New Releases for June 14, 2019
Bruce Springsteen – Western Stars CD/2xLP (Columbia)
Bruce Springsteen’s first new studio album in five years takes his music to a new place, drawing inspiration in part from the Southern California pop records of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. It was recorded primarily at Springsteen’s home studio in New Jersey, with additional recording in California and New York. “This record is a return to my solo recordings featuring character driven songs and sweeping, cinematic orchestral arrangements,” says Springsteen. “It’s a jewel box of a record.” Introduced by lead single “Hello Sunshine”, the 13 tracks of Western Stars encompass a sweeping range of American themes, of highways and desert spaces, of isolation and community and the permanence of home and hope. Ron Aniello co-produced and plays bass, keyboard, and other instruments. Patti Scialfa provides vocals and contributes vocal arrangements on four tracks. The musical arrangements include strings, horns, pedal steel and contributions from more than 20 other players including Jon Brion (celeste, Moog, farfisa), as well as guest appearances by David Sancious, Charlie Giordano, and Soozie Tyrell.
Bad Religion – Age Of Unreason LP (Epitaph)
Vinyl edition now available. Since Bad Religion’s formative years, the acclaimed Los Angeles, CA punk rock band has steadfastly advocated for humanism, reason, and individualism. Now, when these values are in decline and nationalism and bigotry are on the rise, the group’s message has never been more essential. The songs on Age Of Unreason are both furious and meticulously crafted. There are references to contemporary events; racist rallies, Trump’s election, the erosion of the middle class, Colin Kaepernick’s protest, alternative facts, conspiracy theories, as well as homages to the literary and philosophical works that have long inspired the band. This record is both a dire warning and testament to resilience. The overall message being – seek truth about the world and oneself.
Bastille – Doom Days CD/LP (Virgin)
London outfit Bastille’s third full-length album Doom Days sees the Grammy nominated and BRIT-winning four-piece stretch out into new territories and marks something of a shift in perception from its widely acclaimed predecessor Wild World, which confronted the world and the actions of those in power. Doom Days captures the need to temporarily switch off and escape whilst taking the listener on a big night out in search of distraction from the surrounding apocalypse. Be that screaming along to the radio in the back of an Uber careering through the city (“Quarter Past Midnight”), getting loved up in the company of good friends (“4AM”), a casual hook-up (“Another Place”) or the end-of-night longing to be with somebody (“Those Nights”). It also revels in the bad decisions we make both personally in our relationships and collectively on a macro scale (“Bad Decisions”), tells a relatable tale of being cornered into a deep discussion about the world’s problems when all you want to do is have a good time (“Million Pieces”), and wryly confronts modern anxieties, taking side-swipes at phone addiction, porn addiction, fake news and climate change denial. [ Indie store exclusive vinyl pressing available.]
Calexico/Iron & Wine – Years To Burn CD/LP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
Calexico and Iron & Wine first made an artistic connection with In the Reins, the 2005 EP that brought Sam Beam, Joey Burns and John Convertino together. The acclaimed collaboration introduced both acts to wider audiences and broadened Beam’s artistic horizons, but it was the shared experience of touring together in the tradition of Bob Dylan’s “Rolling Thunder Revue” that cemented the bond. Their metaphorical roads diverged in the years that followed, but they kept in touch and cross-pollinated where they could. Although they often talked about rekindling their collaboration in the studio and on stage, it wasn’t until 2018 that their schedules finally aligned. While Beam wrote all the songs for In the Reins, this recording features contributions from both Beam and Burns. While the two may have taken differing approaches to songwriting, the spirit of collaboration was alive and well in the studio; Sam shared demos ahead of time and was ready for the others to contribute with arrangement ideas and instrumental parts, while Joey spontaneous as ever, came in with concepts and an eagerness to improvise.
Stan Getz – Getz At The Gate 2xCD/3xLP (Verve)
Getz At The Gate is a previously unreleased 1961 Stan Getz live recording from the historic Village Gate in New York City. The 16-track performance finds the tenor saxophone giant working in an all-star, rarely heard quartet with pianist Steve Kuhn, bassist John Neves and drummer Roy Haynes (aka ‘The Boston Band’). Includes extensive liner notes by Boston jazz historian Bob Blumenthal. “The show was professionally recorded with a view to possible commercial release but, after those plans were forgotten, the tape sat in the vaults for 58 years. Getz At The Gate contains performances of several tracks that he had recorded in the 1950s, including “When The Sun Comes Out”, “Like Someone In Love” and “Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most”. It also hints at where he might have gone if the bossa nova sound had not dictated his next direction, with Getz’s only known recordings of “It’s All Right with Me” and “Yesterday’s Gardenias”. The album also showcases the uptempo choruses of “Airegin” and an impassioned version of “Where Do You Go?”.
Carole King – Live At Montreux 1973 CD/CD+DVD/LP (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
Carole King’s very first performance outside of the US took place in 1973, at The Montreux Pavillon as part of the world-famous Montreux Jazz Festival. Released for the very first time, this concert film/recording was captured two years after she altered the course of pop history with Tapestry, and one month after she issued the album Fantasy. Carole performs with heartfelt energy, playing classic hits such as “It’s Too Late”, “I Feel The Earth Move”, “You’ve Got A Friend” plus standout tracks from Fantasy – “Believe In Humanity” and “Corazón” – as she is backed by an ensemble of top musicians.
Los Coast – Samsara CD/LP (New West)
On their eagerly awaited debut album Samsara, the visionary Austin, TX combo Los Coast deliver a fresh blast of punchy psychedelic-pop-soul that effortlessly incorporates a wide range of genres. The band’s seamlessly soulful songcraft incorporates distinctive grooves along with the inventive compositions and commanding vocals of principal members Trey Privott (lead vocals, guitar) and John Courtney (guitar, keyboards, vocals). Samsara features such memorable, no-nonsense tunes as “Simplify”, “Monsters”, “Graves” and the frantic, tongue-twisting “(Everything But) The Kitchen Sink”. The album delivers infectious hooks, ironic lyrical twists and explosive funk grooves in equal measure, providing an irresistible frame for Privott’s soulful vocals and the band’s explosive grooves. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Mattiel – Satis Factory CD/LP (ATO)
“Not many up-and-coming artists would admit to a day job at mass-marketing email company Mailchimp. But Mattiel Brown need fear no accusations of cookie-cutter insincerity. The genre she and the band that bears her name have chosen – punky garage rock with a Dirty Water Club-style vintage finish – attracts many a paper-thin stylist, but could they deploy the line “you want to submit it all for peer review” with the aplomb Brown does on the irresistible strutting rockabilly of ‘Rescue You’? For all the Tarantino growl and spaghetti western shlock of opener ‘Til The Moment Of Death’, this second album carries itself with more assurance than last year’s eponymous debut, with songcraft and witty wordplay coming to the forefront. There’s much here to love for fans of Holly Golightly and affiliates, or formative influences the White Stripes and the Black Lips. Yet Mattiel have mastered their own mischievous energy on the likes of Millionaire’s narcotic bluesy balladry with deadpan backing vocals lifted from the Velvet Underground’s ‘Femme Fatale’, the finger-clicks and semi-spoken Tom Tom Club vocal of ‘Food For Thought’, or the skittery-cymballed, funky ‘Heck Fire’.” – The Guardian
Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real – Turn Off The News (Build A Garden) CD/2xLP (Concord)
Straddling rock and roll, country, soul, folk and R&B, Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real reach a new high-water mark on Turn Off The News (Build A Garden). This is Lukas Nelson at his best: as a songwriter, a singer, a guitarist and band leader – an artist at the peak of his powers, backed by Promise Of The Real, his nimble and dexterous brothers-in-arms, one of the most talented, in-demand rock and roll ensembles working today. Vocal and instrumental contributions on the album include Margo Price, Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson, Micah Nelson, Kesha, Shooter Jennings, Randy Houser, Lucius, Madison Ryann Ward, Hunter Elizabeth, and Neil Young. Whether it’s the sweeping, Roy Orbison-influenced production of “Where Does Love Go”, nodding to the Traveling Wilburys on the irresistible “Bad Case”, the cosmic country vibes of “Stars Made Of You”, the ‘60s infused sweet R&B of “Save A Little Heartache”, or the unmistakable Willie Nelson guitar licks that grace the poignant “Mystery”, it all comes together in the most mature and absorbing work of the band’s burgeoning career.
Old Man Luedecke – Easy Money CD/LP (True North)
The two-time Juno and multi east coast music award winning, Polaris prize nominee, Old Man Luedecke, returns with his new album Easy Money. Four years since his last release, Luedecke’s sixth studio album deals with grappling the newness of middle age, dad jokes, love for an abiding partner, and the death of a parent, mixed in with some calypso-feeling local Nova Scotia history thrown in for good measure. The record features nine new original tracks and guest appearances by Grammy award-winning Tim O’Brien, Alfie Jurvanen (Bahamas), and Fats Kaplin (Jack White, John Prine). Old Man Luedecke has been uncompromisingly unique in cementing himself in the top echelon of Canadian folk artists and Easy Money makes no exception.
Remo Drive – Natural, Everyday Degradation CD/LP+MP3 (Epitaph)
Brothers Erik and Stephen Paulson toured the world on the heels of their 2017 release Greatest Hits and 2018’s Pop Music EP. All that time spent on toll roads and tarmacs left the brothers with endless opportunities to think about how far their band had come in a short time – as well as plan for the future. While Greatest Hits overflowed with wide-eyed nativity and whole-hearted enthusiasm, Natural, Everyday Degradation finds the Paulson brothers crafting a sturdier brand of indie-rock. Produced by Joe Reinhart (Modern Baseball, Hop Along) and mixed by Peter Katis (The National, Interpol), Natural, Everyday Degradation highlights the band’s true strengths. Erik’s lyrics are emotionally resonant and universally relatable, though, they’re far more intentional and precise this time around. Instead of letting off-kilter turns of phrase and nervous energy capture listeners’ ears, Remo Drive allow their confidence to take center stage.
The Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Servants Of The Sun CD/LP (Silver Arrow)
The Chris Robinson Brotherhood’s brand new album, Servants Of The Sun, bursts into the clear blue air with the funky upper atmosphere bubbling of vintage keyboards and driving rhythm. A gateway swings wide open to a universe that the band has been tirelessly constructing for eight years through extraordinary musicianship, endless touring and a roving, seemingly bottomless wizard’s chest of sonic magic. The CRB’s eighth studio effort since forming in 2008 – spread out over six full-length albums and two EPs – sets aside the studio explorations of their more recent work and turns inward to the heart of the band’s universe. Of the origin concept, singer, guitarist and bandleader Chris Robinson explains, “I let my head go to a Saturday night at The Fillmore, and said, what’s the best set we could play?” Indeed, following that guiding principle the CRB bottled their pure essence, the distillation of their journey so far, and in many ways come full circle in delivering their most direct, bare bones, rock ‘n’ roll record since debut companion albums, Big Moon Ritual and The Magic Door.
Julia Shapiro – Perfect Version CD/LP (Hardly Art)
When Julia Shapiro flew home from a cancelled Chastity Belt tour in April 2018, everything in her life felt out of control. Dealing with health issues, freshly out of a relationship, and in the middle of an existential crisis, she realized halfway through a tour supporting her band’s third album I Used To Spend So Much Time Alone that she was going through too much to continue. “I was really struggling; I was really depressed. I felt like I couldn’t sing or be a person,” Shapiro recalls. “At that point I couldn’t even imagine playing a show again, I was so over it.” Returning home to a newly empty Seattle one-bedroom apartment, Shapiro had wanted for a long time to learn how to record and mix her own music, and out of the uncertainty of the future of her music career and her health, she began to record the songs that would become Perfect Version. What she created in the space of ten songs is an intimate and beautifully self-aware examination of feeling lost in the life you’ve created for yourself. It’s an album of shimmering guitars and layered vocals that feels vast in the emotional depth it conveys and masterful in the way each song is intentionally crafted and recorded.
Chris Shiflett – Hard Lessons CD/LP (East Beach)
Raised alongside the California coastline in Santa Barbara, Chris Shiflett kicked off his career in seminal pop-punk groups like No Use For A Name and Me First And The Gimme Gimmes. As the ’90s gave way to the 2000s, he joined the Foo Fighters’ lineup. He’s since become one of the band’s longest-running members, flying the flag of modern rock & roll for two decades. Hard Lessons follows West Coast Town as the second solo record to bear his name alone, and it’s perhaps the most Shiflett-sounding album in his entire catalog, with songs that nod to the classic Bakersfield sound one minute and Keith Richards’ greasy guitar style the next. It is Shiflett’s most vital album to date – a record that blurs the boundaries between country and rock & roll, shining a light once again not only on his guitar work, but his fiery abilities as a frontman and songwriter, as well.
Angelo Badalamenti – TPS2: Twin Peaks Season Two Music And More CD/2xLP (Rhino)
The missing piece in the reissue campaign for the Twin Peaks series has been the mysterious soundtrack to Season Two. The TV program aired in 1990-1991, without the traditional accompanying record release, and it was not until 2007 that the soundtrack album was issued, and only as a very limited CD via David Lynch’s own label.
Baroness – Gold & Grey CD/2xLP (Abraxan Hymns)
Gold & Grey is the fifth studio album release from the Grammy-nominated, Philadelphia-based metal band. As with previous releases, the album’s artwork was designed by frontman and lead singer John Dyer Baizley. It is the band’s first to feature new guitarist Gina Gleason and was mastered by frequent Flaming Lips collaborator Dave Fridmann.
Will Beeley – Highways & Heart Attacks CD/LP (Tompkins Square)
Will Beeley came up in the Austin scene of the ’70s with Townes Van Zandt and Steve Earle among others. Tompkins Square reissued his two ’70s studio albums in 2017. Highways & Heart Attacks is his first album in 40 years.
Buzzcocks – A Different Kind Of Tension [Reissue/1979] CD/LP (Domino)
Buzzcocks – Singles Going Steady [Reissue/1979] CD/LP (Domino)
40th anniversary reissues of Buzzcock’s final album and definitive singles collection.
Bill Callahan – Shepherd In A Sheepskin Vest CD/LP/Cassette (Drag City)
The sense of a life thunderstruck by change infuses Shepherd In a Sheepskin Vest – the songs wander from expressions of newfound joy and great contentment to other snapshots, considerations of the not-joy that we all know. Unsettling dream-images and mythic recollections are patiently received; the undertow of the past is resisted, pulling against it instead into the present, accepting revolutions of time and the unconscious as a natural flow.
Combichrist – One Fire CD/2xCD/3xCD (Rough Trade)
New release from the aggrotech/industrial band. Formed in 2003, Combichrist took founder Andy LaPlegua’s hardcore past and electronica present and merged them into a singular, mechanical music monster. Since releasing the first Combichrist album The Joy Of Gunz, LaPlegua and Combichrist have unleashed six subsequent full lengths.
Dressy Bessy – Fast Faster Disaster CD/LP (Yep Roc)
20 years after their first release, Dressy Bessy returns with Fast Faster Disaster. Lyrically and sonically, the band remains true to their sound with catchy indie pop/punk hooks and sharp lyrics wrought with intense joy and deep sadness.
Isaac Hayes – Shaft [Reissue/1971] 2xCD (Craft Recordings)
The original Shaft soundtrack reached Number 1 on Billboard and won a Grammy for Best Film Score, while the “Theme” won the Oscar for Best Original Song. However, the music from soundtrack and the film were actually not the same. After recording in L.A. the music that would be used in the film, Hayes returned to Memphis to re-record songs to be released as the soundtrack. It’s taken 48 years, but finally both the music from the film and the soundtrack can be heard together in one double-disc package.
Jamestown Revival – San Isabel CD/LP (Jamestown Revival)
Reflecting the majestic landscape where it was recorded, Jamestown Revival’s new album San Isabel feels calming, spacious, and most of all, natural. Led by Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance, the band embraced a minimalist approach for these 11 tracks, recorded in a remote cabin in central Colorado. Finding inspiration in ’60s and early 70’s folk and pop, the original songs on San Isabel show a reverence for early John Denver and Bob Dylan, as well as Simon & Garfunkel and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
Madonna – Madame X CD/2xLP (Interscope)
Madonna’s fourteenth studio album is based on her musical experience in her new hometown of Lisbon, Portugal, which she referred to be a melting pot of culture musically, from Angola to Guinea-Bissau to Spain to Brazil to France to Cape Verde.
Keb’ Mo’ – Oklahoma CD (Concord)
Fresh off the Grammy-Award winning album TajMo, his collaboration with Taj Mahal, prolific blues musician Keb’ Mo’ returns his first solo record in five years. Sonically timeless but lyrically relevant, Oklahoma solidifies Keb’ as a modern master of American roots music, a reputation he has held and expanded on throughout his 25+ year career. [Vinyl edition due July 19.]
James Blake – Assume Form 2xLP (Republic)
Released last January on CD – now available on vinyl. New album from renowned English artist/producer with guests including Andre 3000 (Outkast), Travis Scott, Moses Sumney and others.
Brian Eno – Discreet Music [Reissue/1975] 2xLP (Astralwerks)
Brian Eno – Music For Films [Reissue/1975] 2xLP (Astralwerks)
Brian Eno – Ambient 1: Music For Airports [Reissue/1978] 2xLP (Astralwerks)
Brian Eno – Ambient 4: On Land [Reissue/1982] 2xLP (Astralwerks)
180gm half-speed Abbey Road Studios remastered vinyl reissues of Brian Eno’s first four solo ambient albums.
Freddie Hubbard – Open Sesame [Reissue/1960] LP (Blue Note)
Trumpeter Freddie Hubbard burst upon the Blue Note scene in June 1960 with his auspicious debut album Open Sesame. Within six months, Hubbard had already recorded a follow-up (Goin’ Up) and appeared as a sideman on sessions with Tina Brooks (True Blue), Hank Mobley (Roll Call), Kenny Drew (Undercurrent), and Jackie McLean (Bluesnik). Hubbard’s bravado style was already fully formed on Open Sesame with his brilliant tone and jaw-dropping technical prowess at the helm of sterling quintet.
Jim James – Uniform Distortion/Clarity 2xLP (ATO)
This limited individually numbered vinyl box set includes Uniform Distortion (2018) on black/gold colored vinyl and Uniform Clarity (2018) on black/white colored vinyl, along with a bonus 7” comprised of four unreleased acoustic covers. Packaged in a die-cut gatefold jacket.
David Rawlings Machine – Nashville Obsolete [Reissue/2015] LP (Acony)
Dave Rawlings Machine’s 2015 folk roots tour de force Nashville Obsolete is available for the first time on vinyl. Recorded on analog tape at Woodland Studios in Nashville, Tennessee, DRM’s stark and stunning second album features seven classic David Rawlings and Gillian Welch compositions.
R.E.M. – In Time: The Best Of R.E.M. 1988-2003 [Reissue/2003] 2xLP (Craft Recordings)
First-time commercial vinyl pressing. In Time: The Best Of R.E.M. 1988-2003 is more than a greatest hits collection, it’s an opportunity to reflect on the astonishing creative and cultural influence of one of the most innovative and enduring bands of modern rock history. This collection focuses on the band’s output on Warner Bros. [Limited blue colored vinyl edition also available.]
Yelawolf – Radioactive [Reissue/2011] 2xLP (Shady)
Yelawolf’s debut studio album Radioactive, known as Radioactive: Amazing And Mystifying Chemical Tricks, was recorded within two weeks in Las Vegas Valley. Executive produced by Eminem, the 15-track project features appearances from Kid Rock, Lil Jon, Gangsta Boo, FeFe Dobson, and Killer Mike, among others.