New Releases for April 19, 2019
After The Burial – Evergreen CD/LP (Sumerian)
“After the Burial is the master of releasing tracks and albums that are full of memorable hooks, ones that force the listener to grin with childish glee; an oft-forgotten vibe in progressive metal and the entire genre. In addition to the first single, tracks like ‘Exit, Exist’ mimic ‘Collapse’ (off 2016’s Dig Deep) with its fast-paced low-end chug-bend-fest, and ‘In Flux’ opens with a ‘My Frailty’ (from In Dreams) intro dissonant riff before diving head first into an off-kilter but high BPM riff that becomes instantly memorable. In contrast, tracks like ‘Respire’ are much more straightforward with an increased focus on drawing from hardcore and metalcore influences with staple chug overlaid with melodies and are an instant playlist addition for all the gym going fans.” – Metal Wani
Jade Bird – Jade Bird CD/LP (Glassnote)
“With her fiery pop-Americana, singer-songwriter Jade Bird is determined to make a name for herself in 2019 – all on her own terms. She feels a greater kinship with American songwriters such as Gillian Welch and Julien Baker than putative British forebear Jake Bugg, who famously railed against manufactured pop while employing blue-chip songwriters. Bird plays guitar and writes everything. Her self-titled debut is appropriately bold. Its 12 polished tracks shift between barn-burners, wry acoustic jangle and affecting piano ballads. Her protagonists are often jilting women or foolish men being lured away by (occasionally two-dimensional) temptresses. As a woman, she says: ‘It’s really interesting to confront the same expectations as white male guitarists and exceed them. That’s my biggest goal, to keep smashing expectations. When people are like, oh, you’re country? Well, here’s an indie rock song. Now it’s punk, and I know what I’m talking about. It’s always been so important for me to be respected over being heralded.’ Bird’s tornado of personality, redoubtable conviction and sterling debut suggest the choice won’t be an issue.” – The Guardian
Cage The Elephant – Social Cues CD/LP+MP3 (RCA)
“Social Cues is a satisfying collection of glitzy anthems, breezy vibes, and even some earnestly introspective highlights that showcase technical and creative maturity. From the start, the album impresses with its production courtesy of John Hill, whose work with venerated peers like Florence + The Machine and Portugal. The Man speaks for itself. Opener ‘Broken Boy’ immediately dishes out dissonant energy and ethereality before channeling 1960s surf rock attitude via sharp, overlapping guitar chords and steadfast rhythms. Blended with vocalist Matt Shultz’s trademark presence, a fusion of 1970s punk attitude and classic Mick Jagger swagger, it’s a superficial yet sufficiently gripping good time. Likewise, the consequent title track is lighter and more danceable in terms of both mix and melodies, whereas ‘Night Running’ is funky and spacey, entrancing the listener in easygoing colorfulness and—thanks to special guest Beck—warmly chill vocals. Further along, ‘House of Glass’ feels like an aggressive amalgamation of Super Furry Animals and the Last Shadow Puppets, and the punchy ‘Tokyo Smoke’ is lovingly ornamented by inventive effects and luscious synths amongst its resolute accessibility.” – Pop Matters [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Drugdealer – Raw Honey CD/LP (Mexican Summer)
In an era when networked access to information is nearly universal and wearing influences on your sleeve is normalized, it often feels like everything’s been done. Which begs the questions: What’s the point of creating? Does the world need another still life of fruit? Another film about love? Does the world need another melody? On Raw Honey, his second album as Drugdealer, Michael Collins colors these existential conundrums with lush arrangements, memetic melodies, and a vulnerable tunefulness that tries to make sense of self-doubt and connected loneliness in our shared simulacra.
Fat White Family – Serfs Up! CD/LP (Domino)
Serfs Up! is a lush and masterful work, lascivious and personal. Tropical, sympathetic and grandiose, it invites the listener in rather than repel them through willful abrasion. In one of the most gratifying and unexpected creative volte-face in living musical memory, the band you hate to love have stormed the palace, ceased the throne, and are set to embark are on their imperial phase as overlords of a kingdom of their own making. Gregorian chants, jackboot glam beats, string flourishes, sophisticated and lush cocktail exotica, electro funk and the twin spirits of Alan Vega and Afrika Bambaataa punctuate the record at various junctures, while the dramatic production of Feet is as immaculately-rendered as Hounds Of Love-era Kate Bush. The dirt is still there of course, but scrape it away and you’ll find a purring engine, gleaming chrome. [Indie-store exclusive vinyl edition available.]
Wynton Marsalis – Bolden (Original Soundtrack) CD (Blue Engine)
For the original soundtrack of Bolden, nine-time Grammy Award winner Wynton Marsalis faced a nearly impossible task: bring fellow cornetist and New Orleanian Buddy Bolden, widely considered one of the fathers of jazz, back from the dead. But on this album, Marsalis enthusiastically resurrects the bawdy, brassy sound of Bolden as no one else can, throwing a Big Easy party that romps through some of Bolden’s most beloved material. Featuring acclaimed vocalists Catherine Russell and Brianna Thomas and an all-star cast of instrumentalists that includes Wycliffe Gordon, Victor Goines, Marcus Printup, and more, Marsalis brings turn-of-the-century New Orleans back to life, imbuing early jazz classics popularized by Bolden and his competitor Louis Armstrong with a modern sound and energy.
Yawpers – Human Question CD/LP+MP3 (Bloodshot)
The Yawpers are the sheep in wolf’s clothing. Through their first three albums, the group divined a signature style-what Pitchfork described as “an expansive vision of rock ‘n’ roll, one that cherrypicks from various folk traditions: punk, rockabilly, blues, whatever they might have on hand or find in the trash.” The sound is a front-heavy, groovy, fire & brimstone punk-blues overlying a dynamic and metaphysical roots rock. On their fourth album, Human Question, the Denver trio zooms out to a vaster and accessible stylistic and spiritual universe. The 38-minute thrill ride generates growth and cathartic self-reflection for audience and performer alike. If there was justice in this world, the Yawpers would be the savior that rock and roll didn’t know it was waiting for.
Jonatha Brooke – Imposter CDEP (Bad Dog)
On her new EP, Imposter, Jonatha stated I explored a few different themes on Imposter; feeling like the emperor with no clothes, a very cinematic excursion into revenge, that ever present struggle with faith and loss. These are songs I developed and fell in love with over a longer period of time than usual, so I had the luxury that they turned out exactly as I had hoped and dreamed they would.
Cayucas – Real Life CD/LP (Park The Van)
New album from the Los Angeles-based band known for their sunny, melodic surf rock and buoyant, rhythmic jams.
Angelique Kidjo – Celia CD (Verve)
Angelique Kidjo reflects on an icon of the Americas, celebrated salsa singer Celia Cruz. Over ten tracks, Celia divests itself of the glamour to investigate the African roots of the Cuban-born woman who became the Queen of salsa, a music genre invented in New York by Caribbean immigrants. The album features musical assistance from Tony Allen, Meshell Ndegeocello, David Donatien, Shabaka Hutchings and Sons Of Kemet And The Gangbé Brass Band.
Will Kimbrough – I Like It Down Here CD/LP (Will Kimbrough/Soundly Music)
I Like It Down Here deals a lot with Kimbrough’s home region, the South, and his roots there: the place where he knew the shortcuts to get to every gig, where he’d had a great upbringing in Lower Alabama with a close family, where he first caught on as a guitar-blazing 16-year-old pop-rock wunderkind, where the last public lynching was in 1981, and where Confederate flags fly from homes not infrequently to this day.
Stevie Nicks – Stand Back: 1981–2017 3xCD (Atlantic)
50-track career-spanning triple-CD set including solo hits, studio recordings, collaborations, soundtrack work and live cuts. [Vinyl edition due June 27.]
Rolling Stones – Honk CD/3xCD/2xLP (Interscope)
New compilation from the legendary rock ‘n’ roll band featuring their biggest hits and classic cuts from all of their studio album spanning 1971 to 2016. The single-disc edition (and double-LP) features 20 tracks; the expanded triple-CD edition features 36 tracks plus a bonus 10-track live recorded during the band’s more recent sold-out tours featuring guests Florence Welch, Dave Grohl, Brad Paisley and more.
Tech N9ne – N9NA CD (Strange Music)
New album from the rapper features Futuristic, Krizz Kaliko, JL, Jelly Roll, Maez301.
Wand – Laughing Matter CD/LP (Drag City)
Wand’s new generous double-album Laughing Matter is a record of love and terror experienced in epic doses. It is part fuzzy parable, travel diary, pep talk and lullaby, with Wand going as far they can, from concise guitar rock to multifarious, eclectic pastiche, rich with disruption and ascendant choruses.
Nick Cave/Warren Ellis – The Assassination Of Jessy James By The Coward Robert Ford [OST/2007] LP (Mute)
Nick Cave and Warren Ellis – of Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, The Dirty Three and Grinderman – composed, played and produced a compelling and intense soundtrack for director Andrew Dominik’s savage tale of the true West. The score captures perfectly the charismatic and unpredictable nature of its central protagonist. Like the film, Cave and Ellis’ music cuts through the mythic figure of Jesse James to reveal the complex, contradictory man beneath.
Gorillaz – The Now Now LP (WB/Parlophone)
Limited picture disc vinyl pressing of Gorillaz 2018 album.