New Releases for April 17 and 24, 2020
Lucinda Williams – Good Souls Better Angels CD/2xLP (Highway 20)
Three-time Grammy Award winner Lucinda Williams unabashedly takes on some of the human, social and political issues of our day with her boldest and most direct album to date, Good Souls Better Angels. During the course of her celebrated four-decade, pioneering career Williams has never rested on her laurels as she continues to push herself as a songwriter. On Good Souls Better Angels, she has much she needs to get out.
Abysmal Dawn – Phylogenesis CD/LP (Season Of Mist)
American death metal masters Abysmal Dawn are back after a six-year gap. Conceptually, Phylogenesis deals with the breakdown of social constructs humans have built over time. The album title is defined by the evolution (or diversification) of a species. So, Phylogenesis is an ironic take on guitarist/vocalist Charles Elliott’s observations, particularly how social media has accelerated and exacerbated the de-evolution of humanity’s interactive abilities.
The Black Dahlia Murder – Verminous CD/LP (Metal Blade Records)
Verminous is The Black Dahlia Murder‘s most dynamic, rousing and emotional release to date, and it achieves this without compromising one iota of heaviness. “I think this is the biggest evolutionary leap we’ve ever taken from one album to the next. We stoked the creative fires with 2017’s Nightbringers and it’s gone much further now in Verminous,” states vocalist Trevor Strnad. “It’s a very colorful, moody, and charismatic album that experiments with new sounds and ideas without losing the cutthroat Black Dahlia edge.” [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
EOB – Earth CD/LP (Capitol)
Earth is an album of rediscovery and adventure by Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien, being released under the moniker EOB. Written and recorded over five years during any possible break from the making and touring of Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool, the album deftly veers from moments of delicate folk to euphoric house, its songs seamlessly pinned together by unswerving melodic hooks and candid lyricism. A spirit of collaboration runs through Earth from the production team of Flood, Catherine Marks, Alan Moulder and Adam ‘Cecil’ Bartlett to the extraordinary musicians O’Brien assembled to bring these tracks to life; bassist Nathan East, drummers Omar Hakim and Glenn Kotche, and The Invisible’s multi-instrumentalist leader David Okumu.
Shabazz Palaces – The Don Of Diamond Dreams CD/LP (Sub Pop)
It remains impossible to accurately describe a Shabazz Palaces album without lapsing into cosmic tropes. Yet sometimes clichés are stand-ins for eternal truths. Therein, The Don Of Diamond Dreams embodies a futuristic manifestation of ancient myth, full of robotic vocoder and warped auto-tune, Funkadelic refracted into different dimensions, weird portals and warm nocturnal joy rides alongside the coast (a reflection of it being mixed near the beach in California). The synthesizers are alien but the drums speak a universal language. It is hip-hop, dub, jazz, R&B, soul, funk, African, experimental, and occasionally even pop. But over the course of five albums, Shabazz Palaces have conceived the fluid boundaries of their own one-band genre.
Paul Burch & WPA Ballclub – Light Sensitive CD/LP (Plowboy)
Recorded in Nashville with his longtime band the WPA Ballclub along with guests Luther Dickinson, Robyn Hitchcock, Amy Rigby, and Aaron Lee Tasjan, Light Sensitive sounds both modern and instantly classic and punctuates Pop Matters declaration that Burch is “one of the best damn songwriters operating today. Burch makes music for the here and now but the fervor or rock ‘n’ roll is always just beneath the surface, as if the secret son of William Faulkner had traded his typewriter for an electric guitar.”
Frazey Ford – U Kin B The Sun CD/LP+MP3 (Arts & Crafts)
On her third album, Vancouver-based singer/songwriter Frazey Ford inhabits an entire world of shapeshifting rhythm, elevating every beat and groove with the subtle magnetism of her mesmerizing voice. With its graceful collision of soul and psychedelia and sometimes ’70s funk, it’s a body of work that invites both self-reflection and wildly joyful movement, and ultimately sparks a quiet transcendence.
Mick Harvey – Waves Of Anzac/The Journey CD/LP (Mute)
Featuring two recent soundtracks to powerful subject matters, Waves Of Anzac/The Journey, marks the first soundtrack release from Mick Harvey (The Birthday Party, Crime and the City Solution, The Bad Seeds) in over ten years. The first, Waves Of Anzac looks at Sam Neill’s personal family history interwoven with the history of the First World War and the Anzacs through to the modern era while the second, The Journey, is a four-part composition released in support of #KidsOffNauru, a campaign working for the child refugees and people seeking asylum who find themselves in offshore detention.
Shelby Lynne – Shelby Lynne CD/LP (Everso)
This is an album of mostly solo, spare but emotionally rich, original torch songs done the only way this idiosyncratic artist knows how – at once tortured and vulnerable, with intimate feelings laid bare, but ultimately offering hope that there’s a light in the darkness.
RJD2 – The Fun Ones CD/LP (RJ’s Electrical Connections)
Though The Fun Ones largely emphasizes modern funk and instrumental music, RJ still occasionally flirts with vocal stylings across the album. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Soul Asylum – Hurry Up And Wait CD/2xLP (Blue Élan)
According to vocalist/guitarist Dave Pirner, making Soul Asylum’s twelfth studio full-length, Hurry Up And Wait, was a completely seamless, enjoyable and productive experience. Co-produced with John Fields and recorded at Minneapolis’ Nicollet Studios, the same place where the celebrated rock band recorded seminal early albums released on Twin/Tone Records, the album reflects Soul Asylum’s usual eclectic approach. Lyrically, songs dive into topics such as grappling with emotional and geographic disconnection, navigating romantic ebbs and flows, and the power of embracing optimism despite it all.
DJ Screw – All Screwed Up [Reissue/1995] LP (Sosouth)
25th anniversary release the seminal and breakout mixtape from the late DJ Screw. All Screwed Up introduced Screw’s signature chopped & screwed sound on a mass scale, and his influence still can be heard from artists like Solange, Travis Scott and Megan Thee Stallion. Presented as a collectible two-sided picture disc.
Violent J – Wizard Of The Hood [Reissue/2003] 2×12” (Psychopathic)
Wizard of the Hood is the debut EP by Violent J. Released in 2003, it is the Insane Clown Posse member’s first solo release. The EP is a concept album based on The Wizard Of Oz, which is retold in an urban setting. Several tracks from the EP also sample music from the 1978 film The Wiz, another urban reimagining of The Wizard Of Oz.
Brendan Benson – Dear Life CD/LP (Third Man)
Benson finds himself in an enviable spot as he enters the third decade of a remarkably creative, consistently idiosyncratic career – an accomplished frontman, musician, songwriter, producer, band member, husband, and dad. Benson’s seventh solo album, and first new LP in almost seven years, Dear Life is this consummate polymath’s most inventive and upbeat work thus far, an 11- track song cycle about life, love, family, fatherhood, and the pure joy of making music. The album sees the Michigan-born, Nashville-based artist – and co-founder, with Jack White, of The Raconteurs – reveling in a more modernist approach than ever before, fueled by a heady brew of cannabis, hip-hop, and a newly discovered interest in software drum programming.
Other Lives – For Their Love CD/LP (ATO)
Other Lives, the Oklahoma-bred outfit fronted by Jesse Tabish, return with the long-awaited follow-up to 2015’s Rituals. For Their Love is a 10-track collection with a nod to the past while progressing positively towards the future. “The album is a record reflecting human feeling in the current state of affairs – economy and politics on the individual, while the latter still has to deal with the basic struggles of finding meaning of their existence,” says Tabish.
AWOLNATION – Angel Miners & The Lightning Riders CD/LP (Better Noise Music)
Angel Miners & The Lightning Riders is a full-throttle journey linked by a conceptual framework about good versus evil. Features guest contributions from Rivers Cuomo of Weezer on the song “’Pacific Coast Highway” and Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros frontman Alex Ebert on “Mayday!!!”.
Chatham County Line – Strange Fascination CD/LP (Yep Roc)
North Carolina’s cherished Americana band is back with their 12th studio album. Strange Fascination features newly added drums and modern effects that drive a revamped sound.
Quelle Chris & Chris Keys – Innocent Country 2 CD/2xLP (Mello Music Group)
Quelle Chris has earned accolades from publications like NPR, Pitchfork, The Needle Drop, The Wire and The AV Club for both his 2019 solo album Guns as well as his collaborative album with New York rapper Jean Grae, Everything’s Fine. Innocent Country 2 is the follow-up to the beloved collaborative cult classic Innocent Country with multi-instrumentalist Chris Keys. Featuring talents ranging from comedian Josh Gondelman to rapper Earl Sweatshirt, Innocent Country 2 is both his most ambitious and complete work to date.
Danzig – Sings Elvis CD/LP (Cleopatra)
14 interpretations of well-known Elvis classics and unheralded deep cuts. [Two colored vinyl pressings are also available: green and pink.]
Ezra Furman – Sex Education [OST] CD/LP (Bella Union)
Ezra Furman’s soundtrack to the Netflix original series Sex Education. The hit show, starring Asa Butterfield and Gilian Anderson, follows the story of a teenage boy with a sex therapist mother, who teams up with a high school classmate to set up an underground sex therapy clinic at school. Gathering the music from Season 1 and Season 2, it features soundtrack exclusives alongside new recordings of some of Furman’s best loved songs.
King Diamond – Fatal Portrait [Reissue/1986] CD/LP+MP3 (Metal Blade)
King Diamond – Abigail [Reissue/1987] CD/LP+MP3 (Metal Blade)
CD and colored vinyl reissues of the heavy metal band’s first two albums.
New Riders Of The Purple Sage – Field Trip (Live) CD (Omnivore)
With Billboard magazine hailing the New Riders of the Purple Sage as the definitive band of the country-rock genre, 1972 was a year of major growth for the band. By the time summer rolled around, Buddy Cage was now firmly entrenched as Jerry Garcia’s replacement on pedal steel guitar and their second studio album, Powerglide, was getting rave reviews. On the live front, they were beginning to fill concert halls across the US while continuing to emerge from the shadows of the Grateful Dead with an intoxicating mix of classic and original American songwriting from the worlds of country, rock, bluegrass, and soul. August 27, 1972 found the New Riders once again on the bill with the Grateful Dead for what turned out to be one of the more legendary events in this subculture’s history.
Picturesque – Do You Feel O.K.? CD (Equal Vision)
Sophomore album from the Lexington-based alt-rock/indie band. “Do You Feel O.K? takes a step in an entirely new direction by going deep into pop sensibilities and shedding most of their post-hardcore past.” – All Ages Zine
Trivium – What The Dead Men Say CD/LP (Roadrunner)
Florida-based metallers unleash their ninth full length album What The Dead Men Say. “What The Dead Men Say is everything that is Trivium,” explains guitarist/vocalist Matt Heafy. “On this album, one can hear the proper ingredients of past, present, and future Trivium. The Trivium sound is having everything the band does – on one album.” “With the new album, we took what worked on the ‘The Sin And The Sentence’ and dialed it all up to 11,” adds bassist Paolo Gregoletto.
The Used – Heartwork CD/2xLP (Big Noise Music GRP)
Eighth studio album from the hard rock band from Orem, Utah. [Limited red colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Warbringer – Weapons Of Tomorrow CD/LP (Napalm)
Sixth studio album by the Californian thrash metal overlords.
Ariel Pink – The Doldrums [Reissue/2000] 2xLP (Mexican Summer)
Ariel Pink – Worn Copy [Reissue/2003] 2xLP (Mexican Summer)
Ariel Pink – House Arrest [Reissue/2006] 2xLP (Mexican Summer)
Ariel Archives revisits Ariel Pink’s historic run of albums as Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti with a series of definitive reissues and new collections. Each new edition has been restored from the original cassette masters. Each pressing is housed in a widespine jacket with obi strip.
Duke Ellington • Charlie Mingus • Max Roach – Money Jungle [Reissue/1962] LP (Blue Note)
In 1962 Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Max Roach recorded Money Jungle, one of the most celebrated jazz trio albums of all time. Generational and stylistic differences between the three created fearless music. The album features some of Ellington’s indelible compositions including Caravan, Solitude, and a stunning version of “Le Fleurs Africaines” (African Flower). A Blue Note Tone Poet Series release.
The Local Honeys – The Gospel LP (Soul Step)
The Local Honeys are Kentuckians Linda Jean Stokley and Montana Hobbs, old-time musicians who have earned a loyal fan base by being, as their debut album termed them, “Little Girls Actin’ Like Men.” Original songwriters as well as dedicated performers of the classics, the Honeys tear into hard-driving fiddle tunes and sing the high lonesome sound with the best of them.
Meatloaf – Bat Out Of Hell [Reissue/1977] LP (Epic)
Vinyl reissue of the debut studio album by rock icon Meat Loaf, as well as his first collaboration with composer Jim Steinman and producer Todd Rundgren. Its musical style is influenced by Steinman’s appreciation of Richard Wagner, Phil Spector, Bruce Springsteen and The Who.
Lee Morgan – The Cooker [Reissue/1958] LP (Blue Note)
Listening to Lee Morgan’s molten solo on A Night In Tunisia, the opening track of The Cooker, it’s hard to fathom that he was only 19 years old at the time. Recorded shortly after his dazzling performance on John Coltrane’s masterpiece ‘Blue Train’ in 1957, The Cooker was in fact Morgan’s 5th Blue Note album as a leader. Bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Philly Joe Jones are joined by baritone saxophone master Pepper Adams and the great Bobby Timmons on piano on this superbly swinging session. A Blue Note Tone Poet Series release.