New Releases for June 19, 2020
CDs + Vinyl:
Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher CD/LP (Dead Oceans)
Phoebe Bridgers doesn’t write love songs as much as songs about the impact love can have on our lives, personalities, and priorities. Punisher, her fourth release and second solo album, is concerned with that subject. To say she writes about heartbreak is to undersell her blue wisdom, to say she writes about pain erases all the strange joy her music emanates. Bridgers pulls together a formidable crew of guests, including the Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus, Christian Lee Hutson and Conor Oberst as well as Nathaniel Walcott (of Bright Eyes), Nick Zinner (of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Jenny Lee Lindberg (of Warpaint), Blake Mills and Jim Keltner.
Bob Dylan – Rough And Rowdy Ways CD (Columbia)
Rough And Rowdy Ways is Bob Dylan’s first album of original material in eight years and his first since becoming the only songwriter to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature, in 2016. Its 10 tracks include the three new songs released this spring: the album’s lead-off track, “I Contain Multitudes”, the nearly 17-minute epic “Murder Most Foul”, and “False Prophet”. “This isn’t perhaps the most comforting communique to issue in the middle of a global pandemic, but then the man behind it has seldom dealt in soothing reassurance. And besides, it doesn’t matter. For all its bleakness, Rough And Rowdy Ways might well be Bob Dylan’s most consistently brilliant set of songs in years: the die-hards can spend months unravelling the knottier lyrics, but you don’t need a PhD in Dylanology to appreciate its singular quality and power. It is a testament to his eternal greatness.” [Vinyl edition due July 17.]
Neil Young – Homegrown CD/LP (WB)
When it comes to Homegrown, the long-lost album fans have wanted to hear for decades finally available on vinyl LP and remastered from the original analog master tapes, Neil Young puts it best: “This album is the unheard bridge between Harvest and W.” Recorded between June 1974 and January 1975, Homegrown was intended to come out in 1975 before Young cancelled the release. The record has remained unreleased until now, achieving a legendary status among fans in the process. It’s made up of twelve Young originals, of which seven are previously unreleased.
Clint Black – Out Of Sane CD (Black Top)
23rd studio album by the country music icon. Out Of Sane features 11 new songs co-written by Clint, as well as a cover of “Everybody’s Talkin’”, which was featured in the 1969 film, Midnight Cowboy, and earned singer Harry Nilsson a Grammy in 1970. [Vinyl edition due August 7.]
Black Eyed Peas – Translation CD (Epic)
The Black Eyed Peas release their new album, Translation. The set integrates hip-hop, pop, dance, reggaeton, and trap and it features a slew of special guests including Tyga, Nicky Jam, Ozuna, J Balvin, Maluma, Shakira and Becky G.
Grayson Capps – South Front Street CD/2xLP (The Royal Potato Family)
South Front Street is a 16-song retrospective of the acclaimed South Alabama singer-songwriter’s career, compiled by his wife and longtime musical foil, Grammy Award-winning producer/engineer, Trina Shoemaker.
Cro-Mags – In The Beginning CD/LP (Mission Two Ent.)
New release from the New York hardcore band, their first studio album in two decades.
Michael Franti & Spearhead – Work Hard And Be Nice CD/2xLP (Boo Boo Wax)
Michael Franti & Spearhead continue to foster their community both on and off stage with a wish granting non-profit, Do It For The Love, founded by Franti and his wife, Sara. Do It For The Love brings those with life threatening illnesses, veterans, and children with severe challenges to concerts worldwide, fulfilling over 3,300 wishes and touching the lives of over 12,000 people to date. Amidst touring, Michael Franti & Spearhead have been in recording studios in Nashville, Los Angeles, and San Francisco working with A-list writers and producers on their new album, Work Hard And Be Nice.
Lamb Of God – Lamb Of God CD/LP+MP3 (Epic)
A true collaboration between all members of the band, Lamb Of God is an amalgam of each individual’s contributions, blended to create a singular style. Guitarists Mark Morton and Willie Adler fuel the album with a mountain of riffs, taking what Lamb Of God are known for, and unbelievably, upping the ante to new levels. The rhythm section of John Campbell, looming large as a rhythmic shadow, and drummer Art Cruz, who makes his studio debut with Lamb Of God here on this record, underpin the proceedings with passion, sweat and expansive dynamics. Vocalist Randy Blythe is as angry, insightful, and informed as ever. Never one to shrink from facing the darker aspects of our nature head-on, Blythe delivers with no punches pulled, and as only he and Lamb Of God can in 2020. [Limited red and black colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Mark Morton – Ether CDEP/12” (Rise)
New EP from the Lamb Of God guitarist. Includes musical assistance from Mark Morales, John Carbone, Lzzy Hale, and Howard Jones.
New Found Glory – Forever And Ever x Infinity CD/LP+MP3 (Hopeless)
The pop punk legends return with their ninth studio album. Harking back to the days of Nothing Gold Can Stay and the band’s self-titled album, Forever And Ever x Infinity is full of fast, punk laced drums and the most emo of lyrics revolving around the ups and downs of falling in love. [Limited green colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Ocean Alley – Lonely Diamond CD/2xLP (UNIFIED Music Group)
Australia’s funkiest musical export Ocean Alley drops their highly anticipated third album Lonely Diamond. The album draws from the nostalgia of music eras past, combining ’70s guitar rock, country and western, old school funk and synth-heavy new wave to create a deeply contemplative and atmospheric odyssey reminiscent of music legends like Fleetwood Mac, Dire Straits and Pink Floyd. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Owen – The Avalanche CD/LP+MP3 (Polyvinyl)
Owen is the solo project of Chicago’s Mike Kinsella. As a departure from over a decade of work playing in a variety of bands – Cap’n Jazz, American Football, and T/T/T to name a few – Owen became Kinsella’s way of finally exercising complete creative control over all aspects of a project, including songwriting, recording, and overall artistic direction. Owen’s musical output as evolved from sparse acoustic offerings to lush, string-filled arrangements. Kinsella often exposes family relationships and personal experiences with lyrics that are at times clever, witty, raw, and biting.
Ron Sexmith – Hermitage CD/LP (Century Media)
New album from the Canadian singer/songwriter. Hermitage is the follow-up to his 2017 album The Last Rider. Ron worked with producer Don Kerr to create this album; the two set up in Ron’s living room to record where Ron played all the instruments for the album, with the exception of the drums. The result is the songwriter’s most self-assured collection, still charmingly subtle yet increasingly full of musical vigor.
The Sword – Chronology: 2006 – 2018 3xCD/3xLP (Craft Recordings)
A compendium of The Sword’s greatest hits, fan favorites and rarities Chronology: 2006 – 2018 culls the retro-metal four-piece’s complete studio recordings. 52 tracks (12 previously unreleased).
Jim White and Marisa Anderson – The Quickening CD/LP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
The Quickening is an improvised work guided by emotional intuition and an ability to spin collective experience into music of potent and boundless beauty. Jim White and Marisa Anderson instrumental voices are unmistakable and spellbindingly lyrical. Anderson unravels global guitar traditions into atmospheres all their own through improvisations and transforming melodic lines. While White implements an array of sticks, brushes, and techniques that imbue each rhythmic percussion passage with it’s own distinct personality. Together their melodic flourishes cascade and twist upon one another, at times trading conversational exchanges, and at others drifting in unison as if lost in the same train of thought. [Limited green colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Whitesnake – The Rock Album CD/2xLP (Rhino)
Whitesnake brings together the hardest-hitting songs of its multi-platinum career on this collection featuring remixed and remastered versions of the group’s best rock songs. The Rock Album features the debut of “Always The Same”, a previously unreleased song that was recorded during the 2019 sessions for Flesh & Blood. [Limited edition colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks – Orange Crate Art [Reissue/1995] 2xCD/2xLP (Omnivore Recordings)
In 1966, when Brian Wilson prepared the follow up to his masterpiece Pet Sounds, he employed the services of Mississippi born Van Dyke Parks as lyricist for The Beach Boys next album, SMiLE. As history would soon document, SMiLE became the most famous unreleased album in rock history, it’s “completion” not seeing daylight until a Grammy winning box set in 2012. SMiLE’s original plan was to incorporate many different elements of American music in an avant-garde fashion, its musical format leaps and bounds ahead of anything that existed contemporaneously. As SMiLE quickly grew in legendary terms, Brian and Van Dyke each went their separate musical ways, only to reunite briefly in 1972 for The Beach Boys classic “Sail On Sailor”. So it was perhaps with great apprehension and excitement that these two musical giants should finally reunite in 1994 for some unfinished business. This time, however, the mission would be complete. Available on vinyl for the very first time, the deluxe CD package contains three previously unreleased bonus tracks as well as instrumental track versions of 11 of the album’s songs.
Deerhoof – Future Teenage Cave Artists LP/Cassette (Joyful Noise)
Like a lot of the music they have released over the last quarter-century, the Deerhoof of Future Teenage Cave Artists stitches together fragments of R&B and classic rock and transforms these genres into a new language of revolution, forgoing verse-chorus structures for dream logic and blind intuition. But what makes this album different is its intimacy – the blues riffs and slide guitars are joined by rusty pianos and whispered three-part harmonies. In this sense, FTCA inverts the formula of Deerhoof’s last album, Mountain Moves, which invited a wide community of collaborators to band together in an open celebration of solidarity. The new one, on the other hand, is borne of self-isolation and deprivation. It’s the sound of a sparkling, manic musical intelligence being disconnected from a nourishing public and devouring itself inside its own cocoon, attempting metamorphosis. [Limited blood red colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Kenny Dorham – Trompeta Toccata [Reissue/1964] LP (Blue Note)
Kenny Dorham’s 1964 album Trompeta Toccata would be the final album that the great underrated trumpeter and composer would record as a leader, and it stands as a fitting testament to his prodigious talent. The album featured a stellar quintet with Dorham and his frequent collaborator Joe Henderson on tenor saxophone along with pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Richard Davis, and drummer Albert Tootie Heath.
Andrew Hill – Smoke Stack [Reissue/1966] LP (Blue Note)
On his second Blue Note album Smoke Stack, pianist and composer Andrew Hill used an unusual line-up of two bassists (Richard Davis and Eddie Khan) along with the masterful Roy Haynes on drums. The seven Hill compositions that the quartet explore here contain all the rare beauty to be found in his music.
The National – High Violet [Reissue/2010] 3xLP (4AD)
Deluxe and expanded tenth anniversary purple and clear marble colored vinyl pressing. Includes a third LP which includes tracks never before available on vinyl.
Other Lives – Tamer Animals [Reissue/2001] LP (ATO)
Vinyl reissue of the second album by the Stillwater, Oklahoma-based indie rock band.
Larry Young – Into Somethin’ [Reissue/1964] LP (Blue Note)
On 1964’s Into Somethin’, Larry Young made it abundantly clear that he had his own unique approach to the Hammond B-3 organ. Young explored a more modal territory over the course of his six Blue Note albums including this tremendous session featuring tenor saxophonist Sam Rivers, guitarist Grant Green, and drummer Elvin Jones.