New Releases for June 21, 2019
The Raconteurs – Help Us Stranger CD/LP (Third Man)
The Raconteurs – Jack White, Brendan Benson, Jack Lawrence, and Patrick Keeler – are back with their long-awaited new album, Help Us Stranger, which serves as the Grammy-winning rock band’s third studio LP and first new release in more than a decade. The 12-track collection sees the mighty combo reassembled, stronger and perhaps even more vital than ever before as they continue to push rock & roll forward into its future, bonding prodigious riffs, blues power, sinewy psychedelia, Detroit funk, and Nashville soul via Benson and White’s uncompromising songcraft and the band’s steadfast musical muscle. The pair wrote all of the songs on the record except the lone Donovan cover, “Hey Gyp (Dig The Slowness)”.
Bad Books – III CD/LP (Concord/Loma Vista)
“For their first record in seven years, Bad Books made sure it was worth the wait, and not a side project worth forgetting. Helmed by singer-songwriters Kevin Devine and Andy Hull (of Manchester Orchestra), III brings their talents together and distills them into an album that’s all of a piece while preserving each writer’s own identity. In the realm of Frightened Rabbit and Volcano Choir, Bad Books offer a sometimes exuberant, sometimes somber sound that takes simple folk songs and blows them out with dramatic piano chords, churchlike choral arrangements, spacey atmospherics and digital embellishments. For all their basis in acoustic instruments, these are songs that shimmer and echo at length — not for a coffee house, but an opera house.” — Exclaim
Philip Bailey – Love Will Find A Way CD (UMG)
On Love Will Find A Way, legendary falsetto Philip Bailey proves that the atmosphere and ideas that made Earth Wind & Fire possible – a respect for genuine musicianship, a conviction that all music matters – are alive and well in 2019. Along with trusted friends like bassist Christian McBride, the iconic jazz pianist Chick Corea and drum legend Steve Gadd, the album features several of the brightest contemporary lights in jazz, R&B, pop and more: keyboardist Robert Glasper, saxophonist Kamasi Washington, rapper, musician and producer will.i.am, trumpeter Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, singer-songwriter Bilal, singer-saxophonist Casey Benjamin, guitarist Lionel Loueke, drummer Kendrick Scott and bassist Derrick Hodge, among many others. [Vinyl edition due July 12.]
Bedouine – Songs Of A Killjoy CD/LP (Spacebomb Arc)
When you listen to the love songs of L.A.-based (and one-time Lexingtonian) Bedouine, you will be reminded of Karen Dalton’s world-wise voice or the breathy seduction of Minnie Riperton’s vocals, the easy cool of French ye-ye singers, and the poetry of Joan Baez. Her folk is nomadic, wandering across time and space, and on the likes of new song “Dizzy” meander into danceable jams. On first discovery you may ask whether they’re dated to 2019, or whether you’ve uncovered some forgotten classic. It makes sense that singer-songwriter Azniv Korkejian’s arrival – both musically and personally – on her second record has been influenced by her own wanderlust, displacement, and curiosity. The 12-songs on Bird Songs Of A Killjoy contain several references to birds. It’s a soundtrack to Spring blossom, to warm air on skin, to the concept of possibility.
Black Pumas – Black Pumas CD/LP (ATO)
Black Pumas is led by the creative partnership between Grammy Award-winning guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada and songwriter Eric Burton. The latter is a relative newcomer who arrived in Austin in 2015 after busking his way across the country from Los Angeles, while Quesada has a storied reputation for playing in bands like Grupo Fantasma and Brownout. After the two connected via friends in the Austin scene, they began to collaborate on a new sound that transmutes soul into something idiosyncratically modern. Reminiscent of Ghostface Killah and Motown in equal measure, this original sound ensured that Black Pumas’ weekly residency at C-Boys quickly became “the hottest party in town” (Austin-American Statesman).
Collective Soul – Blood CD/LP (Fuzze Flex)
From their humble beginnings in Stockbridge, GA to the heights of playing to sold-out audiences all over the world, Collective Soul has cemented their place in music by creating indelible, smash-hits like “Shine”, “Breathe”, “December”, “The World I Know”, “Gel”, “Heavy”, “Precious Declaration” and more. The band’s new album Blood is the culmination of a quarter-century of assessing not only where they’ve come from, but also where they’re going. “I think Blood expresses where we’ve been on this life journey,” observes frontman Ed Roland. “And we’ve done so with songs featuring piano and strings to those with a lot of guitar riffs. Blood is an accumulation of all the different styles we’ve used over the years — but it’s still Collective Soul.”
Fruit Bats – Gold Past Life CD/LP+MP3 (Merge)
Fruit Bats’ Gold Past Life marks both an end and a beginning. It’s the end of an unintentional thematic trilogy of records from Eric D. Johnson that began with 2014’s EDJ (a solo record by name, but a Fruit Bats release in spirit) and hit an emotional peak with 2016’s Absolute Loser. They encompassed years of loss, displacement, and the persistent, low-level anxiety of the current political climate. They were written in the wake of friends who left these earthly confines and families that could have been. But the songs on Gold Past Life also represent new beginnings – the journeys that await after making it through troubled times. Johnson’s falsetto shines atop the bopping folk-rock of Gold Past Life.
Hackensaw Boys – A Fireproof Of Sunshine CD/10” (Free Dirt)
On the band’s 20th anniversary, stalwart roots collective Hackensaw Boys present a fresh batch of original songs with their new EP A Fireproof House Of Sunshine. For the ever-evolving string band, the five-song collection showcases their graceful maturation and feels more timeless than timely, in no small part due to frontman David Sickmen’s deeply cultivated songwriting. Energized by the band’s new fiddler (Caleb Powers), upright bassist (Chris Stevens), and percussionist/charismo player (Beau Dodson), A Fireproof House Of Sunshine keeps Hackensaw Boys’ classic punk-fueled roots sound at the center. Yet here the group further explores within genre, from the rollicking contemporary Americana of “Late Night Kitchen” and “Pass Unloving Eyes” to the country-blues working class anthem “Factory Blues”, all while maintaining a toe-tapping pop sensibility.
Hollywood Vampires – Rise CD/2xLP (earMUSIC)
Rock & roll royalty Joe Perry, Hollywood superstar Johnny Depp and shock rock icon Alice Cooper join forces once again as the Hollywood Vampires for their explosive second album, Rise. Unlike their 2015 debut record, the album consists mainly of original material. Seconds into the opening track “I Want My Now”, it’s clear this supergroup has created something special – the chemistry between the individuals is unmistakable when they come together on stage or in the recording studio. Forget the star-studded lineup’s individual reputations, Rise is some of the purest, unapologetic and most enjoyable rock & roll of the year.
Hot Chip – A Bath Full Of Ecstasy CD/LP (Domino)
Hot Chip’s electrifying seventh album, A Bath Full Of Ecstasy, is the group’s definitive release, crystallizing the sound they’ve become celebrated for – bridging euphoria and melancholy with colorful melodies, idiosyncratic vocalizations and pounding electronic pop rhythms. Recorded in Paris and London, the nine-track collection sees the group (Owen Clarke, Al Doyle, Joe Goddard, Felix Martin and Alexis Taylor) open up to a more adventurous and collaborative songwriting process, choosing to work with outside producers for the first time: Philippe Zdar, the French maestro who’s shaped the magic of Cassius and Phoenix, and Rodaidh McDonald, the Scot who’s collaborated with The xx, David Byrne and Sampha, among others.
Mannequin Pussy – Patience CD/LP+MP3 (Epitaph)
Patience, the third full-length from Philadelphia, PA indie punk band Mannequin Pussy, is an album fascinated with the physical experience of the body, its songs tracking the movements of mouths and hands and racing hearts, skin and spit and teeth and blood. Deeply attuned to the power of their own physicality, members Colins Rey Regisford (bass, samples, vocals), Kaleen Reading (drums, percussion), Marisa Dabice (guitar, vocals), and Athanasios Paul (guitar, keys) channel complex emotion in blistering riffs, thrashing rhythms, vocals that feel as immediate and untamed as a gut reaction. But throughout the album, the band contrasts that raw vitality with intricate melodies and finely detailed arrangements, building a strange and potent tension that makes the album all the more cathartic. Patience matches Mannequin Pussy’s wild volatility with a narrative voice that’s often painfully vulnerable.
Buddy & Judy Miller – Breakdown On 20th Ave. South CD/LP+MP3 (New West)
Their first album together in nearly 10 years, Breakdown On 20th Ave. South is an album of Julie Miller songs produced by Buddy Miller. As a couple and individually, Buddy and Julie have been nominated and received multiple awards including Grammys, Americana Awards, Dove Awards among others. Julie Millers songs have been recorded by a diverse range of artists including Emmylou Harris, Lee Ann Womack, Levon Helm, Solomon Burke, and Miranda Lambert. Buddy Miller is known for his work as a guitarist, performing live and in the studio with artists such as Robert Plant, Alison Krauss, Steve Earle and Emmylou Harris. Buddy’s production credits include albums with Plant, Harris, Earle, Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin and many more. Breakdown On 20th Ave. South is a first rate showcase for Julies finely crafted lyrics. Tracks like “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” and “Everything Is Your Fault” hint at the ups and downs of love. The entire album is tied together by Buddy’s unfussy production style.
Nick Murphy/Chet Faker – Run Fast Sleep Naked CD (Downtown)
The new release from Nick Murphy, the artist formerly known as Chet Faker, Run Fast Sleep Naked is the follow-up to his 2014 debut Built On Glass which was released under the Chet Faker moniker, and 2017’s Missing Link EP. Co-produced by Dave Harrington, the vocals for the collection were captured all around the world during the last four years. For the record, Murphy found “spaces and environments that most inspired him,” ranging from his grandmother’s living room to a studio in Tokyo to a New Zealand rental home while on vacation with his family. During this period, the musician began a process of intense self-examination, using Joseph Campbell’s writings to question his role as an artist in modern society. The instrumentation for the album was later recorded at Brooklyn, New York’s Figure 8 with help from over 15 musicians and a full orchestra. [Vinyl edition due July 5.]
Willie Nelson – Ride Me Back Home CD/LP (Sony)
Willie Nelson returns with another incredible addition to his legendary catalog. Once again working with longtime producer Buddy Cannon, Ride Me Back Home sits beside 2017’s God’s Problem Child and 2018’s Last Man Standing as a trilogy of superior song craft exploring ideas of mortality with wisdom, empathy and a winking love of life. Nelson and Cannon co-wrote a handful of songs but go deep into their favorite songsmiths, great writers with great stories to tell: Sonny Throck-Morton, Guy Clark, Mac Davis, and Buzz Rabin. The result is a magical collection of tunes with emphasis on the lyric. Backed by an amazing band of Nashville gunslingers, Ride Me Back Home finds Willie Nelson making some of the most inspired work of his career.
Himesh Patel – Yesterday [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] CD (Capitol)
From Academy Award-winning director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting, 28 Days Later) and Richard Curtis, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Four Weddings And A Funeral, Love Actually and Notting Hill, comes a rock-n-roll comedy about music, dreams, friendship, and the long and winding road that leads to the love of your life. Jack Malik (Himesh Patel, BBC’s Eastenders) is a struggling singer-songwriter in a tiny English seaside town whose dreams of fame are rapidly fading, despite the fierce devotion and support of his childhood best friend, Ellie (Lily James, Mamma Mia!, Here We Go Again). Then, after a freak bus accident during a mysterious global blackout, Jack wakes up to discover that The Beatles have never existed…and he finds himself with a very complicated problem, indeed. Performing songs by the greatest band in history to a world that has never heard them, and with a little help from his steel-hearted American agent, Debra (Emmy winner Kate McKinnon), Jack’s fame explodes. [Vinyl edition due August 16.]
Richard Reed Parry – Quiet River Of Dust Vol. 2: That Side Of The River CD/LP+MP3 (ANTI-)
Music of the spheres: it’s a term that refers to the universal harmony generated by celestial bodies in orbit, but it means something different to Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry. His musical spheres are floating worlds, 360° embodiments of memory, VR renditions of old family photos. These spheres not only served as metaphorical inspiration for the lyrics of his new project, Quiet River Of Dust, but appear throughout the album artwork and, most strikingly, in the films Parry made to be projected in planetarium-style domes to accompany live performances of this music. The first volume of Quiet River Of Dust was released on the autumn equinox of 2018; this second volume, out on the summer solstice of 2019, was created at the same time. Both volumes bleed into one another, by design.
Joel Rafael – Rose Avenue CD/LP (Inside Recordings)
Rose Avenue gracefully defines California singer songwriter Joel Rafael and his contribution to the American canon. The ten-song masterpiece includes nine originals that reflect the honest accounting of a man in his 70th year. Recorded and mixed by multi-instrumentalist Marty Rifkin in his Santa Monica studio, Rose Avenue is fresh, and radiates warmth and significance. Rafael does not stray from his roots in the songs he selected for this release, or in his choice of musical accompaniment, playing acoustic guitar and harmonica.
The Rolling Stones – Bridges To Bremen 2xCD+/DVD/2xCD+Blu-ray/3xLP (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
Bridges To Bremen captures a complete show from the final leg of the Rolling Stones’ year-long tour in support of their Platinum-certified album Bridges To Babylon. Ever the innovators, The Bridges To Babylon Tour was one of firsts – the first time the band went on the road with a permanent, and now infamous, B-stage, and also the first time that fans could vote on the band’s website for a track they wanted to hear at the show – “Memory Motel” in the case of the Bremen fans, making each show on the tour unique. Opening with a stellar “Satisfaction”, Lisa Fisher then accompanies Mick Jagger on vocals for a storming version of “Gimme Shelter”, and Bridges single “Saint of Me” receives a rousing welcome. By Stones standards, Bremen was an intimate show, a 40,000 fan-strong hot ticket, for which the band enthusiastically kicked out 155 minutes of unadulterated rock ‘n’ roll. [Limited edition 180gm gold colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Emeli Sandé – Real Life CD/LP (Virgin)
Emeli Sandé’s much-anticipated third album, Real Life represents a new sound for the globally-acclaimed English artist following a period of self-discovery that resulted in a new defiant confidence. Sandé says that her vision for Real Life is to give people hope and confidence, “Especially people who have been marginalized, forgotten or kicked down by this invisible oppression that’s always there. I just want to give people this incredible superpower every time they play the album. Like a battery pack – by the end of the album they’re going to feel restored.”
All of the lyrics on the new album were written by Sandé, who worked on Real Life with such notables as Salaam Remi, James Poyser and Troy Miller, who produced every song. The album’s 11 tracks exude positivity, from the very opening track “Human,” which is followed by the acoustic guitar-led “Love To Help”. The soaring “You Are Not Alone” has the singer, flanked by a choir, marking a return to the anthemic sound that made Sandé a star.
Titus Andronicus – An Obelisk CD/LP+MP3 (Merge)
An Obelisk is the sixth album from Titus Andronicus, which finds the noted rock band under the stewardship of producer and legendary rocker Bob Mould (Hüsker Dü, Sugar). This trans-generational meeting of the minds has yielded the most immediate, intense, and unadorned Titus Andronicus record to date. Clocking in at a brisk 38 minutes and change, it is also the shortest. Recorded over six breathless days at Steve Albini’s world-renowned Electrical Audio studio in Chicago, An Obelisk presents the sound of Titus Andronicus, rock band, at its most irreducible, as monolithic as the album’s titular monument.
Two Door Cinema Club – False Alarm CD/LP (Glassnote)
Two Door Cinema Club’s highly-anticipated fourth album False Alarm finds the three piece gloriously unshackled and creatively at the peak of their game. Across it’s ten tracks, False Alarm wryly scans and satirizes the social and environmental woes of 2019 through the prism of wonderfully off-kilter pop, simultaneously borrowing from and warping elements of future pop, disco, rock, funk and soul. Recorded in sessions between London and L.A. with producer Jacknife Lee (U2, REM, The Killers), it’s an LP that takes the familiar and twists it, to startling and stimulating effect.
Aerosmith – Aerosmith’s Greatest Hits [Reissue/1990] LP (Sony Legacy)
Vinyl reissue of the first compilation album by Aerosmith featuring songs that made the band an icon of the 1970s rock era.
Mort Garson – Mother Earth’s Plantasia [Reissue/1976] CD/LP (Sacred Bones)
If you purchased a snake plant, asparagus fern, peace lily, or what have you from Mother Earth on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles (or bought a Simmons mattress from Sears) in 1976, you also took home Plantasia, an album recorded especially for plants. Subtitled warm earth music for plants… and the people that love them, it was full of bucolic, charming, stoner-friendly, decidedly unscientific tunes enacted on the new-fangled device called the Moog. Before Brian Eno did it, Mort Garson was making discreet music. [Limited green colored vinyl pressing also available.]
JR JR – Invocations/Conversations CD/2xLP (Love Is EZ)
Recently released on vinyl – now available on CD. New album from the band formally known as Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
Los Straitjackets – Channel Surfing CDEP/12”+MP3 (Yep Roc)
Surf rock renditions of some of television’s greatest hits, including the theme to Game Of Thrones, The Andy Griffith Show, Ken Burns’ The Civil War, and a medley of Dancing With The Stars and Sex And The City.
Prince – Originals CD (WB)
A 15-track album featuring 14 previously unreleased recordings that illuminate the vital, behind-the-scenes role Prince played in other artists’ careers. Several of the iconic songs found on Originals were considerable hits for the artists who recorded them. Sheila E.’s “The Glamorous Life” reached #1 on the dance charts in 1984, while the enormous success of “Manic Monday” propelled the single and its accompanying album, The Bangles’ Different Light, to the #2 spot on the pop charts. [Vinyl edition due July 19.]
Mark Ronson – Late Night Feelings CD/2xLP+MP3 (RCA)
Fifth studio album by British producer Mark Ronson includes guest appearances by Miley Cyrus, Lykke Li, and Camila Cabello.
Thee Oh Sees – Grave Blockers [Reissue/2006] CD (Castleface)
Encased in a brown paper wrapping like a forgotten bit of smut from behind the beaded curtain, this unassuming disc is a time-capsule back to John Dwyer’s early SF days, janglingly fingerpicked wisps of melody and electronics baking in the all-too anemic sunshine of San Francisco’s elusive summer. Like a seashell to the ear, one can hear within it Baker Beach bike ride excursions, holding court and gently harassing passers-by on a Haight street stoop, and midnight rambles with friends from out of town, daring the sun to come up. [Vinyl edition due July 19.]
The B-52’s – The B-52’s [Reissue/1979] LP (WB)
The B-52’s – Wild Planet [Reissue/1980] LP (WB)
Vinyl reissues of The B52’s’ first two albums. Rooted in new wave and 1960s rock and roll, the group later covered many genres ranging from post-punk to pop rock.
Enigma – MCMXC a.D. [Reissue/1990] 2xLP (Polydor)
Enigma – Cross Of Changes [Reissue/1993] 2xLP (Polydor)
Limited colored vinyl reissues of the German musical project’s eight albums and 2001 greatest hits collection. Other titles available.
Kashmere Stage Band – Texas Thunder Soul 1968-1974 LP+MP3 (Now Again)
After capturing audience awards festivals like SXSW and the Los Angeles Film Festival, the word is out that Kashmere was the greatest high school band – ever. Their story is tucked in between slabs of hard ‘70s funk, soul, and jazz: Conrad Johnson transformed a bunch of rough-hewn high schoolers into a band that could compete with any in the nation – professional, or otherwise. The band’s best tracks are collected here.
Megadeth – Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying [Reissue/1986] LP (Capitol)
A bona-fide thrash metal masterpiece, Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying? combines a punkish political awareness with a dark, threatening, typically heavy metal worldview and it remains one of the most powerful and contagious thrash records of the era.
Lee Morgan – Cornbread [Reissue/1967] LP (Blue Note)
Lee Morgan assembled an astounding crew for this epic session: Hank Mobley, Jackie McLean, Herbie Hancock, Larry Ridley and Billy Higgins on drums, and Cornbread captures Morgan and everyone involved at their absolute best.
P!nk – Hurts 2B Human LP+MP3 (RCA)
Eighth studio album from pop superstar. The first single from the album, “Walk Me Home”, was called “a foot-stomping anthem” as well as “an optimistic departure from the content of her previous album, Beautiful Trauma”.