New Releases for August 23, 2019
Ceremony – In The Spirit World Now CD/LP (Relapse)
In The Spirit World Now sees Ceremony at the height of their creative output, as the always-evolving Rohnert Park quintet take various influences from post punk and rock to create one of 2019’s most compelling and infectious records. The album is full of layered sonic fury and anxiety, each song building up to a point and then descending through a militant, catchy hook.
Crobot – Motherbrain CD/LP (Mascot Label Group)
Striking a delicate balance between hard-charging riffs, ass-shaking funk, and out-of-this-world reflective stage attire, the Pennsylvania quartet satisfy starvation for sonic sustenance on their fourth full-length, Motherbrain. Blending funk, blues, metal and good old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll into a howling vortex of Brandon Yeagley’s vocals and Chris Bishop’s guitar, Crobot has crafted an album of endless good time rock hooks that sound as inspired today as they would have on AOR radio in 1974.
Noah Gunderson – Lover CD/2xLP (Cooking Vinyl)
Acclaimed Seattle singer-songwriter Noah Gundersen releases his extraordinary and highly personal new album, Lover. Recorded over two years at Seattle’s The Crumb studio with longtime collaborator, producer/engineer Andy D. Park (Death Cab For Cutie, K. Flay, Pedro The Lion), Lover sees Gundersen continuing to veer towards an increasingly intimate and intense creative approach, wedding intricate beats and warm natural instrumentation to a series of stark, almost dreamlike, new songs.
Arlo Guthrie – Alice’s Restaurant: Original MGM Motion Picture Soundtrack (50th Anniversary Edition) CD/2xLP (Omnivore)
Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant LP became a counter-culture touchstone when it was released in 1967. Two years later, director Arthur Penn followed up his 1967 classic film, Bonnie And Clyde, by bringing Alice to the big screen, starring none other than Arlo himself. Penn received an Oscar nomination for his direction. The soundtrack from the film featured a new recording of “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree,” as well other songs and music cues from the movie. That soundtrack was expanded on CD in 1998 with even more material. For the 50th anniversary of the movie, Alice’s Restaurant: Original MGM Motion Picture Soundtrack (50th Anniversary Edition) contains all of the material from the 1969 and 1998 editions (while retaining the 1969 sequence), but also adds a previously unissued, live, 24-minute version of “Alice’s Restaurant: Multi-Color Rainbow Roach Affair” from 1968.
Joyero – Release The Dogs CD/LP+MP3 (Merge)
Andy Stack has rightfully earned a reputation as a generous collaborator and musical polymath, both as half of the beloved duo Wye Oak and on the road and in the studio with Lambchop, Helado Negro, and EL VY. As a multi-instrumentalist and producer, Andy has an uncanny ability to construct the precise musical architecture to frame and support unique and compelling voices. With his debut solo record as Joyero, Andy puts his own voice front and center.
Lala Lala – Sleepyhead CD/LP (Hardly Art)
Originally released in October 2016 as a long-since sold-out self-released cassette, the debut full-length from celebrated Chicago band Lala Lala, Sleepyhead is available on CD vinyl for the first time. Recorded in a basement over the course of five days during a typically-inhospitable Midwestern winter, Sleepyhead is an auspicious – if, at the time, criminally overlooked – debut effort from the young songwriter Lillie West and her then-lineup of supporting players (Abby Black on drums and Karl Bernasconi on bass).
Shannon Lay – August CD/LP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
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 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. August was recorded with her longtime friend, musician Ty Segall at his home studio on the East Side.
Robert Randolph & The Family Band – Brighter Days CD/LP (Mascot Label Group)
Robert Randolph grew up playing sacred steel music – basically gospel played on pedal steel guitar – in the House Of God church in Orange, NJ, and proceeded to take his joyous, gospel-infused music out to the clubs and into the world. When it was time to record Brighter Days, after releasing the Grammy-nominated album Got Soul, Robert chose to work with producer Dave Cobb. Cobb is best-known for his work with new country stars like Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Brandi Carlile, and Jason Isbell. Looking beyond anyone’s expectations or his own preconceptions helped Randolph circle back to where it all began for him: church music. Brighter Days is a full dive back to Randolph’s gospel roots, mixing it up with blues, soul, funk, and the unmistaken sound of the pedal steel guitar.
Redd Kross – Beyond The Door CD/LP+MP3 (Merge)
Redd Kross invite you to explore Beyond The Door, an album inspired by the band’s “total commitment to having the best f**king time we can have while we’re all still here” (what they like to call “the Party”). It’s a rock and roll record and a celebration of everything brothers Jeff and Steven McDonald love, from cultures both high and low. Musically, it’s guitars, bass, and drums topped with a generous portion of sweet vocal melodies often delivered with an ambiguous edge.
Seratones – Power CD/LP (New West)
Seratones aptly named sophomore release Power is described by poet and author Hannif Abdurraquib as “a glorious, swelling album, [a] sonic monument, and precise lyrical tapestry.” AJ Haynes bends her gloriously malleable voice seamlessly around the temples of rock, and soul, and funk. All of them, unfurling in waves of keys, staccato percussion and wailing curves of guitar. Based in Shreveport, Louisiana, Haynes and founding members, drummer Jesse Gabriel and bassist Adam Davis, form the kind of laser-focused rhythm section that you only get from bandmates who’ve been playing together since they were teenagers.
Tanya Tucker – While I’m Livin’ CD/LP (Fantasy)
Produced by Brandi Carlile and Shooter Jennings, While I’m Livin’ marks Tanya Tucker’s first release of all new material since 2002’s Tanya. While I’m Livin’ is largely comprised of songs written by Carlile, Tim and Phil Hanseroth and Tucker. “It’s a musical biography of sorts,” said Carlile, “about Tanya’s real life and the places she’s seen, and it’s narrated by the greatest country and western singer this side of Johnny Cash.”
David Wax Museum – Line Of Light CD/LP+MP3 (Nine Mile)
The duo of David Wax and Suz Slezak, better known as David Wax Museum, return for their first full-length album in four years with Line Of Light. The record was produced by Carl Broemel of My Morning Jacket, who takes the band’s folk-pop underpinnings and outfits them with serious sonic force.
The Doors – London Fog 1966 CD (Elektra)
Originally only available via a limited-edition box set and on vinyl for Record Store Day 2019. London Fog 1966 contains a previously unreleased live performance at the London Fog in Los Angeles in May 1966. It was recorded by spectator Nettie Pena before the band released their highly successful debut album on January 4, 1967. Considered the earliest known live recording of The Doors, London Fog 1966 includes versions of eventual album tracks and covers of blues standards.
Vince Gill – Okie CD/LP (MCA Nashville)
With the album’s title and varied themes, Gill helps Merle Haggard and other inspirations reclaim Okie, a term used in the past to disparage Oklahoma natives living on the West Coast during the Dust Bowl and Great Depression years. For Gill, a proud Oklahoman, it now applies to common folks with specific fears and triumphs that are broadly relatable to listeners well beyond the Sooner State.
Jay Som – Anak Ko Orange CD/Cassette (Polyvinyl)
Translating to “my child” in English, Anak Ko, features sweeping, shoegazey guitars (“Superbike”), delicate string & pedal steel arrangements (“Nighttime Drive”, “Get Well”), and incredible production that showcases songwriter, producer, and creative force Melina Duterte’s evolving skills in the studio (“Anak Ko”). Anak Ko presents an exciting glimpse into Duterte’s creative process and solidifies her undeniable progression as one of 2019’s strongest and gifted songwriters. [Vinyl edition due August 30.]
Knocked Loose – A Different Shade Of Blue CD/LP (Pure Noise)
New release from the Louisville-area hardcore band.
Machine Gun Kelly – Hotel Diablo CD (Interscope)
The new album from the Cleveland rapper includes features from Trippie Redd, Blink 182’s Travis Barker, Yungblud, Naomi Wild, Lil Skies, Madison Love and Phem. [Vinyl edition due October 4.]
Massive Attack – Mezzanine [Reissue/1999] 2xCD (Virgin)
Digitally remastered and expanded 20th anniversary reissue of Mezzanine featuring the original album plus an album of previously unreleased dub remixes by the Mad Professor. Widely hailed as their masterpiece and voted #15 in Q Magazine’s 100 Greatest British Albums Ever (2000), Mezzanine saw the band move away from the ‘rip-hop sound they had helped define to embrace rock and electronica.
Midland – Let It Roll CD/LP (Big Machine)
A retro-inspired brand of classic country in the same vein of juke joint-friendly honky tonk music.
Off With Their Heads – Be Good CD/LP+MP3 (Epitaph)
Released last week on vinyl – now available on CD. Off With Their Heads are back with their new album, Be Good. The band has been relatively quiet over the last two years, largely because frontman Ryan Young was tending to an ill family member who ultimately passed away in 2018. While all Off With Their Heads’ previous work shares a common thread of being rooted in Young’s fatalistic view of the world, Be Good at least allows a tiny glimmer of hope to peek through.
Raphael Saadiq – Jimmy Lee CD/2xLP (Sony)
Jimmy Lee is a deeply personal, musically ambitious work inspired by Saadiq’s brother’s struggles with addiction that explores the razor’s edge people walk as they pursue pleasure that leads to pain – a brilliantly incisive and empathetic work. The album takes the listener from Saadiq’s native Oakland to Rikers Island as he traces the everyday struggles of addiction and incarceration, taking in both the thrills and pitfalls he witnessed throughout his brother’s life. Comprising narcotic funk, steely gospel affirmations, and quaking protest soul, Jimmy Lee is a resonant examination of modern life, in all its exuberance, destruction and consequence.
Taylor Swift – Lover CD (Republic)
The seventh studio album by the singer-songwriter includes the singles “Me!” (featuring Brendon Urie of Panic! At the Disco) and “You Need to Calm Down” plus “The Archer”.
Tyler, The Creator – Igor CD/Cassette (Sony)
Produced entirely by Tyler, Igor features guest appearances from Playboi Carti, Lil Uzi Vert, Solange, Kanye West, and Jerrod Carmichael, along with backing vocals from Santigold, Jessy Wilson, La Roux, CeeLo Green, Charlie Wilson, Slowthai, and Pharrell, among others. [Vinyl edition due September 27.]
Lightning Bolt – Wonderful Rainbow [Reissue/2003] LP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
Legendary band Lightning Bolt’s Wonderful Rainbow is one of the most quintessential albums to come from the underground in the last 20 years. Included in lists like Pitchfork’s “200 top albums of the 2000s” and the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, Lightning Bolt’s seminal record solidified their place as pillars of the underground community.