Glass

                                                                                                              22, A Million is part love letter, part final resting place of two decades of searching for self- understanding like a religion. And the inner-resolution of maybe never finding that understanding. The album’s 10 poly-fi recordings are a collection of sacred moments, love’s torment and salvation, contexts of intense memories, signs that you can pin meaning onto or disregard as coincidence. If Bon Iver, Bon Iver built a habitat rooted in physical spaces, then 22, A Million is the letting go of that attachment to a place.

                                                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                              Millie says: Bon Iver takes a new approach for his latest album, taking influences from heavy electronic sounds and a long list of collaborators. Stylistically different, it's best to have no preconceptions and listen with fresh ears as it's a marvel of an album with a diverse sound. Just brilliant!

                                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                              (LP Sides Are Equally Split 1-5, 6-10):
                                                                                                              1. 22 (OVER S∞∞N)
                                                                                                              2. 10 D E A T H B R E A S T š
                                                                                                              3. 715 - CR∑∑KS
                                                                                                              4. 33 “GOD”
                                                                                                              5. 29 #Strafford APTS
                                                                                                              6. 666 ʇ
                                                                                                              7. 21 M◊◊N WATER
                                                                                                              8. 8 (circle)
                                                                                                              9. ____45_____
                                                                                                              10. 00000 Million

                                                                                                              12” Tracklisting:
                                                                                                              1. 22 (OVER S∞∞N) [Bob Moose Extended Cab Version]
                                                                                                              2. 10 D E A T H B R E A S T š

                                                                                                              The band formerly known as Viet Cong!!

                                                                                                              When the four members of Preoccupations wrote and recorded their new record, they were in a state of near total instability. Years-long relationships ended; they left homes behind. Frontman Matt Flegel, guitarist Danny Christiansen, multi-instrumentalist Scott Munro and drummer Mike Wallace all moved to different cities. They resolved to change their band name, but hadn't settled on a new one. And their road-tested, honed approach to songwriting was basically thrown out the window. This time, they walked into the studio with the gas gauge near empty, buoyed by one another while the rest of their lives were virtually unrecognizable and rootless. There was no central theme or idea to guide the band's collective cliff jump. As a result, 'Preoccupations' bears the visceral, personal sound of holding onto some steadiness in the midst of changing everything.

                                                                                                              Flegel is quick to point out how little mystery is in the titles of these songs: Anxiety, Monotony, Degraded, Stimulation, Fever. "Monotony is a dead end job; Anxiety is changing as a band," he says. "Memory is watching someone lose their mind; Fever is comforting someone. It's all drawing from very specific things." These things - bigger ones like breakups, smaller ones like simply trying to calm someone down - are ultimately the things that explode our brains, that keep us up at night. And so where their previous album 'Viet Cong' was built in some ways on the abstract cycles of creation and destruction, 'Preoccupations' explores how that sometimes-suffocating, sometimes-revelatory trap affects our lives. "We discarded a lot, reworking songs pretty ruthlessly," Munro explains. "We ripped songs down to the studs, taking one piece we liked and building something new around it. It was pretty cannibalistic, I guess. Existing songs were killed and used to make new ones." Sonically, it's still blistering. But it's a different kind of blister, less the the scorched earth of the band's previous LP, more like a blood blister on a fingertip: something immediate and physical that you push and stare at. It's yours.

                                                                                                              Opener "Anxiety" articulates that tension: clattering sounds drift into focus, bouncing and echoing off one another until one bone-shattering moment when the full band strikes at once, moving from something untouchable to get to something deeply felt. "Monotony" moves at a narcoleptic pace by Preoccupations' standards, but snaps to attention to make its point, that "this repetition's killing you // it's killing everyone." "Stimulation" opens with a snarl and hurls itself forward at what feels like a million bpm, pausing for one mortal moment of relief before barreling onward. "Degraded" surprises, with something like a traditional structure and an almost pop-leaning melody to its chorus, twisting the bigness of Preoccupations' music to sideswipe the clear, finite smallness of its subjects and events. And the 11-minute-long "Memory" is the album's keystone, with an intimate narrative and a truly timeless post-punk center. There's love piercing through the iciness here, fighting its way forward in each of the song's distinct sections.

                                                                                                              As always, there is something crystalline to what they've made, a blast of cold air in a burning hot place. All this adds up to Preoccupations: a singular, bracing collection that proves what's punishing can also be soothing, everything can change without disrupting your compass. Your best year can be your worst year at the same time. Whatever sends you flying can also help you land.

                                                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                              Martin says: Preoccupations is an apt moniker for a project born of anxiety. That this Calgary outfit (ex-Viet Cong) draw their inspiration from a brooding, fearful era – an authoritarian government and very real nuclear threat cast an anguished shadow over early 80s post punk (in this case early Psychedelic Furs, Cure, Joy Division, Bauhaus) – is entirely consistent too. There is a spark in the void, however. Matt Flegel’s lyrics might read like an ideal therapy case study, betraying a sense of isolation and insecurity in the face of the universe, but where this offering differs from Viet Cong’s is in its broader palate and brighter delivery. Not exactly pop mind, but there is - albeit tense, knotted and urgent -  a brilliant melodicism to ‘Preoccupations’. This finds its most perfect expression in 'Memory', a two part, twelve minute merging of Swans sunset with Joy Division sunrise that would grace even the latter's output.

                                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                              1 Anxiety
                                                                                                              2 Monotony
                                                                                                              3 Zodiac
                                                                                                              4 Memory
                                                                                                              5 Degraded
                                                                                                              6 Sense
                                                                                                              7 Forbidden
                                                                                                              8 Stimulation
                                                                                                              9 Fever

                                                                                                              "Anyone reckless enough to have typecast Angel Olsen according to 2013’s Burn Your Fire For No Witness is in for a rethink with her third album, MY WOMAN. The crunchier, blown-out production of the former is gone, but that fire is now burning wilder. Her disarming, timeless voice is even more front-and-center. Yet, the strange, raw power and slowly unspooling incantations of her previous efforts remain.

                                                                                                              Over two previous albums, she gave us reverb-shrouded poetic swoons, shadowy folk, grunge-pop band workouts and haunting, finger-picked epics. MY WOMAN is an exhilarating complement to her past work, and one for which Olsen recalibrated her writing/recording approach and methods to enter a new music-making phase.

                                                                                                              As the record evolves, one gets the sense that the “My Woman” of the title is Olsen herself, absolutely in command but also willing to bend with the influence of collaborators and circumstances. An intuitively smart, warmly communicative and fearlessly generous record, MY WOMAN speaks to everyone. That it might confound expectation is just another of its strengths."

                                                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                              Barry says: Whether she is banging out swooning gothic eyeshadow-pop choruses or walking us through rural America with swinging slide-guitar laden finger-clickers, Angel Olsen constantly manages with aplomb. The Melancholy lilt in some parts only serves exacerbate the impact of her more driven passages. This isn't a cheery listen, but it is touching and masterful. Highly recommended.

                                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                              1 Intern
                                                                                                              2 Never Be Mine
                                                                                                              3 Shut Up Kiss Me
                                                                                                              4 Give It Up
                                                                                                              5 Not Gonna Kill You
                                                                                                              6 Heart Shaped Face
                                                                                                              7 Sister
                                                                                                              8 Those Were The Days
                                                                                                              9 Woman
                                                                                                              10 Pops

                                                                                                              Dinosaur Jr

                                                                                                              Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not

                                                                                                              PICCADILLY EXCLUSIVE: PRE-ORDER THE ALBUM AND ENTER A DRAW TO WIN A 100cmx100cm PROMOTIONAL FABRIC DISPLAY BANNER – ONLY 1 IN THE WORLD!!!

                                                                                                              With all the insanity that is stalking the Earth in 2016, it’s nice to have something to rely on. Who’d’ve dared to think it’d be Dinosaur Jr.? There’s no doubt about it - this is the record that the fans have been waiting for since the original line up reformed.

                                                                                                              The songs on ‘Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not’ were recorded over the past year or so, again at Amherst’s Bisquiteen Studio (located in a secret nook of J’s basement). The sound is great and roaring with J’s various bleeding ear psychedelic guitar touches oozing their way into the smudge-pop modelling, while Murph’s drums pound like Fred Flintstone’s feet and Lou’s bass weaves back and forth between proggy melodicism and post-core thug-hunch.

                                                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                              Barry says: As you would expect from Dinosaur Jr, this is an anthemic grunge tour-de force. Hard-hitting drums and distortion abound all topped with Mascis' snarling but perfectly tuned vocals. Rousing chord progressions are rife here, but not the only thing on offer,'Be A Part' shows a bit of single-note twiddling before breaking out into a melancholic minor-key chord fare. 'Knocked Around' could be the soundtrack to a particularly heartwrenching college-party romantic failure montage. A brilliant return to form for Dinosaur Jr, as exciting, dynamic and emotive as ever. Highly recommended.

                                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                              1. Goin' Down
                                                                                                              2. Tiny
                                                                                                              3. Be A Part
                                                                                                              4. I Told Everyone
                                                                                                              5. Love Is..
                                                                                                              6. Good To Know
                                                                                                              7. I Walk For Miles
                                                                                                              8. Lost All Day
                                                                                                              9. Knocked Around
                                                                                                              10 Mirror
                                                                                                              11. Left/Right

                                                                                                              The story of The Besnard Lakes begins at Besnard Lake: a spectacular yet secluded water feature in rural Saskatchewan which the Montreal group’s husband and wife core, Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas, visit each summer for inspiration and escape. This year the couple’s campsite was surrounded for a worrying few days by forest flames, a literal ring of fire which informed the devil-may-care spirit of their exuberant fifth album.

                                                                                                              “Besnard Lake is usually the place where we get the germination of ideas,” explains Jace. “We set up a small recording rig in the trailer we have up there .This time there were also helicopters with giant water tanks flying over us while we were fishing on the lake!”

                                                                                                              Armed with demos and memories from their trip, the pair returned to the city and entered Breakglass Studios. Co-founded by Lasek a decade ago, this popular recording facility has long been a hub for Montreal’s fertile, collaborative and proudly DIY music community. Having met and fallen in love in Vancouver, where Jace was a photography-trained art student and Olga a bass-slinging star on the underground rock circuit, the pair relocated at the turn of the millennium. Vancouver had gotten too expensive. By contrast, “Montreal was super cheap because there had been the Quebec referendum in ’95 and a lot of the Anglos had left. There was a political teeter-totter happening, so there were tons of empty places. We moved out here and were able to live, rehearse and record in a loft for next to nothing.”

                                                                                                              The predominantly French-speaking province’s economic depression birthed an ever-evolving scene that’s become internationally renowned for such disparate independent avatars as Godspeed You! Black Emperor and The Arcade Fire. Unique among their furrowed brow peers, The Besnard Lakes are unafraid to marry textured, questing headphone sonics to the honeyed pleasure of radio hits past: the rapture of My Bloody Valentine entwined with the romance of Fleetwood Mac. (Echoing prime FM they actually now have two girl/boy couplings in the line-up, keyboard player Sheenah Ko and guitarist Robbie MacArthur joining powerhouse drummer Kevin Laing and non-touring studio axe hero Richard White.) Imagine dreamy Beach House riding Led Zeppelin dynamics, with unabashedly androgynous vocal harmonies. This melodic yet mountainous soundworld was sculpted at Breakglass, their own modest Paisley Park. As the longterm sporter of a Love Symbol tattoo, Prince’s pop alchemy is especially potent for Jace.

                                                                                                              “You look on the back of his early records and it’s produced, arranged, recorded and performed by Prince. When I realised that as a 12-year-old I was like, Oh fuck! So this kid can make a record all by himself. So then why can’t I? He was also the guy who made me realise that it was ok to sing high. Just throw caution to the wind. He’s not concerned about being super macho. Once I started getting into punk rock in high school, Prince was still there. He didn’t lose relevancy for me. Prince was still there when I started getting into prog rock, too. We’re just absorbed in music of all sorts.”

                                                                                                              Olga, meanwhile, has been exploring a new creative outlet via her domestic interpretation of the occult, inspired by a Disinformation lecture given by comic book writer Grant Morrison. “He was talking about sigils,” remembers her adoring partner. “It was really personal for Oggy, like a meditation she would do in the morning, and also just a fun thing. She developed these 11 sigils, which you can see on the inside of the record’s jacket. For the deluxe edition she’s hand engraved them onto these little tags. The meanings are very simple: one is love, another is empathy. That leads back to this whole idea of mystery and the myth of the band.”

                                                                                                              Channelling their obsessions with the paranormal – Jace was a teenage ghost hunter – as well as the dark arts, A Coliseum Complex Museum is populated by cryptozoological creatures (The Bray Road Beast, Golden Lion) while also luxuriating in natural phenomena and beauty (The Plain Moon, Nightingale). These themes are sincere yet good-humoured. The LP’s title jokily refers to a landmark-heavy road sign spotted on tour in Texas, the varied emotional impulses within reflected by its environmentally warped artwork.

                                                                                                              “For a long time we were trying to keep secret that we love being out in nature,” admits Jace. “Because it’s kinda cliché. But with this record we decided to stop fighting what we love so much. So the front cover actually has a lake on it, but it’s also got this giant orb shooting light into the water, which is creating a hole that’s opening a portal to the coliseum complex museum. It’s kinda fucked.”

                                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                              1. The Bray Road Beast
                                                                                                              2. The Golden Lion
                                                                                                              3. Pressure Of Our Plans
                                                                                                              4. Towers Sent Her To Sheets Of Sound
                                                                                                              5. The Plain Moon
                                                                                                              6. Necronomicon
                                                                                                              7. Nightingale
                                                                                                              8. Tungsten 4: The Refugee

                                                                                                              Moonface And Siinai

                                                                                                              My Best Human Face

                                                                                                                Moonface is the solo project from Spencer Krug of Wolf Parade and Sunset Rubdown.

                                                                                                                “I called this thing ‘My Best Human Face’ not only because that’s one of my favorite lines on the album, but because I sometimes don’t know who I am, or if I’m as good as other people. The title speaks to the vague theme of identity confusion that is loosely woven into the songs - a reoccurring theme I only recognized after the writing was done. And so I conclude that this theme is not really important to me, or to the album. So then I plead with you: please, for the love of music, let’s not make ‘identity’ the talking point of this thing! The confusion exists for us all, sure, but that doesn’t mean we have to place it in the middle of our circle like a campfire. At end of it all, these are good time songs, meant to inspire good times in the listener. They were made joyously, with a stubborn love of music at their center. And while some of the content might be dark or sad, the memories of making these songs brings only gladness and gratitude, and it’s the construction, not the deconstruction, that I think we should celebrate.” - Spencer Krug

                                                                                                                Moonface are joined on ‘My Best Human Face’ by Finnish band Siinai.

                                                                                                                The Cave Singers’ writing is unfettered; their songs possess a quality of deliverance. Each track of their four album catalogue compels movement, physical and emotional. It can manifest as the tapping of one’s foot, nod of the head or even a silent lifting of the heart. The Cave Singers’ melodic harmonies pull the body to the present, demanding our attention beyond all of the other noises of the world.

                                                                                                                ‘Banshee’ brings The Cave Singers back to their original three piece line up and also their approach to songwriting: an exchange of Derek sending Pete a riff and Pete responding with vocal ideas. From there the songs come together. The album was recorded live in July of 2015 over 6 days with producer Randall Dunn. The record is warmly anchored in the members’ creative familiarity with one another. Yet there is a new thirst to ‘Banshee’, one that can be attributed to the combination of the band taking a year off to work on other projects Pete Quirk’s solo album and the Kodiak Deathbeds’ debut record and their return to songwriting from distanced correspondence.

                                                                                                                Lead vocalist Peter Quirk possesses a spiritual healing quality that rides within the tonal waves of his lyrics. Driving guitars, foottapping percussion and Quirk’s powerful vocals make an intricate quilt that blankets the audience in comfort, aggressively communicating a gentle reminder: we are soft bodies trying to survive with one another. ‘Fade Away’ highlights this: “With the sun on our back we will never get cold, with the light in our eyes it’s alright to get old, whatever your story might say, however, it's told, let it go, let it let go, let it fade away.”

                                                                                                                The Cave Singers remain approachable while retaining the complexity of writing skills possessed by folks who have dedicated their lives to music. Their appreciation of varied sounds, the writing process and performing in every type of venue, house and festival possible allows them to connect with those they speak to. Their passion for their craft translates from their recordings and resonates through their performances. The Cave Singers are the people’s band.

                                                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                That’s Why
                                                                                                                Lost In The Tide
                                                                                                                Southern Bell
                                                                                                                Who’s Well
                                                                                                                Strip Mine
                                                                                                                Cool Criminal
                                                                                                                The Swimmer
                                                                                                                Fade Away
                                                                                                                Christmas Song
                                                                                                                Light In The House

                                                                                                                The Besnard Lakes

                                                                                                                The Golden Lion

                                                                                                                  Released to coincide with their forthcoming UK dates and in advance of their highly anticipated new album, ‘A Coliseum Complex Museum’, here is the brand new 12” from The Besnard Lakes.

                                                                                                                  The single features prime album cut ‘Golden Lion’ alongside two exclusive tracks.

                                                                                                                  This is the band at their absolute best - desnse, soaring guitars, harmonies to die for and handsdown the best chorus they’ve ever written. This 12” sows the seeds for a stellar 2016 for The Besnard Lakes.

                                                                                                                  Small Black’s third full length release, written and recorded at their Brooklyn home studio, nicknamed 222, showcasing a band still evolving and embracing the unpredictable.

                                                                                                                  After a year of recording the band enlisted mixer Nicholas Vernhes (War On Drugs, Deerhunter) of Rare Book Room Studio to help complete the record.

                                                                                                                  ‘Best Blues’ finds the band in their sweet spot: the smoky intersection of considered and vulnerable songwriting and loose, almost nonchalant ambience. The addition of piano flourishes, trumpet (Darby Cicci of The Antlers), hidden acoustic guitars and Kaede Ford’s ethereal vocals provide new dimensions to the band’s already expansive sonic palette.

                                                                                                                  Cut-to-the-chase rippers ‘Back At Belle’s’ and ‘Checkpoints’ embody and build on the group’s signature gritty yet focused electronic sound. While more pastoral tracks such as ‘Between Leos’ and ‘XX Century’ - skeletally based on recorded improvisations - find the band painting a more nuanced, assured aural portrait. The repeating of the line “twentieth century” on closer ‘XX Century’ serves as a coda for the album, offering a simple summation of what ‘Best Blues’ intent has been from the opening Casio stab: an attempt to re-examine the past but also one to let it go.

                                                                                                                  “Another sparkling gem of widescreen, starry-eyed synthpop from a band who’ve been crafting such gems for years.” - Stereogum

                                                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                  Personal Best
                                                                                                                  No One Wants It To Happen To You
                                                                                                                  Boys Life
                                                                                                                  The Closer I Look
                                                                                                                  Big Ideas, Pt. 2
                                                                                                                  Back At Belle’s
                                                                                                                  Between Leos
                                                                                                                  Checkpoints
                                                                                                                  Smoke Around The Bend
                                                                                                                  XX Century

                                                                                                                  Briana Marela

                                                                                                                  All Around Us

                                                                                                                  Briana's lyrics are forceful, and throughout her second album, All Around Us, traditional song structure gives way to plainspoken declarations that pull back the record's shroud. Her first single,"Surrender" is musically delicate at first, with flickering blips and chords that float into earshot like fireflies. "Take Care of Me" is the album's brightest and most immediate song, a buoyant celebration of friendship with a skittering beat and a warm, sweet melody. And title track "All Around Us" is a stark but inspiring beauty, built on the memory of a family member of Briana's who passed away, and the sadness of not being able to say "goodbye" or "I love you" one last time. It is the balance of the abstract and the intimate that makes Briana Marela and All Around Us so special.

                                                                                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                  Barry says: Calm yet assured, this album distils the beauty of modern classical composers into the simple structures of a singer-songwriter, and it works perfectly. Equal measures wistful and mournful, whilst still retaining a sense of melody and drive. This is a confident and beautiful album, equal parts electronic ambient and classical, with those beautiful vocals over the top. Think Múm, Sigur Ros, and A Winged Victory For The Sullen, all together in a room. Mesmerising.

                                                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                  1. Follow It
                                                                                                                  2. Take Care Of Me
                                                                                                                  3. Friend Tonight
                                                                                                                  4. Dani
                                                                                                                  5. Surrender
                                                                                                                  6. I Don't Belong To You
                                                                                                                  7. Everything Is New
                                                                                                                  8. All Around Us
                                                                                                                  9. Further

                                                                                                                  Black Mountain

                                                                                                                  Black Mountain - 10th Anniversary Edition

                                                                                                                    It’s a cliché because it’s true - the greatest records are timeless. Black Mountain’s self-titled debut album is just such a record. It is a new classic rock, with reference points arcane and clear, its sound fresh, unfamiliar and irresistible.

                                                                                                                    The work of a small collective of musicians operating from Vancouver, Canada, far from any industry buzz but firmly in the eye of their own storm of creativity, Black Mountain’s debut album was, of course, a beginning, but it also marked an ending. Begun as the fourth album for Jerk With A Bomb, the 4-track bedroom project turned non-rock band led by Stephen McBean that preceded Black Mountain, the songs grew from skeletal sessions cut by McBean and Josh Wells and honed on the road in empty North American clubs along with Amber Webber. “We’d lay down the bed tracks, the guitars and drums,” remembers McBean. “Matt [Camirand, bass] joined, and we changed the band name after a dream of how life could be different in the B section between Black Flag and Black Sabbath. Josh’s roommate Jeremy [Schmidt, keys] was lurking about. We asked him if he wanted to add some synth bleeps or whatever. He came back with all these orchestrated keyboard parts, and we said, ‘Oh, you should probably join the band now.’”

                                                                                                                    The album’s initial success saw the band take to the road, leaving their Vancouver enclave for stages across the world. “It felt like there was a real explosion of excitement at shows,” remembers McBean. “We wouldn’t write setlists, we’d just feel the energy in the room and call things out, jamming on songs like ‘No Hits’ and ‘Druganaut.’ It was a good time for live rock & roll: DJ booths were being transformed back to drum risers, people were digging 20 minute heady jams and there were bands like Comets On Fire and Oneida out there who we felt kinship with. I was into Faust and Amon Duul but had no idea of the scene of modern bands doing that stuff. And then we met those bands, and it was cool. And then we went on tour with Coldplay… and the adventures continued.”

                                                                                                                    Savour the compact, spacey brilliance of that cosmic, heavy and subtle debut album, expanded now with a raft of delicious bonus tracks scavenged from the Black Mountain Army archives.

                                                                                                                    Both the 2CD and 2LP packages come with foil print.

                                                                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                    Modern Music
                                                                                                                    Don’t Run Our Hearts Around
                                                                                                                    Druganaut
                                                                                                                    No Satisfaction
                                                                                                                    Set Us Free
                                                                                                                    No Hits
                                                                                                                    Heart Of Snow
                                                                                                                    Faulty Times
                                                                                                                    Druganaut (Extended Remix)
                                                                                                                    Buffalo Swan
                                                                                                                    Bicycle Man
                                                                                                                    Behind The Fall
                                                                                                                    Set Us Free (Demo)
                                                                                                                    Black Mountain (Demo)
                                                                                                                    No Satisfaction (UK Radio)
                                                                                                                    It Wasn’t Arson

                                                                                                                    Sharon Van Etten

                                                                                                                    I Don't Want To Let You Down EP

                                                                                                                      2014 was a stellar year for Sharon Van Etten, with her critically acclaimed and best selling album ‘Are We There’ plus extensive touring and a Later With Jools Holland performance consolidating her position in the UK.

                                                                                                                      Jagjaguwar release a five track EP of non album songs in conjunction with her  landmark Glastonbury performance.

                                                                                                                      Van Etten and a sterling crew of collaborators offer documents of surrender and disappointment, admission and longing. The gorgeous ‘Just Like Blood’ manages to capture all four facets in less than five minutes.

                                                                                                                      Produced by Van Etten and Stewart Lerman, who also helmed ‘Are We There’, these songs are as sophisticated and evolved as anything Van Etten has ever done.

                                                                                                                      Unknown Mortal Orchestra

                                                                                                                      Multi-Love

                                                                                                                        On Multi-Love, Unknown Mortal Orchestra frontman and multi-instrumentalist Ruban Nielson reflects on relationships: airy, humid longing, loss, the geometry of desire that occurs when three people align. Where Nielson addressed the pain of being alone on II, Multi-Love takes on the complications of being together.

                                                                                                                        Multi-Love adds dimensions to the band’s already kaleidoscopic approach, with Nielson exploring a newfound appreciation for synthesizers. The new songs channel with the spirit of psych innovators without ignoring the last 40 years of music, forming a flowing, cohesive whole that reflects restless creativity. Cosmic escapes and disco rhythms speak to developing new vocabulary, while Nielson’s vocals reach powerful new heights.

                                                                                                                        “It felt good to be rebelling against the typical view of what an artists is today, a curator,” he says. “It’s more about being someone who makes things happen in concrete ways. Building old synthesizers and bringing them back to life, creating sounds that aren’t quite like anyone else’s. I think that’s much more subversive.”

                                                                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                        Andy says: Better bottom-end for the funky psych-groovers. Their last album was well loved here, looks like this is gonna top it!

                                                                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                        1. Multi-Love
                                                                                                                        2. Like Acid Rain
                                                                                                                        3. Ur Life One Night
                                                                                                                        4. Can’t Keep Checking My Phone
                                                                                                                        5. Extreme Wealth And Casual Cruelty
                                                                                                                        6. The World Is Crowded
                                                                                                                        7. Stage Or Screen
                                                                                                                        8. Necessary Evil
                                                                                                                        9. Puzzles

                                                                                                                        S. Carey

                                                                                                                        Supermoon

                                                                                                                          Recorded primarily during the perigee-syzygy (also known as the super moon) of August 2014, the ‘Supermoon’ EP from S. Carey is a study in scale, space, and proximity. These songs are a new and closer look into existing works from both S. Carey’s renowned fulllengths - 2010’s ‘All We Grow’ and 2014’s ‘Range Of Light’.

                                                                                                                          With ‘Supermoon’, Carey has broken these songs down to their essential, acoustic parts with his forever humming vocals laid over top, lilting yet percussive piano and a subtle swath of harmonic strings. You can hear Carey's breath between words and the pat of his fingers on the keys; you can hear the living room in which his family’s baby grand piano sits. These songs are beautiful, intimate and so potently personal. This collection is a stark presentation of S. Carey laid bare, an open invitation for the listener to climb into his world.

                                                                                                                          One particularly poignant piece is the re-imagined ‘Range Of Light’ closer, ‘Neverending Fountain’, perhaps an apt metaphor for the life of the songs themselves. Says Carey, “The longer you spend with a song, the more you can see it in its pure form.”

                                                                                                                          ‘Supermoon’ also features a heartrending cover of ‘Bullet Proof.. I Wish I Was’ from Radiohead’s classic album ‘The Bends’ and a new song, the EP’s namesake, ‘Supermoon’, which takes its inspiration, like much of Carey’s work, from the natural world around him.

                                                                                                                          Another source of inspiration quoted by Carey is the excitement of working out arrangements for pre-existing songs on the spot, for various sessions on tour. He brought that spirit to the recording of ‘Supermoon’, which took place over the course of a single weekend.

                                                                                                                          Already known as an artist of impeccable craft, S. Carey worked with longtime friends and collaborators (Mike Noyce played viola, Zach Hanson engineered, mixed and mastered) to add a chapter to the still unfolding story of Sean Carey as an artist. We can hear the songwriting, singing and performance for what it truly is; understated, true and pure beauty.

                                                                                                                          S. Carey is the project of Sean Carey of Bon Iver.

                                                                                                                          ‘Supermoon’ is available exclusively to independent retailers and is limited to 200 copies for the UK and Eire.

                                                                                                                          Viet Cong

                                                                                                                          Viet Cong

                                                                                                                            Recorded in a barn-turned-studio in rural Ontario, the seven songs that make up ‘Viet Cong’ were born largely on the road, when Matt Flegel and bandmates Mike Wallace (both ex members of the much loved band Women), Scott Munro and Daniel Christiansen embarked on a 50-date tour that stretched virtually every limit imaginable.

                                                                                                                            The repetition throughout ‘Viet Cong’ hypnotizes but also softens, leaving a space that is deceptively personal.

                                                                                                                            ‘Continental Shelf’ orbits a thousand watt hook with a thick crackle and a battering-ram drum line.

                                                                                                                            ‘Silhouettes’ is a tripwire of a song, opening with an almost Joy Division-esque exposition and moving at breakneck speed - frantic and pitch-black at a thousand miles an hour - until, before you know it, they are howling. Actually howling. Maybe you are too.

                                                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                            1 Newspaper Spoons
                                                                                                                            2 Pointless Experience
                                                                                                                            3 March Of Progress
                                                                                                                            4 Bunker Buster
                                                                                                                            5 Continental Shelf
                                                                                                                            6 Silhouettes
                                                                                                                            7 Death

                                                                                                                            Foxygen have joined Star Power. It is a punk band, and you can be in it, too. Star Power is the radio station that you can hear only if you believe. We're all stars of the scene.

                                                                                                                            FOXYGEN…AND STAR POWER is the new DOUBLE ALBUM from Foxygen, a CINEMATIC AUDITORY ADVENTURE for the speedy freaks, skull krunchers, abductees, and misfits...Made by Foxygen at Dream Star Studios in their Secret Haunted House with the UFOs flying around in the sky.

                                                                                                                            A gaggle of guest stars. Roman-numeraled musical suites. Vocals recorded on a shoddy tape machine at The Beverly Hills Hotel and Chateau Marmont. A svelte 82-minute run time of psych-ward folk, cartoon fantasia, songs that morph into each other, weaving in and out of the head like UFO radio transmission skullkrush music. ADHD star power underground revolution. Soft-rock indulgences, D&D doomrock and paranoid bathroom rompers. Process is the point. A kaleidoscoping view. Blasphemy even the gods smile one. Rock and roll for the skull...*

                                                                                                                            *From Patty Smith's 1973 CREEM review of Todd Rundgren's A Wizard, A True Star. The section concludes "Todd Rundgren is preparing us for a generation of frenzied children who will dream in animation."

                                                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                            1 Star Power Airlines
                                                                                                                            2 How Can You Really
                                                                                                                            3 Coulda Been My Love
                                                                                                                            4 Cosmic Vibrations
                                                                                                                            5 You & I
                                                                                                                            6 Star Power I: Overture
                                                                                                                            7 Star Power II: Star Power Nite
                                                                                                                            8 Star Power III: What Are We Good For
                                                                                                                            9 Star Power IV: Ooh Ooh
                                                                                                                            10 I Don't Have Anything/The Gate
                                                                                                                            11 Mattress Warehouse
                                                                                                                            12 666
                                                                                                                            13 Flowers
                                                                                                                            14 Wally's Farm
                                                                                                                            15 Cannibal Holocaust
                                                                                                                            16 Hot Summer
                                                                                                                            17 Cold Winter/Freedom
                                                                                                                            18 Can't Contextualize My Mind
                                                                                                                            19 Brooklyn Police Station
                                                                                                                            20 The Game
                                                                                                                            21 Freedom II
                                                                                                                            22 Talk
                                                                                                                            23 Everyone Needs Love
                                                                                                                            24 Hang

                                                                                                                            Lia Ices

                                                                                                                            Ices

                                                                                                                              "Ices" is a celebration of flight, levity, and the conviction that you can leave earth. You take wing in an airplane, you go to real places when you dream, you have out-of-body experiences, you get high, you lose yourself in someone else.

                                                                                                                              When we started work on these songs, I was beginning a gradual move to California, constantly traveling back and forth from New York. I was experimenting. I was falling in love. Our studio in the Hudson Valley was full of electronics and computers and the sounds of future ships sailing through the vastness of space, and I sometimes forgot where I was. The first songs we wrote were called "flying 1", then "flying 2", and so on, which eventually evolved into songs on the album. Flight became a metaphor for the ignition of the imagination. The process created a lightness in me, a freedom and positive energy that I¹d never before felt or explored.

                                                                                                                              This recording session became a two year music and spiritual retreat with my psychic twin brother, Eliot. A private journey during which we abandoned old habits and familiar sounds. We got really geeky and experimented in our studio. We obsessed over sympathetic magic, "Ancient Aliens", and the NBA. We allowed everything we loved to find its way in: Persian percussion, hip-hop beats, lo-fi, hi-fi, Pakistani pop, Link Wray, Jason Pierce, gospel, dub. We developed new systems; we worked with synthesis, software, and samples; we became producers. The Hudson Valley was home base, but I wanted to keep flying. I wrote songs in California, recorded vocals in Atlanta, and worked with Clams Casino in Brooklyn.

                                                                                                                              For the first time, Lia Ices felt like an inclusive project with its own identity, not just a name.

                                                                                                                              "Ices" as a whole is devoted to these certainties. While we have evolved, we are still animals. We respond to planets, patterns, and cycles. We require the sounds of our origins. We live in the future but stay bound to the primitive and primordial. We will always want tribe, we will always want rhythm, we will always need music to guide us into our deepest sense of what it means to be human. So we hear sounds from all over the planet in this album. We devour so much music, and with this album we allowed ourselves to claim bits from all of it.

                                                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                              1. Tell Me
                                                                                                                              2. Thousand Eyes
                                                                                                                              3. Higher
                                                                                                                              4. Love Ices Over
                                                                                                                              5. Magick
                                                                                                                              6. Electric Arc
                                                                                                                              7. Sweet As Ice
                                                                                                                              8. Creature
                                                                                                                              9. How We Are
                                                                                                                              10. Waves

                                                                                                                              For all the attention that was paid to her 2012 breakthrough ‘Tramp’, Sharon Van Etten is an artist with a hunger to turn another corner and to delve deeper, writing from a place of honesty and vulnerability to create a bond with the listener that few contemporary musicians can match. Compelled by a restless spirit, Van Etten is continuously challenging herself. Now, the result is ‘Are We There’, a self-produced album of exceptional intimacy, sublime generosity, and immense breadth.

                                                                                                                              For this album, Van Etten found a kindred spirit in veteran music producer Stewart Lerman. Originally working together on ‘Boardwalk Empire’, they gently moved into new roles, rallying around the idea of making a record together in Lerman’s studio in New Jersey. Lerman’s studio expertise gave Van Etten the freedom to make ‘Are We There’ the way she imagined. Van Etten also enlisted the individual talents of her band, consisting of Heather Woods Broderick, Doug Keith and Zeke Hutchins and brought in friends Dave Hartley and Adam Granduciel from The War On Drugs, Jonathan Meiberg (Shearwater), Jana Hunter (Lower Dens), Peter Broderick, Mackenzie Scott (Torres), Stuart Bogie, Jacob C Morris and Mickey Freeze.

                                                                                                                              It is clear from the opening chords in the first song ‘Afraid Of Nothing’ that we are witnessing a new awareness, a sign of Van Etten in full stride, writing, producing and performing from a place that seems almost mythical, were it not so touchable and real. Always direct, and never shying away even from the most personally painful narratives, Van Etten’s songwriting continues to evolve. Many of the songs deal with seemingly impossible decisions, anticipation, and then resolution. She sings of the nature of desire, memory, of being lost, emptiness, of promises and loyalty, fear and change, of healing and the true self, violence and sanctuary, waiting, of silence.

                                                                                                                              “Her voice is breathtaking throughout the record, altering to inhabit every emotional extreme.” - Uncut (9/10), “She seems to set her voice no boundaries” - Mojo (4 stars), “Van Etten goes several layers deeper, and faster, than most songwriters. ‘Are We There’ is the kind of album that many people have been trying to make for years and only a dozen or so have pulled off; words, voice and heartbreak.” - The New Yorker.

                                                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                              1. Afraid Of Nothing
                                                                                                                              2. Taking Chances
                                                                                                                              3. Your Love Is Killing Me
                                                                                                                              4. Our Love
                                                                                                                              5. Tarifa
                                                                                                                              6. I Love You But I'm Lost
                                                                                                                              7. You Know Me Well
                                                                                                                              8. Break Me
                                                                                                                              9. Nothing Will Change
                                                                                                                              10. I Know
                                                                                                                              11. Every Time The Sun Comes Up

                                                                                                                              Pink Mountaintops

                                                                                                                              Get Back

                                                                                                                                It's doubtful that Stephen McBean set out to make The Great Rock 'N' Roll Primer when he started conjuring the songs that would come to be Pink Mountaintops' Get Back.

                                                                                                                                The record's beginnings were reasonably straightforward: McBean had moved to Los Angeles, taken a long hiatus from Black Mountain and an even longer one from Pink Mountaintops when he met producer Joe Cardamone, lead singer of Icarus Line at Valley Recording Company in Burbank, CA. The two bonded quickly over Flying Nun bands, Television Personalities, Roxy Music, Johnny Thunders, and Born Against. Joe was excited to meet someone he actually liked. Stephen was excited to work with someone who said "Sing it like you would've sung it when you were 21." Simple enough, right?

                                                                                                                                But ask him to set the scene and you'll hear about a motorcycle shop owned by Michael Barragan, former member of Los Angeles noise rock band Plexi. You'll hear about an endless supply of rock 'n' roll video documentation for last minute inspiration or deevolution in the living room. Ask who's on the record and you'll get a constellation of greats: J Mascis (Dinosaur Jr & Witch), Rob Barbato (Darker My Love, The Fall & Cass McCombs), Steve Kille (Dead Meadow), Daniel Allaire (Brian Jonestown Massacre, Cass McCombs & Darker My Love), Annie Hardy (Giant Drag), Jon Wahl (Clawhammer), and Gregg Foreman (Cat Power & Delta 72). Randal Dunn (SunnO))), Earth, Sun City Girls, Boris) mixed Get Back at Avast! Studios (Bikini Kill, Mudhoney, Christ On A Crutch, Soundgarden) in Seattle. Howie Weinburg (Nirvana, Beastie Boys, Danzig, Ramones, Slayer) mastered it in Laurel Canyon.

                                                                                                                                Ask about the record itself and McBean will tell you about "Alleys, curbs, walls, and cigarette stained gig flyers. An island on the Pacific coast. Fake British towns. Slayer posters. The beauty of youth. It's about listening to Driver's Seat and 'Guns of Brixton' and hotboxing The Duster." And suddenly it becomes clear: when the aliens do touch down and they don't know rock 'n' roll, you can play them Get Back start to finish, and that'll be all they need.

                                                                                                                                Get Back comes out swinging with "Ambulance City," a head-trip of a song with a chugging, insistent, oddly timeless guitar riff sitting front and center. "The Second Summer of Love" needs almost no explanation; it dives into 80s VHS saturation and never comes up for air. "Sell Your Soul" is a deep sigh and a motorcycle ride, a roll in the grass lamenting summertime blues with a little grit and a little harmony. And "North Hollywood Microwaves" is downright obscene. But what better way to start Side B than this? You can listen at hushed volumes so your parents don't hear, you can crank it in a dorm room, you can smirk to yourself from the safety of rock 'n' roll's old age. You start to wonder - why don't all Side Bs start with a song like this one...

                                                                                                                                The number of platitudes in music hit critical mass years ago, and among those tropes is that annoying, inescapable mantra: rock 'n' roll is undefinable. And yeah, sure, that's true. It's different things to different people. It starts with guitars, maybe, and ends with a stage-dive, or spit, or feedback. Rock 'n' roll is drugs, is rebellion, is youth, is sex, is cosmic. It's wanting more than you have. Rock 'n' roll is butts and cigarette butts. And Pink Mountaintops might not be the best-known band ever to make rock 'n' roll, but in Get Back they just might have written its scripture -- an exploration and celebration of what, exactly, rock 'n' roll can be.

                                                                                                                                Small Black

                                                                                                                                Real People

                                                                                                                                  Small Black’s ‘Real People’ mini album follows the band’s 2013 critically acclaimed album, ‘Limits Of Desire’.

                                                                                                                                  Sonically, the New York band continue with the pristine electronics they mastered on their last full length and features guest vocals from Frankie Rose on two of the five tracks.

                                                                                                                                  The title track drew inspiration from one of our generation’s greatest folk heroes, Colton Harris- Moore aka The Barefoot Bandit.

                                                                                                                                  Sean Carey is the drummer of Bon Iver and an acclaimed solo musician in his own right. ‘Range Of Light’ is the follow up to his well received ‘All We Grow’. Like its predecessor, ‘Range Of Light’ deals in hugely beatific, restorative panoramas of beauty. An array of musical light and shade, drawn from Carey’s love of jazz, modern classical and Americana.

                                                                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                  Glass/Film
                                                                                                                                  Creaking
                                                                                                                                  Crown The Pines
                                                                                                                                  Fire-Scene
                                                                                                                                  Radiant
                                                                                                                                  Alpenglow
                                                                                                                                  Fleeting Light
                                                                                                                                  The Dome
                                                                                                                                  Neverending Fountain

                                                                                                                                  Many of the superlatives describing Angel Olsen refer to how seemingly little it takes for her to leave an audience speechless, even spellbound. But Olsen has never been as timid as those descriptors imply, and the noisy, fiery hints in her earlier work find a fuller expression on her newest LP, Burn Your Fire for No Witness. Here, Olsen sings with full-throated exultation, admonition, and bold, expressive melody. Also, with the help of producer John Congleton, her music now crackles with a churning, rumbling low end and a brighter energy.

                                                                                                                                  Angel Olsen began singing as a young girl in St. Louis, where she explored the remarkable range of her voice and the places it could take her songwriting. Her self-released debut EP, Strange Cacti, belied both that early period of discovery and her Midwestern roots. Cautious and homespun on the one hand, the EP transported us to a mystical, unrecognizable world on the other, and it garnered extensive praise for its enigmatic beauty. Olsen then went further on Half Way Home, her first full-length album (released on Bathetic Records), which mined essential themes while showcasing a more developed voice. Olsen dared to be more personal.

                                                                                                                                  After extensive touring, Olsen eventually settled for a time in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood, where she created "a collection of songs grown in a year of heartbreak, travel, and transformation." The new songs go on to tell us to leave, or to high-five a lover who is lacking, or to dance our way up and out of sorrow. Many of them also remain essentially unchanged from their bare beginnings. In leaving them so intact, a more self-assured Olsen is opening up to us, allowing us to be in the room with her at the very genesis of these songs, when the thread of creation is most vulnerable and least filtered. Our reward for entering this room are many head-turning moments and the powerful, unsettling recognition of ourselves in the weave of her songs.

                                                                                                                                  This act of meaning-making recurs as a theme throughout the album, as the sublimating response to the power of negativity. In the song, "Stars", for example, Olsen wishes to "have the voice of everything" and in a moment of hatefulness and hurt realizes that the strength of fury results in the power she had been seeking all along. Thankfully for us, Olsen has decided to channel a lot of this newfound power into the ethereal, hypnotic performances of her new and revealing songs, sharing with us the full grace and beauty of her transformative moments.

                                                                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                  1. Unfucktheworld
                                                                                                                                  2. Forgiven/Forgotten
                                                                                                                                  3. Hi-Five
                                                                                                                                  4. White Fire
                                                                                                                                  5. High & Wild
                                                                                                                                  6. Lights Out
                                                                                                                                  7. Stars
                                                                                                                                  8. Iota
                                                                                                                                  9. Dance Slow Decades
                                                                                                                                  10. Enemy
                                                                                                                                  11. Windows

                                                                                                                                  Moonface

                                                                                                                                  Julia With Blue Jeans On

                                                                                                                                    Since January 2010, Spencer Krug has used Moonface as a venue for home-recorded instrumental and conceptual experimentation, expanding the ideas he developed collaboratively with Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown, and Frog Eyes. Releases under this moniker have come quickly, each distinct from the other. The ‘Dreamland’ EP and ‘Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I’d Hoped’ were conceptual excursions merging instrumental and thematic fixations. After moving from Montreal to Helsinki, Krug teamed up with the Finnish band Siinai to create a lush rock record - 2012’s ‘Heartbreaking Bravery’ - driven by the dark despair of a breakup. Staying in Helsinki, Krug set off on yet another creative departure, driven by a rediscovery of love and a reconsideration of the Moonface persona he’d created for himself.

                                                                                                                                    The quietly stunning ‘Julia With Blue Jeans On’ is the fourth Moonface release, bringing a degree of intimacy and self-reflection unlike anything Krug has produced to date.

                                                                                                                                    There are only two sonic elements on this latest album: Spencer Krug’s voice and his piano. Richly recorded, they interact seamlessly with one another. On the opening track, ‘Barbarian’, the piano unfolds with the hypnotic energy of Keith Jarrett’s Koln Concert, Krug’s right hand doubling his vocal melody. On the closing track ‘Your Chariot Awaits’, Krug’s voice recedes after a minute as the piano swells for an extended showcase with modern classical undertones.

                                                                                                                                    After nearly a decade, across a number of guises, we are well-acquainted with Krug’s inimitable town-crier vocals; on ‘Julia…’ we are introduced to a facet of his musical skill that feels conservatory-trained. This is Krug as singer-songwriter, moving beyond star poses to a vision that is at once more elegant and comfortable. Or, in Krug’s own language, on ‘Barbarian II’: “I have chewed through my beautiful narrative.” Much of Julia is taken with this chewing. ‘Love The House You’re In’ opens by masquerading as self-pity, with a statement that reads like a press release from someone who’s given up. “I regretfully withdraw my offer to try and improve myself,” Krug gently sings, establishing a self-reflexive foundation upon which he builds the album’s most universal, humanistic sentiment, and which he delivers via its most soaring melody.

                                                                                                                                    Purposeful self-evaluation is one tactic for reinvention, but as Krug illustrates on the title track, everyday occurrences can prove transformative as well. The sight of a woman, clad in denim, briefly visible at the bottom of a staircase, he learns, is capable of “obliterating everything I’ve ever written down.” ‘Julia…’ is an ode in the classical sense, pivoting around the beauty inherent in the most simple, taken-forgranted sights. Krug acknowledges this, opening the song by admitting that “it’s a madman’s game, making the commonplace unreal.” What he leaves out in this admission, however, is the key to the countless charms of ‘Julia With Blue Jeans On’ - by expertly playing this ridiculous game, he can erase the madness that spawned it.

                                                                                                                                    Spencer has garnered critical praise and a rabidly loyal fanbase in the Moonface realm, as well in other incarnations, including Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown, Swan Lake, and Frog Eyes.

                                                                                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                    Barbarian
                                                                                                                                    Everyone Is Noah, Everyone Is The Ark
                                                                                                                                    Barbarian II
                                                                                                                                    November 2011
                                                                                                                                    Dreamy Summer
                                                                                                                                    Julia With Blue Jeans On
                                                                                                                                    Love The House You're In
                                                                                                                                    First Violin
                                                                                                                                    Black Is Back In Style
                                                                                                                                    Your Chariot Awaits

                                                                                                                                    Diana

                                                                                                                                    Perpetual Surrender - Inc. Four Tet Remix

                                                                                                                                      Diana are an enigmatic foursome from Toronto. Consisting of Joseph Shabason, Kieran Adams, and singer Carmen Elle, with Paul Mathew recently joining the live line up. Shabason and Adams met while studying jazz at music college, and there are soft-jazz touches on 'Perpetual Surrender', which pulls in references such as new age dreaminess, Sade-like mellowness and wistful acoustic soul-pop - there's even time for a yacht rock sax solo.

                                                                                                                                      Kieran Hebden obviously takes the 4/4 route, with some of his layered, percussive, fidgety house-not-house rhythms possibly created from the parts of original version. His remix slowly builds until he adds Elle's sweet vocal for the full effect. Subtle and dreamy, this is a delightful piece of dance-pop a million miles away from autotuned fodder that clogs up the top 40 these days.


                                                                                                                                      Volcano Choir

                                                                                                                                      Repave

                                                                                                                                        Featuring Grammy Award-winning artist Justin Vernon of Bon Iver on vocals.

                                                                                                                                        ‘Repave’ brings Volcano Choir into sharp focus. The glitch-laden, cautious presentation of the band’s previous work serves as points of both reference and departure across these eight songs, the product of growing conviction and trust, of a fully-operational rock band, gifted in shading and nuance, and rumbling with power.

                                                                                                                                        ‘Repave’ is the sound of confident musicians extending their reach to anthemic peaks and pulling back to reveal moments of real vulnerability, sure enough of themselves to let them stand on their own.

                                                                                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                        Tiderays
                                                                                                                                        Acetate
                                                                                                                                        Comrade
                                                                                                                                        Byegone
                                                                                                                                        Alaskans
                                                                                                                                        Dancepack
                                                                                                                                        Keel
                                                                                                                                        Almanac

                                                                                                                                        Diana

                                                                                                                                        Perpetual Surrender

                                                                                                                                          Diana are an enigmatic foursome from Toronto. (They must be putting something in the water, what with the number of great bands hailing from there.)

                                                                                                                                          Consisting of Joseph Shabason, Kieran Adams, and singer Carmen Elle, with Paul Mathew recently joining the live line up. Shabason and Adams met while studying jazz at music college where they played extensively together. Having lent their skills (saxophone and drums, respectively) to many bands, including Bonjay, The Hidden Cameras and Shabason’s recent contributions to Destroyer's excellent ‘Kaputt’, it was a leap of faith to make their own full length, but the time had come.

                                                                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                          Andy says: Another 80's influenced, lush, synthy dreampop collective. Melt away!

                                                                                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                          Foreign Installation
                                                                                                                                          That Feeling
                                                                                                                                          Perpetual Surrender
                                                                                                                                          Strange Attraction
                                                                                                                                          Anna
                                                                                                                                          Born Again
                                                                                                                                          New House
                                                                                                                                          Curtains

                                                                                                                                          Small Black

                                                                                                                                          Limits Of Desire

                                                                                                                                            ‘Limits Of Desire’ is Small Black’s most accomplished album yet. It’s a crystalline realization of a sound they’ve been building toward since their self-titled EP in 2009.

                                                                                                                                            Now a full-time four piece, the band have moved way beyond the hazy home recorded sound of their previous releases toward a full-fledged, but still self-produced, clear approach. Where 2010’s ‘New Chain’ was a lesson in maximalist pop, ‘Limits Of Desire’ finds the band trimming their sound to the essentials, yet hitting new and unexpected heights, with the addition of live drums, electric guitar and trumpet to the existing Small Black palette.

                                                                                                                                            Tonally the songs sweep and glide over lush keys, bolstered by lyrics that illustrate the semi-abstract moments of lost opportunities and misread signs, hinted at by the cover image. The title track whirls softly, and channels luminaries Tears For Fears and The Blue Nile.

                                                                                                                                            ‘Free At Dawn’ and ‘No Stranger’ do what fans have come to love Small Black for, only better. They’re smart pop bangers tinged with a specific brand of melancholy that slowly build to night-affirming climaxes, while ‘Breathless’ ups the tempo, over synth stabs with lyrics that tackle apathy and uncertainty with catchy grace.

                                                                                                                                            The band build on a rich history of synth pop by making a thoroughly modern album, on both the front and back end. One that seeks out cohesion, connection and calm in a world that won’t sit still. ‘Limits Of Desire’ doesn’t attempt to provide any solutions, but coming to terms with not finding the answers feels infinitely more fruitful.

                                                                                                                                            The Besnard Lakes

                                                                                                                                            Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO

                                                                                                                                              The Besnard Lakes’ ‘Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO’ had its humble beginnings in mid-2011 and was completed over the course of a year. Ever mindful and attentive to the most subtle and nuanced details, founding band members Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas produced, recorded and mixed at the stalwart Breakglass Studios in Montreal with long time bandmates Kevin Laing and Richard White.

                                                                                                                                              Eventually mastered by the renowned Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound, this fourth album by The Besnard Lakes features heavyweight additions by Moonface’s Spencer Krug and Mike Bigelow, The Barr Brothers’ Sarah Page, the always enchanting Monica Guenter and the return of The Fifth String Liberation Singers’ Choir.

                                                                                                                                              Each of the eight tracks on the album takes off, coasts, and lands smoothly, with a jubilant slowburn of its own momentum for the benefit of the larger picture.

                                                                                                                                              The Besnard Lakes create a distinct and dreamy headspace, an enigmatic and somehow familiar placelessness. It happens in such a way that both the close and casual listener find themselves immersed in the generous sonic vision, one moment as timeless as the next.

                                                                                                                                              “A magnificently oceanic meld of Beach Boys harmonies, My Bloody Valentine tidal waves and Phil Spector girlgroup siren songs shot through with soaring guitar.” - Rolling Stone

                                                                                                                                              “Right now no one is making music this grand, this big, this moving with so much assurance.” - Chicago Tribune

                                                                                                                                              “Nothing short of beautiful.” - NME

                                                                                                                                              Julie Doiron And The Wooden Stars

                                                                                                                                              Julie Doiron And The Wooden Stars

                                                                                                                                                Available for the first time on vinyl, ‘Julie Doiron And The Wooden Stars’ is Doiron’s most critically acclaimed album, going so far as to win the 2000 Juno Award (the Canadian equivalent to the Grammy) for Best Independently Released Album Of The Year.

                                                                                                                                                Recorded and released in 1999 by Tree Records and Sappy Records (reissued by Jagjaguwar in 2002), the album finds Ottawa-based quartet The Wooden Stars playing Doiron’s back-up band, helping her step out of the solitary, introspective robe she’d been wearing and venture into a more urgent and upbeat - albeit still fundamentally Spartan - direction.

                                                                                                                                                Combining elements of rock and jazz a la Joni Mitchell’s early 70s work, Julie And The Wooden Stars somehow translated the coldness of the Canadian winter into one of the warmest and most tender records to be produced in the Eastern province in years.


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