New Releases for January 31, 2020
Dashboard Confessional – The Best Ones Of The Best Ones CD/2xLP+MP3 (Hidden Note)
Dashboard Confessional’s first-ever career-spanning compilation, The Best Ones Of The Best Ones, is a thoughtfully curated collection of the band’s most beloved songs and features selections from all seven studio albums, the So Impossible and The Drowning EPs, and the band’s MTV Unplugged performance. The collection highlights singer/songwriter Chris Carrabba’s extraordinary ability to give a cathartic voice to the messiest of emotions, which led the band to ascend from a bedroom project to a global sensation.
Dan Deacon – Mystic Familiar CD/LP+MP3 (Domino)
Dan Deacon’s most emotionally open and transcendent record, Mystic Familiar’s eleven kaleidoscopic tracks of majestic synth-pop exponentially expand his sound with unfettered imagination and newfound vulnerability. It’s the first album where Deacon presents his natural singing voice, unprocessed and with only minimal accompaniment; a vulnerable shift in a songbook abundant with characters, metaphors, and distorted vocals.
Destroyer – Have We Met CD/LP+MP3 (Merge)
Dan Bejar initially conceived of Have We Met as a Y2K album. He was already active during the era but not heard overhead in a cafe or salon, which is perhaps what the idea of the Y2K sound evokes nearly two decades later. Bejar assigned frequent producer and bandmate John Collins the role of layering synth and rhythm sections over demos with the period-specific Björk, Air, and Massive Attack in mind, but he soon realized the sonic template was too removed from Destroyer’s own, and the idea of a concept was silly anyway. So, he abandoned it and gave Collins the most timeless instruction of all: “Make it sound cool.” Atmosphere and loose approximations of a place or feeling are what we’ve come to expect from any new Destroyer record – certainly not an easily defined and stridently adhered to theme or concept.
Drive-By Truckers – The Unraveling CD/LP (ATO)
Drive-By Truckers’ twelfth studio album and first new LP in more than three years – the longest gap between new DBT albums – The Unraveling took shape after co-founding singer/songwriter/guitarists Mike Cooley and Patterson Hood both battling deep pools of writer’s block. “How do you put these day to day things we’re all living through into the form of a song that we (much less anybody else) would ever want to listen to?” says Hood. “How do you write about the daily absurdities when you can’t even wrap your head around them in the first place? I think our response was to focus at the core emotional level. More heart and less cerebral perhaps.” The remarkable songcraft found on The Unraveling receives much of its musical muscle from the sheer strength of the current Drive-By Truckers line-up, with Hood and Cooley joined by bassist Matt Patton, keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist Jay Gonzalez, and drummer Brad Morgan – together, the longest-lasting iteration in the band’s almost 25-year history. [Limited edition colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Dustbowl Revival – Is It You, Is It Me CD/LP (Good Egg)
Dustbowl Revival’s fifth full length album over a span of 12 years, Is It You, Is It Me reveals the band moving in an exciting new direction. Instead of Dixieland jazz and Depression-era folk songs serving as musical mile markers, this new collection mines an energizing vein of soul, funk and roots-infused rock. The group’s signature intertwined vocal leads star on the opening track “Dreaming” which tackles the deep vulnerability of revealing your secrets and your soul every night in front of an audience. But where the band really sets on a new course is on lushly cinematic, orchestrated set pieces like “Mirror”, “Runaway” and, most notably, the current fan favorite and live showstopper “Sonic Boom”, about the struggle to reveal who you really are in the hidden, rose-colored world of social media.
Son Little – Aloha CD/LP (ANTI-)
Son Little’s Aloha blends classic soul and old-school R&B into a timeless swirl fueled by gritty instrumental virtuosity and raw, raspy vocals. While Little plays nearly every instrument on the album himself, he put his songs in the hands of an outside producer for the first time here. Recognizing the power of our own self-destructive tendencies is a recurring theme on Aloha. Little mourns the suicide of a beloved uncle on “Suffer”, using addiction and mental illness as a lens to explore forgiveness and empathy, laments the rapidly deteriorating world his two children are set to inherit on “O Clever One”, and meditates on the dangers of succumbing to passion at the expense of reason on “Belladonna”.
Gary Moore – Live From London CD/2xLP (Mascot Label Group)
When Gary Moore stepped onto the stage of London’s Islington Academy on December 2, 2009, it was a true one-off, showcasing one of blues-rock’s biggest names in an intimate club setting. Nobody in the sell-out crowd that night suspected the great Irish bluesman was close to the end. But when Moore died fourteen months later, aged 58, the show took on added poignancy, cherished as one of his last stands, kept alive in the memories of those who attended. Now, a decade later, the release of Live From London resurrects the much-missed Irishman, bringing his blazing talents back into the spotlight.
Frances Quinlan – Likewise CD/LP+MP3 (Saddle Creek)
Frances Quinlan has built an identity for herself over the past decade as the lead songwriter and frontwoman of the Philadelphia-based band Hop Along, and her distinct voice is among the most recognizable and inimitable in music. While the band began as Quinlan’s solo project (originally titled Hop Along, Queen Ansleis), Likewise is Quinlan’s debut under her own name. With a renewed openness to explore different sounds, Quinlan supplements her typical guitar-based instrumentation with synthesizers, digital beats, harps, strings, and a wide variety of keyboards.
Torres – Silver Tongue CD/LP+MP3 (Merge)
A person whose words are so potent that they cause the people and beings around them to vibrate is said to have a “silver tongue”. It’s apt, then, that Mackenzie Scott – who has spent the 2010s making boundary-pushing pop music under her Torres moniker – has chosen to call her new album just that; Silver Tongue is a full-scale realization of the world Scott has created over Torres’ last few albums. Even when singing in more subdued tones, Scott’s voice is fervent, her lyrics stirring and unyielding as she draws from both the divine and the everyday.
William Patrick Corgan – Cotillions CD/2xLP (Martha’s Music)
The third solo album by the Smashing Pumpkins/Zwan frontman features seventeen Americana songs, written across the US and recorded in Chicago and Nashville, with a few guest appearances by Katie Cole, Jeff Schroeder, and other notable Nashville session musicians.
Eminem — Music to Be Murdered By CD (Interscope)
Now available on CD. Vinyl TBA.
Kesha – High Road CD (RCA)
New album from the modern pop and the follow up to her 2017 Grammy-nominated album Rainbow. High Road is filled with emotional and stylistic range, and is a blend of heavenly highs and emotional depths. Kesha’s swagger is front and center, with frisky, rap-based tracks that show-off her skills as a lyrical spitfire, and also a folkier side that emerges. With a dream-pop ode to a best friendship, a reflective ballad about growing up without a father, and plenty of lust and laughter, High Road traverses the emotional spectrum.
K. Michele – All Monsters Are Human CD (E1)
The fifth album from the R&B/reality show star.
Poliça – When We Stay Alive CD/LP+MP3 (Memphis Industries)
When Poliça’s Channy Leaneagh fell off her roof while clearing ice in early 2018, she smashed her L1 vertebrae and battered her spine, leaving her in a brace with limited mobility for months. Yet Poliça’s fourth album, When We Stay Alive, is not about one debilitating accident. It’s about the redemptive power of rewriting your story in order to heal and reclaiming your identity as a result.
Squarepusher – Be Up A Hello CD/LP+MP3 (Warp)
Tom Jenkinson’s first new album in five years as Squarepusher finds him returning to analogue hardware, the same gear that first helped him develop his signature sound in the early ’90’s. Be Up A Hello is features nine new pieces which chart a journey into harder and darker territory. From rinsing breakbeat tracks such as “Nervelevers” and “Terminal Slam” to darker moments such as “Vortrack” and “Mekrev Bass”, the album illustrates Tom’s continuing fascination with finely balanced psychological overload.
Theory Of A Deadman – Say Nothing CD/LP (Roadrunner)
With Say Nothing, Theory Of A Deadman delivers undeniable anthems rooted in scorching songcraft, experimental vision, rock ‘n’ roll attitude, and clever pop ambition. The record tackles issues such as domestic violence and racism.
Diplo – Higher Ground 12” (Higher Ground/Mad Decent)
Following his recent move into country music, prolific hit maker Diplo is doubles down on his roots by launching a new house music label called Higher Ground, named after this recent deep-house inspired EP. Glow in the dark euro sleeve.
SQÜRL – Some Music For Robby Müller LP (Sacred Bones)
SQÜRL’s (Jim Jarmusch, Carter Logan) score to Claire Pijman’s documentary of unparalleled Dutch cinematographer and poet of light Robby Müller, whose work includes Paris Texas, Dead Man, Breaking The Waves, Barfly, 24 Hour Party People, and at least 70 other remarkable films. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
St. Vincent – Nina Kraviz Presents Masseduction Rewired LP (Loma Vista)
An eclectic remix package of St. Vincent’s Grammy award winning album Masseduction, curated by Nina Kraviz. From frantic IDM and manic footwork to glistening house and meditative dubstep (via just about everything in between) her selections build an inspired portfolio from an abundance of talent. At times fragmented, at others familiar, it takes the spirit of Masseduction and runs with it in every way possible. Limited clear vinyl pressing.