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SUB POP

The Postal Service

Give Up

    The Postal Service is Ben Gibbard from Death Cab For Cutie and Jimmy Tamborello from DNTEL and what a smart record this is. Bedroom electronics combine with proper songs like a weirded-out Lightning Seeds or even New Order. In fact, there's an oddly 80s feel to this sound, so dated it sounds uniquely futuristic! Sad, pretty, poppy songs, Sarah Records but without the guitars. If you liked the Field Mice, you'll love this.

    TRACK LISTING

    The District Sleeps Alone
    Tonight
    Such Great Heights
    Sleeping In
    Nothing Better
    Recycled Air
    Clark Gable
    We Will Become
    Silhouettes
    This Place Is A Prison
    Brand New Colony
    Natural Anthem

    The Shins

    Oh, Inverted World - 20th Anniversary Edition

      Oh, Inverted World, the earth-shattering, indie-rock-redefining 2001 debut album by The Shins, is presented here in its finest form, dressed up all nice for its 20th birthday. The classic tunes get new life by way of a full remastering job under band leader James Mercer’s watchful eye, the art is given a little extra zest via a die-cut jacket and a classy inner sleeve, and the package is rounded off with a big ol’ booklet with vintage photos, handwritten lyrics, and more.

      The music, of course, is obviously essential. Aside from a friendly reminder that this is the album with the smash hit “New Slang,” as heard in the hit movie Garden State, we just need to note that the remastering job truly makes this the album James Mercer always wanted it to be. Never quite satisfied with the sonics of the original, Mercer took the 20th anniversary of the album as his opportunity to finally set the (literal!) record straight. And the results sound stellar: great for new fans, and well worth the attention of those already on board!

      For old times’ sake, here’s what we had to say about this record back when it came out: Hailing from Albuquerque, NM, The Shins sprung from the ashes of Flake/Flake Music in 1997 (though those previous incarnations date back nearly a decade) – same members, different instruments, different approach. Counterpoint guitars have given way to a single guitar pitted against calculated keyboard passages; swarming indie rock machinations led to pop-based melodic endeavors (who knew?).

      TRACK LISTING

      Caring Is Creepy
      One By One All Day
      Weird Divide
      Know Your Onion!
      Girl Inform Me
      New Slang
      The Celibate Life
      Girl On The Wing
      Your Algebra
      Pressed In A Book
      The Past And Pending

      CHAI

      Wink

        Since breaking out in 2018, CHAI have been associated with explosive joy. At their live shows, the Japanese four-piece of identical twins MANA (lead vocals and keys) and KANA (guitar), drummer YUNA, and bassist-lyricist YUUKI have become known for buoyant displays of eclectic and clever songwriting, impressive musicianship, matching outfits, delightful choreography, and sheer relief. At the core of their music, CHAI have upheld a stated mission to deconstruct the standards of beauty and cuteness that can be so oppressive in Japan. Following the release of 2019’s second album PUNK, CHAI’s adventures took them around the world, to music festivals like Primavera Sound and Pitchfork Music Festival, and touring with indie-rock mainstays like Whitney and Mac DeMarco.

        Like all musicians, CHAI spent 2020 forced to rethink the fabric of their work and lives. But CHAI took this as an opportunity to shake up their process and bring their music somewhere thrillingly new. Having previously used their maximalist recordings to capture the exuberance of their live shows, with the audiences’ reactions in mind, CHAI instead focused on crafting the slightly-subtler and more introspective kinds of songs they enjoy listening to at home—where, for the first time, they recorded all of the music. Amidst the global shutdown, CHAI worked on Garageband and traded their song ideas—which they had more time than ever to consider—over Zoom and phone calls, turning their limitations into a strength.

        Their third full-length and first for Sub Pop, WINK contains CHAI’s mellowest and most minimal music, and also their most affecting and exciting songwriting by far. While the band leaned into a more personal sound, WINK is also the first CHAI album to feature contributions from outside producers (Mndsgn, YMCK) as well as a feature from the Chicago rapper-singer Ric Wilson. CHAI draw R&B and hip-hop into their mix (Mac Miller, the Internet, and Brockhampton were on their minds) of dance-punk and pop-rock, all while remaining undeniably CHAI. Whether in relation to this newfound sense of openness or their at-home ways of composing, the theme of WINK is to challenge yourself.

        WINK is a fitting title then: a subtle but bold gesture. A wink is an unselfconscious act of conviction, or as CHAI puts it: “A person who winks is a person with a pure heart, who lives with flexibility, who does what they want. A person who winks is a person who is free.” YUUKI noted that “With this album, we’re winking at you. We’re living freely and we hope that when you listen, you can wink and live freely, too.”

        CHAI came to see the album—with its home-y feel—as a collection where each song is like a new friend, something comforting to rely on and reach out to, as the album was for them throughout 2020. This impulse towards connection is in WINK’s title, too. After the “i” of their debut album PINK and the “u” of PUNK—which represented the band’s act of introducing themselves, and then of centering their audiences—they have come full circle with the “we” of WINK. It signals CHAI’s relationship with the outside world, an embrace of profound togetherness. Through music, as CHAI said, “we are all coming together.” In that act of opening themselves up, CHAI grew into their best work: “This album showed us, we’re ready to do more.”

        TRACK LISTING

        Donuts Mind If I Do
        Maybe Chocolate Chips (feat. Ric Wilson)
        ACTION
        END
        PING PONG! (feat. YMCK)
        Nobody Knows We Are Fun
        It's Vitamin C
        IN PINK (feat. Mndsgn)
        KARAAGE
        Miracle
        Wish Upon A Star
        Salty

        Iron & Wine

        Archive Series Volume No. 5: Tallahassee Recordings

          Archive Series Volume No. 5: Tallahassee is the lost-in-time debut album from Iron & Wine. A collection of songs recorded three years prior to his official Sub Pop debut, The Creek Drank the Cradle (2002). A period before the concept of Iron & Wine existed and principal songwriter Sam Beam was studying at Florida State University with the intent of pursuing a career in film. Tallahassee documents the very first steps on a journey that would lead to a career as one of America’s most original and distinctive singer-songwriters.

          Creek arrived like a thief in the night with its lo-fi, hushed vocals and intimate nature, while almost inversely Tallahassee comes with a strange sense of confidence. Perhaps an almost youthful discretion that likely comes from being too young to know better and too naïve to give a shit. The recordings themselves are more polished than Creek and give a peak into what a studio version of that record might have offered up.

          Tallahassee was recorded over the course of 1998-1999 when Beam and future bandmate EJ Holowicki moved into a house together. Beam had not been performing publicly, however he was known for playing an original song or two in the early morning glow of a long night. Holowicki also in the film program and who would go onto a career as a sound designer at Skywalker Sound, had a mobile recording device and after some prodding convinced his friend to record these late-night meditations.

          Together they would record close to twenty-four songs, ideas and sketches, with EJ on bass and Sam on vocals, guitar, harmonica and drums. The recordings – all captured in the house where they lived – have a “live in the room” feel akin to say Neil Young’s Harvest or Nick Drake’s Five Leaves Left, rather than the homespun lo-fi 4-track home recording experiment taking place at the time.

          These recordings, minus one track, have never been made available and were instead left preserved on a hard drive for the last twenty years. The one track that floated out there, called “In Your Own Time” was shared without a title to childhood friend Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses) at some point. The song became known as the “Fuck Like A Dog” song and Ben shared it with more than a few folks during the golden era of mix cd’s. Two of those folks were Jonathan Poneman from Sub Pop and journalist Mike McGonigal, who included it on his best songs of 2001 mix cd, passed out to friends and acquaintances. And for many that is where the Iron & Wine story begins, until now…

          Tallahassee is the foreword to your favorite book that you’ve somehow skipped over time and time again. It’s an alternative history mixed with some revisionist history told over the course of eleven songs. It’s also the debut record by Iron & Wine some twenty years after the fact. 

          TRACK LISTING

          Why Hate The Winter
          This Solemn Day
          Loaning Me Secrets
          John's Glass Eye
          Calm On The Valley
          Ex-Lover Lucy Jones
          Elizabeth
          Show Him The Ground
          Straight And Tall
          Cold Town
          Valentine

          Ya Tseen

          Indian Yard

            Band founder, Nicholas Galanin is one of the most vital voices in contemporary art. His work spans sculpture, video, installation, photography, jewelry and music; advocating for Indigenous sovereignty, racial, social and environmental justice, for present, and future generations. Indian Yard is a compelling document of humanity centered in an Indigenous perspective. Created by one of the world’s foremost Indigenous artists, the irrepressible Indian Yard is an intense illumination of feeling and interconnectedness. On the groups’ debut offering, "Close the Distance”, Galanin “reflects on the universal need for connection and the expression of desire across distances. The official video, directed by Stephan Gray (Shabazz Palaces “Dawn In Luxor,” “Deesse Du Sang”), extends beyond human experience to consider physical expressions of desire in biological, mechanical, and celestial forms."

            TRACK LISTING

            Knives (feat. Portugal. The Man)
            Light The Torch
            Born Into Rain (feat. Rum.gold & Tunia)
            At Tugáni
            Get Yourself Together
            Close The Distance
            We Just Sit And Smile Here In Silence
            A Feeling Undefined (feat. Nick Hakim & Iska Dhaaf)
            Synthetic Gods (feat. Shabazz Palaces & Stas THEE Boss)
            Gently To The Sun (feat. Tay Sean)
            Back In That Time (feat. Qacung)

            Father John Misty

            Fear Fun - Reissue

              Father John Misty is the nom-de-plume of Josh Tillman, who has been recording and releasing solo albums under his own name since 2003 and who recently left Seattle’s Fleet Foxes after playing drums with them from 2008-2011.

              When discussing Father John Misty, Tillman paraphrases Philip Roth: “‘It’s all of me and none of me, if you can’t see that, you won’t get it.’”

              ‘Fear Fun’, Father John Misty’s album from 2012 and now available again through Sub Pop, began gestating during what Tillman describes as an “immobilizing period of depression” in his former Seattle home, when he had lost interest in songwriting and wound up finding his voice by writing a novel. After breaking from Seattle and settling in a spider-infested Laurel Canyon treehouse, Tillman spent months demoing songs, eventually liberating himself from his creative impasse. With the help of LA producer/songwriter/pal Jonathan Wilson, a wealth of talented musicians kicking around LA and producer Phil Ek (who everyone knows has worked with Built to Spill, Modest Mouse, Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes), ‘Fear Fun’ blossomed into a fully-formed expression of Tillman’s unrestrained vision.

              ‘Fear Fun’ consists of such disparate elements as Waylon Jennings, Harry Nilsson, Arthur Russell, All Things Must Pass and Physical Graffiti, often within the same song. Tillman’s voice has never been better and often sounds like Roy Orbison at his most joyous, while the music maintains a dark, mysterious yet playful, almost Dionysian quality.

              Lyrically, his absurdist fever dreams of pain and pleasure elicit, in equal measures, the blunt descriptive power of Bukowski or Brautigan, the hedonist-philosophy of Oscar Wilde and the dried-out wit of Loudon Wainwright III.

              TRACK LISTING

              Funtimes In Babylon
              Nancy From Now On
              Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings
              I’m Writing A Novel
              O I Long To Feel Your Arms Around Me
              Misty’s Nightmares 1 & 2
              Only Son Of The Ladiesman
              This Is Sally Hatchet
              Well, You Can Do It Without Me
              Now I’m Learning To Love The War
              Tee Pees 1-12
              Everyman Needs A Companion

              Flock Of Dimes

              Head Of Roses

                On her second full-length record, Head of Roses, Jenn Wasner follows a winding thread of intuition into the unknown and into healing, led by gut feelings and the near-spiritual experience of visceral songwriting. The result is a combination of Wasner’s ability to embrace new levels of vulnerability, honesty and openness, with the self-assuredness that comes with a decade-plus career as a songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist and prolific collaborator.  Simply put, Head of Roses is a record about heartbreak, but from a dualistic perspective. It’s about the experience of having one’s heart broken and breaking someone else’s heart at the same time. But beyond that, it’s about having to reconcile the experience of one’s own pain with the understanding that it’s impossible to go through life without being the source of great pain for someone else.

                “Part of the journey for me has been learning to take responsibility for the parts of things that are mine, even when I’m in a lot of pain through some behavior or action of someone else. If I’m expecting to be forgiven for the things I’ve done and the choices I’ve made and the mistakes that I’ve made, it would be incredibly cowardly and hypocritical to not also do the work that’s required to forgive others the pain they caused me.” Showcasing the depth of Wasner’s songwriting capabilities and the complexity of her vision, Head of Roses calls upon her singular ability to create a fully-formed sonic universe via genre-bending amalgamation of songs and her poetic and gut punch lyrics. It’s the soundtrack of Wasner letting go – of control, of heartbreak, and of hiding who she is: “I think I’ve finally reached a point in my career where I feel comfortable enough with myself and what I do, that I’m able to relax into a certain simplicity or straight forwardness that I wasn’t comfortable with before.” Head of Roses puts Wasner’s seismically powerful voice front and center. Those vocals help thread it all together -- it’s a textured musicality, quilted together by intentionality and intuition. Wasner and producer Nick Sanborn (Sylvan Esso, Made of Oak) assembled Head of Roses in the same way you’d put together a mixtape, painstakingly and carefully melding disparate parts into a whole, transcending genre to weave a story of heartache and healing together.

                And in the same way a homemade, painstakingly-crafted mixtape plays out, with the maker’s fingerprints left all over its songs – so goes Head of Roses. Carefully curated and culled from the depths of Wasner’s heartbreak and healing, it’s deeply, intensely personal. But just as we change ourselves by embracing the pain of loss and uncertainty, so too are the purpose of these songs changed through the act of creating them. Having succeeded in healing the person who made them, they now exist for those who find them in their own moments of need. Always in motion, the original spirit of creation has already flown from this place—but it’s left behind a blueprint, a tool for you, to lean on, too.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                says: Wasner's wonderfully evocative style of songwriting encompasses all of the melodicism and movement in her partnership with Any Stack for Wye Oak, but with a superb audible palette of influence seeping into the sound. Echoes of 80's synth and classic rock mix with soaring guitars and funky rolling bass. A wonderful triumph, and most importantly a great listen.

                TRACK LISTING

                1. 2 Heads
                2. Price Of Blue
                3. Two
                4. Hard Way
                5. Walking
                6. Lightning
                7. One More Hour
                8. No Question
                9. Awake For The Sunrise
                10. Head Of Roses

                TV Priest

                Uppers

                  It’s tempting to think that you have all the answers, screaming your gospel every day with certainty and anger. Life isn’t quite like that though, and the debut album from London four-piece TV Priest instead embraces the beautiful and terrifying unknowns that exist personally, politically, and culturally.

                  Posing as many questions as it answers, Uppers is a thunderous opening statement that continues the UK’s recent resurgence of grubby, furious post-punk music. It says something very different though – something completely its own.

                  Four childhood friends who made music together as teenagers before drifting apart and then, somewhat inevitably, back together late in 2019, TV Priest was borne out of a need to create together once again, and brings with it a wealth of experience and exhaustion picked up in the band’s years of pursuing ‘real life’ and ‘real jobs’, something those teenagers never had.

                  Last November, the band – vocalist Charlie Drinkwater, guitarist Alex Sprogis, bass and keys player Nic Smith and drummer Ed Kelland – played their first show, to a smattering of friends in what they describe as an “industrial freezer” in the warehouse district of Hackney Wick. “It was like the pub in Peep Show with a washing machine just in the middle…” Charlie laughs, remembering how they dodged Star Wars memorabilia and deep fat fryers while making their first statement as a band.

                  Unsurprisingly, there isn’t a precedent for launching a band during a global pandemic, but among the general sense of anxiety and unease pervading everything at the moment, TV Priest’s entrance in April with the release of debut single “House Of York” - a searing examination of the Monarchy set over wiry post-punk and fronted by a Mark E. Smith-like mouthpiece - served as a breath of fresh air among the chaos, its anger and confusion making some kind of twisted sense to the nation’s fried brains.

                  It’s the same continued global sense of anxiety that will greet the release of Uppers, and it’s an album that has a lot to say right now. Taking musical cues from post-punk stalwarts The Fall and Protomartyr as well as the mechanical, pulsating grooves of krautrock, it’s a record that moves with an untamed energy. Over the top of this rumbling musical machine is vocalist Charlie, a cuttingly funny, angry, confused, real frontman. Uppers sees TV Priest explicitly and outwardly trying to avoid narrowmindedness. Uppers sees TV Priest taking musical and personal risks, reaching outside of themselves and trying to make sense of this increasingly messy world. It's a band and a record that couldn’t arrive at a more perfect time.

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  says: The latest in a long run of bands riding the new punk revival, TV Priest mix the breathy off-kilter vocal musings of idles with the machinated percussion of the Sleaford Mods and add a healthy dash of grungy dissonance. A heady concoction indeed.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  The Big Curve
                  Press Gang
                  Leg Room
                  Journal Of A Plague Year
                  History Week
                  Decoration
                  Slideshow
                  Fathers And Sons
                  The Ref
                  Powers Of Ten
                  This Island
                  Saintless

                  Kiwi Jr.

                  Cooler Returns

                    Kiwi Jr. is a phenomenal “rock” and/or “punk” and/or “indie-rock” (whichever you like more) band from Canada, made up of Jeremy Gaudet (mic, guitar), Brohan Moore (drums), Mike Walker (bass), and Brian Murphy (guitar). Cooler Returns is their second album, and their first for Sub Pop. Despite being a snapshot of the pandemic-infused beginnings of this decade, Cooler Returns is truly a whole lot of fun.

                    RIYL indie-pop from down under, things that are smart / exuberant / catchy all at once. Buildings burning in every direction; macabre unknowns in your friendly neighbor’s basement; undecided voters sharpening their pencils: under pressure we could call Kiwi Jr.’s Cooler Returns “timely.” But what year is it, again? On Cooler Returns, Kiwi Jr. cycle through the recent zigs & looming zags of the new decade, squinting anew at New Year’s parties forgotten and under-investigated small town diner fires, piecing together low-stakes conspiracy theories on what’s coming down the pike in 2021. Put together like a thousand-piece puzzle, assembled in flow state through the first dull stretch of quarantine, sanitized singer shuffling to sanitized studio by streetcar, masked like it's the kind of work where getting recognized means getting killed, Cooler Returns materializes as a sprawling survey from the first few bites of the terrible twenties, an investigative exposé of recent history buried under the headlines & ancient kings buried under parking lots. 

                    Not so long since their debut Football Money in archaeological time, unending gray eons later in the dog years of quaran-time, spiritually antipodean Canadians Kiwi Jr return to disseminate this year's annual report to the shareholders, burying the incriminating numbers in the endless appendices of a longform narrative record, a 3,000 word tract for stakeholders to pore over. These stories - memories of Augusts past, unrepressed & transcribed fast - go down easier thanks to meaningful changes enacted in 2019’s KiwiCares Pledge: delivering on a promise to transition from Crunchy to Smooth by 2021, the caveman chug of Football Money has been steamed & pressed with the purifying air of a saloon piano - operated with bow-tie untied - and a spring green side-salad of tentatively up-tempo organ taps & freshly fluted harmonica. A chronically detuned spin of the dial through swivel-chair distractions & WFH daydreams, an immersive ctrl-tab deluge cycling through popular listicle distractions like the unentombing of Richard III, or the deja vu destruction of the Glasgow School of Art, Kiwi Jr. sing this song to an indoor audience, crisscrossing canceled, every other prestige distraction source wrung dry, only songwriting remaining to deliver engrossing tales to the populace, just how I imagine it worked in the old days.

                    Fixing loose ingredients into a sturdy whip, Kiwi Jr. beam in live from the 9-5, striding into 2021 with a mastered brainwave that comes equally from the back room of the record store as the penalty box. And how do we, left holding this box of deliberate entanglements, sign off to those as yet uninitiated, undecided, uncertain, unseen, absent return coordinates -  Best Wishes, Warm Regards, Good Luck? Cooler Returns, Cooler Returns, C o o l e r  R e t u r n s ! Cooler Returns was produced by Kiwi Jr., mixed and engineered by Graham Walsh (METZ, Bully) in Toronto, and mastered by Phillip Shaw Bova at Bova Labs in Ottawa, Ontario.

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    says: Sounding not unlike a modern version of The Strokes, Kiwi Jr mix the unhurried punky aesthetic and mild, modern fuzz with cleverly measured heft and undeniably clever songwriting.

                    TRACK LISTING

                    Side A
                    1. Tyler
                    2. Undecided Voters
                    3. Maid Marian's Toast
                    4. Highlights Of 100
                    5. Only Here For A Haircut
                    6. Cooler Returns

                    Side B
                    1. Guilty Party
                    2. Omaha
                    3. Domino
                    4. Nashville Wedding
                    5. Dodger
                    6. Norma Jean's Jacket
                    7. Waiting In Line

                    Clipping.

                    Visions Of Bodies Being Burned

                      In the horror genre, sequels are perfunctory. As the insufferable film bro Randy explains in Scream 2, “There are certain rules that one must abide by in order to create a successful sequel. Number one: the body count is always bigger. Number two: the death scenes are always much more elaborate—more blood, more gore. Carnage candy. And number three: never, ever, under any circumstances, assume the killer is dead.” Last Halloween, Los Angeles experimental rap mainstays Clipping ended their three-year silence with the horrorcore-inspired album There Existed an Addiction to Blood. This October, rapper Daveed Diggs, and producers Jonathan Snipes and William Hutson return with an even higher body count, more elaborate kills, and monsters that just won’t stay dead.

                      Visions of Bodies Being Burned is less a sequel than it is the second half of a planned diptych. It turns out, Clipping took to the thematic material of horrorcore like vampires to grave soil. Before the release of There Existed an Addiction to Blood, Clipping and Sub Pop Records divided the material up into two albums, designed to be released only months apart. However, a global pandemic and multiple canceled tours pushed the release of the project’s “part two” until the following Halloween season.

                      Visions of Bodies Being Burned contains sixteen more scary stories disguised as rap songs, incorporating as much influence from Ernest Dickerson, Clive Barker, and Shirley Jackson as it does from Three 6 Mafia, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and Brotha Lynch Hung. Clipping’s angular, shattered interpretations of existing musical styles are always deferential, driven by fandom for the object of study rather than disdain for it. Clipping reimagine horrorcore—the purposely absurdist hip-hop subgenre that flourished in the 1990s—the way Jordan Peele does horror cinema: by twisting beloved tropes to make explicit their own radical politics of monstrosity, fear, and the uncanny.

                      The album features a host of collaborators: Inglewood’s Cam & China, fellow noise-rap pioneers Ho99o9, Tortoise guitar genius Jeff Parker, and experimental LA drummer Ted Byrnes. The final track, “Secret Piece,” is a performance of a Yoko Ono text score from 1953 that instructs the players to “Decide on one note that you want to play/Play it with the following accompaniment: the woods from 5am to 8am in summer,” and features nearly all of the musicians who appeared on both albums.

                      Since their last album, Daveed Diggs—the group’s Tony and Grammy Award-winning rapper—has starred in the TNT science fiction series, Snowpiercer, voiced a character in Pixar’s Soul, and portrayed Frederick Douglass in Showtime’s The Good Lord Bird. Writer Rivers Solomon’s novella based on Clipping’s Hugo-nominated song “The Deep” has been nominated for the Nebula, Hugo, and Locus Awards, and won the Lambda Literary Award for best LGBTQ SF/Fantasy/Horror novel. Clipping’s song “Chapter 319”—a tribute to George Floyd (AKA Big Floyd) the former DJ-Screw affiliated rapper who was murdered by police officers in May of 2020—was released on Bandcamp on June 19th and raised over $20,000 for racial justice charities. A clip of the song also became a popular meme on TikTok, generating over 50,000 videos in which teenagers rapped the song’s lyrics (“Donald Trump is a white supremacist, full stop…”) directly into the frowning faces of their conservative parents. The band also contributed a Skinny Puppy-esque rework of J-Kwon’s “Tipsy” to Save Stereogum: An ‘00s Covers Comp.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      Intro
                      Say The Name
                      Wytchboard (Interlude)*
                      '96 Neve Campbell (feat. Cam & China)
                      Something Underneath
                      Make Them Dead
                      She Bad
                      Invocation (Interlude) (with Greg Stuart)*
                      Pain Everyday (with Michael Esposito)
                      Check The Lock
                      Looking Like Meat (feat. Ho99o9)
                      Drove (Interlude)*
                      Eaten Alive (with Jeff Parker & Ted Byrnes)
                      Body For The Pile (with Sickness)
                      Enlacing
                      Secret Piece

                      *CD/digital/cassette-only Tracks

                      L7

                      Smell The Magic - 30th Anniversary Edition

                        This 30th-anniversary edition of the ‘90s underground rock classic Smell the Magic includes all 9 songs from the album, remastered and available together on vinyl for the first time ever! A multitude of rock music scenes populated the expanse of Los Angeles in 1989: hardcore punk, industrial goth, roots rock, and Sunset Strip hair metal, to name a few. L7 fit into none of them, creating their own unique blend of punk and hard, hooky rock loaded with humor and cultural commentary. Originally released in 1990, Smell the Magic is a a landmark of '90s feminist rock.

                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        says: If you’ve listened to the radio in the last 30 years you can hear all sorts of examples of how much L7 influenced other acts, and this 30th anniversary reboot of their incendiary second album is a remastered gem in the weirdo goth-rock crown.

                        TRACK LISTING

                        1. Shove
                        2. Fast And Frightening
                        3. (Right On) Thru
                        4. Deathwish
                        5. Till The Wheels Fall Off
                        6. Broomstick
                        7. Packin' A Rod
                        8. Just Like Me
                        9. American Society

                        Mudhoney

                        Mudhoney

                          Mudhoney's first album proper, released in 1989 and produced by Jack Endino. 'Endino's production lives up to his reputation for rough, thick recording, but he's left just enough for the songs to breathe, whether it's the audible handclaps on "This Gift" or the quirky guitar riff leading into Dan Peters' rollicking drum rolls on "You Got It." "When Tomorrow Hits" is easily the sleeper hit of the record; later memorably covered by Sonic Boom in the dying days of Spacemen 3, its slow, dreamily threatening build shows off the band's ability for subtlety amidst the volume. "Flat out Fucked" about sums up the whole ethos of the album — careening pace, compressed feedback roar, and Mark Arm's desperate but never self-important singing resulting in neo-garage rock anti-anthems.'

                          TRACK LISTING

                          This Gift
                          Flat Out Fucked
                          Get Into Yours
                          You Got It
                          Magnolia Caboose Babyshit
                          Come To Mind
                          Here Comes Sickness
                          Running Loaded
                          The Farther I Go
                          By Her Own Hand
                          When Tomorrow Hits
                          Dead Love

                          Bully

                          Sugaregg

                            A very old saying goes that no one saves us but ourselves. Recognizing and breaking free from the patterns impeding our forward progress can be transformative — just ask Bully’s Alicia Bognanno. Indeed, the third Bully album, SUGAREGG, may not ever have come to fruition had Bognanno not navigated every kind of upheaval imaginable and completely overhauled her working process along the way.

                            “There was change that needed to happen and it happened on this record,” she says. “Derailing my ego and insecurities allowed me to give these songs the attention they deserved.”

                            SUGAREGG roars from the speakers and jumpstarts both heart and mind. Like My Bloody Valentine after three double espressos, opener “Add It On” zooms heavenward within seconds, epitomizing Bognanno’s newfound clarity of purpose, while the bass-driven melodies and propulsive beats of “Where to Start” and “Let You” are the musical equivalents of the sun piercing through a perpetually cloudy sky.

                            On songs like the strident “Every Tradition” and “Not Ashamed,” Bognanno doesn’t shy away from addressing “how I feel as a human holds up against what society expects or assumes of me as a woman, and what it feels like to naturally challenge

                            But amongst the more dense topics, there’s also a lightheartedness that was lacking on Bully’s last album, 2017’s Losing. Pointing to “Where to Start,” “You” and “Let You,” Bognanno says “there are more songs about erratic, dysfunctional love in an upbeat way, like, ‘I’m going down and that’s the only way I want to go because the momentary joy is worth it.’”

                            The artist admits that finding the proper treatment for bipolar 2 disorder radically altered her mindset, freeing her from a cycle of paranoia and insecurity about her work. “Being able to finally navigate that opened the door for me to write about it,” she says, pointing to the sweet, swirly “Like Fire” and slower, more contemplative songs such as “Prism” and “Come Down” as having been born of this new headspace. Even small changes like listening to music instead of the news first thing in the morning “made me want to write and bring that pleasure to other people.”

                            An unexpected foray into the film world also helped set the table for Sugaregg when Bognanno was asked to write songs for the 2019 movie Her Smell, starring Elisabeth Moss as the frontwoman of the fictional rock band Something She. “It got me motivated to play music again after the last album,” she says. “I loved reading the script and trying to think, what music would the character write? People asked if I’d play those songs with Bully but the whole point was for them to not be Bully songs. It was nice to get my head out of my own ass for a second and work on a project for someone else,” she says with a laugh.

                            A highly accomplished engineer who ran the boards herself on the first two Bully albums, Bognanno was ready to be free “from the weight of feeling like I had to prove to the world I was capable of engineering a record, and wanted to be content knowing for myself what I can do without needing the approval of others to validate that.”

                            So for SUGAREGG, she yielded recording and mixing responsibilities to outside collaborators for the first time and trekked to the remote Pachyderm Studios in Cannon Falls, Minn., an unexpected return to her home state. Behind the console was John Congleton, a Grammy-winner who has worked with everyone from St. Vincent and Sleater-Kinney to The War on Drugs and Modest Mouse. “Naturally, I still had reservations, but John was sensitive to where I was coming from,” Bognanno says. “He was very respectful that I’d never worked with a producer before.”

                            The studio’s rich history (classics such as Nirvana’s In Utero, PJ Harvey’s Rid of Me and Superchunk’s Foolish were recorded there) and woodsy setting quickly put Bognanno’s mind at ease. Being able to bring her dog Mezzi along for the trip didn’t hurt either. “I had never tracked a record in the summer, so waking up and going outside with her before we started each day was a great way to refresh,” she says.

                            SUGAREGG features additional contributions from longtime touring drummer Wesley Mitchell and bassist Zach Dawes, renowned for his work on recent albums by Sharon Van Etten and Lana Del Rey. Dawes and Bognanno met at Pachyderm to work on parts just two days before tracking, “but it ended up being so much less stressful than I had expected and I loved it,” she see says. “Zach wanted to be there to help and make my vision happen.”

                            With 14 songs on tape, Bognanno and friends left Pachyderm thinking SUGAREGG was done. But once back home in Nashville, she realized there was more to be written, and spent the next five months doing exactly that. Moving to Palace Studios in Toronto with Graham Walsh (Alvvays, METZ, !!!), Bognanno and Mitchell recorded “Where to Start” and “Let You,” which proved to be two of the new album’s key tracks.

                            Ultimately, SUGAREGG is a testament that profound change can yield profound results — in this case, the most expressive and powerful music of Bognanno’s career. “This is me longing to see the bigger picture, motivated and eager for contentment in the best way,” she says. “I hope the happy go lucky / fuck-it-all attitude shines through some of these songs because I really did feel like I was reentering a place I hadn’t been to in a while and was excited to be back there.”

                            TRACK LISTING

                            Add It On
                            Every Tradition
                            Where To Start
                            Prism
                            You
                            Let You
                            Like Fire
                            Stuck In Your Head
                            Come Down
                            Not Ashamed
                            Hours And Hours
                            What I Wanted

                            Washed Out

                            Purple Noon

                              Washed Out is Atlanta-based producer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Ernest Greene. Over three enchanting, critically-lauded albums and an EP, his music has proved both transportive and visual, each release inviting listeners into immersive, self-contained universes. With Purple Noon, his fourth album, and his return to Sub Pop, he delivers the most accessible Washed Out creation to date.

                              Life of Leisure, Washed Out’s 2009 debut EP, set the bar for the Chillwave era, shimmering in a warm haze of off-the-cuff Polaroids and pre-IG filters. Within and Without, his 2011 full-length debut on Sub Pop, morphed into nocturnal, icy synth-pop and embraced provocative imagery. 2013’s Paracosm was Greene’s take on psychedelia, with a full live band and kaleidoscopic light show, and saw him playing to the largest audiences of his career. The sample-heavy Mister Mellow (2017, Stone’s Throw) delivered a 360 audio/visual experience, with cut-n-paste and hand-drawn animation to match the hip-hop influences throughout the album. With each release, Greene has approached his evolving project with meticulous detail and a steadfast vision.

                              For Purple Noon, Greene again wrote, recorded, and produced the entirety of the album, with mixing handled by frequent collaborator Ben H. Allen (Paracosm, Within and Without). Production of the album followed a brief stint of writing for other artists (most notably Sudan Archives) which enabled Greene to explore genres like R&B and modern pop. These brighter, more robust sounds made their way into the songs of Purple Noon and mark a new chapter for Greene as a producer and songwriter. The vocals are front and center, tempos are slower, beats bolder, and there’s a more comprehensive depth of dynamics. One can hear the luxuriousness of Sade, the sonic bombast of Phil Collins, and the lush atmosphere of the great Balearic beat classics. Mediterranean coastlines inspired Purple Noon, and Greene pays tribute to the region’s distinct island culture - all rugged elegance and old-world charm - and uses it as a backdrop to tell stories of passion, love, and loss (Purple Noon’s title comes from the 1960 film directed by Rene Clement and based on the novel The Talented Mister Ripley by Patricia Highsmith). Much like romantic Hollywood epics, the melodrama throughout is strong: a serendipitous first meeting in “Too Late”; a passionate love affair in “Paralyzed”; disintegration of a relationship in “Time to Walk Away”; a reunion with a lost love in “Game of Chance.” Purple Noon adds a layer of emotional intensity to the escapism of Washed Out’s oeuvre, taking the music to dazzling new heights.

                              TRACK LISTING

                              Too Late
                              Face Up
                              Time To Walk Away
                              Paralyzed
                              Reckless Desires
                              Game Of Chance
                              Leave You Behind
                              Don't Go
                              Hide
                              Haunt

                              Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

                              Sideways To New Italy

                                After years spent looking out at landscapes and loved ones and an increasingly unstable world, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever have turned their gaze inward, to their individual pasts and the places that inform them, on their second full-length, Sideways to New Italy.

                                Led by singer-songwriter-guitarists Tom Russo, Joe White and Fran Keaney, the guitar-pop five-piece returned home to Australia after the relentless touring schedule that came following their critically regarded 2018 debut Hope Downs. Feeling the literal and metaphorical ground under their feet had shifted, the band began grasping for something reliable. For Keaney, that translated into writing "pure romantic fiction" and consciously avoiding the temptation of angsty break-up songs, while Russo looked north to a "bizarre place" that captured the feeling of manufacturing a sense of home when his own had disappeared.

                                The New Italy of the new album’s title is a village near New South Wales’ Northern Rivers – the area drummer Marcel Tussie is from. A blink-and-you'll-miss-it pit-stop of a place with fewer than 200 residents, it was founded by Venetian immigrants in the late-1800s and now serves as something of a living monument to Italians' contribution to Australia, with replica Roman statues dotted like alien souvenirs on the otherwise rural landscape. The parallels to the way the band attempted to maintain connections and create familiarity during their disorienting time on the road was apparent to Russo. "These are the expressions of people trying to find a home somewhere alien: trying to create a utopia in a turbulent and imperfect world."

                                The record's geographic identity emerged from the band losing their grip on their own, whether that was through the pressure of touring, the dissolution of relationships, a frustrating distance from their daily lives – or some combination of all three – that came from being slingshotted all over the world, playing sold-out headline tours and festivals including Coachella, Governors Ball, Primavera Sound, All Points East, and Pitchfork Music Festival.

                                The notion of crafting, in Russo’s words, “a utopia of where your heart’s from,” permeates Sideways to New Italy, in which early attempts at writing big, high-concept songs about The State of the World were abandoned in favor of love songs, and familiar voices and characters filter in and out, grounding the band's stories in their personal histories. There’s something comforting, too, in knowing the next time they’re buffeted from stage to stage around the world, they’ll be taking the voices of their loved ones with them, building a new totem of home no matter where they end up.

                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                says: It’s been well documented that we love the sunshine rich sound of The Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever here at Piccadilly; two EOY Top 10 entries with 2018’s ‘Hope Downs’ and 2017’s mini-album ‘The French Press’ speaks for itself. And now the Australian quintet have returned with ‘Sideways To New Italy’, a superbly crafted and exceptionally well produced album that’s easily on par with their previous releases.

                                Kicking off the album with the timeless “The Second Of The First” it’s clear that they’ve lost none of their songwriting wizardry, all the key RBCF elements are here; interlocking jangling guitars, pristine melodies, a driving rhythm section and hooks that’ll earworm their way around your head for months on end.

                                Track after track of effortless sunkissed indie-pop follow including the standout “Cars In Space” where the intertwining triple guitars really hit their peak, layers upon layers of blissful golden soundz over an infectious motorik beat. This is RBCF at their best, where all five members click into a groove that you’ll never want to end.

                                ‘Sideways To New Italy’ is the sound of a band that’s happy to be back in the confines of their studio again having spent around 18 months touring the world; finding warmth in the familiarity of their setting, but wiser for the adventures and tribulations that they’ve encountered so far. Here’s hoping the next album is just as good!

                                TRACK LISTING

                                The Second Of The First
                                Falling Thunder
                                She's There
                                Beautiful Steven
                                The Only One
                                Cars In Space
                                Cameo
                                Not Tonight
                                Sunglasses At The Wedding
                                The Cool Change

                                Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

                                Live At KEXP

                                  Ultra limited 4 track 12" of tracks recorded live at KXEP.

                                  We don't have many, so order pronto!!

                                  TRACK LISTING

                                  Side 1
                                  An Air Conditioned Man
                                  Talking Straight

                                  Side 2
                                  Mainland
                                  Fountain Of Good Fortune

                                  Man Man

                                  Dream Hunting In The Valley Of In-Between

                                    Honus Honus (aka Ryan Kattner) has devoted his career to exploring the uncertainty between life’s extremes, beauty and ugliness, order and chaos. The songs on ‘Dream Hunting In The Valley Of The In-Between’, Man Man’s first album in over six years and their Sub Pop debut, are as intimate, soulful and timeless as they are audaciously inventive and daring, resulting in his best Man Man album to date.

                                    The 17-track effort, featuring ‘Cloud Nein’, ‘Future Peg’, ‘On the Mend’, ‘Sheela’ and ‘Animal Attraction’, was produced by Cyrus Ghahremani, mixed by S. Husky Höskulds (Norah Jones, Tom Waits, Mike Patton, Solomon Burke, Bettye LaVette, Allen Toussaint) and mastered by Dave Cooley (Blood Orange, M83, DIIV, Paramore, Snail Mail, clipping).

                                    ‘Dream Hunting In The Valley Of The In-Between’ also includes guest vocals from Steady Holiday’s Dre Babinski on ‘Future Peg’ and ‘If Only’ and Rebecca Black (singer of the viral pop hit ‘Friday’) on ‘On the Mend’ and ‘Lonely Beuys’.

                                    The album follows the release of ‘Beached’ and ‘Witch’, Man Man’s contributions to Vol. 4 of the Sub Pop Singles Club in 2019.

                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    Dreamers
                                    Cloud Nein
                                    On The Mend
                                    Lonely Beuys
                                    Future Peg
                                    Goat
                                    Inner Iggy
                                    Hunters
                                    Oyster Point
                                    The Prettiest Song In The
                                    World
                                    Animal Attraction
                                    Sheela
                                    Unsweet Meat
                                    Swan
                                    Powder My Wig
                                    If Only
                                    In The Valley Of The In-Between

                                    Shabazz Palaces

                                    The Don Of Diamond Dreams

                                      Shabazz Palaces’ Black Up, the group’s Sub Pop debut, was recently hailed as one of the best albums of the decade by outlets like Pitchfork, Gorilla Vs Bear, and Variety. Pitchfork summed it up thusly: “Black Up is drowned in murky instrumentals and bombastic, introspective rhymes. The sounds flirt with jazz but also root themselves in a firm understanding of silence, or the sparse magic of simplicity. The songs teem with unexpected climaxes...From great mystery exploded an album of impossible vision.” That “impossible vision” has continued to confound and engage Shabazz Palaces fans over the course of four acclaimed albums and two EPs. Each release feels like an evolution, letting the music speak for itself, while slowly revealing more about its creator. With The Don of Diamond Dreams, the group’s fifth album, that spirit remains, this time embracing modernism in hip-hop and rap.

                                      Featuring 10 tracks in 43 minutes, the album features the highlights “Fast Learner (ft. Purple Tape Nate),” “Chocolate Souffle,” “Bad Bitch Walking (ft. Stas THEE Boss), and “Thanking The Girls.” It also features contributions from singer/keyboardist Darrius Willrich, Seattle’s OCnotes (who collaborated with Shabazz leader Ishmael Butler on the Knife Knights project), Los Angeles musician Carlos Overall, and bassist Evan Flory-Barnes. The Don of Diamond Dreams was recorded throughout 2019 and produced by Shabazz Palaces at Protect and Exalt: A Black Space in Seattle, mixed and engineered by Erik Blood at Studio 4 Labs in Venice, California, and mastered by Scott Sedillo at Bernie Grundman Mastering in Los Angeles.


                                      TRACK LISTING

                                      Portal North: Panthera
                                      Ad Ventures
                                      Fast Learner Ft. Purple Tape Nate
                                      Wet
                                      Chocolate Souffle
                                      Portal South: Micah
                                      Bad Bitch Walking Ft. Stas THEE Boss
                                      Money Yoga Ft. Darrius
                                      Thanking The Girls
                                      Reg Walks By The Looking Glass Ft. Carlos Overall

                                      Moaning

                                      Uneasy Laughter

                                        What happens when an abrasive rock trio trades guitars for synths, cranks up the beats and leans into the everyday anxieties of simply being a functioning human in the 21st century? The answer is Uneasy Laughter, the sensational second Sub Pop release from Los Angeles-based Moaning.

                                        Vocalist/guitarist Sean Solomon, bassist/keyboardist Pascal Stevenson and drummer Andrew MacKelvie have been friends and co-conspirators amid the fertile L.A. DIY scene for more than a decade. They are also immersed in other creative pursuits — Solomon is a noted illustrator, art director and animator, while Stevenson and MacKelvie have played or worked behind the boards with acts such as Cherry Glazerr, Sasami and Surf Curse. On Uneasy Laughter, they’ve tackled challenges both personal and universal the only way they know how: by talking about how they’re feeling and channeling those emotions directly into their music.

                                        “We’ve known each other forever and we’re really comfortable trying to express where we’re at. A lot of bands aren’t so close,” says MacKelvie. Adds Solomon, who celebrated a year of sobriety during the Uneasy Laughter sessions, “Men are conditioned not to be vulnerable or admit they’re wrong. But I wanted to talk openly about my feelings and mistakes I’ve made.”

                                        Moaning’s 2018’s self-titled Sub Pop debut featured songs mostly written in practice or brought in already complete by individual band members. It garnered acclaim from Pitchfork, Stereogum and Los Angeles Times, who observed, “Moaning craft anxious music for an increasingly nervous local scene.” But Uneasy Laughter is a collaborative breakthrough which significantly brightens Moaning’s once claustrophobic sound, again abetted by producer/engineer Alex Newport (At The Drive-In, Bloc Party, Melvins). The trio points to first single “Ego,” which features a costume-heavy video directed by Ambar Navarro, as an embodiment of this evolution.

                                        Solomon admits Uneasy Laughter could have gone in quite another direction had he not gotten sober and educated himself on such core subjects as gender and mental health. “I did a lot of reading in the tour van — authors like bell hooks, Mark Fisher, and Alain de Botton, all really inspired me. I don’t want to be the person who influences young people to go get high and become cliche tragic artists,” he says. “What I’d rather convey to people is that they’re not alone in what they think and how they feel. ‘Ego’ specifically and the album overall is about those themes — letting go of your bullshit so you can help other people and be present.”

                                        “We want to be part of a community,” he adds. “I wrote online about being sober for a year, and I had kids from all over writing and asking for advice. One of them said, ‘For the first time I can remember, I didn’t drink last night.’ I thought, for once, maybe we did something besides sell a record. That’s a win. That’s incredibly exciting.”



                                        TRACK LISTING

                                        1. Ego
                                        2. Make It Stop
                                        3. ///
                                        4. Stranger
                                        5. Running
                                        6. Connect The Dots
                                        7. Fall In Love
                                        8. Coincidence Or Fate
                                        9. What Separates Us
                                        10. //////////
                                        11. Keep Out
                                        12. Saving Face
                                        13. Say Something

                                        The Homesick

                                        The Big Exercise

                                          The Big Exercise, the second album by Dutch band The Homesick, and their first for Sub Pop, finds the group keenly second-guessing their core chemistry as a live unit, imbuing their angular post-punk workouts with baroque elements such as piano, acoustic guitar, percussion, and even clarinet. “It’s the opposite of trying to translate recorded music to the stage,” guitarist Elias Elgersma comments. “We were already playing these songs live for quite some time, so for this album, we wanted to unlock the potential of these songs further in the studio.” Opening track “What’s In Store” was in part inspired by bassist Jaap Van der Velde’s unprompted deep dive into the world of national anthems, making his own attempt to conjure a similarly timeless melody. The song seamlessly bleeds into the chivalrous prance of “Children’s Day” and the fragmented “Pawing,” righteously encouraging Erik Woudwijk’s nimble, cerebral drumming to become the band’s driving force.

                                          The headstrong wanderlust of The Big Exercise is fitting, given The Homesick’s exodus as a small-town Dutch band ready to trot the world. Contrary to the quest for belonging, roots, and provenance found on their debut album, Youth Hunt, the band’s creative trajectory is now dictated by a sense of otherness and imagination. The sharp contrasts are ever-present; the music’s new sonorous depth is underpinned by wry meditations on family ties, alternate realities, and commonplace encounters. As the band’s chief lyricists, Elgersma and Van der Velde deliberately keep each other in the dark, allowing the syntax of words and music to entangle in surprising – sometimes delightfully absurd – ways. “I Celebrate My Fantasy,” for example, summons a mirage of creeping pianos, sylvan clarinet flourishes and cartoonish sprawls with mock-paranoia, as Elgersma documents a macabre vision he had during a mild case of sleep paralysis. True to the band’s method of holding the more mundane, fleeting moments under a magnifying glass, closing track “Male Bonding” pulls a wide range of movements out of the top hat: the album’s rare heavy burst is promptly mediated by almost medieval-sounding prog rock-flirtations. The Homesick have made a record impregnated with impressions that still fit neatly under the pop umbrella. The album title’s nod to Scott Walker - “the big exercise” is a phrase pulled from a passage in Walker’s biography, Deep Shade of Blue - isn’t an aberration either: straddling pop sonority and the cacophonous fringes is something well worth aspiring.

                                          TRACK LISTING

                                          What's In Store
                                          Children's Day
                                          Pawing
                                          I Celebrate My Fantasy
                                          Leap Year
                                          The Small Exercise
                                          The Big Exercise
                                          Focus On The Beach
                                          Kaïn
                                          Male Bonding

                                          Wolf Parade - Dan Boeckner, Spencer Krug, and Arlen Thompson are releasing Thin Mind, the group’s fifth album for Sub Pop. Thin Mind has sci-fi, post-apocalyptic and dystopian narratives interwoven throughout. These themes emerged while working at Risque Disque, which Boeckner jokingly describes as a Dutchman’s failed utopia, a problematic structure with a post-apocalyptic vibe: the studio is housed in a stone barn hand-built by the Dutchman in the middle of the woods, using local materials and based on his memory of a building he loved growing up in the Netherlands. Thin Mind finds the core members of Wolf Parade working as a trio, as they did on past albums Apologies to the Queen Mary and At Mount Zoomer, with songwriting duties evenly split between singers Dan Boeckner and Spencer Krug. The album includes the singles “Forest Green,” “Julia, Take Your Man Home,” and “Against the Day,” the latter of which features a rare, co-vocal performance from Boeckner and Krug.

                                          TRACK LISTING

                                          Tracklisting:
                                          Under Glass
                                          Julia Take Your Man Home
                                          Forest Green
                                          Out Of Control
                                          The Static Age
                                          As Kind As You Can
                                          Fall Into The Future
                                          Wandering Son
                                          Against The Day
                                          Town Square

                                          Clipping

                                          The Deep

                                            Experimental hip-hop group Clipping’s “The Deep” is a dark sci-fi tale about the underwater-dwelling descendants of African women thrown off slave ships, based on the mythology of Detroit electronic group Drexciya. The song was originally commissioned for a This American Life about Afrofuturism in 2017. The track earned Clipping a nomination for a 2018 Hugo award, and the band constructed a sound installation based on “The Deep” at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. This release comes on the heels of the November 5th release of The Deep, a novella by Rivers Solomon (with Clipping credited as co-authors) inspired by the title track and published by Saga Press. The vinyl and digital versions include two otherwise-unreleased extra tracks – including “Aquacode Databreaks,” which features Shabazz Palaces – and the vinyl edition includes instrumental versions of all three tracks. 

                                            TRACK LISTING

                                            The Deep
                                            Aquacode Databreaks (ft Shabazz Palaces)
                                            Drownt
                                            The Deep (Instrumental)
                                            Aquacode Databreaks (Instrumental)
                                            Drownt (Instrumental)

                                            Omni

                                            Networker

                                              Enter Networker, the new album by Omni and first with indie giant Sub Pop Records. Their sound is still defined by sparse drums, locked-in bass, blistering guitar, and nonchalant, yet assured vocals, but from the first notes of "Sincerely Yours" you'll immediately notice that Networker sounds much cleaner and more "HI-FI" than their prior two albums, Deluxe (2016) and Multi-task (2017). The departure in fidelity suits the new record and allows the listener to enjoy the nuances of their meticulous arrangements. Don't worry, the riffs of Gang of Four and Wire are still present, but the production is more lush and the harmony is even more expansive.

                                              Despite nods to the sounds of the ’70s and ’80s what comes through is a record fully rooted in the here and now. Thematically, this is apparent on the title track "Networker" taking a candid snapshot of the “digital you” aspect of life in the age of the internet. The otherwise fun romp “Skeleton Key” also acknowledges the “direct message and obsessive” side of social media with lines like “if you don't like what you see, the pretty face on the screen, scroll on by...”  Networker was written half between tours and half during recording sessions. The band, Philip Frobos on bass/vocals and Frankie Broyles on guitars/drums/keys, returned with longtime collaborator Nathaniel Higgins to the studio in South Georgia where they also recorded Multi-task and most recent single "Delicacy." In this case, the “studio” is a cabin near Vienna, GA (pronounced Vye-anna) that was built by Frankie Broyles’ great-grandparents in the 1940s. The band completed four sessions between November 2018 and April 2019.

                                              Omni hit their stride in the cabin with songs such as "Moat,” which cruises along at a nice mid-tempo clip with sounds that are maybe piano or maybe the “behind the bridge” strings of a Jaguar a la Sonic Youth or This Heat. "Blunt Force" provides a nice contrast to some of the more upbeat cuts, getting jazzy with it’s less traditional arrangement and psychedelic outro. Overall, Networker is simultaneously fun, catchy, and contains some truly impressive musicianship. This combo is especially hard to pull off as bands that are great players often don’t have great or memorable songs. Omni and Nathaniel Higgins have done a stellar job of reigning in their diverse influences into a cohesive record by curating their sounds into a tight package that leaves you just on the cusp of understanding where the band is coming from, while still feeling like you’re hearing something totally fresh. While their earlier records had more of a “post-punk” sound, Networker is an amalgamation of the best sounds of the ’70s and ’80s, all arranged with (mostly) guitars, bass, and drums for our contemporary age, and it really works! There are hooks everywhere, vocal and instrumental, that will leave you humming along, even during the first listen. As Philip Frobos says in “Present Tense,” “guess who’s on my mind right now?” Well, Omni’s on mine and will be on yours soon.


                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                              says: Omni's sound has been gradually gathering momentum since their superb 2016 LP 'Deluxe' (almost definitely since before then, but 2016 was my entry point). What we've ended up with is a brilliantly confident and swaggering combination of technically superb guitar riffage and off-piste rhythmic hooks all coated in those relaxed vox, delievered perfectly but with the minimum of fuss. Effortlessly cool.

                                              TRACK LISTING

                                              1. Sincerely Yours
                                              2. Courtesy Call
                                              3. Moat
                                              4. Underage
                                              5. Skeleton Key
                                              6. Genuine Person
                                              7. Present Tense
                                              8. Blunt Force
                                              9. Flat Earth
                                              10. Networker
                                              11. Sleep Mask

                                              Corridor

                                              Junior

                                                Corridor are a group from Montreal and their Sub Pop debut, ‘Junior’, was made just yesterday. The rock & roll band had barely inked their record deal when they surfed into studio, racing against time to make the most dazzling, immediate and inventive album of their young career: 39 minutes of darting and dodging guitars, spiralling vocal harmonies and the complicated, goldenrod nostalgia of a Sunday mid-afternoon.

                                                ‘Junior’ is the band’s third full-length and their third recorded with their friend, producer (and occasional roommate) Emmanuel Ethier. However 2015’s ‘Le Voyage Éternel’ and 2017’s ‘Supermercado’ were made languorously, their songs taking shape across whole seasons. This time Dominic Berthiaume (vocals/bass), Julian Perreault (guitar), Jonathan Robert (vocals/guitar/synths) and Julien Bakvis (drums) permitted themselves no such indulgence.

                                                Singers, two guitars, bass, drums: the timelessness of the setup underpins the timelessness of the sound, a rock & roll borrowing from each of the past six decades - punk and pop, psych and jangle, daydream and swoon. This is music that’s muscular, exciting and full of love, its riffs a kind of medicine.

                                                Whereas Corridor’s past work could sometimes seem overstuffed, twenty ideas to the same song, the new work is hypnotic, distilled. “Part of the beauty of the thing is that we didn’t have time to think about it,” says Berthiaume. Six of ‘Junior’s 10 tracks were conceived during a single weekend. The words to ‘Bang’ were written on the eve of the sessions, as Robert began to panic: “Je payerai tôt ou tard,” he sings: I’ll pay, sooner or later. Fewer jams, fewer overdubs - no fortnight in the countryside secluding themselves in a chalet. Even the artwork came in the nick of time: in spite of other, meticulous, masterpieces, Robert’s “shitty last-minute collage” (of an egg saying hello) was the one his bandmates went for.

                                                Sub Pop have never before, in their 33-year history, signed a Francophone act. Maybe the band’s magic springs from their ingenious hooks, their topaztinted vision. Maybe it’s the panache of Québec’s insurgent underground scene, or the camaraderie of Robert and Berthiaume, who have played together since they were 14. Maybe it’s their name - a hallway crossed with a toreador. Probably it’s all of these and none of them: ‘Junior’ is a joy, a hasty miracle, because it’s so much damn fun to listen to.

                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                Topographe
                                                Junior
                                                Domino
                                                Goldie
                                                Agent Double
                                                Microscopie
                                                Grand Cheval
                                                Milan
                                                Pow
                                                Bang

                                                Clipping

                                                There Existed An Addiction To Blood

                                                Clipping return with "There Existed an Addiction to Blood", the group’s fourth effort and the follow up to "Splendor and Misery", the album features the singles "Nothing Is Safe", "Blood of the Fang", "La Mala Ordina" (Feat. Benny The Butcher, ElCamino, The Rita), and was produced by Clipping, mixed by Steve Kaplan, and mastered by Dave Cooley at Elysium Masters in Los Angeles. The album also features appearances from Ed Balloon, La Chat, Counterfeit Madison, and Pedestrian Deposit.

                                                "There Existed an Addiction to Blood" finds Clipping interpreting another rap splinter sect through their singular lens. This is Clipping’s transmutation of horrorcore, a purposefully absurdist and creatively significant sub-genre that flourished in the mid-90s. If some of its most notable pioneers included Brotha Lynch Hung and Gravediggaz, it also encompasses seminal works from the Geto Boys, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and the near-entirety of classic Memphis cassette tape rap.

                                                The most subversive and experimental rap has often presented itself as an alternative to conventional sounds, but Clipping respectfully warp them into new constellations. "There Existed an Addiction to Blood" absorbs the hyper-violent horror tropes of the Murder Dog era, but re-imagines them in a new light: still darkly-tinted and somber, but in a weirder and more vivid hue. If traditional horrorcore was akin to Blacula, the hugely popular blaxploitation flick from the early 70s, Clipping’s latest is analogous to Ganja & Hess, the blood-sipping 1973 cult classic regarded as an unsung landmark of black independent cinema, whose score by Sam Waymon, the band samples on "Blood of the Fang" and inspired the album’s title.


                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                1. Intro
                                                2. Nothing Is Safe
                                                3. He Dead (feat. Ed Balloon)
                                                4. Haunting (Interlude)
                                                5. La Mala Ordina (feat. The Rita, Benny The Butcher & El Camino)
                                                6. Club Down (feat. Sarah Bernat)
                                                7. Prophecy (Interlude)
                                                8. Run For Your Life (feat. La Chat)
                                                9. The Show
                                                10. Possession (Interlude)
                                                11. All In Your Head (feat.Counterfeit Madison & Robyn Hood)
                                                12. Blood Of The Fang
                                                13. Story 7
                                                14. Attunement (feat. Pedestrian Deposit)
                                                15. Piano Burning (composed By Annea Lockwood)

                                                Frankie Cosmos

                                                Close It Quietly

                                                  Close It Quietly is a continual reframing of the known. It’s like giving yourself a haircut or rearranging your room. You know your hair. You know your room. Here’s the same hair, the same room, seen again as something new. Close It Quietly takes the trademark Frankie Cosmos micro-universe and upends it, spilling outwards into a swirl of referentiality that’s a marked departure from earlier releases, imagining and reimagining motifs and sounds throughout the album. The band’s fourth studio release is a manifestation of their collaborative spirit: Greta Kline and longtime bandmates Lauren Martin (synth), Luke Pyenson (drums), and Alex Bailey (bass) luxuriated in studio time with Gabe Wax, who engineered and co-produced the record with the band. Recording close to home— at Brooklyn’s Figure 8 Studios— grounded the band, and their process was enriched by working closely with Wax, whose intuition and attention to detail made the familiar unfamiliar and allowed the band to reshape their own contexts. On opener “Moonsea,” an unaccompanied Greta begins, “The world is crumbling and I don’t have much to say.” Take that as a wink and a metonym for the whole album, as her signature vocals are joined by Alex’s ascending bassline and Lauren’s eddying synths, invoking a loungey take on Broadcast or Stereolab’s space-disco experimental pop. There’s much more than “not much” to say here, and it's augmented and expanded by experimentation with synth patches, textures, and other recording nuances courtesy of Wax. As the lineup has solidified into the most permanent expression of full-band Frankie Cosmos, the bandmates have felt more comfortable deviating from their default instruments and contributing bigger-picture ideas to continue pushing the sound forward.

                                                  The band’s closeness and aesthetic consistency freed its members to take more risks, notes Luke: "Everything will sound like Frankie Cosmos because Greta has such a distinct voice (literally and figuratively). We have so much latitude to experiment with the instrumental music, and this time around we really took advantage of that." Without losing any intimacy of prior albums, Close it Quietly is different, is outer. The album functions as a benign doppelganger, a shadow self of past releases; where other Frankie Cosmos records shine brightest looking inward, Close it Quietly refracts the self into the world, and vice versa, miraculously echoing Thoreau’s assertion that “when I reflect, I find that there is other than me.” Reflection--and refraction--isn’t tidy. “Flowers don’t grow/in an organized way/why should I?” Greta sings on “A Joke.” Growth isn’t linear. Change happens in circles. While recording the album, Alex says, “I closed my eyes a lot.” Stand in the sun, listen to Close it Quietly, and do the same.


                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                  says: Frankie Cosmos deliver a whimsical but meaningful journey through indie-pop, jangling and melodic but with a beating heart of seriously solid songwriting and a stunning musicality. Encompassing aspects of late-90's grunge and shimmering pop-punk, 'Close It Quietly' will be on the player for some time to come. Lovely stuff.

                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                  Moonsea
                                                  Cosmic Shop
                                                  41st
                                                  So Blue
                                                  A Joke
                                                  Rings (On A Tree)
                                                  Actin' Weird
                                                  Windows
                                                  Never Would
                                                  Self-destruct
                                                  Wannago
                                                  I'm It
                                                  Trunk Of A Tree
                                                  Last Season's Textures
                                                  Even Though I Knew
                                                  UFO
                                                  Marbles
                                                  Did You Find
                                                  A Hit
                                                  With Great Purpose
                                                  This Swirling

                                                  Shannon Lay

                                                  August

                                                    There is an entire sub-genre of poetry devoted to rivers and their persistent, meditative flow. Emily Dickinson’s ‘My River Runs to Thee’ compares them to the cycle of life, while Alfred Tennyson’s ‘The Brook’ deems them eternal and Kathleen Raine’s ‘The River’ muses on the dream-state they evoke. For transcendent folk pop artist Shannon Lay, the river is all of the above: It’s the metaphor driving her latest album, the exquisitely uplifting ‘August’, which doubles as an aural baptism renewing her purpose for making music. “I always picture music as this river. Everyone’s throwing things into this river, it’s a place you can go to and feed off of that energy,” she says, “and feel nourished by the fact that so many people are feeling what you’re feeling. It’s this beautiful exchange.”

                                                    The album’s name, ‘August’, refers to the month in 2017 when Lay quit her day job and fully gave herself over to music. This was her liberation as an artist and the album is devoted to paying that forward to her listeners. Lay may be the most chilled-out artist you’ll ever meet. Despite fronting her tranquil solo act and being a guitarist/singer in the indie rock band Feels, she never pressures herself to overachieve. Nonetheless, she regularly does: in a glowing review, Pitchfork anointed her last album, ‘Living Water’, “captivating.”

                                                    ‘August’ was mostly written in three months, during Lay’s first solo tour for ‘Living Water’. “For the most part, all of the songs were just guitar and voice,” she says. In keeping with the humbled, contemplative nature of ‘August’, most tracks clock-in at three minutes or less. She saved indulgence for the production. “Some songs as they were had this room to grow,” says Lay, who recorded the album with her longtime friend, musician Ty Segall at his home studio on the East Side. “I believe whoever you record with tends to affect the mood of music and Ty really brought this jovial sense that I hadn’t really explored yet,” she says. Also in the mix is Mikal Cronin, who played saxophone on the album’s opener, ‘Death Up Close’. “A lot of my friends who are really tough have admitted that they shed a tear when they hear my songs, and I think that really speaks to the visceral aspect of folk music,” Lay says. “It’s this ancient form of expressing yourself.”

                                                    Think of ‘August’ as a warm hug for your psyche. “I want to create as much music as I can,” she says, “and leave this spot by the river where people can go sit and enjoy.”

                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                    Death Up Close
                                                    Nowhere
                                                    November
                                                    Shuffling Stoned
                                                    Past Time
                                                    Wild
                                                    August
                                                    Sea Came To Shore
                                                    Sunday Sundown
                                                    Something On Your Mind
                                                    Unconditional
                                                    The Dream

                                                    METZ

                                                    Automat

                                                      METZ, the widely-adored and delightfully noisy 3-piece punk band from Toronto (ON, Canada), have been laying waste to stages around the globe for over 10 years. During that tumultuous chunk of time METZ, comprised of Alex Edkins, Hayden Menzies, and Chris Slorach, have cemented their reputation as one of the planet's most exhilarating live acts and trusted providers of bombastic outsider rock. Along the way, they’ve earned enthusiastic support from The New Yorker, Mojo, NPR, The New York Times, KEXP, Pitchfork, Stereogum, The AV Club, Q, Uncut, Exclaim, and a bunch of others. Referring to the trio's tireless tour regime and unquenchable thirst to bring their music to the people, John Reis (Hot Snakes, RFTC, Drive Like Jehu) once said, “your ambition is really unflattering, chill out.”

                                                      They did not listen. Instead, their love of the road and passion to create uncompromising and challenging music remains unwavering and has only grown over time. Their recorded output to date, a cornucopia of pop-inflected noise punk and damaged fuzz anthems, includes 3 critically-acclaimed LPs with Sub Pop, as well as a plethora of limited-edition releases, collaborations, covers, and rarities. Which brings us to Automat, a collection of non-album singles, B-sides, and rarities dating back to 2009, available on LP for the first time, and including the band's long out-of-print early (pre-Sub Pop) recordings.

                                                      Included here are the band’s first three 7” singles, recorded 2009-2010 and originally released by We Are Busy Bodies Records; a demo version of “Wet Blanket,” the explosive single from 2012’s METZ; two tracks from the limited-edition bonus single that accompanied preorders of METZ; “Can’t Understand,” originally released in 2013 by [adult swim]; and both tracks from the band’s 2015 single on Three One G.

                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                      says: Clashing, rawkous punk-rock guitars and huge percussion meet noise-rock production and hardcore screaming in a clattering maelstrom of fiery chord changes and snarling vitriol. Absolutely insane, and unfathomably packed with huge swathes of razor-sharp distortion and heft.

                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                      Soft Whiteout
                                                      Lump Sums
                                                      Dry Up
                                                      Ripped On The Fence
                                                      Negative Space (7 Inch Version)
                                                      Automat
                                                      Wet Blanket (Demo)
                                                      Dirty Shirt
                                                      Leave Me Out
                                                      Can’t Understand
                                                      Pure Auto
                                                      Eraser
                                                      Pig*
                                                      I’m A Bug*
                                                      M.E.*

                                                      *vinyl-only Bonus 7” Track

                                                      Preservation Hall Jazz Band

                                                      So It Is

                                                      At a moment when musical streams are crossing with unprecedented frequency, it’s crucial to remember that throughout its history, New Orleans has been the point at which sounds and cultures from around the world converge, mingle and resurface, transformed by the Crescent City’s inimitable spirit and joie de vivre. Nowhere is that idea more vividly embodied than in the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, which has held the torch of New Orleans music aloft for more than 50 years, all the while carrying it enthusiastically forward as a reminder that the history they were founded to preserve is a vibrantly living history.

                                                      ‘So It Is’ (2017) finds the classic Preservation Hall Jazz Band sound invigorated by a number of fresh influences, not least among them the band’s 2015 life-changing trip to Cuba. A visit to the island, so integral to the evolution of jazz and New Orleans culture in general, had long been in the works when President Obama’s diplomatic opening suddenly allowed for a more extensive journey than had originally seemed possible. Producer David Sitek, a founder of art rock innovators TV On The Radio who has helmed projects by Kelis, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Santigold among others, offered both a keen modern perspective and a profound respect for the band’s storied history.

                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                      So It Is
                                                      Santiago
                                                      Innocence
                                                      La Malanga
                                                      Covergence
                                                      One Hundred Fires
                                                      Mad

                                                      Preservation Hall Jazz Band

                                                      That's It!

                                                        At a moment when musical streams are crossing with unprecedented frequency, it’s crucial to remember that throughout its history, New Orleans has been the point at which sounds and cultures from around the world converge, mingle and resurface, transformed by the Crescent City’s inimitable spirit and joie de vivre. Nowhere is that idea more vividly embodied than in the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, which has held the torch of New Orleans music aloft for more than 50 years, all the while carrying it enthusiastically forward as a reminder that the history they were founded to preserve is a vibrantly living history.

                                                        Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s ‘That’s It!’ (2013) is an eclectic album that draws on the collective experience of players nurtured in the New Orleans tradition but determined to build something fresh and exciting on that foundation. It marks an important milestone in PHJB Creative Director Ben Jaffe’s crusade to carry forward the Hall’s original mission while making it relevant to today’s audiences. For his part, co-producer Jim James (My Morning Jacket) is convinced that the PHJB has a future as vibrant as its past: “The music will speak forever,” he says. “Will people stop listening to Beethoven? Will people stop listening to Bob Dylan? Will people stop listening to the Preservation Hall Jazz Band?”

                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                        That’s It!
                                                        Dear Lord (Give Me The Strength)
                                                        Come With Me
                                                        Sugar Plum
                                                        Rattlin’ Bones
                                                        I Think I Love You
                                                        August Nights
                                                        Halfway Right, Halfway Wrong
                                                        Yellow Moon
                                                        The Darker It Gets
                                                        Emmalena’s Lullaby

                                                        Kyle Craft & Showboat Honey

                                                        Showboat Honey

                                                          Kyle Craft and his now solidified backing band, dubbed Showboat Honey, reflect the sturm und drang of life with their self-titled album, the contemplative yet restless ‘Showboat Honey’. “This is basically an album centered around bad luck and good fortune hitting at the same time,” Craft explains “Then, out of nowhere, I find love. Everything went to shit except that. I guess that’s how life works.”

                                                          The sticky-sweet title of the album is lifted from the brightly choral ‘Buzzkill Caterwaul’: “I wanted to make something that sounded like a raucous collision of Leon Russell and Patti Smith,” he says, “But ‘Buzzkill Caterwaul’ was the only tune that ended up showcasing that vision.” Though aesthetics veer from song to song, ‘Showboat Honey’s steadfast formula remains the same. Drummer Haven Mutlz holds down the machine with a 60s/70s fast-molasses groove that locks in with the slinky rolling bass of Billy Slater. When Kevin Clark isn’t bouncing across the piano, his mellotron strings swell in and out of frame. Jack of all trades Ben Steinmetz’s organ parts well up from the deep of the songs, while lead guitarist Jeremy Kale’s solos rip through them like electricity. On top of it all, sits the tongue-in-cheek phantasmagoria created by Craft’s lyrics, in which perspectives shift to imbue life into a cast of intriguing, mysterious characters, à la Bob Dylan. (“There is not a single thing in my life that has affected me more than the first time I heard Dylan,” says Craft. “It immediately changed my life.”)

                                                          Craft started writing about as soon as he could play the guitar at the age of 15. He grew up in the isolated Mississippi River town of Vidalia, Louisiana where his chops weren’t honed in a woodshed but rather an old, dingy meat freezer that was out of commission. After years of touring, two albums with Sub Pop Records and solidifying the band, he’s grown into a prodigious songwriter, to say the least. The band recorded ‘Showboat Honey’ - co- produced by Craft, Clark and Slater - at their own Moonbase Studios in Portland over 2018. “We approached this record differently for sure,” Craft says. “I’d make a demo, and after putting the songs together, shoot it to the band for ideas.” Kyle and the members of Showboat Honey worked at such a feverish wine-fuelled pace that they actually ended up with two completely different albums. At the end of the day, they decided to combine the two into what is now ‘Showboat Honey'.

                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                          Broken Mirror Pose
                                                          O! Lucky Hand
                                                          2 Ugly 4 NY
                                                          Blackhole/Joyride
                                                          Bed Of Needles #2
                                                          Deathwish Blue
                                                          Blood In The Water
                                                          Buzzkill Caterwaul
                                                          Sunday Driver
                                                          Johnny (Free & Easy)
                                                          She’s Lily Riptide

                                                          Minor Poet

                                                          The Good News

                                                            After spending years writing and recording music by himself in various bedrooms and basements, Andrew Carter hit his stride with the debut Minor Poet album, And How!. Made on a creative whim with no outside expectations, the eleven-song collection combined Carter’s love of carefully-crafted pop with a loose, fun, off-the-cuff recording aesthetic. The album was released in 2017 and developed a small but loving fan base, and Minor Poet has grown from a passion project into a cross-country touring band with write-ups in publications such as American Songwriter, Magnet, The Wild Honey Pie, Impose, and more.

                                                            Minor Poet’s second record, The Good News, is a six-song collection that expands the boundaries of what constitutes the band’s sound. In just twenty-two minutes, the songs take apart the standard formulas of guitar-based rock and infuse them with vibrance and energy. The Good News was made over four days at Montrose Recording, in Minor Poet’s hometown of Richmond, VA. In the past, Carter played all the instruments and handled all the production, but he knew he that he had to reach outside himself to do justice to these songs

                                                            “I couldn’t capture the sounds I heard in my head,” Carter explains. “I wanted something that was vast and expansive but that at the same time could hit you immediately in the gut.” Paying homage to the “wall of sound” techniques made famous by Brian Wilson and Phil Spector, Carter and co-producer Adrian Olsen (Natalie Prass, Foxygen) overdubbed layer after layer of Carter playing an array of guitars, pianos, organs, synths, and percussion, as well as singing all the harmonies.

                                                            The members of Minor Poet’s touring band were brought in to perform the core rhythm section, and local musicians stopped by to add crucial flourishes. At the center of everything is Carter’s voice, singing lyrics that seamlessly mix allusions to religion, mythology, art, and philosophy as he questions himself, his place in the world around him, what he owes to his relationships, and, in turn, what he needs to ask of others in order to stay healthy.

                                                            Tabula Rasa is a concept that argues that humans are born blank slates, shaped through experience and environment. The last two years couldn’t have felt more applicable for Carter, who started out as a fresh face with little-to-no experience in the music industry and slowly grew into himself as a stage performer and bandleader through both good and bad times. During this period he began to come to terms with lifelong struggles, such as the depression that permeates “Tropic of Cancer” and the social anxiety that runs through “Museum District.”

                                                            Rather than be one-dimensional, however, Carter dives deeper into himself and his motivations, such as in “Reverse Medusa” when he sings, “Hide my love in poetic half-truths/never was one to dwell on my issues.” Carter’s ability to balance emotional honesty with a tongue-in-cheek self awareness adds to the richness and originality of the music. Short but memorable, catchy yet meaningful, The Good News is another promising step forward for Minor Poet. 


                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                            Tabula Rasa
                                                            Tropic Of Cancer
                                                            Museum District
                                                            Reverse Medusa
                                                            Bit Your Tongue / All Alone Now
                                                            Nude Descending Staircase

                                                            The Gotobeds

                                                            Debt Begins At 30

                                                              Give me a minute or three to extol the virtues of The Gotobeds, the modern rock and roll sensation that has always sounded like they love to play. Never maligned by having the world’s weight on their backs, The Gotobeds - Cary, TFP, Eli and Gavin - return to the fray with their third full lengther, ‘Debt Begins at 30’. The esprit de corps and anxiety-free joy that permeates their other LPs and EPs remains intact. The octane is high-test, the engine still has knocks and pings and the battery is overcharged. The Gotobeds - as Pittsburgh as it gets, the folk music of the Steel City - have more tar for us to swallow.

                                                              ‘Debt Begins At 30’ is an old-fashioned blast furnace and the liquid iron flows. ‘Debt Begins At 30’ is not ‘pub sop’ in any way or shape. Though I never considered The Gotobeds a band that needed assistance from their peers, ‘Debt Begins At 30’ features outside contributors on every track. The album’s first single, ‘Calquer The Hound’, includes local buddy Evan Richards, and Rob Henry of Kim Phuc. ‘Calquer The Hound’ has euphony, a sly bridge, plenty of trademark bash, and a spacey outro. It’s a sanguine album opener, more Al Oliver than Starling Marte. On ‘Twin Cities’, the lads tap Tracy Wilson, formerly of Dahlia Seed and currently of Positive NO!, to share the vox, and the result is an exuberant pop song proving The Gotobeds benefit from women ruling the scene.

                                                              "Twin Cities" is more Dakota Staton than Don Caballero. ‘Debt Begins At 30’, the title trackular, includes the wizardry of Mike Seamans and legend Bob Weston. It’s a brooding romp with tribal beats and slash-and-burn guitar, more Rocky Bleier than Le’Veon Bell. Unsurprisingly, The Gotobeds called partners-in-rock-crime Protomartyr a coupla times, with Joe Casey bolstering ‘Slang Words’ and hook-fiend Greg Ahee shredding on ‘On Loan’. ‘Slang Words’ is a savory wrecking ball with a crunching bite, more of a soft shell crab sandwich from Wholey’s Market than a 4am slop feast at Primanti Brothers. ‘On Loan’ is an anthemic janglefest with high-arcing fret work, more Karl Hendricks (rest his soul) than ‘Weird Paul’ Petroskey. Silkworm guitarist Tim Midyett is tapped on ‘Parallel’, a grand song that enters a world of whimsy, melodic and uncomplicated, more Jaromir Jagr than Sidney Crosby.

                                                              The likes of 12XU label boss Gerard Cosloy, Tre Orsi’s Matt Barnhart, the wonderful Victoria Ruiz of Downtown Boys, Pittsburgh wordsmiths Jason Baldinger and Scott MacIntyre, and yours truly strut stuff on other tracks. In my case, I just scream “dross” on ‘Dross’ several times. Good judgment on the part of The Gotobeds to know that’s the best I can do, more Max Moroff than Andrew McCutchen. Anyways, The Gotobeds have quickly reached the veteran stage, but, based upon ‘Debt Begins At 30’, their best days are ahead of them. It’s a pleasure to be associated with such an excellent band.”

                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                              1. Calquer The Hound
                                                              2. Twin Cities
                                                              3. Slang Words
                                                              4. 2:15
                                                              5. Poor People Are
                                                              6. Revolting
                                                              7. Debt Begins At 30
                                                              8. On Loan
                                                              9. Dross
                                                              10. Parallel
                                                              11. Bleached Midnight
                                                              12. Debt Begins At 30 (Alt)

                                                              Tacocat

                                                              This Mess Is A Place

                                                                When Seattle band Tacocat—vocalist Emily Nokes, bassist Bree McKenna, guitarist Eric Randall, and drummer Lelah Maupin—first started in 2007, the world they were responding to was vastly different from the current Seattle scene of diverse voices they’ve helped foster. It was a world of house shows, booking DIY tours on MySpace, and writing funny, deliriously catchy feminist pop-punk songs when feminism was the quickest way to alienate yourself from the then-en vogue garage-rock bros. Their lyrical honesty, humor, and hit-making sensibilities have built the band a fiercely devoted fanbase over the years, one that has followed them from basements to dive bars to sold-out shows at the Showbox. Every step along the way has been a seamless progression—from silly songs about Tonya Harding and psychic cats to calling out catcallers and poking fun at entitled weekend-warrior tech jerks on their last two records on Hardly Art, 2014’s NVM and 2016’s Lost Time.

                                                                This Mess is a Place, Tacocat’s fourth full-length and first on Sub Pop, finds the band waking up the morning after the 2016 election and figuring out how to respond to a new reality where evil isn’t hiding under the surface at all—it’s front and center, with new tragedies and civil rights assaults filling up the scroll of the newsfeed every day. “What a time to be barely alive,” laments “Crystal Ball,” a gem that examines the more intimate side of responding emotionally to the news cycle. How do you keep fighting when all you want to do is stay in bed all day? “Stupid computer stupor/Oh my kingdom for some better ads,” Nokes sings, throwing in some classic Tacocat snark, “Truth spread so thin/It stops existing.” Despite current realities being depressing enough to make anyone want to crawl under the covers and sleep for a thousand years, Tacocat are doing what they’ve always done so well: mingling brightness, energy, and hope with political critique.

                                                                This Mess is a Place is charged with a hopefulness that stands in stark contrast to music that celebrates apathy, despair, and numbness. Tacocat feels it all and cares, a lot, whether they’re singing odes to the magical connections we feel with our pets (“Little Friend”), imagining what a better earth might look like (“New World”), or trying to find humor in a wholly unfunny world (“The Joke of Life”). It’s a delightfully cathartic moment and the cornerstone of the record when they exclaim, in “Grains of Salt:” “Don’t forget to remember who the fuck you are!”

                                                                Producer Erik Blood (who also produced Lost Time) brings the band into their full pop potential but still preserves what makes Tacocat so special: they’re four friends who met as young punks and have grown together into a truly collaborative band. Says Nokes: “We can examine some hard stuff, make fun of some evil stuff, feel some soft feelings, feel some rage feelings, feel some bitter-ass feelings, sift through memories, feel wavy-existential, and still go get a banana daiquiri at the end.”


                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                says: Embodying the spirit of 90's grunge, but with more of an emphasis on melody than on fuzz, Tacocat craft a completely immersive and endearing suite of punky bangers. Wholly modern but with a comforting musical nod to the past.

                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                Hologram
                                                                New World
                                                                Grains Of Salt
                                                                The Joke Of Life
                                                                Little Friend
                                                                Rose-Colored Sky
                                                                The Problem
                                                                Crystal Ball
                                                                Meet Me At La Palma
                                                                Miles And Miles

                                                                The phantom zone, the parallax, the upside down—there is a rich cultural history of exploring in-between places. Through her latest, Titanic Rising, Weyes Blood, a.k.a. Natalie Mering, has designed her own universe to soulfully navigate life’s mysteries. Maneuvering through a space-time continuum, she plays the role of melodic, sometimes melancholic, anthropologist. Tellingly, Mering classifies Titanic Rising – which was written and recorded during the first half of 2018, after three albums and years of touring - as the Kinks meet WWII or Bob Seger meets Enya. The latter captures the album’s willful expansiveness (“You can tell there’s not a guy pulling the strings in Enya’s studio,” she notes, admiringly). The former relays her imperative to connect with listeners. “The clarity of Bob Seger is unmistakable. I’m a big fan of conversational songwriting,” she adds. “I just try to do that in a way that uses abstract imagery as well.” The Weyes Blood frontwoman grew up singing in gospel and madrigal choirs. (Listen closely to Titanic Rising, and you’ll also hear the jazz of Hoagy Carmichael mingle with the artful mysticism of Alejandro Jodorowsky and the monomyth of scholar Joseph Campbell.) “Something to Believe,” a confessional that makes judicious use of the slide guitar, touches on that cosmological upbringing. “Belief is something all humans need. Shared myths are part of our psychology and survival,” she says. “Now we have a weird mishmash of capitalism and movies and science. There have been moments where I felt very existential and lost.” As a kid, she filled that void with Titanic. (Yes, the movie.) “It was engineered for little girls and had its own mythology,” she explains. Mering also noticed that the blockbuster romance actually offered a story about loss born of man’s hubris. “It’s so symbolic that The Titanic would crash into an iceberg, and now that iceberg is melting, sinking civilization.” Today, this hubris also extends to the relentless adoption of technology, at the expense of both happiness and attention spans. But Weyes Blood isn’t one to stew. Her observations play out in an ethereal saunter: far more meditative than cynical. To Mering, listening and thinking are concurrent experiences. “There are complicated influences mixed in with more relatable nostalgic melodies,” she says. “In my mind my music feels so big, a true production. I’m not a huge, popular artist, but I feel like one when I’m in the studio. But it’s never taking away from the music. I’m just making a bigger space for myself.”

                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                says: A classy drift from psych-tinged folk to warm, honeyed West Coast soft rock; gorgeous early-70's singer-songwriter territory with the occasional whiff of Karen Carpenter, and all the melancholic sweep and drama you might expect. A surprising and beautiful return.

                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                A Lot's Gonna Change
                                                                Andromeda
                                                                Everyday
                                                                Something To Believe
                                                                Titanic Rising
                                                                Movies
                                                                Mirror Forever
                                                                Wild Time
                                                                Picture Me Better
                                                                Nearer To Thee

                                                                The story of Seattle's rise to global rock supremacy in the late '80s and early '90s begins with Green River. Made up of Jeff Ament (bass), Mark Arm (guitar/vocals), Bruce Fairweather (guitar), Stone Gossard (guitar), and Alex Shumway (drums), the quintet put out three 12”s and a 7” single during its brief existence. Green River's influence on Seattle's music scene spread far and wide thanks to the members' dispersion into bands including Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, and Love Battery, as well as the punk-glam-sludge-rock songs they left behind.  "By '83, '84, there was definitely a movement that was happening within hardcore, like Black Flag slowing down for My War," says Arm. "The Replacements and Butthole Surfers were rearing their heads, and they're very different bands, but they're not hardcore—the Replacements are pretty much straight-up rock, and Butthole Surfers were God knows what. Sonic Youth's Bad Moon Rising was around, and a lot of really interesting post-hardcore things were happening."

                                                                Green River, which formed in 1984, was part of that evolution, with a sound that straddled a lot of different genres—blues, punk, bloozy straight-ahead rock. The mini-LP Dry As A Bone, which came out in 1987, and the band's lone full-length Rehab Doll, which came out in 1988, were released as a single CD with a few bonus cuts, including their sneering cover of David Bowie's "Queen Bitch" and their marauding version of Dead Boys' "Ain't Nothin' to Do," in 1990—but they've been unavailable on vinyl for years. Now, these slices of Seattle music history are not only back in print, they're accompanied by items from the vaults that had been forgotten about for decades.  Dry As A Bone was recorded at Jack Endino's Reciprocal Recording in 1986, and it shows the band in furious form, with Arm's yowl battling Fairweather and Gossard's ferocious guitar playing on "This Town" and "Unwind" opening as a slow bluesy grind then jump-starting itself into a hyperactive chase. The deluxe edition includes Green River's cuts from the crucial Seattle-scene compilation Deep Six, as well as long-lost songs that were recorded to the now-archaic format Betamax.Rehab Doll, recorded largely at Seattle's Steve Lawson Studios., bridges the gap between the taut, punky energy of Dry As a Bone and the bigger drums and thicker riffs that were coming to dominate rock in the late '80s. This new edition of Rehab Doll includes a version of “Swallow My Pride” recorded to 8-track at Endino's Reciprocal Recording, which features a more accurate depiction of how the band sounded when they played live. "When I listen to these mixes, I think, 'This is how we actually sounded—this is the kind of energy we had,'" says Shumway.

                                                                Green River's place in American music history is without question, but these recordings paint a more complete picture of the band—and of rock in the mid- to late-'80s, when punk's faster-and-louder ideals had begun shape-shifting into other ideas. 


                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                says: There could be few pre-supergroups more influential in the Seattle sound than Green River, and of these two reissues, 'Dry As A Bone' is the most snarling punky outing, including the rock pomp of 'Baby Takes' and the punk snarl of the superb 'Bleeding Sheep'. Totally essential.

                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                This Town
                                                                PCC
                                                                Ozzie
                                                                One More Stitch
                                                                Unwind
                                                                Baby Takes
                                                                Searchin’
                                                                Hangin’ Tree
                                                                Together We’ll Never
                                                                Ain’t Nothin’ To Do
                                                                Bleeding Sheep
                                                                Bazaar
                                                                Thrown Up
                                                                This Little Boy
                                                                10000 Things
                                                                Your Own Best Friend (Deep Six)

                                                                Iron & Wine

                                                                Our Endless Numbered Days - Deluxe Reissue

                                                                  Sam Beam, aka Iron & Wine, released "Our Endless Numbered Days", his second in March of 2004. It followed his hushed, literate, intimate, melodic, 2002 debut album, "The Creek Drank the Cradle", a quiet treasure which, with its unaffected candor and depth, found fans all over. "Our Endless Numbered Days" was recorded both at Sam’s Miami home and in Chicago’s Engine Studios with Brian Deck (Red Red Meat, Modest Mouse, Ugly Casanova, etc.) On it, Sam is aided and abetted by his then touring and recording conspirators: his sister Sarah Beam, Patrick McKinney, Jeff McGriff, EJ Holowicki, and Jonathon Bradley. Listening to "Our Endless Numbered Days" makes plain Sam’s deft touch with words and melody; one that allows him to turn out stories about love, loss, faith, or the lack of it that are at once personal and universal, set to music that is sweetly haunting and timeless.

                                                                  This reissue features the original album, plus eight previously unreleased demo versions and a 12-page booklet with an essay about the album by Amanda Petrusich.

                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                  On Your Wings
                                                                  Naked As We Came
                                                                  Cinder And Smoke
                                                                  Sunset Soon Forgotten
                                                                  Teeth In The Grass
                                                                  Love And Some Verses
                                                                  Radio War
                                                                  Each Coming Night
                                                                  Free Until They Cut Me Down
                                                                  Fever Dream
                                                                  Sodom, South Georgia
                                                                  Passing Afternoon
                                                                  Naked As We Came (demo)
                                                                  Cinder And Smoke (demo)
                                                                  Teeth In The Grass (demo)
                                                                  Love And Some Verses (demo)
                                                                  Free Until They Cut Me Down (demo)
                                                                  Fever Dream (demo)
                                                                  Sodom, South Georgia (demo)
                                                                  Passing Afternoon (demo)

                                                                  Flight Of The Conchords

                                                                  Live In London

                                                                    In October of 2018, ten years after the launch of their hit HBO series, musical comedians Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement returned to HBO for the all-new comedy special. Live in London was taped before a live audience at the Eventim Apollo and featured the Conchords performing songs from the sold-out UK and Ireland edition of “Flight of the Conchords Sing Flight of the Conchords Tour.” 


                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                    Father And Son
                                                                    Band Reunion
                                                                    Iain And Deanna
                                                                    Inner City Pressure
                                                                    New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
                                                                    Summer Of 1353
                                                                    Complimentary Muffin
                                                                    Stana
                                                                    Stuck In A Lift
                                                                    Foux Du Fafa
                                                                    Seagull
                                                                    Mutha'uckas - Hurt Feelings
                                                                    One More Anecdote
                                                                    Back On The Road
                                                                    Thank You London
                                                                    Bowie
                                                                    Bus Driver
                                                                    Tuning
                                                                    Robots
                                                                    Shady Rachel
                                                                    Carol Brown*
                                                                    The Most Beautiful Girl (In The Room)*

                                                                    *Bonus Tracks (not Included In The TV Special)

                                                                    Luluc

                                                                    Dear Hamlyn

                                                                      Luluc released their debut album, Dear Hamlyn, in 2008; the songs were written following the death of Randell's father. Dear Hamlyn eventually gained a large group of influential admirers. Peter Blackstock co-founder of No Depression Magazine, wrote of the album, "The most beautiful album I've heard in ten years." In 2011, Nick Drake's producer, Joe Boyd, also taken by Dear Hamlyn, invited Luluc to feature in his Nick Drake tribute tour. They contributed the tracks "Things Behind the Sun" and "Fly" to the live tribute album, Way to Blue: The Songs of Nick Drake in 2013. Luluc went on to sign with Sub Pop Records and release the critically acclaimed albums Passerby (2014) and Sculptor (2018). This edition of Dear Hamlyn is the first time it has been available on vinyl.

                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                      I Found You
                                                                      Little Suitcase
                                                                      The Wealthiest Queen
                                                                      Black Umbrella
                                                                      Body On The Water
                                                                      Warm One
                                                                      Gillian
                                                                      One Day Soon
                                                                      Abigail & The Whale (The Blue Queen Of The Deep)
                                                                      A Whisper
                                                                      My Midnight Special

                                                                      Perfect Son

                                                                      Cast

                                                                        Sometime in 2016, just as the Polish singer and producer Tobiasz Biliński began to find success through the dim and fractured electropop of Coldair, he knew it was time for a radical change. The songs on The Provider, Coldair’s much-lauded second album, had been an exorcism of sorts. Laced with songs about early death, chronic disappointment, and clouded minds, the record was, as he puts it now, his earnest attempt to “get all this old shit out.” That mission accomplished, he needed something new, a restart—the unabashedly radiant and unapologetically complex pop of Perfect Son, delivered in 10 perfect shots on Biliński’s Sub Pop debut, Cast.  In the past, Biliński’s music has flirted with and explored the darkness, first in a sort of Transatlantic freak-folk and then with the gothic refractions of Coldair.

                                                                        But on Cast, Perfect Son steps boldly into the light without sloughing off emotional weight or depth. With powerful, sweeping production that recalls the best pop beats of Matthew Dear and arcing melodies that conjure the majesty of Shearwater, Perfect Son animates sensations of lust, belonging, and newfound trust with tumescent electronic arrangements that threaten the safety of any sound system. Biliński sings about falls throughout Cast, but also about picking yourself back up, about pressing on despite or perhaps because of the bruises. In the process, he is lifted by music that feels unabashedly motivational, built to remind us that the best times are hopefully to come.   Perfect Son, it should be said, is Sub Pop’s first Polish artist, the result of an extended interest in Biliński’s work and the country itself from label co-founder Jonathan Poneman.

                                                                        Several years ago, Biliński applied to play at South by Southwest as Coldair.  Poneman saw his performance, and was impressed. The two stayed in touch, with Poneman eventually signing Coldair to a publishing deal. “I bugged him about releasing my stuff constantly,” Biliński admits with a laugh. “And I guess he admired my persistence.” When Cast was finally finished, Poneman didn’t need more convincing. These songs, after all, are magnetic, with the searching harmonies and deep drums of “Promises” and the rhythmic intricacy and serial synths of “Wax” pulling you close on first listen and holding you there for the foreseeable future. These songs and this story are about the power of human perseverance and deliberate reinvention, of knowing that you can confront and come to terms with the darkest angels of your being. Cast is a testament to the possibilities of the future, brilliantly disguised as 10 grandiose and undeniable pop anthems.


                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                        Reel Me
                                                                        Lust
                                                                        It's For Life
                                                                        Old Desires
                                                                        So Divine
                                                                        Promises
                                                                        High Hopes
                                                                        My Body Wants
                                                                        Wax
                                                                        Almost Mine

                                                                        The story of Seattle's rise to global rock supremacy in the late '80s and early '90s begins with Green River. Made up of Jeff Ament (bass), Mark Arm (guitar/vocals), Bruce Fairweather (guitar), Stone Gossard (guitar), and Alex Shumway (drums), the quintet put out three 12”s and a 7” single during its brief existence. Green River's influence on Seattle's music scene spread far and wide thanks to the members' dispersion into bands including Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, and Love Battery, as well as the punk-glam-sludge-rock songs they left behind.  "By '83, '84, there was definitely a movement that was happening within hardcore, like Black Flag slowing down for My War," says Arm. "The Replacements and Butthole Surfers were rearing their heads, and they're very different bands, but they're not hardcore—the Replacements are pretty much straight-up rock, and Butthole Surfers were God knows what. Sonic Youth's Bad Moon Rising was around, and a lot of really interesting post-hardcore things were happening."

                                                                        Green River, which formed in 1984, was part of that evolution, with a sound that straddled a lot of different genres—blues, punk, bloozy straight-ahead rock. The mini-LP Dry As A Bone, which came out in 1987, and the band's lone full-length Rehab Doll, which came out in 1988, were released as a single CD with a few bonus cuts, including their sneering cover of David Bowie's "Queen Bitch" and their marauding version of Dead Boys' "Ain't Nothin' to Do," in 1990—but they've been unavailable on vinyl for years. Now, these slices of Seattle music history are not only back in print, they're accompanied by items from the vaults that had been forgotten about for decades.  Dry As A Bone was recorded at Jack Endino's Reciprocal Recording in 1986, and it shows the band in furious form, with Arm's yowl battling Fairweather and Gossard's ferocious guitar playing on "This Town" and "Unwind" opening as a slow bluesy grind then jump-starting itself into a hyperactive chase. The deluxe edition includes Green River's cuts from the crucial Seattle-scene compilation Deep Six, as well as long-lost songs that were recorded to the now-archaic format Betamax.Rehab Doll, recorded largely at Seattle's Steve Lawson Studios., bridges the gap between the taut, punky energy of Dry As a Bone and the bigger drums and thicker riffs that were coming to dominate rock in the late '80s. This new edition of Rehab Doll includes a version of “Swallow My Pride” recorded to 8-track at Endino's Reciprocal Recording, which features a more accurate depiction of how the band sounded when they played live. "When I listen to these mixes, I think, 'This is how we actually sounded—this is the kind of energy we had,'" says Shumway.

                                                                        Green River's place in American music history is without question, but these recordings paint a more complete picture of the band—and of rock in the mid- to late-'80s, when punk's faster-and-louder ideals had begun shape-shifting into other ideas. 


                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                        says: Where 'Dry As A Bone' includes a wealth of outtakes (all superb), it's 'Rehab Doll' that represents the sole full-length, and what an LP. The eponymous track perfectly representing the sound of the mid to late 80's, and is only bolstered by the superb demo versions and extras on this remaster. It's a superb and essential document of the foundation of a scene.

                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                        Forever Means
                                                                        Rehab Doll
                                                                        Swallow My Pride
                                                                        Together We’ll Never
                                                                        Smilin’ And Dyin’
                                                                        Porkfist
                                                                        Take A Dive
                                                                        One More Stitch
                                                                        10000 Things (Rehab Recovery)
                                                                        Hangin’ Tree (Rehab Recovery)
                                                                        Rehab Doll (Reciprocal 8-track Demo)
                                                                        Swallow My Pride (Reciprocal 8-track Demo)
                                                                        Together We’ll Never (Reciprocal 8-track Demo)
                                                                        Smilin’ And Dyin’ (Reciprocal 8-track Demo)
                                                                        Porkfist (Reciprocal 8-track Demo)
                                                                        Take A Dive (Reciprocal 8-track Demo)
                                                                        Somebody (Reciprocal 8-track Demo)
                                                                        Queen Bitch (Reciprocal 8-track Demo)

                                                                        Near the end of Reagan's first term, the Western Massachusetts Hardcore scene coughed up an insanely shaped chunk called Dinosaur. Comprised of WMHC vets, the trio was a miasmic tornado of guitar noise, bad attitude and near-subliminal pop-based-shape-shifting. Through their existence, Dinosaur (amended to Dinosaur Jr. for legal reasons) defined a very specific, very aggressive set of oblique song-based responses to what was going on. Their one constant was the scalp-fryingly loud guitar and deeply buried vocals of J Mascis.

                                                                        A couple of years before they ended their reign, J cut a solo album called Martin + Me. Recorded live and acoustic, the record allowed the bones of J's songs to be totally visible for the first time. Fans were surprised to hear how melodically elegant these compositions were, even if J still seemed interested in swallowing some of the words that most folks would have sung. Since then, through the reformation of the original Dinosaur Jr lineup in 2005, J has recorded solo albums now and then. And those album, Sings + Chant for AMMA (2005), Several Shades of Why (2011) and Tied to a Star (2014) had all delivered incredible sets of songs presented with a minimum of bombast and a surfeit of cool. Like its predecessors, Elastic Days was recorded at J's own Bisquiteen studio. Mascis does almost all his own stunts, although Ken Miauri (who also appeared on Tied to a Star) plays keyboards and there are a few guest vocal spots. These include old mates Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession), and Mark Mulcahy (Miracle Legion, etc.), as well as the newly added voice of Zoë Randell (Luluc)  among others. But the show is mostly J's and J's alone. He laughs when I tell him I'm surprised by how melodic his vocals seem to have gotten. Asked if that was intentional, he says, “No. I took some singing lessons and do vocal warm-ups now, but that was mostly just to keep from blowing out my vocal cords when Dino started touring again. The biggest difference with this record might have to do with the drums. I'd just got a new drum set I was really excited about. I don't have too many drum outlets at the moment, so I played a lot more drums than I'd originally planned. I just kept playing. [laughs] I'd play the acoustic guitar parts then head right to the drums.”

                                                                        There is plenty of drumming on the dozen songs on Elastic Days. But for those expecting the hallucinatory overload of Dinosaur Jr's live attack, the gentleness of the approach here will draw easy comparisons to Neil Young's binary approach to working solo versus working with Crazy Horse. This is a lazy man's shorthand, but it still rings true. Elastic Days brims with great moments. Epic hooks that snare you in surprisingly subtle ways, guitar textures that slide against each other like old lovers, and structures that range from a neo-power-ballad (“Web So Dense”) to jazzily-canted West Coasty post-psych (“Give It Off”) to a track that subliminally recalls the keyboard approach of Scott Thurston-era Stooges (“Drop Me”). The album plays out with a combination of holism and variety that is certain to set many brains ablaze. J says he'll be taking this album on the road later in the year. He'll be playing by himself, but unlike other solo tours he says he'll be standing up this time. “I used to just sit down and build a little fort around myself -- amps, music stands, drinks stands, all that stuff. But I just realized it sounds better if the amps are higher up because I'm so used to playing with stacks. So I'll stand this time.” I ask if it's not pretty weird to stand alone on a big stage. “Yeah,” he says. “But it's weird sitting down too.” Ha. Good point. One needs to be elastic. In all things. - Byron Coley


                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                        says: One of the more tender outings from J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr fame, 'Elastic Days' beautifully encompasses a wide variety of J Mascis' leanings including folk, Americana and classic rock to brilliant effect. Heart-wrenching in places but ultimately optimistic, this is yet another display of how versatile and talented this man is. Superb.

                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                        See You At The Movies
                                                                        Web So Dense
                                                                        I Went Dust
                                                                        Sky Is All We Had
                                                                        Picking Out The Seeds
                                                                        Give If Off
                                                                        Drop Me
                                                                        Cut Stranger
                                                                        Elastic Days
                                                                        Sometimes
                                                                        Wanted You Around
                                                                        Everything She Said

                                                                        The Helio Sequence

                                                                        Keep Your Eyes Ahead (10th Anniversary Deluxe Reissue)

                                                                          This reissue celebrates the tenth anniversary of The Helio Sequence’s landmark album Keep Your Eyes Ahead with a full remaster of the original album, plus a second album of demos, alternate versions, and outtakes from the same era.After 3 albums and ten years of touring and recording, The Helio Sequence (Brandon Summers and Benjamin Weikel) recorded their most dynamic, extraordinary album, Keep Your Eyes Ahead. Keep Your Eyes Ahead married the Portland duo’s signature layered keyboards and impossibly big guitars with crisp songwriting and a relatively minimalist approach. The finger picking on “Shed Your Love” is backed by exquisite strings and ambient noise, but Summers’s serene, self-assured delivery remains front and center. While songs from the band’s early releases spanned up to 7 minutes, even the longest, lushest, catchiest track on Keep Your Eyes Ahead (fiery anthem “Hallelujah”) clocks in at 4 and a half minutes, evidence of just how refined their craft had become. Vocals were recorded spontaneously in bedroom closets and living rooms, which may explain the haunting urgency you hear in Brandon’s voice, especially on the driving title track.

                                                                          Produced by the band, Keep Your Eyes Ahead confirms in The Helio Sequence an energy and a range that continues to defy narrow categorization. Unapologetic pop and folk meld seamlessly to create songs that are bigger, more epic and polished than anything they’ve ever done. Keep Your Eyes Ahead is the sound of a band and a decade-old partnership that’s been invigorated. And that’s exactly how the songs will make you feel: invigorated.
                                                                           


                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                          Lately
                                                                          Can't Say No
                                                                          The Captive Mind
                                                                          You Can Come To Me
                                                                          Shed Your Love
                                                                          Keep Your Eyes Ahead
                                                                          Back To This
                                                                          Hallelujah
                                                                          Broken Afternoon
                                                                          No Regrets (Electric)
                                                                          Turn The Page
                                                                          Up Against Time
                                                                          Heart Disease
                                                                          No Regrets
                                                                          January
                                                                          No Regrets (Keyboards)
                                                                          All Of These Things
                                                                          Almost Morning (Demo)
                                                                          Broken Afternoon (Solo)
                                                                          April (Demo)
                                                                          No Regrets (Acoustic)

                                                                          Since the late '80s, Mudhoney – the Seattle-based foursome whose muck-crusted version of rock, shot through with caustic wit and battened down by a ferocious low end – has been a high-pH tonic against the ludicrous and the insipid. Thirty years later, the world is experiencing a particularly high-water moment for both those ideals. But just in time, vocalist Mark Arm, guitarist Steve Turner, bassist Guy Maddison, and drummer Dan Peters are back with Digital Garbage, a barbed-wire-trimmed collection of sonic brickbats. Arm's raw yawp and his bandmates' long-honed chemistry make Digital Garbage an ideal release valve for the 2018 pressure cooker. "My sense of humor is dark, and these are dark times," says Arm. "I suppose it’s only getting darker."
                                                                          Digital Garbage opens with the swaggering "Nerve Attack," which can be heard as a nod both to modern-life anxiety and the ever-increasing threat of warfare. The album's title comes from the outro of "Kill Yourself Live," which segues from a revved-up Arm organ solo into a bleak look at the way notoriety goes viral. Arm says: "people really seem to find validation in the likes—and then there's Facebook Live, where people have streamed torture and murder, or, in the case of Philando Castile, getting murdered by a cop. In the course of writing that song, I thought about how, once you put something out there online, you can’t wipe it away. It’s always going to be there—even if no one digs it up, it’s still out there floating somewhere.“ Appropriately enough, bits of recent news events float through the record: “Please Mr. Gunman," on which Arm bellows "We'd rather die in church!" over his bandmates' careening charge, was inspired by a TV-news bubblehead's response to a 2017 church shooting, while the ominous refrain that opens the submerged-blues of "Next Mass Extinction" calls back to last summer's clashes in Charlottesville. Mudhoney's core sound—steadily pounding drums, swamp-thing bass, squalling guitar wobble, Arm's hazardous-chemical voice—remains on Digital Garbage, which the band recorded with longtime collaborator (and Digital Garbage pianist) Johnny Sangster at the Seattle studio Litho. The anti-religiosity shimmy "21st Century Pharisees" builds its case with Maddison's woozy synths, which Arm says “add a really nice touch to the proceedings.” Digital Garbage closes with "Oh Yeah," a brief celebration of skateboarding, surfing, biking, and the joy provided by these escape valves. "I would’ve really just loved to write songs about just hanging out on the beach, and going on a nice vacation," says Arm. "But, you know, that probably doesn’t make for great rock.“ Mudhoney, however, know what does make great rock—and the riffs and fury of Digital Garbage will stand the test of time, even if the particulars fade away. "I've tried to keep things somewhat universal, so that this album doesn’t just seem like of this time—hopefully some of this stuff will go away," Arm laughs. "You don’t want to say in the future, 'Hey, those lyrics are still relevant. Great!'”


                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                          says: Mudhoney, one of the pivotal grunge forces of the late 90's return with their most propulsive outing yet. Tackling heavy political issues and societal ills with their unmistakable thrashing drive and distinctly melodic swagger. It's a punky blast rarely seen nowadays and perfectly brings the loose grungy sound into the modern day. Awesome.

                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                          Nerve Attack
                                                                          Paranoid Core
                                                                          Please Mr. Gunman
                                                                          Kill Yourself Live
                                                                          Night And Fog
                                                                          21st Century Pharisees
                                                                          Hey Neanderfuck
                                                                          Prosperity Gospel
                                                                          Messiah's Lament
                                                                          Next Mass Extinction
                                                                          Oh Yeah

                                                                          In 2018, Low will turn twenty-five. Since 1993, Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker—the married couple whose heaven-and-earth harmonies have always held the band’s center—have pioneered a subgenre, shrugged off its strictures, recorded a Christmas classic, become a magnetic onstage force, and emerged as one of music’s most steadfast and vital vehicles for pulling light from our darkest emotional recesses. But Low will not commemorate its first quarter-century with mawkish nostalgia or safe runs through songbook favorites. Instead, in faithfully defiant fashion, Low will release its most brazen, abrasive (and, paradoxically, most empowering) album ever: Double Negative, an unflinching eleven-song quest through snarling static and shattering beats that somehow culminates in the brightest pop song of Low’s career.

                                                                          To make Double Negative, Low reenlisted B.J. Burton, the quietly energetic and adventurous producer who has made records with James Blake, Sylvan Esso, and The Tallest Man on Earth in recent years while working as one of the go-to figures at Bon Iver’s home studio, April Base. Burton recorded Low’s last album, 2015’s Ones and Sixes, at April Base, adding might to many of its beats and squelch and frisson beneath many of its melodies.

                                                                          This time, though, Sparhawk, Parker, and bassist Steve Garrington knew they wanted to go further with Burton and his palette of sounds, to see what someone who is, as Sparhawk puts it, “a hip-hop guy” could truly do to their music. Rather than obsessively write and rehearse at home in Duluth, Minnesota, they would often head southeast to Eau Claire, Wisconsin, arriving with sketches and ideas that they would work on for days with Burton. Band and producer became collaborative cowriters, building the pieces up and breaking them down and building them again until their purpose and force felt clear. As the world outside seemed to slide deeper into instability, Low repeated this process for the better part of two years, pondering the results during tours and breaks at home. They considered not only how the fragments fit together but also how, in the United States of 2018, they functioned as statements and salves.

                                                                          Double Negative is, indeed, a record perfectly and painfully suited for our time. Loud and contentious and commanding, Low fights for the world by fighting against it. It begins in pure bedlam, with a beat built from a loop of ruptured noise waging war against the paired voices of Sparhawk and Parker the moment they begin to sing during the massive “Quorum.” For forty minutes, they indulge the battle, trying to be heard amid the noisy grain, sometimes winning and sometimes being tossed toward oblivion. In spite of the mounting noise, Sparhawk and Parker still sing. Or maybe they sing because of the noise. For Low, has there ever really been a difference?

                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                          says: Never one to shy away from a new direction, the ridiculously superb Low return with their most shadowy electronic affair yet. Bathed in distortion and rich, saturated ambience, it's a testament to their skill as songwriters and their overwhelmingly familiar 'Sound' that this still comes across as one of the best releases of their career. Mindblowing stuff.

                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                          Quorum
                                                                          Dancing And Blood
                                                                          Fly
                                                                          Tempest
                                                                          Always Up
                                                                          Always Trying To Work It Out
                                                                          The Son, The Sun
                                                                          Dancing And Fire
                                                                          Poor Sucker
                                                                          Rome (Always In The Dark)
                                                                          Disarray

                                                                          Knife Knights were born of the love of mystery. From the start of Shabazz Palaces – the groundbreaking project launched in 2009 by former-Digable Planets leader Ishmael Butler – confidentiality seemed essential: Butler wanted Shabazz Palaces to stand on its own strength, not his outsized reputation, so he adopted a nom de plume for himself. As the project’s network expanded, though, he needed new monikers for his partnerships. Knife Knights is the name he gave to his work with Seattle engineer, producer, songwriter, and film composer Erik Blood, a vital force in the Shabazz Palaces universe.

                                                                          Now, after more than a decade of collaboration and the development of a rich friendship, Butler and Blood have made a proper full-length record together as Knife Knights: 1 Time Mirage, an eleven-track odyssey that finds the pair and a cast of their friends weaving together a singular world of soul and shoegaze, hip-hop and lush noise, bass and bedlam. 1 Time Mirage represents a playground for Butler and Blood, a free space for unfettered exploration, and a radically adventurous start to something much more than a mere production duo or side project.

                                                                          Recorded in three fertile sessions interrupted by Shabazz Palaces tours and Blood’s recording projects, 1 Time Mirage is a profound fulfilment of the partnership, realized at the crossroads of Butler’s and Blood’s mutual enthusiasms. Their shared interests have been split into pieces and fused together with enviable imagination. In the decade since Butler launched Shabazz Palaces and first christened his partnership with Blood as Knife Knights, much of the external mystery has, of course, fallen away. And 1 Time Mirage is a very public step forward for the pair. The early sense of secrecy has given way to a spirit of friendship and creative candor, to the doors of experimentation being thrown open by old pals thrilled by the prospect of testing new ideas.

                                                                          Still, these eleven songs retain a core of intrigue and, indeed, mystery; each listen reveals yet another connection between infinite and interlocking pieces. To wit, Robert Beatty’s brilliant cover for 1 Time Mirage depicts a futuristic vehicle, being coolly steered with one hand into some great, mildly ominous unknown. That’s how these songs feel, too—confident conquests of the dark that unlock sounds and spaces you have yet to imagine.
                                                                            


                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                          1. Bionic Chords (feat. OC Notes & Darrius Willrich)
                                                                          2. Drag Race Legend
                                                                          3. Give You Game (feat. Marquetta Miller & Stas Thee Boss)
                                                                          4. Light Up Ahead (Time Mirage) [feat. Porter Ray, Gerald Turner, Darrius Willrich,
                                                                          5. OC Notes & Shabazz Palaces
                                                                          6. Seven Wheel Motion
                                                                          7. Low Key (feat. Shabazz Palaces)
                                                                          8. My Dreams Never Sleep (feat. OC Notes, Marquetta Miller & Shabazz Palaces)
                                                                          9. Light Work (feat. El Mizell)
                                                                          10. Can't Draw The Line (feat. OC Notes)
                                                                          11. Come On Let's Go (feat. OC Notes & Marquetta Miller)
                                                                          12. Mr. President

                                                                          Iron & Wine follow up their 2018 Grammy-nominated full-length Beast Epic with Weed Garden, a collection of material that began about three years ago. The six-song EP features songs that were part of the writing phase for Beast Epic, but went unfinished. They were part of a larger narrative for principal songwriter Sam Beam, who ran out of time to get them where they needed to be for inclusion on Beast Epic. Weed Garden also includes the fan favorite “Waves of Galveston.”

                                                                          While on tour last fall, the final pieces of material took shape and a sense of urgency prevailed in bringing these characters full circle. To resolution. To completion. In January, Beam and company hunkered down in Chicago at The Loft recording studio to capture these six songs.  No more, no less.
                                                                          Weed Garden joins the good company of previous Iron & Wine EP’s – The Sea and Rhythm, Woman King, In the Reins – and in 2018’s attention-span challenged world that's not a bad thing.


                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                          says: If you've heard Iron & Wine before, you'll be well aware of Mr. Beam's capability for weaving a rich acousticana tapestry, and 'Weed Garden' is exactly that, beautifully played organic instrumentation with a strong melodic sensibility, relaxing and transportative. (Iron &) Wine-not give it a go.

                                                                          Mass Gothic

                                                                          I've Tortured You Enough

                                                                            I've Tortured You Long Enough is the tongue-in-cheek title of Mass Gothic's second album. Husband/wife duo Noel Heroux and Jessica Zambri have always dipped in and out of each other's creative spaces, advising on their respective outputs and supporting one another. But, until this record, they had never completely committed to doing an entire album as a duo, sharing an equal load. The result is a record packed with the tension, chaos and beauty of a fluid and cathartic two-way conversation. In a universe that increasingly threatens our abilities to communicate and coexist, their creative union isn't just inspired but important.

                                                                            When Heroux put out Mass Gothic’s 2016 debut, following the end of his prior band, Hooray for Earth, he did so as a solo entity. Plagued by insecurities and anxieties, Heroux wasn't ready to deal with putting his trust and confidence into another shared project. So what changed? He can't exactly pinpoint when the phrase “I've tortured you long enough” came to him, but it became a mantra, almost a premonition. He had tortured his own psyche long enough, and was particularly in need of forcing himself out of his comfort zone and letting go of that prior stubbornness. And the phrase has a broader application, too. “It covers so many bases but it's taken on extra meaning in the past couple of years when everybody is at each other's throats, frustrated and confused all the time,” Heroux explains.

                                                                            Heroux and Zambri wrote I’ve Tortured You Long Enough while bouncing around the country without a place to call home. From working in a rented cabin in upstate New York, to living out of a car with a duffel bag of clothes, to crashing with their co-producer Josh Ascalon in LA, to ditching a mixed version of the album and rerecording the whole thing, the band worked tirelessly while their lives were totally in flux. “Maybe we wouldn't have been able to do it if we were anchored at home. We were forced into it. Jess was trying to open me up and if we could have just sat on a couch and thrown on the TV it probably wouldn't have worked.” The album was ultimately recorded in Brooklyn with Rick Kwan, and Chris Coady mixed the record and Heba Kadry mastered it.

                                                                            The final product recalls the frantic energy of Animal Collective and the celestial torch-bearing of Bat for Lashes, and reveals a remarkable arc. It begins from a place of uncertainty, disquiet, and self-doubt, and concludes with the comfort in knowing that you can be both independent and successful in a relationship.

                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                            1. Dark Window
                                                                            2. Call Me
                                                                            3. J.Z.O.K.
                                                                            4. Keep On Dying
                                                                            5. How I Love You
                                                                            6. I've Tortured You Long Enough
                                                                            7. New Work
                                                                            8. The Goad
                                                                            9. Big Window

                                                                            Cullen Omori

                                                                            The Diet

                                                                              Cullen Omori’s path to his second album ‘The Diet’ wasn’t an easy one. After the release of his first album, ‘New Misery’, he had to deal with busted vans, crashed cars, mangled relationships and other trials that can leave one feeling like the world is playing a cosmic joke. From the guitar that drops out of the sky on the opening track ‘Four Years’ all the way through the fade-out of kaleidoscopic closer ‘A Real You’, ‘The Diet’ is a powerful modern indie rock album that is buoyed by warped, analogue pedals / transistors and tailor-made guitar tones. Omori’s winsome vocals crisscross 70’s art rock and classic songwriting all within the span of 40 minutes.

                                                                              Omori crafted ‘The Diet’ as a series of what can loosely be defined as love songs that metaphorically channel the frustrations and ruptures of his turbulent 2016-2017 into unforgettable compositions with abstract yet sharply rendered lyrics. Omori’s version of the love song medium goes far beyond the la-la-love-you template: “Only a few deal with loving or falling out of love with an actual, physical person,” says Omori. “Then there are, like, love songs to my antidepressants or whatever I thought my life would be like at 27.”

                                                                              After relocating from Chicago to Los Angeles in 2016, Omori re-examined his whole artistic process. “Whereas on ‘New Misery’ I was locked in a room with a producer for a month tinkering away, this time around I wanted the sessions to be a revolving door of musicians: different people, different aesthetics. I pushed against my inner nature by actively pursuing collaborators.”

                                                                              ‘The Diet’ was recorded at Velveteen Laboratory with Taylor Locke, whose talents wound up being well-suited to the intricacies of the songs that would become ‘The Diet’. “He can sing, he is a multi-instrumentalist. On top of that, he is also a producer. Working with him really lent itself to my process of songwriting,” says Omori.

                                                                              ‘The Diet’ represents a new chapter for the former Smith Westerns member, one in which he stretches out his songwriting chops and uses his life experience to craft loose-limbed, hook-filled songs that combine pop appeal with finely sutured lyrics. “I spent my early 20’s saddled with the ill-conceived, romantic notion that the best songs are written through suffering. The process of trying out a completely different persona and approach in ‘New Misery’, and then facing my negative experiences and the shortcomings of that persona, clarified where I wanted my music to go. While making ‘The Diet’, my songs were constantly presenting themselves to me, and when I got a chance to listen back and read my song journals I saw what a truly beneficial and cathartic event had taken place.” ‘The Diet’s collection of 12 songs has Omori well on his way.

                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                              Four Years
                                                                              Borderline Friends
                                                                              All By Yourself
                                                                              Happiness Reigns
                                                                              Master Eyes
                                                                              Quiet Girl
                                                                              Black Rainbow
                                                                              Natural Woman
                                                                              Millennial Geishas
                                                                              Last Line
                                                                              Queen
                                                                              A Real You

                                                                              Deaf Wish

                                                                              Lithium Zion

                                                                                There’s an inherent flaw in the perennially alternating “rock is back” and “rock is dead” arguments: they are based on the idea that rock music is a logic-based choice a person consciously chooses to make. Contrary to the critics who are looking to suss out cultural trends and movements, the decision to play loud, distorted, unabashed guitar-rock isn’t a strategic move but a higher calling (or curse, depending on one’s point of view). Some might say the pursuit of rocking out via deafening amplifiers, crusty drums and a beer-battered PA is a spiritual one, an affliction that either strikes or doesn’t. Few groups today embody this sentiment like Melbourne’s aptly-named Deaf Wish.

                                                                                They’re more likely to ask a fellow musician what they do for their “real” job (for one, guitarist Jensen Tjhung works as a builder) than talk shop about publicists, ticket counts and online promotions. They’re a grisly rock group and they’ve already signed to Sub Pop, which is to say they’ve already succeeded beyond their wildest dreams, so anything that comes after (performing in strange new cities, meeting like-minded souls, maybe even selling a t-shirt or two) is a bonus. And if they come to your town, you would be wise to clear your calendar.

                                                                                Lithium Zion is their fifth full-length album (and second for Sub Pop following 2015’s Pain), and, while it’s a rare case that a group’s fifth album is their best, it may in fact be Deaf Wish’s finest. Their previous albums were recorded in makeshift studios - a wise choice for capturing the hazardous riffing, chemically-stained vocals and fiery rhythms conjured by a group such as this - but this step toward a slightly more professional sound only enhances their power. The record opens with “Easy”, a languid rocker in the rich Australian tradition of groups like X and The Scientists. From there it’s onto “FFS”, a moody downhill rocker sung by guitarist Sarah Hardiman that confirms Deaf Wish’s relation to fellow Sub Pop employees like feedtime and Hot Snakes. “The Rat Is Back” is tense and epic; “Hitachi Jackhammer” pays a brief and noisy tribute to Hitachi’s second most notable device (you’d be forgiven for assuming this song is about vibrators). Lithium Zion is a veritable buffet of garage-punk energy, post-punk pathos, sardonic wit and the fearlessness that comes with Aussie rock, a natural consequence for anyone living on a continent teeming with grapefruit-sized spiders and man-eating mosquito swarms.

                                                                                As has always been the case, the whole group shares vocal duties, even drummer Daniel Twomey (you know the band is slightly unhinged if they’re letting the drummer sing). Hardiman and Tjhung are as ragged and hairy as ever, chugging along as though krautrock was trying to speed past the late ‘70s but got caught in the sticky grasp of punk. Such is the way of Deaf Wish, a group destined to write songs that are simultaneously stupid and sublime, vulnerable and ferocious, and play them with the unbridled intensity they demand. Anyone serving a life sentence to rock will surely concur.

                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                Easy
                                                                                FFS
                                                                                Metal Carnage
                                                                                The Rat Is Back
                                                                                Ox
                                                                                Hitachi Jackhammer
                                                                                Lithium Zion
                                                                                Deep Blue Cheated
                                                                                Birthday
                                                                                Afraid For You
                                                                                Through Smoke

                                                                                "We spray our hair into submission, upright to attention. Marching to no orders, imagination has no borders. Well lucky that."  

                                                                                “Me and Jasper,” from Luluc’s third album Sculptor, is a confident challenge to small-town insularity, lilting yet vigilant, and championed by a defiant guitar solo from the band’s friend J Mascis. It’s a reflection on a common pitfall of adolescence: limitless possibility battling constant obstruction. “My own experiences as a teen were often fraught” says songwriter and vocalist Zoe Randell. “The small town I grew up in provided a great study in gossip, scandal, character assassination, and the willingness of people to go along with it.” It’s a song about fighting for agency on an album that is in many ways about volition, potential, and how people can navigate difficulties and opportunities to create different paths.  

                                                                                Sculptor can be consumed loud, because while Luluc's music is at times masterful in it’s minimalism, it is anything but quiet in impact. There’s a turning point people experience when hearing Luluc. Janet Weiss of Sleater-Kinney says “it’s music that, once you hear it, you can’t live without it.” The National’s Matt Berninger said that for months, Passerby was “the only album I wanted to listen to.” “What first hits is that voice,” writes Peter Blackstock (No Depression), “a peaceful serenity that reaches deep into the heart.” When NPR’s Bob Boilen named 2014’s Passerby his album of the year, he wrote: “I've listened to this record by Australia's Luluc more than any other this year. These songs feel like they've always been.” Legendary producer Joe Boyd, who discovered Nick Drake, told BBC radio he exclaimed “Who the hell is this?!” when he first heard Luluc’s debut, Dear Hamlyn.

                                                                                 That gripping quality pulses through Sculptor. Randell writes with more experimentation and possibility. “Broadly speaking, with these new songs I was interested in the difficulties that life can throw at us - what we can do with them, how they can shape us, and what say we have,” she explains. Sonically, the band have broadened their palette. Multi-instrumentalist, singer, and producer Steve Hassett mastered a spectrum of instruments to fully realize the album’s expansive and daring vision. Randell and Hassett did nearly all of the writing, recording, and producing themselves, but their vision is far from insular. In addition to Mascis, Sculptor features contributions from Aaron Dessner (The National, and producer of Passerby), Jim White of Dirty Three, Matt Eccles, and Dave Nelson. Recording took place in Luluc’s new Brooklyn studio, which they built themselves.  

                                                                                That everyone has control of their own story is at the core of Sculptor. For Hassett, it’s illuminated by the last line of the album: “The most beautiful, serene sculpture my hands could make, could trace, could break.” “All of the songs are playing with those ideas,” he says. “Life is something you get, and you can get sidetracked for years and even destroy it, or you can remember that you've got some control over your life.” But listeners of Sculptor may yield some of that control, even if for a short time, to the mastery of the music itself.

                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                Spring
                                                                                Heist
                                                                                Kids
                                                                                Controversy
                                                                                Cambridge
                                                                                Me And Jasper
                                                                                Genius
                                                                                Moon Girl
                                                                                Needn't Be
                                                                                Sculptor

                                                                                Yuno – aka 27-year-old Carlton Joseph Moodie – is in a New York state of mind. He was born there in the Bronx, but from the age of nine months spent his entire life in Florida, and particularly Jacksonville. He's dreamed of returning to New York to live ever since. New York is what inspires his creative streak, even though he's only visited the big city four times. “I plan to move here one day,” he says defiantly, from a cafe in New York. The exotic lure of bright lights, brighter city, is one of the most relatable of tales, and it certainly makes a lot of sense once you've wrapped your ears around Moodie – Yuno's first EP, released via Sub Pop. Moodie is such a New York record. It veers from Tame Impala psych-pop to wonky Vampire Weekend college rock via backpacker hip-hop and, well, Len's “Steal My Sunshine.” It's a collection of songs that chimes with pop's increasing lack of concern for genre. It's the opposite of tribal, as multi-cultural and diverse as a ride on the New York City subway, across all five boroughs. It can't be attributed to one particular origin of sound or vision.  Yuno writes all his music alone at home, self-producing and engineering, playing all the instruments. “I don't really go anywhere in Jacksonville,” he says, drowsily. “I don't drive. I spend a lot of time in my bedroom.” The six-song collection thus sounds like a collage of bedroom posters. “So Slow,” for instance, would be a Washed Out flyer sat next to a piece of Kid Cudi artwork, whereas “Why For” with its squealing Wavves guitars would probably be represented by a big weed sticker or some Sleigh Bells ticket stubs. It's deeply creative and visual.

                                                                                Sub Pop found Yuno via Ish Butler of Shabazz Palaces, who A&Rs for the label. He stumbled on Yuno on Soundcloud and kept a keen eye on him. Like Ish, Yuno is encouraged by the genre-bending age we're in, citing Lil Uzi Vert and Young Thug as sources of influence. The EP's title clearly relates to his surname, but it's also channeling the emotional variety of the tracks. “It covers all the different feelings you have at the end of a relationship,” he notes. “Sometimes you're really happy to be moving on, other times you're really upset to see something go.”  New York, however, was the major muse. “Being here really changed things for me,” he says. “It feels like my pace here. All these things are in one place in New York. There's so much to experience.” Moodie is written from the perspective of being back in Jacksonville, missing the Big Apple. And while it plays out like longing, it's not all doom and gloom. Yuno's major hope is to make music that fills people with happiness. “That will make me happy,” he says, with a light laugh.

                                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                says: Genre bending pop collages that meld left field hip hop beats with mellow guitars and reverbed vocals that bring to mind the likes of the debut Panda Bear album and early Grizzly Bear.

                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                Amber
                                                                                No Going Back
                                                                                Fall In Love
                                                                                Why For
                                                                                So Slow
                                                                                Galapagos

                                                                                It's rare that a band's debut album sounds as confident and self-assured as Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever's Hope Downs. To say that the first full-length from the Melbourne quintet improves on their buzz-building EPs from the last few years would be an understatement: the promise those early releases hinted at is fully realized here, with ten songs of urgent, passionate guitar pop that elicit warm memories of bands past, from the Go-Betweens' jangle to the charmingly lo-fi trappings of New Zealand's Flying Nun label. But don't mistake Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever for nostalgists: Hope Downs is the sound of a band finding its own collective voice.

                                                                                The hard-hitting debut album is a testament to Rolling Blackouts C.F.’s tight-knit and hard-working bonafides. Prior to forming the band in 2013, singers/guitarists Fran Keaney, Tom Russo, and Joe White had played together in various garage bands, dating back to high school. When Rolling Blackouts C.F. started, with Joe Russo [Tom’s brother] on bass, Marcel [Tussie, Joe White's then-housemate] on drums, the chemistry was immediate. After a split EP with You Yangs (another Russo brother's band), released in the form of a frisbee, they self-released Talk Tight in 2015, which Sydney-based record label Ivy League gave a wider release the following year. Talk Tight garnered plaudits from critics, including legendary rock scribe Robert Christgau. In 2017, Sub Pop released The French Press EP, bringing the band's chugging and tuneful non-linear indie rock to the rest of the world as they settled into their sound with remarkable ease.

                                                                                Hope Downs was largely written over the past year in the band's Melbourne rehearsal room where their previous releases were also written and recorded. The band's core trio of songwriters hunkered down and wrote as the chaos of the world outside unavoidably seeped into the songwriting process. "We were feeling like we were in a moment where the sands were shifting and the world was getting a lot weirder. There was a general sense that things were coming apart at the seams and people around us were too,” Russo explains. The album title, taken from the name of a vast open cut mine in the middle of Australia, refers to the feeling of “standing at the edge of the void of the big unknown, and finding something to hold on to.”

                                                                                With the help of engineer/producer Liam Judson and his portable setup, the band recorded Hope Downs live, and co-produced ten guitar pop gems over the course of two weeks in Northern New South Wales during the winter of 2017. Hope Downs possesses a robust full-band sound that's all the more impressive considering the band's avoidance of traditional recording studios. If you loved Talk Tight and The French Press, you certainly won't be disappointed here—but you might also be surprised at how the band’s sound has grown. There's a richness and weight to these songs that was previously only hinted at, from the skyscraping chorus of “Sister's Jeans” to the thrilling climax of album closer “The Hammer.”

                                                                                Hope Downs is as much about the people that populate the world around us—their stories, perspectives, and hopes in the face of disillusionment—as it is about the state of things at large. It's a record that focuses on finding the bright spots at a time when cynicism all too often feels like the natural state. Rolling Blackouts C.F. are here to remind us to keep our feet on the ground—and Hope Downs is as delicious a taste of terra firma as you're going to get from a rock band right now.

                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                An Air Conditioned Man
                                                                                Talking Straight
                                                                                Mainland
                                                                                Time In Common
                                                                                Sister's Jeans
                                                                                Bellarine
                                                                                Cappuccino City
                                                                                Exclusive Grave
                                                                                How Long?
                                                                                The Hammer

                                                                                Jeremy Enigk

                                                                                Return Of The Frog Queen

                                                                                  Jeremy Enigk performed with legendary indie rock band Sunny Day Real Estate from 1993 to 2000. He was their singer, songwriter, and one of their guitarists. In 1996, following Sunny Day Real Estate’s first breakup (which lasted from 1995 to 1997), Enigk released his first solo album, Return of the Frog Queen.

                                                                                  Return of the Frog Queen represents a major shift from the sound of Sunny Day Real Estate. The album features a 21-piece orchestra backing Enigk as he performs striking, dramatic, chamber-pop compositions that demonstrate the full breadth of Enigk’s talents as a singer, musician, and songwriter. The album was produced by Greg Williamson, who also produced Sunny Day Real Estate’s 1998 comeback album, How it Feels to Be Something On.

                                                                                  Return of the Frog Queen has been out of print since its original 1996 pressing. This reissue includes the original album, remastered in 2018, plus digital bonus tracks from Enigk’s 1996 live session on Seattle radio station The End.

                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                  Abegail Anne
                                                                                  Return Of The Frog Queen
                                                                                  Lewis Hollow
                                                                                  Lizard
                                                                                  Carnival
                                                                                  Call Me Steam
                                                                                  Explain
                                                                                  Shade And The Black Hat
                                                                                  Fallen Heart
                                                                                  Abegal Anne (The End Sessions) *digital-only Bonus Track
                                                                                  Return Of The Frog Queen (The End Sessions) *digital-only Bonus Track
                                                                                  Lizard (The End Sessions) *digital-only Bonus Track
                                                                                  Carnival (The End Sessions) *digital-only Bonus Track
                                                                                  Explain (The End Sessions) *digital-only Bonus Track

                                                                                  Jo Passed

                                                                                  Their Prime

                                                                                    The nicest thing anyone has ever – ever – said to Jo Hirabayashi, frontman of Jo Passed, is that his band's debut album sounds like “fucked-up Beatles”. Titled Their Prime, the LP does sound like fucked-up Beatles. It sounds like, somewhere across an ‘80s universe, Lennon and McCartney discovered Can and Neu!, and maybe a little Sonic Youth and XTC along the way. Opening with “Left,” it demonstrates that timeless knack for dreamy melodies – chord progressions that sound like they were created in a land far far away. Lyrically, however, it's imbued with a philosophical longing for answers to questions that have resurfaced for the first time since the explosion of counterculture in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

                                                                                    Their Prime is a record about identity and the loss of time that happens as a direct consequence of being in the city with nowhere to rent, no time outside of employment and no realistic expectations to live up to. It encompasses that fear of being beyond the glory years, the most creatively fruitful period of one’s life. Those years were lost to contemporary struggles for working relationships, home, identity and space. “It's me owning my worst nightmare,” he admits. “A lot of the Jo Passed project has been about confronting fears. I was afraid to move away from Vancouver to Montreal on my own. Afraid to leave musical relationships I had. Afraid to bare the full responsibility of a project. I've been putting out records and not ones anyone's necessarily heard. Being open about those fears is a good way of dealing with them. You end up at this point where you hit 30 and you're like, 'Oh what happened? Am I done? Did I not activate my main creative energy?' It's a ridiculous idea but 30 feels a little like 1000 in rock n roll terms.” You can hear the frustrations and the jitters in the crashing loud-and-quiet motifs throughout the album's twelve tracks, which offer up a patchwork quilt of sound, similar to Faust's IV or Fugazi's Red Medicine.

                                                                                    Forth Wanderers

                                                                                    Forth Wanderers

                                                                                      Forth Wanderers employ a tin-can-telephone style of composition which they use even when living in the same area code. Since first collaborating in 2013 as Montclair, New Jersey high schoolers, guitarist and songwriter Ben Guterl and vocalist Ava Trilling have passed songs back and forth like pen pals. Guterl will devise an instrumental skeleton before sending it to vocalist Ava Trilling who pens the lyrics based off the melody. The duo then gather alongside guitarist Duke Greene, bassist Noah Schifrin, and drummer Zach Lorelli to expand upon the demo. It’s a patient and practiced writing system that has carried the quintet through two EPs (2013’s Mahogany and 2016’s Slop) and one LP (2014’s Tough Love). Forth Wanderers, the group’s sophomore record and Sub Pop debut, is the groups’ most comprehensive and assured statement yet.

                                                                                      Now living in Ohio and New York respectively, Guterl and Trilling have evolved their separate but collaborative writing process. “The only way I can really write is by myself in my room with a notebook, listening to the song over and over again,” Trilling says. “I’ve never sat down to write a story, I write the song as it unfolds.” Since her lyrics are often embedded with intimate truths from her life, the private writing experience often leads to intense self-reflection.

                                                                                      On Forth Wanderers these introspections include meditations on relationships, discovery, and finding oneself adrift. Despite the inherent heaviness of those themes, Forth Wanderers feels joyous, a rock record bursting with heart. Take “Not for Me,” a romping track about “the ambivalence of love.” Trilling’s confession of “I can’t feel the earth beneath my feet/Flowers bloom but not for me” resists feeling like a dreary, pitying complaint; instead, as her bandmates bolster her melancholy with interlocking harmonic intricacies, she soars with self-actualization. Opener “Nevermine,” is a surge of confidence inspired by an ex-lover who is still captivated by her image. “I don’t think I know who you are anymore/And I think I knew who I was before,” she jabs with relish. On “Ages Ago” Trilling paints the image of a constantly-shifting enigmatic lover. “I wasn’t sure who they were, they changed constantly (hence the metaphor describing the “grey coat” and cutting their hair just to “stay afloat”),” she says. “I wasn’t going to wait any longer to find out.”

                                                                                      Recorded over five days by friend and audio engineer Cameron Konner at his Philadelphia home studio, Forth Wanderers amplifies the heartfelt sentiments of their earlier works into massive anthems. Guterl and Greene’s guitars have never sounded sharper, Schifrin and Lorelli’s terse rhythm section is restless, and Trilling sounds more self-assured than ever. These are exuberant, profound songs driven by tightly bound melodies and a loving attention to detail.

                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                      says: Encompassing the spirit of languid college-rock, laid back and full of mellow guitar strums and cleverly penned rhythmic flourishes and those stunning harmonies make this an enthralling and rewarding whole. A superb debut.

                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                      1. Nevermine
                                                                                      2. Company
                                                                                      3. Ages Ago
                                                                                      4. Taste
                                                                                      5. Not For Me
                                                                                      6. Be My Baby
                                                                                      7. New Face
                                                                                      8. Saunter
                                                                                      9. Tired Games
                                                                                      10. Temporary

                                                                                      When asked to describe the title track from his new record, Kyle Thomas—aka King Tuff—takes a deep breath. “It’s a song about hitting rock bottom,” he says. “I didn't even know what I wanted to do anymore, but I still had this urge, like there was this possibility of something else I could be doing… and then I just followed that possibility. To me, that’s what songwriting, and art in general, is about. You’re chasing something. ‘The Other’ is basically where songs come from. It’s the hidden world. It’s the invisible hand that guides you whenever you make something. It’s the thing I had to rediscover to bring me back to making music again in a way that felt true and good.” After years of non-stop touring, culminating in a particularly arduous stint in support of 2014’s Black Moon Spell, Thomas found himself back in Los Angeles experiencing the flipside of the ultimate rock and roll cliche. “I had literally been on tour for years,” recalls Thomas. “It was exhausting, physically and mentally. I’m essentially playing this character of King Tuff, this crazy party monster, and I don’t even drink or do drugs. It had become a weird persona, which people seemed to want from me, but it was no longer me. I just felt like it had gotten away from me.” The ten tracks that make up The Other represent a kind of psychic evolution for King Tuff. No less hooky than previous records, the new songs ditch the goofy rock-and-roll bacchanalia narratives of earlier records in favor of expansive arrangements, a diversity of instrumentation, and lyrics that straddle the fence between painful ruminations and a childlike, creative energy untarnished by cynicism. The soulful and cosmic new direction is apparent from the album’s first moments: introduced by the gentle ringing of a chime, acoustic guitar, and warm organ tones, “The Other” is a narrative of redemption born of creativity. As Thomas sings about being stuck in traffic, directionless, with no particular reason to be alive, he hears the call of “the other,” a kind of siren song that, instead of leading towards destruction, draws the narrator towards a creative rebirth. Elsewhere, tracks like “Thru the Cracks” and “Psycho Star” balance psychedelia with day-glo pop hooks. “The universe is probably an illusion, but isn’t it so beautifully bizarre?” he asks on “Psycho Star,” providing one of the record’s central tenets. At a time when everything in the world feels so deeply spoiled and the concept of making meaning out of the void seems both pointless and impossible, why not try? Thomas self-produced the record, as he did his 2007 debut, Was Dead, but on a far grander scale. He recorded it at The Pine Room, the home studio Thomas built to work on the record, and playing every instrument aside from drums and saxophone. He pulled Shawn Everett (War On Drugs, Alabama Shakes) in to assist with the mixing process. While it would be easy to think of The Other as a kind of reinvention for King Tuff, Thomas views the entire experience of the record as a kind of reset that’s not totally removed from what he’s done in the past. “I can’t help but sound like me,” he says. “It’s just that this time I let the songs lead me where they wanted to go, instead of trying to push them into a certain zone. King Tuff was always just supposed to be me. When I started doing this as a teenager, it was whatever I wanted it to be. King Tuff was never supposed to be just one thing. It was supposed to be everything.”

                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                      says: A bleak but unbelievably addictive journey into the mind of King Tuff, through the euphoric highs and crushing lows, acoustic balladry and stoned musings. Simmering, heartfelt and absolutely worth every minute. Think the honest acoustic innocence of Daniel Johnston with Jeff Tweedy's perfectly emotive production, and you're somewhere close.

                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                      The Other
                                                                                      Raindrop Blue
                                                                                      Thru The Cracks
                                                                                      Psycho Star
                                                                                      Infinite Mile
                                                                                      Birds Of Paradise
                                                                                      Circuits In The Sand
                                                                                      Ultraviolet
                                                                                      Neverending Sunshine
                                                                                      No Man's Land

                                                                                      New York-native songwriter Greta Kline has shared a bounty of her innermost thoughts and experiences via the massive number of songs she has released since 2011. Like many of her peers, Kline’s prolific output was initially born from the ease of bedroom recording and self-releasing offered by digital technology and the internet. But, as she’s grown as a writer and performer, devising more complex albums and playing to larger audiences, Kline has begun to make her mark on modern independent music. Her newest record, Vessel, is the 52nd release from Kline and the third studio album by her indie pop outfit Frankie Cosmos. On it, Kline explores all of the changes that have come in her life as a result of the music she has shared with the world, as well as the parts of her life that have remained irrevocable.

                                                                                       Frankie Cosmos has taken several different shapes since their first full-band album, 2014’s Zentropy, erupted in New York’s DIY music scene. For Vessel the band’s lineup comprises multi-instrumentalists David Maine, Lauren Martin, Luke Pyenson, and Kline. The album’s 18 tracks employ a range of instrumentations and recording methods not found on the band’s prior albums, while maintaining the succinctly sincere nature of Kline’s songwriting. The album’s opening track, “Caramelize,” serves as the thematic overture for Vessel, alluding to topics like dependency, growth, and love, which reemerge throughout the record. Although many of the scenarios and personalities written about on Vessel are familiar territory for Frankie Cosmos, Kline brings a freshly nuanced point of view, and a desire to constantly question the latent meaning of her experiences. Kline’s dissonant lyrics pair with the band’s driving, jangly grooves to create striking moments of musical chemistry.
                                                                                      Vessel’s 34-minute run time is exactly double the length of Frankie Cosmos’ breakout record, Zentropy, and it is an enormous leap forward. Typically, albums by artists at a similar stage in their careers are written with the weight of knowing that someone is on the other end listening. Yet, despite being fully aware of their ever-growing audience, Kline and band have written Vessel with a clarity not muddled by the fear of anyone’s expectations. Vessel’s unique sensibility, esoteric narratives, and reveling energy lace it comfortably in Kline’s ongoing musical auto-biography.

                                                                                       Vessel was recorded in Binghamton, New York with Hunter Davidsohn, the producer and engineer who helped craft Zentropy and Next Thing, and at Gravesend Recordings in Brooklyn with Carlos Hernandez and Julian Fader. It features contributions from Alex Bailey (formerly of Warehouse, and now part of the live configuration of Frankie Cosmos), Vishal Narang (of Airhead DC), and singer/songwriter Anna McClellan, all of whom have played on bills with Frankie Cosmos and collaborated on-stage with the band. The final mixes were done by Davidsohn, and the album was mastered by Josh Bonati. 


                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                      says: Inventive chord progressions, hummable choruses and an innate understanding of melody, Kline is amongst the most bafflingly capable and intensely talented songwriters out there. Highly recommended.

                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                      1. Caramelize
                                                                                      2. Apathy
                                                                                      3. As Often As I Can
                                                                                      4. This Stuff
                                                                                      5. Jesse
                                                                                      6. Duet
                                                                                      7. Accommodate
                                                                                      8. I'm Fried
                                                                                      9. Hereby
                                                                                      10. Ballad Of R & J
                                                                                      11. Ur Up
                                                                                      12. Being Alive
                                                                                      13. Bus Bus Train Train
                                                                                      14. My Phone
                                                                                      15. Cafeteria
                                                                                      16. The End
                                                                                      17. Same Thing
                                                                                      18. Vessel

                                                                                      Band Of Horses

                                                                                      Everything All The Time

                                                                                        Folks, you don't need to buy any records by My Morning Jacket, Flaming Lips or Mercury Rev anymore, Seattle's Band Of Horses have combined all three and only gone and made one of the albums of the year! These are huge, emotive, yearning songs. The sound is reverb-drenched and lonesome: enormo guitars chime whilst Ben Bridewell whacks out his vocals like Perry Farrel's little, lost brother. OK, they sound very similar to M.M. Jacket, but there's a directness here that's exhilarating. The whole record flows, but there's some absolute anthems lurking amidst the drift and echo. It's a towering, beautiful thing.

                                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                                        The First Song
                                                                                        Wicked Gil
                                                                                        Our Swords
                                                                                        The Funeral
                                                                                        Part One
                                                                                        The Great Salt Lake
                                                                                        Weed Party
                                                                                        I Go To The Barn Because I Like The Monsters
                                                                                        St. Augustine

                                                                                        Hot Snakes

                                                                                        Jericho Sirens

                                                                                          After a 14-year hiatus from the studio, Hot Snakes have triumphantly kicked down the door back into our lives with their new album, Jericho Sirens. And amid the mania of non-stop political rhetoric, doom-and-gloom prognostications and omnipresent technology, it’s not a moment too soon.

                                                                                           Hot Snakes formed in 2000, after the release of their first record, Automatic Midnight. They were John Reis, Jason Kourkounis, Rick Froberg and Gar Wood. The band’s sound represented a return to the unrealized past of its members. This time, their musics would be direct, undraped and rock ‘n’ roll while still maintaining the dense and turbulent character of the members’ previous work. That year, Hot Snakes found their live sound and established themselves as primo, down-stroke warlords. They followed with a pair of great albums – 2002’s Suicide Invoice, with drummer Jason Kourkounis, and 2004’s Audit in Progress, with Mario Rubalcaba on drums – that broadened the band’s sound while pleasing many a fan. However, the band eventually spiraled downward into a mid-life punk crisis, and by 2005 they had stopped performing.

                                                                                          BUT! 2011 saw the return of Hot Snakes, with a string of festival shows. Both drummers performed with the band on the songs which they recorded, and the group discussed writing new material. After an additional 6 years of discussions, Hot Snakes returned to the studio in 2017 to commence recording, and the results are, finally, revealed in Jericho Sirens.

                                                                                          Musically, Jericho Sirens incorporates the most extreme fringes of the Hot Snakes sound (the vein-bulging, 78-second “Why Don’t It Sink In?” the pounding downstrokes of “Having Another?”), while staying true to longstanding influences such as the Wipers, Dead Moon and Suicide on propulsive tracks such as “Six Wave Hold-Down,” one of the first written for the project during a New Year’s Eve 2017 session in Philadelphia. Other moments like the choruses of “Jericho Sirens” and “Psychoactive” nod to classic-rock titans such as AC/DC and Ozzy Osbourne, with Froberg admitting, “I’m as much a hesher as I am anything else, that’s for sure.” For Reis, reactivating his creative partnership with Froberg was one of the most rewarding aspects of the process: “Our perspectives are similar. Our tastes are similar. We work really well together. And what more is there to say? Rick totally outdid himself on this record, vocally and lyrically.”

                                                                                          Jericho Sirens was recorded in short bursts over the past year in Philadelphia and San Diego, with assistance from longtime bassist Gar Wood. Kourkounis and Rubalcaba, both of whom drummed on prior Hot Snakes releases but never on the same one, contributed throughout.


                                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                                          I Need A Doctor
                                                                                          Candid Cameras
                                                                                          Why Don't It Sink In?
                                                                                          Six Wave Hold-Down
                                                                                          Jericho Sirens
                                                                                          Death Camp Fantasy
                                                                                          Having Another?
                                                                                          Death Doula
                                                                                          Psychoactive
                                                                                          Death Of A Sportsman

                                                                                          Moaning is a band defined by its duality. The abrasive, post punk trio comprised of Sean Solomon, Pascal Stevenson, and Andrew MacKelvie, began nearly a decade after they met in L.A.’s DIY music scene. Their debut album comes born out of the member’s experiences with love and distress, creating a sound uniquely dark and sincere. Although the band is just breaking out of their infancy, Moaning’s sleek and cavernous tone emphasizes the turmoil of the era they were born into. One where the endless possibility for art and creation is met with the fear and doubt of an uncertain future.

                                                                                          The trio began regularly frequenting DIY institutions like The Smell and Pehrspace, eventually selling out dozens of their own shows at both venues with their first few bands. Solomon recalls, after a brief hiatus from playing together, Moaning’s conception came when he sent Stevenson and MacKelvie the first demo for “Don’t Go,” setting the tone for the impulsive songwriting that would follow.

                                                                                          The three fleshed out Solomon’s primitive recordings, adding in MacKelvie’s heavy syncopated drumming, and Stevenson’s melodic driving bass and synth parts, capturing each member’s personality in their sparse and fuzzed out tracks. Like many of their previous collaborative projects, Moaning forces pain up against pleasure, using the complexity of personal heartbreak to inform the band’s conflicted sound. The band eventually landed on the apt moniker Moaning, admiring the ambiguity the name held and hoping to reference both an intimate wail and an anguished scream

                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                          says: Sub Pop really are on a roll at the moment! LA band Moaning bring us some doomy, abrasive guitar tunes, with skittering drums and rumbling fluid bass lines that nod to early 80s post punk. Add to that dead-pan vocals and big hooks and they've got me sold!

                                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                                          1. Don’t Go
                                                                                          2. Tired
                                                                                          3. Artificial
                                                                                          4. Close
                                                                                          5. Does This Work For You
                                                                                          6. The Same
                                                                                          7. For Now
                                                                                          8. Useless
                                                                                          9. Misheard
                                                                                          10. Somewhere In There

                                                                                          Kyle Craft

                                                                                          Full Circle Nightmare

                                                                                            Ever since his debut album Dolls of Highland was released on Sub Pop in 2016, Kyle Craft has been a critic's dream. Based in Portland, he serves up all the observational, storytelling talent with none of the attitude that so often comes with male singer-songwriter territory. “I've found my place,” he says. “I'm not one of those people that approaches music for anyone other than myself. My favorite part about music is when it's just me and a notebook.” Speaking of, his second forthcoming album Full Circle Nightmare is entirely autobiographical. Sonically, thematically, lyrically, it's a huge leap forward from his 2016 release.

                                                                                             The title Full Circle Nightmare refers to a moment where Craft saw his life for what it is and told himself to be satisfied. “But that's nightmarish to me,” he laughs. He described his debut record as: “like walking down this long hall of bizarre characters and surreal experiences, moving through the spider web of love and loss.” This album is when you get to the end of that hallway, turn around and see all the stuff you've been through, then walk through the door, close it and start a new chapter in an even crazier hallway. A straight-up rollicking rock'n'roll album, it traverses all the different nuances of the genre; from the bluegrass twang of 'Exile Rag,’ to the gothic style of 'Gold Calf Moan,' it's a timeless piece that could exist in any of the past five decades.
                                                                                            In terms of contemporary peers, Craft likes to stay in his own lane. He's an old soul who sticks to his tried and tested influences. Social media is not his game - it's just not interesting to him. He's not fussed about preaching his politics or discussing the status quo either. “I don't really like writing a time piece. I don't wanna get trapped in the 'Donald Trump era of Kyle Craft,' you know? I'm a very off-the-grid sort of person. As much as I am traveling across this giant place sometimes I just feel so outside of it. Also, I'm not necessarily a stand-up citizen so it's hard for me to say: here's Kyle Craft's America, ladies and gentlemen.”

                                                                                            The ironic thing is that Full Circle Nightmare sounds exactly like Kyle Craft's America. That is what he's built for us: the story of one man's trials and tribulations to find his passion and voice for art and creativity in this vast opportunistic country. Where did he find it? Among the historic riches of America's most honest sounds.


                                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                            says: Sliding guitars, tinkling pianos and the percussive sound of saloon doors opening in a hurry, tastefully hinting at classic Americana anthems, but tempering them with a melodic and progressive sensibility rarely heard in classic country rock.

                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                            1. Fever Dream Girl
                                                                                            2. Full Circle Nightmare
                                                                                            3. Heartbreak Junky
                                                                                            4. The Rager
                                                                                            5. Exile Rag
                                                                                            6. Belmont (One Trick Pony)
                                                                                            7. Slick & Delta Queen
                                                                                            8. Fake Magic Angel
                                                                                            9. Bridge City Rose
                                                                                            10. Gold Calf Moan

                                                                                            Hot Snakes

                                                                                            Suicide Invoice

                                                                                              Suicide Invoice is Hot Snakes' second album, and was originally released in 2002. It was recorded at San Diego’s Drag Racist Studios in 2002 with engineer Ben Moore. The album exhibits Hot Snakes’ slightly larger palate in mood and dissonance. People enjoyed the shows and listening to the recorded music. But, strain from controversy and fame would reveal cracks in the seemingly impenetrable hide of Hot Snakes. A year after the album’s release, drummer Jason Kourkounis left to focus on other music.





                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                              1. I Hate The Kids
                                                                                              2. Gar Forgets His Insulin
                                                                                              3. XOX
                                                                                              4. Who Died
                                                                                              5. Suicide Invoice
                                                                                              6. Paid In Cigarettes
                                                                                              7. LAX
                                                                                              8. Bye Nancy Boy
                                                                                              9. Paperwork
                                                                                              10. Why Does It Hurt
                                                                                              11. Unlisted
                                                                                              12. Ben Gurion

                                                                                              Hot Snakes

                                                                                              Audit In Progress

                                                                                                Audit in Progress is Hot Snakes' third studio album, originally released in 2004. The band recorded the album with new drummer Mario Rubalcaba at San Diego’s Big Fish Recording with engineer Ben Moore. An increased attraction to dissonance surfaced on Audit in Progress. The album was well-received by critics and fans and was named "best punk album" at the 2005 San Diego Music Awards. More shows were played and enjoyed and the band visited many cities all over the world. By 2005, the band spiraled into a mid-life punk crisis and stopped performing.

                                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                1. Braintrust
                                                                                                2. Hi-Lites
                                                                                                3. Retrofit
                                                                                                4. Kreative Kontrol
                                                                                                5. Think About Carbs
                                                                                                6. Audit In Progress
                                                                                                7. Hatchet Job
                                                                                                8. This Mystic Decade
                                                                                                9. Lovebirds
                                                                                                10. Reflex
                                                                                                11. Hair And DNA
                                                                                                12. Plenty For All

                                                                                                Hot Snakes

                                                                                                Automatic Midnight

                                                                                                  Automatic Midnight, Hot Snakes’ first studio album, originally came out in 2000. Both the band and the album began as a side project for John Reis in June 1999, during time off from his main band Rocket From the Crypt. Reis wrote and recorded a batch of songs in San Diego with Delta 72 drummer Jason Kourkounis. To provide vocals for the tracks Reis called in Rick Froberg, whom he had played with in Pitchfork and Drive Like Jehu from 1986 to 1995. Most of the material from these sessions was used to create Automatic Midnight, which became the first release for Reis' newly formed Swami Records label. The band’s sound represented a return to the unrealized past of its members: direct, undraped and rock ‘n’ roll while still maintaining the dense and turbulent character of the members’ previous work. In April or May of 2000, Hot Snakes added bassist Gar Wood, found their live sound and established themselves as primo, down-stroke warlords. 




                                                                                                  The Afghan Whigs

                                                                                                  Up In It - Vinyl Reissue

                                                                                                    ‘Up In It’ is The Afghan Whigs’ second full length and their Sub Pop debut. The 1990 album, recorded by legendary producer Jack Endino, was critically acclaimed and garnered strong college radio airplay. It has been out of print on vinyl for over 25 years.

                                                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                    Retarded
                                                                                                    White Trash Party
                                                                                                    Hated
                                                                                                    Southpaw
                                                                                                    Amphetamines And Cofee
                                                                                                    Hey Cuz
                                                                                                    You My Flower
                                                                                                    Son Of The South
                                                                                                    I Know Your Little Secret

                                                                                                    In rock - as in life - change is unavoidable, often painful, but ultimately necessary, and Alicia Bognanno and her band Bully have dealt with a lot of it since their debut record Feels Like hit in 2015. Now with a new label and another couple years worth of life experience, the 12 new songs on Losing feel like perfect anthems for a generation still learning to harness the power of resistance.

                                                                                                    With a vocal style that is as pretty as it is powerful, and emotionally resonant lyrics, Alicia channels the loss of innocence and reveals a raw honesty in songs that are distinctly hers. I love Bully the way I love Sebadoh, Dinosaur Jr and the Breeders. Their sound takes me back to the stripped down and thoughtfully engineered songs that haunt me long after they’re gone and never get old. Another good reason to be with Sub Pop, who have always been associated with music that is built to last. I feel like all my best work has been born of heartbreak and upheaval; maybe most musicians feel that way.

                                                                                                    “The title of the record –Losing – kind of says it all,” Alicia says. “After being on the road so long and coming back to Nashville we all had a lot of changes going on in our personal lives that we were trying to deal with / adjust to and that was really the motivation for this one.” “Feel the Same” is about being stuck in the claustrophobia of a manic state of mind. It’s Alicia’s favorite song to scream.

                                                                                                    “Seeing It,” she says, is about the unique anxiety and vigilance about personal safety that comes with being a woman: “Such a blurring place to be / stuck in your own body.” Lately Alicia has been lending her voice as an advocate for gun control, women's rights and speaking out in support of animal rights. In some ways my generation were in a bubble in the 90s; I never gave any thought to what Bill Clinton was up to, for instance – but in 2017, Losing sounds like a personal and necessary call to arms to me; we need rock n roll now more than ever.

                                                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                    1. Feel The Same
                                                                                                    2. Kills To Be Resistant
                                                                                                    3. Running
                                                                                                    4. Seeing It
                                                                                                    5. Guess There
                                                                                                    6. Blame
                                                                                                    7. Focused
                                                                                                    8. Not The Way
                                                                                                    9. Spiral
                                                                                                    10. Either Way
                                                                                                    11. You Could Be Wrong
                                                                                                    12. Hate And Control

                                                                                                    The soaring choruses, rousing anthems, sprawling guitars and chaotic keys that make up Wolf Parade are on proud display over the course of Cry Cry Cry, the band’s thunderous first album in seven years.

                                                                                                    That unique combination of sounds and influences, spearheaded by electric co-frontmen Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner—a complex yet relatable, energetic brew of glam, prog, synth-rock, and satisfying discomfort—helped define 2000s indie rock with three critically celebrated albums, and propelled a growing Wolf Parade fandom even after the band went on a then-indefinite hiatus in 2010.

                                                                                                    The album is their first to be produced by Pacific Northwest legend John Goodmanson (Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney, Unwound) at Robert Lang Studios outside of Seattle, and is accompanied by a renewed focus and the creativity of a band that took their time getting exactly where they needed to be. It’s also a homecoming to Sub Pop, which released all three of the band’s previous albums.

                                                                                                    “The band itself is almost a fifth member of the band, something more or at least different than the sum of its parts,” says Krug. “We don't know who or what is responsible for our sound, it's just something that naturally and consistently comes from this particular combo of musicians.”

                                                                                                    “Once we got back together, I was playing guitar, writing and singing in a way that I only do while I'm in Wolf Parade,” says Dan Boeckner, who shares primary lyrical and singing duties with Spencer. “It’s just something that I can't access without the other three people in the room.”

                                                                                                    In the time apart, the band scattered geographically and focused on family and other work--Spencer on his solo project Moonface, Dan on his bands Handsome Furs, Operators, and Divine Fits (with Spoon’s Britt Daniel), and Dante De Caro on records with Carey Mercer’s Frog Eyes and Blackout Beach. And that time allowed for an even stronger, tighter band to emerge.

                                                                                                    Eventually, Spencer, Dante, and Arlen found themselves all back living on remote Vancouver Island, accompanied by a population density less than that of Alaska, and the tranquility that leads to creative emanations like a government-sponsored bathtub race. With Dan on the same coast in Northern California, discussions began about picking things up where they left off.

                                                                                                    “All of our albums are always a reaction to our last one,” says Arlen. “Expo 86 (2010) was about as sparse as we get, which is usually still pretty dense, and this time we wanted to make the palette a little larger.” Adds Dante, “Expo was a real rock record. We just sort of banged it out, which was kind of the point.” Cry Cry Cry, on the other hand, is more deliberate in its arrangements and embrace of the studio process. “If a part was going on for too long it would get lopped, you know?” says Dan. “That being said, there are two very long songs on the record and I don't think it would be a Wolf Parade record if it didn't have some kind of prog epic.”

                                                                                                    “I think we're actually a better band than we were when we stopped playing music together,” says Arlen. “A little bit more life experience for everybody, and people having made a bunch of records on their own.”

                                                                                                    The result of this new consciousness is songs like “Valley Boy,” a Bowie-inflected anthem for which Spencer wrote lyrics after Leonard Cohen died the day before the 2016 election (“The radio’s been playing all your songs, talking about the way you slipped away up the stairs, did you know that it was all gonna go wrong?”). “You’re Dreaming,” also influenced by the election and the spinning shock that followed, is driving, urgent power pop that draws from artists like Tom Petty and what Dan calls one of his “default languages” for writing music. The swirly, synth-heavy crescendo of “Artificial Life” takes on the struggle of artists and at-risk communities (“If the flood should ever come, we’ll be last in the lifeboat”).

                                                                                                    The album carries a sense of uprising that is not unrelated to Wolf Parade’s renewed determination to drive the band forward in uncertain times. Welcome to Cry Cry Cry.

                                                                                                    All right
                                                                                                    Let’s fight
                                                                                                    Let’s rage against the night

                                                                                                    - “Lazarus Online” (Spencer Krug)

                                                                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                    says: Poppy, snarling odes to love and life, filtered through Wolf Parade's unmistakable style. In parts minimalistic before launching into roaring rock anthems. Undoubtedly brilliant, and finally out!

                                                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                    1. Lazarus Online
                                                                                                    2. You’re Dreaming
                                                                                                    3. Valley Boy
                                                                                                    4. Incantation
                                                                                                    5. Files On The Sun
                                                                                                    6. Baby Blue
                                                                                                    7. Weaponized
                                                                                                    8. Who Are Ya
                                                                                                    9. Am I An Alien Here
                                                                                                    10. Artificial Life
                                                                                                    11. King Of Piss And Paper

                                                                                                     Since releasing their self-titled debut record in 2012, which The New Yorker called, “One of the year’s best albums…a punishing, noisy, exhilarating thing,” the Toronto-based 3-piece METZ have garnered international acclaim as one of the most electrifying and forceful live acts, touring widely and extensively, playing hundreds of shows each year around the world.

                                                                                                    Now, Alex Edkins (guitar, vocals), along with Hayden Menzies (drums), and Chris Slorach (bass) unleash their highly-anticipated third full-length album, Strange Peace, an emphatic but artful hammer swing to the status quo.

                                                                                                    "The best punk isn't an assault as much as it's a challenge — to what's normal, to what's comfortable, or simply to what's expected. Teetering on the edge of perpetual implosion,” NPR wrote in their glowing review of METZ’s 2015 second album, II.

                                                                                                    Strange Peace was recorded in Chicago, live off the floor to tape with Steve Albini. The result is a distinct artistic maturation into new and alarming territory, frantically pushing past where the band has gone before, while capturing the notorious intensity of their live show. The trio continued to assemble the album (including home recordings, additional instrumentation) in their hometown, adding the finishing touches with longtime collaborator, engineer and mixer, Graham Walsh.  

                                                                                                    Strange Peace isn’t merely a collection of eleven uninhibited and urgent songs. It’s also a kind of sonic venting, a truculent social commentary that bludgeons and provokes, excites and unsettles. With all the pleasurable tension and anxiety of a fever dream, Strange Peace is equal parts challenging and accessible. It is this implausible balancing act, moving from one end of the musical spectrum to the other, that only a band of METZ’s power and capacity can maintain: discordant and melodic, powerful and controlled, meticulous and instinctive, subtle and complex, precise and reckless, wholehearted and merciless, brutal and optimistic, terrifying and fun.

                                                                                                    “Their whiplash of distortion is made with precision, a contained chaos. But you would never talk about them like that. Because METZ are not something you study or analyze,” wrote Liisa Ladouceur in Exclaim! “They are something you feel: a transfer of energy, pure and simple.” In other words: to feel something, fiercely and intensely, but together, not alone.

                                                                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                    says: Rawkous, punky snarling rock, infused with the energy of political upheaval, and produced with a fine-tuned and perfect balance between melodicism and raw lo-fi energy. A fist-pumper to the end. Turn it up and get going!

                                                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                    1. Mess Of Wires
                                                                                                    2. Drained Lake
                                                                                                    3. Cellophane
                                                                                                    4. Caterpillar
                                                                                                    5. Lost In The Blank City
                                                                                                    6. Mr. Plague
                                                                                                    7. Sink
                                                                                                    8. Common Trash
                                                                                                    9. Escalator Teeth
                                                                                                    10. Dig A Hole
                                                                                                    11. Raw Materials

                                                                                                    Chad VanGaalen

                                                                                                    Light Information

                                                                                                      Nobody cared about their old heads, because the new ones work just fine now, don't they?.... they have the same size mouth and eyes.

                                                                                                      The song “Old Heads” is a sci-fi space anthem to technology that constantly replaces itself, proving both necessary and unnecessary at the same time. It’s also a jangly pop gem, a trip through the fantastical that is ultimately warm and relatable. 

                                                                                                      For an album that’s about “not feeling comfortable with really anything,” as VanGaalen says, Light Information is nonetheless a vivid, welcoming journey through future worlds and relentless memories. The rich soundscapes and sometimes jarring imagery could only come from the mind of a creative polymath--an accomplished visual artist, animator, director, and producer, VanGaalen has scored television shows, designed puppet characters for Adult Swim, directed videos for Shabazz Palaces, Strand of Oaks, METZ, Dan Deacon, and The Head and the Heart, and produced records for Women, Alvvays, and others.

                                                                                                      While alienation has always been a theme of VanGaalen’s music, Light Information draws on a new kind of wisdom--and anxiety--gained as he watches his kids growing up. “Being a parent has given me a sort of alternate perspective, worrying about exposure to a new type of consciousness that's happening through the internet,” he says. Throughout the dark-wave reverb of Light Information are stories of paranoia, disembodiment, and isolation--but there’s also playfulness, empathy, and intimacy.

                                                                                                      The product of six years’ work, going back even before 2014’s Shrink Dust, Light Information emerged from the experimental instruments that fill VanGaalen’s Calgary garage studio. As always, VanGaalen wrote, played, and produced all of the music on Light Information (save Ryan Bourne’s bass part on “Mystery Elementals” and vocals on “Static Shape” from his young daughters Ezzy and Pip), and designed the cover art.

                                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                      Mind Hijacker’s Curse
                                                                                                      Locked In The Phase
                                                                                                      Prep Piano And 770
                                                                                                      Host Body
                                                                                                      Mystery Elementals
                                                                                                      Old Heads
                                                                                                      Golden Oceans
                                                                                                      Faces Lit
                                                                                                      Pine And Clover
                                                                                                      You Fool
                                                                                                      Broken Bell
                                                                                                      Static Shape

                                                                                                      Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

                                                                                                      Talk Tight

                                                                                                      Talk Tight is Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever’s first release, and it was originally released on CD in March of 2016 on Ivy League Records in the band’s home country of Australia. Talk Tight – a mini-album, or extended EP, if you will – garnered the band critical acclaim in their home country and in the US, where Pitchfork gave the record an 8.0 and described it like so:
                                                                                                      Seven rip-roaring tracks that move by their own logic, any one of which could be a single and all of which leave you wanting more in the best way possible... Listening to these seven tunes, you can easily trace a national lineage: the relentlessness of Radio Birdman, the pop literacy of the Go-Betweens, the rambunctious energy of the Easybeats, and the belief—shared with Courtney Barnett—that guitars are not just crucial to the message but might very well be the message themselves.

                                                                                                      This release is the first time Talk Tight has been available worldwide, and the first time it is available on vinyl anywhere. The band released their Sub Pop debut, The French Press EP, in March of 2017, and they are currently working on their first full-length album.

                                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                      1. Wither With You
                                                                                                      2. Wide Eyes
                                                                                                      3. Heard You’re Moving
                                                                                                      4. Clean Slate
                                                                                                      5. Tender Is The Neck
                                                                                                      6. Write Back
                                                                                                      7. Career

                                                                                                      Iron & Wine

                                                                                                      Beast Epic

                                                                                                        "I must confess that I’ve always shied away from album introductions citing the usual "dancing to architecture" cop out. Speaking to their own work is uncomfortable for many artists, but I’ve made a new album called Beast Epic which is important to me and I wanted to take a moment to talk about why. I’ve been releasing music for about fifteen years now and I feel very blessed to have put out five other full lengths, many EPs and singles, a few collaborations with people much more talented than myself, and made contributions to numerous movie scores and soundtracks. This is my sixth collection of new Iron & Wine material and I’m happy to say that it’s my fourth for Sub Pop Records.

                                                                                                        It’s a warm and serendipitous time to be reuniting with my Seattle friends because I feel there’s a certain kinship between this new collection of songs and my earliest material, which Sub Pop was kind enough to release. In hindsight, both The Creek Drank the Cradle (2002) and Our Endless Numbered Days (2004) epitomize a reflective and confessional songwriting style (although done with my own ferocious commitment to understatement, of course.) I have been and always will be fascinated by the way time asserts itself on our bodies and our hearts. The ferris wheel keeps spinning and we’re constantly approaching, leaving or returning to something totally unexpected or startlingly familiar. The rite of passage is an image I've returned to often because I feel we’re all constantly in some stage of transition. Beast Epic is saturated with this idea but in a different way simply because each time I return to the theme I’ve collected new experiences to draw from. Where the older songs painted a picture of youth moving wide-eyed into adulthood’s violent pleasures and disappointments, this collection speaks to the beauty and pain of growing up after you’ve already grown up. For me, that experience has been more generous in its gifts and darker in its tragedies.

                                                                                                        The sound of Beast Epic harks back to previous work, in a way, as well. By employing the old discipline of recording everything live and doing minimal overdubbing, I feel like it wears both its achievements and its imperfections on its sleeve. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed experimenting with different genres, sonics and songwriting styles and all that traveled distance is evident in the feel and the arrangements here, but the muscles seemed to have relaxed and been allowed to effortlessly do what they do best.

                                                                                                        I’ve been fortunate to get to play with some very talented musicians over the years who are both uniquely intuitive and also expressive in exciting ways. This group was no different. We spent about two weeks recording and mixing but mostly laughing at The Loft in Chicago.

                                                                                                        To be honest, I’ve named this record BEAST EPIC mostly because it sounds really fucking cool! However, with that said and perhaps to be completely honest, “a story where animals talk and act like people” sounds like the perfect description for the life of any of us. If not that, then it’s at least perfect for any group of songs I’ve ever tried to make. I hope you enjoy it." - Iron & Wine

                                                                                                        Mark Lanegan

                                                                                                        Scraps At Midnight

                                                                                                          ‘Scraps At Midnight’ is the third solo album by Mark Lanegan. It was produced by Mark Lanegan and longtime collaborator Mike Johnson. ‘Scraps At Midnight’ could arguably be considered the final instalment of a trilogy of albums (preceded by ‘The Winding Sheet’ and ‘Whiskey For The Holy Ghost’) which feature the songwriter’s interpretation of American roots music set to troubling lyrics that explore themes of loss, sin and redemption.

                                                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                          Hospital Roll Call
                                                                                                          Hotel
                                                                                                          Stay
                                                                                                          Bell Black Ocean
                                                                                                          Last One In The World
                                                                                                          Praying Ground
                                                                                                          Wheels
                                                                                                          Waiting On A Train
                                                                                                          Day & Night
                                                                                                          Because Of This

                                                                                                          The United States’ myriad inequalities, hatreds and phobias are painfully evident in 2017, offering proof that the age-old dichotomy of “political bands” versus “apolitical bands” simply doesn’t exist. Either you are comfortable and unfazed by the current reigning power structures, or you use your music as a vehicle for the dismantling of oppression and the creation of something better. No matter what your songs are about, you are choosing a side.

                                                                                                          The position of Providence, RI’s Downtown Boys has been clear since they started storming through basements and DIY spaces with their radically-minded rock music: they are here to topple the white-cis-het hegemony and draft a new history. Downtown Boys began by combining revolutionary ideals with boundless energy and contagious, inclusive fun, and their resolve has only strengthened as their sound and audience have grown.

                                                                                                          Cost of Living is their third full-length, following a self-released 2012 debut and 2015’s Full Communism on Don Giovanni Records. They recorded it with Guy Picciotto (Fugazi; producer of Blonde Redhead, The Gossip), one of indie-rock’s most mythological figures, in the producer’s chair. Picciotto fostered the band’s improvisational urges while pulling the root of their music to the forefront: unflinching choruses, fearlessly confrontational vocals, and the sense that each song will incite the room into action, sending bodies into motion that were previously thought to have atrophied.

                                                                                                          Downtown Boys are keenly aware of the increased visibility and credibility that comes with signing to a corporate-media conglomerate such as Sub Pop. They’re using this platform as a megaphone for their protest music, amplifying and centering Chicana, queer, and Latino voices in the far-too-whitewashed world of rock. In just one example, album-opener “A Wall” rides the feel-good power that drove so many tunes by The Clash and Wire as it calls out the idea that a wall could ever succeed in snuffing the humanity and spirit of those it’s designed to crush.

                                                                                                          Compared to previous efforts, Downtown Boys have shifted from a once-meaty brass section to the subtler melodic accompaniment of keyboards and a saxophone, coloring their anthems with warm, bright tones while singer/lyricist Victoria Ruiz spits out her frustrations and passions. Some might say it shows a sense of maturity, as Downtown Boys have undoubtedly smoothed down some of their earlier edges, but there is no compromise to their righteous assault and captivating presence. Like the socially conscious groups of years past, from Public Enemy to Rage Against the Machine, Downtown Boys harness powerful sloganeering, repetitive grooves, and earworm hooks to create one of the most necessary musical statements of the day. We should all do well to take notice!

                                                                                                          - Matt Korvette, Pissed Jeans

                                                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                          1. A Wall
                                                                                                          2. I'm Enough (I Want More)
                                                                                                          3. Somos Chulas (No Somos Pendejas)
                                                                                                          4. Promissory Note
                                                                                                          5. Because You
                                                                                                          6. Violent Complicity
                                                                                                          7. It Can't Wait
                                                                                                          8. Tonta
                                                                                                          9. Heroes (Interlude)
                                                                                                          10. Lips That Bite
                                                                                                          11. Clara Rancia
                                                                                                          12. Bulletproof (Outro)

                                                                                                          "Quazarz Vs The Jealous Machines" is one of two new albums by interstellar hip hop enigma Shabazz Palaces - aka Ishmael Butler (who, in another galaxy, performs in Digable Planets) - and Tendai Maraire. "Quazarz Vs The Jealous Machines" and its simultaneously released companion "Quazarz: Born On A Gangster Star" were both produced by Knife Knights (i.b e.b.) and mixed by Blood. We've loved Shabazz Palaces here at Piccadilly ever since Michael Riley would burst into the shop at the start of a weekend shift exclaiming - "WAT A SATADEE MAARNIN!!" - instructing us of the delights of this cosmic-rap poster boy. Occupying the same interstellar recesses as Dean Blunt / Hype Williams, Earl Sweatshirt and, (tenuously) to perhaps Ratking; this is the true new school folks, abandoning hip-hop and rap's tried traditions, ditching all that's come before it for something completely new and invigorating, more in common with Burnt Friedman and Mark Ernestus than the ghosts of rap music's past. Still gritty and streetwise, but unfathomably futuristic and wrapped in celestial space dust, the album works as a whole journey, beautifully sequenced and elegantly constructed. Essential music for the right now. Recommended.

                                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                          says: Crisp futuristic hip-hop beats, clicking trap snares and stellar production make this duo of outings a forward-facing and revolutionary take on the ol' hip-hop game. Part 'hop, part 'tron and fully embracing the future, this is but one half of todays hip-hop revolution.

                                                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                          Welcome To Quazarz
                                                                                                          Gorgeous Sleeper Cell
                                                                                                          Self-Made Follownaire
                                                                                                          Atlaantis
                                                                                                          Effeminence
                                                                                                          Julian's Dream (ode To A bad)
                                                                                                          30 Clip Extension
                                                                                                          Love In The Time Of Kanye
                                                                                                          Sabonim In The Saab On 'em
                                                                                                          The SS Quintessence
                                                                                                          Late Night Phone Calls
                                                                                                          Quazarz On 23rd

                                                                                                          Shabazz Palaces

                                                                                                          Quazarz: Born On A Gangster Star

                                                                                                            Twinned with "Quazarz Vs The Jealous Machines", this companion album from Shabaz Palaces also shines and growns under the crushing weight of the future. Imbued with the energy and ideas from all the creative embers floating in the atmosphere like fireflies, Shabazz Palaces recorded this entire album over the course of two weeks with Blood in Seattle. New gear and new equipment disintegrated comfort zones into dust and a new path appeared in the rubble - aurally evident thoughout this painfully visionary album. "Born on a Gangster Star"  continues the intrepid and unfathomable quest through cosmic-rap, a genre that SP is practically inventing. The beats wobble and ricocheting as if unaffected by gravity, while Palaces' vocals are hushed, ushered and delivered with a biting effeciently which has had me previously drawing comparisons to Dean Blunt / Hype Williams and Earl Sweatshirt. Appearing here, in body or in spirit, are Julian Casablancas, Thundercat, Darrius Willrich, Gamble and Huff, Loud Eyes Lou, Thaddillac, Ahmir, Jon Kirby, Sunny Levine, and Blood. This, my friends, is the sound of the near future. 

                                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                            Since C.A.Y.A.
                                                                                                            When Cats Claw
                                                                                                            Shine A Light (feat. Thaddillac)
                                                                                                            Dèesse Du Sang
                                                                                                            Eel Dreams (feat. Loud Eyes Lou)
                                                                                                            Parallax (feat. The Palaceer Lazaro)
                                                                                                            Fine Ass Hairdresser
                                                                                                            The Neurochem Mixalogue
                                                                                                            That's How City Life Goes
                                                                                                            Moon Whip Quäz (feat. Darrius)
                                                                                                            Federalist Papers

                                                                                                            “Divination/Cleromancy/Comes the card that I refused to see” – The Afghan Whigs, “Oriole”  

                                                                                                            “Cleromancy” isn’t a word one normally finds in rock lyrics. Then again, In Spades – the new album by The Afghan Whigs, from which the new song “Oriole” hails – is defined only by its own mystical inner logic. The term means to divine, in a supernatural manner, a prediction of destiny from the random casting of lots: the throwing of dice, picking a card from a deck. From its evocative cover art to the troubled spirits haunting its halls, In Spades casts a spell that challenges the listener to unpack its dark metaphors and spectral imagery.  

                                                                                                            On the one hand, In Spades is as quintessentially Afghan Whigs as anything the group has ever done – fulfilling its original mandate to explore the missing link between howling Midwestern punk like Die Kreuzen and Hüsker Dü, The Temptations’ psychedelic soul symphonies, and the expansive hard-rock tapestries of Led Zeppelin and Lynyrd Skynyrd. At the same time, this new record continues to push beyond anything in the Whigs’ previous repertoire – another trademark, along with the explosive group dynamic captured on the recording.  

                                                                                                            Indeed, the chemistry of the lineup – Dulli, guitarists Dave Rosser and Jon Skibic, drummer Patrick Keeler, multi-instrumentalist Rick Nelson, and Whigs co-founder/bassist John Curley – set the tone for In Spades’ creation. When it came to follow up the band’s triumphant return to recording – Do To the Beast (Sub Pop 2014), which was the band’s first ever Top 40 album, – the die was cast. “This is the first time since Black Love [the Whigs’ 1996 noir masterpiece] that we’ve done a full-blown band album,” Dulli says.  

                                                                                                            The joys, sorrows, and upheavals of innocence and experience echo throughout In Spades: it powerfully documents where The Afghan Whigs have been, and where they might go next. For Dulli and Curley, it’s a journey that, since their origins as one of the first Sub Pop acts to be signed from outside the label’s Pacific Northwest base, has spanned decades. Dulli notes they were barely in their twenties when they first started the band, and yet here they are, fulfilling dreams long held and frequently realized. “Having a break from the Whigs helped me remember what made it so rewarding,” Curley says. “Over the course of a lifetime, there are constants, and there’s also change. You see who’s dropped off the vine – who’s going in reverse, and who’s still by your side. It’s interesting to see where life takes you, and where it doesn’t. That’s the journey and it hasn’t stopped.”

                                                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                            says: Encompassing aspects of stoner, psych and indie-rock, Afghan Whigs have always veered towards the art-rock end of the spectrum, but this is their most direct and cohesive offering yet. Heavy but highly melodic, full of anthemic highs and measured restraint. A brilliantly formed tornado of rock and/or roll.

                                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                            Birdland
                                                                                                            Arabian Heights
                                                                                                            Demon In Profile
                                                                                                            Toy Automatic
                                                                                                            Oriole
                                                                                                            Copernicus
                                                                                                            The Spell
                                                                                                            Light As A Feather
                                                                                                            I Got Lost
                                                                                                            Into The Floor

                                                                                                            Rolling Blackouts C.F.

                                                                                                            The French Press

                                                                                                            In early 2016, the release of ‘Talk Tight’ put Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever on the map with glowing reviews from SPIN, Stereogum and Pitchfork, praising them as stand outs even among the fertile landscape of Melbourne music. Chock full of snappy riffs, spritely drumming and quick-witted wordplay, ‘Talk Tight’ was praised by Pitchfork “for the precision of their melodies, the streamlined sophistication of their arrangements, and the undercurrent of melancholy that motivates every note.”

                                                                                                            The band was born from late night jam sessions in singer / guitarist Fran Keaney’s bedroom and honed in the thrumming confines of Melbourne’s live music venues. Sharing tastes and songwriting duties, cousins Joe White and Fran Keaney, brothers Tom and Joe Russo and drummer Marcel Tussie started out with softer, melody-focused songs. The more shows they played, the more those driving rhythms that now trademark their songs emerged. Since then, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever rode that wave from strength to strength. Touring around the country on headline bills and festival slots all the way to BIGSOUND, the entrenched themselves with their thrilling live shows while prepping their next release.

                                                                                                            ‘The French Press’ levels up on everything that made ‘Talk Tight’ such an immediate draw. Multi-tracked melodies which curl around one another, charging drums and addictive basslines converge to give each track its driving momentum. Honed through their live shows, this relentless energy carries the record through new chapters in the band’s Australian storybook. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever’s songs have always had all the page-turning qualities of a good yarn and ‘The French Press’ is no different. Somewhere between impressionists and fabulists, lyricists Fran Keaney, Tom Russo and Joe White often start with something rooted in real life - the melancholy of travel on ‘French Press’, having a hopeless crush on ‘Julie’s Place’ - before building them into clever, quick vignettes. The result is lines blurred between fiction and reality - vibrant stories which get closer at a particular truth than either could alone.

                                                                                                            Blending critical insight and literate love songs, ‘The French Press’ cements Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever as one of Australia’s smartest working bands.

                                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                            French Press
                                                                                                            Julie’s Place
                                                                                                            Sick Bug
                                                                                                            Colours Run
                                                                                                            Dig Up
                                                                                                            Fountain Of Good Fortune

                                                                                                            Seattle MC Porter Ray comes correct on his Sub Pop debut with a mesemeric and multi-layered set of spectral, sub-driven hip hop. "Watercolor" is a snapshot of Porter’s life and the lives of his friends growing up in Seattle. The album captures a specific time period, before things began rapidly changing around their neighborhoods, and it delves into the experiences that shaped Porter, the situations he and his friends survived, and how they overcame the adversity they faced. Porter’s influences – including hip-hop classics like Nas’s Illmatic, Common’s Be, and Mos Def & Talib Kweli’s ...Are Black Star – shine through in both the beats and production, and his deeply personal lyrics. Porter was born and raised in and around Seattle’s Central District/Capitol Hill/Columbia City/Beacon Hill neighborhoods. He wrote short stories and poetry before he began writing rhymes in middle school and early high school, and started recording music towards the end of high school. "Watercolor" follows a string of acclaimed, self-released mixtapes -- Electric Rain, Nightfall, Fundamentals, BLK GLD, WHT GLD, RSE GLD -- all of which have been available as free downloads via Bandcamp. Featuring world beating singles “Sacred Geometry”, “Lightro [Looking for the Light]”, “Arithmetic” and "Bulletproof Windows", the album also includes performances from Jus Moni, Debra Sullivan, and Chimurenga Renaissance. "Watercolor" was recorded in various studios in Seattle, mostly mixed by Erik Blood (Shabazz Palaces, THEESatisfaction, Tacocat), with a few songs co-mixed by Vitamin D (Macklemore, Abstract Rude, Black Sheep). Watercolor was produced by B Roc, with additional songs produced by DJ El Grande, KMTK, and Tele Fresco.

                                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                            1. Waves
                                                                                                            2. East Seattle
                                                                                                            3. Bulletproof Windows Ft. Nate Jack
                                                                                                            4. Past Life Ft. Cashtro + Black
                                                                                                            5. Everybody [Interlude] Ft. Fly Guy Dai [Shabazz Palaces] 
                                                                                                            6. The Mirror Between Us Ft. JD + JusMoni 
                                                                                                            7. Sacred Geometry Ft. Cashtro + The Palaceer
                                                                                                            8. Arithmetic Ft. Infinite + Stas Thee Boss
                                                                                                            9. Navi Truck
                                                                                                            10. Lightro [Looking For The Light]
                                                                                                            11. Dissolving In A Daydream
                                                                                                            12. My Mother’s Words Ft. Debra Sullivan
                                                                                                            13. Beautiful Ft. Aslan T. Rife + The Palaceer
                                                                                                            14. Sacred Geometry [CONSTELLTION MIX] Ft. Cashtro + The Palaceer *LP Bonus Track
                                                                                                            15. Vanilla Coke *LP Only Bonus Track
                                                                                                            16. Sacred Geometry [Instrumental] *LP Only Bonus Track
                                                                                                            17. Brothers [Instrumental] *LP Only Bonus Track
                                                                                                            18. Arithmetic [Instrumental] *LP Only Bonus Track

                                                                                                            Pissed Jeans have been making gnarly noise for 13 years, and on their fifth album, Why Love Now, the male-fronted quartet is taking aim at the mundane discomforts of modern life—from fetish webcams to office-supply deliveries. "Rock bands can retreat to the safety of what rock bands usually sing about. So 60 years from now, when no one has a telephone, bands will be writing songs like, 'I'm waiting for her to call me on my telephone.' Kids are going to be like, 'Grandpa, tell me, what was that?' I'd rather not shy away from talking about the internet or interactions in 2016," says frontman Matt Korvette.

                                                                                                            Pissed Jeans' gutter-scraped amalgamation of sludge, punk, noise, and bracing wit make the band—Korvette, Brad Fry (guitar), Randy Huth (bass) and Sean McGuinness (drums)—a release valve for a world where absurdity seems in a constant battle trying to outdo itself. Why Love Now picks at the bursting seams that are barely holding 21st-century life together. Take the grinding rave-up "The Bar Is Low," which, according to Korvette, is "about how every guy seems to be revealing themselves as a shithead. It seems like every guy is getting outed, across every board of entertainment and politics and music. There's no guy that isn't a total creep."

                                                                                                            No Wave legend Lydia Lunch shacked up in Philadelphia to produce Why Love Now alongside local metal legend Arthur Rizk (Eternal Champion, Goat Semen). "I knew she wasn't a traditional producer," Korvette says of Lunch. "I like how she's so cool and really intimidating. She ended up being so fucking awesome and crazy. She was super into it, constantly threatening to bend us over the bathtub. I'm not really sure what that entails, but I know she probably wasn't joking.” The combination of Lunch's spiritual guidance and Rizk's technical prowess supercharged Pissed Jeans, and the bracing Why Love Now documents them at their grimy, grinning best. While its references may be very early-21st-century, its willingness to state its case cement it as an album in line with punk's tradition of turning norms on their heads and shaking them loose.

                                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                            1. Waiting On My Horrible Warning
                                                                                                            2. The Bar Is Low
                                                                                                            3. Ignorecam
                                                                                                            4. Cold Whip Cream
                                                                                                            5. Love Without Emotion
                                                                                                            6. I'm A Man
                                                                                                            7. (Won't Tell You) My Sign
                                                                                                            8. It's Your Knees
                                                                                                            9. Worldwide Marine Asset Financial Analyst
                                                                                                            10. Have You Ever Been Furniture
                                                                                                            11. Activia
                                                                                                            12. Not Even Married

                                                                                                            ‘Live In Paris’ is the first official record of Sleater-Kinney’s famously blistering stage performance.

                                                                                                            The thirteen track album, which features Carrie Brownstein, Corin Tucker, Janet Weiss and touring member Katie Harkin, was captured on March 20th, 2015 at the Paris’s historic La Cigale venue during the band’s sold out international tour in support of their acclaimed eighth album, 2015’s ‘No Cities To Love’.

                                                                                                            ‘Live In Paris’ includes songs from nearly every Sleater-Kinney album, including ‘No Cities To Love’, ‘The Woods’, ‘One Beat’, ‘The Hot Rock’, ‘Dig Me Out’ and ‘Call The Doctor’.

                                                                                                            The recording was mixed by John Goodmanson at Avast and mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound.

                                                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                            says: I know live records can sometimes get a bit of a tough rap, but this one has none of that shaky sound or hefty interval nonsense associated with it, it sound like their trademark technical melodic indie fare but with the overwhelming energy and vibes of a live show. If you like Sleater-Kinney, it's an essential, only slightly more essential that if you simply like a good old-fashioned rock-out.

                                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                            Price Tag
                                                                                                            Oh!
                                                                                                            What’s Mine Is Yours
                                                                                                            A New Wave
                                                                                                            Start Together
                                                                                                            No Cities To Love
                                                                                                            Surface Envy
                                                                                                            I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone
                                                                                                            Turn It On
                                                                                                            Entertain
                                                                                                            Jumpers
                                                                                                            Dig Me Out
                                                                                                            Modern Girl

                                                                                                            ‘Hidden Driver’, the opening track of LVL UP’s third album and Sub Pop debut ‘Return To Love’, never stops moving. What starts with unassuming guitars and vocals adds new lines, depths and intensity, until its unrestrained, triumphant finish. “God is peeking, softly speaking,” repeats the chorus, working through the relationship between spirituality and creative inspiration and introducing a band that is always pushing further.

                                                                                                            LVL UP - guitarists Mike Caridi and Dave Benton, bassist Nick Corbo and drummer Greg Rutkin - are a true collaboration, a band that takes the stylistically distinct ideas of four members and brings them together into something new. Caridi, Benton and Corbo write and sing equally, bringing their work to the group to be fully realized, resulting in an album built on different perspectives but a common drive. “We have very different inspirations across the board,” says Benton, noting his own admiration for the writer and documentarian Astra Taylor, Corbo’s interest in the mystical and the occult and Caridi’s attention to personal storytelling. The music itself grows from a shared melodic and experimental sensibility, as well as a nod to iconic influences like Neutral Milk Hotel and Mount Eerie.

                                                                                                            LVL UP were formed in 2011 at SUNY Purchase as a recording project between Caridi, Benton and their friend Ben Smith, with the original intention of releasing a split cassette with Corbo’s then-solo material. They instead released that album, ‘Space Brothers’, as one band and Rutkin joined shortly afterwards for the group’s first show. Smith left the band for personal reasons just before the release of second album, ‘Hoodwink’d’, a joint release on Caridi and Benton’s labels Double Double Whammy and Exploding In Sound. Double Double Whammy also put out records from other artists in the tight-knit community that launched the band.

                                                                                                            Also part of that university community was ‘Return To Love’s producer Mike Ditrio, who mixed LVL UP’s previous records and “was basically a fifth member of the band,” says Corbo. “He played a huge role in developing the sound, without butting in too much. He also navigated our personal dynamic really nicely.”

                                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                            Hidden Driver
                                                                                                            Blur
                                                                                                            She Sustains Us
                                                                                                            Spirit Was
                                                                                                            Pain
                                                                                                            The Closing Door
                                                                                                            Five Men On The Ridge
                                                                                                            Cut From The Vine
                                                                                                            I
                                                                                                            Naked In The River With The Creator

                                                                                                            Hailing from São Paulo, one of the world's hottest cities (in both temperature and abundance of beautiful people), CSS's debut album "Cansei de Ser Sexy" (Portuguese for 'Tired of Being Sexy') is a total assault on the senses. After every turn is another track filled with things that make you go 'mmmm', where sex-crazed lyrics ride over crunchy guitar riffs and hip-shaking beats. A revelation live (gig of the year when they toured around the albums release in 2006, for the lucky Piccadilly Records staff who blagged their way in), sounding like The Slits seen through the kaleidoscopic eyes of The DFA.

                                                                                                            The Shins

                                                                                                            Wincing The Night Away

                                                                                                              It could be said that The Shins’ third album, ‘Wincing The Night Away’, was one of the most heavily anticipated record of 2007. Post ‘Garden State’ notoriety, the band have reached beyond their indie-darling status to something approaching mainstream recognition.

                                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                              Sleeping Lessons
                                                                                                              Australia
                                                                                                              Pam Berry
                                                                                                              Phantom Limb
                                                                                                              Sea Legs
                                                                                                              Red Rabbits
                                                                                                              Turn On Me
                                                                                                              Black Wave
                                                                                                              Split Needles
                                                                                                              Girl Sailor
                                                                                                              A Comet Appears

                                                                                                              Flight Of The Concords

                                                                                                              Flight Of The Concords - Sub Pop Reissue

                                                                                                                Acclaimed Kiwi novelty band Flight Of The Conchords followed the release of their six-track Grammy Award-nominated CD EP ‘The Distant Future’ with their full length record album debut, the conveniently titled ‘Flight Of The Conchords’ (which, not at all coincidentally is also the name of their HBO television series). Still going strong, with their cult comedy continuing to sell out arenas.

                                                                                                                CSS

                                                                                                                Donkey - Sub Pop Reissue

                                                                                                                  More structured, crafted and polished than its predecessor (like the difference between "Smell The Magic" and "Bricks Are Heavy"), though no less tough, street-ready, anthemic, and from the heart, their second record recreates the frenetic energy of CSS's renowned live shows.

                                                                                                                  Produced in Brazil by the band’s own Adriano Cintra and mixed in Los Angeles by Mark ‘Spike’ Stent (whose credits include Madonna, Bjork, Massive Attack, U2, M.I.A. and Arcade Fire), ‘Donkey’ is tough and street ready and recreates the frenetic energy of their live shows.

                                                                                                                  The invocation of classic west coast psychedelia that permeates Morgan Delt's Sub Pop debut LP feels like a continuous sunrise, never concealing its influences yet perfectly putting its songs through a gauzy lens that blurs and obscures. Is such a thing even possible after witnessing umpteen reverb-jockeys creating their own take on the genre? Can anything truly different be done in the realm of being both original and reverent, wearing favorite records and artists' moves on one's sleeve? Definitely the case with our man here. After releasing a 6-song cassette in 2013 followed by a full length for the Trouble In Mind label, the California native now fine-tunes his sound world outwardly rather than honing in on a specific trajectory, allowing all of said influences to coexist together in a unique yet undoubtedly Californian vision.

                                                                                                                  The resulting 10-song collection, performed entirely by Delt, recorded in his Topanga Canyon studio, and mastered by JJ Golden, is a home-fi construction with a more subtle, brain-tickling character than its predecessor, and somewhat reflects a realist take on the flower power fantasy of 1967. Doused in echo and haze, slow chords lap in like Pacific waves, flanked by gentle whispers of multi-tracked, cooing vox, phased guitars and fuzz that calmly surrounds the listener's head less than it jabs at the cortex.

                                                                                                                  The great thing about Delt's approach to such history is (and sorry to sound harsh) that unlike too many of his so-called L.A. psych-rock peers, there's no costume involved, no application of a conjured identity to match a specific image. He's no psychedelic Civil War re-enactor, so to speak. It's subtle and tactful revisionism without using psychedelia as a crutch/easy marketing tool and letting the sounds come out and make their own case.

                                                                                                                  It takes a creative mind to make psychedelic rock music – tablas, drones, hallucinatory vocal effects, and all – without slipping into cliché, but Delt can transport what would normally be a dark-n-druggy blanket into a much more optimistic and friendly listening experience. Despite his voice being channelled through hallucinatory effects, it's warm and inviting, projecting a sense of hope (particularly in “Some Sunsick Day,” which evokes the hopeful “We'll Meet Again” as the world explodes at the end of Dr. Strangelove, later covered by the Byrds). It's more or less just an invite to watch the sun rise too. -Brian Turner, WFMU

                                                                                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                  says: Hazy Late-60's tinged psych on the newest LP from hippie music maestro Morgan Delt. Swirling whirs of analogue synths, torn speaker-fabric fuzz and twangy guitars intersperse with sunny blissed-out guitar and delayed falsetto vocals. Mellow, warming summer feels. Lovely.

                                                                                                                  says: I loved Morgan's debut but this ups his game tenfold! Still with that fuzzy, warm, home-made feel, but so much deeper and better and with stronger songs all round, this is the perfect soundtrack for your hazy Indian Summer.

                                                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                  I Don’t Wanna See What’s Happening Outside
                                                                                                                  The System Of 1,000 Lies
                                                                                                                  Another Person
                                                                                                                  Sun Powers
                                                                                                                  The Age Of The Birdman
                                                                                                                  Mssr. Monster
                                                                                                                  A Gun Appears
                                                                                                                  The Lowest Of The Low
                                                                                                                  Escape Capsule
                                                                                                                  Some Sunsick Day

                                                                                                                  Nirvana

                                                                                                                  Bleach

                                                                                                                    Originally recorded over three sessions with producer Jack Endino at Seattle’s Reciprocal Recording Studios in December 1988 and January 1989, ‘Bleach’ was released in June 1989 and remains unequivocally / unsurprisingly Sub Pop’s very favourite Nirvana full length. The album initially sold 40,000 copies but was brought into the international spotlight following the release and worldwide success of their 1991 sophomore effort, ‘Nevermind’. Subsequently ‘Bleach’ went on to sell 1.7 million copies in the US alone.

                                                                                                                    Damien Jurado

                                                                                                                    Ghost Of David

                                                                                                                      ‘Ghost Of David’, the third album by Damien Jurado, is now available on vinyl and cassette for the first time. Originally released September 19th 2000, ‘Ghost Of David’ has sold over 13,000 copies to date.

                                                                                                                      Damien Jurado is an urban-folk singer with his hand in the baskets of all the right fringe genres. He’s a storyteller and the stories have matured steadily since he first appeared on the scene with the perfect balance of light-hearted pop and saddest-of-the-sad on his early singles and first full length, ‘Waters Ave S’.

                                                                                                                      Since then (with his second full length, ‘Rehearsals For Departure’, the ‘Gather In Song’ EP [both from 1999] and this year’s collection of found recordings, ‘Postcards And Audio Letters’), he’s moved more toward the dark and if you ask him he’ll tell you point blank that it’s in the dark where you’ll find us all.

                                                                                                                      LP format includes a digital download code.

                                                                                                                      The Gotobeds

                                                                                                                      Blood // Sugar // Secs // Traffic

                                                                                                                      “Hey, what’s this? Well that, my friend, is the newest album from The Gotobeds, entitled ‘Blood // Sugar // Secs // Traffic’. It’s their second full-length LP and their first for Sub Pop.

                                                                                                                      “The Gotobeds formed vaguely around 2009 in Pittsburgh and play a mutant strain of rock music that is often filed under punk, indie rock, or 99-cent discount bin. […] Much like their previous releases on underground stalwart labels like Mind Cure and 12XU, this new album artfully slips intelligence and experimentation into a dying art form. It’s a harder feat than you’d think.

                                                                                                                      “And sure, their live shows have often been compared to an ‘all night party where I feared for my life and the lives of everybody in the five block radius,’ and their recorded output is akin ‘to the sonic manifestos of four men deprived of human love and raised on beer and Swell Maps, Mission Of Burma, and old Fall records.’ But what you get with The Gotobeds, delivered in spades on this album, is smart, noisy rock with just the right amount of stupid.” - Joe Casey, Protomartyr

                                                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                      Real Maths/Too Much
                                                                                                                      “Bodies”
                                                                                                                      Brass Not Rash
                                                                                                                      Rope
                                                                                                                      Why’d You
                                                                                                                      Red Alphabet
                                                                                                                      Cold Gold Las Alright
                                                                                                                      Crisis Time
                                                                                                                      Manifest
                                                                                                                      Glass House
                                                                                                                      Amazing Supermarkets

                                                                                                                      Sometimes you have to rip it up and start again. It was a tough call for Dee Dee. Dum Dum Girls was her guise for most of a decade, an outlet through which she’s crafted a resonant, instantly identifiable body of work. Over the course of three albums, four EPs and an array of singles, Dum Dum Girls morphed from the girl-group-gone-bad moves of their 2010 debut, ‘I Will Be’, to the plush noir-pop of 2014’s ‘Too True’, a dark heart burning bright but as her music evolve she found that for many she would be forever refracted through the prism of Dum Dum Girls’ early work: retro-leaning female harmonies, a backdrop of lo-fi, fuzzed up guitars.

                                                                                                                      In 2015 she decided to shed her skin, ditching Dee Dee for Kristin, her real name and adding Kontrol. It was a spontaneous idea that resonated. The challenge was to start fresh, go further back into her relationship to music. Sweep all her loves together into one genreless experience. “The first music I felt was mine was classic 80s pop and 90s R&B, from Tiffany, Janet Jackson and Madonna to TLC, SWV, and Aaliyah,” she says. “But for years I was hellbent on the rock ‘n’ roll thing, revering Joan Jett, Patti Smith, Chrissie Hynde,” - a rebellion against her classical vocal training - “but I was like, fuck it, I’m just going to try it all. I’m going to pretend I’m Kate Bush covering Mariah.”

                                                                                                                      Refocused and inspired, Kristin wrote 62 songs, whittled the list to ten for ‘XCommunicate’ and finished the album with the help of new producers Kurt Feldman (who had produced her ‘On Christmas’ single a few years back) and Andrew Miller (who played guitar on the first Dum Dum Girls album and had joined the band in its last incarnation).

                                                                                                                      Arguably the biggest shift, beyond the music itself, is that as Kristin Kontrol she tells her stories using a sonic palette splashed with bold pop melodies, her vocals showcasing a range hitherto unexplored on record. The songs that emerge from Kristin’s universe - a menagerie of new wave and R&B, European synth pop and experimental disco - are both familiar and unique, using genre rather than adhering to it, with a distinct nod to the present. It may be a leap into the unknown, but “little risk means little reward,” as Karen O once counselled her. “I feel free. I kind of excommunicated myself. Even if I have to rebuild my whole career, I’d rather work hard than feel stagnant. I feel excited again, and that's priceless.”

                                                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                      says: I was born in the early 80's, It was a time (allegedly) when cheesy synth washes and digital synthesis was at it's peak. I was unfamiliar with the musical trends of the time, I was unemployed and partially useless. I was heavily reliant on others. What I should have been doing instead of lolling about at my parents gaff was getting a head-start on what would, 30 years later become my go-to cheer-up genre of choice. Gated synths and reverse-reverbed drums are in abundance, they use a LOT of chorus. They're not afraid of chorus' (chorii?) and verses. Feel-good retro synth-pop with a modern twist. Thoroughly surprised me this one, but i'm glad it did.

                                                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                      Show Me
                                                                                                                      White Street
                                                                                                                      (Don’t) Wannabe
                                                                                                                      X-Communicate
                                                                                                                      Skin Shed
                                                                                                                      Drive The Night
                                                                                                                      What Is Love
                                                                                                                      Face 2 Face
                                                                                                                      Going Thru The Motions
                                                                                                                      Smoke Rings

                                                                                                                      Arbor Labor Union was born from a peach tree in Georgia in the American south. They play psychedelic, repetitious, and joyful rock and roll music. In 2014 they released the album Sings for You Now under the name Pinecones. In 2016 they decided to change their name in order to form a more perfect union. A union of sound and vision. With this, they had a new album, a masterpiece of modern guitar music entitled simply I Hear You.

                                                                                                                      I Hear You was crafted through the ancient process of collaboration. All four members brought their love to one another and turned it into song. The album plays like a freedom chant. You can hear laughter in their music. You can see the joy among them. In every known photo of the band they appear to be smiling. All that is left to do is listen. Listen to this album dedicated to listeners. And, should your response also be “I hear you,” the band replies, “affirmative, loud and clear.”

                                                                                                                      I Hear You was recorded and produced by Randall Dunn (Earth, Sunn0))), Thurston Moore, Black Mountain) and Arbor Labor Union in the fall of 2015 at Avast Studio in Seattle, WA. The album was mastered by Jason Ward at Chicago Mastering. 

                                                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                      Mr. Birdsong
                                                                                                                      Hello Transmission
                                                                                                                      Radiant Mountain Road
                                                                                                                      I Am You
                                                                                                                      Volume Peaks
                                                                                                                      Babel
                                                                                                                      Belief’d
                                                                                                                      Silent Oath
                                                                                                                      IHU

                                                                                                                      Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Kyle Craft releases ‘Dolls Of Highland’, his Sub Pop label debut.

                                                                                                                      The twelve track album features the singles ‘Lady Of The Ark’, ‘Eye Of The Hurricane’, ‘Future Midcity Massacre’ and ‘Black Mary’.

                                                                                                                      ‘Dolls Of Highland’ was written, recorded and produced by Craft, mixed by Brandon Summers and Benjamin Weikel of The Helio Sequence at the Old Jantzen Building in Portland and mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound.

                                                                                                                      Billboard says of Kyle Craft and ‘Lady Of The Ark’: “Craft admits his voice sounds a good deal like Bob Dylan’s, and that his muse has come to him many, many times. Still, ‘Lady Of The Ark’ hints that Craft’s music is so full of its own weird singularity that he’s on to something far beyond idol worship.”

                                                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                      Eye Of A Hurricane
                                                                                                                      Balmorhea
                                                                                                                      Berlin
                                                                                                                      Lady Of The Ark
                                                                                                                      Gloom Girl
                                                                                                                      Trinidad Beach (Before I Ride)
                                                                                                                      Future Midcity Massacre
                                                                                                                      Black Mary
                                                                                                                      Pentecost
                                                                                                                      Dolls Of Highland
                                                                                                                      Jane Beat The Reaper
                                                                                                                      Three Candles

                                                                                                                      Love Letter for Fire is a collaboration between Sam Beam (aka Iron and Wine) and singer-songwriter Jesca Hoop. The thirteen-track album features the singles “Every Songbird Says” and “Valley Clouds,” and was written throughout 2014. Love Letter for Fire features Beam and Hoop on vocals and guitar along with Robert Burger (keys), Eyvind Kang (violin, viola), Glenn Kotche (drums, percussion), Sebastian Steinberg (bass) and Edward Rankin-Parker (cello). The album also features a cover photo by Sam Beam.

                                                                                                                      As Iron and Wine, Sam Beam recorded for Sub Pop from 2002-2007, releasing a number of highly-acclaimed albums, singles, and EP’s, including The Creek Drank The Cradle (2002), Our Endless Numbered Days (2004), Woman King (2005) and The Shepherd’s Dog (2007). He went on to record for Warner Brothers, Nonesuch, and 4AD. Recent releases include a covers album with Ben Bridwell from Band of Horses, and the two-volume Archive Series, which features material that preceded Sam’s Sub Pop-era recordings.

                                                                                                                      Jesca Hoop is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. She is an incredible live performer, known for her wonderfully-eclectic take on folk, rock, and electronic music. Hoop has released five albums and two EPs, including the critic favorites Hunting My Dress and The House That Jack Built. Jesca has toured and collaborated with the likes of Shearwater, Willy Mason, Blake Mills, Andrew Bird, The Ditty Bops, Guy Garvey, and Elbow, and has recorded for Bella Union and Vanguard. Love Letter for Fire was produced, recorded and mixed by Tucker Martine (Modest Mouse, Decemberists, Neko Case) at Flora Recording & Playback in Portland, OR and mastered by Richard Dodd in Nashville, TN.

                                                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                      Welcome To Feeling
                                                                                                                      One Way To Pray
                                                                                                                      The Lamb You Lost
                                                                                                                      We Two Are A Moon
                                                                                                                      Midas Tongue
                                                                                                                      Know The Wild That Wants You
                                                                                                                      Every Songbird Says
                                                                                                                      Bright Lights And Goodbyes
                                                                                                                      Kiss Me Quick
                                                                                                                      Chalk It Up To Chi
                                                                                                                      Valley Clouds
                                                                                                                      Soft Place To Land
                                                                                                                      Sailor To Siren

                                                                                                                      Mike & The Melvins

                                                                                                                      Three Men And A Baby

                                                                                                                      ‘Three Men And A Baby’ is the new album by Mike (Kunka, bassist / vocalist of godheadSilo) and The Melvins.

                                                                                                                      In 1998, Mike and his friends The Melvins - who at that time were King Buzzo (guitar / bass / vocals), Dale Crover (drums / vocals) and Kevin Rutmanis (bass / vocals) - started making a record at Tim (The Champs) Green’s Louder Studios. Complications occurred and the incomplete recording sat until 2015, when everyone reconvened and finished the damn thing at Sound Of Sirens in LA with Toshi Kasai.

                                                                                                                      The results are worth the wait. Mike’s signature bass crunch and vocals are all over it and The Melvins are in fine form. The album has everything from hefty noise rock churn to a Public Image Ltd. song to cough syrup blues to deconstructed black metal.

                                                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                      Chicken ‘n’ Dump
                                                                                                                      Limited Teeth
                                                                                                                      Bummer Conversation
                                                                                                                      Annalisa
                                                                                                                      A Dead Pile Of Worthless Junk
                                                                                                                      Read The Label (It’s Chili)
                                                                                                                      Dead Canaries
                                                                                                                      Pound The Giants
                                                                                                                      A Friend In Need Is A Friend You Don’t Need
                                                                                                                      Lifestyle Hammer
                                                                                                                      Gravel
                                                                                                                      Art School Fight Song

                                                                                                                      Former Smith Western frontman Cullen Omori releases his debut long player, ‘New Misery’, through Sub Pop Records.

                                                                                                                      The album, which features the highlights ‘Cinnamon’ and ‘Sour Silk’, was recorded by Shane Stoneback (Sleigh Bells, Fucked Up, Vampire Weekend) at the now defunct Treefort Studios and was mastered by Emily Lazar (Sia, HAIM, Vampire Weekend, Arcade Fire, Bjork) at The Lodge.

                                                                                                                      In early 2014 Omori began working on the solo material that has now fully materialized as ‘New Misery’, a collection of 11 songs building upon his own musical past while reaching towards the future of what guitar rock could be. His songs marry dark yet blissful pop with vocal melodies and hooks that are at once immediate yet demand to be heard again and again.

                                                                                                                      Along with Omori, ‘New Misery’ features additional bass and keyboards from Ryan Mattos, drums from Loren Humphrey and James Richardson on guitar. Unlike the more distributed roles within the Smith Westerns, Omori wrote, played and oversaw nearly every part of the new album, beginning a true new chapter of his long-term creative growth.

                                                                                                                      Cullen Omori knows it’s a false cliché to say there are no second acts in American lives but after the 2014 breakup of his acclaimed band the Smith Westerns living that cliché was his greatest fear. His solo debut is a direct challenge to that anxiety: an album that goes beyond the glam punch of the Smith Westerns to new sounds, new sources of inspiration and greater self-awareness.

                                                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                      No Big Deal
                                                                                                                      Two Kinds
                                                                                                                      Hey Girl
                                                                                                                      And Yet The World Still Turns
                                                                                                                      Cinnamon
                                                                                                                      Poison Dart
                                                                                                                      Sour Silk
                                                                                                                      Synthetic Romance
                                                                                                                      Be A Man
                                                                                                                      LOM
                                                                                                                      New Misery

                                                                                                                      Heron Oblivion

                                                                                                                      Heron Oblivion

                                                                                                                      Heron Oblivion are Meg Baird (Espers), Noel Von Harmonson (Comets On Fire, Six Organs Of Admittance, Sic Alps, The Lowdown), Ethan Miller (Comets On Fire, Howlin’ Rain, Feral Ohms), and Charlie Saufley (Assemble Head In Sunburst Sound).

                                                                                                                      Listening to Heron Oblivion’s album feels like sitting in a lovely meadow in the shadow of a dam that’s going to burst any moment.

                                                                                                                      Members of this new San Francisco combo have put in time in both raging and relatively tranquil psychedelic sound units. This is the premise and the synergy behind this very unique and special new album.

                                                                                                                      The group first properly gigged in April of 2014 opening for War On Drugs. They finished the record independently then inked a deal with Sub Pop in early 2015. Most recently they toured the West Coast with Kurt Vile and Cass McCombs.

                                                                                                                      ‘Heron Oblivion’ was recorded at The Mansion in San Francisco by Eric Bauer.

                                                                                                                      “Expressive guitar lines laced with feedback sprawl out again and again without trailing away too far. Meg Baird’s serene voice harkens back to ’60s folk singers, subdued in a way that lends special gravity without being bombastic. Frankly, the group sounds exactly like what psychedelic rock should sound like” - Stereogum

                                                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                      says: In parts, Heron Oblivion perfectly juxtapose eastern influenced guitar stanzas with almost ghostly and ethereal vocal lines. Elsewhere, fuzzy minor-key pop with soaring melody lines. Think Sonic Youth meets Low via Grails. Unsettling and clangy, acerbic but impeccable. Low-fi beauty at it's best.

                                                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                      Beneath Fields
                                                                                                                      Oriar
                                                                                                                      Sudden Lament
                                                                                                                      Rama
                                                                                                                      Faro
                                                                                                                      Seventeen Landscapes
                                                                                                                      Your Hollows

                                                                                                                      “We’re a band named after a YouTube video. I like that.” Nathan Rodriguez, of Seattle’s So Pitted, is referring to a viral clip of a surfer, standing on the shore in front of mountainous morning waves, relaying to a reporter the glory of the ocean conditions from which he has just emerged. To most, the clip is a funny nugget of Spicoli brah-speak but to Rodriguez and his bandmates Liam Downey and Jeannine Koewler ‘So Pitted’ is way more than just that gung ho, slacker-speak catchphrase. “That surfer gets carried away talking about what he loves, because to him that’s all that really matters,” says Rodriguez. “I don’t surf, but to this surfer ‘so pitted’ is following through instead of bailing. You can take that abstraction and repurpose it to anything you like.”

                                                                                                                      So Pitted are every bit an experiment in social partnerships as they are a noise outfit. They bonded over a shared love of alternative music - Rage Against The Machine, Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails, The Mars Volta. Rodriguez is a self-taught quick study who learned music theory on Wikipedia; Downey is a new wave fanatic who sticks pipe cleaners in his brain to speak to extraterrestrials; Koewler is a longtime ballet dancer whose love of aesthetes and bands like Cocteau Twins is a strong influence on her bandmates. Roles and positions have never been important to So Pitted: Rodriguez and Downey often switch instruments and both sing, while Koewler plays her guitar through a bass amp. Together, the trio just fits, a perfect balance for one another’s quirks, strengths and shortcomings.

                                                                                                                      Enter ‘neo’, So Pitted’s debut album some years in the making. These eleven tracks are lean and snarling rebukes, torch songs not in the traditional, unrequited-love sense but songs that will torch your house down. It’s fuzzy, angular, throbbing, pounding, yet catchy. Songs crash over and over, turning under themselves like waves but, as the measures tick off, the dog-eared melodies arise.

                                                                                                                      For all its power, growth, and complexities, ‘neo’ is but a slice in time. It stands for anything new and the necessity of revisiting ideas - nothing is above an update. In Rodriguez’s words, “Our whole process is not perfect, but I don’t think it’s supposed to be. That’s not the point.”

                                                                                                                      ‘neo’ was co-produced and mixed by So Pitted and Dylan Wall and recorded at The Old Fire House, Media Lab, Spruce Haus, the band’s practice space and Tastefully Loud in Seattle. ‘neo’ was engineered by Wall at Tastefully Loud and mastered by Eric Boulanger at The Bakery in Los Angeles.

                                                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                      Cat Scratch
                                                                                                                      Pay Attention To Me
                                                                                                                      Woe
                                                                                                                      Holding The Void
                                                                                                                      No Nuke Country
                                                                                                                      The Sickness
                                                                                                                      Feed Me
                                                                                                                      I’m Not Over It
                                                                                                                      Rot In Hell
                                                                                                                      Get Out Of My Room
                                                                                                                      Chop Down That Tree

                                                                                                                      After nearly ten years as the creative force behind much-loved New York rock outfit Hooray For Earth, Noel Heroux had lost his way. “I was constantly cutting corners and phoning everything in,” he says. “I was super depressed. I was creatively frustrated. I was emotionally unavailable to the people I really, really wanted to be there for - and no matter how much I cared, I just couldn’t change. But when I realized that I needed to the end the band and just try again, my head cleared and the clouds parted. I’d been derailed somehow,” he adds

                                                                                                                      “So I allowed myself to return to the beginning.”

                                                                                                                      This year marks the release of ‘Mass Gothic’, the Massachusetts-bred, New Yorkbased singer / songwriter’s self-titled Sub Pop debut. Written and recorded at home over four months during the winter of 2013 - 2014, it’s a stunning reminder of not just Heroux’s own remarkable talents as singer and songwriter but how unbridled creativity can sound and feel: before Hooray For Earth had quickly become a fullyfunctioning band it began as a solo project. Not pressure or compromises, just Heroux, a four-track and an irrepressible urge to “jot down all of the noise and music floating around in my head” and make it available to other people. “All I wanted to do was whatever I do when I’m alone and I’m unconcerned with what anyone else wants or expects,” he says. “I did my best to let go, and what came out was pure, uncut. It reminded me of the first few times I made music, when I was a young kid. I didn’t set any rules and I had zero expectations.”

                                                                                                                      The result is an expansive, often exhilarating set of guitar-driven pop that required very little editing when it was done. Additional mixing was provided by Chris Coady (Beach House, TV On The Radio) with mastering done by Greg Calbi (Father John Misty, Tame Impala) at Sterling Sound. The album was engineered by Wall at Tastefully Loud and mastered by Eric Boulanger at The Bakery in Los Angeles.

                                                                                                                      From the iridescent doo-wop of ‘Every Night You’ve Got to Save Me’ to the skyward crescendo of ‘Mind Is Probably’ to the falsetto-streaked clatter of ‘Want To, Bad’, it’s a radiant retelling of Heroux’s starting over, with ‘Nice Night’ as its cathartic, electrifying centrepiece.

                                                                                                                      “A lot of these songs are more or less a really dramatic, loud apology / thank you note,” he says, referencing his partner, collaborator and future tour mate, Jessica. “It didn’t matter where any of the sounds came from. I just cared that it sounded big and heavy, and that it was moving when it was done. It’s a clean slate entirely - and I’m so relieved.”

                                                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                      Mind Is Probably
                                                                                                                      Own The Road
                                                                                                                      Want To, Bad
                                                                                                                      Pier Pressure
                                                                                                                      Nice Night
                                                                                                                      Every Night You’ve Got
                                                                                                                      To Save Me
                                                                                                                      Money Counter
                                                                                                                      Territory
                                                                                                                      Soul
                                                                                                                      Subway Phone

                                                                                                                      The album, which features the highlights ‘Quiet Americans’ and ‘Only Child’, was produced by Danny Reisch at studios in Austin and Los Angeles and mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound.

                                                                                                                      This is definitely Shearwater’s biggest and loudest record - it’s easy to imagine these songs roaring from the stage - but it’s also their most detailed and intricate one. Front man Jonathan Meiburg and producer / engineer Reisch spent two years crafting ‘Jet Plane And Oxbow’ with help from drummer Cully Symington, longtime Shearwater associates Howard Draper and Lucas Oswald and tourmates Jesca Hoop, Abram Shook and Jenn Wasner.

                                                                                                                      This time the band’s secret weapon is film composer and percussionist Brian Reitzell, whose soundtracks include ‘The Virgin Suicides’, ‘Lost In Translation’, ‘The Bling Ring’, and ‘30 Days Of Night’. Reitzell’s arsenal of strange instruments emphasizes ‘Jet Plane And Oxbow’’s cinematic depth and scope and reflects the band’s choice to anchor the record in the era when digital technology was just beginning to transform the world of recorded music. In Shearwater’s hands this doesn’t feel like nostalgia; the racing synths and hammered dulcimers of heart-pounding opener ‘Prime’ or the addled motorik of ‘Radio Silence’ sound more like a metaphor for our own bewildering moment.

                                                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                      Prime
                                                                                                                      Quiet Americans
                                                                                                                      A Long Time Away
                                                                                                                      Backchannels
                                                                                                                      Filaments
                                                                                                                      Pale Kings
                                                                                                                      Only Child
                                                                                                                      Glass Bones
                                                                                                                      Wildlife In America
                                                                                                                      Radio Silence
                                                                                                                      Stray Light At Clouds Hill


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                                                                                                                      RT @fieldmusicmusic: And on Oldham Street in Manchester, a record shop institution: @PiccadillyRecs! They have what I consider to be the ar…
                                                                                                                      Thu 15th - 12:12
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