New Releases for August 30, 2019
Tool – Fear Inoculum CD (RCA)
Fear Inoculum is the long-awaited new album from Tool, and the band’s first new album in 13 years. The limited-edition CD is packaged in a state-of-the-art tri-fold soft pack video brochure featuring a 4” HD rechargeable screen with exclusive video footage, a USB charging cable, a 2-watt speaker and a 36-page insert book. “This is the most intricate and densely-layered album Tool have yet made, but to use the word like “complex” to describe the counting-in-prime-numbers time signatures of Invincible or digital-only track Legion Inoculant would be lazy in the extreme. … An album that pushes and challenges its creators and its audiences in new ways, the finer details of which will probably take another 13 years to fully unwrap and appreciate” (Kerrang!). “As with releases previous, there are wrinkles that will only emerge after the record is lived with and absorbed. But if you’re wondering whether ‘Fear Inoculum’ was worth the wait, then the answer is yes. If you’re wondering whether it’ll touch your heart, soul and spirt, the answer is also so” (NME). “They continue to blur the lines between art, psychedelia, alt metal, and prog rock with undiminished curiosity and skill. … As with previous work, on Fear Inoculum, the band’s songwriting can at times seem like a riddle, daring listeners to lean in and figure out exactly what is going on” (Spin).
Natasha Bedingfield – Roll With Me CD (We Hear Music)
Pop stardom can warp a performer’s sense of perspective. But singer-songwriter Natasha Bedingfield, who broke through in 2004 with the international smash “Unwritten”, has maintained a healthy set of priorities. “You can easily lose touch,” Bedingfield says. “Being in the real world is part of being a good songwriter.” She recently sang at the 18th Annual Chrysalis Butterfly Ball to support the organization which works to help individuals out of poverty and homelessness by providing the tools necessary to gain employment. Now she returns with Roll With Me, her fourth studio album and her first in nine years.
Black Belt Eagle Scout – At The Party With My Brown Friends CD/LP (Saddle Creek)
Where Black Belt Eagle Scout’s 2017 debut Mother Of My Children was a snapshot of loss and landscape and of principle singer-songwriter Katherine Paul’s standing as a radical indigenous queer feminist, this new chapter finds its power in love, desire and friendship. At the Party With My Brown Friends is a profound and understated forward step. The squalling guitar anthems that shaped its predecessor are replaced by delicate vocals and soft keys, sentiments spoken and unspoken, presenting something shadowy and unsettling; a stirring of the waters.
Bon Iver – i,i CD/LP (Jagjaguwar)
“Bon Iver has always been Justin Vernon’s escape route. After retreating to the woods of Wisconsin to record For Emma, Forever Ago, he drew a surrealist roadmap of the United States on Bon Iver, depicting a fantastical world where the lived, the dreamed, and desired coexisted. When this invented land felt oppressive and the anxiety of facing it too overwhelming, Vernon retreated again and burrowed within himself, pulverizing his voice with machines to create 22, A Million, a record that dramatized the fracturing of the self. There’s no more hiding on i,i. Justin Vernon takes the Bon Iver sound and reassembles it like a cubist collage, with his voice right out front. All the familiar elements are here—impressionist swells of sound, impenetrable-yet-tender lyrics, mesmerizing studio tricks—and they are buoyed by Vernon’s supple baritone, the instrument he knows how to manipulate best. Acoustic guitar, horns, and piano return to prominence alongside the jittery electronics and synths that Vernon has lately favored. But the mood he conjures with these elements feels new. These songs don’t swallow you whole with grandeur; they look outward, leaving some room for the rest of the world.” – Pitchfork
Boy Scouts – Free Company CD/LP (ANTI-)
As Boy Scouts, Oakland-based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Taylor Vick makes the kind of music that hits like good advice from tough emotional truths. Vick’s songs survey the damage that can come from loving other people with curiosity and grace. Her new album Free Company is a stunningly tuneful rumination on heartbreak and loss that is always galloping toward the horizon.
Caravan Palace – Chronologic CD/LP (Le Plan)
Chronologic is Caravan Palace’s fourth studio album. Broadening the sonic palette, the early big band feel of previous records now shares the stage with a production firmly rooted in electronic music, and Chronologic introduces new influences ranging from bossa and soul to hip-hop. The result is a record that is joyous, high-spirited and so distinctly Caravan Palace.
!!! (Chk Chk Chk) – Wallop CD/LP (Warp)
Doesn’t it seem like everyone’s freaking out lately? !!! know the feeling well. The NYC dance-punk lifers have been chronicling the perpetual meltdown that is American society for nearly 20 years now, from the clattering full-band thrust of their instantly iconic 2003 single “Me And Giuliani Down By The Schoolyard (A True Story)” to the dark disco of 2017’s wonderfully eclectic Shake The Shudder. Their eighth full-length, Wallop, follows in the band’s grand tradition of plugging straight into our collective nervous system and sending funky, rubbery shock waves through the body politic.
Common – Let Love CD (Loma Vista)
Grammy and Academy Award-winning rapper Common’s twelfth studio album Let Love was inspired by his 2019 memoir Let Love Have The Last Word, which left him “charged to go to raw, personal and spiritual places in the music.” Boasting contributions from Leon Bridges, A-Trak, Leikeli47, BJ the Chicago Kid, Jill Scott, Samora Pinderhughes and Jonathan McReynolds, the 11-track collection comes preceded by lead single “Her Love”, featuring guests Daniel Caesar and Dwele over an unreleased beat by the late J Dilla and the Swizz Beatz-assisted “Hercules”. [Vinyl edition due October 11.]
Jah Cure – Royal Soldier CD/LP (VP)
Jah Cure is a musical adventurer, exploring rhythms, moods and meaning with his latest album Royal Soldier, his first since The Cure in 2015. Jah writes songs about love and consciousness and reality and his music moves between classic roots and smooth R&B and often challenges the boundaries of the reggae genre. The 14-track collection includes the previously released tracks “Telephone Love”, “Risk It All” and “Marijuana” and features guest appearances by Melanie Fiona, Mya, Phyllisia Ross, Popcaan, Damien ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley and Tory Lanez, among others.
Hellsingland Underground – A Hundred Years Is Nothing CD/LP (Wild Kingdom)
Swedish classic-style progressive hippie rockers Hellsingland Underground present their new album A Hundred Years is Nothing. On songs like “The Blessing/The Curse”, “Criminal Summer”, “I Win You Lose I Guess”, and “Pig Farm” the band dig into updated ’60s folk and modern jam rock, a country twang that feels inherited from The Grateful Dead popping up now and again alongside Beatles, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and sundry other influences, conjuring (mostly) a bright sound that sends out hopeful vibes in thoughtful arrangements of lap steel, piano, as well as the usual guitar, bass, drums and vocals.
Joan Shelley – Like The River Loves The Sea CD/LP (No Quarter)
Joan Shelley’s fifth solo album, Like The River Loves The Sea was recorded at Greenhaus studios in Reykjavik, Iceland with Shelley and James Elkington serving as co-producers. Shelley says of the collection, “Woven into the melodies and rhythms of these songs are fragments of the many musical traditions that comprise what we now call Kentucky music: Irish, British, and African to name a few. The best music would be a conversation with the divine that has seen all of it, or with the oldest trees that have witnessed the whole human story. These songs are partly that conversation, at times through the lens of lovers. They are also a longing cry born of all the dividing; a call across the slowly spreading ocean.”
Whitney – Forever Turned Around CD/LP/Cassette (Secretly Canadian)
The second LP from Chicago indie rockers Whitney deals with fear, confusion, and substance abuse. Forever Turned Around came together over several sessions across the country. Though Julien Ehrlich is Whitney’s lead singing drummer while Max Kakacek is the lead guitarist, when writing, both transcend their roles to piece together each offering lyrically and compositionally. “The way it ends up working is one of us comes up with a basic idea for a song and the other person serves as the foil to complicate that idea. We ask, ‘What can we change to make it more interesting?'” says Kakacek. Challenging each other is the core of their songwriting partnership. It’s these risks and experiments that make Forever Turned Around a triumph. [Limited forest brown colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Gregg Allman – Laid Back [Reissue/1973] 2xCD/LP (Mercury)
Gregg Allman – The Greg Allman Tour [Reissue/1974] 2xLP (Mercury)
The masterful debut solo album by Gregg Allman, Laid Back (double-CD edition features 26 bonus tracks), and his long out-of-print live LP The Gregg Allman Tour have both been newly remastered. The pair of releases showcase a remarkable time in Allman’s career when he set off on his own to explore a different side of his artistry where he was fully at the helm. Issued in October 1973, Laid Back appeared a few months after the Allman Brothers Band’s universally admired fourth studio album Brothers And Sisters. Co-produced by Allman along with Johnny Sandlin, the collection of songs was a creative outlet where he was able to assume full control and explore his varying influences, including rhythm and blues and soul music. Exemplified by the album title’s relaxed approach, the songs were a departure from his band’s guitar-heavy sound in favor of gospel-tinged organs, slower tempos and a choir, all of which beautifully buoyed Allman’s soulful, and at times, mournful vocals.
Manu Chao – Clandestino/Bloody Border [Reissue/1998] CD/2xLP (Because Music)
Remastered and expanded edition of Manu Chao’s debut album. “The first solo album released by the former frontman of Mano Negra, Clandestino is an enchanting trip through Latin-flavored worldbeat rock, reliant on a potpourri of musical styles from traditional Latin and salsa to dub to rock ‘n’ roll to French pop to experimental rock to techno… Just about every track has odd sampled bits from what sound like pirate radio-station broadcasts (a possible link to the title). There are so many great ideas on this record that it’s difficult to digest in one listen, but multiple plays reveal the great depth of Manu Chao’s artistry.” – AllMusic
Sheryl Crow – Threads CD/2xLP (Valory)
Threads is the nine-time Grammy Award-winner singer-songwriter’s album of collaborations. The set includes “Still The Good Old Days” featuring Joe Walsh, “Redemption Day” featuring Johnny Cash, “Live Wire” featuring Bonnie Raitt and Mavis Staples, and “Prove You Wrong” featuring Stevie Nicks and Maren Morris. Additional guests include Eric Clapton, Chris Stapleton, Sting, Brandi Carlile, Margo Price, Jason Isbell, Keith Richards, Willie Nelson, Lucius, Emmylou Harris, Vince Gill, St. Vincent, Chuck D, Gary Clark Jr., Kris Kristofferson, James Taylor and Andra Day.
Lana Del Rey – NFR! CD/2xLP (Interscope)
Norman F**king Rockwell! is the highly anticipated sixth studio album by Lana Del Rey and follow-up to 2017’s Grammy-nominated Lust For Life. The singer notes that the album is, “in the vein of a Laurel Canyon sound. And its kind of transformed a little bit because there’s some surf elements to some of the songs – it’s not really surfy like Dick Dale but a lot of electric guitar, a little Red Hot Chili Peppers influence in there.”
Ezra Furman – Twelve Nudes CD/LP (Bella Union)
Furman says Twelve Nudes has two spiritual heroes – the late great punk rock rocker Jay Reatard, and Canadian poet, philosopher and essayist Anne Carson. “She’s one of my top three living writers,” he says. “Anne had these visions, or meditations, to deal with the intense pain in her life, which she calls ‘nudes’, and similarly these songs are meditations on pain and recognizing what’s there if you go digging around in your anger and fear and anxiety. So, my album is called Twelve Nudes.” [Limited yellow colored vinyl pressing also avialble.]
Olivia Jean – Night Owl CD/LP (Third Man)
Night Owl is exactly what it sounds like: the wee-hour workings of an artist engrossed in a project, pushing against omnipresent forces of fear and judgment to do exactly what she’s always wanted to do and be exactly what she’s known she is. It’s candy-coated and also bittersweet, fully aware and also full-hearted. The album mines the shared spaces between bubblegum, beach pop undercurrents and fuzzed out garage a la B-52s and Dick Dale, lyrically diving headfirst into the frustrations of perfectionism, mental barriers, obsession and modern heartache.
Jesse Malin – Sunset Kids CD/LP (Wicked Cool)
Sunset Kids first took shape at The Hollywood Bowl, when Jesse accepted Lucinda William’s invitation to see her open for what turned out to be Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers’ final concert. The bittersweet experience inspired one of the new album’s highlights, “Shining Down”, a rainy day jangle about “keeping alive the spirits of the ones we’ve lost.” During that same visit, the idea came about of three-time Grammy-winning Lucinda producing Jesse’s next record.
Rodriguez – Cold Fact [Reissue/1970] CD/LP (UMe)
Rodriguez – Coming From Reality [Reissue/1971] CD/LP (UMe)
It’s one of the lost classics of the ‘60s, a psychedelic masterpiece drenched in color and inspired by life, love, poverty, rebellion. The album is Cold Fact, and what’s more intriguing is that its maker, a shadowy figure known as Rodriguez, was for many years, lost too. Over a decade ago now, he was rediscovered working as a day laborer in Detroit, MI. He was unaware that his defining album had become not only a cult classic, but for the people of South Africa, a beacon of revolution. 1971’s Coming From Reality is his second and (to date) final studio album.
Snail Mail – Habit CDEP/12” (Matador)
Snail Mail’s debut EP Habit serves as a nascent example of Lindsey Jordan’s extraordinary talent as a songwriter, singer and guitarist. The seven-song disc features the six original 2016 tracks as well as “The 2nd Most Beautiful Girl In The World”, penned by K Records Band Courtney Love and recorded by Snail Mail in 2018, available on record for the first time.
Why? – AOKOHIO CD/LP (Joyful Noise)
Yoni Wolf has spent the last two decades traveling the remote sonic terrain where underground hip hop, avant-pop, and psych-rock meet. On AOKOHIO, Yoni Wolf condenses the essential elements of Why? into a stunningly potent musical vision. Co-produced by Wolf and his brother Josiah, the record presents a rich palette of musical voices that emerge and disappear into a constantly shifting kaleidoscope of sound. [Limited yellow colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Steve Wilson – Hand.Cannot.Erase [Reissue/2015] CD (Kscope)
CD reissue of the fourth studio album from the four-time Grammy nominee and founder member of cult legends, Porcupine Tree.
Trisha Yearwood – Every Girl CD/LP (Gwendolyn)
Every Girl is Yearwood’s first country music studio album since 2007’s Heaven, Heartache And The Power Of Love. The album consists of songs composed mostly by female songwriters.
Frank Zappa – Orchestral Favorites – 40th Anniversary 3xCD/LP (UMe)
When Frank Zappa’s Orchestral Favorites was eventually released in 1979 as part of fulfilling his contract with his contentious former label, the album was dumped into the world along with several other titles without the legendary musician’s permission or quality control. It did not include liner notes or credits and the artwork and audio wasn’t approved by Zappa who publicly criticized it as not being up to his standards. As a result of not receiving any promotion, it was quickly relegated to the bargain bin shortly after its release. Four decades later, in celebration of the long-beleaguered album’s 40th anniversary, the Zappa Family Trust is righting this wrong and presenting Orchestral Favorites with the audiophile detail and respect it deserves to commemorate the historical event that took place at UCLA’s Royce Hall in September 1975 where the compositions were recorded. [The three-CD deluxe edition adds a recording of a previously unreleased two-hour concert.]
Beirut – Gulag Orkestar [Reissue/2006] LP+MP3 (Pompeii)
Beirut – Flying Club Cup [Reissue/2007] LP+MP3 (Pompeii)
Beirut – The Rip Tide [Reissue/20011] LP+MP3 (Pompeii)
Beirut is an American band which was originally the solo musical project of Santa Fe native Zachary Francis Condon, and later expanded into a band. The band’s first performances were in New York, in May 2006, to support the release of their debut album, Gulag Orkestar. Beirut’s music combines elements of indie-rock and world music. Their first three albums are back in-print on vinyl.
Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy/Bryce Dressner/Eighth Blackbird – When We Are Inhuman LP (37D03D)
Bonnie “Prince” Billy, the National’s Bryce Dessner, and the contemporary classical outfit Eighth Blackbird have teamed up for a new album. When We Are Inhuman includes Eighth Blackbird’s new arrangements of Will Oldham songs, a live performance of Julius Eastman’s “Stay on It”, and movements from Bryce Dessner’s Murder Ballades.
Nirvana – Live And Loud [Reissue/1994] 2xLP+MP3 (Geffen)
First-time stand-alone vinyl release of the Nirvana concert Live And Loud from the MTV-shot performance. Filmed on December 13, 1993, at Seattle’s Pier 48 (less than a month after the band’s influential MTV Unplugged In New York show taping), Nirvana: Live And Loud originally aired on MTV on New Year’s Eve in 1993 and issued on DVD in 2013.
Oasis – Definitely Maybe [Reissue/1994] 2xLP (Big Brother Recordings)
Limited double silver-colored vinyl pressing of Oasis’ debut studio album. Definitely Maybe helped to spur a revitalization in British pop music in the 1990s and was embraced by critics for its optimistic themes and supposed rejection of the grunge music of the time. The album is regarded as a seminal entry of the Britpop scene, and has appeared in many publications’ list of the greatest albums of all time.
Pharmakon – Devour LP (Sacred Bones)
Devour marks the fourth full-length record from Margaret Chardiet’s project Pharmakon and her most intense output to date. Like her previous albums, Devour comes with a strong concept that is exorcised throughout the five demolishing tracks on the album, using imagery and language of self-cannibalism as allegory for the self-destructive nature of humans. Each of the five songs echoes a stage of grief associated with this cyclical chamber of self-destruction and the chaos surrounding us that leads us to devour ourselves in an attempt to balance the agony. [Limited black & white colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Wu-Tang Clan – Wu Tang: Of Mics And Men (Music From The Showtime Documentary Series) LP (Mass Appeal)
Wu-Tang: Of Mics And Men features the classic Wu-Tang lyricism and sound that fans of the iconic group have been yearning for. With the docuseries, Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics And Men, setting the tone for the project, the Wu-Tang swordsmen deliver rhymes that harken back to the group’s earlier days. This is the first official Wu-Tang compilation release since Wu-Tang: The Saga Continues in 2017. In addition to the new music, the project’s skits feature never-before heard Wu-Tang Clan stories from footage that didn’t make the documentary’s final cut.