New Releases for February 1, 2019
Boy Harsher – Careful CD/LP (Nude Club)
Boy Harsher’s second full-length album, Careful, further develops the band’s brooding dance style, set up in their previous EP Country Girl. The ten songs, spanning forty-four minutes, contain eerie narrative soundscapes that are bracing, high tempo and dynamic. The album delivers manifold emotions, from the nostalgic yearning of “LA” to the gripping intensity of “Come Closer”. The nervousness of Augustus Muller’s bent, out of tune synths paired with the lush and sometimes brittle vocals of Jae Matthews, delivers an unsettled, yet fulfilling encounter with Boy Harsher. Careful summons a new spirit for the young band – that of growth and desire.
Ex:Re – Ex:Re CD/LP (Glassnote/4AD)
New solo recordings from Elena Tonra from Daughter. Running parallel to Daughter, she’s assumed the pseudonym Ex:Re (pronounced ex ray) for her eponymously-titled debut solo album, a deeply personal record that was made with both a sense of urgency and a cathartic need. Tonra’s candid solo songs document the time after a relationship ended and are written like unsent letters to herself and others. Taking on a creative moniker, she chose Ex:Re to mean ‘regarding ex’ and also ‘X-Ray’ as a way to look inside and see what is really there. Elena said of the album, “Although the record is written for someone, a lot of the time it’s about the space without that person in it. In every scenario, there’s either the person in memory or the noticeable absence of that person in the present moment. I suppose it is a break-up record, however I do not talk about the relationship at all, and he hardly features in the scenes. He is only felt as a ghostly presence.”
Girlpool – What Chaos Is Imaginary CD/LP (ANTI-)
With their powerful harmonies and imaginative songwriting in full force, Los Angeles, CA duo Girlpool (Harmonoy Tividad and Cleo Tucker) makes new creative leaps with their new album, What Chaos Is Imaginary. Combining elements of shoegaze, folk, and ‘80s postpunk with their own melodic gifts, these two great songwriters come up with a modern classic full of great tunes and sonic surprises. NPR has already praised the songs saying, “Girlpool’s full-band transformation has illuminated its raw sound in deep and unexpected ways.” Lead single “Hire” is a great example of the band’s constant evolution and maturation. [Indie-store exclusive “pineapple” colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Mandolin Orange – Tides Of A Teardrop (First Edition) CD/2xLP (Yep Roc)
North Carolina-based singer-songwriter Andrew Marlin and multi-instrumentalist Emily Frantz, aka Mandolin Orange, release their first new music since 2016. Tides Of A Teardrom finds Mandolin Orange exploring the intimate grief at the frayed edges of their songwriting and confronting loss head-on, facing down the depths of despair and emerging with something renewed and redemptive. It’s a progressive, personal statement from one of roots music’s most thoughtful young groups. On the self-produced set, their slow-burning acoustic meditations on love and loss are belied by a newfound directness as Marlin tackles the death of his mother, who died when he was 18. Marlin’s songwriting voice emerges clearer than ever throughout; whether it’s the trilling, weighty atmosphere of the allegorical “Wolves” or the Appalachian yearning of the hymn-like “Suspended In Heaven”, Marlin and Frantz’s vocal and instrumental interplay is as dialed in as ever, the instinctual expression of deeply known but unspoken truths. [Limited blue colored vinyl pressing includes a bonus EP featuring four traditional cover songs.]
The Moth & The Flame – Ruthless CD/LP (Robot Farming)
Produced by Grammy award winner Peter Katis (Interpol, The National, Middle Kids) and Grammy nominated Nate Pyfer (Kaskade), Ruthless follows the Los Angeles, CA by way of Provo, UT band’s 2016 release Young & Unafraid, which The Guardian hailed as “rock that is dour yet dazzling…lush, layered, and often complex.” Ruthless marks The Moth & The Flame’s return from a year-long hiatus after lead singer Brandon Robbins donated his kidney to Corey Fox (an early booster of the band, and owner of the venue Velour in Provo, UT). With songwriting as his outlet during recovery, Robbins along with bandmates Mark Garbett and Andrew Tolman, hoped to shed the realities of anxiety and depression through their new album. “There are some really dark and uncomfortable moments contrasted with breakthroughs of clarity, beauty and hope,” Robbins shares. “It’s something we feel really strongly about, especially with how prevalent depression is today.”
Soen – Lotus CD/LP (Silver Lining)
Swedish-based progressive metal group Soen purge themselves of their fourth album, Lotus. Featuring nine pieces, Lotus is the latest in a line of aural therapies from the band, questioning much of today’s darkness as juxtaposed with moments of great escape and hope. The lotus flower has always been a symbol of the purity rising from muddy uncertainties, and with songs such as “Covenant”, “Rival”, “Martyrs” and the title cut all expressing perspectives of life’s darker moments, it was a natural title for this latest project. The center-point of the album remains Soen’s trademark, snap-heavy, progressive riffs, while overall Lotus promises an exciting new chapter of skin-shedding, soul-searching journeys for all who dare to commit to the ride.
White Lies – Five CD/LP (PIAS America)
Five sees West-London trio White Lies scaling new creative heights with re-energized confidence. The writing and recording process took in both sides of the Atlantic, including a creative sojourn to Los Angeles where they worked on new material with old acquaintance Ed Buller – producer of two previous White Lies albums including the band’s chart-topping debut To Lose My Life. Enlisting engineer James Brown (Arctic Monkeys, Foo Fighters), renowned producer Flood who can also be heard contributing synths and keys on a couple of tracks. Eminent Grammy Award recipient Alan Moulder (Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails, The Killers), having worked on the band’s first two albums, returned to mix the album. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
James and The Drifters – The Glow CD/LP (Neat Neat Neat)
James and The Drifters have been traveling musical roads together for 8 years, dusting up the tour van and turning jam sessions and emotional narratives into self-produced records. The Drifters’ sound is a joyous mix of rock and roll riffs, spirited acoustic jangle, and loose-lipped harmonies that rise into the air like smoke from a distant fire. The band builds immense sounds that are as raucous as a barroom tangle and as intimate as a whispered conversation under a blanketed night sky. Album opener “Dyring Season” swirls and sways in soaring four-part harmonies and a sonically rich musical landscape that gives the song both modern sheen and dusty classicist leanings. A nod to the past and the future. “Stars” is yet another stellar mixture of pop majesty and Americana grit. Lead single “Tides” is a perfect coming together of modern rock complexities with masterful pop leanings. A rhythm you fall right into, subtle keys, and the universal theme of love that needs a place to go and grow.
Beirut – Gallipoli CD/LP+MP3 (4AD)
Beirut’s fifth album, Gallipoli, started life when Zach Condon returned to his old Farfisa organ, the same one he used to write his first two albums, Gulag Orkestar (2006) and The Flying Club Cup (2007). After stints writing and recording in both New York and Berlin, with time for Zach to recover from a broken arm factored in, band plus producer Gabe Wax (Speedy Ortiz, Soccer Mommy, Adrianne Lenker/Big Thief) headed to Puglia in Italy to finish the album. With the remote rural setting “the right amount of isolated”, an intense month of 12 to 16-hour days in the studio with day trips around the coastline followed. Inspired by the surroundings, Gallipoli is unintentionally more visceral than Beirut’s more recent albums, alive with an energy that is further enhanced by every creak and groan of their instruments, every detuned note, and all amp buzz and technical malfunction being left in the cracks of the songs.
Cherry Glazerr – Stuffed & Ready CD/LP/Cassette (Secretly Canadian)
After releasing 2016’s critically acclaimed Apocalipstick, Cherry Glazerr spent the next 18 months touring the world on their own steam. Between DIY all-ages venues, rock clubs, large festival stages, and massive theaters with some of the world’s best and most beloved bands (The Pixies, Flaming Lips, Slowdive, and The Breeders, among others), the band has really only stopped to work on their follow up, Stuffed & Ready. While furiously building the band’s sound and ideas, front person Clem Creevy enlisted Carlos de La Garza to be the band’s studio co-collaborator as they evolved the songs and refined the recordings. [Limited opaque red colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Guided By Voices – Zeppelin Over China CD/LP (GBV Inc.)
Zeppelin Over China is a major and majestic work in the GBV canon, spotlighting the scope and genius of Robert Pollard’s songwriting as he continues to deliver endless invention and emotional wallop in two and three-minute guitar rock gems.
Emily King – Scenery CD/LP (ATO)
Lauded NY songstress Emily King is a Grammy-nominated artist with pop, indie and soul influences that she hones with carefully crafted compositions. King has already made fans of fellow artists like Sam Smith (“Unreal talent. In complete awe of this girl”) and Justin Timberlake (“I love her voice”).
Le Butcherettes – bi/MENTAL CD/LP (Rise)
13 innovative, infectious, and artistic rock songs produced by Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads. “Essentially, this record was inspired by the death of a living mother but none of that matters anymore. A disconnection in itself is so ravage so confusing it leaves one feeling incomplete…is there hope? Is there light? Maybe it all isn’t so black and white. In the end there is a duality in all. Life is a cycle, the moon, the sun, the ocean waves transcending into sand. It will be okay,” founding member, lead singer, and guitarist Teri Gender Bender says.
Linda Ronstadt – Live In Hollywood CD/LP (Rhino)
This archival release features amazing performances from a concert that Ronstadt recorded in 1980 for her acclaimed HBO television special. Recorded on April 24, 1980 at Television Center Studios in Hollywood, and produced by John Boylan, the concert captures Ronstadt at the peak of her reign as America’s most popular female rock singer.
Rustin Man – Drift Code CD/LP (Domino)
New release from Paul Webb aka Rustin Man, former bass player in Talk Talk. Drift Code has a warm, wise kind of euphoria to it, coupled with an acute sense of storytelling and surreality.
Sun Ra – Monorails & Satellites: Works For Solo Piano Vols. 1, 2, 3 2xCD/3xLP (Cosmic Myth)
Considering the monumental depth of Sun Ra’s recorded oeuvre, there are surprisingly few solo piano albums. Monorails & Satellites Volumes 1 and 2 were the first commercial LPs of the artist’s solo keyboard excursions. Recorded in 1966 and released on his Saturn imprint in 1968, Volume 1 featured seven idiosyncratic originals and one standard (“Easy Street”) delivered in Sunny’s singular manner. Volume 2 was released the following year, and contains five compositions, all originals. A third volume was prepped but shelved, and this deluxe edition marks its premiere release.
Within Temptation – Resist CD/2xLP (Spinefarm)
10 anthemic metal tracks driven by grand melodies and dark hooks.
Exclusively on Vinyl This Week:
Deer Tick – Mayonnaise LP+7” (PTKF)
Limited edition white colored vinyl pressing featuring a bonus 7” single. “On Mayonnaise, you will find alternate versions of songs from Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 that we feel have their own merit and we wanted to share them with our fans. To add to this collection, we decided to record some of the cover songs that Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 inspired us to play along the Twice Is Nice Tour. We had such a good time playing these covers live that it felt appropriate to document them here. And, lastly, if we are going into the studio, why not write a few new songs, record them, and give the fans something new to round this whole collection out?”
Paula Frazer and Tarnation – What Is And Was [Reissue/2017] LP+MP3 (Slimstyle)
180gm translucent red colored vinyl. “My introduction to the music of San Francisco-based singer-songwriter Paula Frazer started with her breakthrough second album, 1995’s Gentle Creatures (4AD), released under the band name Tarnation. I remember being blown away after listening to the very first track – the transistor-radio sounding ‘Game of Broken Hearts’, which featured nothing but Paula’s lonesome, melancholic vocals lilting over a strummed guitar. Evoking nuances of Patsy Cline and the Old West, this was probably my first intro to the musical genre of alt-country. I was immediately hooked. Over the years that followed, Paula released several additional albums. While the artist/band names may have varied over the years, the one constant is Paula’s brilliant songwriting and trademark vocal style, contributing to the unique and immediately identifiable sound across all of her recordings.” – Soundthread
Dr. Timothy Leary – Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out (The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) [Reissue/1967] LP (Real Gone Music)
Limited red, blue and green “kaleidoscope” edition. One-part psychologist, one part psychonaut, and one-part huckster, Dr. Timothy Leary was one of the most fascinating and enigmatic figures to emerge from the ‘60s, and the fact that he released a soundtrack to a film that nobody ever saw fits right in with his modus operandi.