James Blunt – The Afterlove [Extended Version] CD (Atlantic)
The Afterlove sees Blunt melding contemporary pop production with his classic brand of personal songcraft, equal parts heartfelt poignancy and self-deprecating wit. The chart-topping troubadour enlisted a who’s who of modern talent to join him in writing and recording the album, among them such icons and studio luminaries as Ed Sheeran, Ryan Tedder, Amy Wadge (Ed Sheeran), Johnny McDaid (Example, Biffy Clyro), Stephan Moccio (Miley Cyrus, The Weeknd), and MoZella (Miley Cyrus, One Direction).
Bonobo – One Offs… Remixes & B-Sides [Reissue/2002] CD/2xLP (Tru Thoughts)
Successfully beating the bootleggers at their own game, 2002’s One Offs offered Bonobo fans the chance to get their mitts on rare 12” and 7” cuts, as well as some truly exceptional remixes.
The Cribs – 24-7 Rockstar Sh!t CD/LP (House Arrest)
Recorded to tape in just five days with legendary producer Steve Albini, the Jarman brothers’ new album is a “return to our roots and the raw approach we took on our first two records in 2004 and 2005.”
A.J. Croce – Just Like Medicine CD/LP (Compass)
The acclaimed singer/songwriter A.J. Croce and his producer, soul music legend Dan Penn, explore the healing power of music with Just Like Medicine. An all-star cast including Steve Cropper, David Hood, Vince Gill, Colin Linden and the McCrary Sisters come together on Croce’s ninth studio album.
The Districts – Popular Manipulations CD/LP (Fat Possum)
The distinctly intense sound of the Pennsylvania-borne band’s third full-length – charging guitars, thunderous drumming, and Grote’s searing vocals – was brought on by a few cited influences, from shoegaze’s aggressive swirl to the Velvet Underground’s impeccable drone-rock sound. There’s a distinctly Canadian flavor to this brand of indie rock, too; Spencer Krug’s anthemic, lushly inscrutable work in Wolf Parade and his defunct Sunset Rubdown side project comes to mind, as does 2000s Toronto barnburners The Diableros’ overlooked 2006 gem You Can’t Break The Strings In Our Olympic Hearts. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Downtown Boys – Cost Of Living CD/LP+MP3/Cassette (Sub Pop)
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, recorded with Guy Picciotto (Fugazi; producer of Blonde Redhead, The Gossip). 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.
Guided By Voices – How Do You Spell Heaven CD/LP (GBV Inc.)
Hot on the heels of the smothered-in-plaudits double album August By Cake comes this hot and heavy fifteen-tune long player, a melody-dense thwack to the earholes that will both energize and deplete your body of its remaining music-appreciation enzymes.
Hinder – Reign CD (The End)
New album from the multi-platinum rockers.
Will Hoge – Anchors CD/LP (Edlo)
Recorded with an all-star band comprised of drummer Jerry Roe (Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Darius Rucker), bassist Dominic Davis (Jack White, Wanda Jackson), and guitarists Brad Rice (Son Volt, Ryan Adams) and Thom Donovan (Lapush, Ruby Amanfu), Anchors is a prime showcase for Hoge’s searing, gritty vocals, as well as his remarkable gift for crafting complex characters with real emotional depth and plainspoken profundity.
Paul Kelly – Life Is Fine CD/LP (Cooking Vinyl)
Paul Kelly lifts the electric guitar out of the case again and unveils one of the most powerful albums of his career. Engineered and co-produced by Steve Schram, Life Is Fine is preceded by the rock-flavored lead single “Firewood And Candles,” a rollicking track reminiscent of his finest ‘80s recordings, a feeling which permeates the entire collection.
Ke$ha – Rainbow CD/LP (RCA)
Kesha’s first new album in five years features Eagles Of Death Metal, Dolly Parton, and more, including a track produced by Ben Folds and artwork designed by Robert Beatty.
Mr. T Experience – King Dork Approximately The Album CD/LP (Sounds Rad)
A twelve-song concept album based on singer Frank Portman’s bestselling series of young adult novels. Originally released as a unique digital “balbum,” (book/album) this album is finally given proper treatment on physical format. The album is crammed with carefully crafted songs about girls, love, angst and awkwardness-themes that have resonated with fans new and old for 30 years – a soundtrack to the inside joke that is your life.
Needtobreathe – HARD CUTS: Songs from the H A R D L O V E Sessions CDEP (Atlantic)
Six tracks including four previously unheard songs, including “Count On Me” and “Waiting.”
No Use For A Name – Rarities Vol. 1: The Covers CD/LP (Fat Wreck Chords)
Archive collection of every non-album cover the California punk band has recorded.
Buck Owens – Live From Austin TX CD+DVD (New West)
Recorded October 23, 1988 KLRU-TV, Austin, TX. [Vinyl edition due September 8.]
David Rawlings – Poor David’s Almanack CD/LP+MP3 (Acony)
Guitar man David Rawlings leaves the Machine moniker behind for his third album, Poor David’s Almanack, a wry mixture of acoustic and electric performances rich in ageless American vernacular. Gloriously captured on analog tape by studio wizards Ken Scott and Matt Andrews, the ten new songs took shape in a rollicking weeklong session at Woodland Sound Studios in Nashville, Tennessee where Rawlings and longtime compatriot Gillian Welch (who also designed the cover art) joined together with Willie Watson, Paul Kowert, Brittany Haas, Ketch Secor, and Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith to produce an album for all seasons.
Emily Saliers – Murmuration Nation CD (MRI Associated)
“What’s a 53-year-old woman doing making her first solo record?” muses Saliers, best known as one half of the iconic duo Indigo Girls. In this ‘post-fact’ era in which we find ourselves living today, Saliers’ fearless voice and insightful perspective feel more vital and relevant than ever before. The songs also reveal a new side of Saliers’ artistry, one that even her most ardent fans might not expect to hear. [Vinyl edition due August 25.]
Sheer Mag – Need To Feel Your Love CD/LP (Wilsuns RC/Static Shock)
Recently released on vinyl – now available on CD. Sheer Mag’s full-length debut sounds like a mix of a classic ’70s rock, power pop and obscure English DIY. Think of the power pop delight of Protex, the lo-fi nature of The Seize, the riffs of Thin Lizzy and the powerful female vocals of Suzi Quatro.
Ben Sollee – Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native CD (Soundly Music, LLC)
Tracing the origins of a traditional American genre back to early immigrants, Sollee takes a nontraditional approach, blending the influences of early Irish and Scottish musicians with the rhythms of Mexico, Africa and India. Inspired by the interactions and collaborations of string musicians from all walks of life, Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native is Sollee’s most personally revealing work and a reflection of his native Kentucky, a place like many others, that’s still helping refine the ever-changing Bluegrass genre. Sollee and his bandmates recorded the album in a cabin at the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Clermont, KY with a mobile, analog studio and with just a few overdubs. [Vinyl edition due September 1.]
Venom Inc. – Ave CD/2xLP (Nuclear Blast)
Venom Inc consists of former Venom founders Jeffrey “Mantas” Dunn on guitar and Anthony “Abaddon” Bray on drums as well as former Venom bassist Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan. [Limited edition brown colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Whiskey Shivers – Some Part Of Something CD/LP (Rhyme & Reason)
“Bluegrass-fueled Americana for a generation that grew up listening to punk rock.” — Washington Post
The Woggles – Tally Ho! CD/LP (Wicked Cool)
“For two decades, The Woggles have marched from Georgia like Sherman in reverse, leveling nightclubs with their hip-shaking, windshield steaming garage rock fusillade.” – The Austin Chronicle
Dwight Yoakam – Live From Austin TX CD+DVD (New West)
Recorded October 23, 1988. [Vinyl edition due September 8.]
This Week’s Vinyl Exclusives:
Amon Amarth – Fate Of Norns [Reissue/2004] LP (Metal Blade)
Amon Amarth – With Odin On Our Side [Reissue/2006] LP (Metal Blade)
180gm vinyl reissues of the death metal band’s sixth and seventh albums.
Foster The People – Sacred Hearts Club LP+MP3 (Columbia)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Los Angeles, CA dance-pop outfit Foster The People incorporate ’60s-inspired sounds and a psychedelic influence on their third studio effort Sacred Hearts Club. “One of my favorite things about music is that it’s unifying,” says frontman Mark Foster. “We wrote these songs to reflect joy in a time where people have needed it more than ever and we thought it was a good time to share them with you.”
Future – Pluto  2xLP (Omerta Inc.)
Limited double 180gm blue, purple and white tie-dye colored vinyl LP pressing of the debut album from the rapper featuring guest appearances from Drake, R. Kelly, T.I., Trae tha Truth and Snoop Dogg.
The Kooks – Inside In/Inside Out [Reissue/2005] LP (Astralwerks)
The Kooks – Konk [Reissue/2008] LP (Astralwerks)
Vinyl reissues of the first two albums by the Brighton four-piece, both produced by Tony Hoffer (Beck, Air, Supergrass) and recorded at Ray Davies’ Konk Studios in North London.
Portugal. The Man – Woodstock LP (Atlantic)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl.
Prince – I Wish You Heaven [Reissue/1988] 12” (WB)
Prince – Batdance/200 Balloons [Reissue/1989] 12” (WB)
Prince – Partyman [Reissue/1989] 12” (WB)
Vinyl reissues of one Lovesexy and two Batman singles.
Washed Out – Mister Mellow LP (Stones Throw)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl.