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James Elkington

Me Neither

    Me Neither is a 29 track double album of instrumental guitar music. While juggling a number of other projects James Elkington began writing "music for which there was no purpose." It became a new way of working for him - waking up each morning and improvising and recording the first thing that came into his head. "The only rules I gave myself were that I should make most of the sounds with a guitar, changing the speed or processing the recordings afterwards to get the effect I was looking for." Before long he had an albums worth of material. About mid-way through the second album Elkington had a liberating thought: he was making his own version of library music "if you’re writing library music, you don’t have to know what it’s for - that can be someone else’s job.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. No-Shows
    2. Burial At See
    3. A Message For The Janesville King
    4. A Round, A Bout
    5. Look Spectral!
    6. The 100-Faced Magma
    7. A Breathable Liquid
    8. The Permeable Realm
    9. Section 2
    10. Double Orchid
    11. Part The Thin Painter From His Work
    12. Every Second Morning
    13. Section 3
    14. Me Neither
    15. Contact Twig Entanglement
    16. New Red Masterpiece
    17. Cup Cape
    18. The Bird Renamed
    19. Psycasts In Love
    20. Where For Do I Run
    21. The Home Counties
    22. Today’s Dictation
    23. Untidled
    24. Sleep Baguettes Sleep
    25. Infintu B
    26. Tree Breather
    27. The Incredible Waist Of Time
    28. Nor Yet Door But The One
    29. The Winner Takes It All

    Cian Nugent

    She Brings Me Back To The Land Of The Living

      Meaning can come from surprising places. In 2020 the Irish guitarist Cian Nugent moved back into his family home in Dublin to care for his mother, Kathy, who was then recovering from a stroke and experiencing aphasia (di­culty with speech). She began saying: “she brings me back to the land of the living” seemingly out of nowhere and with little knowledge of its origin or meaning. "It stuck with me," says Cian, who at the time was working on songs for what would become his 4th album, and felt it would make an apt title for that record. "The songs here act as a way of processing change and accepting new futures." Kathy also provides the cover art, a painting she made while still in the hospital.

      Seven years since Nugent's previous album, She Brings Me Back To The Land Of The Living merges the previously explored styles across Night Fiction (2016), the expansive Born With The Caul (2014) and his enigmatic debut Doubles (2011). Extensive touring across North America and Europe, including work as a guitarist with Steve Gunn, Ryley Walker and Nap Eyes, provided Nugent with a greater understanding of his musicianship and a clarity of purpose all of which contributed to the making of his finest album to date.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Empress
      2. The Sound Of Rain
      3. High Up Airplane
      4. Siamese Sharks
      5. I've Been Down
      6. Dogs In The Morning
      7. Pass The Time Away
      8. How Time Passes

      Jana Horn

      The Window Is The Dream

        A Rothko-esque color field set to music, The Window Is The Dream ventures even deeper into Horn’s inner space than her stark, acclaimed debut Optimism, which earned her an ‘artist to watch’ tag from The Guardian upon its release last year. For her second record, Horn travelled to upstate New York to record with a few musical touchstones in mind: the electro-primitivism of the Silver Apples, austere rhythm kings This Heat and The Raincoats’ time-bending Odyshape, however the resulting 10 songs are an entry into a world which is very much her own.

        “Her voice is just transfixing” - NPR Music

        “Horn’s debut album is a skeletal marvel that evokes Yo La Tengo and soft country shuffles” — The Guardian.

        "Deceptively gentle songs [...] they unfold like melodic dreams" — MOJO.

        "With the boiled-down quality of a good short story collection, [Optimism] is cryptic, bewildering and daringly simple" — Pitchfork.

        TRACK LISTING

        Leaving Him
        After All This Time
        Days Go By
        The Dream
        Love In Return
        Old Friend
        Song For Eve
        In Between
        Energy Go
        The Way It Is

        Chris Forsyth

        Evolution Here We Come

          To wit, if you think you know already what you’ll be getting into here heady, Television-esque multi-guitar jams played with motorik precision and a fiercely American intensity: you know, a Forsyth record well, go ahead and think that. I won’t stop you. Only . . . maybe the pulsing bass, curiously lurching drumbeat, and lunar synth squiggling of Sun Ra Arkestra maestro Marshall Allen that opens “Experimental & Professional” will set you back on your heels. But just for a moment, before Ryan Jewell’s drums and Tortoise alum Douglas McCombs’s bass twine into perfect alignment and then guitars played by Forsyth and Tom Malach (of Garcia Peoples) start chipping and hammering, twittering and sparring, the whole thing managing to evoke Remain in Light without sounding remotely like it.

          TRACK LISTING

          1. Experimental & Professional
          2. Heaven For A Few
          3. Bad Moon Risen
          4. You're Going To Need Somebody
          5. Hey, Evolution
          6. Long Beach Idyll
          7. Robot Energy Machine

          Joan Shelley

          The Spur

            Joan Shelley returns with "The Spur" her fi­rst new album in three years. The twelve song set is a profound meditation on light and darkness, recorded in the spring of 2021 at Earthwave Farm in the Kentucky countryside.

            James Elkington serves as co-producer (alongside Shelley) and the album features collaborations with Bill Callahan, Meg Baird and the British novelist Max Porter along with Shelley’s musical partner and husband Nathan Salsburg.

            Shelley says: “The Spur” is the result of a period of opposite extremes: of intellectual hyper-connection and physical isolation. This album will forever be fused with the memory of our marriage, the birth of our child, and the intense joy despite the darkness”.

            "The Kentucky singer-songwriter has come to fully master a sense of radiant calm." - NPR Music.

            "Her poetic imagery is dazzling" - The Guardian.

            TRACK LISTING

            1. Forever Blues
            2. The Spur
            3. Home
            4. Amberlit Morning
            5. Like The Thunder
            6. When The Light Is Dying
            7. Breath For The Boy
            8. Fawn
            9. Why Not Liver Here
            10. Bolt
            11. Between Rock & Sky
            12. Completely

            Richard Thompson

            Grizzly Man (Soundtrack)

              The remastered, repackaged set Music From Grizzly Man contains all of the out of print material Thompson recorded for the acclaimed documentary. Richard Thompson's score for “Grizzly Man” Werner Herzog's 2005 documentary film of real life and death in the Alaskan wilderness is one of the best-kept secrets in the British guitarist's epic canon: an instrumental masterpiece disguised as a movie soundtrack. Recorded over two days as Thompson played live in the studio to Herzog's footage – mostly alone, at times in chamber settings with cello, piano and percussion – these tenderly detailed melodies and quietly visceral improvisations are cinema in their own right, rendered with pictorial instinct and the dazzling technique forged in Thompson's lifelong passage through traditional folk, psychedelia, North African modes and intensely personal songwriting. Here is Thompson at his natural best – finger-picking dance; snake-curl twang and singing-wire harmonics – in a solo clarity that runs from jig-like joy to deep-note meditation, the "Main Title" blues march with its echoes of Fairport Convention's "Sloth" to the long night of "Treadwell No More," a harrowing darkness in slicing treble and tremolo shiver. Produced by guitarist Henry Kaiser, Grizzly Man is a record of powerful solitude as bold and majestic as the land in Herzog's film; as intimate as prayer and essential Richard Thompson.

              TRACK LISTING

              1. Tim & The Bears
              2. Grizzly Man
              3. Foxes
              4. Ghosts In The Maze
              5. Glencoe
              6. Parents
              7. Bear Swim
              8. Twilight Cowboy
              9. The Kibosh
              10. Treadwell No More
              11. Teddy Bear
              12. Small Racket
              13. Streamwalk
              14. That's My Story*
              15. Bear Fight*
              16. Big Racket*
              17. Corona For Mr. Chocolate
              18. Grizzly Man (Revisited)
              * CD Only.

              Garcia Peoples

              Dodging Dues

                Dodging Dues is a startlingly expansive record “startling” in part because it’s relatively short (seven songs, all but one hovering around the four minute mark), but also because it traverses so many moods and styles: languid and dreamy one moment, surging and intense the next.

                Garcia Peoples (these days a six-person band) “hit their stride” a long time ago, but here they seem to be hitting a different one, working themselves loose of influences (though this tree has roots: traces of Thin Lizzy, of more arcane bits of U.K. folk-prog, of vintage Meat Puppets in some of the softer passages) while at the same time opening themselves up to their own individual strangeness, becoming ever more singular and ever more free.

                TRACK LISTING

                1. False Company
                2. Cold Dice
                3. Tough Freaks
                4. Stray Cats
                5. Here We Are
                6. Cassandra
                7. Fill Your Cup 

                Jana Horn

                Optimism

                  Optimism is the debut album from Jana Horn of Austin, Texas. Originally self-released in a small vinyl edition, now widely available. Horn says the LP, "seemed to come about indirectly, almost in passing, a feeling of being in-between things. I was really mobile at that time, living wherever... I had just discovered, late, Raymond Carver Broadcast, Sybil Baier, Annette Peacock, Richard & Linda Thompson, a short story called “Car Crash While Hitchhiking” by Denis Johnson. I had “Heart Needs a Home” in mind, “The Great Valerio;” I was just really moving through the world, hanging in the shadows of the people I wanted to be. Hoping, looking out, this is Optimism. I was looking for anything."

                  TRACK LISTING

                  1. Friends Again
                  2. Time Machine
                  3. Optimism
                  4. Changing Lives
                  5. Man Meandering
                  6. Tonight
                  7. A Good Thing
                  8. Jordan
                  9. Driving
                  10. When I Go Down Into The Night

                  Michael Hurley

                  The Time Of The Foxgloves

                    Michael Hurley's first new studio record in 12 years features eleven songs recorded in Astoria, Oregon during the brief time of year when the foxgloves bloom. Hurley had been workshopping the set at home for the past few years. Friends and collaborators came into town and contributed from afar. The songs are lifted by violin, organ, upright bass, banjo, percussion - but at the center, of course, is the enigmatic Snock, whose songs have grown only more unique and more 57 years after his debut album (First Songs - Folkways, 1964).

                    It could only be Snock. Heartbreaking, heartfelt, easy and carefree. The glorious opener “Are You Here For The Festival” – punctuated by a pair of violins – came to him while working in the garden. “Little Blue River” floats by on a cloud. The haunting “Jacob’s Ladder” sounds beamed in from another era. Or dimension. Foxgloves is as comforting and wonderful as any Hurley record that has come before it

                    TRACK LISTING

                    1 Are You Here For The Festival
                    2 Alabama
                    3 Se Fue En La Noche
                    4 Blondes And Redheads
                    5 Love Is The Closest Thing
                    6 Boulevard
                    7 Knocko The Monk
                    8 Jacob’s Ladder
                    9 Little Blue River
                    10 Beer, Ale And Wine
                    11 Lush Green Trees

                    Endless Boogie

                    Admonitions

                      Endless Boogie re-joins with its fifth proper studio album. It contains and is called ADMONITIONS. Seven tracks of unrefined wisdom, mostly put to tape in improvised fashion with little to no warning. Recorded over two years and two sessions - at the pastoral tranquility of the Stockholm inland archipelago in 2018, and in the dank, cramped basement of a Fort Greene, Brooklyn studio in February 2020. Eklow on crude direction, Sweeney on stealth glamour, the obscurantist clarity of Paul Major is, as always, as ever, on full display, the fierce reality of Mike Bones is crucial, and the stoic solidity of The Harry Druzd lays beneath it all. Old pal Kurt Vile hovers over COUNTERFEITER.

                      Full grease, delivered with ease. It is the band’s humble wish that you immerse yourself and this offering.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      1. The Offender
                      2. Disposable Thumbs
                      3. Bad Call
                      4. Counterfeiter Feat.
                      5. Jim Tully
                      6. The Conversation
                      7. The Incompetent Villains Of 1968

                      Nathan Salsburg

                      Psalms

                        Acclaimed guitarist Nathan Salsburg has announced a new record Psalms which will be released on August 20th. Psalms is a collection of new arrangement of Biblical psalms, sung in Hebrew by Salsburg with a backing band which includes Joan Shelley, Will Oldham, James Elkington and Spencer Tweedy. Salsburg, an archivist with the Alan Lomax Archive, says the project came of "a desire for some kind of rigorous and creative Jewish engagement, which came to take shape in the irregular practice of opening a bilingual Book of Psalms at random, scanning the English of a particular chapter for passages that resonated conceptually and emotionally, and scanned rhythmically.

                        Copying those selections over to a separate page," then threading them into new melodies. He goes on to say: My formative experiences with Jewish music were collective and participatory, at synagogue and summer camp in the ‘80s and early ‘90s, where the repertoire was heavy with “American nusach.” Played on acoustic guitars, combining liturgical Hebrew with contemporary English translations and Israeli folk-song lyrics, it was meant to be sung with maximum physical investment (jumping, shouting, dancing, swaying) for maximum emotional return, which it absolutely delivered. Its earnestness was its cardinal virtue, as it provided an experience of catharsis similarly guileless and really quite liberating for the young Upper Southern/Midwestern Jew I was.

                        It was not, however, music that I could carry into adulthood—I was too old for summer camp; I stopped attending synagogue with any regularity; I sought more than unadulterated emotionalism. I became drawn, then, to Jewish music in which I was incapable of participating: in time, klezmer and cantorial performances on 78-rpm records; in space, the devotional traditions of Sephardic and Mizrahi communities. So when I heard Dark’cho, David Asher Brook and Jonathan Harkham’s 2004 album of traditional Chasidic melodies and liturgical pieces, I was smitten by it and brought it in close. It was delicate, intentional music, made by sensibilities I felt in tune with. It was sung quietly and played sparely on instruments I might have chosen. Its spirit was of private meditation as opposed to collective ecstasy; its sound more of seeking than of finding. It was the stuff of aspiration, and it served as a guide to the practice from which Psalms emerged. Nathan Salsburg is based in Louisville, Kentucky.

                        In 2012 Bob Boilen of NPR Music declared him "likely to become one of those names we all associate with American folk guitar." He has released three solo guitar albums, the most recent Third (2018) was called his "finest outing yet" by Aquarium Drunkard. He has played on albums by The Weather Station and Shirley Collins, and since 2014, has toured and recorded an accompanist to Joan Shelley. In 2020 he released two volumes Landwerk, new instrumental compositions which used fragments of 78's as their melodic base. He also recently collaborated with Bonnie "Prince" Billy and the author Max Porter on the Three Feral Pieces EP

                        TRACK LISTING

                        1 Psalm 47
                        2 Psalm 19
                        3 Psalm 147
                        4 Psalm 90
                        5 Psalm 33
                        6 Eli, Elli + Psalm 42
                        7 Psalm 104
                        8 O You Who Sleep + Psalm 96
                        9 Psalm 111


                        Joan Shelley

                        Electric Ursa - Purple Vinyl Reissue

                          Joan Shelley’s out of print 2014 album is repackaged here in a deluxe tip-on jacket and pressed on purple vinyl. Limited to 2,000 copies worldwide.

                          Electric Ursa was recorded out of the spotlight in Louisville, Kentucky. A quiet, 8 song record which owes much to the post-rock history of its hometown on songs like “Something Small” and “Rising Air”, while “River Low” and “Electric Ursa” hint at the brilliant Over and Even waiting just around the corner. Electric Ursa brought Shelley to the national stage. Rolling Stone noted that the songs project “a huge, resplendently pained serenity” while Pitchfork declared that while the album “isn’t [her] debut, it is her absolute arrival.”

                          TRACK LISTING

                          1. Something Small
                          2. Rising Air
                          3. First Of August
                          4. River Low
                          5. Remedios
                          6. Long Way To Night
                          7. Moss & Marrow
                          8. Electric Ursa

                          Joan Shelley

                          Ginko - Sea Green Vinyl Reissue

                            Pressed on Sea Green vinyl, packaged in a deluxe tip-on jacket, and limited to 2,000 copies worldwide.

                            The debut album by Joan Shelley pressed on vinyl for the first time. Originally released in 2012 and long-elusive to fans, Ginko is the starting point for Shelley, now revered for her songwriting, “dazzling poetic imagery” (The Guardian) and “radiant sense of calm” (NPR Music). Standout tracks “By The Ohio” and “Siren” show what is to come, while “Sure As Night” was her first collaboration with guitarist Nathan Salsburg.

                            TRACK LISTING

                            1. Ginko
                            2. Ice
                            3. The Pain For Your Pleasure
                            4. Siren
                            5. Sure As Night
                            6. Into The Sea
                            7. Sweet Dark-Haired Man
                            8. Your Doll
                            9. The Door
                            10. Unbound
                            11. By The Ohio

                            Joan Shelley

                            Like The River Loves The Sea

                              Much of this album was recorded in Iceland. Breath warm from singing rises into frozen air. Atomized. A million bright blue crystals — the fractal branching of the lungs — drift back to earth. Radiant, refracting. Clear notes melt like perfect soft snow. Straight lines curve and curve again.

                              Much of this album was recorded in Iceland, but Joan Shelley wrote these songs in Kentucky. That’s the dirt clinging to their roots. The wind blowing through Osage orange and pine trees is the joy and ache and urgency of these songs. It’s the silence and the music. It’s the space between time and words and the stillness in Joan’s voice. The world spins more slowly. Moss overtakes a fallen tree.

                              Kentucky is where we plant seeds of regret and stay to watch them flower.

                              Maybe Mark Twain said that Kentucky (always five years behind the times) was the perfect place to ride out the apocalypse. Maybe it’s twenty years. Maybe it’s apocryphal. That doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

                              “And oh, Kentucky
                              Stays in my mind it’s sweet to be five years behind
                              That’s where I’ll be
                              When the seas rise
                              Holding my dear friends and drinking wine...”

                              Maybe the world outside has already vaporized. Maybe we’re already living on borrowed time. Nathan Salsburg’s guitar pours out clean as water through his fingers, turning over every smooth stone. Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s harmonies stretch time tight enough to break without breaking. Joan’s voice calls us back. Birds are singing outside. Insistent. Don’t miss what’s right in front of you.

                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Barry says: We've had a few great country albums in in the past few weeks (either that or my country appreciation is inexplicably growing), with Lillie Mae's 'Other Girls' on Third Man last week, and now this tender beauty possibly trumping it, all shimmering guitars and soaring vocals over the balmy shimmering Americana-isms working their way underneath.

                              TRACK LISTING

                              1 Haven
                              2 Coming Down For You
                              3 Teal
                              4 Cycle
                              5 When What It Is
                              6 The Fading
                              7 The Sway
                              8 Awake
                              9 Stay All Night
                              10 Tell Me Something
                              11 High On The Mountain
                              12 Any Day Now

                              It was never intended to get this far. Endless Boogie had been a band for six years when they were invited by Slint to play the All Tomorrow's Parties festival in the UK. Up to that point, they had been perfectly content existing only at their weekly Lower East Side rehearsals (and the occasional New York City show). At the time, Jesper Eklow and Mark Ohe worked at Matador Records, and word had begun to spread about the Art Departments band. They figured if they were leaving the country to play a show, they should have something to sell, so they pulled some recordings from their rehearsal tape archive, ran two small pressings, hand stamped some sleeves, and the Endless Boogie story officially began. The records (often referred to as "black" and "white") have long fetched high prices on the secondary market. They're back in print here and packaged together as a double CD / double LP set. Vinyl comes in an debossed gatefold jacket. CDs come packaged in a gatefold wallet. 

                              TRACK LISTING

                              1 Outside Of My Mind
                              2 Dirty Angel
                              3 Stanton Karma
                              4 Came Wide, Game Finish
                              5 Style Of Jamboree
                              6 Morning Line Dirt

                              Chris Forsyth

                              All Time Present

                                The annals of music history are overflowing with gifted guitar players whose egos prevented them from reaching their full potential: rather than being content to be exceptional members of a band, they instead create unexceptional records as leaders in vain attempts to prove their worth as solo artists. Guitarist-songwriter-bandleader Chris Forsyth is the rare exception that proves the rule. Rightfully but somewhat reductively known as a guitar player par excellence, one listen to Forsyth's latest double album, All Time Present, reveals that while his dazzling musicianship can always be taken for granted, it's hardly the whole story.

                                Forsyth's albums-presented with his Solar Motel Band or nominally solo, as here-have always been evidence of a musical mind brimming with ideas. Forsyth is joined on All Time Present by bassist Peter Kerlin and multi-instrumentalist Shawn Edward Hansen, both longtime foils; new to the group is Ryan Jewell, a sublimely talented drummer whose musicality is seemingly bottomless. With this group, Forsyth is at the peak of his powers. All Time Present is the rare double album that goes by in a flash. Indeed, one of Forsyth's greatest strengths as a composer and bandleader is his consistent ability to sustain interest even when at his most brazenly improvisational: he drifts, but he never meanders. On All Time Present, Forsyth's particular drift is like that of a proverbial wallflower with a sudden surge of unselfconscious courage toward the dance floor. 

                                TRACK LISTING

                                1. Tomorrow Might As Well Be Today
                                2. Mystic Mountain
                                3. The Man Who Knows Too Much
                                4. Dream Song
                                5. The Past Ain’t Passed
                                6. New Paranoid Cat
                                7. (Livin’ On) Cubist Time
                                8. Techno Top

                                Doug Paisley

                                Growing Souls / Lies To Lies

                                  THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2014 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                                  ‘Growing Souls’ is from the critically acclaimed album ‘Strong Feelings’.

                                  Backed by an exclusive B-side left over from the sessions for that record.

                                  Available exclusively for Record Store Day.

                                  Limited to 100 copies for the UK and Ireland.

                                  Cian Nugent & The Cosmos

                                  Born With The Caul

                                  Cian Nugent is a guitar player from Dublin, Ireland whose music combines personal passions, such as suburban / coastal blues, traditional music, 1960s and 70s singer-songwriters, psychedelic rock, jazz ambitions and 20th century composition.

                                  ‘Born With The Caul’ is his first full length with four piece band The Cosmos, and follows his critically acclaimed 2011 solo effort ‘Doubles’. Like that album, ‘Born With The Caul’ is comprised of a few expansive, developed pieces (three, to be exact). Led by Nugent’s guitar playing - always inviting, subdued and unpredictable - the band takes these songs into darker, richer territories opening a whole new galaxy for this young guitar player to explore.

                                  Nathan Salsburg

                                  Hard For To Win And Can't Be Won

                                    Nathan Salsburg’s 2011 debut was a beautiful ode to racehorses (a point of pride for any resident of Kentucky). Comprised of seven acoustic guitar instrumentals and one vocal track, ‘Affirmed’ caused Popmatters to declare the record “one that others like it will soon be measured against.”

                                    His second album, ‘Hard For To Win And Can’t Be Won’, is a grander effort. Although still primarily composed of acoustic guitar, the songs sound bigger. They bounce along, weaving through unexpected twists and turns, with the occasional piano melody or fiddle line.

                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    First Field Path
                                    Mrs Gristles Reel
                                    Paraffin Turpentine
                                    Coll Mackensie
                                    Concessions
                                    Dog At Bay
                                    Chief Wants
                                    To Welcome The Travelers Home
                                    What Can’t Be Won

                                    Family Band is a collaboration between visual artist turned singer Kim Krans and heavy-metal guitarist Jonny Ollsin. The couple met in the Catskill Mountains in 2005 and still write many of their songs there in a two room, hand-built cabin.

                                    ‘Grace & Lies’ is the group's second album, and as the title suggests, it is equal parts light and shadow, evoking the mystery and terror of early Cat Power, the ghostly aura of Warpaint (with whom Family Band toured in 2011), and the hushed longing of prime-era Cowboy Junkies.

                                    Though they explored similar territory - both sonically and lyrically - on their self-released debut, ‘Miller Path’, on ‘Grace & Lies’ their canvas is wider; the greys lusher; the blacks deeper.

                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    Night Song
                                    Lace
                                    Moonbeams
                                    Ride
                                    Your Name
                                    Again
                                    Grace & Lies
                                    Keeper
                                    Rest


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